The ultrasonic phono stylus cleaner is hardly a new concept – many companies took a stab at it during the glory days of vinyl. But unfortunately, very few of these products were truly effective and, more importantly, the prices were often off-putting. But now Flux Hifi is offering us a smaller and more affordable model that makes full use of their cutting-edge technology!
This Flux HiFi Sonic stylus cleaner is bean-shaped and made of ABS plastic. It is delivered in a box with a pair of batteries and a small bottle of ‘Flux Fluid’. It works in a similar way to ultrasonic cleaners used in the dentistry, jewellery and watchmaking industries, which clean surfaces using strong, high frequency vibrations. However, this ultrasonic treatment can damage certain materials, such as aluminium.
In fact, some ultrasonic treatment can damage glued joints, cantilever suspension and even the cantilever itself. The Flux HiFi Sonic stylus cleaner works by emitting low frequency vibrations. Its circuits and mechanisms are designed to let the vibrations circulate around the stylus. The frequency has been optimised to ensure that no damage whatsoever is caused to the stylus/cantilever joint or the suspension. Its primary aim is to make sure the needle tracks the groove with precision and a tolerance of just a few microns! Manufacturers go to great lengths to produce styli with ever more complex shapes, and this trend is set to continue. But if a stylus has a lot of impurities, profile quality is the last thing on your mind! These impurities lead to an increase in surface noise and distortion of many kinds. Made of them are made up of silicate, polymer and organic matter particles.
In order to fix this, just add a tiny drop of the Flux Fluid onto the cleaner pad. This solution has a base of isopropanol and gives the cleaning process a gentle extra boost. And what's more, it evaporates fully after application, leaving no residue. The cleaner pad is made of extremely fine fibres which create capillary action. It is also worth noting that the treatment the stylus receives with the Flux HiFi is nothing compared to what happens to it during playback. The stylus cleaner displaces the cantilever just a tiny fraction of the amount it moves during normal playback.
The whole cleaning process is very straightforward and overall the product is extremely user-friendly. And the results are incredible, standing up to scrutiny both under the microscope and to the naked eye (or ear!). There really is no competition! An essential product.
ANALOG! Grand Prix 2016 Franck
FAIR AUDIO: Best Buy
Principle: Ultrasound cleaner
Vibrations: low frequency