Bob, I have to agree with you. I posted a quick thread on Silclear and Micro-Smooth. I didn't have the words to describe what Silclear did but the review said it pretty well. As I've listened to my system more it also seems to make the music more relaxed. After I got the second set of Purist IC back, treated it and let it settle in it even became even more so. More space between the players and more depth to the sound. Definitely, putting the Purist back in was more of a Wow factor but for the cost of the Silclear, it was an easy choice to make.
I can certainly believe what you are saying without yet trying it. The reason is that I have used most of the other Mapleshade tweeks with significant success. An unrelated
"WOW" that I just came across is putting a Richard Gray
400 between the Audio Magic Stealth and the wall outlet. The Dunlavy SC-Vs are current hungry and I'm bi-amping beside, but let me tell you that this Power Company unit has
really set this system free.
My system has never sounded better thanks to all the advice on tweeking offered by Mapleshade. Their most recent catalog is especially impressive. Thanks Mapleshade!
Danger, Will Robinson!
Put Silclear on everything a year ago with great noticable improvements, but then after a few months, a heavy layer of muddiness had settled into my system. I thought it was a tube problem. Had the maddening experience of switching pre-amp tubes from channel to channel to identify problem ones, only to find that the switching of tubes would fix the problem for a few days to a few weeks, then the mud would return. At one point, I noticed that when sounding muddy, working the volume knob in my TRL pre-amp would cause crackles. So, sent the pre-amp back to TRL for repairs.
Turns out, the pre-amp was fine, but the problem was caused by the Silclear in the tube sockets. Paul at TRL explained that this product starts out as a good contact enhancer, but then heat changes it so that it eventually becomes an insulator. The system starts to sound worse and worse and you don't know why.
The fix was to remove the Silclear from everything, which took me 6 hours of careful scrubbing with white gas. I then replaced it with QuickSilver from Xtreme AV, which Paul claims does not degrade and become an insulator with time, and does not tend to migrate when heated. The result, all the mud is gone, and I am now enjoying the music again.
I've had Silclear on my tube pins for over 10 months now with no adverse affects at all. No muddiness, nothing. I put it on very sparingly. The same goes for all connections including the plugs. My tubes still have the same increase in the glow factor and all the positive sonic attributes. No degradation whatsoever. ????
In my system-I found that covering the fuse ends on the power supplies of the equipment made clearly better audible differences-I also found that using it on all connectors was a mistake as it changes the spectral balance of the system making the end result analytical, etched and quite unlistenable. (took hours to get the stuff off). I'd recommend light use on fuses and perhaps power cords, with the rest of your systems connections i;d try one at a time and listen. Moderation was the key for me.
I put Silclear very sparing to get the thinnest coating possible on my ss sytem yesterday. It was my first real tweak experiment except applying "Tweek" itself over a decade ago. "Tweek" did not impress me. However Silclear provided me a definte Wow last night.
SilClear was no placebo effect. The music is more present, with hearing of previously impercievable instrumentation in the backround of well known favorites.
I will report if I get the muddiness mentioned here. Sure hope not. I bet it is a real b... to take off.
Boy, some interesting observations here. I just checked and I first introduced SilClear into my system 7/16/05, and I was so smitten with it that I listed it on my system page. I treated all ic's (xlr & se), pc's and the main fuses on my JC1 mono's. I did not do the main fuse on the Calypso preamp or the tube sockets on the preamp. I didn't do the tube sockets because if
I do ever want to remove the stuff, both for the reasons mentioned above and/or resale of the preamp, it would be very difficult to remove from the tube sockets, moreso I feel than other area's. But, after six month's, I hear no ill effects whatsoever. I'd say the bigest improvement I noticed using SilClear is just an overall smoothness to the music. It is somewhat of a commitment introducing it into one's system, I'll admit. As it is time consuming to put on, it is somewhat messy, and as all who use it know, fairly difficult to remove. And to take it one step further, if your turning a lot of gear, I wouldn't recommend it for the reasons listed. But I'm pretty well set with my gear, so decided to go for it and am very happy with the results.
