OK, record is now clean, how about the Stylus?

There has been a lot of emphasis above about keeping the STYLUS clean as even more important than cleaning the record. I use an Onzow Zero pad before each side of an album, then some Stylast stylus treatment.
Two questions: what do you think of that regimen (expensive)? what do you think about dipping the stylus on some Magic Eraser for cleaning (very cheap)??
I was shown the light as to the Magic Eraser. That is all I use now. Just a light, careful brushing with a soft stylus brush and the ME, followed by another brushing, after each LP side. Personally, I don't like the idea of adding anything to the stylus.
Dougdeacon's Magic Eraser preceded and followed by brushing with a dry Discwasher carbon fiber brush is what I'm using. I made some of Doug's ME "lollipops" and cut slits in the ends of them...it helps prevent "snagging". Using a magnifying lens I can see the before and after effects of cleaning (dark material removed).
Cleaning the stylus twice for playing an album is *very* excessive. Unless your records are incredibly grimy, you can easily go 5-10 albums before cleaning again. This will cut your costs dramatically and your stylus will stay plenty clean. Your current regimen is very wasteful, time consuming, and costly...

I worked for several hi-end shops back in the late 70s, early 80s. I played a lot of records. I also looked at a lot of stylii under a microscope to see their condition and whether they needed cleaning - this is how I developed my 5-10 albums cleaning regimen. As I said before, unless your records are absolutely filthy (no way, right?), you are over-cleaning.

Oh! So you're one of those sons of b****s that sold us that crap that clogged our records and stylii. And, when did you say before?

It's not always what you see on the stylus, but rather what you don't see build up on the stylus. With the ME there is virtually no cost per cleaning. I believe the recommendation to touch up between album sides came from a very reputable cartridge designer. But, clean when you will, not sweat off my arse.
Does Magic Eraser refer to the household cleaning item manufactured by M r . C l e a n by P&G?

- Please provide more detail on the technique.

- Is ME suitable for all cartrige types?

thanks, ed
Ed- Yes it does. Run a search and you will see the recommended technique.
I use Magic Eraser and love it, I dont really use my LAST cleaner anymore. I am glad this method got out before the Clever Clock, Magic Pebble, and Teleportation tweak over at M.D. Inc got a hold of it!
Hello rlwainright, You may want to read some archived threads about the Mr Clean ME if you haven't, to help understand what actually is being done, which I don't see as excessive.

What has been suggested, is that first, the Stylus is lightly brushed with a Stylus Brush to remove any light fuzz-loose dirt (total time takes to do this is about 5 seconds at most). Then just cue the Stylus onto a thin cube of the ME positioned on the Platter once, or twice (another 5 seconds) Then lastly again a very ight brushing to insure no dust loosened by the ME, or any micro-particles are left on the Stylus by the ME (another 5 seconds at most)

No Cleaners, Liquids, Alcohols, etc used in this quick 3 step process, and the reason why it is suggested to be done after every LP side, is that it doesn't take long for baked on crud to stick to a Stylus from heat, and once a substantial amount of deposit is stuck to the Cartridge, it becomes much harder to get off.

This method above pretty much insures you don't give those nasties much chance of accumilating. Many of these newer Cartridges, with thier ultra small Stylus' are said to play deeper-better in the groove-groovewall, extract more information with less groove surface noise, and the downside I understand, is they also get dirty faster as well.

As an aside, more, and more manufacturers it seems caution-warn against the use of wet cleaning, especially any which might contain alcohol, due to the possible use of hollow Boron Cantilevers, and the possibility of alcohols attacking the adhesive holding Stylus to Cantilever. To see how small these Stylus', and Cantilevers are, one can only imagine then what very tiny amount of adhesive bonds Stylus to Cantilever.

Lastly, the beauty of ME, and a Stylus brush is the cost. $2-$3 gives you a virtual lifetime supply of the ME. Hope this helps. Mark
>> Oh! So you're one of those sons of b****s that sold us that crap that clogged our records and stylii. And, when did you say before? <<

Huh? Not sure what you are saying here, please explain. I sold expensive cartridges and gear to clean them. We usually used the SC-2 fluid from DiscWasher to clean the stylus. It did the job.

>> It's not always what you see on the stylus, but rather what you don't see build up on the stylus.<<

You are wrong. What you see is *everything*. Keep in mind that I used a microscope when looking at the stylii - you can see *everything* on the stylus when doing so. And I'm telling you that you can play 5-10 albums before seeing any build-up on the stylus.

