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  • Cleaning stuck EQ sliders?

    I've got a Graphic EQ that sat for 10 years. It works, but the faders are stuck in the position that I had them in 10 years ago.

    So how do I go about getting it back in working order?
    I've got no problem taking the thing apart, and I have taken Faders apart (I had to rebuild a dozen of them when I rebuilt an old mixer for a home studio.)

    So, how do I take fix this? I've got more time than cash, so this will definitely be a DIY project.
    Support your fellow HC members!
    PTD-1
    For Cables & Racks, Roadcases and Case Hardware : Audiopile.net
    For Vocal help: Vocal Forum Moderator Al Koehn's The Secrets of Successful Singing,









    Originally Posted by agedhorse


    You can't bridge these amps (yay).

  • #2
    Depends on exactly which eq. Some are easy and some are impossible.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

    Comment


    • #3
      Wouldn't WD-40 work overnight? Might need to use some contact cleaner afterwards. (I'm a backyard mechanic and if you can't fix it with duct tape and WD-40, I'm lost.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Wouldn't WD-40 work overnight? Might need to use some contact cleaner afterwards. (I'm a backyard mechanic and if you can't fix it with duct tape and WD-40, I'm lost.)


        Good God no.
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

        Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

        Comment


        • #5
          Wouldn't WD-40 work overnight? Might need to use some contact cleaner afterwards. (I'm a backyard mechanic and if you can't fix it with duct tape and WD-40, I'm lost.)


          You too. WD-40, duct tape, and my famous "caulk it and paint it" are the tenets I live by.
          "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

          Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

          Comment


          • #6
            Good God no.

            Say what??? I'm thinking a good liberal hosing down of the fader guts with WD-40 would stand a good chance of unsticking them... depending on what stuff has stuck the faders of-course. Or: Dunking the EQ in a 5 gal. bucket of used motor oil and letting it sit and soak in the bucket over-night might work... or taking it to the coin-op car-wash and hosing the faders out with engine cleaner followed up with hot soapy water might work more effectively for loosening the faders. Of-course, just like with the WD-40 treatment, these other treatments would undoubtedly render the EQ useless for it's intended purpose, but the faders would be freed-up.

            Getting more serious about this: So why are the faders stuck? Does the OP live near the ocean? Depending on why the faders are stuck (and what the make and model of the EQ is) the best "real" solution to the problem might be to replace the slide pots.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you can get exact replacements.

              Slidepots are a PITA with different PC board mountings. Some EQs use oddball values like 20K slidepots which are near impossible to find.

              Definitely do NOT use WD40 to lube a slidepot. If you can disassemble them, I have been told that petroleum jelly is a suitable lube.
              this sig no verb

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              • #8
                Seems to me that tuner cleaner with silicone would be the choice. I could be wrong.
                Dale Christenson
                Sound4U
                A local sound provider serving Oklahoma and surrounding areas.
                http://sound4u.co
                Presonus: RM32ai mixer, CS18ai control surface, SL328ai speakers, SL16.4.2 mixer
                Peavey: DTH S4 tops
                JBL: SRX728 Subs
                Driverack PA (for tops)
                Driverack PA2 (for subs)

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                • #9
                  The best way is to disassemble, clean the carbon tracks and wiper assy with Caig DeOxit and a Q-Tip being super careful of the segmented sliding contacts. Then clean the inside of the housing and the side guides is the pot uses them with someting like lacquer thinner and a Q-Tip, then apply a small amount of silicone grease to the sliding surfaces (NOT THE CARBON TRACK INSERT) and reassemble. There's plenty of contact lube left from cleaning the carbon tracks to be plenty good.

                  Now this is pretty time consuming, opening the mechanisms up carries some risk as well as takes time. Reassembling takes finesse. I generally find it cheaper to replace the sliders on an eq unless they are of the larger variety. For a console, especially one with ground slide rails, rebuilding will yield nice results provided nobody's sprayed WD-40 or any number of other miracle cures into them, attracting grit that then damages the track and segmented fingers beyond repair.
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                  Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    attracting grit that then damages the track and segmented fingers beyond repair.

                    My concern is with what the stuff is that's got them stuck in the first place. I figure that after it's determined what's got them stuck... then the discussion could migrate to the best method to unstick them... eh?

