Over the good part of this past year I’ve been beta testing a new tweak, the name of which is "Total Contact." Its a hi-bred graphene contact enhancer that is different from all other contact enhancers that have come and gone for one reason or another. I’m not new to these contact enhancers, having had quite a bit of experience with a product developed by the late Brian Kyle and his "Quick Silver" contact enhancer. The "Total Contact" is different ... a LOT different.
"Total Contact" is graphene based and is not a vibration control. It eliminates micro-arching between two contacts. Micro-arching, much like Micro-vibration smears the sound in our stereo systems. Its the type of distortion that we don’t know is there .... until we eliminate it. There is no break-in as we know it. The sound is improved right off the bat, but what you hear is only a smidgen of what’s to come.
I tested three generations of "TC," each of which was an improvement over the previous incarnation. The final mix was cryogenitically treated and made for a more effective, much smoother application. It comes in a large hypodermic needle type plunger containing 1.5 ml of product and includes a instructional DVD and an application brush.
The application should be applied with a very thin coat to all of your electrical connections .... from your cartridge pins to your power cords. I did my entire system, including the ends of my fuses.
Upon initial application, you will notice an improvement in clarity, correctness of tonal balance and a more overall organic sound. But ... that is just scratching the surface of what this magic paste does. As it cures, the improvements become more apparent. Much more!
There are two real break-through events that happen almost to the day with "Total Contact," one at four weeks and another at eight weeks . At four weeks, you’ll get a real jump in clarity and overall improvement. That’s only a taste though of what’s to come at eight weeks. At eight weeks your system’s focus will make a jump in SQ that is so real - its surreal.
After 40 years in the hobby, and a total tweak nut, I have never heard anything that does what this graphene paste does. The see-through clarity at eight weeks becomes simply amazing. The "paste" eventually cures into a kind of polymer plastic and it seems that the sound improves with each listening session. So, its important that you leave your contacts alone for the duration. If you’re the type of person that continually switches wires in and out, you’ll have to re paste until enough time has elapsed to get "the cure."
The only problem I had was with the first batch and that had to do with shorting out a tube pin in the line stage. Use the "TC" very sparingly on tube pins, if at all. I only had problems with the line stage tube pins. The Amp, CD Player and Phono Stage has had no tube pin problems at all.
Tim Mrock, one of our fellow A’goners, is the developer of the product. Its taken Tim 15 years and several patents to get it right. Tim has "pasted" every electrical contact he can find in his audio system, all of the switches in his circuit breaker box, every contact in his car ... and has used it in commercial applications such as hospital circuit breakers, surgical lights ... and other places where efficiency and long life of electrical components are deemed important.
This product is highly recommended to anyone who truly wants to get the most out of his/her audio systems. There’s enough product in each tube to do at least two audio systems as it just takes a very thin coat on each application to be effective. The last tube was enough to do my system twice and then a friend’s system this past weekend.
PS: There were a couple of other A’goner beta testers of this product as well. Hopefully, they will chime in here with their experiences for comparison. I "pasted" both of Steve Fleschler’s systems a few days ago, perhaps he will comment on his results too. We forgot to paste Steve’s power cords though, so there’s a lot more to be had from Steve’s two fantastic systems.
I'm Frank's friend. Last week, Frank applied Total Contact to only my fuses and interconnects last weekend. There was an immediate improvement in the sound of both my audio systems. It was comparable to the difference in a Littlefuse to the Blue fuse change. The bass and highs were extended and fortified. The soundstage widened somewhat and the height improved more than the width. Transients improved with quicker, more explosive. There is more detail and air around instruments and voices. However, the tonal quality does not change at the expense of the openess or quickness.
This is the first time my big system exhibited that jump factor where a bass drum is both felt and heard (well, more than just moderate sound level). My Signature IIIs always had punchier bass with 3-10" woofers than my Focuses which have 3-12" woofers. Not any more. The Focuses have tighter, punchier (and deeper) bass than the Signature IIIs now. I will be purchasing the Total Contact as soon as it's available. I will then apply it to all my A/C and speaker wire contacts which rarely get unplugged. I only hesitate putting on tube pins. Another good thing is that if one doesn't like the sound, it's easily and cleanly removable.
There's so much in the tube, I'll be applying it to my video systems A/Cs and ICs and speakers.
