Q-tips can do more harm than good. Any of the OTC ear wax removal kits (i.e. Murine) will work much better and are safer.
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Don't laugh. It's almost that time of the year again.
1)Exactly between soltices, I completely disconnect everything and move it so I can start off with a fresh vacuumed area.
2)I then place the interconnects so that the "in" end is pointed directly to magnetic south and the "out" end is pointed directly to magnetic north. Important, if you live in the Southern hemisphere do NOT change the direction.
3)The same configuration can be used for the speaker cables UNLESS, like me, you have an out-of-phase device (my pre). In that case the "in" end is pointed directly to magnetic north and the "out" end is pointed directly to magnetic south.
4)Power cords are not effected by the Earth's magnetic field BUT should be stretched between two children, age 3, in a tug-of-war.
5)Leave all interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords in position for the next six months.
6) Next, I air clean every component internally to remove any dust that may have accumulated.
7)Afterwards, I clean the component externally with Ponds facial mask. All connectors are cleaned with the proper electrical cleaner depending on the metal the connector is composed of. (Gold, silver, copper, platinum, rhodium, ridiculuositium).
8)Finally, I place the rack and components back and use the cables from six months ago to hook everything back up.
The Anal Retentive Chef
Okay, lets see now. so far on audiogon I have learned that
1. tubes make a differance; rolling tubes is better
2.One must be particular which interconnects to use; paying serious attention to which cable is coming from the pre as opposed to which comes from the receiver
3. Transports make a differance; even if you have to get a special DAC
4. the DAC is more important; don't waste time on the transport
5.Musicality is actually a word; Audio Aero has it and Wadia doesn't
6.Ancient receivers are better; that they can't stay locked on a particular station is no big deal
7. Two channel rules; so how come so many of us who swear by it also have multi-channel?
8.Dedicated lines are a must; be sure to run seperate lines for the amps
9. Cryo your ports; as in 'Albert'
10. And now I must start moving my gear around around every six months so the cables point the right way? Has Feng Shui now influenced the Cryo-conditioned-specialized power cable-seperate transport and DAC-properly cabled interconnect-specially tube-rolled amp with bi-wired silver-on-bass and copper-on-mid-range electrostatic speakers with custom tweeters?