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  • Is Your Cartridge a Groove Cleaner?

    I had totally forgotten-being that it's been probably close to a year since the Atlas was in the system--how much stuff it dredges out of the grooves. We're not talking sound here but dirt, gunk, you name it, despite the record being cleaned on either vacuum or US machines. Anybody else's cartridges digging dirt out of the grooves? Just figure it's something about the stylus profile of the Atlas.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    every once and a while, I find and have to remove a fuzzball from the stylus tip. I think it just happens with all carts.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
      I had totally forgotten-being that it's been probably close to a year since the Atlas was in the system--how much stuff it dredges out of the grooves. We're not talking sound here but dirt, gunk, you name it, despite the record being cleaned on either vacuum or US machines. Anybody else's cartridges digging dirt out of the grooves? Just figure it's something about the stylus profile of the Atlas.
      isn't that Roy Gandy's whole thing (Rega fame) ...he doesn't believe in cleaning records and presumes its the stylus' job to do that? to be honest with you, my records are pretty clean, if I notice that much gunk something's wrong.
      TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

      "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

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      • #4
        This is one of the many reasons why I am so fanatical about record cleaning. But, even taking extreme measures, yes, my stylus will occasionally get gunked. I check it with a jeweler's loupe periodically during a listening session, dry brush after every side, and periodically, give it a Magic Eraser dunking session, which really does get the melted stuff off. No liquids (though I know J Carr permits them for Lyras). Knock wood, I've gotten really good life out of my cartridges with better record cleaning methods. I don't like the idea of using the stylus as a dredge for a couple of reasons- first, what is that doing to your stylus? Second, aren't you just as apt to grind the grit into the record by playing it dirty? Yeah, some of the surface stuff is bigger than the stylus, but since I don't inspect every record with a microscope, I'd rather clean than risk damaging the record (or possibly the stylus- I have had a couple incidences of very strange stuff on records- not mold, but not paper flecks either. I had planned to do a write up about it with some microscope pictures when I get a chance- I'm actually afraid to put my stylus through this stuff). Oddly, some of the old oil crisis records from the U.S. -with paper flecks embedded--don't really seem to be a problem. Go figure.

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        • #5
          Very rare that I have to dust the tip for anything. But I am a record cleaning maniac. By now every record I own was cleaned with my VPI, then again 1-2 times with the Audio desk. If the cartridge does pick up any crap I'd probably wash the record again.
          SOURCE: VINYL - EAT C-Sharp with, EAT LPS power supply, My Sonic Lab Signature Gold
          DIGITAL - Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC. Roon Nucleus w/EAT Lps power supply. Auralic Aires G1
          PHONOSTAGE: AudioNet PAM G2 with AudioNet EPX power supply.
          PREAMP: Audionet PRE G2.
          AMPLIFIER: Audionet MAX monoblocks.
          SPEAKERS: YG Acoustics Anat III Signatures (upgraded to Sonja 1.2) JL Audio F112 V2 (x2)
          CABLES: Kubala-Sosna, Kubala Sosna Xpander.....Audio Desk Systeme RCM, Adona Rack, GIK & Acoustimac room treatment, Isoacoustics

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          • #6
            The only thing I ever notice is my Onzow has what looks like little specks of fly shit on it after many uses. And I mean tiny, tiny specks. I simply clean the Onzow and it's back to new regardless of what some people claim. It has not lost any of its tackiness and I have a calibrated tackiness meter. I clean every LP before I play it, Onzow the stylus, brush the stylus from back to front with Stylast stylus cleaner, and Jed's a millionaire. I have used Stylast for many, many years and despite old wives' tales about how it will migrate up your cantilever and have sex with your wife, I have never had any issues. In fact, my cartridges seem to last forever.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mep View Post
              The only thing I ever notice is my Onzow has what looks like little specks of fly shit on it after many uses. And I mean tiny, tiny specks. I simply clean the Onzow and it's back to new regardless of what some people claim. It has not lost any of its tackiness and I have a calibrated tackiness meter. I clean every LP before I play it, Onzow the stylus, brush the stylus from back to front with Stylast stylus cleaner, and Jed's a millionaire. I have used Stylast for many, many years and despite old wives' tales about how it will migrate up your cantilever and have sex with your wife, I have never had any issues. In fact, my cartridges seem to last forever.
              Funny post. Tackiness meter- wish I had one; Jed, loved that show, including the theme song. Those guys could play. Ever hear the joke about the mailman and the $2?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post

                Funny post. Tackiness meter- wish I had one; Jed, loved that show, including the theme song. Those guys could play. Ever hear the joke about the mailman and the $2?
                Nope. Do tell.
                Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mep View Post

                  Nope. Do tell.
                  Inappropriate for public consumption. I can write it out by secret code or send me your ph # by pm and I call you and tell you the joke over the phone.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rob View Post

                    isn't that Roy Gandy's whole thing (Rega fame) ...he doesn't believe in cleaning records and presumes its the stylus' job to do that? to be honest with you, my records are pretty clean, if I notice that much gunk something's wrong.
                    Yes think so. Just like his theory on adjusting SRA. Thing is, at the microscopic level, dirt can be "burned" into the album.

