So stylus cleaning is an inexact science at best. Truth is, the entire concept of a diamond needle tracking in a vinyl groove is incredibly primitive at best. But… if done correctly, it remains by far the most enthralling method to reproduce high quality audio recordings at home. This is, of course, a big if. Anyone outside of the Golden Age (post) thinks back upon vinyl records with memories of clicks, pops, and scratches. And in most cases this was true. Vinyl records require a great deal of care to faithfully reproduce music with any sort of longevity. In fact, one can completely ruin a vinyl record forever by simply neglecting to clean it properly before the first time dropping a needle onto it.
So, assuming you are fastidiously caring for your cherished vinyl (post), how do you also care for the needle tracking it. First and foremost for the care of both you must take great care to set up your turntable/tonearm to so the stylus is properly tracking the groove without excessive force vertically or laterally. But still, no matter how well you care for your vinyl prior to each drop of the needle, your stylus itself is going to need some care or excessive wear, audio quality segregation, and mis-tracking will ensue.
While there are several companies that will be happy to sell you expensive “snake oil” stylus cleaning solutions promising to change your life in the listening chair forever, the solution is in fact very simple, inexpensive, and just might be already on the shelf of your cleaning closet.
The Magic Eraser is a household cleaning product designed to remove just about any stain on any surface. Rather than relying upon strong solvents, which could easily damage your phono cartridge should they wick up into it’s delicate coils, it uses a unique molecular structure to strip materials clean of unwanted debris.