This could have been titled “A clean sylus is a happy stylus” (Thanks 45spin). Anyway….
Last week, almost simultaneously, I saw a post on the London Jazz Collecters blog, and an ad in a freebie hi-fi catalogue that reminded that I had been meaning to try a polymer stylus cleaner. You know one of the ones that is a pot of goo that you dip your diamond stylus in, and due to the goo’s wonderful properties it cleans it almost instantaneously yet doesn’t leave any deposit on the stylus.
To use it is really is as simple screw off the lid, place the pot on a suitable support and lower your tone-arm down so the stylus just dips into the polymer and then lift it out.
As I wasn’t feeling up to a bike ride this weekend I spent Sunday afternoon listening to some records – a perfect time to dig out my Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass and try the Dust Buster out. I must say it is impressive – one dip and the diamond comes out gleaming. From my “investigations”, after just playing one side of a clean record the stylus will pick up some debris or small fibre – and the DB cleans it up. I also did a check using a “good” stylus cleaning fluid and that also worked – but I do find it hard to find the stylus tip with the brush and run the risk of putting some on the cantilever – it may be the best is a combination of both but I don’t think it is worth it – it could be followed by drop of Lyra SPT and the occasional play of the Cardas deguassing/ultrasonic cleaning record (not that I am nerdish about these things).
I am trying to get into the habit of using it after each play – in the hope that it not only keeps the stylus clean but stops the migration of dust up the cantilever into the cartridge works. It is amazing to see the dust that congregates. and it is an area I tend to neglect. I have probably used my 30 year old Goldring Ultrasonic stylus cleaner once in the last 20 years.
And do you remember that green plastic sandpaper strip that was recomended by a famous turntable manufacturer – never really understood the logic of that one just scraping the bottom of the tip?
Bottom line is that if you care about your records and stylus I think this little pot of goo is a well worthwhile investment.