Page 1 of 2

Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 02 Dec 2019 20:32
by conoroconnell
Hi everyone.
Following my recent alignment battle, ive encountered yet another problem :?
Recently, quite simply, my stylus literally always picks up a very unusual amount of dust and lint. I always have to clean a large amount with a brush after a side is finished playing- sometimes even before if the record becomes unlistenable. I can see no clear reason for this- it even happened just a few minutes ago where I had to remove a HUGE amount of s**te from the stylus after playing one side of a freshly cleaned record. My room is always dusty- and this was never much of a problem before :D
The only possible reason I can see is that I slightly increased the tracking force a few days ago to experiment with minimizing distortion. It is an elliptical stylus which is new- maybe this is more of a problem due to the shape? Up until recently I used a conical one.
I always play records with the dust cover down.
This is starting to become mildly frustrating!
Hope somebody can help. Many thanks.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 02 Dec 2019 22:29
by Erin1
If I take you at your word, that you

A) clean your records
B) you say your room is always dusty

The logical conclusion is that room dust /fluff is landing on the record during play and getting caught on the stylus.

Perhaps vacuum or sweep/ mop your room before playing records?

That might seem harsh or sarcastic but I'm only trying to help - what else can it be?

I wash my records and clean with a carbon fibre brush before play and I've never had dust collect in the stylus, and I don't use a dust cover on my turntable.


Alternatively, perhaps your record washing method isn't actually getting all the gunk out of the grooves and it is gunk collecting on the stylus?

The stylus profile will not have anything to do with collection of dust, but if records are contaminated with fingerprints and dust then a microline or shibata or fine line stylus may collect gunk from the bottom of the grooves because these profiles go deeper into the grooves and contact more of the groove wall so will extract any gunk in the grooves.

Cleaning the record properly will stop this from happening.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 01:02
by terry-a
conoroconnell wrote:
02 Dec 2019 20:32
Hi everyone.
Following my recent alignment battle, ive encountered yet another problem :?
Recently, quite simply, my stylus literally always picks up a very unusual amount of dust and lint. I always have to clean a large amount with a brush after a side is finished playing- sometimes even before if the record becomes unlistenable. I can see no clear reason for this- it even happened just a few minutes ago where I had to remove a HUGE amount of s**te from the stylus after playing one side of a freshly cleaned record. My room is always dusty- and this was never much of a problem before :D
The only possible reason I can see is that I slightly increased the tracking force a few days ago to experiment with minimizing distortion. It is an elliptical stylus which is new- maybe this is more of a problem due to the shape? Up until recently I used a conical one.
I always play records with the dust cover down.
This is starting to become mildly frustrating!
Hope somebody can help. Many thanks.
How do you clean your records before playback?

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 01:28
by pivot
What ever method you use for record cleaning has stopped working. If you use a brush of some nature that brush has become contaminated and is transferring dirt from one disc to another. Time to step-up your record cleaning game. Clean or discard your current brush. Invest in a pair of Disc Doctor or MoFi brushes - one to wet clean - one for rinse. Better yet get a vacuum based RCM.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 01:38
by circularvibes
I had excessive lint on my records when I used paper towel and Windex to clean records many years ago. I also experienced this with microfibre clothes to dry washed discs. It sounds like there are fibres left in the grooves. If you are wet washing your discs, consider air drying after rinsing with distilled water to see if it helps.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 10:34
by conoroconnell
terry-a wrote:
03 Dec 2019 01:02
conoroconnell wrote:
02 Dec 2019 20:32
Hi everyone.
Following my recent alignment battle, ive encountered yet another problem :?
Recently, quite simply, my stylus literally always picks up a very unusual amount of dust and lint. I always have to clean a large amount with a brush after a side is finished playing- sometimes even before if the record becomes unlistenable. I can see no clear reason for this- it even happened just a few minutes ago where I had to remove a HUGE amount of s**te from the stylus after playing one side of a freshly cleaned record. My room is always dusty- and this was never much of a problem before :D
The only possible reason I can see is that I slightly increased the tracking force a few days ago to experiment with minimizing distortion. It is an elliptical stylus which is new- maybe this is more of a problem due to the shape? Up until recently I used a conical one.
I always play records with the dust cover down.
This is starting to become mildly frustrating!
Hope somebody can help. Many thanks.
How do you clean your records before playback?
Hi Terry. I clean them with standard record spray and a microfiber cloth (which I've never washed by the way). After this I will oftrn give them a rinse under a cold tap and let them air dry

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 13:22
by GuidoK
conoroconnell wrote:
03 Dec 2019 10:34


Hi Terry. I clean them with standard record spray and a microfiber cloth (which I've never washed by the way). After this I will oftrn give them a rinse under a cold tap and let them air dry
I assume you don't do this before every playback?

