Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

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zwhita
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Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by zwhita » 25 Jan 2020 21:39

I bought one of these last year:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GE ... =UTF8&th=1
then never used it. Today I tried it on a somewhat rare LP with alot of noticeable dust on it, not thinking anything of it and noticed three things:
  1. Following the instructions pushes about half the dust into a long, thin pile from center to edge, and it doesn't come off onto the brush
  2. Listening to the record reveals plenty of surface noise still present
  3. Most importantly, there is now a line of scratch marks, from center to edge, where the brush initially made contact with the record before I started spinning the turntable
I won't know if this damage from #3 was permanent or not until I run the LP through my spin clean, but I'm guessing the damage is only cosmetic. Still, this seems like a worthless product and Audio Technica should be ashamed for releasing it without any warnings about said damage.

circularvibes
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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 25 Jan 2020 23:57

That is the exact same as many branded brushes like the Hunt EDA or Bags Unlimited Super Exstatic. I have one and use it regularly with no problems. The dust doesn't "come off onto the brush", it is to be swept off to the label. With the disc spinning, you LIGHTLY hold the brush on the disc for at least 3 revolutions then take at least 2 revolutions to slowly sweep the dust towards the label. DO NOT be tempted to sweep off the edge of the record as you are going against the groove and pushing the dust back into the groove. A light spritz of water or 99% isopropyl alcohol on the pad of the brush will aid in picking up dust but isn't necessary most times. This is still not a replacement for wet cleaning though, especially on second hand records from thrift shops or garage sales. I also wash mine out in the sink with Sunlight dish detergent and warm water, rinse VERY WELL and blot dry then leave over night to fully dry before reusing it. That gets rid of greases that accumulate from the discs and the air. I do this every few months as I use it daily. It is now about 4 years old and still performing like new.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by zwhita » 26 Jan 2020 01:59

Considering the scratches it made at first contact, I would be hesitant to move the brush towards the label while continuing to spin, as I might change downward pressure involuntarily in the course of pushing the brush inwards. No this cleaning technique just isn't for me, it seems. Better to ruin one record and learn from the mistake and move on.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 26 Jan 2020 02:29

There is no brush that will work if you don't move it towards the label. They are not made to be used stationary. The closest thing to stationary is the original Discwasher pad that you would mist lightly then let it pick up the dust over a few revolutions then you rotate the pad to sweep up the debris. For your brush, only the weight of the brush should be used, do not push on it. Just used your hand to guide the brush firmly. There is no reason to be afraid of it. Putting pressure on it is only counterintuitive. If there are actual scratches on your record from the brush then either you pushed on it or the dust was more abrasive and could not be helped. Are you sure the marks weren't there before hand? I have bought new records and found light abrasions caused by the careless handling by pressing plant employees and abrasive paper sleeves. You say this was a rare LP. Was it a recent pressing? Had you seen it before the dust was on it? I would wet clean it either way as it is not easily replaceable. Brushes are for light dust only after the record has been properly washed. I even wash my acquisitions from my LRS before I play it. I have seen in my city that only one store wet cleans every used record and they don't always do a very good job of it. The rest if they do wet clean sometimes, I do not know which ones they are so I wash anyways before playing. I usually don't wash new sealed records but some do. I have had to on occasion though. I have never had a record brush scratch a record without help. Only record cleaning "pads" like velvet lined spongy things (like Le-Bo or Recoton of the 1970's) or Discwasher pads that are hard and dirty from never being washed have scratched my records. I urge you to reconsider using it again. Try using your vacuum to suck out debris first just in case abrasive dust was the reason and try it on a lesser record first of course. Let us know how it goes. Audio Technica doesn't put out bad products.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by Sunwire » 26 Jan 2020 06:46

I haven't used this brush, but I've used many others of various types.
If it has stiff carbon fiber bristles, it's possible it might scratch the record. Some record brushes with stiff or sharp bristles are reported to do that.
My favorite is a different Audio Technica brush, the AT-6012. It doesn't damage records, unless they are covered with abrasive dust.
I've never heard of moving the dust toward the label of the record.
What do you do with the dust after that?
And how do you stop it from getting back on the record?
I have always "rolled" the brush against the record as the record is spinning. Touching the record first with the leading edge of the brush, then rolling the brush so the entire brush eventually sweeps the record, lifting the dust up and away from the record. Then you wipe the dust off the brush. With the AT-6012 there is a little ridge on the edge of the brush holder where you can wipe the dust off the brush, then clean the dust off the edge with a cloth or your finger.
See the instructions on the back of the package (shown in the ad in the photos on the left).
https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-A ... B0009IGAPW

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 26 Jan 2020 07:00

Sunwire, that product, like the Discwasher is a pad not a brush. It is designed to pick up the dust in its fibres. My difficulty with pads is that you never get all the debris out of the fabric, even with washing. Those type seem to wear under heavy use before most carbon fibre brushes do. You can not "roll" with a brush, all you do is crush the fibres. Both the Audio Technica brush and the pad you show are not actually made by Audio Technica, just rebranded by some Chinese manufacturer for AT. The pad you have I have owned under a few names in the 1980's. Philips had a big run of them in my old stomping grounds at a local surplus shop. Both types can be found on the Ali-Baba web shop and you can get your own name on them if you order in quantity.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by apastuszak » 21 Feb 2020 15:15

I have a few different carbon fiber brushes and I find them all to be worthless. They do a good job of moving dust around, not a vey good job of getting it off the record.

