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using contact cleaner

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dadodetres, Oct 23, 2005.


  1. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    hi!
    i posted a while back about a vol pot making noise, and everybody recommended me contact cleaner.

    i got it and when i look today for using it, i noticed that its very difficult to get into the knob.

    its a Bartolini NTMB in a Lakland, do i have to remove the knob? the pre? or just try to manage myself?

    so were should i apply the cleaner?

    thancks!
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    The pots can be cleaned in the bass. Locally I have no idea but the cleaner can be bought through any guitar supply: stewmac.com, guitarelectronics.com, and the like. I've done considerable work on harnesses and I rarely have used the cleaner I've got. Sometimes it will resolve the problem, sometimes it won't. It probably would be cheaper and perhaps more practical to just replace the pot - especially if you can get one locally.
     
  3. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    actually, regardless of whether you buy a pot or not, it would be a good idea to have contact cleaner around cause 1) it might work on the guitar pot for starters and 2) you can use the cleaner on any potentiometer - including your amp which may not be as easily to replace or remove as a guitar pot.
     
  4. Getting to your question...
    It would be much easier to leave the pot in the bass. Locate the offending pot(s) and spray a short burst of cleaner into the small gap:
    [​IMG]
    Here, Dan Erlewine is spraying DeoxIT into a pot.
    This picture is from a great series of article by Mr. Erlewine for Bass Player. You can find it at: Part 3

    I like to clean my pots in the upright position to keep debris from falling right back onto the track inside the pot. Mr. Erlewine gets fancy and vacuums AND uses compressed air before spraying! Also depending on the application the pot's being used for be careful with how much you use. You don't want to dissolve all the lubrication on the shaft and be left with a scratchy, rough-feeling pot. This is another reason why I try to clean the pots right-side up.
     
  5. dadodetres

    dadodetres

    Dec 19, 2004
    URUGUAY
    hey thancks a lot!

    ill try it and tell you how it went
     
  6. A new pot's probably cheaper than a can of contact cleaner. It certainly is over here ;)

    (New pot: about $5 Can of Contact cleaner: $15)

    ;)

    I just replace the pot if one gets noisy.

    :D
     
  7. But wouldn't it be cheaper, by extending the life of the pot, to clean it instead? I mean you're not using a whole can of the stuff on one pot, right? I can usually clean at least 100 pots with a 5 oz. can. It also depends on your bass. It's a lot easier to replace a pot in a passive jazz bass than it is to replace a stacked concentric pot with a circuit board attached to it. Maybe it's just my bad luck but many of my basses have some part of the circuit integrated into one of the pot assemblies and sometimes you just can't get the pot anywhere but from the builder (ie. Smith, Fodera, F Bass, Surine).

    In the case of one older used Smith bass, the instrument arrived with a scratchy push-pull volume pot. I cleaned it and it sounded fine. If you pulled on it it didn't do what it was supposed to do and bypass the active electronics, the whole knob and shaft just came out. The older Smiths have the circuit boards integrated into the pots. I called the master and he told me I'd have to send the bass in because it's a total in-house affair. So for me, sometimes cleaning them is a far better prospect than having to send off the bass!
     
  8. True, in some circumstances, of course cleaning has it's place ;)