Just hope it doesn't start to degrade sound as some have mentioned.
I'm dying to try it on the tubes in my pre, but I'm scared.
Someone talk me into it!!! :-)
A friend and I tried using Sil Clear on our systems, mine is Levinson/Revel and his is Theta/Krell/Gryphon/Legacy. Both systems went over the top when we first introduced SilClear to our systems. Wow what a differnce. But 3 months latter we both noticed that our systems were lacking in resolution across the audio spectrum. We speculated on many why, and blamed the loss on sunspots, lasers, bad electricity, and humidty. But for some reason, we tried cleaning the connections with our favorite cleaners, the Caig products. There was an immediate improvement when the SilClear was removed (it was tough) and latter because I still thought I could do a better job in removing the stuff I cleaned mine again with even more improvement. Maybe the dedregation has something to do with the heat, or maybe the SilClear does not prevent oxidation of your contacts over time. At any rate, what was a positive, turned out to be a negative issue over time, and the stuff sure is a pain to remove, and yet . . . remembering the great improvement it made initially, I'm tempted to clean the system's contacts one more time, apply both the Caig cleaner and Gold, then put the SilClear on. Maybe this would stop the gradual degradation of my system's sound.
So if your sceptical, try removing the SilClear with the Caig cleaner and Gold treatment, then listening again. It would be interesting if you hear the same things.
By the way, the Caig cleaner, really does a fine job of removing the SilClear, which boosts my confidence in it's advertised claims.
Perfectionist, I would not try this treatment on your tube pins as tempting as it could be. I think you're asking for trouble eventually.
SGR, your bummin' me out. I bought this stuff 'cause of your rantings (lol). Oh well, live and learn I guess. I have nothing better to do with my time than to spend hours cleaning grease from tiny connections, cracks and crevices. One of my audiophile buddie's told me not to do it, 'cause it's basically a grease and it's gonna be tough to remove. But I gotta say, after six month's, I detect no degradation in sound quality. Even the subtlest of nuances in movie soundtrack's are like right there, out in the open. But now I'll be paranoid everytime I sit down to listen.
Curse you SGR...(lol, again).
So sorry for any conveniance. SilClear is an exciting product and I was certainly convinced of its importance. I never would have suspected the problem when I first used it. As I stated my audiophile friends and I were blown away for many months and treated our entire systems.
I'm hoping to experiment with it again, just on the power cord connections in my sytsem. I'm going to follow this protocol.
1. Carefully clean the contacts with Caig DeOxit and Gold.
2. Place the lightest, finest coating possible with Sil Clear.
3. Leave the cords plugged in for a month or two, then clean the pc connections and try listening again.
As I recall, I did not clean my connections orginally very carefully before applying SilClear and maybe this accounts for the problem.
4. I think I'll call Mapleshade and talk with Pierre.
Again sorry my rantings may have caused paranoia.
Well its good news and bad. I am very happy to hear that other careful listeners noticed so much improvement in thier systems also. Yet I now too await the degradation.Perhaps I will get lucky in that I did fairly carefully clean my connections before applying and used a thin coat.
The product recommends putting SilClear only on the male part of connections, so I can see how to clear that off. But of course once the connection is joined the Silclear is now on the female part as well. Do any of you with experience have suggestions on how to clean the now contaminated interior female parts? Sorry this post is so pornographic.
I just blasted the interior of the female parts with Caig DeOxit until all the silver disapeared. I assume it was all removed.
Thanks. I'll save the tip.
Have you spoken to Pierre about the degradation? I've yet to apply the Silclear.
No, I haven't had time. I'll try soon.
I talked to Pierre at MapleShade today. At the risk of being inaccurate, he feels that SilClear can never become an insulator, as suggested earlier in this thread. The only explanation he had for degradation would be that the product was put on too thickly at the beginning and then migrated with heat over time to cause a short within the system. BTW he was very nice and very interested in people's experience with the product. Hope this helps
Little over eight month's...Still no degradation or ill effects...
