Posted on 5th April, 2018


DS Audio pioneered the optical phono cartridge to great acclaim just four years ago. Now, the Japanese company has just launched its first audio accessory, the ST-50 stylus cleaner.

The source of inspiration on this occasion is what is referred to as a 'cleanroom'. Cleanrooms are microparticle-free rooms that are used in a variety of fields, from pharmaceutical and medical environments to food technology, photonics and various electronics applications.

The ST-50’s cleaning pad is made from a transparent urethane resin that was specially developed for semiconductor engineering cleanrooms. In the same way that it prevents dust from contaminating the cleanroom by absorbing micro-level dust particles, it effortlessly removes particles of dust and dirt from the stylus tip.

Even though that all sounds very technologically advanced, thankfully it's effortless to use. Remove the cover, carefully place the ST-50 on the turntable platter and gently lower the arm to touch the stylus onto the gel pad. Lift and lower the arm two or three times (taking care not to rotate the platter during cleaning), after which the stylus will be completely dirt and dust free.

The ST-50 is designed for use with all types of cartridge and stylus – from optical to MM and MC cartridges. Its slim profile also makes it compatible with a wide variety of tonearms. Compared with the use of brushes and solvents, it is incredibly gentle and safe.

There is no need for excessive force or pressure to be applied to the stylus tip. There's also no risk to cartridges that use cement-bonded styli which can be dissolved by certain solvent-based cleaning liquids.

For a product inspired by industrial applications, the ST-50 stylus cleaner is an aesthetically desirable piece of kit. It sits in a sleek aluminium casing that has a smart nickel-plated finish. The underside is padded with real leather, presenting a soft, high-quality surface to the turntable’s platter.

The ST-50 is also designed to last. Its urethane gel pad is washable and re-usable. To maintain optimal cleaning power, simply remove the pad from the casing and rinse it in tap water, then allow to dry at room temperature for around 30 minutes.

The DS Audio ST-50 stylus cleaner is available now, priced at $115 RRP.

For more information visit DS Audio.


Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET’s Bass playing Hi-Fi junkie and UK correspondent heads up StereoNET UK as Editor. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: ds audio  absolute hiend