Crackly volume knob

I have a crackly volume knob on my NAC 52 pre amp. It cuts in and out up to the 11 o’clock position. I like to point out that it only happens on the right channel, left channel is fine. Has anyone had any experience using that De-oxit d5 contact cleaner, highly recommended by most.

Hi, the completely non invasive fix that just might work would be to rotate fully the volume control in both directions a few times (with nothing playing unless you like it loud!). If that is ineffective and you are not averse to removing the lid, then contact cleaner such as the one you mentioned carefully applied, and the same technique of rotating the control should get rid of any dust that might have accumulated.

In many cases rotating multiple times across the affected range of the potentiometer does the job. I find that spinning fast multiple times seems more effective than slow. It may need doing a number of times. If cracking very loud in so doing turn off the power amp while doing that to avoid any risk of damage to speakers. Using track cleaners can certainly help, but I suggest may be best only as a last resort - I would only do if I couldn’t clear the multiple spin method wasn’t improving it any more, and depending on the pot, is not always easy to apply.

Most often the cracking affects somewhere outside the range regular rotation, and can happen all the more if the knob is rarely moved at all.

I have moved the volume knob rapidly and slowly many times and it doesn’t make any difference. It’s a bit annoying especially when playing CD or cassette is that it’s either very loud or low because you’re trying to get it to work in between. This only a problem on the right channel.

Ultimately while contact cleaner may work temporarily, it may well soon return to be crackly, in which case a replacement pot is the answer. If yours is an earlier NAC52 and running a pots board earlier than version 8, then it may also be worthwhile having a complete pots board upgrade done by Naim - this will not only fix the problem but should give you a performance upgrade as well.

Thanks for that Richard, but that sounds a bit expensive and what with the climate of things it’s really not an option for me. However I might be able to stretch to a £25 can of contact cleaner spray. :slight_smile:

Shop around! I use CPC (CPC Farnell) for a lot of things by mail order.

Deoxit D5 is incredibly effective at fixing noisy pots. Assuming that the pot isn’t sealed or worn out, it is worth a try. I have fixed a few vintage equipment knobs with this. It works great on car engine connectors too. Just don’t over do it and catch any over spray with a paper towel. D5 has lubricants and anti oxidation to keep it working for a long time.

Switch cleaner every few years fixed the same issue for me on my old 52

Peanuts compared to what Naim would’ve charged.

Yes - a proper job does tend to cost a bit more.

£1.70 a bottle in Tesco (unless in their 4 for £6 deals).

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