We took a look at the Hudson Hifi Record Cleaning Arm. This is a piece of hifi that would fit under the category of accessories. Some accessories are useless bits of audio jewelry while others either make an audible difference or perhaps offer a bit of convenience. The Hudson Hifi cleaning arm is the later. The arm has a cleaning brush on one end and a grounded pedestal on the other. Not only is it designed to keep the record you are listening to clean but also keep static at bay. So how does it measure up to its claims?
The Hudson cleaning arm is pretty simple to set up. Once you get all the parts out of the box you will set the height of the pedestal to match as best as possible to your platter. There is a small set screw on the side of the pedestal to lock the height in. On the brush end of the arm you will notice a small knurled nut behind the brush head. Once you have the brush aligned vertically you can tighten the nut against the back of the brush hed to hold its position. Now you can set the arm on the pedestals needle and position it on your table plinth. Make sure the cleaning arm with not interfere with your tone arm at any part of their sweeps. Once you have chosen a spot you can peel off the tabe backing and place the cleaning arm assembly. The final step to set up will be plugging in the grounding wire and connecting it to the grounding point on your table.
Hudson Hifi Cleaning Arm Functionality
I would venture a guess that all of us own a record brush and clean our records before and likely after a listen. What do we do while it’s playing though? Unless you listen in a vacuum there is dust in the air that can and will settle on your record while it is spinning. This cleaning arm takes care of that for you. I have my positioned just a couple inches in the rotation before the cart to sweep away any dust that may have settled while listening. It does just that, after watching for a few days what I have noticed is less dust particle build up on the needle after a few hours listening each day. Usually I clean my needle every time couple times I play vinyl just to make sure it is fresh. I can probably double the time in between cleanings with the brush on the table. While the brush itself has no real audible change to the system the resulting cleaner needle does make a difference. Dust can and does muddy the detail and dull the sound of your vinyl, remember we are talking about movement the human eye can for most not even see. With debri stuck to your the end of the styli it inhibits the vibration as well as can block the leading edge changing how it picks up the groove.
Normally we do a who is this for, however this one seems as though anyone who owns vinyl will benefit, unless you are one of the 1% of audiophiles with a turntable vacuum chamber, though I am not sure that actually exists. At the price around 22 dollars U.S., about the price of a new vinyl, it is hard to not recommend. Now there are better ones available, and ones that will work better with high end tables that do not have a plinth your can place this on. However if you have a place on the table to put it and 22 bucks it will help keep your records clean while you listen and likely extend the life of your carts. I can not really think of a downside to the Hudson Cleaning Arm, it is inexpensive and it works. My sister got this one off amazon for me for my Birthday, I will post a link though to their site so you can see all the places you may be able to pick one up.
Hudson Hifi did not pay in part or full for this review, the product was purchased by my sister for my birthday.
Hudson Hifi : https://www.hudsonhifi.com/