Ultrasonic Stylus Cleaners

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Mr. Bewlay, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    Prompted by the Great Zerodust Controversy, I did some research and came up with these two on General Products' website;

    https://www.amazon.com/FLUX-Stylus-..._top?ie=UTF8#HLCXComparisonWidget_feature_div

    https://www.amazon.com/Hudson-Hi-Fi.../B08VND63NQ/ref=psdc_3230976011_t1_B00YPS6TF8

    One is $150, the other is $33. I get that the cheaper Hudson unit is described as UV-if you dig further into the description and reviews it's clear that it's actually ultrasonic. The Flux unit does actually mention the frequency as it relates to the cartridge, which is reassuring.

    I don't mind paying for the more expensive unit if it works, but is there a clear difference in quality between the Hudson unit (which looks identical to the Dynavox unit I found on ebay) and the Flux unit? $117 is a substantial difference, and I don't see anything in between.

    Does anyone have any experience with the less expensive Hudson unit? I noticed several positive comments regarding the Flux unit.
     
    GungaLagunga likes this.
  2. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    I have the flux unit which as far as i can tell does a good job ...sadly for your question i can't add anything
     
  3. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I just ordered the Flux because it's frequency reportedly is safe. I could not find adequate info on the Hudson.
     
  4. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic

    Location:
    Sweden
    Is it a pad of bristles, fibers or sandpaper that it vibrates?
     
  5. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    I have had a Flux HiFi US cleaner for 4 years.

    It is a great bit of kit, does a wonderful job and completely safe.
     
    JamsOnly, plastico and Andy Saunders like this.
  6. patrickd

    patrickd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    I often believe products designed for the audiophile community (like us!) can rely on marketing tricks to capture our dollars. Specially designed, obscure materials, non-intrusive etc (just see the various vibration blocks that you can buy in a plumbing store by the dozen being repackaged and upcharged as proprietary 'tuned' supports for audio gear, or that cheap digital scales used to check tracking force that some sell for $12 if you buy a basic one but for a lot more than that if you want the 'audiophile' version). Not to say there aren't real design differences in some products but it's all too easy to take a cheap product and re-label it by suggesting it was selected after much testing, or it has quality control in the development or materials that others lack etc.). Not saying that is what is going on here but it's really easy to scare people when it comes to record care and turntable set up. I have an old AT version of this which I paid less than $20 for years ago. I forgot about it for years until the discussion came up here and dug it out to check. Popped in a fresh battery and it seems to work perfectly, and have used it on my expensive cartridges occasionally since. Seems to work fine. Unless someone has evidence otherwise, I'd say that the more expensive version mentioned here is reliable but I have no reason to believe the cheaper one is doing much different.
     
  7. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic

    Location:
    Sweden
    Amen.

    Or look at cleaning devices. Im no expert, but a vacuum cleaner motor and low torc motor in a box for 500 or even 1000 something dollars? I dont know, I say as I sit right next to my Okki Nokki.
     
    WhatDoIKnow and patrickd like this.
  8. okc_craft

    okc_craft I BUILT THAT

    Location:
    Okc
    I use the cheaper Hudson Valley cleaner. I can’t speak to it’s long term effects, but I do use it at most on a weekly basis with good effects. It comes with a solution to add to the pad while cleaning, but I opt to use a small amount of my Audio Technica stylus cleaner on my Art9xa instead of the unknown liquid.
     
    patrickd likes this.
  9. Andy Saunders

    Andy Saunders Always a pleasure never a chore

    Location:
    England
    With bells on, a brilliant bit of kit.
     
    Gasman1003 likes this.
  10. plastico

    plastico Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario canada
    I have been wondering about this. When the supplied fluid runs out I planned to use my AT stylus fluid. And it seems that you use to good effect.
    Cheers, Doug
     
  11. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    How long have you been using it for?
     
