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Username: mumra

Post Number: 45
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2012 - 6:48 am:   Edit Post

Hallo to all. I would like to tell me how can I clean the bronze parts of the alembic basses
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5260
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2012 - 9:48 am:   Edit Post

I assume you are referring to the brass parts. Alembic sells a great product called "Flitz Metal Polish" that works quite well. You can find it in "the Alembic Store" under "accessories". I usually do it by hand but, if the brass is excessively tarnished, I will carefully use a Dremel. After I'm done, I rub a little Alberto's VO5 on the brass. VO5 is actually a hair treatment, but a very thin film will help keep the brass shiny longer.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: briant

Post Number: 631
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, October 28, 2012 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post

Flitz metal polish
Advanced Member
Username: xlrogue6

Post Number: 235
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, October 29, 2012 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post

Flitz can also be found at hardware and paint stores, here in the US anyway.
Intermediate Member
Username: 12stringwilson

Post Number: 101
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 12:30 pm:   Edit Post

Would this product work on the pole pieces on pickups? I am trying to clean up my early Wal and the bridge pickup poles are oxidized from sweat and playing over that pickup for years. If not, any suggestions?
Intermediate Member
Username: tncaveman

Post Number: 132
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 5:00 am:   Edit Post

The poles on pickups are not brass but some form of an iron (or nickel) alloy that is magnetic. About the only thing I can think of would be to very gently sand them. I would not put chemicals on the pole pieces, because the chemical would likely attack the windings (very thin copper wire). After they were sanded, some clear lacquer (fingernail polish) would keep them from rusting again (or as quickly). A Q-tip w/ some Rustoleum might also work to keep them new looking. I would probably just leave them alone.


(Message edited by tncaveman on November 15, 2012)
Intermediate Member
Username: 12stringwilson

Post Number: 102
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 7:06 am:   Edit Post

Stephen -

Thanks for the input. I will leave them be. I certainly would not want to do anything to ruin the pickup as they are not easy to replace.
Username: count

Post Number: 75
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 11:03 am:   Edit Post

I had chemistry classes during high school, also; My mom (!) gave me a tip for cleaning brass, and silver:
A decent strip of aluminium foil
Citric acid (high concentration lemon juice)
Salt and boiling water
A squirt of washing up liquid for good measure, and you save yourself alot of elbow grease!
Be sure to thoroughly rinse the parts with water afterwards though..
Username: mumra

Post Number: 46
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Friday, November 16, 2012 - 4:58 am:   Edit Post

Thanks to all.I found a product and I ll try to clean them.
Username: 5sicks

Post Number: 38
Registered: 8-2010
Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post

12 String; Your pole pieces are probably alnico. Try Coca-Cola on a Q-tip. Remove any stickiness with WD40 on a Q-tip. Let it dry completely before activation maybe a gentle blow with a hair drier.
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 572
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 6:08 pm:   Edit Post

12stringwilson -

I would recommend strongly against trying to clean the rust off your polepieces unless you're willing to do a complete teardown of the pickup. There's way too high a chance that any physical or chemical manipulation will damage your very delicate pickup coils, which are wound with insulated wire thinner than a hair. Chemicals strong enough to remove rust may eat through the varnish insulation on the wires and short the pickup up. If you sand or abrade the polepieces, you'll knock off filings which will stick the magnets, and may work their way loose into the coil where they become a very effective abrasive.

It may not look the best, but I would just leave the pickups as they are. The good thing is that a thin layer of rust (or your "patina" if you want to look at it positively) won't affect your sound.

More generally, I think the risk of polishing the hardware is much lower if there's a bit of care to stay away from the pickups.

David Fung

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