And we were certainly using stylii that reached down deep in the grooves.

You might comsider reading your posts before submitting them, some passages are incoherent...

So, here is what I actually do, I am ready for the onslaught of comments why it is a bad idea:

While the lock is still on the arm, with a magnifying glass, I actually push my Onzo UP onto the stylus while watching carefully, and now do the same with Magic Eraser. I personally think I have better control of depth and gentle pressure, than lowering the arm into the Zero stuff or into the MR.

Any thoughts?
To Rlwainwright,
Please don't get upset with some of the responses you get on this or any other thread; I have learned that people here have VERY strong feelings about their rituals. Right or wrong, I think you have to at least respect the opinion of someone who has examined a bunch of styli under a microscope! Thanks for your input. There is the strong possibility that most of us are a bit nuts with our record cleaning, stylus cleaning, stylus treating, dust removing rituals.
Sometimes, I get so tired of thinking it through, that (I admit it), I just put on a record, get a glass of brandy, and listen to it. Kind of nice
Oh, I'm not upset, this isn't life or death after all. I just wish that folks would present some reasonable basis for opinions besides "I believe" or "I feel". Beliefs or feelings have nothing to do with the cleanliness of your stylus.

It is quite simple to *see* if your stylus needs to be cleaned, a 40x - 100x microscope will do it every time. You can also check wear patterns which would help in achieving perfect stylus alignment. Everyone should take the opportunity to see their stylus like this, it's very cool.

Just to keep the pot stirred, did you also know that you shouldn't play a given track on a record twice in succession because of groove deformation from the diamond being dragged thru the plastic? You see, there's this little spec. called the "modulus of elasticity" for vinyl...

Best Wishes,

>> You may want to read some archived threads about the Mr Clean ME if you haven't...<<

I haven't read the archived threads. However, several years ago, I purchased some ME from the local grocery store and shipped it to one of our UK-based members at his request. I then did some investigating on this matter.

My conclusion? I wouldn't use it. The DiscWasher SC-2 does a fine job of cleaning the stylus and I see no reason to use anything else. The ME may work as well or better, I do not know. I do know that the SC-2 does the job and the bottle I have will probably last the rest of my life.

Looking back, my comment about the expense is really not important, both methods are cheap enough. But keep in mind, the more you handle the stylus, the better the chance that you will damage or ruin the stylus. If you can limit your cleaning routine to 1/10th that of someone else - AND STILL HAVE A CLEAN STYLUS - you have 1/10th the chance of buggering your stylus.

Yes, I have buggered a stylus or two in my day. I was NEVER very happy afterwards...

Hello RW, Definitely no argument with what you've said, all makes sense, and I totally agree with the statement of "the more you toy with these delicate things, the more chance for disaster.

One has to get a mindset, that this is how it MUST be done, and to never deviate, ot to have to many glasses of your favorite elixer while doing so.

As I mentioned in my last post though, wet methods may be suitable for some newer Cartridges, but other manufactures caution, and refrain as I say.

A newer ZYX UNIverse, or Lyra Titan Cartridge is not a Shure V-15 of old. Believe when I say this, in that if a new Stylus-Cartridge is ruined due to incorrect cleaning methods-products, send it back to the manufacturer for repair-replacement, they they will more than likely recognize what caused the failue, and void said warrantee. They built em, and they know what messes them up, and how. Manufacturers get Cartridges back every day of the week for mistakes the end user has caused.

Linn used to suggest a matchbook striker to clean a Stylus. This might not in any way hurt a Diamond, the hardest substance known to man, but what might this material do to a Cantilever, or Stylus Adhesive?

To the other poster in regards with the Onzow Zerodust, and raising the product to the Stylus. Here is where one can make an easy mistake. The actual pressure you may be applying may be many times higher than your VTF weight. By dunking you might be applying 2g, by manually raising the product to Stylus, you may be applying 10-15 grams and overflex the Cantilever, and suspension? Hard to say, when a person doesn't actually have a VTF scale built in to thier fingertips?

One could make a little base out of a piece of wood?, that the Zerodust can be set on to be a Platter height. Set on base of turntable, and dunk to your heart's content?

I do hope you folks see my posts as trying to be helpful, not snobbish, as heck, I don't profess to be any expert, but have taken good common sense advice from others here in this forum. Mark
Why wait till it's gummed up? And there is a good probability that there is stuff there that you can't see even with your microscope.

