Post By: Alan
Here's a reality about the nature of vinyl records: As the stylus runs through the grooves of the record, static electricity is generated. This static electricity attracts dust and debris to the record. The moisture in the air, mixed with oils on your hand when you handle the record mix with the dust and debris, and stick to the record. As the stylus runs through the record grooves, this gunk gets stuck to the stylus (needle). Over time, you'll begin to notice that the records you play on your turntable begin to sound less clear, distorted, staticy, just plain different. You can clean your records all you want, but the sound is still "off".
What to do? It's time to clean your stylus (needle)! Fortunately, this is a very easy process, and only takes a few minutes. Here's what you do:
- Get some cleaner specially designed for turntable styluses, as well as a stylus brush.
- Apply a drop or two of the cleaner to the brush.
- Hold the tone arm and stylus firmly with your hand to ensure that it doesn't move and turn on the turntable while you're cleaning.
- Rub the brush from the rear of the stylus to the front. Repeat this a few times: 5-10 should be great.
- Let the stylus air dry for about 5 minutes.
- Place your favorite record on the turntable, and enjoy the (clear) music!
That's it, folks. Easy enough, and it can make a significant difference in the quality of the sound. There are no real guidelines to how often you should do this. Fanatics will say do it after every session, but I think it's only necessary about once every 15-20 hours of record playing.
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