Removing Morch DP-6 tonearm wires from cartridge

I will be replacing the cartridge on my Morch/Moerch tonearm once I get my new cartridge. This will be only the second time I have installed a cartridge on a tonearm; please forgive me for all of the the newbie questions.

I noticed that the rubber boots (?? I don't know the proper terminology) that cover the clips on the end of the tonearm wires seem to be a bit dried out, with some small cracks in them as well, and so I am concerned that they might disintegrate when I try to remove the clips from the cartridge contact pins. (I haven't actually touched the boots to see whether or not they are still pliable, this is an observation from visual inspection only.)

Is there a trick to removing the clips easily? (I'm already worried because I know how fragile the wires themselves are.) Is there perhaps some sort of moisturizer or lubricant I can use that won't interfere with the electrical connection but will make it easier to remove the clips, and that might also "replenish" the rubber of the 'boots' ? (Or does the condition of the boots not really matter as long as the wires themselves are OK?)

Holly...all those rubber/plastic boots are for is color coding for channel identification. They also cover the solder joint of the wire and clip, but really provide no extra benefit. IMHO, you shouldn't really be too concerned about them.

I don't know of any type of lubricant that could be used safely on them to make them more pliable. Maybe rubber conditioner like the kind used for pinch rollers on tape decks, but it's really not a big deal.

You might see what Mehran at SoraSound, (he is the US distributor) would charge you to redo the arm wand at that end of the tube.
lol - thank you sir! I knew they were for color coding, but I thought perhaps they also did....what??? No idea.

I am sure Mehran would charge a pretty penny for this, if it is even something that he can do, or have done. Since it is just a matter of aesthetics, as long as enough of the boot is left for me to determine which clip goes to which pin, I'm not going to worry about it.

(Waiting for my new cartridge to arrive has, apparently, given me too much time to look at all of the other things that might be wrong or could go wrong. I need to chill out for a bit, I think!)

You need to be sure that you firmly grip the back end of the clip just beyond where it connects to the cartridge pin with either a long nose pliers or a tweezers. Make sure that you are gripping the metal part of the clip and not the wire or you will rip the wire out of the clip. Then just pull gently and the clip should slide out from the pin.
I wonder if a dab of Vaseline would make the rubber more pliable without altering anything?
I own two Moerch tonearms. One has the rubber booty and the other does not. Makes absolutely no difference. You don't want to send this arm for a rewire. You will need to send it to Denmark, you won't see it for 6 to 8 months, and it will cost more money than you can imagine. An overhaul of the entire arm is $850. A significant part of the job is rewiring, so I would guess that will run $500.

The point I'm making is to be very careful with the wires when changing cartridges. Craft stores such as Michaels sell small needle nose pliers that have plastic noses that come in various shapes. They are what I use as they are intended for jewelry / earring assemblies that require precision and that won't gouge the wiring.
I will be very careful removing the wires; they are very fragile and I definitely cannot afford to have the tonearm rewired because I was careless - well, I can't afford to have the tonearm rewired, period, given the prices quoted by you, Rodrigaj. Thank you for the tip about using jeweler's needle nose pliers also - I might just apply some rubber tool dip on the metal jaws of a pair of needle noses I already have.

"I wonder if a dab of Vaseline would make the rubber more pliable without altering anything?"

Hmmm... I know some people recommend using Vaseline on car battery posts to keep them from oxidizing/corroding, so I 'assume'it would be OK on contacts. However, I can also see it attracting dust, which is in plentiful supply here where I live so I don't think I would want to use it. The same probably holds true of dielectric grease, which is used for spark plug boots. If the boot fall apart, I will just need to figure out another way of color coding them

Excellent point about attracting dust. I wouldn't bother.

If the boots disintegrate you can color code each wire with a dab of nail polish. Buy four colors. You'll need less than a drop of each and can go wild on your nails with the rest!

Another tool that works is a small-nosed medical hemostat. Be careful not to clamp down on the tubular portion of the clip. You don't want to squash it flat.

If a clip has spread so that it's too large to grip the pins snugly, slide a wooden toothpick inside and gently squeeze the clip closed until it's a better fit. A wooden toothpick will "give" a little under pressure, which helps control the amount you shrink the clip while preventing the clip from collapsing altogether.
Stay away from vasoline or any other petroleum based prodcuts with rubber based products. Vasoline will break down rubber and plastics.
Sharpies work really well for color coding and are a little easier and cheaper to use than nail polish. That's what I've always used.
As one of the two or three women in this world that do not wear nail polish, that won't work for me; I was thinking a dot of acrylic paint might work, but using Sharpies is even easier - I actually have them in all of the necessary colors, too.

I have several pairs of hemostats - thank you for that tip, Doug.; I had read about the toothpick trick before, but thank you for the reminder!

