Ultrasonic Stylus Cleaners

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

  1. Gregory Smith

    Gregory Smith Member

    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Hudson Hi-Fi ultrasonic stylus cleaner specs
    The parameters and specifications of the UV Stylus Cleaner are as follows:
    1) Nominal voltage:3.0V Rated current:80mA Max
    2) Starting Current:90mA Max
    3) Rated Speed:12000±2500RPM/min
    4) Moving Frequency:222HZ
    5) Mechanicalness Noise:≤50dB
    6) Vibrating Amplitude:1mm(p-p)
     
  2. Gregory Smith

    Gregory Smith Member

    Location:
    Yardley PA
    Here are the Hudson Hi-Fi answer to my question about their cleaner
    The parameters and specifications of the UV Stylus Cleaner are as follows:
    1) Nominal voltage:3.0V Rated current:80mA Max
    2) Starting Current:90mA Max
    3) Rated Speed:12000±2500RPM/min
    4) Moving Frequency:222HZ
    5) Mechanicalness Noise:≤50dB
    6) Vibrating Amplitude:1mm(p-p)
     
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  3. ClausH

    ClausH Senior Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    The guy in this long video gets great results with the Hudson. He also tries other Stylus cleaning methods.
    It stats at the 5:30 mark.

    I'm tempted to buy the Hudson and try it out.
     
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  4. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I like how the brushes and magic eraser put dust back on the styuls at the end. That has happened to me. Use the brush and it takes some off only to put other stuff on. I assume it flicks off when you play a record though, so likely not that big of a deal, but still..

    The only concern I have left with the US cleaner is the fluid it left at the end. Someone needs to make a vaccum version of the US cleaner! :) That, and I'd hate to find out it loosens the cantilever over time, but maybe by that time it would be time for a new one anyway. Or maybe just a brush with built in vacuum to suck the stuff out while cleaning?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
  5. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    I have heard that not all of these "ultrasonic" cleaners don't actually vibrate in the ultrasonic frequencies. Which prompts the question, which frequencies are actually best for these units?

    And this leads to the next question - do we actually need ultrasonic vibrations to clean styli? Ultrasonic cleaners work well when the item being cleaned is in a fluid bath, but these essentially are for dry/moist use. My styli have been well maintained by the carbon-fibre style brush (the Discwasher one) - these brushes are rigid and do a great job of removing any styli debris. Does the vibrating "ultrasonic" actually provide a benefit, or is it a case of fixing a problem that didn't need fixing by creating a product that didn't need to be invented but will be bought by audiophiles looking for the next best thing?
     
  6. Mr. Bewlay

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

    Location:
    Denver CO
    That's pretty convincing. As luck would have it I got an Amazon gift card as a holiday gift. I guess I have to try it really.
     
  7. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I've used my Flux twice and both times, to the naked eye, the stylus looked spotless after having a bit of debris prior.
     
  8. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    The normal practice if using Magic Eraser as a stylus cleaner, is to dust the stylus/cantilever with a brush after using ME, to remove any debris.
     
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  9. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Watch the video above. It's pretty thorough. He is testing things to the extreme though. If you clean your records well, a brush and magic eraser are likely fine, but what now has me concerned are new records and any release agents building up on my stylus over time. I used to play a new record first and only clean it if it was noisy. I"m now going to clean all records at least once.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
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  10. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    I think clean records amount to about 2/3's of the battle. You still have debris deposited on the record surface, either from dust motes floating the the room, shedding of inner liners, or stuff collected when the record is spinning (if you buy the Percy Wilson "vortex" notion).
    To me, keeping the stylus clean is very much a "do no harm" thing. But, I think different cartridge/styli may behave differently in various circumstances, so I'm not sure there is one rule that fits all.
     
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  11. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Hi!

    Again back to the Magic Eraser:

    I use it for over 10 years now. I cut small stripes out of it and use it like a brush - from back to front.

    I used it on three different carts:

    Grado Reference Platinum Wood (500€)
    Nagaoka MP-110 (135€)
    Audio Technica VM-95ML (160€)

    It works fine. After that I brush the stylus with a soft brush.

    I have to say that everytime I use the Magic Eraser I'm a bit afraid that I could ripp off the stylus from the canteliver.

    Luckily until today nothing broke.

    Sometimes the cheapy little things work just fine.

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
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  12. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Do an image search for magic eraser microscope. You will see it’s a tangle of fibers that can snag your stylus. Not good on the stylus or cantilever. Brushes are individual fibers that do not snag. Definitely safer and made for it. You are supposed to just dip your stylus into a magic eraser with no lateral movement. That video above does do a good job showing the limitations of each.
     
