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Author Topic: Capsule cleaning videos  (Read 388 times)


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Capsule cleaning videos
« on: September 04, 2022, 02:09:03 PM »

Relative to the sticky: Dirty Capsules: Do-It-Yourself Cleaning? https://repforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,36766.0.html

A few videos can be found online showing various capsule cleaning methods. I share these not for the purposes of DIY suggestions, but as a topic of conversation for those in the know. What do you see in these videos that may be helpful or harmful?

Neumann SM69 fet stereo condenser mic cleaning and maintenance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udCdbuwpCig

Microphone diaphragm (capsule) cleaning . Use at your own risk!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhhx6Fgh1z8

Cleaning a Dirty Microphone Capsule: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9eYpWY675g

DIY goes horribly wrong! Did I destroy my precious U87 ???: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBgz1Joc5Po

Dan Boner
Associate Professor/Director
Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies
East Tennessee State University


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Re: Capsule cleaning videos
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2022, 03:21:16 PM »

Do it yourself capsule cleaning is in many cases a guarantee for a damaged microphone capsule.
Without the right tools and materials, and a large dose of experience, I would not recommend anyone to clean a microphone capsule yourself!
Many (especially older) microphone capsules have a very superficial adhesion of the vapour-deposited gold layer.
If you destroy your microphone capsule, don't come to me crying...


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Re: Capsule cleaning videos
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2022, 08:34:34 PM »

Dan Alexander recycling the dirty water as he pours it repeatedly over the capsule made me cringe.  But if you used new distilled water each time?  I "rinsed" a ck12 this way and it resolved the problem and sounds great (and matches my other one well.) and been in service for many years now since with no problems.  But sometimes, you just get lucky?  (I dried it for 3 days above a nice warm power amp before testing!)


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Re: Capsule cleaning videos
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2022, 03:02:26 PM »

If youíre talking Neumann type center terminated capsules, you can try brushing off the edge and just inside where there is no gold, possibly the center electrode area, with a camel hair brush like you use for lens cleaningÖsome people use camel hair paint brushes. You probably donít even have to touch the gold area to get it to stop shorting out, or at least itís worked anytime Iíve left it at that.

You can probably get away cleaning the gold on newer capsules but as ruud says, the gold can be very easily disturbed.

I have used an eye dropper, distilled water, and wicked it up with thick water coloring paperÖnot making contact with the diaphragm.

Danís method is interesting but you really donít want to have any water get behind the center post or in the holes of the mounting rings, so it feels a little helter skelter. I would be curious to rig something that creates a very small pinhole type stream that I could stop and startÖI can think of some ways to approach that, but I havenít done it.

I have heard of other things but I donít really know the validity, safety, etc. Some people would spray the mic diaphragm with freon or other electronics cleaners. I have heard of people using ultrasonic cleaning approaches as well, I think along with taking the capsule down to subparts level depending on capsule.

I would keep in mind that you can always buy a cheap capsule to work with first.

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