Vintage Audio System Maintenance
I have a 40 year old audio system, and have some questions.
Thanks for your help,
1) I think the original DeoxIT® 5% spray (D5S-6) would be inappropriate for a carbon potentiometer due to the solvent washing away the carbon. Therefore, as far as the DeoxIT® DN5 spray and DeoxIT® 100% spray versions are concerned, do you recommend applying the DeoxIT® itself, irrespective of the quick evaporating solvent of the DN series, onto the carbon? What would it do to it? Is there any benefit or harm to the carbon?
The solvent in the DeoxIT® DN5 series will not damage the carbon surface because its solvent evaporates almost instantly; but it lacks the flushing attributes of the DeoxIT® 100% spray (D100S). So, in this case, the D100S would be preferable.
2) It was my understanding that it was OK to apply DN5 spray OR 100% DeoxIT® spray to potentiometers, but not to get any on the carbon. This is impossible, since the functioning of the pot requires a metal contact to slide in an arc across the surface of a circular carbon element. If there is DeoxIT® on the metal contact, it will get onto the carbon.
"Normal" carbon surfaces will not be adversely affected by the D5 spray, however, you are working with vintage equipment, and it’s highly probable that the already fragile or mechanically weak pots will sustain damage after exposure to solvent, causing the removal of carbon.
The second issue with vintage systems is the need to replace some of the lost lubrication, and the DeoxIT® 100% spray (D100S) cleans the surface AND replaces the lubrication.
3) What affect will DeoxIT® itself, in either the DN5 spray or 100% spray version, have on phenolic material?
Due to its highly absorbent surface, it is advisable to keep chemicals away from the phenolic surface, however, a little mist of product will not compromise its functionality, should it happen inadvertently.
4) What about DeoxIT® FaderLube? Is it intended to be applied directly onto carbon, which, again, is inevitable if sprayed into a potentiometer? How does it affect the carbon? Is it a lubricant only, or does it deoxidize and/or enhance contact between the carbon and the metal contact sliding over it?
The DeoxIT® FaderLube, 100% solution offers LUBRICATION ONLY, therefore, it would not be necessary if you applied the DeoxIT® 100% spray (D100S), as directed.
5) Are there older and newer forms of DeoxIT® FaderLube 5%, like there is for DeoxIT®, containing anything that would be harmful to carbon OR phenolic?
No, however, please review question #2 above.
6) What affect will DeoxIT® FaderLube itself, in either the 5% or 100% version, have on phenolic material?
Please see question #2.
7) Can DeoxIT® FaderLube be added to, or used as a long-term replacement for, the original lubrication used on the potentiometer control shaft?
A prototype product (#DFG-213-1) is currently undergoing testing and evaluation at the present time.
Additional information for future reference:
1. Sealed pots, found in newer equipment, cannot be restored, and must be replaced.
2. Rotary pots and linear faders respond best to DeoxIT® 100% spray (D100S) rather than the DeoxIT® 100% liquid in the needle dispenser (D100L-25C), depending on how they're mounted. Best Rule of thumb is if you can see the wipers, where the grease is visible, use the DeoxIT®100% spray (D100S) version.
DeoxIT® GOLD (formerly ProGold)
DeoxIT® GOLD GxL (formerly ProGold GxL)
DeoxIT® SHIELD (formerly PreservIT)
DeoxIT® FaderLube (formerly CaiLube MCL)
DeoxIT® FaderGrease (formerly CaiLube MCL P20 & P40)
DeoxIT® Grease Type M260 & L260 Paste (formerly CaiLube Grease)