Review: Record vacuum cleaner : Would I like to try out the new Turbo? Which question, the icon of German sports car construction is not given a basket. Who is on the other end of the line again, oh well, the dear editorial colleagues from Berlin … And quickly every thought of chasing with a brisk lead foot over federal highways has already been pulverized again. But there is also something to slide leisurely over the grooves of my beloved records, especially since I am much more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. So it means flux instead of fast, because the turbo, which is the subject of the following, is the Flux-Hifi Turbo 2.0 – a record vacuum cleaner developed and manufactured in Germany (299 euros).
The company Flux-Hifi, based in Schwetzingen in Baden-Württemberg, has surprised us time and again with innovative and useful hi-fi accessories. About the electronic one Needle cleaner Sonic or recently the Vinylbrush and the practical record sleeves. So now the Turbo 2.0. What can he do? Well, Flux-Hifis Turbo sucks dust out of record grooves. We already had, I hear you complain. But wait, before you click any further: Yes, it’s true, a good four years ago we took a closer look at the vinyl turbo from Flux-Hifi, after all a wonderfully functioning vacuum cleaner for sensitive vinyl. Since neither design nor handling have changed, I will spare you any repetitions at this point and instead refer to ours Report from 2017 on the vinyl turbo.
However, four years is quite a while even in the not that fast-paced everyday life of the hi-fi business. And then it seems to me that Flux Hifi boss Dr. Marius Gartner, who holds a doctorate in engineering, is also one of the developers who constantly question things in order to make them a little better after all. Logical that it had to hit the vinyl turbo at some point. However, at the time I had already attested that the electric vacuum cleaner was fully suitable for everyday use. By no means sure, therefore, whether there is still any significant potential for further optimization behind the functional exterior of the turbo.
Apparently they have found what they are looking for in Schwetzingen. Flux-Hifi primarily tweaked the suction power and increased it, of course without the records sticking to the turbo vacuum. For this purpose, the design of the suction channels was not only fine-tuned until the suction effect was completely evenly distributed across the width of the inlet, the speed of the electric motor, up to now at least 20,000 rpm, was also increased by fifty percent to 30,000 rpm. Measured under the load of the fan wheel, this results in a real speed of a good 27,000 rpm.
As a result, the suction power of the Turbo 2.0 has doubled compared to the original model, says Flux-Hifi. Measured on the in-house test bench, the current model now builds up an average negative pressure of – 4 mbar and above. Good specimens of the predecessor had to be content with – 2 mbar.
If you run the Flux Turbo 2.0 over the vinyl to be cleaned as intended, you won’t feel much of this power. Only gentle vibrations in the fingertips indicate the state of use. However, as Dr. Gartner, those particularly fine dust particles should no longer escape the suction flow, which up to now would have been stuck very deep in the grooves and defied common attempts at cleaning. Troublemakers who can cause higher levels of noise. In contrast to the typical crackling of badly cleaned LPs, this problem comes to mind more subliminally, but ultimately leads to audibly poorer playback quality.
Under normal circumstances, I would suspect a good part of common hi-fi PR behind such statements. But the Flux-Hifi boss seems to be serious about the Turbo 2.0. How do I get there? Well, on the one hand, the good piece has sold quite well so far, which would not necessarily have required a revival, on the other hand, the price increase from 279 euros to 299 euros has been rather moderate. Finally, there was also the information that all owners of an old Flux-Hifi Turbo were given the opportunity to exchange it for a current Turbo 2.0 for 149 euros.
Made in Baden-Württemberg
If you consider that the Flux-Hifi Turbo 2.0 is a purely domestic product, apart from a few supplied components, which is manufactured in Baden-Württemberg, which is not exactly known as a low-wage country, it can be assumed that without a good portion of idealism and love for the analog thing the Turbo Vacuum Cleaner 2.0 would certainly not have seen the light of day.
Even if little has changed in terms of the operation and shape of the turbo, it is noticeable even before commissioning that instead of smooth plastic, a slightly rougher, more grippy design was chosen. Fears that the device could slip out of the slippery fingers when vacuuming on hot summer days and possibly damage an irreplaceable LP, should now be a thing of the past. Otherwise everything runs just as smoothly as before. Hold down the button, pull the turbo out over the record – and the nasty dust is history.
And what does Dr. Gartner, who does not see the turbo vacuum as a substitute but the perfect addition to the record washing machine? His advice is to treat records with the Turbo 2.0 vacuum cleaner after they have been cleaned on a record washing machine before they are played. In this way, the valued vinyl remains free of dust and lint and can bring out its true tonal potential.
All right, let’s put it to the test. My copy of Still live with the Keith Jarrett Trio could use some hygiene attention again. Loose dust and a few fingerprints certainly have no place on disc 1 of the double album. A job for my Nessie Vinylmaster record washing machine, which, as usual, goes to work thoroughly and quietly. Then everything shines like new again. Then played, “My funny Valentine” and “Autum leaves” sound fresh and with very little background noise.
I can understand why some hard-core analogs prefer to machine wash their records before actually playing them. But then I don’t want to have to put in such an effort regularly myself. So put the record in the case and waited a few days. Then put it back on the turntable, and yes, a few dust particles actually managed to settle on the disc again. This is followed by the appearance of the Flux Turbo 2.0, after its use it appears to be pore-deep clean again. And in terms of sound, I can’t find any decisive difference to the performance directly after the wet wash. It goes on for a few weeks. Weeks in which I also work on page 3 with “Come rain or come shine” and “Late lament”, but only work on them with the practical vinyl brush from Schwetzingen.
In the end, the record treated with the turbo vacuum continues to look the same as it did after wet cleaning, but the simply brushed disc just as you normally know it from your records: a few lint and dust grains in the grooves can be found even with the most careful handling don’t avoid it entirely.
When playing, they not only draw attention to themselves with occasional clicks, which of course also applies to particles that settle out of the air on the surface of the record during the playback process. With a little concentration, especially in quiet passages, I actually hear a slightly louder noise than on the turbo-sucked record sides. Subtle, but still. Less fine dynamics? Maybe.
Already clear, this is anything but a scientific investigation, but rather a subjective auditory impression. However, not only Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette were subjected to close observation, but also dozens of LPs enjoyed the appropriate treatment. In any case, I will not send the Flux-Hifi Turbo 2.0 back, I would not like to do without its services in the intervals between two wet cleanings.
And now you would like to know how much better the new Turbo is compared to its predecessor? Well, let’s remember the introductory sentences: Every time the Zuffenhausen-based carmaker sends a new turbo on the circuit, it can take a few tenths of a second off its predecessor. Not a huge thing for some, but for true enthusiasts that is exactly what makes the new one the best turbo ever. In this sense …
- Product: Flux-Hifi Turbo 2.0
- Category: Plate brush with electric suction
- Price: 299 euros (replacement blade 19.90 euros, 2 x replacement air filters 29.90 euros)
- Dimensions & weight: 125 x 122 x 64 mm (HxWxD), 265 g (without batteries)
- Color: Black
- Other: including batteries
- Guarantee: 3 years