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Have you thought about why you need to focus on how to clean record needle? It is rightly said that when we listen to vinyl everything is regarding grooves. Now here we don’t mean the grooves of the favourite musical track you have in mind, but grooves present on the vinyl itself. For making sure that you enjoy the high-quality sound, one has to keep the vinyl records very clean. It is the way by which the needle/stylus will also be able to effectively read data on the record.
Of course, a big part of protecting and cleaning the record itself. Most people are aware of it. But cleaning the stylus of your record player has its importance.
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Why should I clean the Record needle?
Cleaning the needle/stylus of a turntable not just ensures quality musical experience but also makes sure that your record has a durable life. When you are regularly clean record needle, it will help you in avoiding issues like:
No cartridge will be sounding better once there is a layer of dust settled over it. Correct sound reproduction does need good contact between record grooves and the stylus. And when there is dust in between, it can cause a scratchy or muffled sound that misses a detail. An unclean needle will also likely skip tracks. The needle debris is a very common reason of mistracking.
Dirt and dust have an abrasive nature when it’s caught between the record groove and needle. So each time you are playing such records there is a slow loss in audio clarity that is noticeable.
The Need for Cleaning the Record Needle after Each Use
Cleaning of the record player is essential as the stylus is constantly in touch with the record while it’s being played. Therefore proper cleaning becomes essential. If the needle has dust or dirt over it, this can be transferred to the record that you are playing. And over some time, this can cause some serious damage to the vinyl, especially if the dirt present on the record gets deep into the record grooves and hardens. It is such a common problem.
The solution for this is prevention and that can be achieved by regular cleaning of the needle when you finish listening to music. If you can try, cleaning after each record and make this a habit.
Here’s how to clean record needle
Now after understanding the importance of cleaning your stylus, here are simple steps that you can follow:
Get a Stylus Cleaner
There are some really good quality cleaners specifically made for stylus cleaning in the market. These also often come with a small brush. And even though usually the quantity offered is about 15 ml, depending on the usage it can last for years.
Applying Solution on the Needle
Now take the brush that comes with the cleaner. Dip it in the cleaning liquid three to four times so that it gets the product on it. Now apply it on the needle and let it sit before you wipe it with a clean cloth. Alternatively, you can also buy a cleaning brush separately online in case you aren’t provided with your cleaning liquid.
Repeat After Each Session
Now, try to follow these steps every time you listen to the record player. It won’t take more than 20 seconds and assures that the vinyl and stylus last you a lifetime!
What Are The Other Ways For Keeping The Records Clean?
When dust and dirt get accumulated on the record, it gets transferred to the record needle. As a result of this dust then gets transferred to any other record that you play. One should avoid this by cleaning the records at regular intervals and keeping it protected from contaminants.
There are many ways for cleaning the records and you can find some good quality products for it online. Begin with a simple record brush purchase. There are also record cleaning machines that you can go for. This is an investment as the cost can go high, although there are some budget-friendly options available as well.
How Often Should Needle Be Cleaned?
As we have already mentioned, that it’s best if you can clean the record needle after each use. Otherwise, if you are not a regular listener, once a week cleaning should be fine as well. Cleaning frequency depends on the usage and how clean your vinyl records already are. The first line of protecting the needle is cleaning dusty records. You can also buy a record washer if your vinyl collection is old and has dust-filled in the grooves.
Also, closely observe the stylus at the time of listening sessions. It will give you the best idea of the way dust accumulates and builds up. Beware of slow accumulation that comes behind needle tip. It is often missed and causes distortion, so keep an eye on that.
Final Words: Clean Needle Means Great Sound Quality
All that’s needed is a small cleaning brush, a little time after every session, and record cleaning periodically. This is the simple guide on how to clean record needle and it is really as it sounds!
Please keep in mind that cleaning the stylus is only a part of the deal. If you don’t keep the vinyl records clean, then it will get difficult to keep them safe from needle damage. Regardless of how records and the stylus are cleaned, the key here is thorough and regular cleaning. If you are making sure that you clean the stylus and record after each session, this will make sure that you do get most of the investment.
A clean needle and record can offer you amazing music for decades to come. There will be real, warm sound retention that comes just from vinyl records. Also having a clean record needle will assure that there are no changes in the music quality and the damage caused to vinyl remains minimum.
Post referenced: How to Clean the Needle on a Record Player