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  13. Andrea_Bellucci

    Andrea_Bellucci Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    Hi!

    I disagree.

    I have watched a lot of videos and the "safer" way is to only dip it in, but as you can see in the video it leaves a lot of dirt behind. If you do it from back to front it's clean, but has the potential to damage / destroy your stylus or canteliver.

    Well, kind of a risk reward.

    I use this method only once every 6 month.

    Bye Andrea :wave:
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
  14. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    With the onset of the Great Zerodust Controversy, which also may include the product I use, I bought the Flux from Music Direct. I've had it for about 2 weeks now and using it wasn't as simple as I hoped. That is my turntable's fault, not the Flux. I've developed a cleaning method and frequency for use. I would be interested in any comments/critiques Flux users might have.

    I almost sent the Flux back when I first opened it up to try it for the first use. There were several issues directly related to my TT and cartridge. The first involved the cuing lever on my EAT C-Sharp, which does not lift the stylus very far above the platter and definitely not far enough to clear the area with the brush. I was going to try to cobble together a shim to raise the Flux high enough to use the plinth area as the platform. This proved futile because between the bottom of the platter flaring out at a 45 degree angle and taking an additional 1-1/2" of the available plinth area and the position of the arm rest, there is not enough space to position the Flux and a shim over the plinth. Plus this seem shim idea seemed like a house of cards because I wold have to securely hold the Flux on the shim on the plinth.

    Another big problem was my EAT Jo No. 8 stylus and cantilever do not project very far below the bulbous cartridge body. It is very difficult to see anything without bending way over or kneeling down. The brush area on the Flux is relatively small and not being able to see the stylus location from the top gave me pause. On the first day I planned to use the Flux, I gave up after an hour of trials of shims and various locations. I would return the flux.

    Two days later I decided I would try again. I would try to use the Flux placed directly on the platter and I would lower the stylus on the brush pad by hand, if I could figure a repeatable way to reliably place it. I sat in a chair and viewed things from the side to make sure I got the stylus exactly centered on the pad. Then I stood up and looked down from the front of the cartridge. I found that the curved body of the front of the cartridge body lined up with the front of the curved brush area. I found I could stand and rotate the Flux and the platter and get the Flux in the right position by eye. I could rest the side of my hand on the platter and lower the tonearm gently by hand. This gave me sone support and helped me lower the cartridge straight down. The only other trick was timing it. You were supposed to lower the cartridge on the vibrating pad using the cue. My hand was the cue lever so I had to keep it still and I couldn't look at my watch until my hand was safely away from the tonearm head. The trick I used was to start the stopwatch timer on my cellphone. Then I started the Flux and lowered the tonearm/cartridge carefully by hand. When the stylus is safely nestled in the bristles of the brush, I glanced over at the timer reading. I add 13 seconds to the amount and that is when I lift the tonearm off the Flux and return it to the arm rest. The 2 seconds I subtracted from the 15 second time recommendation was to make up for the time I took landing the stylus and safely removing my hand, before I could glance at the timer.

    So that is my new cleaning routine. I am still waiting to see if there are some other tests of the Onzow and other get type cleaning pads. I was using a DS Audio ST-50 to clean my stylus every 10 sides and it was mentioned as a potential problem. I had seen no evidence of any gook sticking to the stylus using my naked eye. All of my LPs are cleaned with an Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro X prior to playing, so in theory the grooves should be pretty clean. I am currently doing the same 10 sides per style cleaning with the Flux. There are some recommendations for cleaning after every side played, but where my routine using the Flux is more precarious and hands on I will stick to every 10 sides for now. Also I will be sure to be caffeine-free prior to cleaning the stylus. Depending on what else comes out about the ST-50, I may go back to using it for regular use and use the Flux once every week or two to take care of any buildup. With this method my tonearm is not parallel to the platter and is tilted slightly uphill. The stylus still seems to nestle safely into the bristles of the brush and I am ASSuming this is still OK side it is not an extreme tilt. Any comments?
     
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  15. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Re: timing. You might find that there is a countdown timer on your phone that will ring a bell when time's up. Some people can reasonably count and estimate seconds by inserting "cat&dog" or "one thousand" after each verbal count to space out each second. eg. so count aloud or in your head:
    "One cat&dog", "two cat&dog", "three cat&dog"... etc., or
    "One one thousand", "two one thousand", "three one thousand"... etc.

    Hope your cleaning works well.
     
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  16. JamsOnly

    JamsOnly Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    I'm quite pleased since using the Flux over the last few weeks, the stylus is noticeably cleaner. All my vinyl has been ultrasonically cleaned using the Degritter so vinyl is already in good shape. My routine is simply using a standard stylus cleaning bristle brush during the week when needed and using the Flux once a week for a deeper clean.
     