If you want to actually get dust OFF the record, nothing beats a vintage Discwasher (I like the D4 the best). It grabs dust and debris and actually holds it in the directional fabric and takes it off the record.

Of course this is all from surface dust. If you want to get dust out of grooves, you need a wet cleaning with a good scrub.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 21 Feb 2020 17:15

Brushes are essentially brooms. To expect them to "pick up the dust" is erroneous. A brush is designed to move the debris gently to the side and tickle the dust out of the grooves without doing damage. A Discwasher "pad" (not a brush) will pick up the larger pieces of debris and appear to be doing a better job but they can over time scratch records as the dust and debris (and oils from handling and environment) remain trapped in the fibres. Both brushes and pads can be washed but not everything comes out. A brush is much easier to clean and more effective when used properly on clean records with minimal environmental dust, not records just in from the thrift shop or left on your platter over night. Dust will eventually burn and dull the carbon fibres but keeping them clean can prevent that. I used to wear out brushes by using them to clean the platter mat and for attempting to clean dirty records without washing first. Since I learned I was wrong to do that, carbon fibre brushes tend to last me a decade or more now, not the 1 to 2 years I got from classic Decca brushes.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by apastuszak » 21 Feb 2020 21:17

circularvibes wrote:
21 Feb 2020 17:15
Brushes are essentially brooms. To expect them to "pick up the dust" is erroneous. A brush is designed to move the debris gently to the side and tickle the dust out of the grooves without doing damage. A Discwasher "pad" (not a brush) will pick up the larger pieces of debris and appear to be doing a better job but they can over time scratch records as the dust and debris (and oils from handling and environment) remain trapped in the fibres. Both brushes and pads can be washed but not everything comes out. A brush is much easier to clean and more effective when used properly on clean records with minimal environmental dust, not records just in from the thrift shop or left on your platter over night. Dust will eventually burn and dull the carbon fibres but keeping them clean can prevent that. I used to wear out brushes by using them to clean the platter mat and for attempting to clean dirty records without washing first. Since I learned I was wrong to do that, carbon fibre brushes tend to last me a decade or more now, not the 1 to 2 years I got from classic Decca brushes.
The only thing carbon fiber has done for me is move dust around. You are right. They are a broom.

I've never had a Discwasher scratch a record. But I have seen it pick up surface dust and trap it in the bristles, which I prefer. I would not recommend either type of brush on a record unless it has been wet cleaned first. Neither one is going to clean a record. It's just going to take surface dust off, which is all I need.

I've talked to some people that clean their records off with a Swiffer, with excellent results.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 21 Feb 2020 22:13

Keep in mind that if the discwasher pad is picking up and holding the dust, it has to eventually go somewhere. Most likely scratching your groove. If the carbon fibre is moving the dust around, it is doing its job. That is why you move it slowly to the label where you won't be playing the dust rather than the music. With the Discwasher pad, when it scratches your record, you won't see it because it will be scratching lengthwise to and in your groovewalls. I have tried the Swiffer on records and I am not impressed. It leaves a chemical behind. If all you really want to do is to remove only surface dust, then get an antistatic cloth and leave the Discwasher pad behind. I prefer to remove all dust, not just on the "surface". Some iterations of Discwasher pads also had the fibres harden over time and when you discover it, it will be too late.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by lenjack » 22 Feb 2020 04:09

I'v used one of these for decades without issues. It's not designed to clean the grooves, only to remove surface dust. You can gently sweep it off the record.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by apastuszak » 22 Feb 2020 05:13

circularvibes wrote:
21 Feb 2020 22:13
Keep in mind that if the discwasher pad is picking up and holding the dust, it has to eventually go somewhere. Most likely scratching your groove. If the carbon fibre is moving the dust around, it is doing its job. That is why you move it slowly to the label where you won't be playing the dust rather than the music. With the Discwasher pad, when it scratches your record, you won't see it because it will be scratching lengthwise to and in your groovewalls. I have tried the Swiffer on records and I am not impressed. It leaves a chemical behind. If all you really want to do is to remove only surface dust, then get an antistatic cloth and leave the Discwasher pad behind. I prefer to remove all dust, not just on the "surface". Some iterations of Discwasher pads also had the fibres harden over time and when you discover it, it will be too late.
The Discwasher has given me better results than anything else I have used. It comes with a small red brush to clean the pad to get the dust out of it. You don't leave the debris in the Discwasher. You remove it. There have been dozens of records full of surface noise that my anti-static brushes have done nothing to, and then a quick wipe with a wetted Discwasher and the surface noise is gone.

