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Unread 09-26-2010, 10:06 AM   #1
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How Do you clean "dirty" pots?

I was told My amp has dirty pots, and all I was told is I need a can of compressed air. I need to open the back and whatnot but what to aim at specifically? Sorry if this a dumb question I don't know crap about fixing amps and shit. So what exactly do I do??
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Unread 09-26-2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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I would suggest contact cleaner, servisol or something, but if you've not done it before it's easy to make a mess.

Compressed air won't do jack, lol.

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Unread 09-26-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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Aerosol electrical contact cleaner. Make sure it's residue-free.

Remove the knobs, spray the cleaner on the post, turn the post a couple times and voila, you have a clean pot.

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Unread 09-26-2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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Never done this before either, but just a word of warning, you better be careful if you decide to open up your amp. Touch the wrong thing and you are in for a crazy trip.. and not in a good way! Do some searching in the forum before you try it. GL
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Unread 09-26-2010, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostjan View Post
Aerosol electrical contact cleaner. Make sure it's residue-free.

Remove the knobs, spray the cleaner on the post, turn the post a couple times and voila, you have a clean pot.
This is the simplest method. If you gain access to the rear of the pots, there is usually a port on the back to inject contact cleaner as well. Only a very small amount is needed (quarter second press will do).

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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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Never done this before either, but just a word of warning, you better be careful if you decide to open up your amp. Touch the wrong thing and you are in for a crazy trip.. and not in a good way! Do some searching in the forum before you try it. GL
I opened it up earlier...what to you mean by "crazy trip"? (I had it un-plugged)
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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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I opened it up earlier...what to you mean by "crazy trip"? (I had it un-plugged)
The capacitors continue to hold potentially lethal charges and if you accidentally discharge them into yourself you can stop your heart. I'll see if I can't find a good explanation online for you to peruse.

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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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Here's a good overview:

http://tubenexus.com/?p=36

That being said, don't poke at things with metal and only use one hand (leave the other one in a pocket). The problem with using both hands is that if you discharge a lethal voltage it can travel through your arms, hitting your heart in the process.

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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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The capacitors continue to hold potentially lethal charges and if you accidentally discharge them into yourself you can stop your heart. I'll see if I can't find a good explanation online for you to peruse.
oh shit!!!!!!!!. Those look like????. I also got the compressed air idea from this video cause it's mainly my volume.
( oh wait that's contact cleaner lol)
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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:53 PM   #10
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what do the capacitors look like? I tried googling "Capacitors in guitar amp" and just got a bunch of stuff.
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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:57 PM   #11
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if you don't know just don't touch shit inside the amp...you'll be okay just cleaning the pots.
if you look and they don't have the little port to spray directly into them, then close the amp back up,
take the knob off the outside of the pot, spray some contact cleaner (small amount) at the base of the part
that turns and turn it full range a bunch of times. that should clean it. be sure you have a rag handy to clean
up overspray, dripping and such
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Unread 09-26-2010, 03:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7slinger View Post
if you don't know just don't touch shit inside the amp...you'll be okay just cleaning the pots.
if you look and they don't have the little port to spray directly into them, then close the amp back up,
take the knob off the outside of the pot, spray some contact cleaner (small amount) at the base of the part
that turns and turn it full range a bunch of times. that should clean it. be sure you have a rag handy to clean
up overspray, dripping and such
Good Idea.
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:02 PM   #13
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BTW just give it a few minutes to dry (the stuff evaporates pretty quick) and you're fine to
turn the amp on and see if it worked/helped.

if it helped but didn't fix the problem completely, repeat the process
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:04 PM   #14
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Thanks!. What kind of contact cleaner do you recommend? ( I already know it has to be electrical)
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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what do the capacitors look like? I tried googling "Capacitors in guitar amp" and just got a bunch of stuff.
Well the caps are the largish cylinders to the left of the tubes in this picture:



You also have to beware the output transformers which is the large cube behind the caps in the left rear of the pic.

Please don't be offended by what I'm about to say, but the fact you have to ask what the caps look like is a good indicator that you shouldn't be poking around inside an amp at the present. Do some reading and research if you'd like to learn how to work on amplifiers yourself, maybe take a course on electronics. There are ways of working on this safely, but its better to have someone show you rather than try to learn online. This stuff is seriously lethal so, be seriously wary of it.

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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #16
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Thanks!. What kind of contact cleaner do you recommend? ( I already know it has to be electrical)
Servisol is good and usually pretty easy to find:

SERVISOL AERO KLENE 50 - FADER CLEANER- EACH

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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mordacain View Post
Well the caps are the largish cylinders to the left of the tubes in this picture:



You also have to beware the output transformers which is the large cube behind the caps in the left rear of the pic.

Please don't be offended by what I'm about to say, but the fact you have to ask what the caps look like is a good indicator that you shouldn't be poking around inside an amp at the present. Do some reading and research if you'd like to learn how to work on amplifiers yourself, maybe take a course on electronics. There are ways of working on this safely, but its better to have someone show you rather than try to learn online. This stuff is seriously lethal so, be seriously wary of it.
Not offended. I wouldn't want to be "poking around" mainly for breaking something. My amp had no tubes like that tho (solid state)
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:10 PM   #18
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Servisol is good and usually pretty easy to find:

SERVISOL AERO KLENE 50 - FADER CLEANER- EACH
Sweet, what else is good? ( just in case a place doesn't have that) http://www.buy.com/prod/deoxit-conta...211131179.html that looks good.
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:26 PM   #19
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Sweet, what else is good? ( just in case a place doesn't have that) Buy.com - Deoxit Contact Cleaner Mini Spray, UPS Ground Only that looks good.
Deoxit should work fine for this purpose I'd think.

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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #20
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Deoxit should work fine for this purpose I'd think.
sold at Radio Shack, if you want to go pick some up today...you may need to bring your ID to prove you're over 18yrs old
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #21
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Deoxit should work fine for this purpose I'd think.
sweet. It was used in the video I posted above. It has a design that is like some compressed air cans so my fingers and hands can be further away from the board.
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:30 PM   #22
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sold at Radio Shack, if you want to go pick some up today...you may need to bring your ID to prove you're over 18yrs old
why would I need an ID for contact cleaner?
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:37 PM   #23
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why would I need an ID for contact cleaner?
not kidding, they carded me a few years ago when I bought some at Rshack...kids huff it

I'm 34, but dressed up in minnesota winter clothes perhaps I looked younger
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:39 PM   #24
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not kidding, they carded me a few years ago when I bought some at Rshack...kids huff it

I'm 34, but dressed up in minnesota winter clothes perhaps I looked younger
A lot of people say I look 18, but I am almost 17. Maybe it's because I'm going scruffy?
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Unread 09-26-2010, 04:46 PM   #25
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A lot of people say I look 18, but I am almost 17. Maybe it's because I'm going scruffy?
serious about the ID thing though, I wouldn't want you trekin out to the store and then gettin shut down cause you're not 18, scruffy or not
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