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The Definitive Stylus Cleaner thread.


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A fresh supply of Sticky Hands arrived the other day and I cut the 'tail' off one and put it on a piece of printing paper. A day later......                      

20180711_162913.thumb.jpg.42c20bd6ce2be36f53d243cde4f9827b.jpg  

So I guess that confirms there will be a residue with Sticky Hands but I suspect Zerodust and the like would do the same if placed on paper. Maybe someone with Zerodust could try it and report? I'm still using Sticky Hands, over a years cleaning on two different styli without a problem has me confident they're fine.?

Edited by stevoz
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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

13 hours ago, stevoz said:

A fresh supply of Sticky Hands arrived the other day and I cut the 'tail' off one and put it on a piece of printing paper. A day later......                      

20180711_162913.thumb.jpg.42c20bd6ce2be36f53d243cde4f9827b.jpg

So I guess that confirms there will be a residue with Sticky Hands...

 

I'm not sure this is an accurate conclusion, but I understand where you are coming from. 

 

If we look at a normal use of this (or similar) product, the non-porous stylus is in contact with the gel for a very brief period.  The stylus would also have some particles on it which would act as a barrier.  The molecules in the gel have greater attraction to themselves than to other surfaces, which is why it doesn't permanently stick. 

 

With your experiment, the paper is a porous surface which facilitates the draining of the molecules.  Sure, it demonstrates that some of the gel can transfer.  But it also demonstrates that the substance transfers to a porous substance over time.  And I think the amount of time is critial to this demonstration.

 

I would think that no/minimal transfer would occur with very brief contact with non-porous substances. 

 

 

Edited by audiofeline
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6 hours ago, audiofeline said:

 

I'm not sure this is an accurate conclusion, but I understand where you are coming from. 

 

If we look at a normal use of this (or similar) product, the non-porous stylus is in contact with the gel for a very brief period.  The stylus would also have some particles on it which would act as a barrier.  The molecules in the gel have greater attraction to themselves than to other surfaces, which is why it doesn't permanently stick. 

 

With your experiment, the paper is a porous surface which facilitates the draining of the molecules.  Sure, it demonstrates that some of the gel can transfer.  But it also demonstrates that the substance transfers to a porous substance over time.  And I think the amount of time is critial to this demonstration.

 

I would think that no/minimal transfer would occur with very brief contact with non-porous substances. 

 

 

I agree with this assessment.....I did have the same thoughts re: particle barrier on stylus itself. As I said, no problems in over a year using these 'hands'.?

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  • 2 weeks later...

As this thread is the "Definitive Stylus Cleaner Thread", I thought I would include this one that I came across on the TNT Audio site - the commercially available "Glasrubber" product.  I suspect this product would be hard to find now.  It consists of a pen with retractable glass fibres, which was made for cleaning glass and erasing drafting pens drawing on drafting film. 

 

It sounds like it works with a similar concept to the stylus cleaners made of carbon fibre (eg. the Discwasher stylus cleaner).  However, given the description of the abrasive qualities of this product, I would be hesitant to use the Glasrubber. 

 

glassrubber.jpg

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On 26/06/2018 at 5:46 PM, aussievintage said:

or fingers

humour no doubt, but 3-4yrs back I went to a demo of the top Vertere tt/arm/cart by engineer/company owner Touraj Moghaddam.  He started with an interesting talk about the design principles behind his wares (from memory the combo was well north of $100K) and then played some LPs.  Couldn't believe my eyes when between each LP he gave the stylus a touch-up with his finger!  The LPs were from his personal collection and not the quietest so I guess the finger is his regular 'cleaner', one of the most bewildering things I've seen in hi-fi. 

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8 hours ago, David.M said:

humour no doubt, but 3-4yrs back I went to a demo of the top Vertere tt/arm/cart ...  Couldn't believe my eyes when between each LP he gave the stylus a touch-up with his finger! ... 

Did he bother to turn down the volume when he did this, or did you enjoy the sound of high-fidelity reproduction of fingerprints over the system?

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11 hours ago, audiofeline said:

Did he bother to turn down the volume when he did this, or did you enjoy the sound of high-fidelity reproduction of fingerprints over the system?

