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Evening all. I don't really post a lot of stuff on SNA but after experiencing nearly a year of trouble with my system, then solving it, if I can save just one of you from going thru this crap then it's worth the post. My system is very fast, OTL Power amps, and very fast Pre. Any limitation in Voltage/Current delivery is ruthlessly revealed,....and my system was starting to sound slow. It's all tube including Phono so suspicion fell on tubes. Swapped out many of the drivers, giving me some gains, but still overall it was getting slower. it got so slow & undynamic sounding that I lost interest in playing it. Every month or so I'd try something different. It got to the point where I even swapped out every component with borrowed ones to isolate the issue. CD,...Vinyl,..both sounded lifeless. More months went by, no solution. I'll spare you all the things I did but in the end, an audio buddy said "have you tried plugging the system into the other side of the Wall Plate (same Mains Feed). My entire System is fed by a single, dual outlet 10 Amp wall Plate. Why this would make any difference made no sense to me but I entertained the thought. BAMM,.. there it was,...the System was back. What had happened was all my Mains Plugs have remained plugged in and undisturbed in the same position for 1 to 4 years,..and the Mains Switches are always ON. I only turn off at each component. So, slowly slowly, the once clean contacts on each Mains Switch (7 of them) had corroded, still passing Voltage/Current,..but in a compromised fashion, causing the slow sonic death of my sound.

 

I post this because no one in Audio I bounced this issue off had any clue this could be the problem. These were clever long time exponents of Hi Fi. I've only read this procedure once years ago in a high end audio setup book, but I hadn't taken it seriously enough! I have since made a point of cleaning all my IEC and Aust Mains Plugs thoroughly, and switch on and off several times all my Mains Switches regularly. The difference is staggering! Anybody out there who has had all their components plugged in the same way for 6 months or more, and not switched your switches on and off for the same period, may be in for quite a shock once you do this. Unplug every Mains Connector, clean and re-assemble every six months or so. Switch all Mains Switches 4 or 5 times every couple of weeks. Your welcome! Enjoy.

 

Cheers, Mark.

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Very interesting, Mark.  :thumb:

 

Yes, unfortunately wall-socket plug prongs get degraded - and, presumably, also IEC plug sockets.  So, yes, the solution is to unplug/plug, regularly.

 

Andy

 

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As an ex Naim owner I agree with your rationale. Every 6 months I would unscrew all my din plugs and pull them in and out of the sockets a few times. You could hear the pins cleaning themselves.

some people even sweared removing the din cables and shaking them improved things even more! Apparently there was an actual cable shaking machine at Salisbury just for this procedure?

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Not questioning the improvement in SQ, that's up to you to decide. But what caused the switches to corrode in the ON position and would that same mechanism cause the switches to corrode in the off position, or is that the point, general corrosion. Maybe I read too quickly...

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47 minutes ago, mbz said:

what caused the switches to corrode

Some oxidation of the contacts would be normal just from exposure to the air.  It's fairly common for the contacts in a switch to have a slight 'wiping' motion when they close so that they self clean when operated.  I don't know if australian standard power switches do this but I would expect them to.

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1 hour ago, mbz said:

Not questioning the improvement in SQ, that's up to you to decide. But what caused the switches to corrode in the ON position and would that same mechanism cause the switches to corrode in the off position, or is that the point, general corrosion. Maybe I read too quickly...

Yep , Brett is on it. On or Off the contacts will slowly corrode,...and switching them on and off scraps (wipes) off the corrosion creating a new contact surface. 

 

Cheers, Mark.

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