Most people wash their records once and right before playback use a carbon fiber record brush to sweep away the dust either from the sleeve (if they use paper sleeves) or the dust that has just landed with such a brush or equivalent:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... SX466_.jpg


Is it possible that your 'dust' is a residue of the spray that you use, like the famous 'knosti fluff' that appears when using a knosti rcm or at least their fluid. That also appears like a fluff, but comes from a residue left behind that is scraped off gradually by the stylus tip appearing as a fluff (that, if not removed, will eventually form a ball of goo that is pretty hard to remove)

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 15:11
by 1200y3
I am assuming that with all the alignment attention, the tangent is correct, but if your vertical tracking angle, stylus rake angle, and azimuth are incorrect you may be chewing the grooves. But on the other hand if the stylus tracking is perfect, then stylus contact is perfect, thus the stylus will be actually cleaning the record. Hopefully you do not have a misaligned line contact stylus.

If you don't use a record cleaner before every play, and you are in a carpeted room, then stylus fluff will be normal. Welcome to the world of static.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 15:23
by terry-a
How do you clean your records before playback?

Hi Terry. I clean them with standard record spray and a microfiber cloth (which I've never washed by the way). After this I will oftrn give them a rinse under a cold tap and let them air dry
I've experienced what the others have described, where the cleaning device sheds debris onto the records. You may want to replace it, and once you've wet cleaned your records, leave them be and only use a carbon brush prior to playing them. If over time you suspect a record has gotten dirty, do another wet clean then return to the carbon brush routine.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 16:06
by pivot
Define "standard record spray". All kinds of products that claim they are useful for records. Many leave residue that can stick dust to the surface. The point of a vacuum RCM is complete removal of the fluid with the contaminates. The distilled water rinse reccomended with Disc Doctor brushes does some of the same.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 19:33
by bhuston
I have run into this, sort of. I clean the record and that disturbs and loosens the deep grunge in the groove and when you play, that softened garbage is routed out onto the needle. It requires a second cleaning, or better yet, doing it thorough the first time. I started using a little alcohol on my microfiber cloth and that seemed to help greatly. By that I mean along with your solution you use to clean it, add a little alcohol. I put some on the wet cloth and start cleaning. But your mileage may vary.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 19:38
by conoroconnell
GuidoK wrote:
03 Dec 2019 13:22
conoroconnell wrote:
03 Dec 2019 10:34


Hi Terry. I clean them with standard record spray and a microfiber cloth (which I've never washed by the way). After this I will oftrn give them a rinse under a cold tap and let them air dry
I assume you don't do this before every playback?

Most people wash their records once and right before playback use a carbon fiber record brush to sweep away the dust either from the sleeve (if they use paper sleeves) or the dust that has just landed with such a brush or equivalent:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... SX466_.jpg


Is it possible that your 'dust' is a residue of the spray that you use, like the famous 'knosti fluff' that appears when using a knosti rcm or at least their fluid. That also appears like a fluff, but comes from a residue left behind that is scraped off gradually by the stylus tip appearing as a fluff (that, if not removed, will eventually form a ball of goo that is pretty hard to remove)
This could be it, although it's not Knosti products that I use. It isn't dust per se, it's whitish lint almost akin to tiny flakes of dandruff or something. Hmm, maybe a shower is the solution...lol

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 19:39
by conoroconnell
bhuston wrote:
03 Dec 2019 19:33
I have run into this, sort of. I clean the record and that disturbs and loosens the deep grunge in the groove and when you play, that softened garbage is routed out onto the needle. It requires a second cleaning, or better yet, doing it thorough the first time. I started using a little alcohol on my microfiber cloth and that seemed to help greatly. By that I mean along with your solution you use to clean it, add a little alcohol. I put some on the wet cloth and start cleaning. But your mileage may vary.
That could be it, ive heard people refer to the stylus as a plough digging up the remaining dirt from deep in the grooves. Cheers for that tip.

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 03 Dec 2019 20:04
by AsOriginallyRecorded
bhuston sums up my experiences with the white grunge material that appears on a recently acquired and cleaned "previously enjoyed"album. Some albums clean and play perfectly, others require a second clean and play, using an elliptical (AT95e) on a TT reserved for this procedure. With rare exception, this results in a superior sounding and clean playing of the record. There is usually no way to know what kind of solutions were used in the past cleaning, nor what the nature of the detritus dwelling in the depths of the grooves is. The elliptical stylus will track deeper in the groove, and once the material deposited (often stubbornly bonded as well) is suitably softened, the "plowing" of the elliptical stylus will usually deep clean the groove, giving a pristine playback afterwards. Simple dry wipe or slightly moist with a solution of choice is usually all that is required thereafter. It is very satisfying to experience this change. It bears repeating here....a simple cleaning of the stylus afterward with a Magic Eraser (soft drop on the eraser surface only please) is all that is needed to return the stylus to it's clean state. Get in the groove.....Spin 'em!

Re: Excessive accumulation of dirt on stylus

Posted: 04 Dec 2019 00:57
by pivot
If you are doing something that requires "plowing" of a stylus to get gunk out of the grooves I hesitate to use the term "cleaning method".

Change to a method that actually CLEANS the LP. There is whole forum here on cleaning and storage. In my experience Disc Doctor brushes and/or vacuum RCMs actually work. There are other approaches that get discussion on the forum. Time to experiment to find something that works.