He was kind enough to turn down the volume, I guess an advantage of the finger is you don't need the audio to tell you you've just bent the cantilever!

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I use zero gel too. But here's something extra- I stupidly damaged my Airtight PC1 Supreme by not concentrating enough and arm went flying. Looking online these retail suppliers were charging US$>5000 for retip etc. I sent the cartridge off to A&M Japan who make it. Full service replacement of cantilever etc AUS$2500. Shows the value of bypassing these middle people if you ever damage your precious cartridge.

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Looks cheap enough but the issue would be is it 'tacky' enough to clean the tip? Zerodust is at $34 but maybe others have tried this alternative. 

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1 hour ago, Laurence said:

Looks cheap enough

I haven't been able to find zerodust for that price. $52 is the cheapest I have found in aus. $34 sounds good. Any links?

Edited by Hazzzy
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Oops apologies--misread the price in UKpounds...yes correct $60 seems about cheapest ....but honestly cartridges and needles are delicate and you can wash these gels in water/washing up liquid etc so they do last a while...

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

New-6pcs-set-Snare-Drum-Mute-Pad-Drum-Da

and want something "commercial" then the Vinyl Passion is an alternative to the Zerodust, for nearly half the price.

s-l640.jpg

Again same gel type product.

 

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3 hours ago, Laurence said:

go for it

Yes I will. At least it has a reputation to work whereas the cheaper alternatives are an unknown. $52.24 with the 5%discount!

Edited by Hazzzy
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Yeah!! Mind you having said all this one cannot discount other contributors' suggestions. Fremer recommends the 'In the Groove' roller mostly to clean platter before putting on record thereby diminishing chances of dust on even a clean record. I bought one like a true audio groupie! To be honest- it is less tacky than the lint cleaner I can buy for less than $10 which in truth is all it is anyway. So on this one I 'wasted' which goes back to my opening comment. 

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6 hours ago, Hazzzy said:

Yes I will. At least it has a reputation to work whereas the cheaper alternatives are an unknown. $52.24 with the 5%discount!

Hardly unknowns, Hazzzy as many have been using successfully for years, including Stereophile reviewer Herb Reichert "I was concerned that Moongel might muck up my diamonds or lube up my LPs, so I've been closely studying its effects with a powerful magnifier. I am no longer worried, but I am deeply impressed. Nothing has ever cleaned my styli this well—or, apparently, this safely." 2016.

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Yup but other forums have some negative and 'risk' averse inputs about moongel: eg. "I clean my stylus after each side of play. After using Moongel for a week, my Expert Stylus paratrace diamond disappeared. Coincidence? I don't know. I've been advised by ES not to use liquid cleaner. Could it be that there is enough "liquid" - judged by its softness - in Moongel that has dissolved the glue used in attaching the diamond? - have not heard same about zero dust product.

 

just saying!!!

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My Moongel is actually more solid/firmer than my Zerodust. Maybe the OP's diamond was poorly glued to start with. Who knows.

 

Never had any diamond disappear, in my years of using either product. But I usually only dip before each album, not side.

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14 minutes ago, Citroen said:

My Moongel is actually more solid/firmer than my Zerodust

I am definitely mabey not sure now. Interesting to hear someone's thoughts who has used both products. Mabey the diamond was about to fall off, who knows. One thing is for sure somebody is making bucketloads of money!

I will keep an eye out here for a while to see if anybody has other thoughts. I know it is a long thread and I have read thru most of it. 

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IME the US cleaners are the best period for cleaning.

But I’m scared of damaging the stylus after having done so over Onzow etc previously.

So I just stick to dry brushing per side all the time.

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5 minutes ago, Citroen said:

You damaged a stylus using the Onzow? What happened? :(

It was sunk into the gel, then the arm was moved to the right accidentally. Gone was the stylus.

Another problem with Onzow was it loses the stickiness after a few showers.

 

The white sponge thing didn’t do much for me worse than brushing.

