Do you clean your contacts?

I just cleaned my Snaic contacts.

The one on the picture is about 3 years old.
You can see the before and after cleaning.


Naim do not support cleaning products. They do suggest turning everything off and connecting/disconnecting a few times to wipe them clean.

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Well, I support clean contacts…


The problem with some cleaning products is that they can leave a thin film of STUFF on the areas cleaned. So if just reinserting the contact is enough, it saves that potential problem. I suppose if they are really grubby, then some additional work might be required, but I’ve not needed to.


Perhaps a cotton bud dipped in IPA…?


that would be the only product I would use if visually needed

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DIN sockets are knife edge type contacts, this means the socket contact design etches a line in the plug pin surface and this makes a new (refreshed) conact line each time its reinserted.
There’s nothing that much wrong with cleaning the pins except most polishes leave a protective surface layer that’s non conductive, some are a more detrimental than others, maybe better to avoid as Naim advise. Whatever the knife edge design will/should still cut through.

Same applies to polishing power plug pins, ‘Brasso’ and other metal polishes leave a protective film that is not conductive. Problem with power plugs is the sockets don’t have a knife edge design, these are pressure contacts & the residual polish film is detremental. Fine wire wool is what you need, if you feel you must polish. But before you do, how are you going to clean inside the socket contacts?


Nice job it can’t be worse than it was even if there is a film it will get wiped easier. :+1:t2:


I can understand Naims opinion on this. They certainly do not want people to tamper with things. Some people can be clumsy or not understanding how things work.
It’s rather easy to tear a contact if you are not careful.

The break and reconnect recommendation is flawed as it has the possibility of having build up then shoved into places potentially more difficult to clean.


If the knife contact is able to cut through corrosion on a pin, surely it will cut through film that is present after using metal polish.


Yes, thats what I said in my post – the knife edge design will/should still cut through


I recommend an Imperial, but not Hazy or Juicy.


And others gradually wear through the plated contact metal. But then so does physical abrasion from multitudinous plugging/unplugging… but the worst is a future need to replace the plugs and/or sockets.

Best procedure would depend on the metal(s) involved. If the problem is oxidation, or corrosion products from atmospheric contaminants, then they need removing, for which mechanical abrasion or chemical dissolution is necessary, accepting the loss of metal.

Best in my view is to have noble metal plated contacts, e.g. gold, on both plug and socket surfaces - to all intents and purposes immune to any surface degradation other than deposition of dust, which would seem unlikely to get between contacting surfaces, with neither abrasion nor chemical dissolution needed to maintain good electrical contact.


I clean them once a year generally. Don’t think more often is very necessary. But it improves slightly the sound.

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Are burndy connectors self cleaning like DIN? Similar design on male female pin?

Burndy contacts are not self cleaning, they are round pin and socket. All round tight fitting and large contact area.

PS: To expand on this a little ….
My pre-retirement work included temperature/atmosphere control and data-logging. This included global and local over net/cell & satellite monitoring and control.

All the signal communication stuff was interconnected with knife edge pin type plugs similar in principle to the Naim DIN plugs. DC power (amp carrying) used similar plugs to the Burndy brand with round pin and socket and large contact area.

The equipment was used in saturated road salt laden winter conditions and marine salt laden all the time.
The IC plugs were all water tight with screw-down fittings. The plug internals around the soldered wire/contact were sealed with silicon and the pin/socket interface liberally applied with a silicon grease to protect from the salt laden atmosphere.

Naim advise not to use anything on any plug socket, we got fired if we didn’t.


That applies to DIN plugs / sockets because they are high pressure ‘wiping’ contacts.
Most connectors are non-wiping contacts and the non-conductive film will remain in place.

A VERY important distinction needs to be made here (for those who don’t already ‘just know this’, Mike!)

Silicone oils don’t ‘wet’ metals to anything like the same degree as organic oils, and some silicone oils hardly wet metals at all.

This means that the silicone oil that Mike-B was using would, at the molecular level, be pushed away from the contact surfaces as the plug is mated with the socket. Organic (i.e. both mineral and synthetic) oils won’t do this and will stick to the metal and ‘get between’ the contact surfaces.

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I agree:

With the type of material used for contact plating, the oxide / sulphide layers are so thin that the volume of material that is wiped from the surface is miniscule and effectively irrelevant.

In fact wear to the plating material is a far more significant factor, and connectors are specified with a number of ‘insertion cycles’. For fixed connectors that are intended to be inserted and then left in place permanently this is often specified in the range of around 50 insertion cycles. For connectors designed to be disconnected and reconnected this is typically specified in terms of thousands of insertion cycles.