Ultrasonic Stylus Cleaners

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

  1. Paul K

    Paul K Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    How does the Flux or the Hudson compare to the old Audio Technica/Signet US cleaners? I have the Signet and am wondering if the claim of it being somewhere in the 400-500Hz area as being too much for a stylus assembly and the lower frequency of the newer ones is true.
     
  2. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thanks, with these accessories coupled with my current system I find listening to good LPs can be just as quiet as a digital source when experienced through speakers. As far as the Jo No. 8. I couldn't be happier. The Jo No. 5 was a pleasant surprise, I thought I was getting an Ortofon Quintet Black and I was initially disappointed when I heard I would be getting the Jo No. 5. As it turns out, EAT cartridges are made by Ortofon. I liked the No. 5 so much, I was eager to see what the No.8 could do when it came out. Here is a post I made with my initial impressions:

    EAT Jo No 8. Initial Review

    I plan to get this cartridge again when it is time. EAT has a retip program of some sort that I need to find out more about.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
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  3. pacvr

    pacvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Bill,

    No. The vortex is not pulling air onto the record; it is shearing air away from the record - see the image of this analysis Rotating Disk Effect on Surrounding Airflow - note the velocity vectors - the arrows point away from the disc https://www.mr-cfd.com/files/uploads/2020/10/3-vector-.png. But tobacco smoke is so heavy, the weak air currents created by the record are not enough to counter the weight of the tobacco smoke. The fine particles/lint you see in the air are very light and buoyant and once the record is rotating should not deposit unless the record has a lot of static. A record with a lot of static is highly negative charged and this attracts particles/lint that are mostly positive charged.

    Neil
     
    Bill Hart likes this.
  4. Mr. Bewlay

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

    Location:
    Denver CO
    :laughup:
    I guess these days we should update that to weed smoke!
     
  5. Latech

    Latech Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm ready to pull the trigger on Flux for my set-up...been using Onzow. Waiting for some Christmas Cash!!
     
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  6. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    I don't think the cart being off-level would be a problem. If you are concerned you could put the Flux on a base (eg. a small carboard box or piece of wood) to build the height so it is level with the record on the platter and still be in the same position on your tt as in your pic.
     
  7. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Thanks for your reply. My problem is just the opposite as far as being off level. With no record on the platter the head of the tonearm is slightly high relative to the pivot end. There is no way to get the Flux level when it sits on the platter, short of raising the height of the tonearm. That is not a simple adjustment and is designed to be done one-time-only when you install a cartridge in the tonearm. There is no way to securely implement the +/-9/16" and 11/16" dual level shim that would be required for the plinth. There isn't much room, the plinth and the surround are at two different heights and it would be awkward to try to secure this to insure it is steady.

    I feel as you do that the cart being ever so slightly off-level would be a problem. If you think of the 6 record changers from the 60's and 70's you often had a tilt worse than that when the tonearm was playing the top records in the stack. This was purely speculation on my part and that is why I am seeking other opinions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  8. Gasman1003

    Gasman1003 Forum Diplomat.

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    You won't regret it, wonderful bit of kit.
     
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  9. MartyTem

    MartyTem Forum Resident

    If anyone is interested in purchasing the FLUX, Music Direct is discounting all accessories 10% with coupon code DAS10 through December 27, 2021 with free shipping. Took $15.00 off the price and some of the sting out of this purchase.
     
    Gasman1003 likes this.
  10. +1 for dry cleaning with a stylus brush (Supplied Ortofon, discwasher SC-2, etc) after every play and occasional magic eraser dabs. I look at my stylus and cantilever every month under a microscope and it is truly spotless. I also only play RCM cleaned records. I do check the stylus after a ME dab and find some comfort in the follow up with a brush, in the event there's any ME dust left behind. Which there really isn't.

    I do not personally like the thought of exposing wet cleaning solutions to a stylus, cantilever and any bonding agent and find it highly unnecessary. Under a scope, my stylus is gleaming and brilliant and the cantilever is as shiny, spotless and untarnished as the day it came off the assembly line.

    Also not a fan of the vibration cleaners as my own regimen provides 100% success without.
     