I used Silclear very sparingly and for over a year had no adverse effects until now. That brought me back to this thread and after reading the posts, cleaned all interconnects with Caig and viola! Bright, clear, detailed, you name it. I guess the effect was gradual and I didn't hear it until I bought some new speakers and wondered what the hell was going on. Muddy and closed in and sounding like a table radio now and then. Great vocals and acoustic timber and tone but weird at the same time. It would vary. Now everything is fine and I just use the Silclear on power cords and tube pins.
Nonoise and anyone else who would like to comment. I am going to clean off my Silclear from anywhere it might migrate causing shorts becuase I think that I am hearing a degradation and am awaiting new speakers and want all to be cherry.
I started using kerosine as recommended by MapleShade and the Silclear comes of easily. The Deoxit people say that their product will not cut through grease. I am then using deoxit after the kerosene cleaning.
My question is how are you cleaning the RCA plugs, both the male and the female parts. I have sprayed deoxit into the female part, and used fine point swabs on the male. Is there a better way. It is very tedious. Thanks
I've heard that kerosine or gasoline is the way to go if it is applied thickly.
White gas would be best but its hard to find nowadays. I initially put Silclear on very sparingly so I just used Caig Pro Gold G5 and sprayed it directly onto the male contacts and into the female contacts and wiped if off with a clean cloth and used cotton swabs where I could. Nothing too intricate and time consuming and all came out just fine.
I thought I had detail and info aplenty but now its a different story. As for the migration of Silclear, there's nothing really to worry about as long as it wasn't liberally applied. If there were to be a short, it would have happened already.
By the way, I'm going to repeat the whole process in a month or two just to make sure I get any residual effects. The best thing is not to panic and just go about cleaning the contacts as you would normally and all will be okay.
Thanks. Not panicking but wanting everything right for my new speakers. K1 Kerosin does work well to remove.
"I thought I had detail and info aplenty but now its a different story." Not sure if you mean it was better with the Silclear or after it was removed.
I meant to say that I can hear more detail now that the Silclear is gone. Its funny that it took over a year for the cloudiness to appear. On first application, it was quite nice-no cloudiness at all and all of a sudden, dark skies.
I had the same experience except over a a period of about two months. Was wondering if my ears were tricking me, so thank you for sharing your experience. My guess is that I applied it more thickly or my SS amp generated more heat.
Instead of kerosine, you might try using a citrus based degreaser product like for cleaning bike chains, etc. TSP is also good for cutting grease (its the active ingredient in Dawn dish soap).
I came across this thread when researching contact enhancers for my bare copper speaker cable spades. Sure seems like a lot of problems with this particular product, and makes me question using similar products. I am still interested in the Quicksilver silver or gold, which have been highly recommended without the reported side effects, and possibly the Furutech Nano Liquid. The cost is not a big issue, as long as the product is beneficial. However, considering all the problems, maybe I should simply continue to clean my connectors using the Caig products (deoxit and pro gold) a couple of times a year. Any further thoughts?
Like SGR I have found that DeOxit effectively removes the Silclear. I have also diluted the Silclear with Caig Gold which makes it possible to get a very thin layer - I use a foam swab to apply.
One thing I have seen mentioned in other posts is guys who have fried their tube gear after applying the Silclear to the tube pins.
BTW I have also seen several posts confirming that both Walker and Silclear are vegetable oil based - do not try this at home but if memory serves Walker recommended diluting his product with vegetable oil (canola not olive) if it dries up. My tub of Silclear has certainly become denser and gummier since purchased and I do manage to remember to put the lid on...
Like a lot of you I have come to think that the cleaning is what matters...
A few weeks ago I put that Silclear Contact Enhancers in all my components including Power Cords, Interconnects, Fuses, everything and the results were more than satisfying, I posted an extensive review of this item at www.audioasylum.com under "General Asylum" for more details. Best tweak I have ever tried in this 10 years in this Audio Hoby. Best, Antonio Machado.
Please let us know how it works over a few more months for you
12 month's to the day with Silclear on all signal and power cables.
Zero degradation to these ears...