Just to keep the pot stirred, did you also know that you shouldn't play a given track on a record twice in succession because of groove deformation from the diamond being dragged thru the plastic? You see, there's this little spec. called the "modulus of elasticity" for vinyl...

That's been beaten to death so many time on so many forums.
>> Why wait till it's gummed up? And there is a good probability that there is stuff there that you can't see even with your microscope. <<

Ok, Dan, for your edification, I'm going to type this VERY slowly so even you can understand it. Obviously, you have never looked at a stylus under a 'scope. Because, if you had, you'd know how silly your statement was. If you're stylus is dirty, or not, you will KNOW by looking under a microscope. How do you KNOW now if you got it clean? You don't, do you? You "feel" it's clean, or you "believe" it's clean.

Please, do not respond with some snmart-aleck comment, get a microscope and LOOK.

If you want to willy-nilly dip your stylus every 25 minutes in a product that wasn't made for that purpose because you "believe" it works - go for it! These are my last words on the subject...

RW, That's fine, do use what you like, but you came in in as a self proclaimed expert, that your way was law, and other's methods hold no merit. This is your loss, nobody else's.

Why, or how can you assume what another person does?
What you sold, or looked at may have very well been 25-30 years ago? Hell, 30 years ago, I was cleaning my Shure V-15 with Denatured Alcohol, and thought I was doing the right thing. You tell me?

Don't assume that the "leg work" hasn't been done with the Magic Eraser, it has. While it hasn't been made for the specific purpose as you state, perhaps only because Proctor & Gamble marketed it first, would infringement, and also that some very savvy end users found it here first, doesn't mean it is in any way unacceptable to use. Other's can provide links to electron Microscope scans if you wish to talk microscopes?

I think you're assuming that you're partaking in a forum with mid fi end users. Quite the contrary.
Many of these folks buy, and use multi-$1,000 Cartridges like I change socks. Think they would take a chance ruining, or compromising the sound they have to offer?

I know the answer.

The ME does work, and works admirably. Take a $2 chance, and try it before making any more assumptions these users are willy nilly. Perhaps your pride is too hard to swallow? Keep an open mind, I try to. I always try to remember there's always somebody smarter than I out there as well. Mark
Is 200x enough power for ya'? Even that will not show everything that may be adhered to the diamond. I know it's as clean as I can get it. I trust the person who recommended cleaning after each LP side. BTW, you do brush the stylus after each side, don't you? What's the harm in a quick swipe with another tool? I don't trust using any solutions for several reasons and several cartridge manufacturers don't trust those solutions either. And that stuff IS made for the purpose.

The ME is being used by many, many people who are very happy with the results. Hell, Linn used to recommend the use of the emery paper from a pack of matches to clean the edge of the stylus. We're talking about lightly scraping the edge of a diamond. It ain't going to hurt it. Yes, there is the possibility of snagging it and pulling it off so one does need to be careful. Just like there is the possibility of snagging it on your shirt or whatever.

I don't give a damn if you or anyone else doesn't want to use the ME. Just don't try to tell me it doesn't work, is too dangerous, excessive, etc.

Hey, Rlwainwright, you're the one who came in swinging away first. Now you're all pissy because someone called you on it.
I observe the same ritual as the original poster. Before each side, I give a quick clean with Magic Eraser and then a swab with Stylast. I do have a good lab grade microscope and use a record cleaning machine. There is some loose debris on the stylus after one play, nothing is "gummed up" though. RW seems certain this is frequent cleaning isoverkill, too each his own. I just know that after regular use of the ME and Stylast for well over a year on near daily basis, my stylus is in great shape and looks like the day it was new. There is no accumulation of any sort around the base of the stylus where it inserts into the cantilever or in the end of the cantilever. Stylast evaporates very rapidly, so if it is applied with a delicate touch from a none too wet brush, it seems unlikely one could apply enough to run into the cantilever and have it migrate elsewhere through capillary action. I suppose there are those hamfisted enough to screw up anything though.
Thanks for your information it's nice to hear from someone with experience in the industry. I apologize for gonners that cannot keep themselves in lanes of civility.
I don't necessarily know which is the absolute right - nobody does (apparently some believe they do), but thanks for the info. I'm not going to go out and buy a microscope but doesn't mean the urge is not there.
Rsasso said it right - listen to the music
If technology gets in the way we're missing the point.
Sjungdahl, So what information of value was provided? Please go into detail, as I'd like hearing a logical explanation from you why this info provided seems to make total sense to you, and that you're sold on RW's thoeogy, that everybody else here is wrong, and he is right?