You are right about vaseline and rubber, of course, BRF - forgot about that negative! lol Silicone grease might work, but, again, there is the dust attracting factor; knowing that the boots are just for color coding reasons, I am not going to worry about them.

In fact, it would probably actually be best if there were no boots all together. That way you can see exactly where the clip is and know the best spot to place your pliers/hemostats in order to pull the clip off of the cartridge pin without damaging the wires. If the boots do fall apart, that might be a good thing!

...just unscrew the cartridge from the arm and yank the wires the hell off. Putting them on is tricky, but not removal. Don't use any lubricant on anything..the boots are simply a color code...don't worry.
lol - not sure that I will do the yanking part, but I will do my best to be calm about the whole thing. At least I can remove the arm tube from the tonearm pivot so I can work on the cartridge without it being installed on the turntable - makes it a lot easier and safer, especially for someone clumsy like me.

Just got an email that my new cartridge has shipped. YAY!

Oakiris....when installing your new cartridge, affix the wires on the cartridge before installing the cartridge on the arm.....much easier. Hold the cartridge, and push on the pins...a breeze...then screw the cartridge on the tonearm. If you have the cartridge on the arm and try to push the pins on, you very well might rip the connects off of the tonearm wire. Try'll see.
Your suggestion sounds like an excellent one, Stringreen. Thank you for the tip!

My pleasure...that's what makes this site so valuable.
Don't forget to clean your cartridge pins and clips (as best you can) when installing it. You clean your other connectors, right? So why not here too, where the signal is small and even a slight amount of dirt or oxidation can cause big sound issues.
I actually just got one of those plastic RCA connector cleaning tools so I can clean off the interconnect connectors. Cleaning the tonearm headshell wire connectors and pins sounds like a good idea. I am considering getting a tube of Deoxit Gold; will that work or is there something better (and maybe less expensive, lol) that can be used for this?

I just use a Q tip and some quality rubbing alcohol from the drug store. Nothing special and works like a charm.
For cleaning head shell leads, you can use a tooth pick along with your favorite cleaning solutions. I personally like just pure alcohol. Shaved down pipe cleaner also work nicely.
"Craft stores such as Michaels sell small needle nose pliers that have plastic noses that come in various shapes. They are what I use as they are intended for jewelry / earring assemblies that require precision and that won't gouge the wiring."

Please take this suggestion by "Rodrigaj" to heart. The small investment will pay big dividends. Tweezers are a recipe for disaster -- yes they can "get the job done" but they are too liable to cause damage.

Good Luck!
Cool - I have alcohol and q-tips so that is what I will use to clean the pins and contacts.

Point taken about tweezers, Doak. :-)

I managed to get the tonearm wire clips off of the cartridge pins and have removed the old cartridge; still waiting for the new one, but that is progress!

The clips were on the pins pretty tightly so it was scarey, but I didn't damage the wires, and the boots are still intact. I was able to push back the boot on one of the wires far enough to see what the clips looked like so I could grasp each of them in the right place with a pair of needle nose pliers. Whew! Glad that part is done - I definitely don't like messing with those little fragile wires!

When I get the new cartridge, I will clean the tonearm wire clips and the cartridge pins, even though the cartridge is new. I am sure putting the clips back on the pins will be relatively easy; I can always loosen up the clips with a toothpick so they slide right on and then tighten them down a bit - very gently - with the pliers.

Thank you again for all of your help, everyone. This newbie very much appreciated the hand-holding!

Holly..just another 2 cents.... Personally I don't like De-oxite... the very act of removing the pins will (have) cleaned them. The less you monkey around with those fragile wires the better. You don't need long nose pliers if you just push the clips onto the pins with your fingers while the cartridge is not attached to the arm. I wouldn't spread the clips and then tighten them onto the pins. Why search for Zebras when the horse is so close by.
I agree with Stringreen - I have pulled out a solder joint on a clip before, had to resolder, not the end of the world but a hassle.

Not trying to make you nervous but the less you handle the less likely you run into a problem...good luck.
hmm, thought I had already answered this but my post hasn't appeared, so....

I am very happy that I was able to successfully remove the clips from the old cartridge and I must agree that I don't want to mess with those little wires anymore than I need to; perhaps I will just make sure the cartridge pins are nice and clean before I install the clips.

Thank you for your tips and suggestions. I'm going to be an expert by the time I have my turntable working again! (j/k - but I am definitely learning a lot!)

I wouldn't spread the clips and then tighten them onto the pins.

Also agree that it's easier and safer to remove/install the clips on the cartridge pins before attaching the cartridge to the headshell... it's especially easy if you're doing this with the arm off the table.
Yep, I will be removing the arm wand to install the cartridge - much easier and less likely to damage something! Another nice thing about the Moerch DP-6.

I did finally receive my cartridge so I will be installing it later this week. :-)