Is Audio Intelligent's Enzymatic Stylus Cleaning Fluid Safe For Your Ortofon Bonded Stylus?

Audio Intelligent's recently introduced AIVS Enzymatic Stylus Cleaning Formula is an enzymatic stylus cleaning solution that's alcohol-free and claimed to be 100% safe for bonded type styli like Ortofon's.

When I spoke recently to AI's Jim Pendleton he assured me that the new stylus cleaner's formula was 100% safe for bonded styli. He bases his confidence on leaving more than a few bonded Ortofon cartridge styli submerged in the stylus cleaner for months and finding no bond weakening or disintegration.

A bottle containing sufficient fluid for up to 1000 cleans costs $40.00 (including free domestic ground shipping) and includes a stiff applicator brush. The order page at the hyperlink above says "See our Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions Product Information web page for more information. However, finding that page is not so easy so here’s the link.

I have used the fluid repeatedly on an Ortofon Cadenza Black among other bonded styli cartridges and all are as intact as our Cardigan Welsh Corgi show dog! Plus the digital microscope shows the fluid to be an effective stylus cleaner.

That said, it's important to use sparingly any liquid stylus cleaner and avoid getting any into the cartridge body. Less is more with any liquid stylus cleaner.

cutandcover's picture

I recently picked up the Flux sonic stylus cleaner and I like it - I wonder if you are still using it, and if so, are you using this solution with it? I had read your review of the Flux which contributed to my purchase, just wondering if that's still working for you.

sunderwood's picture

I also have a Flux cleaner and an ortofon 2m bronze. I use a zerodust on a daily basis and the flux about once a month. I have found both to work very well. At first I was concerned about using the flux with the bronze. I called Music Direct and the person there told me they had never had a problem. So far I haven't seen any problem either.

Michael Fremer's picture
I did an in-store in Atlanta that had a Flux there so I tried it and wrote the review while in the store. I don't have one. The importer never sent one for review and I've never felt the need for it but it's one that's safe, as you've found out...
rshak47's picture

Thanks for the tip, Michael. I've got 3 Ortofons - an aging Jubilee, a Cadenza Blue and a Cadenza mono. I've bought from Mr. Pendleton several times and have always found him to be straightforward and honest. Will be ordering some of AI fluid soon.

jazz's picture

in Michael‘s research about fluids (like Stylast or Flux Sonic electronic needle cleaner and its fluid) in combination with glued styli and suspension rubbers.

I know from own experience, e.g. Stylast works 100% soundwise. But doesn’t every dissolution jeopardize the gluing of the diamond?

And how can a fluid that should be suited for improving needle friction also be suited to nurse the suspension rubbers? Seems strange.

Michael Fremer's picture
I don't use it because if you are not extremely careful it can migrate up the cantilever and gum up the motor...I certainly would never apply it to a cartridge suspension!
Anton D's picture

Audio Intelligent's Enzymatic Stylus Cleaning Fluid will keep my dog's ball safe and clean.

Next dog show we hit, the judges are gonna be asking me how I do it!

Michael Fremer's picture
A monoball dog?
Arvo Palm-Leis's picture

I've got some fine vial aged thirty year old Discwasher SC-2 stylus cleaning fluid. Are we good to go on my Ortofon M2?

Michael Fremer's picture
I don't know its formulation so I don't know. But it drinks well now!
Arvo Palm-Leis's picture

Hints of gooseberry and ammonia, with a polyethylene finish, especially neat.

Michael Fremer's picture
I'll drink to that!
Puffer Belly's picture

I have an SC-2 brush that is 40 years old. It got alcohol spilled on it just a few years ago and the bristles fell out of the brush. If the SC-2 liquid had alcohol in it, the brush would have fallen apart years ago.

OldschoolE's picture

You beat me to it Michael, I have not had the chance to get a bottle yet. I don't use any liquid stylus cleaners for obvious reasons, but this one is easy to trust. I have been using AI cleaning fluids for years and in my opinion, there are none better. (I also happen to know Jim).
Glad you reviewed this. I will be getting a bottle eventually. I'd likely use it about three times per year or so. (I hope it has a long shelf-life). I usually use the Onzow or a dry brush. I have yet to see any stubborn dirt on my styli, but having a bottle of this around doesn't hurt.

mcrushing's picture

Things were sounding dull lately so I (finally) bought a digital microscope. I discovered while the contact patches of my stylus looked pretty good, the rest of it was so crusty there was no way I could do anything with SRA before cleaning it. Doing so I learned:

*The blu-tak-on-a-coin method absolutely takes care of the big stuff and does a pretty good job on the business end. Onzow might be better but finding out frankly isn't worth $40 to me.