One thing that is very evident, neither of you have ever used a Magic Eraser, have you?

When you have, when you have conclusive results-findings, then do please come back, and give us the low down, cause I would be definitely interested to hear about them.

There's only one true way to learn, as others here have, experience. No, many didn't work at some Stereo Shop, cleaning, and examining Cartridges for others, they invested thier hard earned money, in some cases literal tens of thousands of dollars, and found out for themselves.

I suggest you find out for yourself as well, I did.
Nothing but ME, and a Stylus Brush will ever touch my Cartridges again.

There are good people here who are trying to educate-teach, but of course these people are all wrong, correct?

One has to come to thier own conclusions, and decide "What is Diamonds, and what is BS".
So if a stylus gunks up after 5-10 LPs, how does it happen? Does it keep some kind if counter, decide it's been enough plays and so allows the gunk attach? Or, does it happen little by little with each play? What makes more sense to you?
Thank you for making my point so obvious.
Please go on.

You may want to really read the post.
I wrote - "I don't necessarily know which is the absolute right - nobody does (apparently some believe they do), but thanks for the info."
Somehow you read - "seams to make total sense" to me

I simply thanked the gonner for his info.

Lighten up, that's the point and thank you again for giving a perfect example of, "gonners that cannot keep themselves in lanes of civility".
To Mark, this has been my experience with the Zerodust. If I lower the cartridge into the Zerodust with 2.5 gm of VTF on my Denon 103R cartridge, the whole stylus and cantilever dip into the gummy stuff; when I lift it out gently, you can see the stylus "pull away" from the cantilever slightly, and that seems to me to be "bad". If I raise the Zerodust into the stylus, I can, with a magnifier, get everything off the stylus, not touch the cantilever, and the stylus hardly budges..so in my simplistic brain, that seems safer to the cartridge. It takes a gentle touch I guess, but I haven't broken the Denon yet.
Sjungdahl, I'm trying to be as civil as possible, and asked you some sensible questions. There were no answers, meaning you refuse to answer. Who's then uncivil?

This is not unlike the Cleaning Fluid Posts, in that everybody seems to have the right answer, the right formula, and of course thiers exceeds all others, and those who shell out respectable money for good trusted cleaners are stupid gullible fools, who let themselves be suckered by snake oil salesmen, correct?

Yet, there are some who would believe that we are trying to "snake oil sucker" people here to buy a $2 Box of Mr Clean? And that these many users "dream" this product works most effectively? Then you must then believe everybody here, and other too numerous to count believers of the ME must then have brass ears, or are just plain stupid?

I fully understand this camp's train of thought/mindset, that many in this camp are unswerving in thier beliefs, and regardless if folks like J, Carr of Lyra and the many other "true-real" experts came in here, told you "no, don't use any liquids, then what would one do"? Again disbelieve this person, and say, "oh, what the heck does he know"? Of course! lol That's how some people really do think, don't doubt it for a second.

Within the last 10-20 years, Cartridges have made considerable advances. As well, they have also become considerably more delicate, and easy to damage.
One wouldn't take a Lyra Skala, a ZYX UNIverse, Dyna XV-1. Koetsu, Miyabi, throw it on a Technics 1200, and start doing the Herbie Hancock "Rock-It" tune. They wouldn't last 30 seconds.

As I close, the best "civil" advice I can give to you, RW, and all others wishing to further investigate, is to invest some time here, and there, read some of the archive posts on liquid cleaners, in the various forums, read about Mr Clean ME, Stylus Damage, etc, read what manufacturers of modern Cartridges suggest.

I am sorry if it has appeared that I'm somehow talking down to you, or any other poster in this thread. I don't profess to be a rocket scientist, or any smarter than the regular average guy. Yet I use the product, and will continue using the ME, as I personally feel this is the best choice I can make, regardless of cost.

After shelling out considerable money for two new Cartridges in the past four months, a Benz Ruby 3, and a ZYX Airy 3X SB, would you think I actually care about the relative "minute" cost of a bottle of Stylus Cleaner? Mark

Do you actually read the posts here or just go of on tangental tirades.
Perhaps we should ditch what has been written above, and wipe the slate clean, ok? If I've hurt anyone's feelings here, I truly do apologize.

