Immedia Needle Nectar Stylus Cleaning Fluid
A Little Dab'll Do Ya
The Sound of One Digit
The Age of Enlightenment
A couple of months ago, the jungle drums told me that there was a new stylus cleaning kit on the market called Needle Nectar. Intrigued by the name, I decided to give it a try. It comes in three parts: a little spill-proof bottle, a cleaning brush similar to the one provided by LAST with their products, and a small, resealable plastic baggie containing the above parts and the instructions. The fluid is claimed to be water-soluble and, for this reason, evaporates slowly. This also means that you don't have to worry about any solvent effects on the adhesive that attaches the stylus to the cantilever. Additionally, the fluid is said to contain no vinyl-damaging lubricants. The baggie is provided to store the wet brush for future use so you don't have to wet the bristles each time the stylus is cleaned. The whole package makes sense and is very economical, even at US$25.00 for a ¼ ounce bottle.
The instructions for use are very simple and I quote directly from the bottle: "Leave tonearm unlocked on rest. Place a drop of Needle Nectar on brush. Pull brush from rear to front of needle. Never push brush from front to rear." That's all there is to it and it really works. I examined the stylus of my Lyra Lydian cartridge under high-power magnification before and after cleaning. I can't tell you how horrific it looked before I cleaned it. I had no idea how much groove pollution had accumulated on the stylus because it's not visible to the naked eye - trust me, it's there! A shake of the bottle, a drop on the brush and a couple of careful swipes and the stylus was left resplendently translucent, just like new. It gave me a warm feeling to see all that vinyl detritus banished from my world.
The sound, you ask? Well, I can't attribute any particular quality to it except to say that a clean stylus tracing a clean groove is a good thing. Of course, a stylus sans grunge is operating under optimum conditions, and one is bound to hear improvements in clarity, a lower noise floor and so on. I think perhaps, it is the long-term benefits of stylus cleaning that are often overlooked. Considering the tremendous pressure and heat generated in playing a vinyl record, how could one doubt the benefits of having a clean, un-plated stylus? The stylus works as it should, more details are resolved, and the groove is protected from wear and damage.
There are several other stylus cleaning fluids on the market, but I would recommend this one because of the clever packaging which allows easy and economical use of the product. I really like the spill-proof bottle with the built in dropper nozzle. The brush never goes back in the bottle so the cleaning solution is never contaminated. Needle Nectar is a first rate product that works.
Needle Nectar Stylus Cleaning Fluid
Available from Media Access
P.O. Box 423, Baldwin WI, USA, 54002
phone: (715) 698-3254, fax: (715) 698-3256
web: http://www.mediaacc.com, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Price: US$25.00 for ¼ ounce (7.39 ml)
Source of review sample: Media Access
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