Found a Milty Zerostat alternative

I was thinking about buying the Milty Zerostat but came across a discussion regarding this plasma arc lighter.

It really works well! I took a record out of it's sleeve and held a tissue against it. The tissue stuck to it, even when held upside down.  I turned on the plasma lighter and held it about 1.5" away and made two or three circular passes around. Tried the tissue test again and it would not stick to the vinyl. It's also well constructed and doesn't feel cheap.



Dear @newfzx7  : What are you waiting for ?  Thanks to share it.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


Zerostats used to be MUCH stronger (e.g. 1980s) than today. Could almost see sparks shooting out. Then, they changed the internal element to something weaker. Still works but not the same.

Zerostat is probably better than that arc lighter, and the arc lighter probably generates a small amount of ozone in the vicinity of its user. Probably not enough to be unhealthy, but not great for the environment. I recently bought an electrostatic charge meter off eBay.  With that, I was able to prove to myself that after 50 years my Zerostat still works, IF you hold the LP in mid air with one hand while triggering the Zerostat with the other. (Detailed instructions available anywhere crazy audiophiles congregate.) Charge went from -11kV (also proving that negative ions are attracted to vinyl) to less than 1kV after treatment. To generate the charge, I purposefully yanked the LP out of its paper sleeve as rapidly as possible.  That sure does it.

dweller, IIRC, I bought my Zerostat in 1972, in the UK. So you think I got one of the "strong" ones?  I don't recall ever seeing sparks.

@rauliruegas I don't post much and I just wanted to share this information with others who may be interested. No need for you to be posting ignorant and unhelpful responses. 

@lewm I never had a zero stat so I can't compare the two, but it did remove remove the static and there was an audible benefit.

newfzx7, I think Raul was simply urging you to go ahead and buy the arc lighter. I don’t think he meant or communicated anything offensive. But if you do buy the arc lighter, keep in mind that it contains a wear-able element that will eventually need to be replaced with new.  Unlike the Zerostat (apparently because mine is working after 50 years).

I bought one to use on LPs, but have not tried yet.  I works amazingly for loosening up staticky coffee grounds in my burr grinder's catch chamber, though!  I use it on that almost every morning.

I have owned zerostats for over thirty years. As much as I wanted results… they did nothing. I finally tossed them a few years ago. 

GHD, How many Zerostats did you own, and how did you use them (and why so many)? I found that my Zerostat does not work on an LP mounted on the platter, using my static electricity meter as evidence. However, it does work if you hold the LP in one hand while zapping it with the other. Then too, you have to use the technique of squeezing the trigger as your hand holding the gun approaches the LP and then very gradually releasing the trigger as you very gradually draw the gun away from the LP. Ideally, you don’t want to hear any click until the gun is a good distance from the LP, as you release the trigger. (There must be a Youtube video on this, but it’s very straightforward anyway.)



I imagine I bought one every ten years… starting back around 1980 , so at least three. There were some design changes along the way. I was in Tucson back then and static was a big deal. I always used them when the record was on the platter… never dawned on me to hold the record. I am familiar with the click and have tried at every angle and speed of pull imaginable and distance from record.

I now have a little arm with a brush that has an antistatic ground that someone here on Audiogon recommended, and while I don’t like the look, it works. So, no need for a gun.

@lewm I described how I used it in the original post, so I figured all would know that I already have bought it.

 @rauliruegas Sorry if there was any confusion.

@ketchup That's also good use for it, thanks!

I never had any issues with static in my room until this winter. I installed a mini split heat pump last fall and I wonder if that's the cause.

@lewm If you're feeling a little brave, put your finger near the Zerostat's "muzzle" and click it. You'll feel a little shock and probably see a little spark jump to your finger. That's what happens with mine, bought around 2006.

I believe the Zerostat came with an attachment that snugged onto the ion exit (like a flash hider on an AR). When you squeezed the trigger, it would make the gizmo light up (may be an hallucination I'm remembering).

