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Old 12th June 2010, 03:43 AM   #1
benb is online now benb  United States
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Default Best refoam kit sources?

I have a collection of speakers with woofers that need refoaming. I'm looking around the net and see lots of options, and I'm wondering what the "best" sources are, and how much difference it makes between inexpensive and more costly sources that claim to be original replacements.

It seems not all sources have everything, and some sources might be preferred for specific brand and model woofers, so here's what I have:

JBL LX55 10" woofer model 410G

Infinity SS2004 8"
Infinity SS2001 5 1/4" (that's what the user's manual says - outside of foam measures 4 7/8", outside mounting ring measures 6")
Infinity RS125 measures same as SS2001

Advent Prodigy II 8"

If it makes any difference, I'm more concerned about the quality and getting something closer to "original" for the larger 8" and 10" woofers, and am willing to go for "cheaper" kits for the smaller ones.
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Old 12th June 2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Hi benB,

go to ---> Home Page | The Classic Speaker Pages

and to the Discussion pages and Search there.

You have USA manufactured drivers, and those manufacturers are discussed in the above, plus there are several threads about refoaming,
and perhaps more than I remember.
At least one, perhaps more, reliable refoamers are mentioned.

BUT, I say from my own experience and reports from others, new foam surrounds will have a limited life also.
If you want long life surrounds, try to find solid rubber surrounds ... look for butyl and neoprene and other rubber types.
I do not know if any specific are available for diy, because I have not researched any, but there are manufacturers of such.
Try to find a copy of "Voicecoil", {a Loudspeaker Industry publication}, and look amongst the advertisments there-in.

"Santoprene" is not rubber - it is a synthetic that is cheaper than rubber, and which has some similarity to the behavior of foam when used as a surround,
{which some manufacturers do now}.
I have forgotten if it is used because it has longer life, but I do remember that it does not impedance match the cone at their junction as well as the optimum solid rubber types, thus there is at least one departure from a flat in-band frequency response in the lower midrange of santoprene surround woofers.

Yes, a solid rubber surround will cause a greater change of some of the driver's parameters than a foam surround will,
{the degree will depend on the thickness and the compliance of the particular rubber}, but the final sound may still be to your liking.
Perhaps there will be something about this discussed somewhere in the Classic Speaker Pages forum.

If you find anything interesting about using solid rubber, please post a mention here ... as will I.
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Old 12th June 2010, 11:53 PM   #3
benb is online now benb  United States
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Thanks, Alan. Yes, I've heard where solid rubber last longer than foam but adds more mass and affects the parameters/bass response. I'll go with the foam to get closer to original performance and replace it every few years/decades.
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Old 13th June 2010, 03:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benb View Post
Thanks, Alan. Yes, I've heard where solid rubber last longer than foam but adds more mass and affects the parameters/bass response. I'll go with the foam to get closer to original performance and replace it every few years/decades.
The story I got was that the foam breaks down because of fungus. Supposedly the new foam surrounds include fungicide in the recipe so that should no longer be a problem.

G
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Old 13th June 2010, 08:02 PM   #5
bwaslo is offline bwaslo  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratus46 View Post
The story I got was that the foam breaks down because of fungus. Supposedly the new foam surrounds include fungicide in the recipe so that should no longer be a problem.

G
I heard the same claim back in the early 80s. But I just got a pair of Advents from the late 80s, fully rotted out, so I'm skeptical.
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Old 13th June 2010, 11:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post
I heard the same claim back in the early 80s. But I just got a pair of Advents from the late 80s, fully rotted out, so I'm skeptical.
I guess we have fungicide resistant fungus. A new Super Fungus. Still easy and cheap to replace the foam.

G
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Old 19th June 2010, 07:05 PM   #7
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Default foam and rubbber and fungicides

Quote:
Originally Posted by benb View Post
I've heard where solid rubber last longer than foam but adds more mass and affects the parameters/bass response. I'll go with the foam to get closer to original performance and replace it every few years/decades.
Adding more mass is not necessarily a problem.
If the rubber is more compliant also, then the two will cancel each other out, and the bass parameters will not be different.
Also, there are very thin rubbers available- low mass/high compliance, like foams.
I have a pair of older than 30 years 8 inch woofers with very thin rubber surrounds intact,
but all foam surrounds I have seen deteriorated long before 30 years - usually gone before 10 years.

There is no certainty that the new foam you are sold will be of the same mass/compliance ratio to the original ...
except perhaps if the original driver manufacturer is selling the foam as guaranteed replacement.

My experience, and that of others I know, is that our foam surrounds deteriorated as result of sea-salt content in medium-to-high-humidity conditions in residential suburbs a little inland from the sea-coast.
Similar could occur in Industrial areas with high chemical air pollution, if high moisture content in the air also.

I have no experience of the Fungus condition.

Regarding Fungicides - likely new fungi will evolve able to resist the fungicide !

We are expected to believe that everything alive evolved so as to be able to exist in the hostile conditions of the environment,
and continues to evolve so as to remain alive in changing environmental conditions,
but we have Fungicide manufacturers expecting us to believe that fungi won't evolve ...
what nonsense !
Everything we invent, and shove out there into the environment,
{including the Genetically Modified organisms for which claims are made will solve all humans' food supply problems},
will cause evolution of resistant organisms.

Either we have Evolution or we don't ... it doesn't exist only when it is convenient for supposed Experts use the notion to explain things,
and cease to exist when other supposed Experts want to sell us their supposed permanent solution products.
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Old 26th June 2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default correction

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan-1-b View Post

but we have Fungicide manufacturers expecting us to believe that fungi won't evolve ...
Hah, I see I inadvertantly stated incorrectly there,
as I don't know all those manufacturers' motivations,
and some will say they are simply producing something to assist in alleviating the inevitable for a period of time till we decide something else
- and that would be reasonable.

I intended to state that the Foam Surround manufacturers expect us to believe that fungicide-treated foams will survive ... etc ...

I think that is pushing a cheaper to manufacture/higher Profit margin product, but which is ultimately waste.
Their effort would be better directed to long-life rubber surround manufacture in a mass/compliance ratio similar to the average of the foam types.
It is not difficult to manufacture with modern equipment,
and some manufacturers are making seemingly good rubber surrounds.
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Last edited by alan-1-b; 26th June 2010 at 04:10 PM. Reason: to add a space
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