I use the Milty first and then a Hunt EDA Mk6 brush. I also slightly dampen the surface of the brush with a light mist of DI/IPA solution from an old eyeglass cleaner sprayer. Works for me.
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There's a possibility that friction from the brush could cause some static electrical charge. Pistol always used last in any cleaning protocol.
I agree with this. But what would your protocol be when using an anti-static fiber brush; eg, Audioquest. How effective is this brush regarding static removal?
Meant to add this to my earlier reply...
Since I typically slightly dampen the brush surface, it is unlikely to generate a static charge.
99 - Here are instructions I found on-line (these are also included with the device)...
"Hold the Zerostat within 12" (30.5 cm) of the surface or object to be treated. Squeeze the trigger slowly for about two seconds, to emit a stream of positive ionized air over the surface of the object. As the trigger is slowly released, a negative show of air ions is produced resulting in static neutralization. Repeat this procedure at several points across the surface of the object."
FWIW, I slowly pull and release the trigger at 3 locations above a stopped record (e.g., 12, 4 & 8 o'clock) from a distance of around 12" or so. The current instructions do seem to differ slightly from those of very early models. The very first Milty I owned included a final step in the instructions of pulling but NOT releasing the trigger above the spindle as the final step. Not sure why.
Dear Ghosthouse, these instructions slightly differ from the earliest zerostat method which was :
- Hold the Zerostat, centred, 12" away from the LP.
- Squeeze the trigger slowly over a period of 5 secs.
- Hold for 2 secs
- Release over a period of 5 secs.
- Repeat for the other side of the LP.
The "slowness" of the action was intended to prevent sudden discharge - the idea being that you shouldn't hear any sound from the gun at all.
In practice this doesn't always hold up but at least you tried! ;^)
If it does discharge suddenly just ignore it and keep doing what you were doing.
If the LP has a good anti-static sleeve I simply place the LP directly on the T/T (after briefly checking for any large flecks of paper. If there are I just flick it off with something soft and lint free. I never wipe the whole surface).
During the changeover I zap both sides once.
After playing the LP there's no need for further zapping. I put it directly back into it's anti-static sleeve and then back into sealed cabinets which have glass doors for viewing the titles.
Those 3 items, the Zerostat, the anti-static sleeve and good storage, are your best weapons for keeping your new LPs clean. The Zerostat does not "clean" the item as some may suggest but it does reduce it's attraction for dirt.
Obviously, it goes without saying that if an LP visibly or audibly needs deep cleaning you should do it but no need to become OCD if it doesn't require it.
There's also a trick to charging the brush with the gun and then using the brush. Without sounding dogmatic, I've never found any of the brushes terribly effective- they push the surface dust around, but I've never found a good way to remove it, apart from pushing the collected dust sideways across the grooves and off the record. I suppose if you reduce the charge that is attracting the dust to the record surface, this may make the whole process easier. I never liked that darned gun- had one back in the day, and have a relatively fresh one now. I think it is strong ju-ju by 'counter-charging' the record, rather than getting at the source of the charge to begin with; shoes on carpeted floors; paper sleeves, low relative humidity all contribute. Also, if the record has been cleaned on a wand type vacuum machine and you've been a little too enthusiastic in the vacuum drying, you can add a charge.
FWIW, if you wanted to use one of those anti-static machines, you can buy the industrial type (used for electronics assembly) for less than the audiophile approved versions, used.
By playing in bare feet, changing my cleaning practices, and resleeving with a good aftermarket sleeve, I've virtually eliminated static problems.
Not to worry m8. Mine cracks at least once per LP no matter how slowly it's driven. I even know a few folk who went further and used "rapid fire" all over the disc surface.
That method probably still works ok - just wears out the gun faster(!) ;^)
...and the prices have escalated considerably in the last 3 or 4 decades. Bring back the £6-99 price tag! :D
There is an alternative to the gun. During flipping just put the LP back in its anti-static sleeve for a short while then remove it again. That would help to neutralise the charge?
