KEITH MONKS AUDIO
Precision Record Cleaning Machine
and Universal Disc Cleaner
latest edit Feb 2021
Thank you ...
... for purchasing this Keith Monks precision Record Cleaning Machine.
The heritage of the Keith Monks design goes back to the late 1960s and the world’s first commercially produced record cleaner, designed and developed by Keith Monks Audio with BBC Radio engineers at Broadcasting House in London.
During the last half century the original Keith Monks has been developed and refined, and is now the state of the art in archive standard record restoration and maintenance in almost all of the major music libraries around the world.
This re-engineered, miniaturised version of the original RCM offers the same technique and performance, updated and simplified for the home or small store, and designed to give you and your records many years of enhanced listening pleasure.
Keith Monks discOvery Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluids
Keith Monks Audio developed discOvery Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluids to bring out and enhance the strengths of the Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machines, deep cleaning all your records as never before, and revealing the true sound contained within the groove.
As well as removing dust, grime and static, discOvery is uniquely effective in dissolving the mould (mold) release oils added to the PVC pellets to help the record lift off the pressing stamper during its manufacture. Removing this residue from the manufacturing reveals a degree of depth and clarity in the music as never heard before.
Yet all ingredients are completely natural, alcohol free, and biodegradable too. Only around a spoonful of discOvery fluid is needed per side for most records in almost any condition.
• discOvery33/45 for vinyl (sample bottle is supplied with this unit)
• discOvery78 for shellac 78s
• discOvery BreakTheMold pre wash concentrate, removes mould (mold) and mildew, also useful monthly system flush for your vacuum system, and an effective stylus cleaner too
• discOvery FinylVinyl optional rinse
*Most proprietary cleaning chemistries are compatible with the Keith Monks system, but certain types may affect its operation, performance or even the equipment warranty. If in doubt, contact your Keith Monks authorised representative, or Keith Monks Audio.
For best results, please use discOvery.
New Eco|Roller Microfibre Wand
Prodigy comes supplied with its own washing wand. The roller section is made from microfibre - microscopic split filaments loosen and remove dust, discharge static, and help the fluid dissolve the oils.
The roller is 100mm 4” long, ideal for LPs. It extends and retracts inside its ergonomic bamboo holder, and a matching dust cap keeps it clean.
Prodigy’s main cabinet and lid cover, suction arm and other main hardware are all fashioned from bamboo.
Natural is No Compromise! Bamboo is naturally low resonance, noise and vibration absorbing, naturally water resistant, anti-static, robust, hard wearing, and blends well with both traditional and modern decors.
Bamboo is also a sustainable, renewable natural resource that sucks in more CO2 and breathes out more O2 than any tree on the planet.
The natural finish of each cabinet and bamboo fitting is unique on every unit.
Quiet Industrial Suction Pump
The 12V diaphragm pump in Prodigy shares the same technology as the AC powered medical unit historically fitted into all Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machines. This delivers precise, consistent suction from an industrial grade device, and quiet operation too.
New Threadless Point Suction
All Keith Monks RCMs are supplied pre-fitted with the new unique Keith Monks Threadless suction nozzle.
Previous generation Monks models used a buffer thread to support the suction nozzle off the record and create an air space.
New Keith Monks Threadless actually cleans even better, creating double the fluid pickup width of the old thread and hard tip for even drier records.
The four special polymers used in the Threadless tips are impervious to vinyl and vice versa, allowing direct contact without marks or residue. The fluid acts as a lubricant, and the wider 360 degree suction not only allows the nozzle even more passes to vacuum up every last drop of contaminated fluid, it also self cleans the tip as it travels.
An adjustable air valve then regulates the suction and smoothes the arm movement.
Universal Disc Cleaner
Threadless is suitable for vacuuming dry all sizes and types of record.
On Prodigy, it also allows cleaning CDs, DVDs, Blu Rays, games, data, and any other standard 5” digital media discs.
