I’ve been playing records lately, and have been considering one of the big expensive Record Cleaning Machines. I’ll probably buy one, in fact. In the meantime, and to handle surface dust, I ordered a carbon fiber brush to use dry. I’m really impressed at how effective it is! It’s easy, quick, inexpensive, and makes a big difference. Highly recommended!
I ordered my brush from, of all places, the DAK catalog. It was gone for a while, but he’s back. Lots smaller, but many of the same ideas – reasonable products at cheap import prices. Several of the “audiophile” sources had what appears to be the same brush for twice the price. And Drew has pictures of dust to look at. What more can you ask?
I’ve been really impressed at the difference this makes right away. Whenever you put a record in a paper liner or a cardboard sleeve – who’s brilliant idea was that, anyway? – the grooves get filled with linty fluff. As the record spins – at about 1.1mph at the outside edge – all that fluff impacts with the stylus and makes a torrent of little white noisy sounds.
The carbon fiber brush is really simple – it sweeps all the linty fluff out of the grooves without packing them full of crud. That whole layer of noise goes away. I bet most people just think that is how records sound – nope!
I’m confident that this is something that almost anyone can hear the difference between, and at $30 or so it’s well within the bounds of most people.