Component Reviews

Mapleshade Static Draining Brush

A grounded anti-static brush for all discs you play on your system.

Published on June 10, 2014

Mapleshade Static Draining Brush

Mapleshade Static Draining Brush
$45

Specs:
Item SD-BRUSH in their catalog
8” long black or clear lacquer handle with
brush of super-fine metal fibers the width of LP and
optical disc grooves
Grounded with 8’ lightweight wire that plugs into
ground of any 3-prong AC socket


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.

—John Sunier




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