The best trick is to spray the ions into a partially open record jacket/sleeve. This (should) relieve any pre-existing static and make the sleeve "relax" for easy record extraction. Also, if the vinyl has no charge, it won't attract any dust in the vicinity.  

But it is the act of removing the LP from its paper sleeve that does the most to generate a charge on its surface.  So you would have to zap it again, once you removed it from the paper. Which makes it a waste of time to zap it in the sleeve, even if that does work.

Long ago, far away....

I bought a Kilavolt No. 103 by Nagaoka...

...which looks like...

Rotate LP on platter.

Hold Kvolt above LP, starting at 'run-out', press button and 'tangent out' in a spiral to edge.

Apply carbon brush, center to out...

What static?

Mine's still going strong....if not, one new 'B' cell.

Carry on....good luck finding one.... ;)

ghdprentice, same with me.  Constantly AFTER usings the Zerostat my TT felt matt sticks to the vinyl, and has to be placed back onto the platter.
I also use it on the vinyl just before I use my carbon brush, hoping that it will make sweeping dust easier. It is also no help there. 
Recently I received a new record whose' plastic sleeve was so staticky that it was stuck to the vinyl like it had been vacuumed sealed. I zapped it with the Zerostat to see if the sleeve would loosen up and I saw no difference. Then I zapped the vinyl and empty sleeve and saw no change.

Since it is useless I might dismantle it to see if I got an empty gun.

Most likely you are using the zerostat incorrectly.  There's no shame in that. Zapping an LP inside its wrapper or sleeve, whether paper or whatever, is never going to work.  One reason your LP may stick to your felt mat is that felt itself is a good donor of negative ions to vinyl.  But also, if you remove static charge from the surface of an LP with the LP held in the air OFF the platter while you zap it (the only way it works according to my observation), that takes care of the side you play only.  The bottom side that goes against the mat will still be charged up to begin with.  The Shure Corporation published a long paper on static charge many decades ago in which they showed that charge migrates from one side of the LP to the other, after you treat one side. Finally, when you are using the zerostat, with the LP in your other hand, pull the trigger all the way back with the gun held away from the LP.  Then start with the gun near to the LP and very slowly pull it away while very slowly releasing the trigger, ideally so slowly that there are no "clicking" sounds.

I too have a 50 year old Discwasher Zerostat that still works.  I can check the operation with a small probe that consists of a 10 nf capacitor in parallel with a neon bulb.  A wire from one leg of the capacitor/bulb circuit is held near the Zerostat output while operating it.  A second wire from the opposite leg of the capacitor/bulb circuit is formed into a small loop that you can grip between thumb and finger. The bulb will briefly glow on the slow pull of the trigger and the slow release of the trigger.

I have used Zerostats for about 50 years, and they definitely reduce static on my LPs.  I can test the static by using a small piece of styrofoam taped to a thread.  If there is a static charge on the LP, the styrofoam will cling to the LP.

I believe Zerostat recommended this way of using it on an LP, and it's what I do:

Holding the Zerostat about 12" away from the LP, I shoot it sequentially at three spots on the circumference of the LP; then I shoot it at the center of the LP, but point it away from the LP before releasing the trigger on that final shot.  If I'm holding the LP and doing this, both sides get destaticized from treating just one side, in contrast to what @lewm  says above.  (I actually only discovered this yesterday by testing each side with the styrofoam.)

Now, I should mention that the humidity in my home is kept at about 50%, and most of my LPs are treated with LAST preservative, which seems to reduce static.  I also have slit the sleeves of most of my LPs, so that the sleeves can be opened like a book to remove the LP.  Perhaps, results would differ in a dryer space (more static) or with LPs that are not treated as I described.

What I actually said was just a quote from the Shure Corporation white paper on static charge.  They observed that if you neutralize only one side of an LP the charge on the other side will migrate to the treated side.  I would have to review that paper to recall under exactly what conditions. Your finding that both sides are discharged by treating only one side is surprising, but I didn't measure the untreated side when I did my experiments, so I am in no position to disagree, apart from quoting from the Shure paper.