  11. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Same for me. I ordered the Hudson but decided to cancel as they are way out at this point. People must have ordered them after seeing this thread. :) I took another look at my styli and they are all clean. I clean all my records and only buy new or NM, so I think I"m good. I put the Onzow away until I hear something more difinitive on it. Until then I'll use a brush and magic eraser. I have two brushes actually, the standard Ortofon, and a KAB Soft Stylus Brush that is much more forgiving: KAB Electro Acoustics http://www.kabusa.com . I use the KAB brush for quick cleans between plays, the Ortofon for more robust cleans, and the ME as needed. I'll also use my AT607a liquid cleaner w/ brush for cases the above do not cover. Will check with my USB microscope and pick up a US cleaner when/if I actually need one.
     
  12. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    For the benefit of anyone I possibly scared off a little bit with my previous post revealing my personal angst about having to hand cue the Flux on my TT to use the Flux: an update. It will cost nearly 2k to retip my cartridge and I was dead scared of hand cuing the stylus onto the Flux. Even when I was young and had steady hands, I never hand cued my cartridge on to a record. I am happy to say I have gained more confidence with multiple uses. The first key to greater confidence was the Flux doesn't vibrate or move on my platter material, which simplified my task. I am now more sure of myself hand cuing the tone arm using this approach: *
    • Start the lap timer on my iPhone
    • Rotate the platter to get the Flux in about the correct front to back position relative to where the stylus needs to land. (On my cartridge I have determined the curved front edge of the cartridge should line up with the curved front edge of the brush as viewed from directly overhead. YMMV)
    • Start the Flux by depressing the button. (The instruction want you to start the Flux before lowering the stylus with the cue. This makes sense to me. I don't want to lower the stylus into the brush and then start the Flux via the button and risking moving the Flux with stylus buried in the brush.)
    • Reach out for the cartridge end of the tone arm like I am shaking hands with it.
    • I pick up the tone arm lift gripped between my thumb and forefinger. I make sure to lift it high enough for the stylus to clear the brush area of the flux.
    • I rest the bottom end of my hand on the carbon fiber plinth of my TT to help steady my hand for the next step, all the while while maintaining the safe cartridge height.
    • While continuing to rest the base of my hand on the plinth for steadiness and making sure the stylus is ABOVE the brush on the Flux...
    • ...I swing the arm over the Flux and rotate the platter to align the front of my cartridge with the front of the Flux's brush (My pre-determined front-to-back sweet spot.)
    • When the platter is in the correct front-to-back position I carefully eyeball the side to-side position and rotate the arm from side-to-side over the brush.
    • When the cap ( ^ ) of the letter "A" on the "EAT" logo is centered side-to-side on the brush I know my stylus will be centered on the brush. (My stylus position in completely conceal by the bulbous wood body of the cartridge. YMMV. The key is to center the stylus side-to-side and front-to-back on the brush pad.)
    • My hand has still been resting on the plinth as before to steady it. I gently lower the cartridge onto the vibrating brush.
    • I carefully twist my hand out from under the tonearm lift.
    • When my hand is clear of the tonearm lift I glance at my iPhone's stopwatch in order to time 15 seconds . (Lets say 20 seconds have already elapsed: I figure 2-3 seconds to get my hand out from under ands I add 12-13 seconds to the 20 I already had and I use a total time of 42-43 seconds on the stop watch.)
    • Remember to exhale - hee hee
    • When the 15 seconds is up, position your finger under the tone arm and lift STRAIGHT UP.
    • Once the stylus is safely above the brush secure the lift with two fingers, raise the cuing lever and return the tonearm to its resting position.
    *This may seem self-evident to many. This is for several types of people: People who can't use Flux with the cuing lever due to height limitations in how high you can raise the cue, people who don't have the steadiest hands for whatever reason, people who just don't hand cue their stylus... I fit into all 3 categories and maybe some of you fit one or more categories.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Because I can't see my stylus position relative to the pad for my alignment to be correct: The curved front face of the cartridge body base has to line up with the front edge of the brush. The proper side to side alignment is achieved by centering the cap of the letter "A" ( ^ ) in the "EAT" logo side to side over the brush.