                    Of course there was that "Last-like" record cleaner from Canada years ago that gunked up the stylus unbelievably. Everytime you played, there was a ball on the stylus. Ughhh.....
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
                      This is one of the many reasons why I am so fanatical about record cleaning. But, even taking extreme measures, yes, my stylus will occasionally get gunked. I check it with a jeweler's loupe periodically during a listening session, dry brush after every side, and periodically, give it a Magic Eraser dunking session, which really does get the melted stuff off. No liquids (though I know J Carr permits them for Lyras). Knock wood, I've gotten really good life out of my cartridges with better record cleaning methods. I don't like the idea of using the stylus as a dredge for a couple of reasons- first, what is that doing to your stylus? Second, aren't you just as apt to grind the grit into the record by playing it dirty? Yeah, some of the surface stuff is bigger than the stylus, but since I don't inspect every record with a microscope, I'd rather clean than risk damaging the record (or possibly the stylus- I have had a couple incidences of very strange stuff on records- not mold, but not paper flecks either. I had planned to do a write up about it with some microscope pictures when I get a chance- I'm actually afraid to put my stylus through this stuff). Oddly, some of the old oil crisis records from the U.S. -with paper flecks embedded--don't really seem to be a problem. Go figure.
                      The Magic Eraser can work miracles. Had a cartridge sometime back that wasn't sounding like it should anymore. Dunked it a couple of times on the Magic Eraser and miraculously, the cartridge was brought back to life. (IIRC, was using a liquid stylus cleaner [MOFI #9?] at that time.)

                      BTW, Clearaudio makes a liquid stylus cleaner so assume that is OK to use with the Clearaudio cartridges. I use the CA stylus cleaner sparingly.
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mep View Post
                        The only thing I ever notice is my Onzow has what looks like little specks of fly shit on it after many uses. And I mean tiny, tiny specks. I simply clean the Onzow and it's back to new regardless of what some people claim. It has not lost any of its tackiness and I have a calibrated tackiness meter. I clean every LP before I play it, Onzow the stylus, brush the stylus from back to front with Stylast stylus cleaner, and Jed's a millionaire. I have used Stylast for many, many years and despite old wives' tales about how it will migrate up your cantilever and have sex with your wife, I have never had any issues. In fact, my cartridges seem to last forever.
                        That's been my experience with the Onzow too. I assume those black flecks are vinyl that sticks to the stylus. Sometimes I wash the Onzow with soap and water and rinse very well to ensure tackiness.
                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                        -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh and a couple of words of warning from Peter Ledermann (Mikey not too long ago proved Peter's point with a microphotograph in Stereophile or Analog Planet )

                          DON'T 't blow on the record to remove dust or schmootz! Your breath is moist air and that water vapor will stay on the record. Then the stylus comes by and combined with the dirt, cruds up the stylus.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                            I had totally forgotten-being that it's been probably close to a year since the Atlas was in the system--how much stuff it dredges out of the grooves. We're not talking sound here but dirt, gunk, you name it, despite the record being cleaned on either vacuum or US machines. Anybody else's cartridges digging dirt out of the grooves? Just figure it's something about the stylus profile of the Atlas.
                            Same here Myles but even stranger is that this happens mostly after US cleaning of brand new (or used) records...
                            Btw, the FLUX Hi-Fi electronic stylus cleaner works fine and is safe IME.

                            http://www.analogplanet.com/content/...stylus-cleaner
                            Source: Kuzma XL DC/4Point 14 inch/CAR60; Phono: Zanden 1200 Signature; Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108T Signature; Line Stage: Zanden 3000 Mk2; Power amp: Lamm 1.2 Reference; Speakers: AlsyVox Botticelli; Grounding: Tripoint Troy Elite NG; Cable system: Cardas Clear Beyond; Stands: Finite Elemente Master Reference & Master Reference Heavy Duty; Power strip: Cardas Nautilus; Power filter: P.I Audo: BUSS Depot; Acoustics treatment: Svanå Miljöteknik AB (SMT);

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marcus View Post

                              ...but even stranger is that this happens mostly after US cleaning of brand new (or used) records...
                              Don't you think the stylus is dredging stuff up that the cleaning is either not picking up beforehand or is caused by the action of the stylus in the grooves- like shaving tiny pieces of vinyl off the groove?
                              Some of the stuff that doesn't come off the stylus with dry brushing or even the Oznow/Onzow is blasted on- heat, presumably. (That's where I've had success with the Magic Eraser)
                              I've had a couple records that I cleaned the hell out of--enzyme soak, scrub/agitate, vacuum clean and rinse, ultrasonic that still had stuff in the grooves- one was a tar -like yellowish gunk- I assumed it was either cooking or smoking residue- and I returned the record (it was an old Vertigo Swirl). In a few other cases, what comes up during play, even after cleaning looks like tiny paper flecks- they are denser than dust motes. (i had that happen on three old records I purchased from the same vendor- I suspect it had something to do with his cleaning process- perhaps combined with some interaction with the inner liner, I dunno. No evidence of chemical discoloration of the surfaces, just detritus that got pulled up by playing). It is a bit of a mystery....

                              I have a couple other thoughts on this that I'll post separately.

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