This combination of quiet efficient vac pump, Threadless suction nozzle, microfiber wand, together with the one-time only use of a small amount of deep cleaning, alcohol-free fluid, delivers the best and safest possible cleaning for your records. Oils, dirt, static and other contaminants are dissolved or dislodged by the microfiber and, floating in suspension, are then vacuumed away one turn at a time.
This guarantees you and your precious records Zero Recontamination -
every record, every time. Your 100th or 1000th disc, just as clean as your first.
This is the true benefit of Precision Record Cleaning, and is unique to the Keith Monks system.
- Sift rubber like record clamp: screws down onto the record label, securing the record in place
- Biodegradable fluids and microfibre filament wand deep clean the record
- Simple vac arm belt clutch system: allows easy manual then automatic movement of the arm
- Precision diaphragm pump delivers reliable, consistent suction
- Motor driven suction arm: travels from the inside out following the centrifugal movement of the fluid, vacuuming the fluid away one turn at a time
- Typical clean time, 12” LP side: 02:30
- On deck bottle holder jar catches any drips and makes Prodigy even quieter
- All heavy duty parts have industrial day jobs and on Project Prodigy underwent 3 years of pre productions tests
- 50+ years of record care experience.
USE ONLY THE POWER SUPPLY UNIT & CABLE PACKED WITH THIS UNIT
Use of an alternative PSU may damage the unit and invalidate the warranty
- Connect the supplied PSU to the back of Prodigy, and a convenient AC mains wall outlet
- Reconnect tube to suction arm connector (disconnected for protection during transit)
- If necessary, swivel the arm head fitting until the nozzle tip sits flat on a record
- Take the Eco|Roller, twist the side button anti clockwise, and extend its microfiber wand as far as it will go
- Twist the side button clockwise to lock
- Place the bamboo tube on your work surface, microfibre end upwards
- Warning - dry brushes and rollers can damage records! They also stop the fluid being dispersed evenly across the disc, and the microfibre’s ability to dissolve and dislodge the residues
- Before each cleaning session, drip a little fluid onto and around the dry microfiber Roller to moisten and soften.
Starting the cleaning process
- Place your record on the turntable
- Take the rubber clamp supplied and with its flat side facing down, screw it onto the record label until you feel it start to tighten
- Press front power button from O to |
- Move the suction arm to the middle of the record, and gently lower it onto the centre of the label.
It will now start travelling back across the label towards the playing surface.
Washing the record
- Take the Eco|Roller, its microfibre already primed with fluid, in one hand - Take the bottle of discOvery33/45 supplied in your other hand
- Lower the end of the microfibre roller onto the run out groove of the record, avoiding wetting the label
- Immediately drip discOvery* fluid from the bottle directly onto the inner half of the record playing surface (avoid dripping fluid further out on the disc as it may splash over your machine or work surface)
- Keep dripping the fluid and working it in with the microfiber roller until the surface looks wet and glossy
- Now slowly move the end of the roller outwards, drawing the fluid out with it and applying more drips as necessary, until the whole record surface looks wet and glossy.
Drying the record
- By now the suction arm will have cleared the label and be following behind the washing Eco|Roller. It will now travel across the playing surface, vacuuming away all the contaminated fluid, one turn at a time.
To quote the great man -
“Now watch in fascination, mesmerized and immersed as one can only be, as machine and record share with the user the same therapeutic effects, and the Monks before-after unfolds before your very eyes ...” - Art Dudley, R.I.P.
- Or if you're a little too busy for all that, you can now go and do something else - the machine does the rest for you and when the suction arm clears the outer rim of the disc, the nozzle drops safely away
- If any excess fluid remains on the run in groove at the outer edge, take the arm, move it back by hand and wipe the nozzle tip manually over the edge and rim of the disc
- Press front power button from | to O
- Unscrew the record clamp and remove the record. It should now be completely dry and ready to play.
Washing & drying a 5” digital disc
- Prodigy also cleans CDs, DVDs, Blu Rays, games and data, and any other standard 5” digital discs.
