Best way to clean a needle...

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by lucan_g, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident Thread Starter

    ... advice needed. Some dust/lindt seems to be lodged. I've tried a 'Magic Eraser'... but it's not totally doing the job and I fear applying any more pressure (I may have done too much already).

    I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to care/maintenance. Should I buy some other needle cleaning device? Or what is the preferred strategy?

    Thanks for advice.
     
  2. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
  3. Soundman

    Soundman Well-Known Member

    Location:
    U.K. / U.S.
    ZERODUST-ONZOW
     
  4. Sgt Pepper

    Sgt Pepper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I believe it is not recommended for certain types/makes of stylus/cartridge due to it's ability to possibly loosen the cement used to hold the diamond tip in place.
     
    AmericanHIFI and lucan_g like this.
  5. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Don't be afraid to drag it across the stylus in the direction the record travels, straight away from the cartridge. If that doesn't clean it, then you must have something sticky on there that has trapped the dust in place. You'll need to dissolve that. Be super careful, but use a small drop of alcohol on a tissue and try and wipe it away, just as you did with the ME. Then follow-up with the ME brushing again. Only use enough alcohol to soak the stylus, not the whole cantilever. Try again if it doesn't work, but you do need to be careful with any solvent as it could dissolve the glue that bonds the stylus if you allow it to soak too long. Just be quick and thorough.

    This is why we clean our records.
    -Bill
     
  6. lucan_g

    lucan_g Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I did give the records a clean... but obviously not well enough. These were acquired from a family member who was on the verge of pitching them out... perfectly good 1960's and 70's vinyl. I think there was some stuff deep in the grooves that the cleaning probably dislodged, but that did not eradicate.

    Again, appreciate all the advice.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  7. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    That may be true, but I've been using it for years with no ill affects on any styli I've owned; my brother Michael has been using it since the 80s with no issues either.
     
    Sgt Pepper likes this.
  8. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    Isn't that wonderful? I've been on the receiving end of two purges myself. It's a wonderful place to be!!!!
     
  9. A second on the Zerodust Ondow—it's amazing what that thing picks up!
     
    Adamski777 likes this.
  10. Otlset

    Otlset Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Temecula, CA
    I use a small fine artist brush like the ones on the left below, but I bent it at the metal part so it's about 90 degrees for ease of brushing the stylus from below. A few *light* back and forths after each record, with the sound up so I can hear the static-like whooshing as the bristles collide with the stylus. Since I scrupulously clean each LP (once, then it's good for many plays afterwards if handled with care, and lightly dusted before each play), I usually never need really to use any solvents or other liquid for gunk or other sticky stuff on the stylus.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Adamski777

    Adamski777 Active Member

    Location:
    Dubai
    Agree. The only stylus cleaner you’ll ever need.
     
  12. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn New York
    Blu-tak. Any hardware store. Roll up a small bit into a ball and flatten it on a quarter. About the thickness of a record. Dip the stylus in three times. Then brush/ME/brush again. Totally safe, use it on several styli without issue. Rips any hardened crud right off. Recommended by Soundsmith. Inexpensive and very effective!
     
  13. Sgt Pepper

    Sgt Pepper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I contacted AT they did not recommend it on Ortofon styluses. But if you have been using it for such a long time maybe it is OK.
     
  14. ruben lopez

    ruben lopez Forum Resident

    Location:
    Barcelona Spain
  15. I use the brush which came with the stylus, Zerodust, liquid stylus cleaner and canned air. Depending on whats on the stylus determines what I use to clean it. Zerodust at the beginning of a playing session and the stylus brush after each record.
     
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  16. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    AT couldn't recommend it for any other styli other than the ones they make. I've used it so long I don't worry about it. Possible it may not be suitable for some styli but I've never had a problem.
     
    Sgt Pepper likes this.
  17. GyroSE

    GyroSE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    I use the Onzow Zerodust after playing each side and complete this with the Lyra SPT (=Stylus Performance Treatment) solution after each listening session. I before only used the Zerodust for many years but about a year ago I got problems with distortion in the left channel when playing vinyl records. I then checked the needle up close and discovered that a lot of vinyl gunk was stuck to it. I then got a bottle Lyra SPT from a friend and when I tried this it solved the problem within a minute. Highly recommended if you want your stylus to get really clean.
     
    hi_watt likes this.
  18. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    I have used solvent-based cleaners for MANY years and I have never had a problem. I don't often bother to clean my stylus, perhaps once every six or so sides of play, and most of the time it is just a quick, light brushing, without using the solvent. I am surprised by the claims that much more frequent cleaning is required; if records are kept clean, not much builds up on the stylus.

    A cartridge manufacturer, I believe Jonathan Carr of Lyra, says that solvent type cleaners will not remove the glue used to attach the stylus to the cantilever, but, they can temporarily soften the glue. He recommends cleaning with the solvent and then waiting a bit for the glue to re-harden before playing a record (ten seconds of wait was recommended, I wait a bit longer just to be safe).

    I don't use the sticky blob approach to cleaning, like the Zerodust, because I am concerned with the stress on the suspension of the cartridge when lifting the stylus up and out of the cleaner. The stress is in the opposite direction of what the suspension is designed to handle. I know someone who pulled the cantilever out of an ultra expensive cartridge using a Zerodust. This might not be an issue with cartridges that are not extremely delicate, and I am sure the problem can be mitigated by very slowly lifting the cartridge to reduce stress, but, I prefer to err on the side of extreme caution.
     
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  19. Cliff

    Cliff Magic Carpet Man

    Location:
    Northern CA
    If the ME isn't working, I seriously doubt the Onzow will work. Some crap just won't budge unless you use a wet cleaner. Consult your manufacturer first. I know Benz is fine with a wet cleaner. Pretty sure Lyra is as well.
     
    Helom likes this.
  20. StuJM84

    StuJM84 Active Member

    Location:
    Kent, UK
    The Vinyl Passion Dust Buster.

    No solvents or liquids, and doe's a brilliant job at cleaning the stylus.
     
    Sgt Pepper likes this.
  21. PhxJohn

    PhxJohn Active Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Gees....in almost 60 years I have never done anything except blow the dust off with my mouth.
     
    WapatoWolf, DrJ, 389 Tripower and 4 others like this.
  22. Rentz

    Rentz Active Member

    Location:
    Texas
    If you're on a budget and don't like the eraser moongel is cheapand comes with a lot of strips of gel
     
  23. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Hand washing ALL of my buys before play = Rare to never needing to clean a stylus. If i do, it's with the brush provided with my Dynavector 10x5.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  24. paulewalnutz

    paulewalnutz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mantua,NJ
    I just ordered a zerodust from this thread, can't wait to see the results.
     
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  25. JamesRR

    JamesRR Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC

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