Uh-oh ONZOW (stylus cleaning thread)

You all see this Mike Fremer article? I use the ONZOW and have a big cleaning session planned for my carts later this week. Going back to previous methods.

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Rats, he mentioned both the Onzow and what I replaced it with. Back to just Listerine I guess.


Picked up an expensive bottle of stylus cleaner from Lyra (~$60) and plan to go back to Mr. Clean Magic Eraser cleaning and traditional brushes. I have probably over used the ONZOW (sometimes after every side, and probably less gently than I should have)…but have also cleaned that ONZOW device a few times in the last few years with the same fluids I use in my record cleaning. This news is going to ruin ONZOW, I imagine.

Oh great

I’ve always been skeptical about BluTack also. But Peter Lederman just told me to use it on my newly retipped cart. The Best today, The Worst tomorrow.


Think this is Mr Fremer going overboard again.

That amount of muck on the cantilever could not be from an Onzow pad. There just isn’t enough contact.

I suspect it’s just general build-up of muck floating around and the atmospheric conditions in his basement.

I use another brand of pad and occasionally wet clean with a Clearaudio fluid and brush that I’ve had probably close on 10 years for about $50. Lyra make a similar product for a similar price.

Listerine one is probably the very freshest solution out there. As long as you go with mint and not that yellowy garbage.

@stevensegal I don’t know man, there are pictures to prove it. If it’s clickbait, people’s livelihood are at stake, and I’ll not forgive the author for misleading a community about protecting/caring for their investments. Hope someone with a crazy camera responds with more evidence.


I have an Onzow Zero Dust and don’t use it anymore because it’s very dirty, but I never got gunk like Fremer.

I use a VP Dust Buster every few sides, I’ve just bought a replacement after the last one went missing. You can wash them with warm water.

Here is a picture I just took of a screw weighing 2.4g sitting on top of an Onzow pad - so more than the tracking weight of any modern cartridge. There is no distortion of the pad, so there is no way lowering a stylus on to it is going to result in contact with the cantilever.

No offense, but the pictures Mike’s article provided are significantly more persuasive than your bolt.


With all due respect the contact area of that screw head is infinitely greater than a microscopic stylus tip, so the downward force exerted on the pad is not in any way comparable.




It is easy to get confused.


Is he just using a dirty onzow over and over again?

I run the onzow thing under warm water now and again, and it’s pristine. Nothing to slough off and attach to the stylus/cantilever, it would seem, but I don’t have an electron microscope to confirm this.

can i change my username to dirty onzow please


I kind of suspected something was going on with mine. I quit using it a few years back and now just use the stylus brush that comes with the cartridge. It keeps it super clean 99% of the time. If I see any stuck hairs or darkening, I’ll pull out my bottle of Last Stylus Cleaner and hit it with that and brush it again. But I rarely have to use the LSC solution.

OK you bolt sceptics, here’s the real thing on the Onzow.

All that muck up Fremer’s cantilever doesn’t seem to have anything to do with it.

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The VTA on that fella looks CRAZY! Of course it’s not doing much to that cantilever. Still, it’s absolutely touching the cantilever.

But you’re right about one thing after revisiting Fremer’s/Wally Tools pictures: How the substance could get so high up on the cantilever to be almost as high or even higher than the cart body remains a mystery to the article reader/user.

He’s an image from online - mine is par for the course.

As you say, it’s touching the cantilever, but just the end of it.

So we agree that Fremer’s muck must have got there some other way. I had a cantilever that got like his, it was before I cleaned my records with a Loricraft. I suspect it’s dirt and static combined with all his dusty records in that basement of his.



What’s next? Spade connectors?

Looking at those pictures of the stylus/cantilever, I really think they must be using it wrong during these tests. Like they’re breaking the surface of the thing and jamming the stylus into the gel.

The story itself is not by fremer, but here’s a quote from him in the comments:

“When you lower the stylus onto the goop the cantilever inevitably takes a bath in it.”

It’s not goop, in my experience.

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I’m not hip to the P20 thing. Linky?

Now “the saga continues” …draw your own conclusions.