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What do you use to clean the stylus of your turntable?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Maxbertola, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Big John

    Big John pfm Member

    Knowing the cartridge man does not advocate wet cleaning his Musicmakers styli, I have used Magic Eraser for over 20 years now, though I did hesitate for a moment applying it to the tiny stylus & Sapphire cantilever on my Cartridgeman Musicmaster, I recently sent Len Gregory an email photo of the SRA as shown by a USB microscope he commented how clean I kept it.
    I brush fluff off very, very occasionally
  2. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    ancient thread alert :)
    wylton likes this.
  3. HarryCrumb

    HarryCrumb pfm Member

    Some threads defy time...
  4. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    It is WAY better than mass duplication, which is insanely common here, including the subject of this thread.
  5. Ron Ellis

    Ron Ellis Ronaudio

    Me too.
    But in between, a little carbon brush.
    And every so often some of that green Linn paper, but worried about how abrasive it actually is?
  6. misterdog

    misterdog Not the canine kind

    Justified and ?

    HarryCrumb likes this.
  7. gx502

    gx502 pfm Member

    AT637 which i bought in the 1980s from Hifi Experience in Leamington Spa. Mostly use dry, but sometimes with Last stylus cleaning fluid.
  8. delange

    delange pfm Member

    That is my experience too.
    The first thing I do is wet clean new records as soon as they arrive at home. They never get played before a wet clean. The result is that I never have any dust on the stylus.
    Occasionally I dip my stylus in ZeroDust; just for peace of mind really. But keeping the records clean is key. (And storing them properly).

    I stopped buying secondhand records a long time ago. Most secondhand records haven't been treated correctly during their life. Even wet cleaning doesn't remove all the dust out of the grooves of those records. These require a two step cleaning: first a pass in the ultrasonic cleaner and then a regular wet clean pass. But due to the hassle of this cleaning process I just stopped buying secondhand.
    topoxforddoc likes this.
  9. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    I have never cleaned a new record and never will. They play as good as they'll ever play as received in 99.99% of cases. I have no idea what people imagine they can be removing from a record that has spent a few tens of minutes, at most, after leaving the press before packing in a sleeve, not least when you can only use water with some IPA and/or detergent in.

    90% of mint and near mint graded used records are exactly that, I have umpteen that play totally flawlessly, all but free of surface noise (no record has NO surface noise), but they are always wet cleaned before going anywhere near a stylus. Even very light marks and what look like scratches on used records very seldom actually interfere with play.
  10. delange

    delange pfm Member

    Everyone needs to decide that for themselves of course. And if wet cleaning is not your thing, that's fine with me.

    But wet cleaning records have a lot of advantages. Wet cleaning removes dust an dirt out of the grooves, even with new records. The production process generates some kind of residue that is best removed by a wet clean cycle. A second advantages is that wet cleaning removes static electricity from the vinyl. This way, records attract far less dust when handling records.
  11. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Very, very unlikely, and if it does, it is doing no more than a carbon brush would do.

    REALLY? And what would that be? Gremlin (as opposed to fairy) dust?

    And so does a carbon brush. I have no problems whatsoever with static and only a tiny proportion of records here have ever been wet cleaned.
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    Mould release agent is the accepted reason for cleaning new records, Vinny. Not that I buy new records any more, but when I did up to 3 or so years ago, I was amazed at the amount of crap which appeared on my felt pads. More, in some instances, than charity shop records. You really don't know where that new record has been !!!!! :)

    Okay, I've raised this before, but think it important enough to raise again. I rarely if ever use my Vinyl Passion (a.k.a. other names) gel nowadays, AS I DON'T LIKE THE CANTILEVER BEING PULLED AGAINST ITS DESIGNED DIRECTION when removed from the gel.

    If it's a detachable m.m. stylus, then maybe okay, but a boron or other upmarket cantilever on a multi-thousand pound coil worries me. I'd like to think that the inventors/manufacturers of these gels have done their homework on pricy styli/cantilevers, but I don't have any confidence in that. Pity, 'cos they work well.

    I'd welcome some insightful comments on this widespread cleaning medium but meanwhile it's AT electronic and truncated artists' brush for me, though as aforesaid here, wet-vac cleaned records stay that way and styli keep clean; just a wee bit of fine dust or a hair on occasion.
  13. p147

    p147 Sunny Sussex.

    I have tried most of those already mentioned and all have their pros and cons, however the one that I am using now which is very good, Is Blu Tack, simply cut a 1" square from a new pack place on the platter and simply lower the stylus on and lift a couple of times, No pulling of the cantilever or gunk residue, I did not believe it at first but it really does work.
  14. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed pfm Member

    I've never encountered gunk residue from gel. Strikes me that if Blutak is sufficiently adhesive to remove detritus, it's also going to pull the cantilever to some extent when withdrawing. Where the gels are developed to leave no negative trace, the same cannot be said of Blutak, which is very difficult to remove from most surfaces.
  15. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Mould release agents are generally waxes. The only one that I have used was an aerosol of carnauba in solution in Genklene - where we used it as the actual refined wax, it was colloquially known as granite chips, it was so insoluble in just about anything (apart from Genklene, in which it is very sparingly soluble). Whatever it might be, if it is ever used, it will/must be stable at extruder/press temperatures of around 150-200C, which is going to be incompatible with being water-soluble if any good as a MRA. The chances of being able to remove any wax apart from using abrasion, are nil.

    The gels that are used are very likely one of three things, the least likely being a cellulose polymer. The more likely are poly-acrylamide and poly-acrylic acid, possibly as super-absorber forms. Super-absorbers are used as the plant watering gel /"crystals" used in things like hanging baskets, and also in stay-dry nappies. There are also silicones with broadly similar properties - anyone remember "Slime"? It was/is a brightly coloured gel sold as a toy, usually in a small plastic pot shaped like a dustbin - chemically, it was the same as a problem by-poduct of silicone manufacture. When that was first around, over 20 years ago, we put some through the lab to find out what it was (apart from something like 99% water).
  16. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    MRA isn't a thing. Its just from dirty stampers and airborne contaminates that cause the misty surface.

    Pure vinyl, dehp and carbon black are whats in the vinyl compound.
  17. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    MRA IS most certainly a thing - I have used it. BUT used on a record press it would VERY highly likely ruin the pressing - it would be little different to throwing a handful of something like talc into the press. If it was used it would virtually guarantee that he next few pressings were scrap.

    Records are PVC, with some pigment in most cases, and most commonly carbon black. No plasticisers at all, DEHP or any other.
    slawekt likes this.
  18. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    AT647 Cleaning Pad - Linn Green Paper
  19. Fire99

    Fire99 pfm Member

    All my albums are cleaned first on my Loricraft with L’art du Son and then I use the Onzow Zerodust in between sides.
  20. Guinnless

    Guinnless pfm Member

    In a word, static. Some records are a nightmare to get out of the sleeve and static attracts dust like dog shit attracts flies. It can affect the tracking weight too.
    Fire99 likes this.

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