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The Definitive Stylus Cleaner thread.


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I don’t think one has to worry about gunk too much if you clean the stylus per side AND clean your records properly

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I know this topic has been covered before but I thought it might be good to have an ongoing thread regarding stylus cleaning methods and to showcase any new products/methods that may be released....an

Hi Andy, I got the set-up tip from Fremers Analog planet https://www.analogplanet.com/content/how-use-usb-digital-microscope-set-92-degree-stylus-rake-angle-sra I use a 5mp Digitech QC-3199 camera

I use this -  a magnifying glass with LED lights and can fold itself to a stand, or be hand held.  And it's less than $5! -   https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/16x-30mm-LED-Illuminated-Magnifier-M

2 minutes ago, Happy said:

I don’t think one has to worry about gunk too much if you clean the stylus per side AND clean your records properly

True, H - but an us stylus clean every now and again can only be an advantage.  :)

 

Andy

 

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2 minutes ago, andyr said:

True, H - but an us stylus clean every now and again can only be an advantage.  :)

 

Andy

 

It works wonders i agree. But still kinda scared of using it. Then again come to think of it my only failures were with onzow. You know what you may be quite right.

 

..so i just rushed over to the needle and have given it a long overdue US bath.

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Just now, Happy said:

It works wonders i agree. But still kinda scared of using it. Then again come to think of it my only failures were with onzow. You know what you may be quite right.

 

..so i just rushed over to the needle and have given it a long overdue US bath.

 

Haha - I don't Blieve you, H ... you never rush anywhere!  (You're modus operandi is ... minimum effort!  ? )

 

Andy

 

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16 minutes ago, Happy said:

I don’t think one has to worry about gunk too much if you clean the stylus per side AND clean your records properly

I think so, I would also note that I mostly use cartridges on removeable headshells these days and that allows easy stylus inspection using a magnifier when the headshell is removed.

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1 minute ago, ophool said:

I think so, I would also note that I mostly use cartridges on removeable headshells these days and that allows easy stylus inspection using a magnifier when the headshell is removed.

Tony I do miss the removable shells. My tonearms all ended up with integrated design for some reason. I’m keeping an eye on an Orto AS-212 so that I could try an SPU.

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7 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Haha - I don't Blieve you, H ... you never rush anywhere!  (You're modus operandi is ... minimum effort!  ? )

 

Andy

 

Heh but having a champagne taste on a beer budget disciplines me when absolutely necessary!

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This is my choice AT 607 audio-technica formula . 

Couple of swipes with the  liquid brush making sure it doesn’t travel up the cantilever then I give a swipe with my ortofon round brush .. I have checked with my loupe before and after and it’s a perfect.. Does the job ..

584141EA-8FCA-4945-8047-061A42B333F9.jpeg

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  • 2 months later...
Just now, blakey72 said:

Dab or run forward?

You dab.

 

If you wipe it forward, with the stylus embedded in the ME substance ... I suspect you will break something.

 

Andy

 

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3 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

Dab or run forward?

Dab....two or three times. Wiping carries risk.

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33 minutes ago, andyr said:

You dab.

 

If you wipe it forward, with the stylus embedded in the ME substance ... I suspect you will break something.

 

Andy

 

 

I have dragged styluses through it on purpose and not broken anything.  Just an old conical though, not sure about exotics.

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44 minutes ago, aussievintage said:

I have dragged styluses through it on purpose and not broken anything.  Just an old conical though, not sure about exotics.

 

But the way I read that definitive article on using a ME for cleaning styli - which somebody posted recently (possibly on this thread?) - you don't need to drag the stylus through it ... for it to do its job.  As you drop the stylus into the ME pad, the matrix of abrasive fibres which forms the ME pad rubs against the stylus (removing the baked-on gunk which it's acquired from travelling through the groove).

 

Sure dragging the stylus across the pad's surface will mean more fibres brush across the stylus ... but the article didn't suggest this was necessary (unless I mis-read it).  I'm with what @stevozsays ... several up-and-down dabs is all you need.

