How Do you clean "dirty" pots?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by GuitaristOfHell, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    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??:scratch:
     
  2. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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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.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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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.
     
  4. MrRedRaider

    MrRedRaider SS.org Regular

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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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  5. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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    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).
     
  6. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    I opened it up earlier...what to you mean by "crazy trip"? (I had it un-plugged)
     
  7. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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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.
     
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  8. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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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.
     
  9. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    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)
     
  10. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    what do the capacitors look like? I tried googling "Capacitors in guitar amp" and just got a bunch of stuff.
     
  11. 7slinger

    7slinger wake up dead Contributor

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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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  12. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    Good Idea.
     
  13. 7slinger

    7slinger wake up dead Contributor

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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
     
  14. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    Thanks!. What kind of contact cleaner do you recommend? ( I already know it has to be electrical)
     
  15. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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    Well the caps are the largish cylinders to the left of the tubes in this picture:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  16. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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    Servisol is good and usually pretty easy to find:

    SERVISOL AERO KLENE 50 - FADER CLEANER- EACH
     
  17. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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    Not offended. I wouldn't want to be "poking around" mainly for breaking something. My amp had no tubes like that tho (solid state)
     
  18. GuitaristOfHell

    GuitaristOfHell The Optimist Prime.

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  19. Mordacain

    Mordacain 1-watt brigadier

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  20. 7slinger

    7slinger wake up dead Contributor

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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
     

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