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The Holy Grail of Connections: The AC Plug

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  • The Holy Grail of Connections: The AC Plug

    Imagine how your audio system might sound without any cartridge clips, RCA or speaker connectors or AC plugs. Everything is hard wired together! Imagining, unfortunately, is about as far as we can get. So the best we can do is keep those connections as scrupulously and spotlessly clean as humanly possible.

    But there is one connection, out of all of them, that is the key to transparency: the AC plug. When it starts to oxidize and get dirty, the system often gets edgy and more than that, loses its see through quality. Losing that see through quality also affects that ability of the system to reproduce the sense of image palpability too and everything tends to flatten to a certain extent as well as losing that space between instruments.

    I try to avoid the tell tale signs and clean the AC plugs on a regular basis. Every month, I clean the AC plugs with a Q-tip and Kontak and every two months or so, clean with Gorham silver polish, wash with distilled water (eg. a wet rag or paper towel) followed by a final cleaning with Kontak. (My experience with de-Oxit hasn't been very good; it just mucks up the sound no matter how much or little one uses.) I don't use any protective agents because in my experience they inevitably degrade sonics and choose to just clean on regular basis. Nor do I want to wait for a month for some paste to "settle" in. Normally cleaning doesn't normally take more than 10 or 15 minutes and it's really worth the effort no matter what level the system. Do it when you are bored and have nothing better to do! You'll be shocked by the improvement for an investment of say $45 (amortized over six or more months; the silver paste should last until it turns hard.)
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

  • #2
    Myles - there are various formulations of Deoxit, and they all sound different. The one I like is their Gx2 formulation, and I think that it's better than anything else. However, the trick is not to leave a film of it on the plug. Use it to clean the contacts, and then use a clean, damp microfiber cloth (not paper towel) to clean it off.
    Gary L Koh, CEO and Chief Designer
    Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.
    www.genesisloudspeakers.com

    Comment


    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      I will check which version I have and used. Yes I did wipe off.

  • #3
    I usually clean all of my connections semi-annually and all I use is some isopropyl alcohol. It's part of a twice yearly disassembly of components for a thorough system cleaning. I've never noticed an improvement in sound, although it feels like a worthwhile effort. Kinda like when you get your car detailed.
    Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

    Comment


    • #4
      Getting ready to flip my room 180 degrees. Time to clean connections and get everything put back into place... usually takes 3-4 days!!

      Comment


      • #5
        I do nothing lol
        not saying it's not true but it's tough to do things that I just cannot understand why. But cleaning the system connections is a major audio thing for most all.
        I think the biggest factor in how good or bad our systems sound is our minds mood and all that goes with it.
        But I seem to be the only one that ever posts this lol.
        analog stuff.
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
        otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
        sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
        new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
        thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
        thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
        kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
        phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

        Comment


        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          Al, you're not alone. I also believe mood and state of mind has a lot to do with it... I'm not as dedicated an audiophool [ahem] I mean, audiophile as many here. i'm loathe to cleaning plugs, connectors etc. and i never ever loose sleep thinking about what i'm missing (sonically speaking)

      • #6
        We all know the usual arguments with engineer types that say, it's all in your head. What gets me is they even poo-poo the idea of cleaning connections. It's so simple to do, costs a few q-tips, and the difference is easily heard. It's just something that everyone should do once a year.

        Comment


        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Without our heads our ears are mere transducers.

      • #7
        Impressive regimen !! I usually do Kontak on everything about every 6 months...I do try to break/reconnect things every so often.
        Speakers: Rockport Lyra
        Amps: Nagra HD Pre Amp & HD Amps
        Cables: Transparent Magnum Opus speaker and interconnects
        Power Transparent Opus Power Cords & Opus Isolators
        Digital dCS Vivaldi full stack w/ Transparent Reference XL Digital cables
        Phono: Grand Prix Monaco 2.0 TT, Spiral Groove Centroid, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement, Nagra Classic Phono & PSU
        Racks: Grand Prix Audio Silverstone F1 (x4)

        Comment


        • #8
          I never said it's not good to do my point is the methods some go to is. Its extreme at the least.
          But I do feel
          oxidation does happen now if I can hear us another story

          analog stuff.
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
          sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
          new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
          thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
          thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
          kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
          phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
          speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
          mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
          digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
          Dacs lampi various

          Comment

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