Now let's start again, please.
This thread was about how to clean the Stylus, so I won't wander off on a different tangent. Some have asked, and I'll share what I know, and keep this info in layman's terms.

There are many good liquid Stylus Cleaners on the market, that usually do the required job, and are generally not thought to hurt most Stylus', Cantilevers, or Suspensions. LAST, Lyra, RRL, and perhaps the Discwasher as well. There's probably a couple I missed, sorry for this.

Those that do use the Mr Clean Eraser, I wouldn't exactly say have grimy records, and it is not just dirt-groove contaminants that cake up-contaminate a Stylus. RW is by no means dumb, and should know this quite well. The largest proponent-discoverer of the ME, is Doug Deacon. Doug uses a Loricraft RCM, uses state of the art analog front ends, and I assure you, as others will here, Doug is one of the most knowledgeable, and seasoned contributors in this group.
There are many others as well, and I thank them all for thier contibutions. It's one reason I visit this group on a daily basis, I'm always learning something new here. This group is da bomb!

Some Cartridge Manufacturers do strongly advise not to use liquid cleaners. On many Cartridges of today, gone are Metal Cantilevers of some sort, being replaced largely by Synthetic Materials. Also, many use Hollow Tube Cantilevers, and liquids can travel by capillary action, very possibly damaging components in the process.

Used properly, the ME is very good, regardless that it's use wasn't originally intended for Stylus Cleaning. In truth, somebody had thier thinking cap on when they discovered this wonderful, and cheap product.

Again, all I can say, is it boils down to a matter of personal choice. If there are those who choose not try try it for whatever reasons, that's fine, you haven't committed any crime. ;-) But as others have discovered, it works well, it is fast, it is easy to use, it is easily gotten, and does maintain a Stylus in pristine condition without worry of possibility of damage to Stylus Adhesive, or Suspension components.

I hope this post reflects better civility, and again, I only wished to help those here find an alternative choice. Mark

and other carts, i cringe now of thinking about using alcohol. for years after, i uses stylast and sc4. THEN i tried ME.

DAMM. that left the diamond cleaner than i had ever seen one through a 40-50s 'scope.


i may or may not use a sc2 or stylast brush first. i pick up the arm with its fingerlift and allow the vtf to put pressure on the ME a couple of times and then the same process with the sc2 brush, to remove any possible detritus from the stylus.

i dont view it every time as those steps can wear on the universal headshell connection. however, viewing a stylus is SOOOOOO much easier with a removable headshell as is cartridge mounting.

the first time performing the ME process revealed such a clean stylus that i never went back to another method.

by allowing the vtf to do its job during the cleaning stages is key to not damaging the suspension of the cart. nether the ME nor the sc2 are endangering to a stylus.

i realize that others will disagree, and thats OK.
Despite my earlier promise to walk away from this one, well here I go....

Dan_Ed, I was not the one who "came out swinging". I believe that was you - read your first post to me, you called me a son of a bitch. If that isn't coming out swinging, I don't know what is.

I simply related my experience. I never once impugned your ancestry or made any rash commnents towards you. I did criticize a cleaning regimen that I think is excessive. After that, you started "swinging" and made it personal. Shame on you.

Calm down, clean a record - and your stylus - slap it on your 'table and chill out, dude....

Photon wrote above, with his cleaning regimen, that he has...after a year,... "no accumulation between the stylus and where it inserts into the cantilever. Damn it, I DO get accumulation there, usually of very fine fibers, like from clothing or something, not dust per se. I am so compulsive about cleaning a record before playing it, I have no idea where they come from. At times, it requires a magnifying glass and non metal tweezers to tease these out of the junction between stylus and cantilever...I am not hamfisted, but this is very tricky business.
If anyone is out there still following this thread...Have you ever had this problem, and how do you fix it??
Markd51's comment above was a good one.

The day I got my Zerodust, I made a wooden base about 3 inches tall for it. I sprayed this gloss black to match my turntable, and put thin felt on the bottom.

Now it's just a matter of sliding it over and 3 light dunks with the cueing lever. -Done- It takes all of 15 seconds. It works great, and it is right there so I do not forget to use it.

The Zerodust is a proven product and to my knowledge, no one has ever broken a stylus or cantilever with it.
I can't see all the fussing with multiple products when this one works so well..but to each his own..