Three years after launching the world’s first optical cartridge (the company has since grown its optical range with an ‘entry-level’ variant and cartridge system), DS Audio has created a stylus cleaner - not just for optical cartridges but also the far more conventional moving magnet and moving coil types.
Because it isn’t just vinyl records themselves that require tender loving care…
The ST-50 comprises a cleaning pad made from a urethrane resin of the type specifically developed for ‘cleanrooms’ - microparticle-free rooms used in industries as varied as pharmaceutical and medical to food and electronics, and from which the inspiration for the ST-50 was drawn. It works to remove dust from the stylus tip by absorbing microscopic dust particles from it.
The ST-50, which has a nickel-plated casing with a leather underside, is designed to sit on the turntable platter while the user gently lowers the tonearm (two to three times per clean) to touch the stylus onto the gel pad, taking care not to rotate the platter during the process.
While typical stylus cleaners use brushes and solvents, DS Audio says the ST-50’s method is ‘extremely gentle and safe’. It’s supposedly lasting too, as the urethrane gel pad can be washed (rinsed it tap water, dried at room temperature) and re-used.
First introduced at CES 2018 earlier this year, the ST-50 is available now. It's priced at £75.