As you might expect, Russ Andrews offers a wide range of LP maintenance and tweaking accessories, but I was particularly drawn to the Tip Tonic as it performs the same function as an old Audio Technica product (long discontinued), which I treasure and allows wet cleaning of a stylus.
Obviously, loose fluff and suchlike can be dislodged easily from a stylus with any soft brush, but discs often have nastier stuff deep in the grooves, which leaves a hard and tenacious residue on the diamond.
It may not even be possible to see this with the naked eye, but just the smallest buildup on the stylus will cause imperfect tracking and, all too readily, premature disc wear.
One needs to be careful with wet cleaning, though, as the suspension at the back end of the cantilever may be weakened and/or hardened by use of the wrong chemical solvent, and on such small parts it's likely that capillary action will draw the fluid up from the stylus to the suspension, however carefully one cleans.
Tip Tonic is specially formulated for this job and a quick 'nose test' suggests that it's not an aggressive chemical that's likely to attack rubber suspension, but a couple of drops on the supplied nylon brush are highly effective at loosening gunge.
The brush is just stiff enough for the job and the process takes seconds, but it is well worth the wait.
Tip: leave the volume at a normal listening setting for immediate feedback as to whether you're being too rough!
Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview