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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:20 am 
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This has to be one of my best tweaks ever.

I cleaned the AC plugs and IEC connectors on my system with contact cleaner,
then applied a very light film of silver grease.

The Silver Grease was from MG Chemicals - $22
Not sure if there are other makes

The amount of harshness this removed was significant.
The effect was very noticeable with power cords made with Marinco and Wattgate connectors
and some what noticeable with power cords using gold plated OCC connectors.

Also, the bass became more defined and definitely lower.
For example, with a piano, you can hear the wood frame move.
I almost need a rumble filter on.



However, there are 2 cautions

1) Silver grease is really messy - so take care applying it so it doesn't end up all over the place
Absolutely, make sure there is not a trail of grease from the hot to the neutral.

2) Watching the power dissipation on my PS Audio power re generator,
when switching the system on, it clear there was a significant increase in inrush current.
So you may not want to do this on a 250 watt power amp.
Certainly, if you add the grease, I suggest you switch one component on at a time.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:03 am 
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How do you know that it's the grease and not just the cleaning?

Thanks for the reminder!

I've cleaned mine, and they were filthy.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:34 am 
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Erik wrote:
How do you know that it's the grease and not just the cleaning?


Erik, you are right, I changed 2 variables at the same time.

However, previously I cleaned the RCA's with contact cleaner and was quite impressed by the improvement.
So then thought I would try cleaning the IEC connectors, hoping for another improvement,
but didn't notice any difference.

This time I cleaned and then added the silver grease to power cords.
For power cords with Marinco or Wattgate connectors the difference was immediatey noticeable.

Plus, looking the power read out from my PS Audio P1000 re generator,
was surprised at the high read out when first switching on the power.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:46 am 
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What are you guys using to clean the connectors? Also, do you clean just the outside of the RCA connector or do you insert a swab to clean the inside?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:49 am 
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Location: Silver Creek, BC, CA
you can buy brushes (Caig makes some) to clean the inside or use pipe cleaners
I use a little DeoxIT on them


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:20 am 
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can you guys hear a pin drop 1 mile away to.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:25 am 
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As I heard Henry Kloss say once at the CES in the 1970's when he heard someone talking about a tweak-'Bulls---'


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:22 am 
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Paul;

This is very interesting. My question would be; do you still notice the difference on your power conditioner after the initial run. In other words is the change consistent with each on off cycle or was the change related to the first time. Now I can see people apply the same logic to tube pin cleaning :) I can also see less experienced persons using too much grease and in fact shorting the contacts. Worth a try though if it helps as it is a very inexpensive tweak.


Cheers,

Mike

-- 22 Apr 2012 15:24 --

sam2256 wrote:
can you guys hear a pin drop 1 mile away to.


Actually when I was involved in sonar development I could hear someone drop a dime on the deck of a submerged submarine. Audio and sound can be very astounding. Oh yeah; that was at a range of 30 miles.



Cheers;

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:54 am 
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This might be useful for cartridge tags as well, especially the non-plated copper type.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:32 pm 
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This is bizarre. Grease is not a conductor and silver tarnishes when exposed to air. So why should silver grease work?

I like the improvement on the marinco plug side. The upper octave cleaned up a bit.

How do you clean the IEC end? I used a gritty cleaner on the plug, because I could remove it, but in this case, I won't get the grit out. Jewelry cleanser in an ultrasonic bath? That would be cool, but it would take time.... TarnX? Then drying it would be trouble.

And how do you get the silver grease into the IEC?

Don't forget to clean the male IEC too, or since that is generally nickel plated, it won't matter


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:05 pm 
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I assume the silver particles suspended in the grease are able to bite into the metal surfaces in much the same way the zinc oxide works in heat sink compound. There might even be some improvement in mechanical integrity of the joint.

Tarnished silver will conduct, that's why it's often used in switches and other items where good contact is essential, such as fuse holders. Apparently, it's still better than plain copper.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:07 pm 
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soundfreak wrote:
What are you guys using to clean the connectors? Also, do you clean just the outside of the RCA connector or do you insert a swab to clean the inside?

For an RCA plug, I take an Q tip crush it with a pair of pliers, then add the contact cleaner.
The crushed Q tip will fit between the shield and the center pin.

Yes, I just clean the outside of the RCA jack.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Erik wrote:
This is bizarre. Grease is not a conductor and silver tarnishes when exposed to air. So why should silver grease work?


Silver oxyde is conductive


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:05 pm 
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For what it's worth I have tried a couple of audio specific silver contact treatments and although they worked to improve sound, they were very messy and very dangerous on AC. When they were on for a long period they would dry out and you were left with a caked on mess to clean.
A couple of years ago it was suggested by a friend that I try a product called Stabilant 22. It is used on medical and aerospace circuit boards and connections. It is a clear liquid in an eye dropper type of bottle. It is like cleaning the contacts with an alcohol as far as application goes. A 15ml bottle was $45 but I have been swapping cables and cleaning a couple of friends connections and haven't used half the bottle in over a year. It comes with brushes as well. Bought mine at a local electrical supply wholesaler.
I was told by the person that first turned me on to this that he wouldn't use it on AC but if you are careful and don't let it run all over, I haven't had a problem.
And of course, in my opinion, it sounds great.
Not trying to change the original topic. Just offering an alternative suggestion.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:12 pm 
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MikeChurchward wrote:
This is very interesting. My question would be; do you still notice the difference on your power conditioner after the initial run. In other words is the change consistent with each on off cycle or was the change related to the first time. Now I can see people apply the same logic to tube pin cleaning :) I can also see less experienced persons using too much grease and in fact shorting the contacts. Worth a try though if it helps as it is a very inexpensive tweak.


With PS Audio P1000 ==> MF preamp on + MF power amp plugged in, but switched off + DAC plugged in, but switched off

If I switch the PS Audio re generator unit off for 10 minutes or more,
then switch it on, the power reading is goes over 300 watts - this is consistent.
Then the power reading settles down to 6 watts with the preamp on but no music playing.
This is a crude reading with a digital read out - but the over 300 watt reading is consistent.

Yes - I would caution people to just put a film of silver grease on
Plus try it with 1 item first - like an AC plug.
It would be way too easy to get carried away and put too much on a tube.
Then there would be difficult mess to clean up.

Another great location to use contact cleaner + silver grease,
is on the 1/4" spade connectors, inside speakers.


Doesn't really say much, but here is the manufacturer's sheet on this stuff
http://www.mgchemicals.net/products/8463.html

and the MSDS
http://www.mgchemicals.net/msds/english/8463.pdf

I bought the MG chemical s silver grease from Active Components, here in Ottawa, because it was close by.
There are other suppliers of this stuff.





Audionutt wrote:
For what it's worth I have tried a couple of audio specific silver contact treatments and although they worked to improve sound, they were very messy and very dangerous on AC. When they were on for a long period they would dry out and you were left with a caked on mess to clean.
A couple of years ago it was suggested by a friend that I try a product called Stabilant 22. It is used on medical and aerospace circuit boards and connections. It is a clear liquid in an eye dropper type of bottle. It is like cleaning the contacts with an alcohol as far as application goes. A 15ml bottle was $45 but I have been swapping cables and cleaning a couple of friends connections and haven't used half the bottle in over a year. It comes with brushes as well. Bought mine at a local electrical supply wholesaler.
I was told by the person that first turned me on to this that he wouldn't use it on AC but if you are careful and don't let it run all over, I haven't had a problem.
And of course, in my opinion, it sounds great.
Not trying to change the original topic. Just offering an alternative suggestion.


Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Totally, agree this stuff is very messy.


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