Would this damage degrade the sound?

To me it looks like this coat serves to purposes: damping of possible resonances of the surround and second as a sealant because cloth surroundings are not airtight. The latter might cause air leakage and could become problematic in a closed box.
I`d cover the the areas where the varnish is missing with some highly elastic material which is airtight. Maybe a very thin layer of silicone or something like that (applied with a small and stiff brush).

I don`t think that this will affect compliance in a perceptible way.
 
^^^Yup, The Wet Look.

[IMGDEAD]http://www.parts-express.com/images/item_large/340-513_L.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

The Wet Look™ is a new generation of high gloss polymers formulated especially for the speaker industry. This superior coating provides a protective "coat of armor" for your paper cone speakers. A special U/V inhibitor has been added to reduce the decaying effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. The Wet Look™ makes paper cones resistant to water, humidity, sun, and salt. Best of all, it's easy to apply and cleans up with soap and water. 4 oz. plastic bottle.

Available here...
 
It's for cones. If you're lucky.

You do not want anything hard and strong impregnating a fiber surround unless you're considering extremely low excursion applications. You're definitely not going to open up a can of something somebody else says you're sposta slop on a speaker cone, put it on the surround, and have it do what you want. If you don't have any expectations anything can be a success though, I guess.
 
I just followed the link in the previous post to the Wet Look product page.
A reviewer of the product state:

I may be overexcited but I swear it stiffened the cones up dramatically and has caused the speakers to sound dramatically better.

I don`t know this product but when after it cured it`s hard or "stiff" and not flexibel it might not be the right thing to use on a surrounding (and as it seems it is not intended for that purpose but for diaphragms).
 
It's for cones. If you're lucky.

You do not want anything hard and strong impregnating a fiber surround unless you're considering extremely low excursion applications. You're definitely not going to open up a can of something somebody else says you're sposta slop on a speaker cone, put it on the surround, and have it do what you want. If you don't have any expectations anything can be a success though, I guess.

Could on the other hand just let them finish deteriorating and then throw them out. :rolleyes:
 
They're essentially goofed at this point so maybe I should recommend all sorts of experimentaion just for the sake of knowledge. But the lack of technical specs on the Wet Look goop and the name of it anyway should tell you all you need to know about that product.

Generally, serious speaker driver designers don't give a wooden nickel what the cone looks like so long as it works the way they need it. When they do put some goop somewhere by hand they go through all sorts of pains to make sure the applied amount is very consistent so you don't get thick or thin spots with different characteristics or drivers that don't match. It's especially critical when treating a suspension component.
 
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Who put Varnish on a surround? You can take a decent midbass and make a midrange out of it that way. If that's what they did, apparently they decided they actually wanted a midbass, 'cause the excursion blew the varnish right off.

You'd be better off with new drivers.

It's not an aftermarket treatment, it's how they were made. I probably should have mentioned also that they are Visaton B200 drivers.