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I own the Audioquest version of the Signet, and it works in much the same way as the Flux, based on what I read and photos. It's very effective; the first time I used it on a well used MC, a big gob of dust fell out from the innards of the cartridge body; that was very satisfying. But I also use Magic Eraser. Nothing beats ME for convenience, and I therefore use it before every play. Since the key to the benefits of cleaning the stylus has to do with doing it in the first place, I have come to favor ME. It's like brushing your teeth after every meal. Have any of you compared ME to the Flux or the Signet or the Audioquest/Signet? Maybe using one of the vibrators can be likened to a regular dental check-up, not daily care, at least for me.
I used a Signet SK305, at my shoppe, every few plays, for a couple years. Kept the stylus on my demo system’s Sonus Gold/Blue pristine. Still looks like new, sitting in it's box, on my desk. I’ve seen them sell for over $85.00(used), on eBay. Probably should list it. Can’t really say why, but- I’ve always used Stylast and a brush, at home.
Once a month I might have to wipe off a thread of incidental dust that gets through otherwise my stylus does not get dirty. Every blue moon I'll clean off the cartridge, cantilever and stylus with alcohol on an artists brush. Due to static charge the cantilever and cartridge will collect a fine layer of very fine dust over time. I also never clean my records or use any thing on them. You just don't let them get dirty in the first place.
Clean record + dust cover + conductive sweep arm = best no hastle record and stylus care. If you buy used records or have a lot of old records that have been subject to less than optimal conditions than an ultrasonic cleaner is the way to go.
Record cleaning stuff did not come along until the early 80's when people started spending megabucks on Hi Fi. For those of us that started collecting records before then we had to figure out a method on our own or our records just got chewed up and we had to clean off the stylus after every side. The #1 enemy is static electricity followed by environmental pollution like cigarette smoke (pot also) and cooking fumes.
If a record is not charged dust that falls on it will blow right off. If the record is charged dust and environmental pollution will get sucked right down into the groove. It will not just blow off and record brushes won't remove it. Your stylus becomes your main record cleaning devise.
The problem for most vinylphiles is that they play their records without a dust cover and do nothing to discharge the record which you have to do while the record is playing because that is when the static charge is generated. 20 minutes out in the open generating thousands of volts of static electricity is plenty of time and charge to fill the grooves with dust..
Use a dust cover and a conductive sweep arm that is connected to ground and this does not happen, at all. None of it.
Some of us started making conductive sweep arms in the early 70's and most of the best turntables had dust covers. We took camel hair artist brushes and ran fine copper wires almost to the end of the bristles so that they would get close but not contact the record then tied the whole mess to a metal wand, created a unipivot stand and we were in business. I remember one fellow who made one out of an older tone arm. Then in the early 80s they started making conductive carbon fiber brushes and several years later one company finally released an arm with carbon fiber bristles. There are several available today. They should be a lot more popular but the industry would rather sell you expensive machines and gunk to choke up your records further.
Then for some reason audiophiles came to the determination that dust covers ruin the sound which is comical as far as I am concerned. I suppose given a bad design this could happen but dust covers usually make things sound better because they attenuate air born vibration. No echo. I think what happened was manufactures started coming out with crazy designs that were difficult if not impossible to mount dust covers to and dust covers add to the expense. So, you just get everybody to believe they are bad news, the mythology solution. Cheap and effective.
On the other side of the argument what is more important, the condition of your records or a theoretical detriment to your sound quality. I guarantee that things will sound a lot worse once your records are chewed up. The problem is so bad that most people have no idea how quiet a medium records can be and switched entirely to digital sources
like uberwaltz and noromance:)
Mijo, We've been over this ground before. Dust covers, used while the LP is in play, are very bad for SQ, and it's not comical to think so. You apparently do not hear a problem, which is fine. Most others do, as was suggested by the responses you got last time you aired your preferences, including my own response. Dust covers are harmless only when the turntable is sitting idle. I and most others find that styli accumulate "gunk" (dust and probably tiny fragments of vinyl plus whatever was on the LP beforehand) during play, dust cover or no. Cleaning the stylus at least periodically if not after every LP is a worthwhile exercise therefore, in my opinion. Also, since I purchased my Xerostat in the mid-70s (probably 1972) in the UK, I have some direct evidence that the obsession with record cleaning goes way back before the 1980s. I think you'd find that the Discwasher products are also "ancient". A friend of mine in college in the 1960s, had one of those brushes that ride on the LP ahead of the tonearm, of the kind you like. The only part of your post with which I can agree is the notion that it is a good idea to avoid or eliminate static charge on the LP surface, so much as that is possible.
Dear @jbhiller : Yes, the electronic stylus cleaner really works. I own the Audio Technica one that if I remember was the first company to offer in audio market. Afeter AT came Signet ( that's was part/member of the AT group. ) and latter on Audioquest and now the one you bougth.
In the past I used more frequently than today. I noted that if I use at the begin of a listen session then from the very first note the cartridge shows its normal quality performance, as if its suspension sttle down because normally my cartridges sounds " normal " after around 10 minutes of playing.
Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
There certainly WERE record and stylus cleaners before the 1980’s. I bought my first Cecil E. Watts Preener and Stylus Cleaner in ’68, as well as that company’s Dust Bug, which was a narrow cylindrical-shaped velvet-covered tube on the end of a clear plastic arm. It was pulled inward at the same rate as the cartridge, keeping the LP dust-free as it played. Watts also made a more sophisticated cleaner named the Parastat.
I then bought the original Discwasher when it was introduced in the early-70’s, followed shortly by the Zerostat. Decca in England was offering their carbon fibre brush back then too. And Keith Monks was making a vacuum record cleaning machine in the mid-70’s, long before Nitty Gritty and VPI introduced theirs in the early-80’s.
Why do some people insist on making statements which do nothing but reveal his/her ignorance of hi-fi history?