CES – High Performance Audio at The Venetian, Room 30-233
The Keith Monks brand returns to CES – after its previous showing back in 1983, some 27 years ago. Jonathan Monks, son of the famous Keith, returns Keith Monks Audio to CES: leading from the front in the newly reinvigorated company. Jonathan has spent the last few years refining the design and manufacture of the most famous record cleaning machines in the world.
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The timing is ideal: it is the 40th anniversary of Keith Monks Audio and the new and much-planned celebratory model, the Ruby, is finally coming off the production line.
Keith Monks will be sharing room 30-233 at the Venetian Hotel with another two of the world’s prestigious audiophile brands: Grand Prix Audio with their award winning Monaco turntable, and Zanden Audio from Japan whose products are the subject of dreams.
Jonathan Monks – aka The Record Doctor – will be carrying out regular cleaning demonstrations and talking about the evolution of the Monks RCM and record care in general. Cleaned records will be played on a system to include the Monaco turntable, Zanden electronics and Wilson Sasha loudspeakers.
“Alvin Lloyd, (president of Grand Prix Audio) and I met last CES and hit it off immediately, so the opportunity to work together seemed a perfect fit” said Jonathan Monks.
“Not only do these three products complement each other flawlessly, it also turns out both he and Mr. Yamada (Zanden’s designer, founder and owner) are keen enthusiasts of the ‘old’ Keith Monks. So I knew I would be in good company for our return as exhibitors to CES.
I’ve visited the show the past few years to prepare for now, and back in the day I did come once with my father and watched him entertain visitors. I only hope I can do half as well.
“I’d like to be able to introduce the new limited edition Ruby to the American audiophile and archive markets and hopefully have an opportunity to talk with some potential retailers, so that long after CES people still get the chance to see and experience every day the best record cleaning machine ever.”
The RUBY, with maximum sales worldwide limited to just 40 units, includes new and exclusive features, many unique in record cleaning.
The new VacuGauge suction monitoring system. Now users can keep a constant check on performance of the famous Monks vacuum system. The chrome-rim dial-gauge sits alongside the traditional Mini Cooper windscreen washer pump, giving the control panel a pleasingly retro 1960s ‘performance car’ look.
The unique Keith Monks DewDrop splashguard: an innovation finally solving an age-old dilemma.
This simple, ergonomic handheld device keeps surfaces clean by catching excess fluid flung out by the revolving turntable.
New fully adjustable on-deck fluid application system for 7″, 10″ and 12″ records.
Interchangeable set of Keith Monks discOvery Precision Record Cleaning Brushes makes washing 7″, 10″ and 12″ records easy.
Set of three Keith Monks Pyr/\Mat ‘stay-clean’ record cleaning mats. These solve several problems common with record cleaners: the disc rests on the tips of a profiled array of miniature ‘pyramids’ spread across the mat. These effectively let the dust and dirt from an unclean record side fall into the wells in between, preventing recontamination of the just-cleaned side when you flip over. The Pyr/\Mats also help stop excess fluid spreading underneath the disc rim.
Exclusive to the RUBY, a reproduction Keith Monks signature on the control panel and on the accompanying signed & numbered certificate.
Exclusive premium cabinet with matching lid cover finished in rich Ruby Red – very smart with the eggshell black deck and hand polished deck components.
All features, designed with care, maximise the efficacy and enjoyment of this high-end sound enhancement tool. One which continues to gain in popularity alongside the renewed interest in vinyl and delivers a leap in sound quality many find as dramatic as changing the cartridge, arm or even the turntable.
All Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machines include the full BBC-specification broadcast standard vacuum system that has made the Monks the record preservation device of choice for the discerning audiophile as well as nearly every notable library, archive and institution around the world.
Jonathan Monks says:
“America in many ways quickly became the ‘home’ of the Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machine – in its 1970s and 1980s heyday more units were sold in the States than almost every other country put together. I am delighted that after a quarter century the Keith Monks is finally returning to the world’s biggest showcase of high end audio, and in the country that has historically embraced us the most.
“My father’s legacy is one I have always felt we should cherish and nurture, but to rely on past glories is not enough and our ongoing improvements to finish, form and function will continue. The Ruby is a good example of this – a significantly enhanced design that befits such an important anniversary – and I’d like to think Keith would be pleased with what we’ve done with his life’s work.”
Two years in development from an original Monks recipe dating back to 1976, the new Keith Monks discOvery™ Natural Precision Record Cleaning™ Fluids deliver the best-ever clean from a Keith Monks RCM – yet are made entirely from botanicals and other plant extracts and pure distilled water.
The range includes separate specialist cleaning fluids for vinyl and shellac discs plus a pre-wash concentrate for those especially stubborn stains such as mold (mould), now a perennial problem with collections often having been relegated to sitting for years in lofts waiting for their former proud owners to ‘rediscOver’ them.
History and Background
The Keith Monks is the original Record Cleaning Machine: the world’s first commercially produced electric device for cleaning gramophone records, originally developed by Keith Monks Audio for BBC engineers in London to meet the exacting standards of radio broadcasting. The Monks paved the way for a completely new industry and a host of imitators, but not before achieving over 10,000 sales around the world and being awarded ‘Audio Accessory of the Decade’ by The Absolute Sound.
Today, the Keith Monks RCM is enjoying a renaissance in popularity, partly alongside the renewed and growing consumer interest in vinyl records, and from the proliferation of libraries and archives collecting and preserving cultural artefacts from the 20th Century. The Monks is still regarded by discerning broadcasters, sound restoration engineers, archives and archivists, librarians, audiophiles, hi-fi experts and music enthusiasts around the world as the only serious choice for Precision Record Cleaning, and the standard by which all others are judged. Now discerning audiophiles are discovering again the legendary sound enhancement, noise reduction and whisper-quiet operation only obtainable on a Keith Monks. The new generation Keith Monks range continues to impress the critics, recently picking up Best Buy or equivalent awards in UK Hi-Fi Choice, UK Hi-Fi World and US Stereophile magazines.
As CDs took over from LPs as the main mass-market music medium, founder Keith Monks kept his RCM ticking over cottage industry style until his death in 2005 when son Jonathan picked up the reigns, a move that has resulted in much renewed activity. A lifelong vinylphile and self-confessed music obsessive, Jonathan also brings a wealth of experience having run the RCM production line for ten years back in its heyday in the 1980s, and operates a number of audio businesses as diverse as home theatre installation and commercial sound system design. Having secured the company’s future by organising the training up of a brand new team of young engineers in the art of building the Monks RCM, he then put them to work in a new 2000sq.ft production facility to keep pace with the growing demand. Monks has since incorporated a number of refinements all of which are detailed in some depth on the new website, topped off with restyled control panels and a new range of premium furniture grade cabinets and matching lids.
All Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machines include the full BBC-specification broadcast standard vacuum system that has made the Monks the record preservation device of choice for the discerning audiophile as well as every notable library, archive and institution around the world.