*The dry brush doesn't do anything the blu-tak doesn't do better.

*Wet brushing got the stylus and cantilever junction super-squeaky-clean, to the point where it clearly decreased overall mass at the tip. HUGE sonic improvement.

So wet cleaning rules, but I've always been afraid of it. (I use Audio Technica's fluid and have gone thru two 10ml bottles over 30 years.) Based on this post I may switch, BUT... Does anyone have an opinion on whether the presence of isopropyl makes a difference on the stylus at all? I get why it's necessary to clean flat, grooved vinyl discs that are subject to all manner stuff landing on them. But a pointy diamond that's aimed downward? Wouldn't distilled or deionized H20 do just as good a job?

Once I get some new gunk built up I can report back. Interested if anyone has tried it.

Michael Fremer's picture
on bonded styli
SeagoatLeo's picture

I use a Magic Eraser (dry and cheapest one) for cleaning every side for 9 years. I use Stylast and Disc Doctor fluids once every 10 to 15 sides with a stiff brush. I used to use Extreme Phono as a cleaner but found it much easier and superior using the Magic Eraser for daily use and a wet clean less often. My stylii have lasted longer than expected. I use to have to change cartridges every 3 years back in the 1970s-1990s due also to smog and hardened rubber suspensions (froze the cantilever movements).

CJB's picture

Distilled water and a camel hair art brush.

Puffer Belly's picture

This is from
For the stylus, we recommend a mixture of 50% ethyl alcohol (or denatured alcohol) and 50% distilled water, and a soft camel hair brush. Dampen the brush with the mixture and clean the stylus by moving the brush from behind the stylus to the front of the stylus.

Are all Shure styli non-bonded? Grado told me never to use alcohol or any liquid on their styli.

Michael Fremer's picture
Maybe that's why they went out of the cartridge business! Seriously, I'd stay away from alcohol...
Kind of blue's picture

I thought I'd reach out directly to Ortofon to get their position on the specific use of Audio Intelligent Vinyl Solutions. I also included a link to this page for them to read the review. Here is the response I received from both Ortofon Technical support and their Product Specialist.

We do not recommend the use of solvents of any kind for cleaning of either record surface or stylus.
Remove dust carefully from record surfaces by using Ortofon antistatic Record brush before every use. Use Ortofon Stylus fiber brush a few times along the cantilever in the direction of the stylus tip, whenever you play a new record or change sides. Use the brush in the forward direction from the rear of the cartridge towards the stylus tip and never from stylus tip to the rear of the cartridge and never from side to side. This will take all normal dust and most of the slick release agent from new records. Following this treatment there will normally be no need for further stylus cleaning.’

With kind regards

Katarina H. Nielsen
Technical support Ortofon A/S

Louis Dorio
Ortofon Product Specialist

Michael Fremer's picture
I suspect Katarina did not carefully read the story because the AI stylus cleaning fluid does NOT use any solvents! Audio Intelligent's Jim Pendleton saw this comment and asked me to post this: "I think it’s important for folks to understand that the product does not contain any solvent of any kind. That’s what makes it unique on the market. It is strictly highly purified water and a plant-based enzyme component that won’t harm anything that it touches with respect to the stylus and cantilever. I agree that solvents are not the best choice. That’s why we don’t use them."
scottsol's picture

As a professional pedant I must point out that water is a solvent. One of the best, in fact, in terms the wide range of substances it can work on. As my chemistry teacher used to say, “Give me a big enough bowl of water and enough time and I could dissolve the earth.”

RichPeopleHaveAllTheFun's picture

I forgot what the stylus cleaner was for my OM 40

RichPeopleHaveAllTheFun's picture

It's bad it's bad lol huh

scottsol's picture

“I have used the fluid repeatedly on an Ortofon Cadenza Black among other bonded styli cartridges”
All Ortofon Cadenza series cartridges use nude styli, none of them are bonded.

rexibox130's picture

Preventing the liquid from entering the cartridge body is emphasized, reinforcing the principle that less is more when it comes to liquid stylus cleaners. |

Joacknot's picture

I think it's safe.

Butiffely's picture

It's advisable to proceed with caution when cleaning styluses and to follow the instructions provided with the cleaning fluid to ensure the safety and longevity of your equipment.
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