Good audio equipment can be expensive and it is usually considered an investment that lasts for decades. In order to ensure that all of the separate components of audio equipment stay in good working order for a long time, they should be taken care of to avoid damage or wear and tear. The term audio equipment is wide and includes many different systems. It can be used for professional DJ equipment, such as mixers, DJ decks, turntables, and headphones, but it could also refer to a home theatre system, hi-fi system, or computers that are attached to powerful speakers for the best sound in a recording studio. Whether buying new valuable audio equipment in high street electronics shops or online at eBay, or maintaining existing equipment that has already given years of pleasure, listeners should learn the methods for caring for audio equipment, including the maintenance of speakers and accessories.
Caring for Audio Equipment
The maintenance of audio equipment can be divided into general and technical. General maintenance includes basic actions that can be taken in order to care for the equipment, while technical maintenance is more specific and advanced. Maintenance can be carried out on equipment that is used as a part of a home theatre system, hi-fi system, or DJ equipment.
Prevent Accumulation of Dust on Audio Equipment
Dust is the worst enemy of any audio components. Dust covers can protect the equipment and ensure that dust does not accumulate on the devices. Dust covers can only be kept on while the equipment is not in use, so keeping the devices completely dust free is impossible. This means that they should be cleaned occasionally. Mixers, amplifiers, and record turntables can be cleaned with compressed air that gets the dust out from little crevices, while a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol can be used to wipe away stubborn grime. The stylus of a turntable requires gentle care and should be dusted with a brush that has short bristles. Adequate care ensures that the stylus can deliver clean sound.
Anti-static spray used on audio equipment helps to prevent some of the dust from settling. Polishes, on the other hand, should not be sprayed directly on the equipment. Instead, they can be applied with a cleaning cloth. Electronics are sensitive to cleaning products, but the casings can be cleaned with universal surface polishes. Scratches that are usually found on second hand equipment can be removed with black felt marker pens.
Dust and Speakers
Speakers should be stored in place where dust cannot enter them as this can damage their performance a great deal. A vacuum cleaner should be used to clean out the dust. Alternatively, use a device with compressed air that blows the dust out of the speaker. Liquid cleaners and water are not suitable for speakers as they may damage the electrical components.
Keep Metals Away From Speakers
The speakers should be kept away from iron or other metals that contribute to magnetism. The speakers have electromagnets inside them and magnetism can damage these. So, if possible, keep the speakers on wooden surfaces.
Reduce Static Electricity Near to Speakers
Static electricity can affect the speakers. For example, if a person walks over a carpet and then touches the speaker, the speaker can burn out. Therefore, anti-static floor mats and carpets should be used. Natural materials are always better when choosing floor coverings. Sprayable anti-static chemicals can also reduce static electricity in the home.
Ensure Good Ventilation Around Speakers
As many speakers do not have a good thermal design, they should be kept away from direct sunlight in order to avoid overheating. Some models have vent holes for cooling and these should be uncovered at all times so that the ventilation system can operate. Adequate ventilation around speakers prolongs their life. If the speakers do not have any integrated vents, than fans can be put close to them to keep the air moving. The heat should be able to rise upwards, so avoid stacking equipment on top of the speakers.
Ensure Proper Wiring for Speakers
Wiring of speakers should always be done properly and according to the instructions so that the speakers can function properly. This includes ensuring that the correct jacks are connected to the correct channels,.
Ensure a Consistent Power Supply for Speakers
The power supply of the speakers should be uninterrupted. Voltage stabilisers should be used because they help in the event of an electrical surge, lightning storm, or power blackout.
Caring for DJ Equipment
DJ equipment can include valuable audio components. DJs who frequently move from one environment to another, for example, when using equipment both in a studio and playing in clubs, need to care for the devices properly to ensure that they are not damaged in transit.
Care for Mixers
Mixers, like any other DJ equipment, should always be kept dust free, but they also require some lubrication. The faders on the mixers should be lubricated either with special electronics lubrication or with oil that is designed for hair trimmers. Before lubricating, the faceplate of the mixer should be removed for better access and the fader cleaned with an alcohol and water solution. Cotton swabs can be used to apply the solution. Only a couple of drops of the oil are needed for lubrication and they should be rubbed in properly to ensure full coverage.
Care for Cables
If the cables are not cared for properly, they may damage the sound quality by introducing hissing or static in the sound. After use, the cables should be coiled and put into a protective container. The cables should be disconnected carefully rather than being pulled.
Caring for Audio Equipment in a Studio
Studios are used for recording music. They are often equipped with valuable audio equipment that delivers the best results. As most devices in the studio use solid state circuitry, they do not need direct maintenance, although regular dusting is always useful.
Providing Adequate Ventilation
If the mixers, amplifiers, hard drives, and computers have fans, they should never be obstructed or full of dust. Devices that are particularly hot when they work should have enough space around them to lead to hot air away. Foam fan filters can be washed in soapy water once they are removed, but they should be completely dry before they are put back.
Be Careful With Mains Power
Computers work best if they are plugged into plug boards that come with an integrated filter and spike suppressor because these prevent the mains supply from becoming dirty. Computer peripherals should be connected and disconnected only when the computer is turned off. During lighting storms, it is best to unplug everything.
Buying Valuable Audio Equipment on eBay
Caring for valuable audio equipment means that it can provide many years of good quality audio. If you want to upgrade some equipment or buy new components, then you can purchase these conveniently on eBay. First, consider which system or components are required. Then type your keywords into the search box that is found at the top of any eBay page. At first, your keywords can be general, such as "speakers". This provides a long list of initial results which you can browse for inspiration. You can sort the listings by price or condition. If you know the item condition, brand, and other details for the audio equipment, then you can use more specific keywords to get the best results, for example, "Technics turntable".
When you have found the audio equipment that you wish to buy, read through the detailed item listing thoroughly and look at the photograph to find out as much information as possible about the item. The seller should provide information about the item's condition. If the item is used, this information should help you to decide whether good care methods can improve or preserve the item. If there are any questions, then ask the seller directly by using the "Ask a question" link.
High quality audio equipment pleases the ears, but its components can often be quite expensive. In order to keep valuable audio equipment in good working order, it should be cared for properly. Audio equipment should be dusted regularly in order to prevent accumulation of particles that can damage the equipment. Dust covers are an ideal preventative tool, but it is best to keep the equipment in places where dust does not gather. Static electricity should be reduced by using natural floor mats. In order to avoid magnetism, metals conducive to magnetism are best kept far away from the audio equipment, especially the speakers.
Providing adequate ventilation prevents overheating especially where the equipment is used regularly in a confined space. Mixers that are part of DJ equipment benefit from lubrication, while cables are best stored when coiled. As a precaution, all audio equipment should be unplugged from the mains supply after use in order to prevent damage from electrical surges, lightning storms, or power blackouts. Whether upgrading existing valuable audio equipment or buying new components on eBay, learning how to care for them properly ensures many years of listening pleasure.