Repairing Your Pots
Bring Good Things (Back) to Life
Did you know that you don't necessarily have to toss out those scratchy, old potentiometers in your [INSERT ELECTRONIC DEVICE HERE]? With just a little preparation and a few minutes work, you can get your gear back to smooth, good-as-new condition. Below are the detailed and illustrated instructions for this process, developed by Aug and presented in his own words.
Step 1: Take 'Em Off
Well, I finally got around to it...there are quite a few pics with brief explainations...I sure hope this helps. Btw, the entire process took me 20 minutes, but only because I had to stop to take pics...you should be able to do this in 10...
Obviously, you'll want to remove the knobs (1/8" standard) and the 3 plate screws.
Step 2: Take 'Em Out
Remove the nuts and washers and *carefully* pull the pots from the control plate. If you are working on a vintage instrument, you don't want to have to do any re-soldering...as the whole point to this is to make it appear as though nothing was ever touched.
Step 3: Take 'Em Apart
Next: carefully pull the prongs back with a pair of needlenose pliers...be careful...they *do* break easily.
pull the pot apart....BEING EVER MINDFUL OF THE ATTACHED GROUND AND IT'S RESPECTIVE WIRES.
note the removed post. there are three things that need cleaning here. the two small contact points and the entire circumfrence of the brass at the base of the post...(sorry...I don't know the real names)
Step 4: Clean 'Em Up
Then you will want to use a Q-Tip or something similar to clean the black thing(heh) and you'll want to scrape the two contact points on the brass here as well...
Now...scrape this tiny contact point as well....also, you might want to clean it's contact point inside the pot as this will no doubt look black and nasty...
Now...all you have to do it put her back together...remember...be very careful with the wires and all the solder points, as they WILL break/come loose very easily. Repeat this on the next pot.
Step 5: Rock 'Em On
After doing this, all the pops and hisses completely dissappeared. Yes...I really tested my work. This should save you a little money and a lot of aggravation.