 

Andy

 

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2 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

But the way I read that definitive article on using a ME for cleaning styli - which somebody posted recently (possibly on this thread?) - you don't need to drag the stylus through it ... for it to do its job.  As you drop the stylus into the ME pad, the matrix of abrasive fibres which forms the ME pad rubs against the stylus (removing the baked-on gunk which it's acquired from travelling through the groove).

 

Sure dragging the stylus across the pad's surface will mean more fibres brush across the stylus ... but the article didn't suggest this was necessary (unless I mis-read it).  I'm with what @stevozsays ... several up-and-down dabs is all you need.

 

Andy

 

 

Back in the thread about those cheap microscopes (I think) I posted some pictures of a VERY dirty stylus.  It took quite a few dunks into the ME to get it to the point where the tip was clean enough to use, but there was still  a ring of crud, and buildup around the base. Now I don't recommend doing it, but dragging it through the ME did manage to clean it.   

 

What I would recommend instead, is the use of a liquid cleaner to help.  Maybe brush the cleaner on and then use the ME while there is still some liquid on the stylus.  It's just that some crud can be difficult to remove without a little solvent.

 

After you get it clean, using ME gently once per record, should keep it that way.

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I found the same with ME using the dunk technique. 

Gunge build up around the base, as if it was pushing everything to the base rather than lifting it off. That's where the sticky stuff comes into fore. So for a while I used ME followed by a few dabs in 

sticky moon gel/onzow. Now I just dab in the sticky stuff.

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2 hours ago, Citroen said:

I found the same with ME using the dunk technique. 

Gunge build up around the base, as if it was pushing everything to the base rather than lifting it off. That's where the sticky stuff comes into fore. So for a while I used ME followed by a few dabs in sticky moon gel/onzow.

 

Now I just dab in the sticky stuff.

 

So you've given up on the ME, Cliff?

 

Which is very interesting.  I've been using an Onzow for many years - and I thought it was the best.  So I poo-pooed people posting about how an ME pad was a good stylus cleaner.

 

Then I read the article that someone here linked to and realised how the ME pad worked.  Very similar to the famous (infamous! :lol: ) green Linn sandpaper.  The article said that the heat involved in the stylus travelling the groove baked any cr*p (which is in the groove) which the stylus finds ... onto the stylus - so that you needed an abrasive action like that provided by an ME pad to remove it.  And a sticky-gel won't lift this baked-on gunk - you need to abrade it off the stylus.

 

But what you say (gunge builds up around the base), makes a lot of sense.  So I tend to agree with av ... after a period of ME use, you need to use a liquid cleaner - like the AT cleaner that diynamic posted - and then more dabs of the ME pad.

 

But, as I said - without pics this is all just conjecture!  :lol:

 

Just as a reference point - in terms of stylus porn - attached is a x60 pic I took when I received my Stanton WOS CS100 back from having a new tip mounted.  A virgin stylus!  :)

 

But I suggest this argument will only be resolved by some (at least x60) USB microscope pics of styli after a period of ME cleaning ... followed by a period of Onzow cleaning.

 

Andy

 

 

Stanton WOS CS100 After Retip at 60x.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
On 26/07/2018 at 7:17 AM, Citroen said:

If you're hesitant to buy virtually the same thing the Moongel types 6 for less than US$2, Gel drum damper

 

I'm trying this drum damper and I found the top part is not sticky at all and the bottom one is too sticky. Do you use top or bottom part?

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Another gel product to consider.....DS Audio ST-50: One Sticky Situation

 

Read about it here: https://theaudiophileman.com/ds-audio-st-50-vinyl-clean-review/?ct=t(Newsletter_copy_66_11_5_2016_COPY_113)&mc_cid=890fa82d21&mc_eid=b647de8b62

 

It's a bit expensive but he likes it a lot. I'll 'stick' with Sticky Hands......?