Frankly, I can't understand why you think the Discwasher is such a bad idea. It's the best record surface cleaning device I have ever used. I'm just upset that the current model they sell doesn't have the direction fabric on it. The whole point to the directional fabric is that the dust/debris stays IN the fabric until you brush it out with the small red brush.

And, I have had carbon fiber brushes scratch my records. About a dozen of them. The scratches were inaudible, but they were there. I also bought a vintage Realistic carbon fiber brush. The bristles are so much softer than any modern carbon fiber brush I own.

There's just nothing about a carbon fiber brush that appeals to me. I don't even really see it cut down on static.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 22 Feb 2020 14:54

One thing about a Discwasher pad is that you will never release all the debris with a brush. It gets trapped inside the fabric. It is the dampness that is reducing noise, not the Discwasher. As to the currently made Discwasher pads, they are no longer made by Discwasher but by RCA, whoever owns the rights to that trademark. That has been the case for at least two decades. If you have scratches from a carbon fibre brush, there must be an issue with how you are using it. Carbon fibre bristles alone are not strong enough to make any scratches. The brush mentioned in the first post refers to a carbon fibre brush that has a velvet pad in the centre of it. That brush "may" scratch if it has debris trapped in the velvet pile and if one applies pressure to it while using it. One should not be applying pressure to a "brush" and let the weight of the brush do the job. One should simply guide it to sweep the dust to the label, not do the work for the brush. If you are bending the fibres, you are pushing too hard. As to static, a light spritz with a carbon fibre brush will do the same. Also, you remove some of the static with some brushes like the Decca of long ago by either grounding yourself by touv=ching the turntable or other electronics while sweeping the disc and then as you sweep to the label, you have the brush touch the spindle. This will discharge the static in some models. The brush mentioned in the original post can be used with a light spray of water or water and isopropyl alcohol mix. I keep a small bottle from an eyeglass cleaning kit to do this.

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by apastuszak » 22 Feb 2020 15:35

circularvibes wrote:
22 Feb 2020 14:54
One thing about a Discwasher pad is that you will never release all the debris with a brush. It gets trapped inside the fabric. It is the dampness that is reducing noise, not the Discwasher. As to the currently made Discwasher pads, they are no longer made by Discwasher but by RCA, whoever owns the rights to that trademark. That has been the case for at least two decades. If you have scratches from a carbon fibre brush, there must be an issue with how you are using it. Carbon fibre bristles alone are not strong enough to make any scratches. The brush mentioned in the first post refers to a carbon fibre brush that has a velvet pad in the centre of it. That brush "may" scratch if it has debris trapped in the velvet pile and if one applies pressure to it while using it. One should not be applying pressure to a "brush" and let the weight of the brush do the job. One should simply guide it to sweep the dust to the label, not do the work for the brush. If you are bending the fibres, you are pushing too hard. As to static, a light spritz with a carbon fibre brush will do the same. Also, you remove some of the static with some brushes like the Decca of long ago by either grounding yourself by touv=ching the turntable or other electronics while sweeping the disc and then as you sweep to the label, you have the brush touch the spindle. This will discharge the static in some models. The brush mentioned in the original post can be used with a light spray of water or water and isopropyl alcohol mix. I keep a small bottle from an eyeglass cleaning kit to do this.
Have you ever used a Discwasher brush?

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Re: Carbon Fiber Brush damages records?

Post by circularvibes » 22 Feb 2020 16:21

Yes, until I had record damage from a couple. I stopped in the early 90s. They were also in use at a radio station in my home town which I first saw in 1983. They used them dry. I don't know if they did not replace the fluid or just prefered it that way. I have also used the blue velvet covered ones like Audio Technica sells today. They worked even better but wore faster. I got mine from a surplus store for a buck each so did not mind tossing them. The best I ever used was the old Decca brushes but they are no longer made. I have a Bags Unlimited version of the first mentioned brush/pad combo as well as a Tonar carbon fibre brush. Like you, I find it best to start with wet cleaned records. The only brushes on the market that I am aware of that I have not tried are the Para-Stat and the radioactive one. I have yet to try a Watts or Decca Dust Bug yet either but have used cheaper knock offs. I did try the Swiffer trick but found a slightly greasy residue on the previously wet cleaned disc. I even tried record antistatic cloths to some good results but hated cleaning them out as they wore quicker than I liked. There were record cleaning sprays in the 1970's and 80's that I tried too but they all left residue and sounded horrible after. MaybeI had bad stock or used them improperly. I was a teenager when I used them. I have gone though many brushes in almost 40 years as I found which ones worked well for me and what killed them fastest too. Those methods of brush destruction included sweeping dirty records (melted the fibres together), cleaning 78s (abrasive) and using them to sweep the platter mats. I now wsh my platter mats in warm water and dish soap, rinsed well as needed. I also keep a sheet of Bounce under the platter mat which helps a bit with static. I live in a dry apartment with landlord supplied carpeting and any static help I can get is good.

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