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"Blowing Out" my Hartke 3500 head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by grunlohd, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. I recently acquired an older Hartke 3500 (one of the "mosfet" models, I'd guess late '80's) and replaced the power tube. However, it still crackles and pops. According to the guy I acquired it from, it needs to be "blown out", which he explained means cleaned thoroughly with compressed air, to get dust off of the EQ sliders, etc. Is there a way to do this myself, hopefully with less expense than taking it to an electronics shop and paying through the nose for labor? Anyone with any suggestions should email them to devlin_grunloh@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. If the amp only makes crackling noises when you turn the knobs or slide the sliders, they need cleaning with a cleaner/lubricant such as Caig DeOxit (available from Parts Express) or a similar spray from RAdio Shack. Tell them it's for cleaning potentiometers. You've got to spray a little dab inside each pot then rotate the knob or slide the slider.

    Blowing compressed air through the amp won't do a darn thing. It could even create more problems, if the force of the air is enough to dislodge anything.

    If the amp still crackles and pops, it's got further problems....check instrument and speaker cable first though to make sure they aren't the culprit!!
  3. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I beleive meant the preamp tube. That head is SS.
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Actually compressed air does serve a purpose. Use it to clear the heatsinks and fan blades of dust. But as for the pots, no way Jose.
  5. Using gentle amounts of compressed air, like that from the small cans of compressed air, would be OK on the fan....HOWEVER I wouldn't advise using compressed air from an air compressor. The compressed air can spin things like fans at a very high RPM, faster than the manufacturer intended, and the fan can self-destruct violently.

    Ball-bearing manufacturers specifically caution against this. Mechanics who didn't know better would wash the bearings out in solvent, then use compressed air to "spin" the races dry. They didn't know this could get the races up to 20,000 RPM or more, and when the bearing self-destructed, the resulting shrapnel has been deadly.
  6. If any of you have owned the same computer for over 2 or 3 years then all of a sudden it just dies. What I have seen at work a lot of times is that so much dust has collected on the eletronic components they start "shorting out". mind you if it's a closed box with no "in" vent it won't happen as much, but for sure it happens. My wife smokes while she plays computer games. Computer statrted giving us problems, I took in in to IT and they opened it up. Man was I ever embarassed. It looked like cotten soaked in nicotine everwhere. Once again if your box is closed it might not be as bad, but if you have an in and out vent it sure can happen.
  7. isnt it more the dust insulating things ?

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