A Clean Stroke of Genius
by Venoth Nair
When you’re a Malaysian, (like me) the biggest agony for us daily will be putting up with the dusty environment that we live in. The current thrust towards modernization has reared its ugliest downside which is the plumes of filth in our air which knows no end. This irritant affects everything under the sun, even us audiophiles with our equipment being coated in thick silt which aside from being an eyesore is also detrimental to our systems in more ways than one.
A good example of dust being a bane to our existence is how it interferes with the laser mechanism in CD players. Too much dust on either the disc or the player tray and you’re left with an unwanted revised version to your music or worst still, no music at all. In some cases excess dust can lead to permanent damage through inadvertent scratching of the highly sensitive surfaces. This situation is the same even for vinyl where the contact surface between the grooves and your stylus is easily disturbed by even the most minute of interferences.
Furutech, known for their long list of transmission related equipment such as power leads and distributors has also recently produced some peculiar accessories to help further enable audiophiles to squeeze even that much more performance out of their systems. Similar to the Destat III which I recently dabbled with, the ASB-1 is a tool created to help clean and devoid your materials of static charge. Being components operating on electricity, static build-up could, in many ways, adversely affect the performance of the equipment. Knowing this, the engineers at Furutech set out to give us the tools that not only clean up our equipment and media, but does so without degrading its performance.
The ASB-1 is at first glance, especially to an unassuming mind, looks like a typical brush. One could even look at it and think it to be a make-up tool for the ladies thanks to its build and look. But there is a lot more thought that went into the design and build of this brush. For starters, the brush bristles are made from COREBRID B, which is a specialized fiber material developed by Mitsubishi Chemical Cooperation. The material has a unique property that makes it highly conductive allowing it to effectively remove static charges while cleaning the surface.
The fibers on each bristle are designed to pull in the static charge either created by the brush strokes or through transfer from the contact surface. The static charge which is drawn in to the ASB-1 is then dispersed through the metal band that sits above the brush tip. How it works is simple, when using the brush, keep a finger on this metal surface and the static will find its way out to ground through you. This highly conductive material is made robust with a sheath of 30 microns thick, making this brush a tool that can be used countless times without fear of performance degradation due to bristle wear.
Understanding that as a cleaning tool the ASB-1 will through use become dirty itself, the folks at Furutech ensured that the materials used to manufacture the brush is robust enough to be washed clean. Being able to wash and clean the bristles effectively prolongs the lifespan of the brush and maintains its efficiency in removing dust and static. Add to that the rather luxurious finish with its thick handle and metal band that is polished to a mirror finish, the brush does have a rather fancy look to it.
In use it’s safe to say that the ASB-1 does the job and does it well. It’s able to dig in deep into the grooves of the vinyl disc and get all those pecky dust specks out. The nature of static removal also means that the clingier particles also get pulled on to the brush effectively removing it, leaving you with a nice and clean LP ready to be plonked onto a turntable for some hiccup free performance. The same level of performance can also be expected when used on CD’s although with this medium it’s just about protecting the delicate surface from scratches which happens easily when cleaning these discs.
Personally, as a neat freak myself; the entire process of cleaning my collection of vinyl’s and CD’s with the ASB-1 was satisfyingly enjoyable. Moreover, the brush also worked well cleaning my projector lenses and camera lenses which were also in need of a little TLC. In fact the ASB-1 can be used on many other devices and equipment that require delicate care, a good cleaning and protection from static. There really isn’t any real limit to the application of this brush as long as it used with the right purpose in mind.
Retailing at RM 990, the Furutech ASB-1 is definitely not an inexpensive tool. Audiophiles a many may argue the logic in spending such a large sum of money on a rather simple cleaning tool but here’s an important point to note. Most mediums these days be it Vinyl or CD’s are not cheap, and ensuring that it’s in good condition through proper maintenance is key to keep them playing musically for a long time. Having the right tool, purpose built for the job is much better then trial and error with something not designed for the task, risking your precious investment in the process.
For further details contact:
Creative AV Sdn Bhd
Tel: 03 90810068 or
Alex Lim: 0123681288