What's everyone's take on the recent microscopic investigation by Michael Fremer of stylus contamination by products like Onzow Zerodust ?

Michael Davitt

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What's everyone's take on the recent microscopic investigation by Michael Fremer of stylus contamination by products like Onzow Zerodust ?

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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
What's everyone's take on the recent microscopic investigation by Michael Fremer of stylus contamination by products like Onzow Zerodust ?

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I stopped using Zerodust several years ago because of the same concern
 

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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So what is the latest and greatest product these days for cleaning the stylus?
 

exupgh12

Well-Known Member
Jul 30, 2019
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I use a stylus brush and from time to time FLUX HIFI - Ultrasonic Electronic Stylus Cleaner.

 

Michael Davitt

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Nov 3, 2020
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In the same vein, I also threw out my :

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unfortunately it stuck to one of my favs.. talk about throwing out the baby wit da bath !
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RATS !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

mulveling

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Jul 6, 2017
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Look at all the particulate matter on the cantilever. That is not Onzow's fault - it's bad hygiene. A gel dip alone was ever enough to keep a cartridge clean. A brush that can get all the way up the cantilever is a necessity. Clean up those front yoke / plate "beards" while you're at it - why stop at half the job? A Magic Eraser (and I'm not a fan of "just" a simple dry dip & lift; I like more aggressive application) or stylus cleaner fluid (e.g. Last) is necessary to polish the stylus tip & shank to keep it looking crystal clear over hundreds of hours.

With so much foreign material likely to come from the vinyl itself (under frictional contact for miles), it seems really sloppy to assume a goopy stylus is Onzow's fault. The Onzow's main sin is that it's only effective for a quick stylus dust-bust, nothing more. If the goop came from the vinyl over time, the Onzow certainly won't polish it off.

I have an Onzow and DS Audio gel - I use them only very occasionally during lazy points of a long session; with proper regular cleaning they hardly add any value. The DS Audio gel is clearly firmer and easier to use, so that's superseded the Onzow. I do have an older Onzow that has gotten cloudy over the years. The DS Audio seems more stable - we'll see. Even if the old Onzow did contribute goop to my stylus, my other cleaning tools would polish it off in short order - so no worries or paranoia here.
 
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TooCool4

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Feb 7, 2013
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I use the DS Audio ST-50 and Hifi flux sonic cleaner.
I use the DS Audio ST-50 after both sides of an LP and the Hifi flux after each listening session.
I have never had any issue that I have notice and I intend in carrying on with my cleaning regime. I am definitely not throwing anything out.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
A simple brush
I have heard several anecdotal stories that users drop their stylus into the goo and lift only to find the stylus is left in the goo
 

adrianywu

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Nov 15, 2021
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I only use carbon fibre brushes on my stylus, cleaning after each side. I also use the Degritter LP cleaner before playing. I use the Audio Technica stylus cleaner fluid very occasionally, something I have used for more than 30 years.
 
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mulveling

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Jul 6, 2017
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I have heard several anecdotal stories that users drop their stylus into the goo and lift only to find the stylus is left in the goo
A brush is certainly the single most important tool, tried and true. But those stylus-eating gel stories - any stylus that was pulled off by a straight up & down dip was going to be a goner soon anyways, from the (much greater) forces of normal record playback. More likely it was the result of prior damage or manufacturing defect.
 
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tima

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Mar 3, 2014
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A brush is certainly the single most important tool, tried and true. But those stylus-eating gel stories - any stylus that was pulled off by a straight up & down dip was going to be a goner soon anyways, from the (much greater) forces of normal record playback. More likely it was the result of prior damage or manufacturing defect.

Perhaps.

A 00 artist brush is half the equation, the other half is a 20X loupe for stylus inspection. A small investment for the active vinylist. Without meaning to be a stylus-nanny, it is important to examine your stylus occasionally, not just when you think it is dirty - you really do need to look and not just swipe with an audiophile brush. Our naked eyes cannot reveal stuff adhered to a stylus. . Typically it should look bright and clear - literally sparkling ike a diamond. If it is dull or yellowed, it is not clean.

I find the 'audiophile stylus brush' - small round head with short bristles on a plastic handle - too coarse. What I prefer:

 

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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The cleaner ypur record the ,cleaner your stylis.
 

mulveling

Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2017
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Perhaps.

A 00 artist brush is half the equation, the other half is a 20X loupe for stylus inspection. A small investment for the active vinylist. Without meaning to be a stylus-nanny, it is important to examine your stylus occasionally, not just when you think it is dirty - you really do need to look and not just swipe with an audiophile brush. Our naked eyes cannot reveal stuff adhered to a stylus. . Typically it should look bright and clear - literally sparkling ike a diamond. If it is dull or yellowed, it is not clean.

I find the 'audiophile stylus brush' - small round head with short bristles on a plastic handle - too coarse. What I prefer:

Agree with the loupe. I have a 15x and a 20x Belomo I like a lot, not too $$ and good optics. And agree the round head brushes are awful. But here's my favorite brush - nice coarse, rigid (nylon?) bristles with slight flare out that make it super easy to select a small section of several bristles to slip over the cantilever, hit the yoke hole, and attack the stylus from different angles. Also great for a vertical undercarriage swipe. No metal bits so no worry about large magnets.
 

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No Regrets

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Jan 24, 2012
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Agree with the loupe. I have a 15x and a 20x Belomo I like a lot, not too $$ and good optics. And agree the round head brushes are awful. But here's my favorite brush - nice coarse, rigid (nylon?) bristles with slight flare out that make it super easy to select a small section of several bristles to slip over the cantilever, hit the yoke hole, and attack the stylus from different angles. Also great for a vertical undercarriage swipe. No metal bits so no worry about large magnets.
Hi,
Any chance you might have a link to share for your favorite brush???

Thank you,
Don
 
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bazelio

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Sep 26, 2016
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A friend of mine works at Soundsmith. He does a lot of repair work and assembles the strain gauge carts now as well. He told me he sees about 10 cartridges per year whose cantilevers have been torn off by the Onzow Zero Dust. The goo and its surface tension is hard on cartridge suspension. As to his recommendation for removing dust ... Squish some Blu Tac onto a dime, put the dime on the platter and cue down into the Blu Tac a couple times before each record. Then, for dusting off the rest of the cartridge, a tiny paint brush.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Bazelio, Blu Tac is really less damaging than Onzow? Amazing!
Btw, your friend may have been hard at work on an order I've just received from Soundsmith, viz. 4 replacement and two retipped Straingauge stylii.
Maybe I should follow his advice.
 

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