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Static Fields

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  • Static Fields

    Most of the year static is not a problem with my acrylic racks and turntable platter/vinyl interface. However, during the winter when it is cold and dry, I get some large static fields that can potentially damage the electronics. I suspect it also creates a layer of haze over the music.

    Nordost makes Eco-3 Anti-Static Spray designed to reduce static charge from the surfaces of interconnects, speaker cables, power cords, even audio components. However, I have never used it. It’s been on my list of things to try but never got around to it.

    Over the years I have designed specialized manufacturing facilities designed to meet ESD requirements utilizing special conductive floors and workstations. ESD can destroy sensitive electronic components so ESD workstations have specialized construction and work mats designed to conduct static away from the components. A worker typically wears a grounded wrist strap and touches a grounding point prior to working at the workstation.

    [Wikipedia defines Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. A buildup of static electricity can be caused by tribocharging or by electrostatic induction. The ESD occurs when differently charged objects are brought close together or when the dielectric between them breaks down, often creating a visible spark.]

    I was looking for an anti-static spray that was effective and more affordable than the Nordost product. I also wanted something that could be used on my acrylic racks.

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    I found Chemtronics Static Free spray on Amazon. It is engineered to protect electronic equipment and workspaces from static buildup while cleaning and reconditioning. It has everything required for a comprehensive surface treatment program as recommended by ANSI/ESD S20.20.

    First, I applied Static Free to every surface on my acrylic racks and it eliminated the static. When I would move the top of my arm near the acrylic, the hair on my arm would not be attracted to it. So, the anti-static spray worked as advertised but I really didn’t hear much of a change or improvement. However, it doesn’t attract dust anymore… But It does require periodic reapplication to maintain its effectiveness…

    During the winter months, a lot of static can build up between the record and platter when it is played. The record can literally stick to the plater and then discharges with a crackle when the record is removed. So, I tried Static Free on the platter using a small wipe pad but didn’t notice much of a change/improvement either. So far, just grounding the table is effective in dissipating the static charge build-up when playing a record. I was thinking of getting the DS Audio ION-001 Vinyl Ionizer but I’m not sure I would benefit having one, they are also crazy expensive, so I will hold off for now.

    I then tried spraying my long (7m) balanced interconnect from my preamp to mono amps that rest on my wool carpet. In this case this was the most obvious improvement using the anti-static spray. It was like a veil was lifted. There was more air, space, frequency extension and better bass. Totally worth the price of the product. I plan to use it on other cables in the future and see if I can get more improvement. (Note: my cables are designed to be placed on the floor, so cable lifters have never been necessary in my system. I suspect the anti-static fluid is helping to knock down static fields within my interconnects which are a handmade design)

    Disclaimer: As always, read the manufacturer’s instructions and use at your own risk. Although it worked for me, YMMV.

  • #2
    Let me chime on the DS Audio ION-001 I used to have static building up between the platter and the record though the turntable chassis was properly grounded. Since I have acquired the DS Audio, I don’t have any issue. Ground noise has slightly reduced as well.

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    Last edited by dcc; 04-06-2020, 01:09 PM.


    • timztunz
      timztunz commented
      Editing a comment
      +1 on the DS Audio ION-001

  • #3
    Will I have to cover up my electrostatic speakers when using anti-static spray?

    Probably not, but better safe than sorry.


