I was under the understanding that only the tracking pressure was to be applied. Or let the tonearm rest on the cleaner. If you put pressure on the cartridge beyond the tracking force, I would say you forced the cantilever out alignment with the coils. If that is so, then whoops is not enough. Good luck!
I have used the Zerodust stylus cleaner for some months, and recently purchased another for convenient use with another turntable setup.
The stylus is merely let to vertically sink into the clear gel disc, by itself, with only the same pre-set downward stylus force that plays a record. The stylus is raised up vertically the same way that it is lifted after a record side is finished playing.
It has been a champion at gathering dirt after each playing, even with Audioquest cleaning brush used on record prior to playing. Even records which have been cleaned in the past with the VPI 16.5 can re-accumulate enough on the vinyl surface that the stylus benefits from the Zerodust.
There is no way that one would expect any damage to the stylus cantilever, because the stylus is more gently treated by the gel pillow than by a spinning vinyl record surface. The stylus goes down into the gel, and is raised up from the gel vertically, just as when one plays a record.
Periodically, a generous Audiogon member, Bibibi, receives a shipment and sells these at a rock bottom price, more as a hobby than a business. I hope he will continue to offer this worthwhile gadget on Audiogon so more members may benefit.
I had the same problem with an Adcom HO MC after repeated use of Stylast. After it was returned to Adcom, they called me to say the Stylast plus gunk was up in the cartridge, and it was causing the fuzziness. They sent me a new cartridge, though it was my fault for using too much.
You might try one of those canned air dusters blowing toward the top entrance to the cartridge. VERY CAREFULLY!
Otherwise, Theo is probably correct.
Listener57, is it possible to clean the gadget itself, or does it just keep accumulating more gunk until it's totally shot?
I have read that you can clean them, I forget the specifics, the article was in one of my Audio magazines.
Zaikesman, Philjolet is correct. There is a tiny "instruction sheet" which tells a recommended way to clean the Zerodust, so it is usable indefinitely.
I still use Stylast, and have been lucky it has not created a problem for me. Maybe, the Zerodust gel disc which resembles a tiny round pillow, also collects any invisible Stylast residue after each playing, so Stylast does not build up and travel up the cantilever?
Well, It looks like I may have messed up. I pushed the stylus down in the pillow with light force. I most likely through something out of wack.
You may indeed have bent/damaged the cantilever or suspension. Try to find someone with the same cartridge and get them to send or post a photo so you can compare cantilever angles. If it isn't obvious by now, NEVER apply more downforce to a cartridge than the maximum tracking force recommended by the manufacturer. :(
If it turns out the cantilever is okay, then here's another possibility. I used to use the ExtremePhono stylus cleaning gel, which is similar to the ZeroDust. If I let the gel get above the top of the cantilever tip, it would scoop some up like a little shovel. That stuff would then grab onto every piece of dirt it could find and hold onto it. I had to scrape it off the stylus/cantilever. Try inspecting the stylus area with a good magnifier. A detachable wide angle lens for a 35mm camera works well if you have one, film end of the lens toward the stylus.
In 'cleaning' my zerodust, it doesn't seem to be as sticky any more. What's up with that?
Am I crazy for not cleaning my stylus?
DTM: Crazy? Yes...just not for having a dirty stylus :-)
I still use the good old Discwasher stylus brush and fluid, but am not really sure if this is even made any more.
Anyhoo: I am a little skeptical about DD's theorizing that vertical deflection force applied during cleaning can't exceed the recommended max VTF without risking catastrophic results. The VTF will only deflect the cantilever to a midway position vertically, but the cartridge suspension is by design necessity capable of sustaining a deflection larger than that without damage. Depending on the type of cantilever material used, the compliance of the suspension, and the configuration of the cart's underbody, deflecting the cantilever as far as it can physically go may result in a bent cantilever, a snapped cantilever, a detached cantilever, or often no problems at all. Personally, with most carts I would be surprised if light extra pressure applied into a soft gel bed would result in any damage of this sort. My suspicions run more toward what DD experienced in terms of gel adherence, or possibly undetected detachment of the diamond tip. Clues might be revealed if Scott tells us what model cart is involved.
Record Research #9 stylus Cleaner is all you need to get the job cleanly and safely.
If you drink heavily while listening to music,just lick the styli now and then.
If you like to do doob's while listening, dont lick the styli.It will add a cotton like substance and make the music's highs too high.
I remember seeing a post over at Audio Asylum which seemed very similar to this. I'm not sure if the goo attached to the stylus ruined his cartridge or not. I can't remember if it was Zerodust or Extreme.
I'm with Stevecham, you can't beat LP#9.
In the immortal words of John Lennon, #9,#9,#9,#9,#9, #9,#9,#9,#9,#9.....
4yanx- Its "numba nine" :~)
I just got a Zerodust and in the instructions it tells you to press down lightly. At the very least you wrote this thread and may have saved some others from applying too much force. Thank you
Philjolet, that's interesting. The extremephono instructions very specifically warn you not to do that! I "think" the Zerodust is less liquid than the extremephono, so less likely to leave glop on the stylus or cantilever, but pushing down on my cartridge is not something I ever feel tempted to try. Exceeding the designed in movement range of the cantilever would be too easy.
After Zaikesman's post above I dragged out a digital scale and tried pushing very lightly on the platform, just to see how consistently gentle I could be. What I thought would be a small force instantly registered as 50-100g or more! To "push" down with just 1-3g is nothing more than the lightest possible brush of a finger, not really a push at all.
Well, I did just what the directions told me to do. The problem was I knew better and did not feel comfortable doing it.
I have worked out my problems and I do not believe that I did damage my cartridge.
But, I dod not apply pressure anymore.
Thanks for the research Doug, however I'm gratified to see that Scott no longer suspects he damaged his cart after all. In my experience, it's usually all or nothing: either the cantilever is across the room under sofa, or you've lunched a delicate wire and there's no signal, or it's a false alarm and everything's OK (save for the heart attack). Cart's are pretty tough little buggers - right up until the point that you destroy them...
Scott, that's good news. Glad your cart is okay. Did you figure out why the sound went fuzzy?
I haven't destroyed one (yet) Zaikesman. But with two cats and a klutz of a user it's only a matter of time. Maybe I should keep an old, cheap one nearby to attract accidents. If there are two cartridges the probability that I'll wreck the expensive one is reduced by 50%, right?!
It seems that when I pushed the cantilever down in the goop. It built up on the top. A good quick cleaning solved the problem. Now I know beeter and have just let the weight of the tonearm settle onto the goop, and everything works fine.
Good to hear, you might contact the manufacturer and tell them of your experience and let them know this may have been a lack of good instructions included with the product.
You may help someone down the line,