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Old 3rd November 2003, 07:58 PM   #1
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Default speaker preventative maintenance.

I have searched the internet high and low for a solution to extend the life of foam surrounds. does anybody have any experience or ideas. I have an old pair of speakers and the surround is not bad yet but just by pushing on it i can feel it has less than one or two years left on it. I am in the navy and for the water tight doors, we use silicone to preserve the rubber around the edge. would that work possibly? or maybe another chemical.

p.s. what is a foam surround made out of? (duh, foam!) you know what i mean though.

What are some other types of preventative maintenance you could perform to extend the life of any speaker.

Ideas?
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Old 3rd November 2003, 08:32 PM   #2
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I read somewhere (on a Tannoy or Lowther site) that silicone sealant diluted with mineral turps was effective but I haven't tried this. I think speakerbits sell something to preserve foam surrounds as well.
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Old 3rd November 2003, 09:13 PM   #3
vic2 is offline vic2  United States
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What about Armor All? The stuff is used to protect car dash boards from UV. I think it is silicone-based.

Vic
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Old 3rd November 2003, 09:25 PM   #4
Volenti is offline Volenti  Australia
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I have used silicone in the past to pre-empt foam suround failure in subs, it will change the sound slightly but I didn't notice much difference in subs.

The foam would presumably be petro-chemical based I'd assume.
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Old 3rd November 2003, 09:50 PM   #5
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never thought about using armor-all, hmmmmmm. I don't have and silicone but i could get some. I just wish i had some crappy foam to test it on first. my speakers aren't all that grand, but they are worth salvaging (sp?).
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Old 3rd November 2003, 10:20 PM   #6
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You can get silicone spray used to protect shoes from any shoe store.

Beware of any petroleum based solvents. They can attack the rubber and glue holding the surround.
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Old 3rd November 2003, 10:34 PM   #7
SY is offline SY  United States
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Silicone will not offer too much protection; the surround is generally unplasticized polyurethane. The good news is that foam surrounds are a snap to replace.
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Old 3rd November 2003, 11:44 PM   #8
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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I put Armor All on the foam surrounds of some old speakers I have - when they were new and a couple times after. They went at the same time as everyone else who had that model - after ~13 years.

I was dreading replacing the foam, but it was easy. The sound didn't change that I can tell.

I would be more hesitant about resurrounding midranges or woofers that get up to 1kHz+, as the surround mass and compliance are important and help define the response in the breakup region.

You could try a very thin layer of silicone caulk on woofers when they are new to prevent oxidation.

Silicone sprays made for boots and shoes usually are petroleum based and the solvents will likely attack the cone and/or the adhesives used in the speaker, not a good idea.
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Old 4th November 2003, 06:20 AM   #9
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A good friend of mine once used silicone rubber to repair a foam surround.
He dissoleved it slightly and applied it with a small paintbrush. Maybe one can apply a thin protective coating that way (Vas will decrease slightly and fs increase). I will see him today or tomorrow so I can ask him what solvent he used. But I think it was alcohol as fa as I remember.

Regards

Charles
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Old 9th November 2003, 06:25 AM   #10
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I stopped using Armor All on the dash of my car because I heard that as it dries it can take moisture out of the material and cause it to crack. Then I heard from alot of people that baby oil is much safer than Armor All and more effective, because the dash does not lose moisture as it dries. So I used baby oil on a few foam surround speakers I have (and on my dash) and it seems to stay on them for good without hardly drying at all because there is not direct sunlight on them like in a car.

Just a suggestion.
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