[sdiy] Cleaning scratchy pots

Neil Johnson neil.johnson71 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 16:09:12 CEST 2020

Hi Antti,

Thanks. If you don't mind can you say which company replied?


On Sun, 29 Mar 2020, 14:32 Antti Pitkämäki, <anpitkam at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm replying to this thread I started a while ago. I got some great tips,
> thanks! However, to find the definitive answer to my question below, I
> decided to ask three major potentiometer manufacturers on how to clean a
> scratchy pot properly and whether lube is needed. One of them replied. I'm
> posting this here because it might be interesting to some of you. Below is
> my original question to the manufacturers and below that is the one reply I
> got. I find it to be very useful information!
> The question:
> "I’m trying to find information on how to properly fix a scratchy
> potentiometer that is used in audio equipment (e.g. synthesizer). All I’ve
> found are contradictory opinions on how to do it, but I can’t seem to find
> a definitive answer. Thus, I got the idea of asking a reputable
> potentiometer manufacturer for some tips. Although my question concerns
> potentiometers generally and not just your products, I would appreciate any
> insight on this.
> So if I was to fix a scratchy audio potentiometer, I suppose I should
> dismantle it for proper cleaning? I was thinking of using isoprophyl
> alcohol to clean the carbon tracks, is this a good idea? Should I add
> lubrification to the carbon tracks after cleaning or leave them dry? If
> lubrification is a good idea, could you tell me which type to use and which
> type to avoid?"
> The answer:
> "In regards to our potentiometer cleaning process, my application engineer
> stated the following:
> We would only recommend using isopropyl alcohol to clean the POTS. Most of
> our pots come with a small amount of grease applied, we tend to use a NLGI
> #2 grease. The customer might be able to find something similar. Be sure to
> avoid any type of lubricant that can be conductive."
> Hope you find this information useful!
> Best regards and take care in these uncertain times,
> Antti
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Synth-diy <synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org> on behalf of Antti
> Pitkämäki <anpitkam at hotmail.com>
> *Sent:* Sunday, January 5, 2020 2:10 PM
> *To:* synth-diy at synth-diy.org <synth-diy at synth-diy.org>
> *Subject:* [sdiy] Cleaning scratchy pots
> Hi,
> I'm about to clean a scratchy volume pot of my Korg Polysix. I was
> thinking of dismantling the pot and using isoprophyl alcohol to clean the
> wiper contacts. However, am I also supposed to add some very small amount
> of lubricant (such as PRF Kontakt 7-78) to the contacts after cleaning or
> would it be better to leave it dry?
> Also, in general do new factory fresh pots have lubricant on the contacts
> or are they dry?
> I'm asking these questions because no amount of googling seems to give a
> definite answer, but if there is an answer somewhere, it's in this group
> 🙂
> Thanks in advance,
> Antti
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