Enjoy listening to data? This uncomplicated, sound-enhancing gadget is a must-have

The DT-50 aluminum case.

The DT-50 circumstance does a wonderful occupation of defending the gel pad inside.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

I am an audiophile. I pay attention to vinyl information each and every working day I am in my workplace. In fact, as I type, I’m listening to Orbital’s new launch, Optical Delusion, on my Rega P8 turntable now. 

1 detail that is practically common for all audiophiles is that we are constantly chasing down the fantastic audio. That chase is under no circumstances-ending, as it will in no way be achieved. I are not able to convey to you how quite a few several hours I’ve used altering cartridges on tonearms and tweaking several factors of my method. 

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But you can find a specific place that will not need practically as much thought… preserving your stylus clear. For those who aren’t fairly as acquainted with “vinyl communicate,” the stylus is the “needle” and it gets soiled. A stylus will select up dust, hair, cat fur, and just about something else. If it can land on a record, it can be picked up by the stylus. 

Over time, that can result in a degradation in the fidelity of your turntable. Even even worse, it can induce undo use on your albums. You you should not want that. Just google “filthy stylus” and consider a gander at the photographs you can expect to see. Some of them are so terrible (and magnified) you may well assume you happen to be hunting at an alien appendage. 

As much more and additional debris collects on your stylus, it is less capable of selecting up the audio as it was meant to be heard. Not only will you miss out on highs and lows, but it could also turn into susceptible to skipping. Because of that, you need to have to frequently clean up your “needle”.

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In the course of my youth, I assumed it was adequate to blow on the will need to rid it of the dust and other particles. Unfortunately, that had two specific benefits (that I was unaware of):

  • It did not seriously thoroughly clean the stylus.
  • It could basically lead to much more debris accumulating on the “needle” (which include saliva).

Even though it may possibly be tempting to blast your stylus with some hot lung air, that is not what you want. As an alternative, you need to consider one of the quite a few cleaning gel stylus gizmos readily available. 

I’ve experimented with a selection of these gizmos and none of them can surpass the DS Audio ST-50 Drop-In Micro-Dust/Cleaning-Gel stylus cleaner. It truly is a little bit far more costly than some of the other choices (these kinds of as the Onzow ZeroDust). 

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With this gadget, all I do is diligently lessen the stylus on to the gel pad, wait around for 3 seconds, and raise. I do this three times in advance of playing every file, and it retains my stylus approximately spotless. So long as I recall to do this just before each file, I know my stylus isn’t collecting each individual little bit of undesirable material observed on the file (which I also clean up right before just about every use).

The DT-50 stylus cleaner in action.

Cleaning my Rega Apheta 3 stylus with the DT-50.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

The DS Audio DT-50 fees about $79.99 on Amazon and is value every single penny. I’ve been working with mine for about five yrs, and it performs as effectively now as it did the 1st working day I gained it.

The trick is retaining the cleaner cleanse. To do that, you merely maintain it under operating cold water and wipe the gel pad with your finger. Once it’s cleaned, allow for it to air dry prior to employing it.

The gel pad on the DT-50 is a micro-dust gel designed of a urethane resin that was made for laboratory thoroughly clean-home purposes. The gel is quite sticky and you want to stay clear of pressing your fingers to it to reduce oil and fingerprints from adhering to the surface area. Should that happen, simply just cleanse it and permit it air dry once again for around 30 minutes.

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The DT-50 also features a helpful circumstance (designed of nickel-treated aluminum) with a leather bottom to prevent it from sliding as you clean up your stylus.

I are unable to say more than enough superior things about this simple gadget. I’ve tried just about each individual type of stylus cleaner (from brushes to even magic erasers) and nothing arrives shut to this system. If you happen to be just now getting into vinyl or have been spinning records for some time, do you a favor and seize one particular of these useful resources to retain your stylus clean and albums sounding wonderful.