Original tweek was great product. This goes way beyond anything I remember of tweek.
With this product you become part of the sound scape space...where ever you sit or move about you are within the soundstage. Like being in free space with the performance rather being an outsider wishing you were inside with the performance.Tom
Frank; I remember listening to your rig after you had applied this stuffs as a beta project; you mentioned you were sworn to a confidentiality agreement at that time. I was so impressed, I wanted to get a tube, but it was not available then. I need to get some now! Can't wait to try it, and enjoy the improvement. All the posts you've made have been spot on, I've been to your home several times, and can always hear what you're been up to, and the improvements are never subtle. To the trolls out there, I have no dog in this hunt, simply sharing what I've experienced with my own ears. Glad you are well, and Happy Holidays. Too bad its too late for a stocking stuffer... Enjoy the music, and the tweaks... Best, Bob
I was involved as a listener only. I had used other types of brush on contact enhancers in the past and removed them sooner or later.
This product I applied first to the terminal posts of my 40lb deep cell marine battery that powers my 1lb dac..I chose these connections first because they were easy to get to, they were far apart so I could avoid any migration of the solution, I could determine how the product flowed from brush to metal posts.. if the solution didnt make for an improvement then it would be easy to remove.
I thought if the solution was brushed on these two connections first.. upstream from a 100000uf capacitor bank and bypass caps as a supply for a dc. Dac. If the solution made for a improvement here then I would move ahead..The solution made a broad band improvement, so I moved forward with more application points. Tom
Robert and I will have to come down soon and do your speaker cables and power cords. You'll get at least as much of an overall improvement that you got last time.
$299.99 isn't a lot of cash when you consider the improvement in SQ it gives you. Plus, there's enough in a tube to do at least a couple of systems, or perhaps your circuit breaker, or even connections in your car.
Can I do your "blind" test after the four and eight week jumps? I guarantee you, it would be no contest.
To illustrate just how good this "Total Contact" is, ... My ARC CD player gave up the ghost and will no longer read discs. I'm looking at a$2000 repair bill. So, in the meantime, I stopped at the local Goodwill store and bought a perfectly working vintage Kenwood CD player. When I got home, I set the Kenwood in the place that the ARC once occupied. I used the "Total Contact" on the power cord and the IC's, used some footers that I had stashed away and then put a VPI brick on top of the chassis. With the exception of the low bass, I'm getting about 90% of what the ARC does. The highs go on forever. Price of the CD player? Ten bucks. Yep, $$10.00.
How often to reapply? Once only, every 6 months, annually? This will help us better understand cost. I would use it building power cords etc...Perhaps use in in my crossovers also. Only if I dont have to keep reapplying it.
The answer is probably how often you may remove and reinsert equipment and their attached cables. Frank may want to answer that question because he has had and used the product longer than I and also in other listeners systems.
I have only applied this product to maybe half of my system connections. After the application to the battery terminals I next did the leads and the binding posts of the left speaker only. I use this method on first one speaker..because if I change an element in one side only and the result bends or alters the entire soundstage I know to make everything whole again then I do the other speaker. This method of application takes more time but the resulting progressive improvement tells you much about the product and its ability to increase the resolution in one's system.Tom
Good Grief! micro-arcing. Whatever will they invent next. Swollen contacts from excessive use causing micro-cracking? Apply liberally Grand Papa’s specially formulated Hi-Fi Hemorrhoid cream. I hear it makes a fantastic difference. Nothing worse than constricted contacts choking the sound.
An improvement can be heard right away as I heard on the battery posts. Sure it gets better.
As far as I can tell the 1.5ml will go a long way. I have applied to many contacts and connections and have nearly the same amount as I started with..A little spreads far and wide..when I am finished the contents including the brush are wrapped in foil and then go into a zip locked bag..and why not. Tom
As long as you don’t disturb the connections there is no need to reapply the paste. One application is enough ... and just a very thin coating at that. Remember, its not exactly a liquid. It more resembles a powder in suspension. Like I said before, the binder, along with the cryogenic treatment is the key in getting a smooth flow with this material. Once applied properly, what is left on the connection is just a dull grey appearance instead of a shiny one. It helps to use a strong light when applying to be sure you get complete coverage. Oh, and there is no need to clean your connections prior to applying the product. Just paint it on. That’s it.