- The screw on rubber like record clamp also doubles as the digital disc holder
- Turn the digital disc upside down so its playing surface faces upwards
- Take the rubber clamp with its flat side again facing down as usual
- Place the top of the rubber clamp into the hole on the label side of the disc
- Holding the disc edge either side with the fingertips of both hands, use your thumbs and carefully press the flat bottom of the rubber clamp up into the hole, until the disc reaches the flat at the bottom of the clamp
- Twist the rubber clamp with the disc attached down onto the Prodigy turntable spindle
- Now wash using discOvery33/45 fluid then dry, same as a vinyl record (see previous page) in about 15 seconds
- The flat surface and short vacuum time may leave traces of fluid - if so, take the vacuum arm and immediately repeat the 15 seconds vacuuming before it dries
- Switch off the machine, and undo the record clamp with the disc attached
- Holding the disc edge either side with the fingertips of both hands, use your thumbs and carefully press the top of the rubber clamp out of the disc hole
- Your digital disc is now ready to play.
Emptying the waste fluid jar
- A red plastic float inside the waste jar is clearly visible through the clear jar lid. When the float is seen nearing the top, this warns you the jar is getting full
- To empty, grip the lid of the jar firmly with one hand, and the jar with the other
- Holding both upright to avoid spills, keep the jar lid still to avoid tube tangling, and carefully twist the jar to unscrew
- Empty the fluid, rinse the jar and float, and dry with a kitchen towel
- Now twist the jar back into the jar lid. When you feel it stop, give it an extra twist to seal. The machine will now resume normal operation.
Adjusting suction & arm movement
- The air valve on the waste jar regulates the suction and smoothes the arm movement, ensuring all fluid is removed
*NOTE: AIR VALVE IS FACTORY SET - ONLY ADJUST AS NECESSARY*
- If the arm or record slows or stops, or makes a squeaking sound, follow these steps in this order -
1) First, twist the rubber like clamp a little tighter onto the record label
2) Then try adding a little more fluid. Remember the surface must look fully wet, smooth and glossy
3) If the record still slows or squeaks, only now try adjusting the jar air valve using the knob on its top
4) Open anti clockwise to smooth the arm movement
5) Close clockwise to increase suction
When adjusting twist the valve very slightly, in only 1mm increments.
Fluid traces left behind, or surface noise heard when playing after?
- If any excess fluid remains on the run in groove at the outer edge, take the arm, move it back by hand and wipe the nozzle tip manually over the edge and rim of the disc
- If after cleaning there are still traces of fluid all across the record surface, or you can hear surface noise on playing that wasn’t there before, follow these steps in this order -
- First check for worn tip (see Replacing the Threadless suction tip on next page)
- Look at the suction nozzle and make sure the tip is facing down and sitting flat on the record surface
- If it is not, hold the main vac arm with one hand and with the other, swivel the bamboo arm head until the nozzle is straight and upright
- If problem persists, see section above Adjusting suction & arm movement
- When set correctly, any residues left behind from previous cleaning using Prodigy with discOvery fluids will be dissolved and removed.
Checking for leaks in the suction system
To check the jar lid and fittings are sealed, switch on the machine, and close the waste jar air valve fully.
Now put your finger tip over the suction arm nozzle tip, and listen for the pump noise to slowly descend then slowly ascend again.
This shows the waste jar is sealed, and your system is running at optimum performance. If not, check all jar fittings are screwed on tight. Also try loosening then reassembling the air valve fitting.
Resetting the suction system
- To reset, close air valve on jar completely (clockwise)
- Wash and start drying a record as normal (see previous pages)
- Now slowly open the air valve anti clockwise until you hear the motor sound start to change, and you hear the air whistle from the valve. You’ve just found the Threadless sweet spot.
- Clean several records, ideally of different thicknesses, and fine tune the suction as necessary by opening or closing the valve in 1mm increments.
“Open is smoother, closed is dryer”.
