Review By Wayne Donnelly
Enjoy the Music.com
The full kit — Connect1 first stage cleaner (30 mL, $99), Connect2 second stage cleaner (30 mL, $99), Connect3 contact enhancer (10 mL, $179), a pack of Q-tips and a set of tools (various-sized brushes, files, etc.) — retails for $377. Individual bottles of the three active elements may be purchased at the prices listed above for each. This stuff is more expensive by magnitudes than any other contact cleaners I have ever used. But it is also by far the most effective such product I have encountered.
In effect this is a super-detailing kit for your audio system. It is to be used on all contact surfaces, from the most obvious — component jacks and terminals, cable plugs and spades/bananas — down to power plugs and wall outlets, and even tube pins and sockets. Clearly, if you have a complex system you are in for a few hours of work.
Connect1 is the heady-duty cleaner. Connect2 completes the cleaning process (and, BTW, is extremely volatile, so keep the bottle capped between wetting the tools). Connect3 acts as a shield against oxide re-building on the surfaces, and improves electrical contact and transfer across all of the junctions.
I purchased this product nearly 5 years ago when I was still living in California. But I never used it until recently, primarily because with my impaired eyesight it wouldn't have been possible to do fine work such as tube sockets accurately and without wasting too much of the precious fluids. But a couple of months ago a generous friend — who had just done his own system and been dazzled by the results — volunteered to help me get the job done. Thanks, George!
My system was not terribly "dirty." Most of the cables are less than a year old, and I am not a smoker. I also have little environmental pollution, as my Chicago Loop location would be so noisy with open windows that I leave them closed and rely on air conditioning in hot weather. We were able to effect the complete job economically, so I have plenty of each fluid left for another cleaning a year or two down the road. That lessens the sting of the price.
But even if this cleaning had used up everything, I would've had no worries after hearing the result. The myriad improvements — far more natural realism of voices and instruments, a larger but more precise soundstage, stunningly improved dynamics, and an even lower system noise floor — were greater in magnitude than any single component upgrade I can recall. All of that for less than 400 bucks is a hell of a value! Any audiophile who really wants to get maximum performance should spend the money and take the time.