The brush is a tiny artist brush that is intended for painting small, fine details. There is nothing "soaked" into the brush.
How many IC’s can you paste with one tube? Who knows ... a hundred maybe? I don’t think I’d want to spend the money to find out. I will say that I still have a little left in the original tube that Tim sent me almost a year ago. As things progressed the complete mixing of the graphine kept getting better and better. The original was a little, for lack of a better word, lumpy. Small pieces of graphine could be seen in the material. The final version, the version you will be buying, the version that is now in my system and in Steve’s, is smooth as silk and an even thinner application can be used. Coverage is the key, not the amount used. Like the old hair oil commercial used to say: "A little dab will do ya."
No definite release date yet other than "between Christmas and the New Year."
Oh, good! Now audiophiles won’t have to upgrade cables, power cords, electronics, speakers or turntables or tubes. Or even fuses. Or tweaks. 😛 Holiday hint: when you coat the fuse end caps don’t forget which way the fuse goes back in. 😳
And don’t coat the whole fuse..as the path of least resistance becomes the coating and not the element inside the tube. Makes me now think of some interesting experiments. Don’t go there.Yea but novel and interesting. Tom
Based upon what Total Contact has done for my little ten-dollar Kenwood CD player, geoffkait may be closer to the truth than he realizes. Its just a used, cheap vintage CD player that probably cost under $200 when new. Now, it holds its own against a $10,000 player? Who knew??
For those interested, here's the same model of CD player I found at the thrift store for ten bucks:
oregonpapa OP Based upon what Total Contact has done for my little ten-dollar Kenwood CD player, geoffkait may be closer to the truth than he realizes. Its just a used, cheap vintage CD player that probably cost under $200 when new. Now, it holds its own against a $10,000 player? Who knew??
>>>>>You see, that’s a really great observation but I’m afraid it opens up a big can of worms. 🛢That can of worms I refer to as the hierarchy of sound. What I mean is, sure, you can treat an inexpensive thing and it can beat a more expensive thing. Impressive, true. The problem is when you treat the MORE expensive thing you get an even bigger jump in SQ. Then, treat an even MORE expensive thing, bingo, bango, bingo! An ever bigger jump in SQ. That’s the hieracrchy of sound. WHERE DOES IT ALL STOP?! 😳
Everything is relative and everything is HIERARCHICAL. - Old audiophile axiom
“This is so great! The top of the world, we finally got to the top of Everest.”
“Hold on, Bub, we’re only at Base Camp. We’re only half way up!” 😀
No links to this product anywhere that I can find. I wrestle with these tweaks and have found most of them completely worthless, including all manner of fuses, but don't want to invite bad vibes from such adherents. I did drop $50 on a bottle of Stibilant 22 as a contact enhancer. I did all my connections with the stuff and I was rather happy with the sound thereafter. To be honest, I might have gotten the same effect just by removing and re-inserting all my connections. However, $300 for a drop of this new product seems out of line. I think "confirmation bias" is the cause for such devotion to these tweaks. The initiation of interest in these tweaks is always the same folks which gives me pause.
Have you tried any of them on your audio system? Total Contact reportedly is advantaged by it's graphene component, special emulsion which has two patents and cryogenic processing which smooths the emulsion for ease of use. These other products do not claim these items and reportedly by Frank, the prior versions and possibly those available cheaply are lumpy in texture and more difficult to apply. What I know is that a partial system application of Total Contact is as much an enhancement in sound as the Blue SR fuse.
I have been using Silclear, a silver paste, mixed with Deoxit gold aka Progold. Dip a brush in the Silclear then in the Deoxit and apply sparingly. Sounds very much like what is being reported here at a fraction of the cost. My jar of Silclear will outlast me. As regards Deoxit, get the spray can and blow some into a tiny glass container. The original Tweak used to work but gummed up the contacts after a year or so.
When it comes to contact enhancers, The King of the Hill of course is Quicksilver Gold, no longer available, which trumped all previous concoctions, including Quicksilver, the previous champ. You can forget about all the other prior stuff. For cleaning I like Cramolin and Deoxit type cleaners. If the new concoction can beat Quicksilver Gold I’ll eat a bug. 🐛 Pour your hearts out. Put your back into it, lads. 🏋🏻♀️ I’m rather used to reading purple prose. 😈