Replacing the Threadless suction tip
- After cleaning around 1000 LPs, the Threadless soft suction nozzle tip may start to wear
- This usually shows when fluid traces are left behind even after the adjustments above. Sometimes you can feel and even see a worn tip by its flat shape compared with before
- The four polymers in the Keith Monks Threadless tip are impervious to vinyl and vice versa, so a worn tip will not cause any damage - but it won’t clean your records properly either
- To replace, grip the arm head firmly with one hand and with your other, twist the nozzle tip off its connector (clockwise - this stops the connector unscrewing in the arm head)
- Take a new nozzle and again holding the arm head firmly, twist and push the new tip onto the connector as far as it will go, again twisting clockwise
- In addition to the one already fitted on your vac arm, an extra spare tip is included with your Prodigy
- Further replacements are available at reasonable cost from your usual Keith Monks dealor, or from Keith Monks Audio direct.
Adjusting the built in LED lighting
- Prodigy comes fitted with interior RGB LED lighting and an IR handset controller is supplied
- This eye catching feature works well in the dealer showroom to attract attention especially when switched to colour changing, for demonstration and if Prodigy is to be used as a DIY cleaning service for customers
- It also adds a touch of style to your home, making the design even more living room friendly and a focal point and topic of conversation even for non audio members of the household
- Lighting control is most sensitive at the LED sensor located around the front left side of the central lighting strip on the unit
- The handset allows individual colours to be selected to suit your decor or mood
- Prodigy is factory set to rotate slowly through its range of colours. To get this setting back, press the FADE button on the handset (2nd up at bottom right)
- Lighting not very “audiophile”? No problem - the remote has an Off button!
Cleaning your cleaner
- Keep your machine clean using warm water with a little mild detergent if required. Wipe with a soft cloth, then dry completely to avoid any stains.
- After each cleaning session, rinse the Eco|Roller white microfiber wand well with tepid (NOT warm or hot) water.
For any accumulated stains, use Keith Monks discOvery BreakTheMold concentrated fluid, then rinse.
After cleaning your Eco|Roller, pat it dry with kitchen towels and leave upright with the lid off overnight to dry.
- Clean the hose tube from the vac arm to the waste fluid jar using Keith Monks discOvery BreakTheMold concentrated fluid as follows:
- Tip about 50ml / 2 fl.oz BreakTheMold into a saucer, and switch on the unit
- Holding the vac arm, switch on, place the nozzle tip into the fluid, and allow the nozzle to vacuum up the fluid
- Repeat once a month in normal use, or more regularly in hotter conditions
- When not in use and to keep free from dust, place the bamboo lid cover supplied back on top of your unit.
Super simple servicing on Prodigy!
- Prodigy *does* have user serviceable and replaceable parts inside.
Yes you read that right - you can!
- Prodigy and its components have all proven highly reliable, but even these cannot last forever and for any eventual servicing, in keeping with the eco spirit of the project, we’ve got you covered - even with little or no experience!
- Three thumbscrews under the unit release the top, giving you instant
access to everything
- All internal workings are plug in replacement main components and sub assemblies, so quick and easy to change
- Also as everything is 12V, it is extremely safe and very hard to get anything wrong or cause any damage
- Simply unplug and unscrew the sub assembly or component, then plug in a new one
- Full instructions available on request
- Prodigy is designed to be probably the only electric record cleaner anywhere in the world which users can maintain and service themselves - even with no special skills or experience
- From operation to maintenance, everything has been designed to be super easy for almost everybody. However if you feel unsure or unable, please don’t try! Refer repair and servicing work to your authorised Keith Monks dealer or representative.
Records with scratches/physical damage
- Keith Monks machines can only remove and clean substances and particles sitting on the outside of the disc groove wall.
- Scratches and other physical damage are sadly beyond the capabilities of even the world’s first and finest Record Cleaning Machines!
- However to help prevent, put your newly cleaned record in a new antistatic sleeve. Also before each play, dust with microfibre (Keith Monks microPad is recommended). These tips will help prevent much surface scratching when inserting or removing the record, and keep your records cleaner for longer.
Keith Monks discOveryTM
Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluids
deliver an unrivalled combination of deep cleaning, noise reduction and sound enhancement.
