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What do you use to clean RCA connectors?

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  • What do you use to clean RCA connectors?

    I'm having some trouble with dirty intermittent RCA connections. What techniques do you use to clean RCA male and female connectors and what fluid if any? Deoxit?
    I really don't want to buy new cables if I don't have to, and the RCA females are on expensive components.
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

  • #2
    The best ever tool to clean RCA connectors was the (now discontinued) Signet tool. Shaped to match female on one end and male on the other. It was hard, white material. I guess some kind of porous plastic or highly compressed paper.

    I have a few of these still lying around from the 80s (?). Wish they still made them.

    https://www.musicdirect.com/store/si...eaning-tool-ea

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    • #3
      I still have the Signet RCA tools also. But I prefer to uses small diameter ear swabs (for babies?) and Techspray Econoline Contact Cleaner which leaves no residue. I am not a fan of any of the Deoxit products, they are not neutral.
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      • #4
        If you have intermittent signal with RCA cables it's usually due to mechanical defects in the RCA jack or RCA plug (usually not cleaning).

        To test for a loose pin connection in the RCA jack: Get a drug-store RCA plug and break off the ground tabs so it's just the center pin. Now insert that in the jack in question and see if you have a loose grip or even no grip. Should be tight.

        If that is good, you could have a poor connection inside the RCA plug. Needs to be resoldered or re-crimped.

        As far as cleaning both jack and plug. Put some Deoxit on the RCA plug and shield and plug it into the jack many times to transfer fluid to the jack. Remove and let dry be fore using.
        -Tim Leinbaugh
        -Professional RTR restoration and modification for 47 years.
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        www.MusicTechnology.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tapetech View Post
          If you have intermittent signal with RCA cables it's usually due to mechanical defects in the RCA jack or RCA plug (usually not cleaning).

          To test for a loose pin connection in the RCA jack: Get a drug-store RCA plug and break off the ground tabs so it's just the center pin. Now insert that in the jack in question and see if you have a loose grip or even no grip. Should be tight.

          If that is good, you could have a poor connection inside the RCA plug. Needs to be resoldered or re-crimped.

          As far as cleaning both jack and plug. Put some Deoxit on the RCA plug and shield and plug it into the jack many times to transfer fluid to the jack. Remove and let dry be fore using.
          Thanks for the tips everyone, I went ahead and bought the signet tool and the tech spray but it turned out to be a mechanical problem after all. It seems these RCA connectors I bought a dozen years ago ( I forget the brand ) have a split pin on the RCA male. Well I found the gap to be awful narrow so I took a cutter knife blade and spread the gap back to a reasonable value and now the RCA plugs plug in solidly and the intermittent connection problem seems to have gone away.
          Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Albert Porter View Post
            The best ever tool to clean RCA connectors was the (now discontinued) Signet tool. Shaped to match female on one end and male on the other. It was hard, white material. I guess some kind of porous plastic or highly compressed paper.

            I have a few of these still lying around from the 80s (?). Wish they still made them.

            https://www.musicdirect.com/store/si...eaning-tool-ea
            Still have mine.

            A friend of David Berning made some very handy tools for cleaning inside and outside RCAs back in the '90s but now long gone.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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            • #7
              Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

              Still have mine.

              A friend of David Berning made some very handy tools for cleaning inside and outside RCAs back in the '90s but now long gone.
              Chris at parts connexion carries something like what you describe, I havent tried it:

              http://www.partsconnexion.com/rca-tool.html
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rob View Post

                Chris at parts connexion carries something like what you describe, I havent tried it:

                http://www.partsconnexion.com/rca-tool.html
                yes, I bought one like that on ebay yesterday.
                Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

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                • #9
                  Audiotop makes an excellent cleaning kit utilizing three fluids, the final one to ensure that no residue is left.
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                  • #10
                    Deoxit D5
                    Chris
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rob View Post

                      Chris at parts connexion carries something like what you describe, I havent tried it:

                      http://www.partsconnexion.com/rca-tool.html
                      Rob, do you know what they're made from? They look identical to the product on the music direct page with the Signet brand name.

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                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        sorry, dunno.

                      • JCOConnell
                        JCOConnell commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The one I just got in the mail is off white (very light green) and feels like its made of plastic but I really don't know what the material actually is.
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