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I recently replaced my interface (that had two headphone jacks and volume pots) with a new interface that only has one of each. My next move was to pull my 13-year-old Rolls HA-43 headphone amp out of the box-o-cables-and-stuff. I noticed that there's a crackling noise audible when you change the volume on any of the sliders.

Here's the weird part: This happens on all of them. (Will double-check that it's all four channels, and not just the first two.) In the same way. And I'm fairly certain that it didn't used to make that noise.

What might have caused this? Is it worthwhile to diagnose and fix, or should I just toss it out and buy a new one?

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Volume knobs have a tendency to get "scratchy" over time. This is caused by corrosion and dirt in the inner workings.

It's definitely worth fixing. You can get a can of DeoxIT contact cleaner for about $15.

Just unplug the unit, open the case and spray the backs of the potentiometers. Usually there is a small hole where you can use the tube that comes with the DeoxIT to get the insides really good. Turn all the knobs all the way up and down. Let it dry completely before plugging it back in.

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  • Sprayed the faders tonight; they're the open kind, so I sprayed the sides gently and worked the faders forward and back. Will let it dry overnight and try it out in the morning and report back. May 4, 2011 at 6:01
  • The store had two different kinds of DeoxIT, one that was $10 and another "gold" DeoxIT that was $15. I got the cheaper one, but is there any significant difference between the two? May 4, 2011 at 6:03
  • I really don't know what the difference is. I got the cheaper one to do the knobs on an old Kenwood amp which I use for my monitors, but I have not gotten the chance to use it yet. May 4, 2011 at 13:47
  • Seven months later, it's still working excellently. Will this also work on guitar/bass pots? Dec 17, 2011 at 1:07
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    @NeilFein I just found out the difference between DeoxID and DeoxIT gold. The gold version is for plated contacts. You can read about it in the product description. Apr 23, 2012 at 12:43

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