Record Research LP#9 will do the trick. Do you have access to any?
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It's a stylus cleaner that works extremely well. I could possibly send you a sample. Click on my name for a link to my email address and drop me a note.
This stuff is (I think) $25.00 a bottle, but I got a few free at last years CES. I would settle for a few bucks to cover the box and postage, provided you write a few lines about how it performed for you.
I am fairly confident you would be pleased with results. If not, we've not lost much in finding out.
I have been using last stylast cleaner for years. The cleaner is a different product that the last stylast preservative. the preservative is the stuff that has been said to not get any on the cantilever, it is said that it can gum up the suspention. The cleaner I have not heard this, and I actually clean the whole cantilever as far up as I can without damaging the coils or fragile parts with the brush, or soaking the suspention. I have never had any ill effects, and the occasional cleaning that much to reduce dust and goop that has accumulated on the exposed parts actually makes it sound better, I can attest.
The cleaner above sounds interesting. I would like to add in addition that the stylast cleaner (or others) dissolve the dirt and gunk, so you have to use enough and give it a chance to work. (that is why it is so important to use one that is safe and won't leave a residue).
Another tip- discwasher makes a stylas cleaner that comes with a really good brush, I don't know of a better one. There have been some threads here about what to use, but I am personnally not sure if anything would be better. But anyway, they are available and inexpensive.
Oh- another tip- I also use a dry brush, (a soft one, like what comes with a lot of cartridges) to dry the stylas when I clean just before playing a record. This helps to make sure that the stylas is not wet when it gets into the grooves, which results in not only records which stay cleaner, but the stylas stays cleaner as well.
I'm using the item that MF described and it seems to work quite well. However, I have not tried the alternatives mentioned in this thread.
Someone in these parts said that silly putty will do what the Fremer device does for, obviously, a lot less money. Just gently drop the stylus into it and then lift it out. Voila.
The item Fremer recommended is Zerodust. I have it and it works extremely well with no chance of damage to the stylus or migration of fluid into the cantilever. It's not cheap, but it lasts forever. You can purchase it from amusicdirect.com for $70:
It is a soft gel in a plastic container. Put it on the table and lower the stylus into it. Lift and the dirt is in the gel. There's a magnifying glass attached to the lid so you can see what was removed. The gel can be washed in water.
After getting the Zerodust, I found that extemephono.com has their own version, which is only $24.
I ordered it for a friend and he is very satisfied with the Exteme Phono version, except that he had some complaints about difficulty in lifting the lid of the case.
I've got and use the Record Research #9 fluid that Albert recommended. I purchased this after talking to Josh at Music Direct. He told me that out of all of the vinyl products that they sell and the others that they have tried out, he likes this the best. However, i must state that this was before they started selling the Zerodust "goo", so i don't know how that fits into the equation.
As to the stylus brush to use, the RR #9 comes with a little brush that reminds me of a smaller and slightly softer bristled version of the Discwasher SC-1 stylus cleaning brush. While i like and use the Discwasher brush for one of my TT's and i think that it is "neat" that it comes with a mirror for better stylus viewing in tough spots ( not all "arms" allow easy viewing of the stylus ), i have always thought that the bristles were a bit TOO stiff. Sean
Silly Putty is a Polymer compound. Polymer compounds contain petroluem products, the solvent within the solid base. It is the solvent action that will lift newsprint. This petroleum product will not evaporate, so the film is there to stay. Common sense tells me that the film would attract dust and also add mass to the stylus. (Perhaps not a good thing).
Another issue that I have with polymer based stylus cleaners is that they may subject the cartridge to negative forces that may cause premature wear. How often does your stylus stick to the record surface? I'm reminded of cutting a solid wire without wire cutters. You can simply wiggle the wire back and forth, and eventually it will break on the stress point. I'm not certain that this will indeed create a fracture point on the shaft, but with the price of cartridges today, I'm not willing to take the chance. I've had my boot get stuck in the mud in the past ...
I agree 100 percent with you, Gboren. I wasn't clear enough on my first post, and wasn't singling you out. I realise that both Zerodust and Extreme's products are polymer compounds, perhaps similar to Silly Putty. In my opinion, all 3 may lead to premature cartridge failure; something I'm unwilling to chance with my various cartridges.
Yes!!!! Sorry folks. I used the LP#9 on my Benz M2. "Spit & Polish"....came clean as can be. Now the real test. It is with my Helikon that I noticed some dust (dirt) on the stylus that just would not come off.....I plan to change arm tubes (with the Helikon) soon. I will report back to you all soon.
Albert, thank you again for the help.....P.S. I have not used the record cleaner you sent me, BUT...can I use it (LP Cleaner and wash) like Disc Doctor????? I use Disc Dr...first on the LP (scrub it in) remove it via Orbitrac (sorry for the misspelling) and then distilled water and then VPI ....Just like Mikey!!!!
Rwd. The Record Research fluid I sent to you works just like Disc Doctor only better, in my opinion.
I have not used the Orbitrac. I use the VPI brush, scrubbing as the VPI machine rotates the LP. Then vacuum dry. With the RR fluid, the distilled water is not necessary.
Do a test and post your results. I am interested to see which one you prefer and why.