The LAST Factory - Stylus Care Combo Kit

Clean & preserve those styli with style

[STYLAST Stylus Treatment and LAST Stylus Cleaner]
[Italian version here]

Product: STYLAST Stylus Treatment and LAST Stylus Cleaner
Manufacturer: The LAST Factory - USA
Availability: Company's website, official resellers, Amazon and other web stores
Approx. price: ±60$/€ (price may differ depending on Country)
Reviewer: Lucio Cadeddu - TNT Italy
Reviewed: November, 2021


Cleaning and preserving the cartridge stylus is a mission for any serious analogue enthusiast. We know the stylus is the most important and expensive part of a cartridge, so we should do our best to keep it clean and preserve it from wear.

There are many ways to give our styli a better life (and make our records happier too), but when I think of products for cleaning and preserving styli one brand comes to my mind: The LAST Factory!

This US-based company specializes in products that clean and preserve records, styli, magnetic tapes and CDs/DVDs. Established in 1979 in Livermore, California, by three scientists and vinyl enthusiasts, this company has acquired an almost legendary status among audiophiles worldwide. I'm going to tell you why you might need to test their Stylus Care Combo Kit. It is not a new product, as it has been around for decades. And there should be a reason why it is still produced and loved by vinyl enthusiasts worldwide.

Cleaning & preserving styli with style!

This combo has always been by favourite stylus cleaning and preserving treatment. It consists of two small bottles: the Stylus Cleaner is, obviously, a fluid that cleans the stylus surface. This is something that should be done on a regular basis, especially if you play second-hand records which haven't been wet cleaned prior to use. LAST recommends to clean the stylus “before each record play, or anytime you hear distortion or mis-tracking”. This might sound excessive, but it is smart advice that prevents dirt build-up on stylus surface. Once the dirt accumulates, it becomes harder and harder to remove, because groove contact applies a very high pressure (hence causing a raise in temperature) on the stylus. The procedure is extremely simple, thanks to a soft brush that's inside the bottle, under the cap. Gently apply the product on stylus and cantilever, let it dry for a minute and you're done!

The product is safe, both on the cantilever assembly, and on the glue that secures the stylus to the cantilever. Moreover, the product lasts literally for decades, even if the bottle has been opened (of course, that depends on the amount of vinyl playing hours per day!). Just one advice: to prevent evaporation, keep the cap fastened tightly.

After your stylus is clean, you might need to apply the Stylast, a product that extends stylus and cantilever life. No, it is not something that remains on the stylus surface as a deposit, if that's your concern. The Stylast has a secret recipe that combines active chemicals suspended in a carrier fluid. It dries very quickly, but the active substances remain on the brush and are ready to be applied to the stylus tip surface.

Inside the bottle you will find a wiper cone intended to remove the excess fluid from the brush as you remove it. For this reason a bottle of Stylast will...ehm...last for many years. The LAST company claims their Stylast extends stylus life by 10 times. I have no way to prove this, but certainly I've noticed an increase in stylus life on my treated cartridges. Actually, in a stylus/cantilever combo, it is not just the stylus that ages. Even the cantilever suspension suffers from hardening of the elastomeric components, and the Stylast helps in this area, as well. When applied to the stylus tip, the fluid (the chemical agents in it, actually) works its way upward, along the cantilever and prevents the rubber/elastic suspension from hardening. This means that these fluids are also safe on cantilever materials and suspensions.

Remark: on many hifi forums, audiophiles recommend the Stylast should never touch the cantilever. Of course, they are wrong, the Stylast is meant to preserve (and improve) cantilever suspension as well.

The LAST stylus combo kit remains my all time favourite: it has an extremely good performance/price ratio, it works well and, as far as I know, it does not cause any harm to stylus, cantilever or cart. I've been applying it for many, many years on different carts and haven't experienced any side-effects. Just one minor complaint: a simple magnifying glass/lens should be supplied with the kit, considering the size of stylus and cantilever. It would help during the procedure.

If you're still in doubt, the LAST website has an extremely well written FAQ section. The fact the company is still here after more than 40 years, and after the death of one of its founders (Walter Davies, passed away in 2020), means they do their job well and their products work fine. They still operate in Livermore, California, and that's another plus, considering nowadays many companies are just rebranding Chinese made products.


The LAST products can be purchased directly online on the company website, but it would be less expensive to buy them locally from authorized dealers (for a list of international distributors see here). Quite surprisingly, I've found the LAST products on Amazon and Ebay, as well.


This stylus care combo kit is a must-have, period. It's reasonably priced, extremely effective and easy to use. Can we ask for more? If you love your records and your analogue replay system, give the LAST products a chance, you won't be disappointed!

DISCLAIMER. TNT-Audio is a 100% independent magazine that neither accepts advertising from companies nor requires readers to register or pay for subscriptions. After publication of reviews, the authors do not retain samples other than on long-term loan for further evaluation or comparison with later-received gear. Hence, all contents are written free of any “editorial” or “advertising” influence, and all reviews in this publication, positive or negative, reflect the independent opinions of their respective authors. TNT-Audio will publish all manufacturer responses, subject to the reviewer's right to reply in turn.

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