Flux hi fi electronic stylus cleaner

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by plastico, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Hearsay and conjecture. I'm simply repeating what I've seen in a few reviews and forum posts. I didn't find anything that said the high frequency vibrations had caused damage, just speculation it might.
     
    LakeMountain likes this.
  2. Dave Calarco

    Dave Calarco Forum Resident

    Why do they provide such a tiny spot to lower the stylus? Looks like it is susceptible to error. Plus it requires a fluid each time?
    ??
     
  3. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer

    Location:
    Netherlands
    The pad to put the stylus on has a diameter of 7 mm. For me this is plenty, unless you are not sure handed. The task of the liquid is to convey the sonic waves properly to the stylus, but there could be also a cleaning effect without the liquid. This is the background :

    “Three-dimensional vibration removes all dirt particles. Flux’s operating principle is similar to an ultrasonic cleaner used in dental technology or an ultrasonic bath for eyeglasses. Its circuitry and mechanics are designed so that a three-dimensional vibration acts on the needle, removing all dirt particles. The frequency is exactly tuned to avoid any damage to the cartridge’s suspension system. A supplied fluid transmits vibrations from the device to the needle and performs an additional, gentle cleansing effect. After its application, it evaporates without leaving a residue. Flux-Fluid is applied on a specially designed pad made of the finest PE fibers. Due to their number and the resulting density, these fibers produce a capillary effect similar to the effect of a liquid.”
     
    Dave Calarco, Mr.Sign and Gasman1003 like this.
  4. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    I'm using it with good results and your explanation is certainly cool :righton:
     
  5. thesisinbold

    thesisinbold Forum Resident

    Location:
    Camarillo, Ca, USA
    I just used mine for the first time. I like it!
     
  6. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I was unaware of this Flux HiFi specific thread and have been posting in the "Ultrasonic Stylus Cleaner" thread which is a general thread not specific to this advice. I have owned a Flux Hi Fi for about a month now. I almost returned it because with my cartridge on my turntable I had visibility and usability issues. It was not fault of the Flux but due to my turntable and cartridge. I was going to have to hand cue it. Also due to the bulbous nature of my cartridge's body I could not directly see the stylus position relative to the rather small brush pad. Having to hand cue it made it difficult to time the 15 seconds. I am not used to hand cueing and I am not as sure handed as I used to be. If I damaged my stylus due to a cueing error or missing the mark it would cost me nearly 2k to get it retipped-ouch!

    After some experiments and careful trial and error, I came up with an approach that gave me a reasonable comfort level and enables me to hand cue my cartridge with the Flux. I am putting a link to the method I came up with below. I figures there are others like me who may have similar issues with seeing their stylus position over the pad or may have the need to hand cue with unsure hands.


    I am glad I figured out a way to continue to use the Flux, it think it is a great device.
     
    Xander2017 and Gasman1003 like this.
  7. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    I can feel my evil audiophile buy now finger twitching as I read about this luxe bauble (currently $150 on Amazon), which is even more tempting in the aftermath of the recent Zerodust blob scare.

    Many positive reviews (Fremer, Music Direct, Amazon) over the past five years seem to underscore this is a safe device that leaves the stylus pristine.

    But before I give in and start peeling off twenties I’ve got to work through a couple of levels of resistance. I’m trying to think about what tangible problem I actually have that this gadget solves. How much of an issue is stylus cleaning if you only play thoroughly RCM-cleaned records (which I do) and semi-regularly deploy Zerodust and a Boundless stylus brush? Flux user reviews claiming that their squeaky-clean stark-naked stylus dramatically improves sound, restores highs, etc., raise the usual suspicions about magical audio thinking. Is this really a sensible practical purchase, or am I being stalked by FOMO and FUD? Is it possible a brutal exposé of documented cart damage could be imminent?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
    Jim0830 and Gasman1003 like this.
  8. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Do you ever see dust/debris on your stylus? That's the key question.