    • #4
      When we would set up a few million dollars of gear at trade shows for the photo industry, due to the high ESD issue and thick synthetic carpeting in the convention center exhibits, we would fill spray bottles with a 60/40 mix of water and Downy and spray everything down before the show opened and when it closed each day. I mean the carpet, power cords, and everything else except the equipment itself. Seemed to work pretty well.
      However I still kept a small metal jeweler's screwdriver in my hand to touch any racks or equipment first to ground and discharge myself just in case. Also made a point of never wearing rubber soled shoes that would build up huge charge when you walked across the carpet. Leather soles with good gel inserts were the way to go!
      Last edited by Steve Lefkowicz; 04-07-2020, 08:54 PM.
      Steve Lefkowicz
      Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
      Analog: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 19a, iPhono2; Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Sumiko Pearl, iFi iPhono.
      Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 26, Tidal HiFi and Qobuz Studio), iFi iDAC2, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2.
      Electronics: Burson Conductor Virtuoso, DIY switch-box with TKD 10K pot, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Jolida JD1000P, B&K ST140.
      Speakers: Tekton Double Impact, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7, ELAC Debut2 B6.2, Debut F5 and Debut B6, Emotiva Airmotiv B1, Sound Dynamics 300ti.
      Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Nordost Solar Wind, Audioquest Evergreen
      Speaker cables: Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Nordost Solar Wind, Nordost Flatline, Audioquest Q2.
      Digital cables: Straightwire USB Link, Aural Symphonics Digital Standard xxv USB, Belkin PureAV.
      Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan racks, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Sound Organization speaker stands, Pangea Audio speaker stands, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
      Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More MK801, 1More Triple Driver IEM


      • #5
        I think that wearing shoes took out a preamp once. Major static that when I touched the tonearm I could hear go through the speakers & then nothing out of the preamp when I flipped the record over. I was 2 months w/o lps last year. My digital doesn't come close.
        "I'm...a rather simple person with a limited talent and perhaps a limited perspective"...Bill Evans

        LP playback: Ariston RD 11 Superieur, Audiomods Series 6 Tonearm, Dynavector DV DRT XV-1s, Valab LCR MkIII, Target wall-mounted turntable shelf

        Amplification: Exposure 2010 S2

        Speakers: B&W Nautilus 805 on sand-filled Atacama stands

        Cabling: Audio Sensibility Statement SE (ics), Audio Sensibility Testaments (spkr)


        • #6
          when my piggy bank recovers (from my recent tt/cartridge splurge and COVID 19 stresses) i plan on adding this little toy; the CS Port IME1 Static Eliminator/ HLD1 holder. (price i think around $1800-$2000 for the pair). it's power cord plugs into my tt power supply. and with a long cord i can use it with all three of my tt's.

          since the device is able to be placed above the record i think it has some advantages of proximity. and it both de-magnetizes and eliminates static continually.

          back in the day i was one of the those guys with the hair dryer 'tourmaline' guns and pre-treating records or CD's or blowing on cables they worked really well for 10-15 minutes, but the effect wore off. this should be a large effect and will be continual.


          • Joe Pittman
            Joe Pittman commented
            Editing a comment
            I really like that design Mike. I'd like to get one of those if they make a conventional power supply... I'll have three tables too in the not to distant future, and will want the ability to move it.

          • Mike Lavigne
            Mike Lavigne commented
            Editing a comment
            hi Joe, it has an A/C wall wort power supply as standard, but can alternately be plugged into my CS Port LFT1 turntable power supply too. if/when i get one you are welcome to try it.

        • #7
          Does anyone have evidence it helps sonics on the table. Joe seemed to think it helped with cables only. What about residue. Does the spray leave gunk on surfaces. Hate to gave a nasty built up paste on my cables over time.
          PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI Paramount preamp,
          Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
          Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects. ADDPower Symphony and Electraclear.


          • #8
            I'm still in the process of setting up my new room after being out of the hobby since about 2012. However, once my situation is stabilized from making near daily improvements, I'm going to place my wife's ionizer right over my turntable like that expensive unit someone just posted (as an experiment).

            I've read the below, first section is promising.

            Air ionization is increasingly being used to control or neutralize static charge found in critical environments. Ionizers actually make the air sufficiently conductive to dissipate static charge on both insulators and isolated conductors. .........
            I'm just referring to the above at random, not sure what brand we have or it's abilities.

            I've lost my Zerostat gun, Sota clamp, and misc other items in the move. Maybe I will eventually find them, but until then will make do with what I have on hand.


            Cleaned up my wife's ionizer and set up a stand adjacent to the turntable for tonight's listening session.

            Any suggestions or procedures I should follow?


            It worked!

            Like cleaning your windshield, both sides!

            I'm excited, I have a new toy.
            Last edited by kach22i; 04-10-2020, 07:25 PM.