Crumbling Speaker cone suspension foam - any advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by David E, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. David E

    David E Auditioning

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    Hi all,

    If this topic has been covered before, could someone please post the link, otherwise, any help or advice would be very much appreciated.
    I have a set of Auditone Ambassadors (a top shelf speaker from an Australian manufacturer here)and have been very happy with them to this point. I recently pulled the grilles off the speakers (Mains and Centre Channel) to see if there would be any audible sound difference.
    When the grilles came off, I noticed the foam suspension boundary around the Mid range tweeters had deteriorated to the point of crumbling away for the most part. [​IMG]

    My questions are:

    1) Is it possible to refurbish the speakers with top quality tweeters etc (I may well replace all components in the speakers if need be) and if so, what brands or types would you recommend. The speakers currently have one main 12" driver and a 6" mid and 2" high end tweeter

    2) How much sound degradation does this crumbling foam represent, and other than keeping dust out, what is it there for?

    3) I would like to keep the current speakers as they are well matched, but if it is economically unrealistic to keep them and refurbish them with new components, what brands should I have a look at? I've always been told that Aerial Acoustics are a good brand, and Klipsch also have been mentioned, but there's so many good speakers out there, and I would appreciate a good quality recommendation.

    My viewing / listening habits are probably 95% movies and TV, the rest would be music.

    Thank you for any help or advice you could give.

    Best regards,

    David [​IMG]
     
  2. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    The good: There are many decent speakers out there for very reasonable prices that would probably knock the socks off your current ones. You don't say where you are -Oz? - but you should be able to locate some to audition.

    The bad: Yes, rotting foam suspensions are a bad thing and do nasty things to your sound. And simply replacing drivers without knowing all the Thiel-Small parameters and the values of your crossovers is a real crap shoot -- without these facts, you could end up with huge holes in your frequency response curve or, probably worse yet, overlaps that will sound boomy (if the Xover between woofer and midrange) or excessively honky and bright (if between mid and tweet).

    The ugly: You can probably buy kits to refoam from online outfits such as PartsExpress or Madisound, but most of them are designed for specific drivers (Bose, Cerwin Vega, etc.) and may or may not work.

    At this point in the game, it might be time to just retire the old ones and find something smaller. You'll be amazed at the bass today's designers are getting out of 6.5" and 8" woofers and the sound today's better 2-way, small- to mid-sized monitors can produce.
    '
     
  3. David E

    David E Auditioning

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    Thanks Darren.

    I live in Brisbane, Queensland, and there are a few Sound & Vision Retailers who have nice lounges etc to listen / view equipment in. Unfortunately, they only have either their own brand of speakers, or a very limited range of speakers, and few of the best known or highly regarded brands from overseas, like Paradigm, Martin Logan, Aerial Acoustic etc. It makes it difficult then to make a choice without hearing them, but I have learned to trust the opinion of learned colleagues on here before, and I do so again with this situation.

    I appreciate your comments re replacing drivers too. I am going to budget around $6000 - $8000 (Australian) for replacement speakers if necessary ... maybe a bit higher with centre & rear surround as well.

    Does it make sense to stick to a brand package ( Mains, Centre, Rears) like say the Aerial Acoustic offerings, or go component style and get a good brand of main, then another for centre etc, as long as they're matched?
    Componentry selection in hardware for things like amps, receivers etc is one thing, but does the same mindset apply to speaker selection?

    Thanks for your advice and help,

    David
     
  4. David E

    David E Auditioning

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    P.S If necessary, I will import them myself ... I'm not sure of companies willing to export, but I'm sure there are a few .. again, any advice appreciated here.

    Cheers,

    David
     

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