I will also say that in my own experiment, using a ES charge meter to monitor results, I only aimed the gun at the label from a distance of about one foot (not 3 different spots), with the trigger fully depressed.  (Now my memory is playing tricks; I may have brought the gun to the LP while also depressing the trigger slowly, or not.) Then I gradually released the trigger while also slowly moving the gun away from the LP until at about 3-4 feet I fully released the trigger.  This reduced the measured charge on the treated surface from -11kV to around -0.2kV.  It is not clear to me how you are using the gun; at what points in relation to the LP surface do you squeeze then release the trigger?

It is not clear to me how you are using the gun; at what points in relation to the LP surface do you squeeze then release the trigger?


My bad, I could have stated this, but was struggling to think of how; now it's obvious to me--I aim the gun at 12:00, 4:00, and 8:00.  Then at the spindle hole.

Where did you get the idea to release the trigger so slowly as to avoid hearing the click?  I don't recall that being mentioned in the original instructions which I've been using all these years.  I think that would add to the difficulty, especially if you're doing three complete shots, and I am curious if it makes a difference.

Thanks for your response, but I still don’t know how you use the gun, because you did not mention it. When you are treating the record, and the gun is near to the record, is the trigger depressed or extended? if it’s extended, when do you squeeze it? If it’s depressed, when do you release it and how slowly?I got my method years ago either from a Zerostat instruction sheet or from a knowledgeable person whom I trusted. I cannot remember which. but I can tell you it works, and that is documented by reading with an electrostatic charge meter, data noted above.  There was no need at all to treat the surface 3 times in 3 different locations, as you describe.  One shot does it, aiming at the label, starting from about 12 inches away from the LP and moving the gun away very slowly as the trigger is slowly released.  The bit about releasing it so slowly so as to avoid the click sound was a part of the original instructions as I recall them.  


I am eager to try your method, since it would save time and extend the life of the Zerostat, since fewer shots per LP would be needed. The slow pulling away of the Zerostat from the LP in your method sounds like how one uses a demagnetizer to demagnetize tape heads.  Since you have that meter, it would be interesting if you could compare the effectiveness of the two methods.

The method I’ve used involves keeping the gun 12" away from the LP, squeezing the trigger and releasing it for the first 3 shots, but not releasing it for the central shot until the gun is pointed away from the LP. I do not squeeze or release the trigger slowly as you describe--there usually is a click as I release it. I don’t try to squeeze it fast or slow, really, and I don’t think the speed was mentioned in the Zerostat instructions. I will see if I can find the original instructions; I may still have them.

I generally have done this with the LP on the turntable, and it works that way or if I hold the LP in my hand. But I don’t know if both sides get destaticized if it’s done with the LP on the turntable. I think the act of removing the LP adds a charge to the side that rested on the platter, so it would be hard to test if it works on both sides when the LP is on the platter.

If your method destaticizes both sides of the LP with one shot, it would be economical to destat the LP both before and after play. Unfortunately, even though I slit the LP sleeve, some static charge still develops from the act of removing the LP, although I think the side that’s down when I lift the LP gets more charge.




I did not measure both sides after treatment.  I only measured the one side that was treated.  In any case, if you play the side you just treated, you would want to treat the back side if you are then going to play that side, because friction between the vinyl and the mat, especially if a felt mat, might have generated a static charge.  But I think the major culprit is us.  If you walked up to the TT over a wool carpet, chances are your body is charged up.  Then as soon as you touch the LP, that charge is transferred.  The other factor is the paper sleeve.  As you remove an LP from its sleeve (and even some other types of sleeve could do it) you put a charge on the LP.

Worth trying.  I own a Zerostat that I purchased in the seventies and still works.  I don't know if the new models can do this anymore but when you aim it at a fluorescent light bulb, it will light up, even four foot long bulbs.

