The Zerodust glob of goop works as well as anything that I've seen on any stylus. There is usually some guy on AudiogoN who is selling them under $40.00 including shipping.
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Hi Rauliruegas, the advice on the Audio Technica was from the dealer who sold me the cartridge. He said that it was something to do with the short cantilever. As a result I stopped using it but it used to give really good results on the last cartridge (Koetsu Black) especially with some Isopropyl alcohol on the pad.
Thanks all for advice on the Zerodust - I will try some!
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Available at any supermarket or Walmart. $5 will buy enough to make hundreds of stylus cleaners.
Cut off a piece of the white portion and blue tack/silicone glue to a nickel, or to any other non-magnetic base if a nickel would strain the budget. Use it like you would a ZeroDust, just dip the stylus into it a couple times after each side.
- cleans better than a ZeroDust or ExtremePhono
- safer than any liquid or vibrating cleaner
- cheaper by far than any of them
My ZYX UNIverse has never been cleaned by anything but this and a dry stylus brush, and it's as clean as the day it was new under 200X magnification. Search for "Magic Eraser" on VA if you want testimonials from hundreds of happy users.
I only brush my stylus from time to time and that's all.
It seems it's not enough as I read that you all use different liquid or else.
As I am living in France the Mr Clean Magic Eraser solution is out for me.
So could you tell me please what I may use and what I must avoid .
Is also demagnetizing a cartridge absolutly necessary
Use the Zerodust. It's available at many online stores so access should not be a problem.
As for demagnetizing a cartridge, well you've just opened up another can of worms. I'm sure there will be lots of opinions for you to digest on this one. As for me, I no longer do it, either via the Benz demagnetizer or via the Cardas record sweep.
Dry brushing alone is not adequate. Even if your records are perfectly clean, the stylus acquires a thin (molecular) layer of vinyl from each play. If this is not removed regularly it will continue to build up. This can be seen on well-used but uncleaned styli, which slowly go dull or yellow.
If you wish, email me your address and I'll send you some Magic Eraser pieces. Value for customs will be about .001EUR, so it should get through okay!
Search the archives for "demagnetizing". We've been through that topic several times in endless detail. Short answer: it depends on the cartridge and on who you ask, but active demagnetizing has ruined some cartridges so don't do that without researching first.
After each side I do a stylus check with a 20x loupe mounted on a stand at the right height with focused back-lighting from a gooseneck Littlite. I suppose that is fanatical, but its now just a habit. I've tried a bunch of different techniques including the same AT vibrating cleaner, the small Last type brush, the Mr.Clean, and Zerodust.
With the caveat that it is not suitable for all cartridges, I've used LAST for over twenty years with very positive results. I think it mitigates the molecular level vinyl build-up that Doug mentions - though I haven't any molecular level evidence besides ease of stylus cleaning.
A fine sable hair artist brush with the tip clipped down a bit does an excellent job cleaning bits off the cantilever and motor mask. When more is needed for stylus cleaning I find the Zerodust gives the best and most consistent results with the least potential risk. Typically a single dip into the Zerodust is all it takes. Do it often and gently and there will be no need for more agressive cleaning. The Zerodust has a cover and is reuseable - cleans up easily with distilled water after a month or so of use.
Don't mean to sound like a Zerodust ad, but after years of using a bristly little brush (back to front only please) I welcome it as a safe effective product.
Jtim, not only is check your stylus everytime with a loop fanatical, but also pretty annal, however, i noticed you mentioned cleaning the zerodust with distilled water, i usually just wash mine under the sink with a little bit of dish soap or something and the rinse and let it dry, i haven't heard the distilled water thing, am i doing something wrong or harmful ?
Hi Readster - my loupe is mounted on a little stand so all I have to do to check the stylus is bend a little to look through it with the tonearm in the rest position. Fanatical, anal, wacko, or what have you, it is easy enuf to do. I suspect some folks may be surprised what their cart is carrying around that can't be seen with the naked eye.
If you think checking the stylus after each side is anal, I also run a HEPA air filter near my TT stand (unplugged during listening sessions). It does reduce the dust near the equipment area. I've got more flack over that then the stylus thing. But I don't change VTA with every record, so maybe I still have a ways to go yet.
My tap water is quite 'hard' - it has a lot of minerals in it, even with a water softener - so distilled works fine for me. I figure with a multi-$ cartridge the caution doesn't hurt and the Zerodust doesn't need cleaning all that often. So I suppose the little extra makes me feel good about myself. heh :-) cheers!