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Thread: More tweakin', cleaning valve pins

  1. #1
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Glasgowshire

    Posts: 6,090
    I'm availableforweddingsAndBarmitzvas.

    Default More tweakin', cleaning valve pins

    300B SET amp owner, mines has 2x300B power tubes and 2xTungSol 5687 NOS signal valves.
    Last week or so been hearing an intermittant rustle/crackling sound from one channel.

    Bollocks thought I.
    Didn't even want to CONSIDER it might have been one of the new 300Bs...
    Swapped the signal valves about and (happily) the noise followed the valve to the other channel.

    Have a few spare 5687 signal valves but was annoyed as the one that crackled was known to be the best sounding type and was quite hard to track down.
    Might as well look at the valve, see if theres anything obviously wrong with it before I change it?

    Nothing obvious, maybe a couple of the pins were slightly bent and being from the 1950's the pins were heavily oxidised, amost black.
    Needlenose pliers to the bent pins and took some Deoxit to it.
    Didn't really shift the oxidisation from the pin, but know it might increase contact so worth a try.
    Nope, still a rustling valve.

    All set to chuck it but having nothing to lose and being disappointed with the Deoxit, thought Id give one more thing a try, and this is where the fun began...

    Autosol metal polish, http://www.halfords.com/motoring/car...al-polish-75ml old toothbrush, cotton buds and a lot of elbow grease later I had a 1950s valve with pins that were chrome, not black with oxidation.
    Carefully sprayed the pins with Swarfega "Jizer" degreaser http://www.halfords.com/motoring/eng...egreaser-500ml let it sit for a couple of minutes to do its thing, rinsed the pins off with water and and dried them off.
    Gleaming like a new pin.

    After some additional air-dry time I put the valve back in the amp and switched on.
    No more crackling valve, but more important an immediate and very noticable difference between the two channels in clarity, transparency and even volume.
    Because Id restored the valve pins to new.

    Did exactly thr same with the other signal valve and wow...both channels now the same and a lot better sounding than before.

    Result!
    Use NOS valves in your valve amp...?
    Get the Autosol out!
    Sent from my ZX81 using Sinclair Basic

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 3,437
    I'm Alan.

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    Good on Gaz, must get me some autosol

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London, UK

    Posts: 679
    I'm Lawrence.

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    The description says it leaves a protective layer on the surface is this why you degreased it after? I wonder if brasso would be as good, I assume a mildly abrasive cleaner like that is the best for this task.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date: Dec 2015

    Location: Alicante. Spain.

    Posts: 892
    I'm Adrian.

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    I used silver polish then cleaned with an isopropyl alcohol/distilled water mix last time I cleaned mine. Definitive improvement.
    Adey

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  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,900
    I'm James.

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    Gaz this is exactly what I do to my valve pins on recommendation from Marco. I received a nice 1962 RCA 5751 yesterday and my first thought was I must clean the pins!

    However until I just read this post I di not know just how effective clean pins were and how they could contribute to such a loss of clarity and performance. WOW.

    I may now go through all my other valves and check their pins are shiny!

    I agree with you Autosol is the best stuff to clean them with a cotton bud.

    Cheers Gaz
    Last edited by Jimbo; 06-01-2017 at 08:37. Reason: Spelling
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,052
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Thumbs up Clean valve pins are ESSENTIAL to maintain maximum signal integrity

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Gas this is exactly what I do to my valve pins on recommendation from Marco.
    Indeed, but did I not recommend that you use one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fibre-Glas...gAAOSwDlxU3Ldn

    A fibreglass pencil is the ideal tool for the job, as it's a dry-clean process, so you can get right into the corners of the pins without the faff of removing liquid cleaning agents, and the pencil quickly gets right down to the bare metal on pins, removing the most stubborn forms oxidisation in the process.

    Just be sure to wear some thin rubber gloves, when using one of the pens, as getting fibreglass splinters in your skin isn't nice! Once pins are cleaned, just to be sure that all particles of fibreglass have been removed, spray them with some Deoxit or Isopropyl alcohol, and you're good to go!

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Dunfermline, Scotland, UK

    Posts: 12,144
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Get a saucer, stand valves in it, fill with Coke up to top of the pins. Leave overnight, then use a degreaser and fibre pen. Pins will come up like new.
    There are times when you can’t do the sensible thing, when you can’t act like a responsible adult at all; you just have to do whatever insane thing comes into your head. When bad people do it they end up murderers, when good people do it they end up heroes, and when the rest of us do it we end up looking like total idiots. But when’s that ever stopped us?

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,052
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Good old healthy Coke, eh?

    Never tried that, as I've always found using a fibreglass pencil on its own enough (finishing off with Deoxit, etc, aside).

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,900
    I'm James.

    Default

    I have a number of valves I know have less than shiny pins so will order one of these fibreglass pens.

    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,052
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    They're great, Jim. Also buy some spare 'inners', for the pens, as they do rub down quite quickly. You should also be able to get them on Ebay

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

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