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Connection cleaning - how to upgrade your system for no $$

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Dr. W

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:53 pm

Connection cleaning - how to upgrade your system for no $$

OK -- close to no $$

I bought my Phase Linear 1000 from eBay. It cost me $80, and for me is worth every bit I paid.

However, the seller said “I don’t know anything about this unit, it lights up, I haven’t used itâ€
Last edited by Dr. W on Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bruce A Weiland, my system here -->> http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1317958032&openmine&zzBruce_weiland&4&5#Bruce_weiland
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Dr. W

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:58 pm

part 2

Part 2,
This is where the gem is, so pay attention.

I got to thinking about the Phase 1000 sitting in the garage and a cleaning technique I had recently been taught by an audiophile friend of 35 years.

I believe it was the combination of the cleaning every single contact point in the 1000 and putting it before the preamp, it is currently the input point for my DAC and phono preamp.

I have taken it out several times, just to be sure. An extra set of interconnects and an active piece of equipment (according to us {used to be} minimalist audiophiles) should screw up the sound, but IT DOES NOT! I would not want to give up what this does for the sound.

You do not need any electrical knowledge. I will list what you need and how to use the items.

Oh…
why would you want to do any of the following? Depending on the resolution of your system the difference can be small to absolutely AMAZING!!!

Sweeter, smoother, more detailed, more real, better image, more depth and width to the sound stage. It can easily sound like you just invested at least several hundred to several thousands of dollars in your system with absolutely no change in your equipment, interconnects, or power cords.

The most expensive parts of this “upgradeâ€
Bruce A Weiland, my system here -->> http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1317958032&openmine&zzBruce_weiland&4&5#Bruce_weiland
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OBI56

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:38 pm

Great refresher course Bruce! This was actually my project for today even before I read your post and I had completely forgotten about the insides of the RCA jacks. The same would apply to the speaker binding posts or spring loaded connectors.
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Dr. W

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:53 pm

OBI76,

yes, you are correct. Any electrical connection that is not soldered can benefit from a very good cleaning.
Bruce A Weiland, my system here -->> http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1317958032&openmine&zzBruce_weiland&4&5#Bruce_weiland
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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:57 pm

When I called Reta about repairing the selector switch on my C-1 pre due to static on the aux channel her reply was "you don't need a repair or a selector switch, you just need a can of de-oxit liberally applied to the switch while working it back and forth". Now there is a good repair tech. Many shops would have charged their min. $80+ dollars for five minutes of work.
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Dreamer

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:14 pm

I would TOTALLY agree with this. Clean contacts make a HUGE difference. The first thing I do when I get a new piece of gear (factory-new OR used, but new to me) is to give it a thorough cleaning. Factory new piece get all the jacks swabbed out, and used gear gets the "full monte"-cleaned inside and out. It makes a HUGE difference with used gear, even if the previous owner was as anal as I am about maintenance and cleaning. And with factory new gear, it can definitely improve things, especially if the component has spent any time out of it's box (like it was a "dealer demo" or a "refurbished" piece or something).

That "Hagerty metal cleaner" is the stuff mainly used as a jewelry polish, right? I imagine it WILL clean he heck out of any contact you put it on, but I don't know if I'd use it on electronics. It also has a "protective" property to keep jewelry from re-oxidizing so fast after cleaning, which WILL keep your RCA's looking shiny, but it might not be the best thing as far as electrical contacts go. And there is no telling how it effects non-metallic parts like epoxy PC boards, and mylar or mica spacers inside those switches and pots...

I'd go with Caig De-Oxit Gold. You can get it in spray cans or bottle (for use with a q-tip). I use that stuff exclusively on my gear now (after going through several brands of "commercial" contact cleaners that I got through different electronics parts supply houses. Sure, the Caig stuff is a little more expensive, but it works, and its effects last for 6 months or more. And you know it's safe for using on electronics gear.

If you're going to buy Caig products, DO NOT get those cute little spray cans they sell at Rat Shack--they are HUGELY marked up. for almost the same price, you can get the big "industrial" cans through mail-order houses like Mouser...

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OBI56

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:56 pm

bruce.weiland@verizon.net wrote:OBI76,

yes, you are correct. Any electrical connection that is not soldered can benefit from a very good cleaning.


76!!!!!! Hey, I'm old, but not THAT old!!!! LOL!!!

Besides, you can never repeat the basics often enough. We all tend to take the simple things for granted.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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OBI56

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:09 pm

Dreamer wrote:I would TOTALLY agree with this. Clean contacts make a HUGE difference.