A good practical test of the gun's effectiveness is when the kid's hair has been brushed and is so charged that it is standing on end and strongly attracted to nearby objects. Zap it with the gun and it will fall flat instantly. Pass your hand close to the hair, no attraction whatsoever. ;^)
In retrospect probably best not to encourage them with the gun... :) :)
speaking of bare feet you've reminded me of my worst static experience...
Arriving earliest for work I had the duty of switching all the fluorescent lights on. The switch panel was outside the old fashioned office in a long corridor...
The panel consisted of banks of chromed toggle switches and the panel itself was chromed steel.
As I reached for the switch all the static charge for miles along those corridors erupted through me and sparked onto the earthed panel. An analogy is when driving a perfectly balanced mid-engined sports car you can feel the communication of each tyre? Well, on that day I could feel the charge rushing from the farthest reaches of the carpet and funnelling through me in one mighty discharge. My trouser legs must have been flapping! A lesson learned.
An even worse one I'd heard about was the unfortunate guy who decided to take a leak on the synthetic hull of a boat. That makes mine pale by comparison! Talk about St.Elmo's Fire!! :D :D
The last time I read about THE way to use the gun (after the brush, by the way), you squeeze and release a couple of times with the gun about 12 inches over the surface of the LP, taking care not to induce the gun to "click". Then, with the trigger fully depressed, you slowly move the gun away from the LP, point it in a different direction, and THEN slowly release the trigger. Seems to me that if you release the trigger over the LP, you return the LP surface to its original charged state. The net effect would be zero.
Story: I still use an anti-static gun I purchased in England in the 70s. Those were the early years of terrorist attacks and airline hi-jacking. When I tried to carry the gun on board the plane for my flight home, I was detained by security at Heathrow, until I proved to them that the gun could not actually fire bullets.
Moonglum, I do not think an "anti-static" sleeve has powers to dissipate existing charge; I think the term infers that inserting and removing the LP will not per se charge the LP surface.
This procedure sounded like they were almost trying to demag the LP! Its a bit elaborate is it not? I can only point back to the example of discharging kids hair. The process would not have been served by withdrawing or re-directing the gun elsewhere.
Cant believe Heathrow Security were so backward in the 70s !
(Nearly everyone was a proper hifi enthusiast back then ;^)
I appreciate your views on the anti-static bags and admit that I have on occasions shared your suspicion,however,
check out these illustrations of product descriptions for Nagaoka & Goldring LP sleeves as quoted from their own advertising :
Nagaoka have treated their record sleeves using an innovative static prevention process to eliminate static electricity, making this product a must have for vinyl lovers.
Using Goldring anti static sleeves neutralizes the static charge thus rendering the record inert and improving the level of noise.
Ive always assumed they are similar to (although clearly cheaper and thinner than) the anti-static bags used for sensitive electronic components and printed circuit boards, and that the coating allowed gradual equalisation of the charge?
After scouring the Web for a full 5 minutes I managed to find a photograph of what I believe is an original procedure...(?)
(Scroll down to the second post on this page...)
The discharging process probably isn't quite as precise as we'd like to think i.e. that those displaced positive and negative ions are nailed into position and won't budge when we use conflicting clouds of negative & positive ions. If they're available they probably just randomly grab them then repeat if opposite charge is required. But my gut feeling is not so much based on a complete grasp of science, more on the number "42". :) ;^)
Indeed Margot, I would think the ion "stream" would find the platter spindle to be the most attractive target.
By way of illustration, if you examined an open-reel tape deck rewinding a tape, in complete darkness, you would see very fine miniature "lightnings" i.e. continuous thin filaments of electrical energy literally crawling all over the reels and tape heading for the grounded hub. Same sort of thing as you'd see in a Van der Graaf generator.
If the gun were close enough it would probably produce a spark.
There is no aspect of the vinyl ritual about which I can't learn something new. Yes, I think you're supposed to zap the LP before mounting it on the platter, but I never bother to do that. So, if the spindle is soaking up ions, perhaps I am achieving nothing. Occasionally, you can hear a crackle through the speaker, if the gun is held too close to the cartridge (which happened to me just last night). But I perceive no evidence that the cartridge can be damaged by the gun.
