Contact cleaners/What's good?

What is your favorite contact cleaner/treatment product? I used to use something called Cramolin (which I can no longer find). I replaced the Cramolin with a small bottle of De-Oxit which worked well on the used equipment that I have purchased as well as the outlets. Unfortunately the bottle of De-Oxit was tossed out by accident when we recently cleaned out under the sink and I need a new bottle of something, preferably a one step treatment unless their is a good reason to use one that is multi-step. I had also wanted to try it on tube sockets as well (another piece of used gear) and wonder if this is advised. Thanks.
I use a combination of Caig De-Oxit and Caig Pro-Gold. As I understand it the De-Oxit removes oxidation while the Pro-Gold is a "preservative". I treated all of my interconnects and PCs at the same time. It seemed to clear up a kind of electronic haze...I don't know how else to describe it.
Gallaine: I cheaped out before and did not purchase the Pro-Gold. Now that I think about it the preservative would have been nice to use on the main wall outlet which involves moving heavy furniture to access.
i haven't used commercial cleaners or preservatives for several years after experiencing a build up of "gunk" on contacts no matter how little i used or carefully i recleaned. as i recollect, i previously used cramolin. i now use industrial grade isopropyl alcohol for cleaning contacts. i've been told that some enviromentally friendly cleaners can eat up plastic caps and similar parts real quick. i'd be more than a little reticent about cleaning tube sockets with commercial cleaners unless i were very certain it would do no harm.
Interesting thoughts on the alcohol idea Cornfed. I have used the Caig products in the past. Anybody have any good suggestions for cleaning AES/EBU connectors? Other than squirting juice on them and seating/unseating several times? Thanks Doug
I have had similar experience to the Corn-fed one, that is, repeated use of cleaning fluids causing more of a problem than it cures. I find that if I just disconnect and reconnect each cable once a month (disturbing the cable as little as possible folks - you would be surprised how bending a cable sends its sound out of whack for a while) that I get the same or better results than using cleaning fluids. Of course this may not be enough in humid areas where real corrosion set in more easily.
Regular alcohol is not good because there's lanolin in it (an oil). Denatured alcohol is OK though; recommended on tape heads, pinch rollers, etc. so that's good for contact cleaning too. Pro Gold also contains an oil film, which, although it theoretically prevents contact oxidation, the oil helps attract dust accumulation into a connector & you really don't want that. Kontact or Audioquest Ultraconnect are both good & pure non-residue cleaners. Although I'm not for sure, I believe that Caig DeOxit is non-residue cleaner too - can anyone confirm this?
i've used both kontact and craig's pro-gold. i like the former better than the latter.
I have had excellent results with Kontact. I use it at least four times a year if not more often. I have not seen any build up.
Bob B & Lak & Randal are absolutely correct, I strongly recommend Kontak, no residue left behind. To my hearing much better sounding that Caig products in direct comparison I did.
I have only used Denatured Alcohol. Does regular alcohol really have lanolin in it?? Lanolin is used in skin cream and some people are allergic to it. I doubt that when you go the the doctor with a cut or they are cleaning the skin to give you shot, they would use something that could would be harmful to some patients. There are two types of "regular" alcohol. Rubbing alcohol which may be what Bob is referring to; and there is also Iso-propyl which has no additives in it. (50 cents a 12 ounce bottle at your drug store). I have used Iso-propyl in an emergency only when no denatured is available. Iso-propyl is what you would have used is science / chemistry class is school.
PS: Iso-propyl Alcohol is widely used in industry as a solvent, so it will definitely remove the major grunge on dirty equipment, but definitely not a good choice for tweeking important connections on your system.
Pro gold works well for me.
Dave, here is link to Galen Carol Audio discussion on cleaning products and how to best clean connections. He also recommends Kontak after trying many others. BTW I have used Kontak for many years, and have heard nothing that improves sound to the same degree.
Galen Carol discussion,
I recently used Iso alcohol to clean a noisy connection on my amp's selector pot and it worked fine and eliminated the static. I found the info in an old thread at this site. My main concern (other than being mental) is pollution in the LA area that noticeably coats everything within a manner of weeks (we do not use AC and keep the windows open a lot even during the winter). If I take a tea pot or dish out of a closed cupboard and run my finger over it the pollution grunge will make a streak and as I said before it accumulates very quickly. I cover my seldom used connections with tin foil in the hope that corrosion will not take place (probably should pick up the cheap caps made for this purpose but never seem to get around to it). From the comments so far I may try the Kontact as to try something new this time round and may just try plain denatured alcohol on the tube sockets as I can see no risk in this. I had not even thought about petrol products being used in some of the preservatives, but realize that they must leave something behind in order to offer protection. Thanks. PS: I now have one negative vote, I wonder who the little ahole was?:-)
PS: Thanks for the Galen info. I had lost their site during are last computer crash and could not remember the name.
Just a bit of info. Rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol with other "stuff" added (anything from mineral oil, to eucalytus extract, to artificial color, etc). Denatured alcohol is ethanol with chemical additives to discourage folks from drinking it. There are MANY types of denatured alcohols which vary in the type of "denaturant" added. The most common is a substance called Bitrex which makes it taste..bitter and causes you to spit it out before you swallow it. Many other things can be used as denaturants ranging from methanol to essential plant oils. For the most part, the denatured alcohol you can buy in stores is the so called SDA 40 A denatured w/ Bitrex. No clue what this does to audio connections, however. Generally, the shorter the chain length in the alcohol, the better a solvent it is. Thus, methanol (one carbon) is a "better" solvent than ethanol (2 carbons) which is better than isoproyl (3 carbons) and so on. Methanol is difficult to come by since it is quite harmful if ingested ( drink cheap vodka and get a headache, that's caused by residual methanol in the booze, driven by sloppy distillation). Doing shots of pure methanol WILL kill you. Anyway..back to my point, if you want to try solvents instead of "audiophile" cleaning solutions, your best bet is to use pure isopropyl or try to buy research grade solvents from a chemical supply company like Aldrich, Fischer, etc. For the really adventurous, there ARE other solvents with good cleaning properties which leave zero residue upon drying, most notably the Glycol Ethers made by Dow Chemical Corporation. For the pragmatic amongst you, buy the highest proof, most expensive vodka you can find and alternate cleaning with swigs from the bottle. Not as good as isopropyl to clean since 100 proof vodka is 50 % ethanol and 50 % water..but likely a lot more fun. As for me...I'm lazy and just use Kontakt. Though I've not analyzed it, smell tells me Kontakt contains a healthy dose of isopropyl mixed with a ketone (likely methyl ethyl ketone)..and who knows what else
Alexc, thanks for the above post. Had a great laugh about the vodka bottle. However, I can only imagine that all the wires somehow might not be in the right place once the job is done and the bottle finished. ... Now for another laugh.I am really sensitive to smells and dont like cleaning with anything that smells like alcohol so I use Brut cologne. About 11 years ago when looking for a cleaning solution for my tape heads I borrowed my roommate's found it worked great. It doesn't seem to ruin anything,smells better than alcohol, and I can't seem to see any residue. Thr price is right too. cheers steve
be careful about using anything containing even small amounts of water on tape heads - they rust!
To these ears, Kontak is the way to go. Pro-Gold is second best.