Which cleaner for scratchy pots?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by TokyoPortrait, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    I have a volume pot on my Tele that is scratchy in the last quarter or so of its throw and that slightly cuts down the volume right at the very last fraction of the 'full on' end of its sweep. I also have similar scratchy issues with an old Squire Jazz bass.*

    Looking around, I find both scant detail and conflicting information on various vendor websites and forum posts.

    My Tele has Emerson CTS pots, which I think have carbon traces.

    I can get DeoxIt products here in Japan. Not sure what the comparable Japanese brands are, but there's bound to be some.

    Anyway, l see that for pots, some recommend the DeoxIt 'contact cleaner' types (D5S6 / D100s / etc.) and others, on the grounds pots are circular faders and have carbon traces, recommend the F5S FaderLube.

    The FaderLube argument seems the more reasonable to me, but I have no real idea.

    Is there any real consensus of opinion on this?

    Thanks.

    Pax/
    Dean
    * I might be in not quite the right sub-forum for this - sorry if so.
     
  2. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    From what I have read, the DeOxit has a lube in it, so it should be good for cleaning pots.
     
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  3. tubeToaster

    tubeToaster TDPRI Member

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  4. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    I had similar issues on a new tele a few weeks ago, scratchy sounding on far ends of both directions, then pickups were cutting out. posted here and deoxit was the most mentioned, purchased a 5oz spray can, with the stewmac screw on tool that directs the spray into whatever you are needing, and it worked like a charm immediately.
    i'll need it for amps and other things so it was an excellent purchase. I had already tried a couple things that didn't touch any of the issues(alcohol, denatured alcohol, naptha, CRC electric cleaner)-actually some of the issues became worse when I used some of the above. And the CRC I think has the potential to damage plastic and nitro finish, so I removed the pots and switch when I cleaned them.

    I've since used the deoxit at work on a $200,000 piece of medical equipment that had a sticky switch that was causing the unit to shutdown-fixed it immediately.

    I am a believer.

    d
     
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  5. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Curious, what's the Faderlube argument?
     
  6. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    Thanks. But, I was wondering more which actual DeoxIt product to use, the D5, the D100, or the FaderLube. As they are all apparently formulated differently.

    Thanks.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  7. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    As far as I can tell, the D5 is not pure DeoxIt liquid, but diluted with solvents. The D100 is the pure liquid product, and the FaderLube has the DeoxIt plus some kind of lubricant. I could be wrong though.

    I think the story goes, the D5 is runny and leaks out of pots, and can also damage paint & plastics because of the solvent & it's really intended as a metal surface contact cleaner, the D100 is best for valuable vintage stuff as it contains no solvents and dries quickly, and the FaderLube cleans and lubes carbon trace faders (amongst other things).

    The argument is that a pot is just a circular fader, so the FaderLube is best. But also, either the D5 or the FaderLube can attract dust - I can't remember which this claim is for, while the D100 being additive free doesn't.

    Something along those lines anyway.

    But, I also see so many reporting good results with the D5 / D 100, so I'm not sure.

    I'm probably going to go with the FaderLube, as I just found this under "key features" and "uses" on the Caig site: "Lubricates Faders, Switches, Potentiometers & other Mechanisms with Sliding Surfaces" & "Carbon-based controls (potentiometers)." Somehow that never came up in a search before.

    https://caig.com/fader-f-series/

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  8. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Meister

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    i use d5 for pots that i want loose as hell (like on a guitar), and d100L for those i don't.

    you have to be careful not to overspray the d5, and be ready to clean up the excess quickly. just a really really soft, short squirt directly into the pot body where the track is. the side hole on the pot is last resort for me. and don't do it on the guitar, it'll get all over the guitar, take the control plate out as far as you can, wipe down quick. i've never had any problems with modern fender plastics or poly finishes, but knowing how messy it can get on general electronics, i make sure to never overspray. i haven't used it with other or vintage plastics, so there might be some issues there.

    i don't think you have to resort to a japanese brand, any decent shop in akihabara (if they're still even left among all the anime stuff) would probably carry it.
     
  9. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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  10. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm curious why you bought that tool from Stew-Mac. All you have to do is un-screw the control plate and spray the cleaner directly into the opening of the pot.
     
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  11. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    couple of reasons.
    SM had a package with the 5oz spray, knob puller tool(which works exceptionally well-as a friend has one and it doesn't damage a knob and it works fast and simple and on mult size knobs), and the screw on pot cleaning cap.
    the metal cleaning cap screws on tight and has a direction hole for the spray nozzle tube. it directs the cleaner where it should go and keeps it contained. using the adjustable nozzle on the spray can, I use the light setting and just send a "tap" of the deoxit, I don't get overspray or waste the product. Likewise use for amps and such. Just a well thought out tool to use if you have it.
     
  12. darylcrisp

    darylcrisp Tele-Meister

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    you can use this without unscrewing the control plate, just remove the knob, keeper nut, screw on the cleaning cap, a squirt, work it back and forth, and you are done. very little excess of deoxit to wipe away if any(unless you unleash a heavy finger and overuse the product).
     
  13. skradlee

    skradlee TDPRI Member

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    The standard D5 solution is the best cost/performance ratio if you don't plan to use it all the time.
     
  14. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    DeOXIT F5 on pots and D5 on switches.
     
  15. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Radio Shack Tuner Cleaner for me.
     
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  16. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    DeOxit.
     
  17. tubeToaster

    tubeToaster TDPRI Member

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    I’ve used it and it works but do any Radio Shacks exist anymore?
     
  18. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yup, there's one about 20 miles from me in a little town just South of where I live.
     
  19. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Yowza! Give that respirator a rap on the side, a piece of duct tape, and a squirt of deoxit. If it shuts down late at night, well ...

    What hospital is this by the way? :lol:
     
  20. teleplayr

    teleplayr Tele-Afflicted

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    Waste of money for such a simple job. You don't need to pull knobs. Waste of product? the chemical's cheap.

    That's like calling AAA to change a tire when you have a jack & tire tool in the car.
     
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