If I can find the reference to support the notion that the gun should be held away from the LP surface whilst releasing the trigger, at the end of the de-static process, I will post it here. Suffice to say I did not make it up off the top of my head, but that does not make it right, necessarily.
07-24-15: LewmIf I recall correctly, that was recommended in the instructions that came with the original Discwasher version of the Zerostat, ca. 1980. The theory apparently was that it is best to conclude the process with a spray of positive ions, rather than negative ions. I have no idea as to the validity of that theory, but FWIW I've always done it that way.
07-24-15: MoonglumI've always performed the process on the turntable. However, as I indicated in one of Margot's other threads, I do not follow the instructions that were cited above of zapping from a position centered above the spindle, at a distance of about 12 inches. Instead, as some of the others indicated they also do I zap from three different locations, trisecting the record, with those locations being around the middle of the groove area. In other words, closer to the outer edge of the record than to the spindle. And I do that from a distance of about 6 or 7 inches. I would expect that protocol to minimize any perturbations the spindle may inflict on the ion stream. Also, at each of the three locations I squeeze and release the trigger three times (with the final release being done with the gun aimed elsewhere).
Regarding the original question, I rarely use a brush. Just my Nitty Gritty cleaning machine on occasion, good quality Mobile Fidelity record sleeves, and LAST stylus cleaner carefully applied to the tip of the stylus (using a small flashlight to assure adequate visibility) before and after playing each side of a record.
Margot, I have two old Zerostats with original boxes/instructions. One is a red gun, the other one white. They have similar instructions. I'll paraphrase -
1. Hold gun about 12" from stationary LP on platter.
2. Visualize equilateral triangle (12, 4, & 8) points.
3. Slowly squeeze trigger for about 2 seconds, then release trigger for about 2 seconds at each of the three points.
4. Then point at the center of the record and squeeze a 4th time, now point away toward the floor while releasing.
Two discussion points are made about this procedure then allowing for easier cleaning with a brush or discwasher. Based upon that I would say zap your record first, then sweep. If the Zerostat functioned properly the static charge on the record will have been reduced allowing easier removal of dirt/dust particles.
Whart is clearly the most sensible guy here :D :D
...although I'd be even more concerned about the phono stage input when there are high voltages floating around.
Having said this, cantilevers must be soaking up static discharges from LPs that have a real tendency to build up charge. Despite this, phono stages always manage to smile through it. ;^)
Like the others I cannot recall any extreme practical circumstance where failure occurred but it could be the case that a zerostat-type event may have happened to someone and they never attributed or discovered the cause?
Can't argue with that, Slaw ;^)
Although they say the KL machine has all the advantages of the AD but is developing a greater reputation for reliability. The only problem I can see with the KL is the 3K asking price :O
Don't think I haven't thought about it...I've been drooling over these things for some time ;^)
Just out of interest this weekend, I brushed an LP with my Audioquest Anti-static brush, (as I always do), then played it without having used the Zerostat on it (as I usually do). When I then went to remove the LP from the platter, there was detectable attraction between it and the (Kenwood L07D stainless steel) platter mat, plus lots of crackling sounds. This does not happen after using Zerostat. However, I detected no problems while actually listening to the LP. (So much for the notion that the Audioquest brush has any real "anti-static" effect, too.)
I use the Zerostat first (3 spot it) when the platter is still
then the brush once I get it rotating
having records cleaned with a KL Audio LP200 ultrasonic cleaner removes static like a charm, almost never have it and the pops that come with it. The KL Audio and Audio Desk are a true godsend to record reproduction - low level details, low noise floor, body around the instruments, etc.
a lot of the time I forget to zerostat and with the KL Audio don't have any static issues at all
It wasn't like that before
oops I see someone mentioned the KL Audio above
it's $4k not $3k
worth every penny
via messers Becker and Fagen
no static at all
Moonglum, Re your reference to the effect of electrostatic build-up on the cantilever, if one examines the cartridge in the area above and to the sides of the cantilever/stylus assembly, one can always see a local accumulation of dust or dirt, after playing several LPs. I don't know whether those particles concentrate in that area due to ES attraction or not, but it certainly makes sense.