Product: R5 Power Booster - contact cleaner and enhancer
Manufacturer: CAIG - USA
Approx. price: 15 $/Euro for a R5 Power Booster Kit (1 R5 Mini-spray + 1 R5 Liquid, 2ml squeeze dispenser)
Reviewer: Lucio Cadeddu
Reviewed: May, 2002
CAIG products are well-known to the audiophile crowd (at least in the US) as a solution for cleaning, restoring and enhancing electrical contacts.
The R5 Power Booster is a contact cleaner and enhancer, designed to "improve the flow of electricity on metal surfaces" (quote from the CAIG site).
In other words, this red liquid should, simultaneously, clean any metal surface and then coat it with a protecting microfilm that should fill in the microscopic gaps for better contact and long-term performance.
The R5 Power Booster contains deoxidizers, preservatives, conductivity enhancers, anti-tarnishing compounds, arcing and RFI inhibitors and it works within -34 C and +200 C (temperature in Celsius). Another quote from the CAIG product literature claims "Batteries last longer, Light bulbs shine brighter, Music sounds clearer, Everything works better".
I confess I smiled (to say the least :-)) when reading these claims, as the Power Booster appeared as the solution for every kind of problem in the World ("everything works better").
So, jokes aside, considering the good rep this Company has, I decided to put the marvelous liquid to the test.
I've tested other contact cleaner/enhancers so I already have some experience with these liquids.
Only a small mount of liquid is needed for cleaning purposes. One or two small drops (if using the liquid formulation) is enough for treating a RCA connector/plug pair. Once applied, wipe the surface with a soft, clean cloth until the cloth appears to be completely clean, with no traces of dirt or oxide. This was the "cleaning" part.
Next, place a small amount of liquid on the metal surface and wipe off any excess. This way the metal surface should benefit from the contact enhancing properties of the Power Booster.
CAIG recommends to use the Power Booster with switches, loudspeakers terminals, fuseholders, headphone jacks & plugs and volume pots, as needed.
I've tested the Power Booster on RCA and BNC connectors and plugs, as well as old, almost rusted, connectors and even on video and antenna terminations.
Dudes, this stuff is for real! First of all, it works excellently as a contact cleaner. It has made old connectors shine as if they were new. Of course, if the metal surface is deeply strached, there's no liquid that will rebuild it (which is obvious) but the Power Booster from CAIG removes any trace of oxidation, even when the oxidation has been present for a long
As some of you may already know, I'm a vintage HiFi nut so, from time to time, I buy new (old) HiFi gear for my private collection of Oldies but Goldies.
I had just bought a 25 years old amplifier which wasn't exactly in mint condition. A couple of R5 Power Booster applications solved any oxidation problem on the RCA inputs and loudspeakers binding posts.
And now for the enhancing part. I got the most convincing effect on a video antenna terminal. The connector was new and clean, so oxidation wasn't a problem. After treating it with the Power Booster, the image on the TV screen was clearer, better defined and more focused. Color saturation was enhanced, as well.
On audio connections (cables) the effect varied from cable to cable but I've concluded the enhancing effect, though subtle, was clearly audible in terms of improved definition in the highs and a better "focus" on instruments and singers.
It is not a night and day situation, especially if you maintain the
integrity of the connectors, keeping them clean and in good working
condition as necessary, but the effect is definitely audible.
I'd recommend the R5 Power Booster especially to smokers, as their stereo equipment is exposed to contamination much more than normal. Smoke creates a "film" on metal surfaces that can affect long term durability and overall quality of electrical contacts. For prevention, I'd suggest smoking be avoided in the listening room :-)
The whole set (spray + 2 ml liquid dispenser) costs 15 $/Euro so it is definitely not expensive, considering the way it works. Check the CAIG website often for Web specials, i.e. offers for sets of different CAIG products that can be worth a try.
You can even order online and test their "evaluation samples".
I have no serious complaints, actually, just a minor one. Since the product works quite well, there's no need for claims such as "Everything works better". That can make a potential customer become suspicious on the reliability of the product and of the Company itself.
We Internet users are already mail-bombed by thousands of claims like "make your pen#s become longer, earn 20,000 $ a month working from home, Viagra for free etc."). I think serious companies, like CAIG Laboratories, with nearly 50 years of tradition, who manufacture serious products, don't need this kind of miracle-oriented marketing.
Considering the cost of this product and they way it works, I believe CAIG R5 Power Booster a real bargain. Especially in comparison with expensive "esoteric" HiFi brands with supposedly similar liquids and enhancers.
© Copyright 2002 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com
I just read your review featuring the CAIG R5 Power Booster, and found the evaluation be clear, accurate and discerning.
Your impression concerning the phrase "everything works better" being over the top, is well taken. My feeling is that grandiose claims normally are an indication of form over substance, and we will continue to address this issue at the corporate level.
Thank you for taking the time to review our product!
With kind regards,
Susan Prenatt - International Sales & Marketing Division -- CAIG Laboratories, Inc.