I thought everything was fine for about 6 months until my system just didn't seem right, I removed the stuff with DeOxit and then sprayed the connections with ProGold, and the system sounded much better than with just the SilClear. I was a big fan of SilClear at first and was enthusiastically recommending it. It was an outstanding tweek, but now I've my doubts.
I know Sgr, your original musings is what made me order SilClear in the first place. I'm just reporting what are my honest observations, I feel it's important enough to keep this thread alive and kicking. One of the reasons, or should I say the main reason I feel it's so important to report on this product is, it's a bi-atch to apply, but a major bi-atch to remove. Trust me, if I felt this stuff was degrading my sound, I'd get it the hell out of there!!! Personally, I want to hear all comments from user's, whether positive or negative. I really, can honestly say that I can not discern any difference and/or degradation in sound quality since I initially applied the silclear 12 month's ago.
Well I guess I started this whole thing. I've got to say I'm not surprised at the variety of impressions and outcome.
Over the past 2 years since this started, I have cleaned and reapplied Silclear several times. Usually because of wire changes or a whole lot of hook up and take apart, where the contact just seemed to need a reapplication.
My system has been down and packed away for about 6 months while the house was being rebuilt. But I methodically cleaned and reapplied the Silclear to all connections about a month after I put it back together. I have a new dedicated listening space now, in the basement. I needed to tame the bass tremendously, but that's another story.
With a bit of room treatment I can still say that the system sounded transparent. But after reapplying the Silclear it definitely still took it all up a notch. Soundstage and imaging locked in and the ambience of the recording space bloomed better than it had before application.
Sorry, I don't have any experience with a long term, hands off and don't touch it approach. But I would recommend that any connection be periodically cleaned and the treatment of your choice (pro gold, deoxit, silclear, etc.) be reapplied. It's just common sense that contacts get dirty or oxidize over time, and a clean contact is a happy contact.
I also purchase silclear and the deoxit gold spray. After reading some of the threads I was concerned about using silclear. So, I thought I would do my own side by side testing.
I have three legacy mono block amps, the first amp I treated it with nothing. The second Amp I treated just with the deoxit spray and the third amp I treated with both the deoxit and the silclear.
After listing to a sample of music I started my test. The first amp sound great like it always did and then I tested the second amp using the same speaker and the same cables, It was a great improvement just using the deoxit on the speaker terminals and the ac plug. On the third I only noticed a very slight improvement over the deoxit alone.
After my test I will only be using the deoxit alone my amps are several years old and I feel cleaning with the deoxit was the best result, applying the silclear, making sure that it was applied just right, would take way to long and if I every had to clean and reapply it would be a nightmare.
Curious if people who were enthusiastic about this product are still enjoying silclear several years after first application? If you changed equipment or wires, did you reapply the product? Sounds like biggest problems had to do with application on tube pins where heat combined with vertical installation may be a problem - but perhaps also issues related to other connections?
Seems to me that an oil based product like this would work best if applied to a layer of only a few particles thick, filling any surface imperfections with sliver "platelets" and wiping the excess off each connector. I am planning to apply to my SS system, and wondering if others who have lived with this product for a long time have any further advice, warnings or other comments.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Knownothing knows more then he lets on -)
The posts that I've read all suggest that it is a bad idea to put any of these products on tube pins. I got away with it but quit after the reports started coming in.
I just got done taking down my old HT system - I've got to say that the Silclear was gooey and required some effort to remove. Am confident that I got it off the plug blades but doubtful about everthing else. Also it leaves silver stains on connector housings.
Ultra thin application is the key but for me at least, its easier said then done.
I gave up using the stuff and haven't looked back. I do use the Caig products for cleaning as well as Kontak. Excellent thing to do when you get a used piece of gear before putting it in the system. I use the Cardas conditioner when twisting bare wire ends to insert in connectors or terminals.
I recently went over everything with acetate (nail polish remover), then alcohol and removed all my Silclear in the system. I then applied TVC and haven't looked back. I had it everywhere and never had a problem.
Silclear has been very good to me over the years, but the clean connections are also very good. I can't say that I miss it at all.
