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Old 1st June 2006, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default Stinky speakers! (and a few other questions)


Awesome forum! Help me before it's too late...I'm being bit by they DIY bug!

I recently upgraded to a "better" pair of speaks from eBay, and dangit I forgot to verify that they were coming from a non-smoking household (note to potential buyers: DON'T forget to ask your seller this). So I've got a pair of very nice speakers...that pretty much reek...almost like a bar. Do any of you know what would be safe to use on the "black ash" cabinets to remove the well as the bare MDF on the inside. The grilles also hold the smell pretty well...but they're non removable. What can I use on them without damaging the drivers?

When I opened the cabinets to see if the damping was also stinky, I saw some surprises! The first was the totally lame damping material used. It's just 6 panels of what seems like very light pillow stuffing, right up to the back of the drivers and in the way of the path between the woofers and the port. Am I correct in assuming that lining the walls with something of quality like Whispermat 2 would improve performance?

Last thing (this is long, my apologies). There's absolutely no cabinet bracing...nada. Zip. Would a couple of bars spanning the side walls reduce cabinet resonances and also improve performance?

Thanks for any responses, and sorry if this is in the wrong place.
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Old 1st June 2006, 04:56 PM   #2
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It probably would also help to know something about the speakers. They're TMM floorstanders from a major manufacturer. Here's a picture...

Can't wait to try and build one of John or Wayne's designs!
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Old 1st June 2006, 06:04 PM   #3
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You could try Murphy's Oil Soap on the exterior. I have not idea if you can clean MDF. If you are going to mod the interior, maybe try a commercial sealer. The smoky smell will gradually diminish over time.

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Old 1st June 2006, 06:27 PM   #4
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murphys works well

windex might

could you show us pics of those cast frame drivers?
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Old 1st June 2006, 06:30 PM   #5
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Perhaps you should just smoke?

Good ole' Pine-Sol will do the trick... and don't buy the off-brands (check the percentage of pine oil).

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Old 1st June 2006, 06:41 PM   #6
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You basically have smoke damage, there are companies that specialize in removing this. I believe they use ozone to do this, based on my research into this awhile back. Ozone generators are useful for many things including de-molding cars/basements etc. so if you are so inclined to buy one you wont be disappointed.(there are some safety issues but we dont need to get into that yet)
You know that fresh smell after a lightning storm? That's from the ozone that is generated from the arc of electricity that is oxidizing bacterial and odors.
If these are expensive speakers and you want to get them cleaned quickly you can contact one of those companies I have no idea how expensive it is. Take the speakers out though, some rubbers and foams are also destroyed by ozone.
...I'm being bit by they DIY bug!
Have you considered building new enclosures?
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Old 1st June 2006, 06:42 PM   #7
adason is offline adason  United States
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i had similar problem with "stinky" amplifier
ended up putting it for a week into air duct leading outside the building, the air circulation removed the smell

in your case I would remove drivers and deal with enclosures the same way, put them in highly ventilated space for a while, it will go away

remember, you have to remove the smell, not to mask it by other smell
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Old 1st June 2006, 06:48 PM   #8
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One more thing, I seem to remember that topical solutions cant penetrate into where all of the odor has absorbed, so after cleaning it might still smell, you might have to clean it repeatedly.

Also oil fills in pores trapping the odor and creates a "time release" odor, and oil does not evaporated. To be 100% accurate I should say that Im partially speculating on that last sentence, so dont take it as an absolute fact.
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Old 1st June 2006, 06:52 PM   #9
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Default Rubbing Alcohol

I got a VERY stinky set of Cerwin Vega vinyl wrapped speakers and have removed about 95% of the smell by rubbing all the exterior surfaces with 91% rubbing alcohol and cheesecloth. It will take a few passes and you will end up with very filthy cheesecloths. Do this in a well ventilated area. You have to get up close to get a whiff of the odor and sometimes I think I still smell it when the a/c isn't running, but I am not entirely displeased with the results, it is just not 100% perfect. The grills I removed and soaked in a bin with woolite and rubbed the cloth with a soft sponge, the kind you use to clean cars. This worked marvelously, actually smells good now. If you really like these and need those grills cleaned up, consider tearing them off and replacing with new, I can't see how you'll be able to clean fixed grill material with that MDF, it will swell if you get it wet.
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Old 1st June 2006, 06:54 PM   #10
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Haha! Yes! Take up smoking. Great idea!

Thanks for the tips.

Any thoughts on adding cabinet bracing or replacing the damping with whispermat?

Requested better driver pics coming soon.

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