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42 minutes ago, Happy said:

Another problem with Onzow was it loses the stickiness after a few showers

I was thinking it must be a magic gel. Seems not. Hardly worth the money if that is the case!

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It may not be quite as sticky after five years of use, but my Onzow still does a very good job of cleaning the stylus.

 

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

Edited by Citroen
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1 hour ago, Happy said:

It was sunk into the gel, then the arm was moved to the right accidentally. Gone was the stylus.

Another problem with Onzow was it loses the stickiness after a few showers.

 

The white sponge thing didn’t do much for me worse than brushing.

 

Bummer.  Stylus or cantilever with stylus?

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17 minutes ago, metal beat said:

 

Bummer.  Stylus or cantilever with stylus?

That one was just the stylus I think 

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30 minutes ago, Citroen said:

It may not be quite as sticky after five years of use, but my Onzow still does a very good job of cleaning the stylus.

 

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

Tried cleaning it with warm water myself but nahhh it was nowhere as sticky as it was when it first arrived 

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There was another time? You've not had much luck have you!

But good that you're still Happy, or is that an ironic name?

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4 minutes ago, Citroen said:

There was another time? You've not had much luck have you!

But good that you're still Happy, or is that an ironic name?

Yeah once the whole cantilever the next was just the stylus.

Still had it retipped again lol.

The name is because mums told me to please be positive....

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On 25/07/2018 at 7:16 PM, Hazzzy said:

This is the unknown I was referring to! I won't use the finger method and will just use the stylus brush for now.

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4 hours ago, Laurence said:

Yup but other forums have some negative and 'risk' averse inputs about moongel: eg. "I clean my stylus after each side of play. After using Moongel for a week, my Expert Stylus paratrace diamond disappeared. Coincidence? I don't know. I've been advised by ES not to use liquid cleaner. Could it be that there is enough "liquid" - judged by its softness - in Moongel that has dissolved the glue used in attaching the diamond? - have not heard same about zero dust product.

 

just saying!!!

I have read that Moongel is an 'oilier' version of Zerodust......could be something in that.

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4 hours ago, Citroen said:

Hardly unknowns, Hazzzy

Mabey the moongel. Cheap enough. The ebay listing mentioned above might be playdough or miracle gel. Unknown.

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12 minutes ago, Hazzzy said:

Mabey the moongel. Cheap enough. The ebay listing mentioned above might be playdough or miracle gel. Unknown.

What’s so wrong with regular dry brush cleaning?

If you really wanna give a stylus good cleaning save up for an US cleaning device. 

Nothing touches them. I could lend it to you for a home trial if you were near lol.

Otherwise I don’t see the point, having had tried them mostly.

This is a good brush to get btw: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F401412377376

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4 minutes ago, Happy said:

What’s so wrong with regular dry brush cleaning?

I happily agree. I have a brush which is what will be in use often.

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11 minutes ago, Hazzzy said:

I happily agree. I have a brush which is what will be in use often.

 

A hard brush will probably not remove any baked-on gunk on the stylus (baked on bcoz the stylus gets hot!).

 

That's where alcohol might do the trick.

 

17 minutes ago, Happy said:

If you really wanna give a stylus good cleaning save up for an US cleaning device. 

Nothing touches them. I could lend it to you for a home trial if you were near lol.

Otherwise I don’t see the point, having had tried them mostly.

This is a good brush to get btw: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F401412377376

 

As you say, H - an us stylus cleaner is a good thing to have.  :thumb:  I wet the pad with IPA - bcoz my cart has a solid cantilever (not an ally tube).

 

Andy

 

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This page outlines Peter Ledermann of Soundsmiths take on stylus cleaning.

Which is not to say that that is the method I myself use.

I use the Last products for both cleaning and enhancement (Last Stylus Cleaner and Stylus Preservative).

The closest I have come to cartridge catastrophe was using Onzow and have since put that to one side.

I have used the Last products as they suggest (the liquid cleaner is not applied directly to the stylus) and I use it perhaps only every 10 or so sides with preservative application every side.

In over a dozen years I have noticed no untoward effects from this procedure with more than a dozen different cartridges and am reasonably convinced that they do provide the benefits advertised.

 

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