You said "Also it leaves silver stains on connector housings". Actually, I think that is the point, to produce a semi-fluid silver "stain" on the blades of your connectors as opposed to a visible layer of silver and oil goo. I am skeptical of the oil emulsion's stability over time, and having a "gooey" mess form sounds "counter-conductive" to me.
I am also questioning the need for applying any contact enhancer or cleaner to silver or gold (or rhodium) contacts. Silver is already highly conductive and actually tarnishes to become more conductive, and gold doesn't tarnish much if at all over time. Gold is slightly less conductive than silver, so it is possible a thin layer of silver product applied to gold interconnects and RCA connectors could theoretically, and apparently empirically, produce an improvement in signal transmission. So perhaps a VERY thin layer (or "stain") of Silclear on gold connectors would improve performance.
Where I am thinking Silclear should provide a distinct improvement in electrical contact and conductivity is on copper or brass AC plugs and internal wire terminations, and on copper speaker wire terminations. Here the better conductivity of silver and benign effect of silver tarnish over time would make this an excellent contact surface for AC and speaker wire applications.
Since I am thinking about how to most productively use this stuff on my system, others thoughts appreciated on this topic.
Just to be clear, and hopefully helpful, the stain is on the receptacles and plugs - not on the metal. What was on the metal was sticky gooey residue that took something like acetone or alcohol to remove. I have no idea how conductive said residue is, nor whether or not the level of conductivity changed between application and removal.
I have read but cannot substantiate (nor have the science to test) that these products are based on various kinds of vegetable oil. Some need refrigeration (why would that be) and others need to be mixed because they don't hold the metal in suspension - which makes even distribution unlikely.
Grease is in and of itself not uncommon in the electronics space - they are called electrical contact grease or similar.
Here is a really thought provoking quote on the value of things like Silclear:
Many contact greases have copper, zinc or other metals blended into a grease to increase conductivity. In a study for an aerospace company in 1985 it was concluded that putting a metal into grease DOES NOT HELP CONDUCTIVITY (caps mine). IN MANY CASES IT REDUCES CONNECTIVITY.
NO-OX-ID is an example (no affiliation, no experience)
Googling also reveals a company called Cool-Amp Conducto Lube which makes silver conductive grease for high amperage connections and is DOD approved.
There is also some stuff called Lubrimatic Electrical Contact Grease... (And a million more)
If you have been around boats (especially in saltwater), heavy equipment, aircraft or big trucks you know the kinds of environments they operate in. These greases are preventative or extend maintenance cycles. I am happy to smear them on my battery posts and 1/0 terminal rings. They work - not by improving or increasing the amperage but by maintaining the current flow at a constant level over time with less effort on my part.
IMHO gear in a rack is not subject to much but dust bunnies.
I do agree with your thinking on where this stuff would be most beneficial; though I would encourage you to jettison anything brass from your system before you start worrying about things like this...
Also, I would encourage you to read up on tinned wire which is supposed to do a lot to "smooth"out the imperfections leading to various undesirable behavior by the electrons not just at the terminals but over the entire length of the cable.
Helpful information. Yes, ultimate goal is to get rid of all brass. In the meantime, I am trying some poor man's silver plating.
hey the good news is there is proof positive right here that you can remove it LOL
just use half as much as you imagine being the bare minimum and all will be fine - how big can those microflaws be???
I had forgot about this thread, and feel I should update my thoughts on Silclear. Going by memory; I would say that after about a year with this product in my system, I felt things were sounding a bit dull and lifeless. So, I decided to remove it from all connections with the exception of pc's. What a frigging chore to remove, not fun. After removing with harsher chemicals, I then cleaned with Deoxit, and then treated with Pro Gold (I had always used deoxit and pro gold in the past). The sound came back to life after removing silclear. Having said that, I was initially impressed with silclear. But there is not a chance in hell I'm going to remove, clean, and re-apply even once per year. Also, I just don't like the idea of a grease on audio connections, it just doesn't make sense to me. I've never had any issues using pro gold. I have a full jar of silclear and will never use it again.
