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Author Topic: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)  (Read 1740 times)

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Online Gutbucket

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Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« on: February 27, 2018, 04:10:29 PM »
The most common audio problems for me over the years as a taper have revolved around connection intermittencies.  Dirty contacts, loose or ill-fitting connections, cracked solder joints, extension cables.. the more components that are chained together and the more channels I'm running, the more potential points of failure there are, not so much from the components or microphones themselves as the connections required to join them.

I long ago learned the value of using a quality contact cleaner whenever such problems arise and working that in to a more regular maintenance routine. 95-99% alcohol works well to banish intermittency and static based on finger oils and other accumulated dirt and grime on contacts, and the Radio Shack and Caig products have worked even better in this regard, also providing a degree of protection and insertion-lubrication.

I'd come across Stabilant 22 on the Posthorn site years ago. [link-http://www.posthorn.com/Stab_2.html]

It is described as being- "an initially non-conductive long-chain organic block polymer that switches to a conductive state only when used in a thin film within the interstices of a contact pair. It remains non-conductive on the insulating surface between adjacent contacts. Thus, by remaining resident within the contacts, it improves connector reliability within a contact set without causing signal leakage problems between adjacent contacts.  Its advantage lies not in making new contacts better, but in keeping contacts operating as if they were new, while making old contacts function perfectly despite the ravages of time and adverse environments. In simple terms, Stabilant 22 provides the reliability of a soldered joint without producing a mechanical bond."

Seemed rather costly and somewhat veiled in mystery about exactly how it did what it claimed, so I filed away the info in the back of my mind as something to look into further at some point. 

Recently I've had a recurring intermittentcy issue with a multi-conductor connector (6-pin mini-XLR) which thorough cleaning alone could not remedy completely, and I did not have the time to secure and re-solder a new connector prior to an upcoming event.  I wasn't certain if it was the solder joints to the connector, loose pin-mating with the opposing connector, or what.  This was one of those "hold it just right and it works" type problems which was getting progressively worse, so I decided to give Stabilant 22 a try.

Bought some, mixed it as directed, and applied it to this problematic connector as well as all the others in the rig.  It worked a charm, completely eliminating the problem.  I didn't have a problem all weekend, despite jostling and repeated disconnection and reconnection.  Did it also make the otherwise non-problematic connections sound better as some claim?  Possibly. Certainly didn't hurt.  I sort of put it in the prophylactic category of helping preventing a common problem before it occurs and ruins a recording. 

Anyway, I'm now convinced it's not snake oil.  I've since mentioned it to a electronic repair acquaintance who winked and said it's his secret weapon for IC pins, memory cards, and bus card connections.

Application note on microphone connections- http://www.stabilant.com/appnt04.php
Application not on stereo connections- http://www.stabilant.com/appnt15.php

[edit- I've no connection with the company, the stuff just worked really well for me.  Seems expensive for a tiny container, but it seems to go a long way, I only needed a single drop on each connector]
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 04:13:06 PM by Gutbucket »
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obsidian

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Re: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 03:44:22 PM »
Surprisingly, this is available through Amazon and I just added some to the cart. Great read and thank you.

Online Gutbucket

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Re: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 04:13:24 PM »
I mostly consider it a band-aid, and a proper cable rebuild as the ultimate solution, but with that in mind it's certainly worth a go.

It's purported "enhancement" aspects for already good-working connections beyond simply getting a more reliable non-intermittent connection begins to skirt serpent-lube territory.  I make no claims about any of that, but using it on all my other connections didn't make anything worse as far as I can detect (so at least anecdotally neutral on that account in my sample set of one).

Post here to let us know if it solves a specific problem for you, makes things seem to sound better or worse, enhances your love-life, or causes desirable or undesirable hair-growth.
musical volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values > voltages > vibrations> virtual teleportation time-machine experience
Better recording made easy - >>Improved PAS table<< | Made excellent- >>click here to download the Oddball Microphone Technique illustrated PDF booklet<<

obsidian

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Re: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 04:20:41 PM »
I mostly consider it a band-aid, and a proper cable rebuild as the ultimate solution, but with that in mind it's certainly worth a go.

It's purported "enhancement" aspects for already good-working connections beyond simply getting a more reliable non-intermittent connection begins to skirt serpent-lube territory.  I make no claims about any of that, but using it on all my other connections didn't make anything worse as far as I can detect (so at least anecdotally neutral on that account in my sample set of one).

Post here to let us know if it solves a specific problem for you, makes things seem to sound better or worse, enhances your love-life, or causes desirable or undesirable hair-growth.

I sure will. If possible, I will do some A/B comparisons. Sounds like fun!

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Re: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 07:29:31 PM »
Stabilant-22 is the real deal.
Nothing else like it
I wouldn't bet that you can hear it, but that depends on the application.

Benchmark has come out stating sub-sonic digi-noise can have artifacts different than drops, ticks, or pops.
Extrapolate from the intersample CD article:
https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/intersample-overs-in-cd-recordings
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Re: Stabilant 22 contact enhancer (not expelled from snakes!)
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 06:57:53 AM »
I also recommend using these on XLR's, at least, to keep the dirt and grime out of the contacts in the first place. I have these on EVERY XLR cable and connector that's NOT getting used or plugged into anything else I'm currently NOT using, like my one set of Naiant +60v PFA's! And they're dirt cheap LOL 8) ;) Sorry, I just HAD to say that haha! Only sucks if you want to order a few of them, since they don't offer free shipping on them, so you might want to team up with a couple of other tapers and grab a bunch at once! I bought like 30-40 of them a couple of years ago and I gave a bunch away, but they work great, especially if you keep your cables in their own bag, since they do like coming off of the XLR connector if they're being moved around a lot. But definitely worth the $0.62/each IMO :)

Neutrik XLR Female Dust Cover
http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/152953-Neutrik-NDF

Neutrik XLR Male Dust Cover
http://www.fullcompass.com/prod/151817-Neutrik-NDM
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