LCMS source comparison

Discussions about GC-MS, LC-MS, LC-FTIR, and other "coupled" analytical techniques.

10 posts Page 1 of 1
We are looking at a new LCMSMS purchase and I have it down to ABSciex or Agilent. I am familiar with the Sciex source and I know that it is quite rugged with a simple design, the Agilent I have not used before so I am wondering if anyone has experience with both, or at least the Agilent source and can comment on how well they perform.

We are going to be doing pesticides on Hemp extracts so it could be quite matrix heavy. On the Agilent is it the JetStream or the iFunnel that I should avoid as far as handling dirty samples is concerned?

On software I like MassHunter a little better than Analyst, but I can ignore the differences there if one system will have better uptime and easier maintenance with similar sensitivity.

It will probably come down to a choice between the Sciex6500+ or 5500 versus the Agilent 6470 or Ultivo.
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
I always ask the toughest questions :)
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
We have a 6530 QTof with a Jetstream source. Seems pretty rugged to me although I don't have much to compare it to. Have heard the ifunnel instrument need more attention, but no personal experience. Can you remove the inlet capillary without venting the instrument on the 6470? I know that's possible on the Ultivo. Seems like a real nice feature to have.
Will be interesting to hear if the inlet capillary can be removed without breaking vacuum. I have also read about the trick to clean them with a drop of methanol placed at the entrance and letting vacuum draw it through.

The Sciex only has a cone at the entrance with a tiny orifice, which is easier to work with than the capillary I think. What Sciex calls the Q0, the first lens group after the entrance is very easy to clean, just wash with water then methanol, or brush with alconox solution then water and methanol if really dirty. I wonder if the Agilent is cleaned in a similar manner?

I had someone else suggest to me the Shimadzu units, but I have no reference point on those yet.
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
Agilent systems have a fancy glass capillary first. These are expensive (~$2000 for the type that can do fast polarity switching) Easy to remove once the instrument is vented and (somewhat) easy to clean. After the capillary is a skimmer lens,also easy to clean. Beyond that is an octopole (ion optics)That's getting deep into the instrument. Cleaning that looks to be a delicate process.
See ... _guide.pdf page 94 onwards.
not all instruments will tolerate the drop-of-methanol technique, so it's worth checking with the manufacturer. I remember being told by Thermo that it was a good way to clean one of their old trap models (and it was!), but an elderly Shimadzu instrument that we have will cut out all its electronics at the first sniff of excessive solvent at the wrong end of its capillary. This isn't fatal, it's just that if the instrument senses inadequate vacuum at that point in the ion path, it cuts out to avoid potential damage to high voltage parts further on.

I don't know what Shimadzu are using on their new Q-ToF, but the ion source they use on their newer singles (and triples) is very robust, easy to clean, and the desorbation line (capillary) can be removed without breaking vacuum. The ion optics are also pretty easy to clean.
.. out of curiosity, do Agilent still have the little end-caps on the glass capillary thing, with the canted coil spring that gets damaged easily on removal and makes it impossible to get the thing back on? I was so grateful when an engineer told me it happened, and gave me a few spares! No problems after that (ancient 1946MSD single quad, lovely reliable instrument)
After seeing what the Hemp extracts do to a GC inlet, easy to clean and rugged are definitely top of the list items for the next LCMS we get.

It only took a few tobacco extracts to turn the outer cone of the ABI3200 black and require scrubbing to get it clean, but luckily that caught most of the crud, the inner cone and Q0 remained fairly clean considering. The exhaust port of the source however :shock:
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
Silly trivial thing you've probably thought of, but in LC-MS, when working on samples that might contain salts and sugars (with typical reverse phase methods) it's a really good idea to divert the injection peak to waste (not just turn the mass spec on later; not all systems divert to waste when there's no signal being collected; not all systems even have a divert valve!). There's no point in filling the spray chamber with cooked sugars for the sake of highly unreliable results on things with no retention, and in many sample types, the concentrations of very hydrophilic "boring" things will exceed those of the target analytes by orders of magnitude.
But yes, rugged cleanable sources are to be appreciated!
I am in the same situation. The Agilent 6495B is supposed to have a gate-valve that lets you change the capillary without removing the vacuum. The hexabore of the 6495 was quite sensitive but also easy to clean. Downtime max 2h.
I have a lower Agilent version and can't dilute the concentrates quite as much, but i am still good for at least 4 weeks with roughly 400 injections that as guideline for maintenance.
I personally tend to the 6495B but the Sciex seems to have a sensitivity advantage and as we all know that is when it comes to cannabis the only variable that gonna help you to get accurate results without to much ion suppression. Sciex has also the option of the V-Source. The V-source lets you run APCI and ESI without source change. That becomes interesting for very high chlorinated pesticides that normally run on the GC like PCNB(Quintozone).

I had no hands on with Sciex with cannabis material yet, so i will not believe it until i see it.

Let me know if someone had experience on both or is willing to share data. This is a 500k decigion right here.
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