Mapleshade Static Draining Brush
You can’t stop static from building up on plastic surfaces like your CDs, LPs and plastic-insulated speaker cables, power cords, and interconnects.
The electrostatic fields created by this static harshen and smear the sound of both CDs and LPs—and, for video discs, muddy their color and blur
their detail. To unlock the full sonic or visual beauty of your discs, you need to neutralize that static. You’ll hear an easily discernable increase
in treble clarity, spaciousness, and delicacy of quiet musical details; for videos, colors will brighten, image grain will decrease and details
will emerge from the shadows, literally.
Our Static Draining Brush is the easiest way to neutralize static. The first of its kind, our brush uses highly conductive bristles connected to
a grounding wire that conducts static away from the brushed object right into a plug you connect to the ground of any three-prong AC wall outlet.
We’ve utilized a rare bristle technology: low resistance stainless steel fibers only 1/6 the diameter of a human hair and therefore ultra-soft.
These are the gentlest, least-likely-to-scratch conductive bristles available, demonstrably softer than carbon fiber or conductive nylon—and with
far lower resistance. The brush is grounded with an 8’ wire that you can leave plugged into an AC outlet.
If you own a turntable, our Static Draining Brush is a must have: it gets rid of the static-attracted gritty dust particles, the number one enemy
of long record life. Every time you unsleeve an LP, just give it a brush and it will play undegraded, static-free and dust-free. Ditto for CDs,
DVDs, BluRays, et al. An added sonic benefit is that our brush will also safely remove static from your CD player’s plastic drawer, your
turntable’s cartridge body and stylus, and your wires. Static builds up on each of these; brushing each will additively improve playback.
There are lots of “anti-static” (i.e. slightly conductive) brushes on the market. But if they don’t have a grounded wire, the brush will actually
add static to your disc, both by bristle friction and by neatly conducting your body’s static charge right onto the disc. We guarantee our brush
is a softer, more effective, better sounding static-killer than any static-draining brush you’ve tried.
REVIEW by Audiophile Audition, June 2014
I had thought my Mapleshade Iconoclast (which is much stronger than the Zerostat used by most audiophiles) had given up the ghost, but its prongs had
just been bent a bit. Good, since it’s no longer manufactured. However, I ended up receiving this—what they used to call the Phonophile Record Brush—
and I’m glad to add it to my many vinyl-playing accessories.
The general idea here is that electrostatic fields build up on your vinyl records, the cartridge body and on the stylus itself. The standard carbon fibre record brushes—most of which are labeled “anti-static”—actually create more static with the friction of their fibers rubbing on the vinyl. They also transfer some of the static charge from the user’s body onto the disc. The Iconoclast and Zerostat neutralize some of the static, but actually I was always a bit worried about accidentally striking the actual vinyl grooves when making that triangular pattern in operating the Iconoclast over the vinyl record.
The Static Draining Brush should be handled gently. It should first have its banana plug at the end of the 8 ft. cable plugged into the nearest ground connection on a 3-prong AC socket. There’s nothing dangerous about doing this; the ground in the wall or on a power bar is only connected to earth. (If it’s a power bar, make sure it has a ground connection to the wall socket.) Then it is gently held down to brush the grooves of the record as it spins around. Its fibers are 1/6th the diameter of a human hair and it is a very gentle brush that won’t scratch the vinyl.
The owner’s manual also suggests a complete anti-static treatment: to also brush the stylus and cartridge body from rear to front, to brush the turntable platter, and then brush the other side of the vinyl disc before brushing the side you’re going to play first. That last keeps the underside of the vinyl from picking up dust from the platter. The idea here is to eliminate static from anywhere on the turntable. It also recommends how to clean the brush if it accumulates dust and lint, using a soft fingernail brush or a soft and clean paint brush.
I haven’t taken these extra steps as yet, but will try them. I do find that there seems to be less attraction of the plastic sleeves to the records, and I haven’t heard a single pop when playing a vinyl since using the Static Draining Brush. I still use the Iconoclast at my Oppo deck on SACDs, CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, but Mapleshade recommends you also use the Static Draining Brush on these optical discs, as well as on your disc player’s drawer. The 8 ft. cord easily allows me to do that without moving the Static Draining Brush, so I will have to try that next. The bottom line here is that this accessory is vital to get the best out of whatever turntable system you might have.
• Just a quick thank you for a really surprisingly effective product - your stainless steel record brush. I have been using carbon fibre brushes for
30(?) years - I am simply gobsmacked how much better your grounded brush works. Apparently a whole lot of the random record noise I have lived
with was caused by static, not debris ratting around in/on the grooves. Great product. -John S.
• So how does static compromise good sound? In my experience it produces an overall electrical-sounding coating that clings to the musical presentation,
limiting fine detail and making the highs sound bright and carbonated. Static, untreated, will plague digital but is more insidious and quick-developing
in analog where point contact between stylus and groove becomes the perfect host. Worse, if you optimized cartridge VTA without any means of static
elimination, chances are you are way off--and probably too low, in order to compensate for tizzy over-the-top highs due to distortion caused by static
buildup rather than by high arm height. Your first order of defense is an initial zap with the ionoclast which works wonders with both records and cds (along with all your cables). Then, on
the analog side, easy and frequent maintenance with the Phonophile antistatic brush. Not only does it dust off and destatic your vinyl, it does the
same with your stylus restoring sonic homeostasis with each pass. I would not be without it--especially if you are setting up a new cartridge or
just want consistently good sound out of your present pickup. With each use the noise floor drops; highs become more defined and everything gains
coherence. It doesn't deep clean nor is it intended to. It just happens to be a wonderful dust buster with antistatic abilities built-in--the last
record brush I'll ever need to buy. Fantastic. -Jack M.