    I understand your point because right after buying the flux I started only playing lps that have been cleaned with a Record Doctor. It will be interesting to see how often I need to use the flux. It does a fantastic job when needed.
     
    Stone Turntable and Gasman1003 like this.
  9. jlykos

    jlykos Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I think that you would still need one for a couple of reasons. One is that dust continues to fall on the record while it is playing just from the ambient dust in the room. Two is the fact that the diamond tip of your stylus is harder than a vinyl record and some of it can scrape onto the stylus. I clean my records well and I still get crud on the stylus when I dip it into a Zerodust. The Flux is just a much better solution than the Zerodust. Expensive but worth it.
     
  10. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    I use an RCM too, but the Flux HiFi US cleaner is truly a godsend.

    I have used it now for 4 years and don't regret the purchase one bit.

    I definitely recommend it.
     
  11. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I now own the Flux Hi Fi which I bought when Fremer's post went up about the Onzow Zerodust. I had switched from the Zerodust 3 years ago when I saw that Ortofon's stylus care FAQ specifically mentioned the Zerodust by name and said do not use it. They said that the solvent may loosen the cement that fastens the stylus to the cantilever. My dealer used the DS Audio ST-50 Stylus Cleaner (also a gel pad product) for all their cartridges and had no problems. Where they sell my EAT Jo No.5 and now Joe No. 8, made by Ortofon, I figured this was safe bet. I have been using the AT-50 for 3 years now. When Onzow-gate happened there was also some evidence the ST-50 had similar issues, although it appeared to a lesser degree. After hearing about this product I ordered the Flux.

    I do not own a USB stylus microscope and I don't think I plan to. I am in the same boat as a lot of you in terms of wondering what to do? I have an Audiodesk Vinyl Cleaner Pro X and I always clean my disks when they come into this house. No record goes on my turntable without having been cleaned with the UCM. My heating system has a humidifier built into it. I also have a Furutech Destat III static eliminator I can use. I find I rarely have to use due to the UCM eliminating most of the static charge for quite some time. I also have an Integrity HiFi Tru-Sweep brush that sweeps the record as it plays. Lastly I have a AQ carbon fiber brush I use as needed. Once again with the UCM cleaned records I rarely see surface dust on the record. Long way of saying: After giving it more thought I ASSume that ST-50 does not gum up the stylus as badly for me due to my UCM and other cleaning rituals.

    The tests I saw on YouTube of the Flux and a couple of other similar ultrasonic stylus cleaners had similar results. They all clearly showed the ultrasonic cleaners typically did the best overall job in cleaning the stylus. At least used as a single cleaning device. But the dilemma is: Will the liquid you use when using the Flux loosen the stylus cement on my cartridge? Fremer's heads-up was a bit premature, in that it was one test and more testing needs to be done on both the Onzow and AT-50. I must admit I acted in haste when I saw the this blog post.

    For now I have decided to use the AT-50 and the Flux alternately. I clean my records every 10 sides. I will use the Flux to clean the stylus every third or fourth cleaning (30 or 40 sides) and use the AT-50 every 10 sides in between. I ASSume the residue buildup on my AT-50 is less. I have never seen any crud on my stylus, dust balls or otherwise. I am further ASSuming that using the Flux less frequently is less risky. I uses one drop of the cleaning fluid and clean for 15 seconds. The Flux should be able to take care of the (hopefully) lesser degree of build up (if any) caused by the AT-50.

    I would be very interested on seeing any comments about the middle of the road approach I am taking. I am hoping that soon there will be further tests on the gel based pad cleaners, and specifically the AT-50 cleaner I use. I also hope now that the ultrasonic stylus cleaners are becoming more popular, there will soon be more tests done on them as well. Finally are there any good threads on here about that someone could recommend about the best USB stylus microscopes? I really don't plan on buying one, but at nearly $2k to retip my cartridge it may just come to that. TIA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2022
  12. Mr.Sign

    Mr.Sign Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Hello Jimo830,

    I have been using the Fluxcleaner for some years now and never had any problems. My
    magnifying glass ( 5x) shows that You can not clean the stylus perfectly with brushes, at least without cleaner. Sometimes I use a brush with a non alcoholic cleaning Liquid which does the job quite well too.