Yet our unique recipes contain no alcohol and no artificial chemicals or additives at all.
discOveryTM reveals the true fidelity hidden in your records. Middle and upper frequencies sparkle with natural clarity, while the lower registers glow with previously unheard warmth and depth. Recordings become more open, detailed and transparent, previously hidden voices and instruments are suddenly revealed, and the soundstage dramatically improved overall
Tested by the University of Southampton England, discOvery deep cleans your records as never before removing static, surface noise grit, grease, fume residue, residues left from other fluids and cleaners. Unbeatable at removing the mould release manufacturing oils from the original pressing. Lowering the noise and revealing the clarity - this is the biggest benefit of "proper" record cleaning.
Biodegradable discOveryTM contains nothing but pure botanicals and other renewable natural ingredients with the purest laboratory grade triple filtered distilled and demineralised water.
Carefully blended and perfected from an original Monks recipe dating back to 1976.
Keith Monks discOveryTM performs in perfect harmony with all Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machines. Naturally.
KEITH MONKS discOvery33/45TM Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluid for vinyl records
KEITH MONKS discOvery78TM Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluid for shellac records (also acetates, lacquers, laminated & vulcanite discs*)
Although their effectiveness remains unchanged, discOveryTM natural ingredients can coalesce over time. Before first use of the day, tip bottle well (do not shake!) to disperse.
We recommend using a vacuum process to remove fluids after washing. Although compatible with most vacuum RCMs, all Keith Monks discOveryTM Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluids are designed to bring out the strengths of a Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machine - naturally.
Directions for use
1. Wipe off excess dust and dirt with a soft lint-free cloth.
2. For machines with a built in wash system, add discOvery to the clean fluid reservoir as per your RCM’s instructions. For infrequent use, or if your machine has no built-in wash system, the flip top cap allows you to drip straight from the bottle.
3. With the turntable revolving, apply the fluid with the brush, microfibre or other applicator, and wash the record as per your machine’s instructions. Washing should only take around 15 to 30 seconds depending on the soiling on the disc.
4. Vacuum dry as per your machine’s instructions.
5. For non-RCM manual washing, follow instructions advised with your procedure. Always rinse well using purified water or even better, Keith Monks discOveryTM FinylVinylTM.
KEITH MONKS discOveryTM BreakTheMoldTM
Natural Precision Record Cleaning Fluid for vinyl and shellac records
• Antifungal Pre-Wash Concentrate
• RCM System Flush
• Stylus Cleaner
discOveryTM natural ingredients can coalesce over time. Before first use of the day, tip bottle well (do not shake!) to disperse.
Remove mould and mildew from records
Treat and remove mold (mould) build up on poorly stored records, plus dissolve any extra stubborn sticky marks and stains:
• Wipe off excess dust with a soft dry lint-free cloth
• With the turntable switched off, apply BreakTheMoldTM straight from the bottle directly onto the affected areas on the record
• Leave for 1 minute, then work fluid into the surface preferably using a wet discOvery brush set aside for this purpose.
• Leave 1 more minute.
• Switch on the RCM and wash the record as normal using either discOvery33/45 for vinyl or discOvery78 for shellac. BTM will dissolve both.
• Vacuum dry as per your machine’s instructions.
Monthly system flush
Keep your RCM’s tubes/fittings clean with a strong monthly dose of BTM:
• Pour 3 tablespoons of BTM into a saucer, hold the suction nozzle into the saucer, and vacuum up all the fluid
• Leave RCM running for a couple minutes to draw all the fluid through.
BreakTheMold is an effective stylus cleaner too:
NOT SUITABLE FOR RETIPPED OR EXTRA DELICATE STYLUSES AND CANTILEVERS ! IF IN DOUBT SEEK ADVICE FROM MANUFACTURER.
• Drip a little BTM onto the bristles on the applicator wand supplied
• VERY LIGHTLY brush the bristles from behind forwards, along the cantilever, then across the stylus tip. Never push or drag the stylus.
Cleaning with no RCM / manual washing
Follow instructions as advised with your procedure.