    Good luck. If I can do it you can do it! I almost returned the Flux when I found out I couldn't use the cuing lever and would need to hand cue. I am glad I figured out something safe and doable for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
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  13. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    This is a time of great uncertainty with various reports of some of the gel type pads causing problems. One of the possibilities is the DS Audio ST-50 which I had been using. Where my records are all cleaned ultrasonically I ASSume I am not getting the degree of build-up like some of the posted pictures. Hand brushing is problematic for me with the stylus visibility issues with my cartridge. Plus there have been some YouTube videos I have seen where both dry brushing and gel pad cleaners left debris on the stylus. The ultrasonic stylus cleaners seemed to do the best overall job. Having said that I am aware of the potential issues using cleaning fluid and it possibly listening the stylus cement.

    I am NOT being critical of your method, I am just saying where I am at right now. You have access to a scope and you can confirm your approach works for you. Unfortunately I do not have a scope and my cartridge body is a royal PITA when it comes to seeing and accessing the stylus easily. I am keeping an eye of any forthcoming reports on further tests with the DS Audio ST-50. I am also concerned with the possible problems with the Flux. Since I am assuming I was not getting the degree of buildup of crud using the DS Audio ST-50 that some of those tests showed, I am taking an in-between approach. I typically clean my LPs every 5 LPs (10 sides). I am using the AT-50 for cleaning after the first 10 sides, when I reach 2o I'm using the AT-50 again. When I reach 30 sides I will use the Flux for a deeper cleaning. If the At-50 proves in future tests to leave less crud on the stylus than the Onzow, I may increase my use of the AT-50 to 10,20,30,40 sides and the use the Flux very 50 sides.

    I'm hoping more test results are forthcoming soon so some of us are not left to guessing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
  14. ddarch

    ddarch Forum Resident

    Location:
    NH
    Before I learned about the Hudson model, I bought this Dynavox one:

    Dynavox HFC-50 Electronic Nail Cleaner Electronic Stylus Cleaner | eBay

    Had it about 3 weeks, used it once per week. Easy to use. No apparent issues.

    (My per side method is still the Onzow...that whole issue brought up by Fremer was too unscientific to convince me to stop. I've had no issues for years.)

    Dave
     
  15. moomaloo

    moomaloo All-round good egg

    I haven't compared but they certainly seem to be exactly the same principle as the old Audio Technica AT 637 - a device I still own and use regularly...
     
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  16. 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?
     
  17. Jim0830

    Jim0830 Forum Resident

    Interesting question that I can't recall ever seeing an answer to.
     
  18. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Location:
    Clarksburg WV
    Ortofon says no to any liquid cleaners.
     
  19. matrix-6

    matrix-6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Any regular users notice any adverse side effects yet? The main concern being the cantilever getting loose, damage/altered due to the ultrasonic vibrations.
     
  20. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, I've got the same problem with my Flux. The profile is too high to use my tonearm lifter. So I do it all by hand. Not quite as steady as I used to be, but good enough for now.

    For my stylus cleaning regime, such as it is: I have long used the DS Audio ST-150 gel pad, which I've really liked. But the recent controversies over such cleaners has made me ware of using it a lot. So I finally got a stylus brush and the Audio Intelligent stylus cleaning fluid. I usually use the brush after a listening session, sometimes with the fluid.

    I actually ran out of their cleaning fluid that came with the Flux US cleaner, so for now I have been using drops of the Audio Intelligent cleaner on the Flux. Which I presume is ok.
     
  21. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    Apparently vibration frequency is 220 Hz, not nearly ultrasonic after all. Marketing.
    PS I just bought one )) We will see..
     
  22. MattHooper

    MattHooper Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Sneaky!

    Whatever the frequency, it certainly works! Using a usb microscope I could see quite a bit of gunk removed via the Flux cleaner that wouldn't come off otherwise.
     
  23. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    Location:
    near Tampa, FL
    Actually I heard that some original versions of such devices had higher freq, but, as you mentioned, could damage stylus. Not with new frequency..
     
  24. drmoss_ca

    drmoss_ca Vinyl Cleaning Fiend

    Looking at all of these devices, I see a power button, a light (likely a blue LED and not a UV one) and a vibrating pad. The only difference is the shape of the plastic housing. Are we to believe the contents are different?
     
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