Reviving an old thread here, but I need some advice that I think someone here can provide. I recently bought a preamp which had its tubes (just 2 12AU7s) treated at least once with Silclear. I was advised that if one of the channels got hissy, I should put more Silclear on each pin. Besides the hissiness, which really hasn't been much of an issue, I immediately found that the XLR output from one channel was significantly weaker than the other channel and a bit crackly to boot, even though the RCA outputs are fine. Can't fault the previous owner since he didn't have need for the XLRs. Anyway, I had the problem narrowed down to a bad socket, a bad component between the socket and the XLR (if there is anything), or bad soldering. Then I came across this thread. I really have no idea how the preamp works, but if the XLRs use one or more additional pins that the RCAs don't, then it seems like Silclear could be the culprit. What say ye? Thanks for the help!
Sorry but I am missing the logic here - Silclear on the tube pins either creates/adds noise or it does not.
Assuming the tubes are for the left and right channel you can test that by swapping the tubes and seeing if the "weakness" is now on the other channel.
If the "weakness" follows then you the tube is the probably culprit and most likely needs replacing. You can do the same with the source input cables and the XLR output cables.
The prevailing wisdom I have lived by for 35 years is when in doubt, suspect the cables first.
Finally if you have taken the time to read the whole thread you will know that putting Silclear on anything - especially tube pins is a bad idea.
It becomes sticky and gummy, loses conductivity and is a PITA to remove. More specifically there have been some reports of Silclear on the tube pins shorting out the tube socket.
Apologies if I didn't make myself clear enough. Let's try again. Cables and tubes and sources have been swapped every which way to ensure that it is the right channel of the preamp itself that is the issue. After reading most of this thread, I also came to the conclusion that Silclear on tube pins is bad, and I had no intention of putting more on the pins - I mentioned the seller's advice merely for the potential irony of it. I guess what I'm asking is this: first, besides adding noise, can Silclear reduce the conductivity between the pin and its socket to the point where signal voltage is noticeably reduced down the circuit, and second, could that one pin being bad cause the sort of symptom I'm seeing, which more specifically looks like one leg/pin of the right XLR output is low while the unbalanced output checks out fine. I realize now the second question may not be particularly appropriate for this thread, and I will ask it elsewhere if I get no response. Thanks.
I am not a qualified tech - but it seems unlikely that Silclear would cause something so specific. Especially if when you swap tubes the voltage drop didn't follow.
If the problem remains constant and in place, then it is stationary. To me this would suggest a potential problem in the tube socket and/or the soldering to it... or a problem with the XLR job and/or the soldering to it. Or it could be the wire itself.
Anybody still recommend silclear? I'm curious about how it is applied. It is it easy to get a very thing coat on rca connectors? What's the best way to clear off any excess amount?
Since Silclear and similar products like Xtreme AV Quicksilver Gold and Walker Vivid are conductive, care must be taken applying the paste/fluid *anywhere* - especially on connections like tube pins, when excess paste/fluid can be squeezed out when the tubes are reinserted in the sockets. One (almost) foolproof method of treating tube pins is to apply product half way up the pin only to minimize chance that the paste/fluid migrates up the pin to the base of the tube when the tube is reinserted into the socket.
So you apply the stuff with the applicator and rub it off with a jewlers cloth?
This is what I'm asking. It almost sounds too difficult to mess with this stuff.
IMO, applying any of those products (even a small amount) to tube pins is a practice you may be sorry for. The carrier (oil, etc.) used to make them loses its original properties over time and can be difficult to clean off, especially from tube sockets. I wouldn't want to purchase tubed gear that the owner had treated (the tubes) with one of those products. I would only use cleaners that could be totally removed from the pins.
Actually, Silclear doesn't come off very easily. I found that nail polish remover worked best. Then alcohol the contacts afterwards.
I tried it on RCA's and speaker connections, and would up cleaning it off them. I then tried it on AC connections, and liked it, but after a while I cleaned it off them too and used Pro-Gold instead. Now I only use it on fuse ends.