Especially if not vacuuming, rinse well using purified water or even better, Keith Monks discOveryTM FinylVinylTM.
Cleaning fluid tips
- To avoid cross-contamination, keep separate Keith Monks discOveryTM Precision Record Cleaning Brushes for each different fluid and record type (vinyl, shellac etc)
Or wash and rinse brushes thoroughly in warm (not hot) water before cleaning other types of disc.
- To avoid recontamination after cleaning, place record in a brand new antistatic sleeve.
- Our development work has kept cleaning times down to an absolute minimum. No additional cleaning benefits are usually found by leaving fluid on records for longer than recommended and may cause audible residue through partial evaporation or even compromise the integrity of the record surface and its protective layers.
- Due to its porous nature, never leave fluids on 78s and other shellac discs longer than specified.
- While discOveryTM will yield sonic improvements on almost any disc, extra-hardened deposits may remain especially on poorly-stored records and when used in cold conditions. This may often be cured by repeating the wash and dry clean process a second or third time.
- *Use special care and discretion when cleaning aged discs where surface integrity may be compromised.
- The manufacturer and its distributors and dealers cannot accept responsibility for any adverse effects experienced as a result of incorrect use of this product.
- All our ingredients are known for their minimal effects on people animals and plants, and no adverse effects have been found during testing of Keith Monks discOveryTM.
However as with any cleaning product natural or otherwise, use basic common sense precautions when handling.
Keep out of reach of children and pets. Do not swallow. After use wash hands with soap and warm water. If product comes into contact with eyes, rinse immediately and thoroughly with clean water. Avoid contact with especially sensitive skin or if susceptible to allergies, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Seek medical attention immediately if you start to experience any unusual or excessive symptoms.
- After use wash brushes with soap and warm (not hot) water, then rinse and leave end-up to dry.
- Keith Monks discOveryTM fluids are biodegradable and may be simply washed away after use.
- Naturally photosensitive - store in a cool dark place.
Keith Monks Accessories
A full range of Keith Monks discOvery accessories and spare parts are available from your authorised Keith Monks dealer or representative, or from Keith Monks Audio direct.
See the website at foot of the page for a complete and updated list of approved vendors.
For promotional and easy to follow instruction videos for this and other Keith Monks products, visit YouTube and search -
“Keith Monks Prodigy”
KEITH MONKS AUDIO WORKS adopts a policy of continuous product research and development, and the Keith Monks RCM is an organic design.
All specifications processes descriptions and instructions are correct at time or writing, but we reserve the right to make improvements as required and at our discretion. E&OE.
Sole manufacturer and UK/export distributor
Keith Monks Audio Works
118 The Pier Street Centre
Isle of Wight
Power supply: output 12V 3A, input 100-250V 50/60Hz (PSU with universal IEC input & regional cable supplied)
Dimensions (main cabinet): 55W x 14H x 22D cm, 22"W x 6"H x 9"D inches
(deck fittings and lid cover add 9 cm 3" to height). Weight: 5 kgs, 11 lbs.
Project Prodigy especially thanks...
Conceptual mediation, technical and practical realisation, and engineering support: Sean Mayers and Andrew Stiles
Practical, pastoral and holistic team support: Elizabeth Ann Hansen
Counsellor, chaperone and activist of all waved flags & offices: Stephen N. Harris
Mobile Monks Master: Brian Welch
Air regulation epiphany: Brian Berdan
Graphical/aesthetic/technical creative consultant: Daniel Stewart Monks
Professor of Mathematics: Thomas Alan Monks
Demographic and gender perspective team leaders: Emily Anne Monks, Elizabeth Ann Hansen
Prodigy was conceived, co designed and brought to life by Jonathan Monks
Prodigy (and all electric record cleaning) would not exist without the world’s first production Record Cleaning Machine based on an original concept by Percy Wilson, co designed with Peter Keeley and the BBC, and brought to life in 1969 by Mr Keith Monks (1931-2005).
© 1969, 1981, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Keith Monks Audio Works
All rights reserved.