  12. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    This s taken from the Dynavector site...
    Stylus Cleaning Keep your records clean. Dust causes record wear and sonic distortion. When cleaning the stylus, use the soft brush suppled with the cartidge. Brush only from back to front to avoid damage to the stylus assembly. If a dark deposit like tan should appear on the stylus tip, always use the soft brush with a minium amount of the high quality stylus cleaning fluid. No-alcohol stylus cleaning fluid is recommended in a routine maintenance. We do not recommend to use commercial cleaning vibrators.
     
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  13. KT88

    KT88 Senior Member

    I have a vintage Ortofon U.S. cleaner, but I have only tried it briefly out of couriosity. It doesn't seem powerful enough to be particularly harmful, but I like DV's acvice to leave such speculations to the gamblers.

    The best cleaner that I have found is almost free. Magic Eraser is very effective, and if you are not clumbsy, it gets my highest recommendation. I have compared the results of several methods under a stereo microscope and it delivers the best results.
    -Bill
     
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  14. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    That warning is why Flux made a cleaner with a lower frequency.
     
    Gasman1003 likes this.
  15. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    My concern with Magic Eraser is that it's an abrasive which is supposed to break down. How can you be sure (short of checking with a microscope each time you use it) that it's not picking up fragments of eraser and dropping them onto records, causing damage?
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  16. KT88

    KT88 Senior Member

    I have a microscope... :wave:

    And the Magic Eraser is made of a plastic, so it is softer than the diamond, cantilever, and cement used to bond the stylus. It's more similar to vinyl.
    -Bill
     
    Andrea_Bellucci likes this.
  17. JamsOnly

    JamsOnly Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    Flux arriving tomorrow, it was out of stock for a while at music direct but I noticed it was back in stock this week and pick one up.
     
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  18. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    Yes, it's melamine, but still hard enough to scrape gunk off aluminium car wheels. I'm sorry, I just can't.
     
  19. KT88

    KT88 Senior Member

    Clean wheels, clean stylus, clean vinyl...
    I'm not seeing a problem to solve here.
    :cheers:
    -Bill
     
  20. okc_craft

    okc_craft I BUILT THAT

    Location:
    Okc
    I’ve only been using it a few months. I was prompted to try it after examining my OC9xml with a usb microscope. I keep a clean house, records and stylus, but even with regular use of the AT fluid alone the OC9’s diamond seemed a little dirtier than I would have expected. It wasn’t embarrassing take my audiophile card kinda dirty, but it looked like it had the 400ish hours that I had put on it for sure. The ultrasonic cleaner got it looking as good as my brand new at the time Art9xa stylus. Mind you I only use it about once a week and do a stylus brush from daily cleaning.
     
  21. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    Why does it have to be ultrasonic? We're not cavitating records with it, so I don't see the advantage to using such high frequencies for buffing a stylus. Also, what direction does the pad move? Circular, up and down, side to side? Since they don't mention it I suppose it doesn't matter, but I still have my preference for which way it moves.

    Considering the importance of the role it plays in maintaining my precious and expensive stylus I'd want to make sure the cleaner is fully vetted, a quality product with an unconditional guarantee it won't damage the needle. Otherwise I'll pass. Might as well be using a Swiffer to dust my rare wax collection while I'm at it.
     
  22. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    " If the surface being cleaned is not sufficiently hard, it may be finely scratched by the melamine material." Scratched records.

    Melamine foam - Wikipedia
     
  23. KT88

    KT88 Senior Member

    You clean your diamond with it, not your vinyl. Oh well, your loss. I tried.
    -Bill
     
  24. Mr. Bewlay

    Mr. Bewlay It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous. Thread Starter

    Location:
    Denver CO
    I understand that. The point I'm trying to make (unsuccessfully, apparently) is that abrasive materials break down and shed particles during use. That's how they work. I'm not confident that some of that particulate matter could not break free, adhere to the stylus and transfer itself on to the record.

    But, each to his own. Not my stylus, not my records. :)
     
  25. Gregory Smith

    Gregory Smith Member

    Location:
    Yardley PA
     

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