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Cleaning condenser mic capsule



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 11th 20, 12:28 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
geoff
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Posts: 1,673
Default Cleaning condenser mic capsule

What liquid best to use on a (true) condenser mic capsule to clean -
grime and dust, all well-stuck on ? Iso, distilled water, borax !?

And for that matter, same question for electret ?

Is the gold evaporation on the outside or inside, so what level of
delicacy - extreme, or extremely extreme ?

Capsule is CK12 - no, not a brass-ring one, sadly. Also some CK1 etc.

geoff
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  #2  
Old September 12th 20, 12:20 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
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Posts: 2,135
Default Cleaning condenser mic capsule


On 9/11/2020 7:28 AM, geoff wrote:
> What liquid best to use on a (true) condenser mic capsule to clean -
> grime and dust, all well-stuck on ? Iso, distilled water, borax !?


Distilled water or alcohol, on a soft brush. It's been suggested that
steam be used to deposit a proper amount of water on the brush. DO NOT
USE STEAM TO CLEAN THE DIAPHRAGM!

> And for that matter, same question for electret ?


Same answer.

> Is the gold evaporation on the outside or inside, so what level of
> delicacy - extreme, or extremely extreme ?


It's on the outer surface of the diaphragm, so be extremely cautious
with it.

> Capsule is CK12* - no, not a brass-ring one, sadly. Also some CK1 etc.


Best advice is not to try it on a high quality microphone. Better
practice on something cheap first. Best is to send the mic back to the
manufacturer or a trusted repair person who has enough experience to not
screw it up.


David Josephson (Josephson Microphones) used to have an article on his
web site about cleaning a mic diaphragm that he distilled from an
on-line discussion in rec.audio.pro. Maybe some of that is still in an
archive if you want to try to find it.

David decided that too many people were ruining too-good microphones by
attempting to clean the diaphragm and ultimately removed the article
from his web page, replacing it with this:

> More than twenty years ago, we posted some comments to rec.audio.pro about
> cleaning condenser microphone diaphragms. I have decided to retire the local
> copy of that article, because it seems to inspire too many to attempt things
> that are unwise.
>
> One thing left out of the original article is this: cleaning should only be
> done if the microphone fails to work otherwise. The difference caused by a
> little extra weight may be audible, but not huge. Got that? No cleaning unless
> it *doesn't work.* And in no case should you use any source of heat near the
> microphone. Someone thought that what we wrote suggested putting steam on the
> microphone diaphragm. !!?! ... the steam is to put a slight amount of pure
> water on your cleaning brush, not the diaphragm! No heat anywhere near
> diaphragm, OK?
>
> With all due respect to others in the field, if the conductive layer on
> the diaphragm is so fragile that gentle cleaning with distilled water, alcohol
> and cotton or a slightly damp fine brush damages it, you have no business
> cleaning it. That said, losing a small amount of metallization has little or
> no effect -- the diaphragm will still behave as it did before, the
> active area is just reduced a little. A real hazard, however, is that the
> capsule will become contaminated internally with whatever the cleaning medium
> carries with it, and will forever be noisy. This is particularly a problem with
> older PVC diaphragms that have cracks. Unless you have a way to test for
> ionic contamination of the surface and resulting leakage resistance of the
> capsule, don't try it.
>
> If any Josephson microphone appears to need cleaning, please send it back to
> the factory in California. The cost is minimal and you can be sure of original
> performance when it's done.






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