Advice on cleaning dust/debris accumulated on a stick dome tweeter? - diyAudio
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Old 15th August 2011, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default Advice on cleaning dust/debris accumulated on a stick dome tweeter?

I just picked up a pair of A/D/S L520 speakers at goodwill.

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The tag said "never used". Don't know how they ascertained this other than the donor apprising them of such. But they certainly look unused. There is not a scratch on them. Looks like right out of the box. Flawless down to the metal grilles. Got them home and all drivers are functioning quite well.

Only problem is that mice must have gotten into the box whereever they were stored for past couple of decades. Fortunately, the mice were unable to get beyond the grille, but must have nested somewhere above the speaker. Again fortunate since there are no stains or damage at all to the walnut veneer.

But there are sunflower seeds and hair and debris on the grille of the left speaker and upon removal quite a bit of likewise dust, hair, seed shells had fallen through the perforations and adhered to the sticky surface of the dome.

Good tweeter...
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Dirty one.....

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I'm pretty happy with the find for 20 dollars. They'll go nice in my workshop.
Any good advice on how to get that crap off of the dome? I'm inclined to just sit for an hour or two with a very sharp pair of tweezers under an illuminated jeweler's loupe and pick it clean.
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Old 15th August 2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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Rusty screws are also sexy
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Old 15th August 2011, 09:58 PM   #3
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Yeah the rust is possibly caused by mouse urine, this wouldn't bother me a bit mind you, the bothersome bit is the very dusty dome.

It is hard to imagine that you could effectively remove the dust without using some sort of liquid, which would of course have the chance of dissolving the dome coating.

I wouldn't have thought that the dome coating be soluble in water, otherwise it would react to air humidity and sweat on peoples fingers (not that they'd expect many people to go poking them). It is possible that using some water might help soften the fibres of the dust and help in enabling you to gently pick it off. The larger bits certainly look like they'd be removable with some fine tweezers and possibly a magnifying glass if one should be needed.

One other option would be to remove the easy to remove larger bits, then leave it at is. You could possibly measure them and if both loudspeakers measure similarly and they sound good, then leave them as is. I'd certainly recommend using them with the grilles in place permanently. If the dome coating is that sticky, leaving the grilles off would lead to both domes becoming coated with dust.

The final thing I can think of is rather severe in that you use some solvent with the idea of dissolving the dome coating and with it, remove the dust completely. You could remove the dome coating from both domes and then re-coat them with something else. This is dangerous in that you could end up dissolving any glue/paint too and you could end up destroying the tweeters. Maybe if you use a cotton bud with a small amount of solvent soaked into the cotton it would dissolve to top side layer of the dome coating just enough to let you lift the dust off, but not enough to cause any real damage.

How far you're willing to experiment is up to you.
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Old 15th August 2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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You certainly don't want to use any liquids, solvents or cleaners! Use a magnifying glass and tweezers to pick off things you can easily grab. I've used a piece of Scotch tape to pull off dust and crud. It should be the relatively non-sticky magic tape, and I wouldn't try this on new tweeters because the sticky coating might be a bit too sticky! Remember that this dust and crud won't usually have any effect on the sound, so don't get carried away and turn a perfectly good tweeter into a perfectly clean but wrecked tweeter.
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Old 15th August 2011, 11:57 PM   #5
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I think OP's on the right track with the tweezers and some decent stereo (obviously!) magnifying glasses, although I would start with a soft brush and possibly not bother with the tweezers.

If you just touch the rusty screw heads with a rag damp with WD40 (not oil) or similar it will eventually wick and look better and stop more rust.
You could also rub the woofer cone surrounds with some automotive rubber treatment. (And if you use the 'low gloss' stuff, you could actually rub it everywhere that's plastic: tweeter front face, painted front baffle, wood veneer, etc. After a few days it will evaporate and leave it looking new.)

Last edited by Andersonix; 16th August 2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 04:25 PM   #6
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Well I was able to get the bulky stuff 99 percent off with tweezers but there was no remedy for actually getting it to look anything like original (like the other tweeter), so simply in the interest of cosmetics I applied "drum roll"........ dryer lint to both of them.

That's right. Dryer lint is almost identical in hue to the woofer cones so now everything matches! Amazing how tacky that tweeter coating is. Good Grief. Good coating of loose dryer lint, removed excess thoroughly/carefully with sticky side of duct tape, and everything's quite kosher really. Inestimably small added weight and mass. No problem.

Oh the travails of the finically compulsive. I expect I have company here though. Really liking the sound of these things in my workshop with a little 10inch sealed subwoofer under the desk.

Last edited by peace brainerd; 23rd August 2011 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 04:39 PM   #7
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I use painters blue tape on my silk domes, not sure if it would work on tack dome.
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