So if it’s on the internet it must be true right? I’ve decided I need to really clean my Ortofon 2M Red Phono Cartridge and apparently the best way to really get that thing sparkling isn’t to spend $20 on a needle brush but to just use a simple Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!
Magic Eraser Turntable Needle Cleaning
Quickly checking with the wife I found a new one in with the cleaning supplies. I cut off and piece of it and got to work using the following method I found:
Cut a small, thin piece of Magic Eraser and glue it to a coin or other thin, heavy object. Place this on the platter and dip the stylus straight down into the Magic Eraser and back up, using the cueing lever. Dip it several times.
NEVER move the stylus or the Magic Eraser sideways, forward or backward. Those interwoven fibers are grabby and quite strong. Once the stylus is inside the Magic Eraser, moving any direction but straight up and down could separate stylus from cantilever or break the cantilever.
After a few dips in the Magic Eraser, dry brush the stylus again (back to front) to remove any loosened particles.
Instantly I saw it leaving dingy marks onto the Magic Eraser, and what seemed to be a fairly clean needle was actually filthy and I could easily see it leaving behind little black deposits of gunk and doing it’s job.
Excited about my clean needle I put on the Madvillain Vinyl 2LP I just got (which still is at the time of writing this) at a crazy sale price off Amazon Prime.
Oh noes! The audio sounds kind of bunched together, there’s no real crispness to the treble, it’s not the vinyl sound I’m used to. It’s not bad but somethings off. Then it hits me, did I not do this correctly? Did I somehow damage the needle and it’s not riding in the record groove correctly? Did I just ruin my good needle on some bad advice?
I wasn’t sure but threw on another vinyl record, something was still off. I didn’t have time to really trouble shoot the issue, even though I should of automatically knew what it was, I went to shut everything down… and that’s when I saw it.
Pro-ject Anti Skate Weight
Damn you anti-skating weight! It slipped off when I was cleaning and didn’t notice.
tl;dr – Using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean your record players needle is super cheap and does a far better job then pricey needle cleaners.