    Good Luck and a Happy new Year !
     
  13. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Hi Mr.Sign. Thanks for your reply. The whole problem with any of these liquids is there are so many adhesives used to mount the stylus to the cantilever. Who know if your stylus is compatible with the cleaner you use. The only safe way is to buy a solvent marketed by same company that makes your cartridge. It is good to know the Flux has worked for you. Agree with you on brushes. My problem is I have a cartridge with a big bulbous body and a tiny cantilever that barely sticks out from the body. You really can't get a good viewpoint to see what you are doing with the brush.
     
    Mr.Sign and Stone Turntable like this.
  14. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    This points to yet another qualm I have — the maker of my cartridge, Soundsmith, could not be more vehemently opposed to the frequent use of wet stylus-cleaning methods.

    https://www.sound-smith.com/faq/how-do-i-clean-stylus-do-i-use-wet-cleaner-each-time-or-often
     
    Dave Calarco likes this.
  15. Vinyldude63

    Vinyldude63 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Smithtown, NY
    If the gunk from the stylus is removed and deposited onto/into the carbon fibers of the brush pad, how long before the brush pad has too much gunk in it and needs to be cleaned in some way?
     
    Jim0830 likes this.
  16. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    That is the great unknown
     
    Jim0830 likes this.
  17. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I have owned this product for 4 months now. I can't believe that very obvious question never occurred to me until I read your post. I just sent an email to Flux HiFi asking just this question. I will post here if I receive a response.
     
  18. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Always a pleasure never a chore

    Location:
    England

    Do it- they really are rather good.:edthumbs::tiphat:
     
    Gasman1003 likes this.
  19. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I did and really like it.
     
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  20. Vinyldude63

    Vinyldude63 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Smithtown, NY
    No answer from them yet?
     
  21. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    No I will try again, but A week with no reply is not a good sign. This time I will not use the support form on their website and I will send the question via regular email to several addresses.
     
  22. Dave Calarco

    Dave Calarco Forum Resident

    This sounds really interesting but the use of a liquid for every clean is turning me off.
     
  23. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    My thoughts don’t use the liquid every time then , I do but I probably only use the flux once a month now depending on how much listening I’m doing on a weekly basis
     
    bajaed likes this.
  24. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I wrote them again this morning via email, as opposed to the support form on their website. We'll see if I have any better luck the second time.

    While I was on the website I noted that FLUX mentioned you could use it as often as you like (of course they did) but added that they recommend you use it every 5 records. This is what I was actually doing but it was a total coincidence. I have a Sugar Cube SC-2 Mini and it holds 5 LPs in its memory when you do needle drops, so I used that as a reminder to clean my stylus regularly. When I filled the memory and was saving the files to my hard drive, I cleaned the stylus at the same time.
     
  25. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    This morning while I was trying to find answers to cleaning the Flux Stylus cleaner, I visited Music Direct where I purchased mine to look at their Q&A on the Flux. One person asked about "cleaning the bristles" which I ASSumed meant the cleaning pad. The response was "I would use distilled water". This begs the question: where does the distilled water and debris go to? The distilled water will evaporate but the debris would still remain it seems. This is no different than wetting the brush with cleaning fluid. A different MD person responded to a similar question by saying he/she did not know. All in all I didn't find any of this information particularly useful. I hope my email to Flux has better results.

    I did find out one thing that people have asked about in the various threads here on SHF about the Flux. In response to a question about whether it was truly ultrasonic, the Flux was said to operate..." with a relatively low frequency of 222Hz along three axes".
     

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