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StompBoxZone • View topic - SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Laurie » Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:22 pm

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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Pieraga » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:48 am

Thanks Laurie!!, I really appreciate your help!!, :thumbs:
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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby usedpedals » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:13 am

I'm one of the biggest used/vintage pedal dealers in the country...

I have had several pedals "die" on the shelf for no reason...

The worst culprits have been vintage Ibanez pedals from the early 80s....

I've never had an issue with vintage boss stuff...

I don't think 'acid free/archival paper bags' is good-
I'd go with some Sterile tubs/bins they're stackable and fairly safe for long keeping

The most common sense stupid issue I run across-
TAKE OUT THE DAMN BATTERY

My secret on the rubber pads of boss pedals- is this stuff called MOTHERS BACK TO BLACK- not cheap- but goes a long way on restoring the rubber pads

Only use DeOxit and not other contact cleaners

Don't use any contact cleaner on any pedal with sliders- some its ok to- but i would just go ahead and say just NEVER

BUT- i wouldn't use deoxit or any cleaner on any pots or jacks if you don't have to- just moving the pots back and fourth is just as good 99% of the time

On a side note- I have seen NEW electro harmonix pedals be dead on arrival.
I bought a music store that changed owners and got about 200 NEW electro harmonix pedals...
They were all NOS and not that old- 2-5 years old all untouched...

A surprising number were completely dead
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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Pieraga » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:55 am

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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Pepe » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:36 am

The only things I use for sliders are isopropyl spray and then a bit of vaseline spray. Works like a charm and I rescued a few sliders this way. They works properly for +5 years since that procedure.
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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby usedpedals » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:34 pm

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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Laurie » Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:18 am

Getting back to some actual engineering around long-term archival storage...

a) Sliders depend on having lubricant (it is a specialized lubricant to allow things to slide). Some contact cleaners remove this lubricant and make the slider "run dry" and this can cause problems like the sliding contact oxidizing ("sticking") to the carbon track. However, the lubricant is often the problem - contaminants stick to the lubricant and get under the contacts making a kind of "grit paste" that causes the crackling sound you often hear sliders make. "Flushing" the slider with cleaner literally hoses out the contaminants plus some of the lubricant. I've never used De-oxit on sliders (only because I don't have any...) and would suggest using a product that includes a lubricant. I've had good results from a product called "Super Contact Cleaner with Poly Phenyl Ether" from MG Chemicals. This product includes a lubricant that replaces the lubricant that is washed out when you clean the slider. (This is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT of the product, just a note that it works for me). Pepe's use of "vaseline spray" has the same effect, although, personally, I'd use the cleaner that has the lubricant included. This discussion also holds true for normal rotary pots. Magnetism is not involved in any of this.

b) Acid-free is good - be it bags or storage boxes - in any long-term context. There is a material difference between having stuff on the shelf for a few months (or even years), and storing it for decades. Use your best judgement for the choice of acid-free product - there is no actual research out there that I am aware of for pedal storage.

c) Mothers Back-to-Black is an interesting discussion. I've used it on my car - that's what it is designed for... cleaning/shining non-metallic car parts. My opinion is that the jury is still out on the long-term effects on something like pedal treadle rubber - the product simply hasn't been around long enough. In particular, I'm not convinced that using the product then putting the pedal into storage for a couple of decades is a good idea.
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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby usedpedals » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:11 pm

Mothers Back-To-Black+Steel Wool is best short term and long term way to keep a rubber pad looking food and getting it clean.

I have tried EVERYTHING- and I've used Mothers on literally thousands of pedals...

I bought almost every Boss demo pedal from every guitar center store....
I tried everything, every kind of chemical/cleaner/degreaser/everything out there

NOW keep in mind- everything guitar amps are made out originally came from cars- so anything they make for cars are typically great on amps...

But- although its one of my guarded secrets- the best out there is mothers+steel wool 0000 just a little to rub the mothers in and take off the dirt...

NOW if we're talking boss pedals- i've noticed Japan rubber to be slightly lighter in color and slightly more harder in feel and smoothness- the mothers doesn't get through MIJ Boss stuff as well as the newer stuff.
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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Laurie » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:37 am

I understand your perspective and acknowledge that for your purposes the approach is effective.

However, without being an actual chemical engineer (my qualifications are in electrical engineering), there are questions that remain. These questions are around the archival storage of the pedals for decades, not cleaning for sale.

1) What is the "rubber" actually made out of? Chemical composition? Is it actually rubber, or is it a synthetic or blended compound?

2) What is the cleaning product actually made of (any cleaning product - not just Mothers)? Chemical composition?

3) How do the chemicals in the "rubber" and the cleaning compound react over the long term? (decades)

4) What effect does "taking off the dirt" with steel wool have on the surface of the "rubber" - presumably it removes the oxidation layer and opens up the pores in the "rubber" to allow the product to enter. How does allowing the product to more deeply enter the pores affect the surface layer long term? The comment "doesn't get through MIJ Boss stuff as well as the newer stuff" may be speaking to the fact that oxidation layer on the older pedals is thicker and harder to get through.

In the absence of answers to any of these questions, I stand by my comment that I'm not sure it is a good idea. Over the last 35 years in the electrical engineering business I've seen too many items perished/melted/destroyed by the use of improper cleaning chemicals and/or storage conditions. I would caution against using any chemicals on a pedal prior to long-term storage.

In the absence of answers to any of these questions, my approach has always been to dismantle the pedal and use warm soapy water (pure soap, not anything with "conditioners" or "fragrances") and an old tooth-brush to thoroughly clean the "rubber", then rinse thoroughly in warm running water until all traces of the soap are gone (and, of course, dry thoroughly prior to reassembly). This should leave no cleaning residue and should do no harm to archived pedals. I do this to any pedal I have purchased - just in case the previous owner has used some sort of chemical cleaner on the pedal...
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Re: SHELF LIFE of vintage pedals?

Postby Pepe » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:57 am

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