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  17. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    There is a critical flaw in his observation. The paper Record Contamination: Causes and Cure by Percy Wilson, 1965, makes an observation that the record in motion draws contaminants to it. The observation was made by blowing tobacco smoke across the record and watching how it deposited. This observation is likely flawed since the density of tobacco smoke is about 1000X higher than air, so if exhausted over the record it will deposit/fall upon it by simple gravity; and the deposition will follow the spinning groove motion. The record motion is not fast enough to develop air currents large enough to counter the weight of the tobacco smoke
     
  18. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Well it was relevant then because about 80% of turntable owners back then were chain smoking next to the turntable while they spun platters. Probably half of those folks had little kids running around the room with tobacco deposits on them as well.
     
  19. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    And what I'm calling "dust motes," Neil- the stuff just floating the air (which you can see at certain angles when the lighting is right) would not land on the record as a result of the "vortex" action or otherwise? :)
     
  20. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    That is exactly my routine too, except I have a Loricraft RCM rather than a Degritter.

    I changed my last stylus at 1000 hrs as recommended but to be honest there was no noticeable decline in sound quality.
     
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  21. MOON

    MOON Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario
    I use the Flux hi fi us stylus cleaner as well. I will be getting the Degritter US cleaner switching from an Okki Nokki with Audio Intelligent #15 and ultra pure after hearing the difference.
     
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  22. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thanks @qwerty. I know the countdown timer on my iPhone well, I use it so much I have it as one of the complications I have on my Apple Watch face. I use it daily for cooking and other tasks. I can't use the countdown timer because I am lowering the tonearm by hand onto the Flux. Unlike a cuing lever I take a variable amount of time to get the stylus nestled on the brush/pad. This way I can take whatever time I need to get the stylus in place and get my hand away. The lift on the C-Sharp is one of it's weaker features. It is basically a wide, flat metal bar with a tiny little knob at the end which doesn't provide much side-to-side stability. It is fine for lifting the tonearm UP: if it slides a little on your finger as you lift the stylus up off the record surface the drift occurs off the record surface. When lowering the stylus onto the Flux I grip it between my forefinger and thumb to lower it and be sure I get no side-to-side drifting. By having a elapsed timer already running I can take whatever time is needed for a safe landing and get my hand out of the way and pick up the time on the fly.

    My records are all ultrasonically cleaned so they don't usually exhibit much static charge when I pull them from the sleeves. If they do, I can hit them with a Destat III. I also use a Tru-Sweep record brush while the record plays and I have an AQ carbon fiber brush. I really don't think (hope) there is really much left in the grooves to begin with. Therefor I ASSume (hope) that there is much for the DS Audio ST-50 Stylus Cleaner to deposit back on my stylus. I do hope there is more info on these gel pads soon.
     
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  23. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    I really must be losing it. I swear I posted 4 pictures yesterday with my post above Ultrasonic Stylus Cleaners detailing my struggles getting the Flux to play nicely on my EAT C-Sharp turntable. Again I say: This is a problem with my particular turntable model, not the Flux. I'll try again here because one of my concerns was getting the tonearm level. Using the Flux on the platter results in the tonearm being slightly raised. I checked the amount using the grid guidelines in the leveling function in my photos app. The cartridge is between 2-3 off level from the level platter. Since the stylus nestles down into the bristles of the Flux, I am ASSuming this isn't an issue for cleaning the stylus vs playing a record. I would be interested if anyone has a differing opinion.

    [​IMG]
    With the outward flare of the platter and the position of the arm rest there are limits to where I can place the Flux on the plinth. This is about the only position and orientation possible. Any shim I made would be half on/half off the carbon fiber portion, the white surround is a different height. This would be too difficult to try to keep fixed & steady when combined with a vibrating ultrasonic cleaner

    [​IMG]

    Sidenote: You can see why the tonearm lift is one of my least favorite features of the C-Sharp. It is a horizontal bar only. There curve to it and no turndown at the extreme end of the lift to help with drift. Until now I typically always use the cuing lever on any turntable. I must lower it by hand onto the Flux because the cuing doesn't lift the stylus quite high enough.

    [​IMG]
    The tonearm is between 2-3 degrees off level.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
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  24. MOON

    MOON Forum Resident

    Location:
    ontario
    I have to do the same thing on my VPI Classic 4.
     
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  25. bajaed

    bajaed Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Jim, you have an impressive array of high quality accessories.

    How do you like the Jo No8?
     

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