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Scratchy Pots

Over time, the control knobs on musical equipment (potentiometers or ‘pots’) can start to crackle as you turn them. I’ve got a Markbass Nano Mark 300 head, which is mainly getting used at church at the moment and that had been getting noisy on the gain knob. In certain positions, it would even crackle while not being touched. Although you could avoid it by not using those positions, it was clearly something that needed to be dealt with.

I don’t recall having to do it myself before but I knew that I needed a contact cleaner and lubricant spray. I did a bit of research and settled on ‘Servisol Super 10’. That arrived on Saturday and, after church on Sunday, I brought the amp home with me to do the maintenance.

Getting into amp was pretty easy but then I encountered a problem. The instructions I’d looked at dealt with much larger amps. As the name suggests, the Nano Mark 300 is tiny and the inside is tightly packed. I spent a while trying to figure out if I could get a better view of the pots beyond having taken the top off the amp. Eventually, I spotted a small hole in the plastic enclosures behind each pot so I decided to give a short spray down each of those (fully rotating each attached knob several times afterwards).

I’m pleased to say that it seems to have done the trick and it was back to noiseless operation once things were reassembled. I say noiseless – obviously there was the bass playing but that was coming out loud and clear. It should be job done and useful experience for when I need to do something similar on other equipment.

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