I don't use the small stiff brush, the softer brush that comes attached to the top is sufficiant. Brush from back to front, never front to back or side to side.
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I use #9 and have used a 'scope to see how very clean it gets my stylus (which is not to say it is the ONLY way). Anyway, I have always been a bit hesitant to brush the solution directly onto the stylus with the "cap brush", fearing I would get too much on the cantilever and not wanting to "contaminate" the rest of the solution in the bottle. So, I dip the cap brush into the solution, withdraw straight up, and then let a drop of it fall on the separate brush. Then I used it to lightly draw from back to front on the stylus. Periodically, then, rinse out the brush with a bit of solution or distilled water.
I pour the entire contents of the original LP#9 bottle into a tiny plastic screw top container (about twice the diameter of a soda cap). I then throw the factory bottle and brush away.
From my new wide top container, I immerse the (supplied) RR stiff brush or my Last stylus brush completely into the LP#9 solution, withdraw it and fling off any excess. I clean the stylus from rear to front as others have described, and then blow out the brush with canned compressed air, removing all the debris and left over fluid.
Undoubtedly I waste fluid this way, but I never worry if the stylus might have been cleaned better. I know the results are stunning, so I continue with this process.
Probably would if you failed to clean the brush after each use.
I keep my brush on a glass shelf under my TT and if theres dust accumulated since last use, I blow it off with the Dust-Off ® can.
A word of caution, some dusters contain ether and are flammable. These are typically cheaper products sold at computer stores.
DustGun 100 by Besseler, and Falcon Dust-Off ® are equal products and the best available, in my opinion.
Someone on Audio Asylum e-mailed Record Research about the stiff brush: it's intended to get gross contaminants or dust bunnies off the stylus BEFORE using the actual LP9 with soft brush.
Personally, the short bristles of the stiff brush scare me a bit and I've been afraid of raking the plastic of the brush against the stylus, so I use a Discwasher stylus brush which has much longer bristles, though seemingly as stiff.
The stiff brush was included after the Distributor, Musical Surroundings, had several customers mention that while they loved the product, they were more comfortable using the larger shorter bristle brushes that had been used in the past. Having been in this hobby for over 30 years, I know how some old habits are hard to change. This said, Garth Leerer and I decided to add the dry brush to the LP#9 package, to make it more accomodating. I will add that these are the same brushes that Musical Surroundings supplies with the purchase of any new Benz cartridge, therefore, it's a brush that has been used by Musical Surroundings in the past and has proven to be suitable.
The dry brush is supplied to give the customer the choice of which brush best suits them.
I should add that anyone considering moving the contents of LP#9 into another storage vessel, should make sure that they use either a glass bottle or a LDPE or HDPE bottle only. Do not pour the contents into a PET bottle as the cleaner will leach a minute portion of the polymers from the bottle which will ruin the stylus cleaner and may place unwanted contaminates onto the stylus.
Record Research Labs
Brian, my container is a LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) and I guess I should have mentioned that fact. Since you supplied my container I never concerned myself with the dangers of accidentally using PTE (Polyethylene Terephthalate).
Typically PTE is used to contain bottled water and such and is seldom in packages of the size I mentioned.
Still, It would help those wanting to use my wasteful stylus cleaning method by advising them as to where they may purchase Record Research approved containers.
Do you offer these for sale?
I knew that you were most likely using the bottle that I'd sent you earlier. I hadn't considered suppying empty bottles; I know that my Distributor would be against it, and besides with my method, they are not required. In my opinion, we have designed a product that works well as it is.
My method, Albert, is very close to yours: I remove the brush cap, clean the stylus, then squirt my LP#9 brush off with just a few drops of Super Vinyl Wash, followed by the pure compressed air. This works great, keeps cross contamination very low and avoids the possibility of bottle polymer contamination. I'd hate to see someone repackage my product, chose an improper bottle, and ruin what is already a great product. Glass is still the best choice for the LP#9 solution, which is why we use it. Glass is more expensive, but is the best suited container considering the composition of the solution.
To avoid chemical contamination, we have not only spec'd out the brush material, but the bonding glue for the brush and the cap material as well. We've looked at contamination issues from many angles on all of our products.
Most LP#9 users just use it as it was intended, removal of the brush, cleaning the stylus, and placing it back into the bottle. I've know several that use 2 bottles of LP#9, one for cleaning the stylus, one for cleaning the brush. I've also heard that some drip the LP#9 fluid over the cap brush to rinse it after use. Both of these methods may work well, but sound like an expensive approach of brush cleaning.
To the many LP#9 users worried about cross contamination, try my method, it works well.
Record Research Labs