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Integrity HIFI's Tru-Kleen

01-22-2020 | By Michael Corsentino | Issue 107

Any analog lover will be the first to tell you, vinyl is a commitment. From record cleaning, to storage, to outer and inner sleeves, to dust removal methods and tools, the simple act of spinning records isn't so simple, but rather a very deliberate set of steps designed to optimize playback and extend the life of your physical media and stylus. This isn't a bad thing, quite the contrary. In fact if you're a process oriented person, as most vinyl obsessives are, there's a certain "Zen in Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" mindset involved in this repetitive prep for playback ritual. It's a constant, it never changes, you can count on it to produce the same predictable results, and at the end of the process clear, great sounding playback is always waiting. In this way the multiple steps taken over and over again to prepare records for playback are strangely comforting to me.

One critical part of this process is cleaning your stylus prior to playback. Dust and other residue that builds up on a stylus not only introduces distortion, but can shorten the life of your stylus and records. For this reason I clean my stylus prior to each side I spin.

Integrity HIFI Tru-Kleen

One of the newest products in my arsenal of dust removal and stylus maintenance tools is Canadian based Integrity Hifi's new Tru-Kleen. This beautifully machined stainless steel, double action stylus cleaner sits on your turntable's plinth not far from your cartridge, held in place by removable Blu-Tack. Two surgical stainless steel wells on opposite sides of each other on a spinning stainless steel base hold Blu-Tack on one side. and Magic Eraser on the other. Tru-Kleen's base rotates into position under your stylus when needed. Once lined up under a cartridge the turntable's tonearm cuing lever is used to gently lower the stylus onto one of the Tru-Kleen's 2 cleaning surfaces.

Tru-Kleen's 2 step cleaning process begins with the Blu-Tack side, removing any gunk, grime or dust, followed up by the Magic Eraser side for a second polishing step. In case you're wondering about the safety and effectiveness of Blu-Tack, Soundsmith cartridge guru Peter Ledermann, one of the leading re-tippers, manufacturers, and cartridge authorities alive today specifically recommends Blu-Tack for stylus cleaning. Tru-Kleen does an excellent job removing stylus dust and grime, it looks great doing it, and Blu-Tack presents zero risk to your stylus. If it's good enough for Peter Ledermann, it's good enough for me.

Prior to Tru-Kleen, Oznow's Zero Dust, also a very fine product, was my stylus cleaner of choice. In addition to Tru-Kleen's double action functionality and stainless steel curb appeal, one of its major advantages, compared to Zero Dust, is stability. Tru-Kleen is mounted to your turntable's plinth, via removable Blu-Tack, therefore it's far more stable than Zero Dust's typically hand held operation. Even at my steadiest, my hand still moves a little holding the Zero Dust under my stylus. Add a few adult beverages, and hand held operation becomes even less reliable. One false move and my precious stylus could easily be toast. I'm a lot more comfortable and confident with the Tru-Kleen's worry free stability, even when sober! Stylus cleaning is now a much smoother, steadier operation. If you're a die hard fan of Zero Dust's cleaning goo, Tru-Kleen's Blu-Tack can easily be replaced.

Integrity HIFI Tru-Kleen

Available in three sizes, small 1 3/16" (fixed height), medium 1 1/2" (fixed height), and large 1 7/8" to 2 1/4" (adjustable height), there's a Tru-Kleen compatible with virtually every turntable. Tru-Kleen joins Integrity HIFI's family of products along with Tru-Lift and Tru-Sweep for a Tru-Fecta of the best in class and best looking turntable accessories on the market. Collect them all!


Retail:  Starting at $149

Integrity HIFI