Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

the thin end of the wedge
British Raj
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by British Raj » 07 Dec 2019 00:15

Ahem ... "Knosti fluff" !
I have been the victim of this. I love the RCM but I have always felt that their proprietary liquid leaves a layer on the record that the stylus then scrapes off. Everything is fine once I have played the same record a couple of times.
What is the recommendation for an alternative liquid please?

AsOriginallyRecorded
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by AsOriginallyRecorded » 07 Dec 2019 02:46

Plowing was meant to visualize a purpose intended passage of a dedicated stylus along the grooves of a lp that has successfully had God knows what contaminant solutions previously bonded to the groove surfaces successfully softened and now being removed from the grooves. The resulting contamination on the stylus is disposed of, the record dry wiped, and future playings are without problems of any kind. My method works perfectly well, thank you very much....and I am not financing someone else's lifestyle buying expensive machines and solutions that don't perform any better. Hope that sits better with your delicate sensibilities.

GuidoK
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by GuidoK » 07 Dec 2019 07:35

British Raj wrote:
07 Dec 2019 00:15
What is the recommendation for an alternative liquid please?
I make my own liquid.
Basically a 33% isopropanol solution in distilled water with about 5ml/l nonionic surfactant like for exampe triton x-100 (I use another one but effects are about the same I reckon). I filter and re-use.
That's my recipe at least.

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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by wolfie62 » 07 Dec 2019 12:08

I don’t own an RCM.

Last night I pulled a record from a stack of 40 I bought at the thrift store, 10/$1.

This LP is a 2 record set, made by Columbia Special Products, celebrating the 60th year of Rexall Drug Stores. 1963. Stereo. Jazz Greats.

No inner sleeves. Filthy, but no scratches.

5 minutes cleaning per record, and now pristine and dry! Great LP!

It always amuses me how complicated so many people make this record cleaning task. It need not be expensive nor time consuming.

GuidoK
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by GuidoK » 07 Dec 2019 13:46

A knosti costs about €49. (mine has done now about 700 records so thats about 7ct per record for the rcm; the self made fluid is about €5/liter I estimate)
And its way faster than 5 minutes per record luckily :)
An RCM doesn't have to be expensive nor time consuming.

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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by pivot » 07 Dec 2019 15:11

AsOriginallyRecorded wrote:
07 Dec 2019 02:46
Plowing was meant to visualize a purpose intended passage of a dedicated stylus along the grooves of a lp......
...and so it did. I remain dubious of "plowing", "dragging", "purpose intended passage of a dedicated stylus", or what ever verbiage one chooses to use, as a cleaning method. If playing a record before playing a record makes you happy it's your time.

I stated both vacuum RCM and Disc Doctor brushes work, but I did not state they were the only option and pointed the "Cleaning and Storage" forum here for discussions of various methods - many DIY - many very low cost. Been screwing around with this stuff for over 4 decades and have tried a raft of methods - advice is free - take it or leave it.

1200y3
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by 1200y3 » 07 Dec 2019 16:16

Speaking of "Knosti", the Spin Clean record washer has been around forever, and affordable. It was usually only seen behind record store counters and sold through advertising in trade publications such as Goldmine and Discoveries.

GuidoK
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by GuidoK » 07 Dec 2019 16:27

So has the knosti. That's also a mid 70's design I reckon and hasn't changed a bit. The design of the Knosti and Spinclean are very similar.
Even my box says its made in west germany (my box dates from about 2003?....) and I know it was tested in a certain hifi magazine in '79 so updating and innovation is not their core business :mrgreen:
I don't think they even got a website...way to modern :mrgreen:

They've recently released an improved gen 2 knosti (costing €79) but the gen 1 is still available at €49

Does the spin clean include a drying rack in the base of the machine?
I thought that was always a nice touch with the knosti. The tips of the drying rack even have special soft protective sleeves (made from teflon or some other slippery plastic) to protect the records from scratching when you put them in the rack. Nice touch of detail.

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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by wolfie62 » 07 Dec 2019 17:32

GuidoK wrote:
07 Dec 2019 13:46
A knosti costs about €49. (mine has done now about 700 records so thats about 7ct per record for the rcm; the self made fluid is about €5/liter I estimate)
And its way faster than 5 minutes per record luckily :)
An RCM doesn't have to be expensive nor time consuming.
Compared to $14 to clean 1,000 Records, yea, an RCM is very expensive. 5 minutes from filthy in the jacket to clean, dry, static free, and playing on the turntable.

British Raj
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by British Raj » 07 Dec 2019 18:49

Yes ... My Knosti came with the drying rack, a funnel with built in filter for pouring the fluid back into the bottle after use.
Pretty tidy job for about £40 that I paid for it. Was just wondering about going back to Knosti for the fluid because I have run out of it. I threw away the last batch after it got really murky.

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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by wolfie62 » 07 Dec 2019 22:06

The cleaning fluid I use has never failed to cut through any and everything I’ve ever found on records, including dried paint splatter. Concentrate costs $5 per gallon, $1.20 per liter. Cleans at least 1000 Records; I still have over a liter left after over 1,000 records

GuidoK
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by GuidoK » 08 Dec 2019 17:56

British Raj wrote:
07 Dec 2019 18:49
Was just wondering about going back to Knosti for the fluid because I have run out of it. I threw away the last batch after it got really murky.
I stopped using the knosti fluid because of the fluff pretty early on.
I mean for the rest it's a great fluid, cleans really really well and the antistatic properties are one of the best I've experienced among other specialized fluids (I think the alcohol based fluids here also have a definate plus over pure water based ones). I don't know what kind of wetting agents and anti foamers Knosti uses as the msds only lists that it contains ethanol (apparently the wetting agents and such are not required to list by law or in too little quantities).
The fluid itself is not made by knosti itself but they had it developed by Klüthe (https://kluthe.com/), but on Klüthes website there is nothing to be found of that specific reference number the knosti fluid has (Hakupur 50-538-1), so its a bespoke solution.

I guess if you have a 2nd basin and fill that with distilled water that you refresh periodically and do a 2 step cleaning that would take care of any residue/fluff and that would improve the system considerably. But drying distilled water might take a little longer than rcm fluid. Next to the alcohol evaporating more quickly I think the lower surface tension of rcm fluid compared to distilled water maybe results in faster dripping away in the drying rack.
Thats a definate plus an RCM with suction has. Speed in the drying process, especially if you want to clean only 1 or 2 records.
You could of course take a cloth and dry it off, but that goes a bit against why you're cleaning the record as no cloth is 100% lint/particle/conterminant free, so the less these things are used, the better it is.
I sometimes only use a cloth to wipe away that last drop on the underside that forms when having it in the drying rack.
You know the one that hangs on the outer groove. But never on the musicgrooves itself.

The funnel and filter are pretty hopeless imho. Pooring the fluid back in anything other than 1 go pretty much results in a mess of cleaning fluid (somewhere on youtube there is a hilarious video of Michael Fremer trying to poor back fluid from a spin clean). So I use a normal funnel and poor it back in a 2nd bottle (in 1 go which is possible as there is no filter), and then I poor it through the filter in the other bottle. And I don't use the knosti filter but a normal funnel and a coffee filter. A coffee filter has pretty fine pores so that works very well.

I think of buying a 2nd knosti (maybe the gen 2) so I can experiment with a 2nd basin with distilled water (and I get a 2nd drying rack so I can do more records in 1 go \:D/ ), but I'm also considering going ultrasonic as that is imho the best way to get dirt out of the grooves.
But also with ultrasonic you need a drying rack :mrgreen:

British Raj
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by British Raj » 08 Dec 2019 18:39

Hahaha ... That drop that hangs and never drips down! I know it well ... I also use a bit of tissue paper to wick it away.

Great idea on the pouring into a bottle and funneling / filtering using a normal large mouthed kitchen funnel - will do that next time.

I must muster up the guts to mix my own liquid .. at the moment I am worried about getting something wrong and doing more harm than good.

GuidoK
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Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Post by GuidoK » 08 Dec 2019 20:14

British Raj wrote:
08 Dec 2019 18:39
I must muster up the guts to mix my own liquid .. at the moment I am worried about getting something wrong and doing more harm than good.
As long as you keep in the range of 33% isopropanol and 66% distilled water with 2,5ml - 5ml wetting agent you can't go wrong
The knosti fluid is not based on isopropanol but on ethanol (normal alcohol) in a 25% concentration.

Wetting agents that you can use that are easily available are some wetting agents for photographic development, like Kodak Photoflo (consists of Triton X-100) or Ilford Ilfotol (uses Tergitol).
These are non-ionic surfactants (I use one called surfynol) and have no other stuff in them (as their main goal is to specifically function as an anti wetting agent).
I think these all don't dry up as a solid like ionic surfactants usually do (like 'quats' (quaternary ammonium salts))
I suspect that ionic surfactants in the knosti fluid might be the cause of the 'knostifluff', but thats just a speculation from my side. That's why I don't use them.
Otherwise they're pretty good as they are good desinfectants (anti fungal/bacterial) and have good antistatic properties.
Quats are for instance used in anti-algae solutions.