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I couldn't be bothered to trawl through each page of this thread but really surprised the Op didn't mention the AT ultrasonic stylus cleaner. I also thought everyone knew that liquids were a no-no.

 

I've used the AT for over 30 years. The most audio graphic example of it's effectiveness was on a friend's very basic set-up. Normally 10-15 seconds is more than enough but the amount of crap on the stylus of his cheap cartridge required something like 2 minutes. He put on an LP and he was knocked out with the difference in clarity. He spent the next few weeks banging on about it to everyone he knew. A change of battery every so often that's it. 

 

They can still come up on ebay. Maybe AT have put them back into production.

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Guest Muon N'

I avoided liquids when I had a TT, and the ME did for myself what others have mentioned...pushed gunk up the stylus, to the point of it not staying in the groove. I would not risk dragging the ME on a 2M Bronze.

I ended up using a drum damper and the ortofon supplied brush.

Edited by Muon N'
typoooos
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 24/06/2018 at 5:36 PM, buddyev said:

I usually use one of those little round stylus brushes. 

When you say Magic Eraser is it some fancy audiophile miracle product or this stuff?

2F796E73-7E14-4D02-A9A9-560D79F97DB6.jpeg.08a023407da73f44e5d915f999474260.jpeg

So I just bought some of this stuff.

How do you use it? The packet says to wet it first but do you do that before cleaning your stylus ?

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28 minutes ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

So I just bought some of this stuff.

How do you use it? The packet says to wet it first but do you do that before cleaning your stylus ?

 

Use it dry.  I fit a small square of it to a small plastic container (that a stylus came it) to give it some weight so it doesn't blow away.    I then gently press the dry surface up to the stylus.  Some people prefer to lower the stylus into it using the cuing mechanism.  A very dirty stylus may need to be dabbed a few times.  After that, once per record keeps it clean.  You will see specs of dirt accumulate on the foam if you play a dirty record then clean it.

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25 minutes ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

So I just bought some of this stuff.

How do you use it? The packet says to wet it first but do you do that before cleaning your stylus ?

No 'wet'!

 

Simply take it out of its packet and cut it into usable pieces.  In my case that was to cut it in half.

 

Then with the arm in its rest, bring the ME pad up to the stylus and jiggle it up and down a bit.  (You need to have the stylus go into the fibre matrix, so that it has an abrasive action on the gunk on the stylus.)

 

Or, if you have Parkinsons, rest the ME pad on a spacer - so that its top is at the same height as the platter - and lower & raise the cart onto the ME pad, several times.

 

Andy

 

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23 minutes ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

So I just bought some of this stuff.

How do you use it? The packet says to wet it first but do you do that before cleaning your stylus ?

 I just place it on the deck and gently drop the stylus onto it. That's usually enough to grab any dirt — it will leave a small black dot on the block.

At times I have very gently rotated the block under the stylus, but don't drag the stylus across the block.

I don't use liquid of any kind - you don't need it. Maybe if your stylus is really bad you could use some record cleaning fluid?

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1 hour ago, buddyev said:

 I just place it on the deck and gently drop the stylus onto it. That's usually enough to grab any dirt — it will leave a small black dot on the block.

I do the same: same result.

Seems to be a foolproof method.

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1 hour ago, Sir Sanders Zingmore said:

Thanks all will give it a go

 

Just had a look at the stylus under a microscope and had a heart attack !!

Do post a pic so we can enjoy a myocardial infarction as well! ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

So - how do you clean a grotty Onzow cleaning pad? All those little specks of rubbish have added up to It's Cleaning Time!

 

Citroen's said: dishwashing liquid

>I use warm, sometimes soapy water to clean it, after many months use, depending on how dirty it is.

Edited by ThirdDrawerDown
fixed the misquote
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10 hours ago, ThirdDrawerDown said:

So - how do you clean a grotty Onzow cleaning pad? All those little specks of rubbish have added up to It's Cleaning Time!

 

Citroen's said: dishwashing liquid

 

 

I just rinse it under a warm tap, Murray.

 

Andy

 

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