I though i'd buy one of these, finally, to see what the fuss is about. Here's my honest appraisal:
I bought mine for £35 from Conrad, through Amazon. It turned up, with no fuss, two days later.
I got straight into the cleaning, giving a noisy 'Pearl Jam' album the once over. The instructions say a few rotations of the disc in the fluid are enough, but that seemed low so I gave it about 20 in each direction. It did a very good job. It removed most of the crackles and there was a definite improvement in treble. It twinkled and was airy. There also was no crud on the stylus at the end of both sides of the record, either. So, the Anti-Stat was off to a flyer!
I pretty quickly came into trouble, though. The drying rack holds 15 discs. So, I cleaned 15 and put them in the rack. After playing the first five cleaned discs, which sounded great, the subsequent discs sounded awful. They were full of pops, crackles and surface noise. Also, large amounts of crud were coming off the records. Obviously the fluid had become dirty and was contaminating the discs. I used the supplied filter to clean the fluid and cleaned one of the discs again. It was still terrible. So, I decided to make my own fluid. I've read a few formulas for DIY fluid on the internet and they all consisted of distilled water, isopropyl alcohol and a wetting agent.
However, I decided to go for just distilled water and a few drops of wetting agent (I used Fairy dishwasher rinse-aid. 2 for 1 at Morrison's). I excluded the alcohol for two reasons:
1: It's only purpose in the formula is to speed up the drying process, it doesn't help with the cleaning. There isn't much difference in drying time, anyway. About ten minutes with the alcohol. About 15 without.
2. Cost. By omitting the alcohol, the DIY cleaning fluid costs pennies per litre, so it's cheap enough to discard after each cleaning session.
It worked like a treat. The albums that were affected now sound brilliant again. And no crud.
So, bottom line is, I think the Anti-Stat does a great job as long as whatever fluid you use is clean. It might make me put away my Fairy and Sponge[:D]