Static electricity


Hey now  folks,

I finally made the  jump  back into  vinyl late last year. I am a midi  hifi guy but made sure I was on the  higher end getting back into analog, so I went with a Pro-Ject Classic SB in walnut with the Sumiko Bluepoint  No.2 MC cartridge.

I also upgraded my integrated amp to a Rouge Sphinx V3 and purchased the Record Doctor V. Just about out of the  break in period and very  happy over all...except when it comes to static electricity. It is especially bad coming off the platter. The Pro-Ject came with a  felt mat and the static was not that  bad. I read that cork would be even better so I got the Pro-Ject one.

I also have a Zerostat Milty 3, which I am using religiously at the 12/4/8 o'clock positions.

I do have  force air for heat and live in New England, so I know that the dry air is not helping. With the cork mat there is so much static electricity now, that the cork mat will stick to the record when I  try to flip it over, which is very annoying. I do have, and prefer, a  dust cover too.

I mean honestly I have peeled plenty of onions in my day but now this?!?

Am I doing something wrong here? Should I  go back to the  felt mat?

Pleading for wisdom from the turntable peanut gallery.

Staticky in Connecticut 
idigmusic64
Zerostat only neutralizes charges during use. Problem is a spinning record is a charge generator that certain materials only makes worse. Like noise and hum problems there's seldom a silver bullet its more about shot-gunning to get as many as possible.  

Different mat might help, but then you have the problem of it might not sound as good in other ways. There's devices that run along the record like a dust brush only they conduct charges off the record. Sometimes also helps to ground the spindle or chassis, depending on the table. Humidifier you already know about. Static Guard anti-static laundry spray is sold in many stores, I use it all the time. Waft around the turntable and over cables as well. I notice improvement and its not like I have any obvious static problem. There's other more long lasting sprays you can find. Haven't tried them myself but search around you never know.
I’m in Colorado and static is very sticky business. Drives me crazy! Especially vinyl. I gave up on mats, leather, cork, felt you name it... just makes it worse. Rubber might be an exception, haven’t tried that. I’ve found cleaning to be the best bet. And then all the stuff MC mentioned. Dryer sheets, anti stat brush, zero stat etc. Once the static gets really bad again (where I can feel my arm hair stand on end) I clean. It’s about a once a quarter job depending on how much play time each album gets. I’ve got a fairly small collection so it hasn’t gotten out of hand yet. Good luck. It’s a pain in ass.
This is always a point of contention here, but Gruv Glide will completely cure the static issue.  You can search the other threads I posted this on.  I can't say it helps the sound or anything else, but the static will be gone and you can go back to enjoying analog again. I have never seen anyone claim that GG harmed their records and it has been sold for many, many years by major analog outlets such as Acoustic Sounds and Music Direct.  There are definitely other methods for dealing with static and you will have to decide what route to take.  Best of luck. 
Lose the plastic lid. Double sided tape on the mat OR use no mat. Use a humidifier.
I would avoid sprays which may be toxic to you and may leave residue.
1+ @noromance. I have been looking closely into this problem. 
1st, make sure the bearing is grounded. Check continuity with a meter set to ohms. If not run a wire from ground to it. Use high quality anti static inner sleeves. Plain paper are the absolute worst. 
Run a humidifier if you can. You can have one installed in your HVAC system.
IMHO the Zerostat is a PITA. I use a grounded sweep arm which not only discharges the record but sweeps incidental dust out of the way. I always keep my dust cover closed. Many here think this interferes with the sound. According to myself and Mark Dohmann it actually improves the sound by attenuating sound before it gets to the tonearm. He is working on one for his Helix turntable. He told this to me in an email conversation.
If your records are clean to start with and you always put them directly back into the jackets you will never have to clean a record unless you buy them used.
I recently learned that playing the record does create a small electrostatic charge of several hundred volts depending on humidity. If the record is not discharged the voltage is additive. Every time you play the record several hundred volts are added. Antistatic sleeves do not discharge the record! They just do not add any more charge. Paper sleeves can add charge! Other than a conductive sweep arm the best way to discharge a record is a conductive brush wired to ground. It is not enough just to hold it. The impedance of you is too high. You can drill a little hole and attach a wire with a sheet metal screw. I tried it myself and it works great. There is a thread on this subject where I promised to get some real data and publish the results. If you want to learn more on the subject google Triboelectric effect or series. I would like to add one more very interesting discovery. The darn label contributes electrons to the vinyl!! Records will develop a small charge all on their own! The vinyl will go negative and the label positive! 
I forgot to mention, those of you using your hair to detect static. It is not sensitive enough. If you tie a fine cotton thread to pencil you can detect just 100 volts. The vinyl will attract the thread like hair and the label will repel it.
Dust cover means static a rubber mat is less static mat.
MC is right about the laundry spray.  Still using a can from the 90's.
Necessary with MDR-V6 cans or you ears get zapped.
All my ZeroStat is used for is burr ground coffee.
Folks,

Thanks for your input and insights. I will try out some of your suggestions and report back.
@mijostyon I invested in the MHF anti-static sleeves too. I doprefer to keep the dust cover on due to the force air for heat as dust is always an issue in my house.
Mijo, You wrote, "According to myself and Mark Dohmann it actually improves the sound by attenuating sound before it gets to the tonearm."
How would any practical dust cover attenuate airborne vibrations between the LP and the tonearm.  (I presume when you say "attenuating the sound" you are referring to the music that can be heard faintly where the stylus meets the groove.  Or if not, what?)  My friend's Dohmann Helix was never dust-covered during use.  I can't imagine any dust cover that would not potentially enhance the possible feedback effect of (musical) vibrations generated at the stylus tip.  In previous discussions, you have already discounted this factor, as I am well aware.  I am just wondering what Dohmann has in mind.

To the OP.  I would ask whether your listening room is carpeted.  If so, is it wool carpet or other natural fiber?  Many times "we" are the culprits with static charge.  Just walking up to the TT to play or turn over the LP may induce a static charge on our bodies which is present on the fingertips.  Once we make physical contact, that charge will then be transferred to the LP. It's not a bad idea to discharge your body by touching something irrelevant that is grounded, before addressing the LP.  Also, there is a kind of art to using the Zero; it's not just a matter of zapping the LP.  The maximum effect depends upon using a certain technique.  You might Google it.

If you use heating problem will persist.

Techniques from semiconductor industry/cleanrooms will help.

Use proper ground -  google  "ESD Grounding Requirements"  
Use mat under table which is described as used for shelving (should be black carbon) - mat must be grounded.
Ground turntable, mat and stand if possible - use separate leads for each
and use  "Earth bonding plug" (google) for ground 
For cleaning use antistatic cloth or wipes. Also where are a lot of pro esd solutions which are not toxic or poisonous. Don't use domestic products for garments.

In addition to washing every new record when I first get it home, I use a Furutech Destat III on each side of a record before I play it. This does a great job of getting rid of static electricity. I then store the records in MFSL inner sleeves. This keeps the record from collecting a new charge.