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Cleaning valve sockets

Discussion in 'd.i.y.' started by philiphifi, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. philiphifi

    philiphifi pfm Member

    hi - does anyone know the correct way to clean valve sockets? my audion silver knight (Mark I) seems to suffer from microphonics and i often have to wiggle the valves around for it stop. Haven't clean it at all

    thank you very much

  2. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Microphonics has nothing to do with dirty valve sockets! It's the valves themselves. Fitting and removing the valves several times will usually clean the valve pins/socket contacts. They don't need to come all the way out just up and down half a dozen times.
  3. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    FYI, microphonics are something else: either the valves themselves produce it, sometimes popping noises due to the elements inside not being temperature-stable (bad manufacture, loose plates and heaters, etc), sometimes an unwanted whistle (not heard in the speakers), and feedback from the outside world.
    Just tap the low-signal valves gently with the tip if your fingernail to hear what it is.

    Crackling noises can, as Jez says, be caused by bad contacts. I like to replace the offending valve sockets with new staetite ones, when they are too oxidized.
    Otherwise I use ISP-dipped toothpicks to clean the contacts within the sockets (a few rotations should be enough).
    Also look for any dry solder joints if it's a PCB-mounted socket.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    For cleaning good fat interdental brushes and Deoxit D5 works a treat. Clean the pins with Deoxit too. Job done. I realise it is expensive stuff, but it is the best and the can will last you for years and years, maybe a lifetime. Safe to use on crackly pots, faders etc too.

    PS Microphonics is indeed something else, but this answers the thread question perfectly!
  5. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    Good tip, the interdental brushes! Deoxit yes of course we techs all have that, perhaps not Philip!
  6. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    DeOxit was the first DIY hifi maintenance product I ever bought. Well worth the investment regardless of its price, unless you plan on drinking it. It lasts a long time if you're sensible with the application, - I've used just two cans of D5 in 10 years!
  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I have a few interdental brushes for just that but in 9 out of ten cases just pushing and pulling the valves in and out of socket a few times does the trick.

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