I’ve known about Zerodust for at least 4 years now and have been wanting to try it for just as long, but the cost was unjustified and ridiculous until recently.
I clean my stylus before each side of record play. I have been using a piece of plain Magic Eraser and stylus brush this whole time over the years, but have been wanting to try the Onsow Zerodust as I stated. Using a brush and Magic Eraser involve two different methods. The Magic Eraser and Zerodust work the same way using the dipping method I’ll call it, because that is what you do.
The Onzow Zerodust stylus tip cleaner is made of a now, not so newly developed ultra soft plastic everyone refers to as a goo. It kind of is like a goo as the cleaning element of the stylus tip cleaner is softer than a baby skin and 15 times more elasticity, this mysterious material will never damage a delicate stylus. The Onzow Zerodust is made in Japan and imported to the US and UK mainly. Translated to English the manufacture website is very sparse:http://onzow.zunow.jp/
Be aware though that it is possible that there are fakes of this product out there, so always check for signs. You want to make sure the language on the front of the package is in Japanese all the way. It should be in English on the back. Also make sure the color of the box is appropriate, now this is a bit more difficult, but this came in a green box for a while, then gray and now it is orange. I found out through reliable sources, that the manufacture will change-up the color of the boxes once in a while as it is some sort of aid in production tracking for them. If you see this in a selection of a dozen colors or more, then you are probably looking at fakes. Wherever you buy this from, should not have a selection of colors at all.
The mysterious mound of goo comes in a plastic box and the lid is also a lupe or magnifier to examine your stylus with. That’s it, all there is to it.
So what does this cost nearly everywhere? Far too much for what it is, until recently. Now you can get it at Amazon for about half of what it goes for everyplace else.
I wrote this review on Amazon (under the moniker Sonic dragon): “I purchased this thinking I was taking the chance that it may be a Chinese fake judging by what some audiophile folks were saying. Well, now I can say that they were wrong! Seeing it on Amazon for near half the usual price was shocking. I had my doubts, but finally went ahead and purchased.”
“The package arrived and I practically did forensic exam on it. I looked at it all over and under magnification, packaging and everything. I then did some research and finally compared it with one someone had who paid the higher price. With the exception of the “endorsed by Ortofon” badge, which nobody has seen before it seems, I can say with 99.9% confidence that this is the real Japanese Onzow Zerodust product. At first, the color threw me (mine is orange), but I found out that the color is in fact correct as I mentioned before. Everything else is as it should be including the fonts.”
Like the piece of Magic Eraser, you have to use the Zerodust very carefully, otherwise you could rip your needle right off!
To use this product one can do it in a couple of ways:
1) One way is to have your turntable off and tonearm on the lock position, then holding the Zerodust under the stylus, slowly raise the Zerodust up until the stylus is in it and then slowly lower the Zerodust. (This method requires a steady hand).
2) The other way is to again, make sure the turntable is off and secure the platter, do not let it move a millimeter! Place the Zerodust on the platter by the tonearm where the needle would come down on a record. Slowly take the tonearm and move it over the Zerodust, if you can, use the cue lever to lower the needle into the Zerodust and then use the lever again to raise it. If you do not have a way of using the cue lever or your table doesn’t have one, you’ll have to lower and raise by hand. Just do everything slowly and deliberately with either method and you’ll be fine.
Folks with $10k cartridges use the Zerodust, so it’s safe to use as long as you don’t move it with the stylus in it.
If the Zerodust ever gets too dirty (it shouldn’t if your records are clean) or starts to diminish in its performance all you do is rinse it off (I suggest distilled water) and let it dry and it will be good as new. Even at the Amazon price it may seem a bit spendy for a mound of goo in a plastic box, but it is not something you use for a month and throw out. You should get many years of service from it even using it everyday.
I’m glad I finally got it. I’ve been using Magic Eraser and dry brush before now. I clean my stylus before playing each side anyway. The M.E. is ok and works similar to the Zerodust (I never see anything come off my stylus and don’t expect to with the Zerodust either just because I keep my records clean), but I think the Zerodust is a bit better in efficiency and performance over the Magic Eraser. I still favor a dry brush (as it gets the cantilever as well), but will now be using the Zerodust too.
Just to repeat: Best price I’ve ever seen is at Amazon.
Here’s a video on it. In it the demonstrator shows the method of bringing the Zerodust up to the stylus. If you’re not sure about the steadiness of your hands, I recommend finding a way to go opposite and lower you stylus into the Zerodust ideally using your queue lever on your table or what have you.