That "Hagerty metal cleaner" is the stuff mainly used as a jewelry polish, right? I imagine it WILL clean he heck out of any contact you put it on, but I don't know if I'd use it on electronics. It also has a "protective" property to keep jewelry from re-oxidizing so fast after cleaning, which WILL keep your RCA's looking shiny, but it might not be the best thing as far as electrical contacts go. And there is no telling how it effects non-metallic parts like epoxy PC boards, and mylar or mica spacers inside those switches and pots...

I'd go with Caig De-Oxit Gold. --Richard


Mostly correct as far as the metal cleaner goes Richard, but you can use it or other metal cleaners like jewellers rouge or Tripoli IF you clean up the residue afterwards with a good cleaner like Craig or other good liquid cleaners. The metal cleaner gets the really nasty corrosion off and the contact cleaner does the final cleanup and removes any protectant that might be left over.

The point is that clean contacts just make for better electrical contact and better sound. And the closer to the source the contact is, the more impact it has on the overall sound. We just went through a whole round of this with speaker cables in the past week or so and that is at the end of the sound chain.

A little bit of time equity and elbow grease will defintiely give you more return for your buck than anything else you can do.

Once again, great contribution Bruce!
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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Dr. W

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:14 pm

Whoops. #-o I am not sure if that was bad typing or bad seeing.

So, can we guess you are 56?

Back to the basics

An audio friend of my mine recently reminded me that "everything affect everything, Grasshopper."

That was after I told him how amazed I was in the change in sound when I replaced the stock computer power cord with an Element cord. My computer sends the zeros and ones to a USB to S/PDIF converter to feed my DAC. It is dedicated to that task and has lots of memory and processor power. A power cord SHOULD make no difference, but it does.
Bruce A Weiland, my system here -->> http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1317958032&openmine&zzBruce_weiland&4&5#Bruce_weiland
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OBI56

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:39 pm

bruce.weiland@verizon.net wrote:Whoops. #-o I am not sure if that was bad typing or bad seeing.

So, can we guess you are 56?



Nope!!! Bruce, you are still pretty new on here, so let me warn you. There are a few of us with seiously warped senses of humor on here, moi included! I wasn't offended in the least by the 76 comment, more like roll-down laughing.
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Dr. W

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 6:57 pm

Well, with a warped sense of humor I should fit right in.

I didn't think you were offended, glad you weren't

I am 60 and proud to be. Just think about the alternative.

People often say "you look great for 60!". I say if you like me now, check me when I'm 135.

I have been doing a little reading in cyberhell and other places. I see that for a while there were some people not playing nice. I have seen this sort of thing happen on other forums.

Nice to see that it got cleaned up.
Bruce A Weiland, my system here -->> http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1317958032&openmine&zzBruce_weiland&4&5#Bruce_weiland
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OBI56

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:10 pm

Yeah Bruce, the alternative is that you could be in your 30's and THINK you know it all!!! LOL!!!! A few cliques on here. The older guard VS the young whippersnappers, East Caost VS West Coast and just to make things interesting the Canadians! The ones with warped senses of humor and those ........... well, are there any of them who actually have a sense of hymor??? \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

You should fit right in .........

Oh, and beware of the Pancake Bunny and the Toymaker ......
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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jvandyke_texas

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:18 pm

Radio Shack sprays contain mineral oil, leaving a greasy residue.
I like Puretronics contact cleaner-L.
L means contact cleaner AND lubricant for pots.
Cans without lubricant look similar, so read the label.
You get a 13oz can for $6 at Frys.
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OBI56

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:26 pm

jvandyke_texas wrote:Radio Shack sprays contain mineral oil, leaving a greasy residue.
I like Puretronics contact cleaner-L.
L means contact cleaner AND lubricant for pots.
Cans without lubricant look similar, so read the label.
You get a 13oz can for $6 at Frys.


I'd suggest having both lubricated (for pots) and un-lubricated (for switches and connectors) on hand to cover all possibilities. If you are going to do a simple job, do it right the first time out and you'll avoid future problems.
Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.
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Dr. W

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Post Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:46 pm

Some of you may have missed in the second post that AFTER a good cleaning/polishing with Hagerty metal polish (which is abrassive) I use MG contact cleaner with Silicones in the final step/s.

"MG Chemicals, Electrosolve Contact Cleaner, with Silicones from Frys".

I actually use the "zero residue" not the silicones for switches.
Bruce A Weiland, my system here -->> http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?vevol&1317958032&openmine&zzBruce_weiland&4&5#Bruce_weiland
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