Nitty Gritty Cleans

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by Peter Familari

14th February, 2014

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Nitty Gritty Cleans

In the Halcyon years of Hi-Fi we all had a Nitty Gritty or VPI record cleaning machines. But that was way back when a DAC was something fellas wore and headphones were used by henpecked wimps.

We’ve moved on and Head-Fi has put DACs and ‘Phones top of the audio sales pile, and fellas can wear anything or nothing without landing in the slammer assuming you worship nature in the confines of your own home…

But even more liberating for those of us who still love, adore and worship our vinyl and vinyl spinners way more than a change of frock is the news that US brand Nitty Gritty is back in town. First active in 1981, Nitty Gritty’s mission was to give audiophiles pro cleaning products at wallet friendly prices. Back then the Nitty Gritty sold for a fraction of the price of the truly wonderful but much, much larger and lavish VPI models.

For those that care about these things and most audio flakes do, Nitty’s snazzy 2.5fi record cleaner snared a coveted CES award for excellence of its design and engineering in 1985. According to importer, Decibel Hi-Fi, the Brisbane specialist who is no slouch when it comes to all things analogue, the great news is the 2.5Fi retains all the features that made it such a steal back then. What have improved are the design and build of many parts which have gone up several notches in quality. Not that the Nifty Nitty 2.5 I owned ever gave me a moment of blood, sweat or tears.

Improvements have been made for example, to the injection-moulded head section which houses the vacuum slot. The slot is built to create a Venturi effect, which so says Decibel, maximises the velocity of the cleaning suction while at the same time diminishing contact with a record's surface. And forgive us if this sounds erotic, but remember it’s Nitty’s description, the vacuum slot is lined with what Nitty Gritty calls ‘velvet lips’. If this has you reaching for your wallet and your Fleshlight, we’ll understand. Such is our passion for the art and craft of great audio products.

Seriously, the said 'velvet lips’ - we are told - are actually thousands of individual fibre strands that reach in and clean the record’s groove. We also agree with Decibel’s Brian Maddern’s assessment of the Nitty Gritty’s design integrity and build.

''‘Nitty Gritty cleaning machines systems are well-designed and built to last. The company has many testimonials from satisfied customers who own 26-plus-year-old Nitties that are still going strong. We’re delighted to have been appointed the exclusive Australian distributor for Australia. To ensure we properly service the local market, we will not only be carrying all current Nitty Gritty products, including the Models 1.0, 1.5 and the Mini-Pro 1, but will also be carrying the complete range of accessories and parts for existing Nitty Gritty owners’, he said.

''We’re delighted to have been appointed the exclusive Australian distributor for Australia. To ensure we properly service the local market, we will not only be carrying all current Nitty Gritty products, including the Models 1.0, 1.5 and the Mini-Pro 1, but will also be carrying the complete range of accessories and parts for existing Nitty Gritty owners.’

Count us in. Our Nitty Gritty is still in great nick and used by my kids regularly to play the vinyl they snare from garage sales and second hand stores. You have to love it. Decibel if you’re reading this expect a call from us enquiring about getting another Nitty Gritty back into our systems.

For further information, please contact Decibel Hi Fi

Posted in: Audio & Sound
Tags: nitty gritty  turntable 

Peter Familari's avatar

Written by:

Peter Familari

Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected tech and audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to GadgetNET.

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