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                    • #11
                      Since eq's are mounted on a vertical plane, that generally rules out soft drinks and beer (which need polar solvents to dissolve) so it's most likely oxidized lube that's gotten all dry and stuck fast.
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, I live 13 blocks from Lake Atlantic, uh I mean the Atlantic Ocean..(Surfer joke)

                        Well we bought the EQ used, so there is no telling what may have been to it before I bought it, but I never sprayed anything in it or anything like that. It has sat in a closed rack, in a closed interior storage room (that is air conditioned) for approxoimately 10 years - and it's probably a 25 year old DOD EQ. Nothing spectacular, but it worked for us. I'm wondering if I can just take a can of compressed air and open it up and try to blow out the slider rails to see if that will help get some of whatever is in it out - it could be just settled dust.

                        It was always kind of "gritty", so I'm figuring somebody sprayed contact cleaner in it at some point, and that is probably what it is.

                        I'm going to go open it up and have a look. It may not even be closed framed sliders - I had one that just had "tracks" that the sliders slid in, and each slide was open and you could see right through it, if that is the case, I think cleaning would be a lot easier.


                        Thanks!
                        Support your fellow HC members!
                        PTD-1
                        For Cables & Racks, Roadcases and Case Hardware : Audiopile.net
                        For Vocal help: Vocal Forum Moderator Al Koehn's The Secrets of Successful Singing,









                        Originally Posted by agedhorse


                        You can't bridge these amps (yay).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Compressed air isn't going to help, it's most likely a goner. In fact, it will cost more to fix than replace.

                          If somebody sprayed it before and it's full of grit, don't waste your time.
                          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                          Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Compressed air isn't going to help, it's most likely a goner. In fact, it will cost more to fix than replace.

                            If somebody sprayed it before and it's full of grit, don't waste your time.

                            Although I can't right now visualize what the slide pots on a 10+ year old DOD EQ look like... it's been quite a few years since I've seen one... it sounds like the pots might be salt air corroded and stuck. If that's the case, I agree with you, it might be hopeless... but maybe hosing them down with a big ole snort of Caig Deoxit fader lube might do the trick:

                            http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.293/.f

                            Maybe hose out the faders with the EQ sitting on the bench in it's normal operating position (faders positioned up and down)... and hopefully sluce all the gunk to the bottom of the faders guts... and then just remember to never take the faders to the bottom of their stroke.

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                            • #15
                              Well, I opened it up, and most of the gunk, whatever it was, was sitting on the face of the faders/sliders it almost looked like battery acid, it was sort of like a dried powdered off-yellow/tan color.
                              So I took q-tips, dipped them in alcohol, and cleaned around the face of each "fader" (which are plastic and not metal, and the cases are black plastic as well) and then when I had those cleaned, I moved the fader and they moved fairly easy, and I kept moving them and cleaning the face of the case and eventually got it all off. So, the faders are now moving some of them move just fine, and those I worked back and forth about 50 times each.

                              So, I might try the Caig.

                              I plugged it in about an hour later and it worked just fine - the faders are just sticking a little - I can live with it as it is, but I would like to have it working a little better, just to make sure they don't stick on me during a show.

                              We have our first gig in two weeks at a small club, so we've already agreed that all the money from the first two gigs are going to go into buying either a dbx driverack unit, or the Peavey version.

                              I really don't care which one.

                              We went out hustling last night dropping off promo packs to bar managers to get bookings and one of the clubs we went to had a house system, and they had these JBL subs that I had never seen before - they were almost the size of a 2x18", but only had 1 18" speaker in them - man those things were POUNDING out some low end. They were Front-loaded, and probably about 20 years old, maybe even older - but those things were thumping big time.
                              They had a pair of Peavey - I can't recall the model of them, but they were 2x15"'s with a Horn, but they were an older model. I'm fairly certain it was an SP model from the 90's. But the whole system sounded really good - it was full bodied. Normally bands are either way to tinny sounding, or have the Kick drum of death that is like twice as loud as everything else, but this sounded great... and all they had for the FOH system was a Mackie 16x4 mixer, a Drive rack, two power amps and a pair of each of those speakers - the club owns it, and they didn't even have any effects, and it was crystal clear, smooth, and I was actually blown away by how it sounded - so I'm attributing that to whoever set it up, and the dbx driverack.
                              Support your fellow HC members!
                              PTD-1
                              For Cables & Racks, Roadcases and Case Hardware : Audiopile.net
                              For Vocal help: Vocal Forum Moderator Al Koehn's The Secrets of Successful Singing,









                              Originally Posted by agedhorse


                              You can't bridge these amps (yay).

                              Comment









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