Best solution is clean your album and replace the album sleeve with static free ! 
done no need for static machines!!

@ghdprentice @lewm 

I live in Tucson and you're right about static--it was mijostyn who recommended the anti static grounded brush and i use that as well and it works--a little fiddly to set up so that it tracks properly--meanwhile my 80's era Zerostat gathers dust somewhere...


I still have my original Zerostat (the body of which is glossy red, both smaller and more rounded than the Zerostat III) sitting in a drawer, but stopped using it when in the 1980’s I got the already-mentioned Nagaoka Kilavolt No. 103, which I greatly preferred. If you find a used one, snap it up!

Another great anti-static gun is the Furutech Destat III, which unfortunately sells for around $300. If you’re patient, you may get lucky and find one for $200, as did I on an auction site.

Whichever pistol you use, de-stat both sides of your LP whilst holding it in your free hand, off the table’s platter.


What a great investment my zerostat has been! Still efficiently removing static 43 years later. Pressing and releasing it slowly so as not to hear any clicks has always been the way I’ve done it and I believe the way that was originally recommended. If I do hear a click, I start over. Static is definitely a problem. Here in Tulsa in the winter. There are times when running my whole house humidifier all the time I still can’t get the humidity to 40%. I don’t know what others have found, but I recently got an acrylic mat and it seems to add the least charge compared to felt, rubber, and cork.

Thiis was a great read.  I've continuously wondered if my old Zerostats were still working.  I got the first one probably in 1970 and 2 more since then. I've also had reasonable results with the Walker Audio Talisman   I remember a tiny spark on the first one, I also have a felt mat that I also zap (off the TT) such that it does not cling to the vinyl. For me it's the tried and true method - obviously along with clean record and stylus. 

This is discussion is very curious. It seems very unlike the “cables don’t matter” where are religious deniers chime in to protest a well documented and known effect. The folks that have experienced Zerostat  being effective and not seem to be deeply experienced and credible… but have had the completely opposite experience. And generally deep experiences. Like mine, having tried using these over 30 or 40 years many times, and having no effect whatsoever. Then there is the group that find them extremely effective. Makes me wonder if half of them work and half of them don’t work. I don’t know very strange.

I have a highly experienced dealer friend, who completely agrees with me, never been of any value whatsoever.

@lewm  @ghdprentice 

I found the box in which my most recent Zerostat 3 came. Here are the instructions:

Hold Zerostat about 300mm (12 inches) away from the object. Squeeze the trigger slowly; a powerful stream of positive ions projects over a spread about 400mm (16 inches). Release it slowly, and negative ions are produced.


I also found the box for an original Zerostat that no longer works. Its instructions read:

(1) Hold the pistol 250 to 500mm (10 to 20 inches) from the surface to be treated, pointing directly at it.

(2) Slowly squeeze the trigger, taking about two seconds to do so. Positive charges thus produced will neutralize any local negative charges.

(3) After a pause of two seconds, slowly release the trigger, again taking about two seconds. Negative charges produced by this action will neutralize positive surface charges.

(4) Large, heavily charged areas may require several operations for complete neutralization.

In these instructions for the original Zerostat, there are further notes, including:

Too rapid operation of the trigger may cause an internal sparking which is indicated by an audible "click." This does no damage to the Zerostat but will limit the amount of ions produced during the operation. Occasionally, the "click" may sound during normal slow operation but should be ignored.

Use of elaborate electrostatic measuring equipment shows that Zerostat discharges a phonograph disc best when the final "motion" is a trigger squeeze, and the trigger is then released pointed away from the disc.

NOTE: Records may be treated whle on the turntable, but due to the earthed platter, a "tabled" disc may need three-to-five squeeze/release operations.


(For those who don’t know, "earthed" is how the British say "grounded.")

So those notes from the original Zerostat may account for the method I’ve used, since I’ve generally used it with the LP on the turntable. But I think the Zerostat 3 I have works fine with the later instructions, at least when holding the LP by hand.