Wharfedale e50

Hi. I have a pair of Wharfedale E 50's which I've owned for about 10 years. I put them into dry storage in a loft (attic) a couple of years ago and then got them back out yesterday. When I hooked them up to an amp it was immediately obvious that something was wrong with one of the bass units. Its not working at all except for the loudest spikes of bass when it just makes a brief distorted sound. I took the driver out and swapped it with over to eliminate the chance of wiring or capacitors something being to blame but the driver is the same in each cabinet.
When I tap the bad driver it sounds dull and doesn't resonate at all, the 'good' one makes a loud bassy sound with the lightest of touches as you would expect.

Its possible that a repair has been carried out/surround at some stage in these speakers past as there is evidence of glue. However, even though the glue looks tired and brittle and dry, I cant see any sections which look as though they've lifted.

"Spider" seems slightly stiff but the speaker seems to move freely in and out when pushed on. Here are a couple of videos of what im hearing and seeing.

I've just moved house and have been looking forward to setting these up again now I have the space so would love to know if they are 'fixable'!

YouTube

YouTube

YouTube
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
I've renovated an E50 before. The usual fault with the bass driver is detachment of the spider and/or rubber surround from the basket, which does not appear to have happened in your case. The cone/voice coil assembly also appears to be securely attached to the spider.

Perhaps the rubber surround has gone soft and floppy?

If all else fails, get in touch with these guys: Home - wharfedale-e-series-speakers-specialists
 
I've renovated an E50 before. The usual fault with the bass driver is detachment of the spider and/or rubber surround from the basket, which does not appear to have happened in your case. The cone/voice coil assembly also appears to be securely attached to the spider.

Perhaps the rubber surround has gone soft and floppy?

If all else fails, get in touch with these guys: Home - wharfedale-e-series-speakers-specialists

It's hard to tell. Might have gone a bit soft, there is a slight creasing. It's just strange how there is hardly any output from it. I'd have expected continuous distorted sound? :confused:

When I had the assembly out of the cabinet, I found that pressing on a certain section of the cone would make it output sound fairly normally. Is this indicative of a certain issue?

I'd be happy to do some surgery on these and replace the surrounds if that's what I though they needed. I am aware of the Wharfdale specialists you mentioned. They do a replacement set for between £200 and £260. That might be an option if all else fails but I like to try and repair things if possible and I suppose its also nice to try and maintain originality!
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
A loft is not a good storage place due to the extremes of temperature and humidity. It is possible that the voice coil/former has become swollen/distorted, particularly as you say pushing on the cone in a certain direction solves the problem.

If the cone has collapsed in the direction of the magnet back plate then the voice coil is striking the back plate as it tries to vibrate. It looked to me like pushing the cone/voice coil assembly away from the back plate allowed it to vibrate freely.

Dismantling of the driver cone assembly is probably the only way to check what the fault is.
 
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The board is indeed still populated by those capacitors. I was hoping to get the speakers out of the loft, clean them up, replace the caps and re-varnish and that would be that :(

I have no idea how to renovate the driver to be honest. I could replace a suspension ring I think but anything to do with the coil or anything like that I wouldn't know where to begin.
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
Unfortunately, I don't think replacement rubber surrounds are available direct to you anyway - the dimensions of the Wharfedale drivers are pretty unique.

When refurbished, these speakers really sing. Prior to me replacing his E50 capacitors, my friend had to use the loudness control on his amp to provide sufficient bass. That was no longer necessary after the recap, not to mention the accompanying gain in midrange clarity.

These speakers are well worth spending money on, the only proviso being the possibility of problems developing with the others drivers.

P.S. Regarding voice coil 'buzzing', your symptoms sound more like voice coil 'bottoming', as I suggested earlier. I have yet to take a look at your link.
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
This quote from the article may describe your problem:

Surrounds can fail, either due to damage or disintegration - especially foam surrounds!
This often results in the voice coil going off-centre and the speaker is soon rendered useless. Repair to the cone may be possible, if caught early.
An off-centre voice coil will scrape against the magnet pole pieces and this may be the reason for the knocking noises you are experiencing.

A new roll surround, carefully attached, may re-centre the voice coil - otherwise a complete re-coning or a replacement driver is required.
 
Thanks again for the input, Galu. Just had a look on youtube and found this.

YouTube

I've just gone back to the speakers today and pressing on the cone I can defiantly feel the coil rubbing.

The magnet on the back of my drivers has bolts that could be loosened. Might slacken them off a bit and see if I can free it up. Nothing really to loose I suppose...

I suppose if the coil is corroded and its swollen, and that's whats causing the binding, its not not going to be repairable anyway.

I think more likely is that they've been put down a little too heavily and the magnet has shifted ever so slightly.
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
The magnet on the back of my drivers has bolts that could be loosened. Might slacken them off a bit and see if I can free it up. Nothing really to loose I suppose...
Not something I would undertake lightly, but good luck!

P.S. For illustration purposes, I've attached a photo of the bass driver showing the magnet bolts, as well as a photo of my friend's E50 after renovation.
 

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