Armed and Ready
A couple of friends came over this weekend to listen to records, and I’m happy to report that we experienced no trouble at all. No static, no distortion, no woman, no cry. Record after record, beer after beer, the Rega sounded just fine. I do believe my days of vinyl misery are over. But just in case the static monster decides to come round again, I also picked up a can of StaticGuard ($4 at DuaneReade). Before the dudes came over, I sprayed the stuff on the rug in front of my system, as well as on the curtains behind the system. The smell wasn’t so bad and the dry mist evaporated quickly. My apartment has never been so static-free.
For an extra measure of confidence (because this whole static thing has been a bit traumatizing), I also purchased a Ringmat from MusicDirect. Mikey Fremer suggested it, and MusicDirect’s Josh Bizar says it works great, not only preventing static and dust from building up on records, but also reducing resonance while improving dynamics and resolution. In his review of the Music Hall MMF 7, Mikey found that replacing the ‘table’s felt mat with a Ringmat resulted in greater midbass control and tonal neutrality. Sam Tellig says the Ringmat is the only mat that matters. I say it even looks kind of awesome. I am psyched.
So, to recap, I bought a humidifier, prayed really hard, shot my cartridge with the Milty Zerostat, sprayed the place with StaticGuard, and ordered a Ringmat. While all that was going on, I also sent an e-mail to Roy Hall and Leland Leard of Music Hall, distributors of the Milty products. I wanted to find out if they had had any experience with using the Zerostat on cartridges. Leland, my audiophile doppelganger, wrote back:
Roy says, “The problem is your piece of shit Rega. Use a real turntable, like a Music Hall, and you won’t have this problem.”
I say, like Windex, a shot of the Zerostat will cure all that ails. Bed sores, acne, H1N1, erectile dysfunction. Bob Dole should get onto this.
The Zerostat does work to destat cartridges. One cautionary note, use it with the power switched off, lest you hear a loud “pop,” through the system. Of course, the Zerostat works wonders on LPs and if you haven’t tried it, dramatically improves the sound of CDs. CDs develop an enormous internal electrostatic charge as they are whirring around in a warm sealed environment at 200500rpm. A shot of the Zerostat zaps out the static. And tired of those pesky coffee grounds sticking to the side of your grinder’s plastic basket? Grind, then shoot. You’ll be amazed.
The outer box of the Zerostat may caution about use on pets, humans, and small rodents but I’ve used it to great success on all of these. Small rodents: the neighbor’s incessantly yippie Chihuahua used to drive me mad. Three shots to the nose (Chihuahuas aren’t the smartest) and the dog no longer barks in my presence. If I happen across it in the hallway and it’s barking, I need only point my index finger and raise my thumb (Dirty Harry-style) and dog goes silent. The dog’s owner is amazed by my power and thinks I’m some sort of dog whisperer. Hey, I might be whispering but I’m also packing heat.
Likewise, if you’re looking to add a little spice in the bedroom, enter the Zerostat, an ideal sex toy.
Be mindful where you point that thang,
Music Hall should come up with a special holster so that audiophiles can take their Milty with them wherever they go. Leland says to keep an eye out for the ultra-discreet Derringer-designed ladies model, available in hot pink and due out this fall, just in time for the holidays.
Needless to say, I’m extremely happy with the Milty Zerostat and I will definitely try using it on my compact discs as well as on my…other things. One hundred dollars may seem like a lot of money to a young music enthusiast who’s just getting into vinyl playback. One hundred dollars can buy a lot of records, can buy a new phono cartridge, can buy ten six-packs of Dale’s Pale Ale, etcetera. But the Milty Zerostat is blue and shaped like a gun and is good for at least 10,000 squeeze cycles and pretty much saved my life. Viewed in that light, it’s a screaming bargain. Highly recommended!
(Highly recommended? Can I say that? Sure I can. I deserve it after all this bullshit.)