Lockdown Covid19 has given me the opportunity to rifle through the warehouse to hitherto unvisited and abandoned corners. I’ve now got a lovely Townsend record deck at home with scorpio arm that I found – and I vaguely remember buying it in Devon many years ago with a small record collection. My front room, hallway and dining room are now full of turntables that I have acquired with record collections – all need some kind of attention and I’m trying my best with them!
I have never owned a stylus cleaner – I normally use a brush sprayed with some isopropyl alcohol, but I was intrigued by this little device I found in my warehouse in a box filled with other interesting bits. I believe the Audio Technica Electronic Stylus Cleaner AT637 went out of production in the mid-nineties when CDs superseded the LP format in earnest, or as one rumour has it the original tooling for the devices broke and the powers that be decided not to repair them and cease the production.
It comes in a neat little box with a bottle of fluid and battery. I cleaned out the battery terminals which were showing a little signs of corrosion as the battery had been left in for god knows how long. It cleaned up nicely and when I inserted the battery it came to life instantly. A little light comes on so that you can see what you are doing when you are cleaning your stylus. Basically you just turn it on and gently drop your stylus onto the fine brush pad that is vibrating at high speed, and the advice is that if your stylus is heavily dirty then to use the stylus cleaning fluid, but it is not essential.
As I am writing I am having vague memories of where and who I got this from. I bought a collection of LPs from a man, and as I was packing up he handed me the Audio Technica Electronic Stylus Cleaner AT637 with a glint in his eye. “This is great” he said, “You can’t get them anymore.” I remember chuckling on my way out, it seemed like such an elaborate and costly device for something you can do by improvising with a record brush and some isopropyl. However, as I have been tinkering at home with all the equipment that needs tweaking I have a new admiration for things designed for specific tasks…so now, devices like these get a thumbs up from me!