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cleaning speakers...?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 43% burnt, May 15, 2005.

  1. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I was wondering if anyone might have any insight on this. I used to store my cabs in my basement in between gigs. I noticed they have some discoloration that appears to be mildew on the cones. As far as i can tell, it doesn't affect my sound. Can I clean this off? If so, what should i use? Will it harm my speakers?

    If anone has had a similar experience, I'd appreciate some advice. Thanks.
  2. shnapper


    May 1, 2005
    I did a search on the net because I found your thread interesting. I could only find Mildew associated with "marine" or "outdoor" speakers that are exposed to high levels of moisture. Certain sites only list facts about speakers being coated to resist "damage causing moisture and mildew. I assume your cones are paper and have grown some type of mildew related bacteria. I would just leave them alone and store them in a very dry place in the future. I could find nothing about cleaning paper speaker cones. If your cones were the hartke aluminum or some type of polypropylene you could probably get away with lightly wiping them with a soft cloth. ;)
  3. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    It could just be dirt thats accumulated over the years...but I'm afraid to put anything on them like cleaning solution. It could damage them. Maybe just water would work, but i'm not sure if it would breakdown/weaken the speaker...hmm. I'm not touching em. Unless i get a professional opinion. Maybe I'll email genz benz and ask them.
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Don't forget that your speaker cones are probably some sort of paper, so moisture is the enemy. Cleaning speaker cones with anything "wet" is a bad idea. At most, a semi-damp cloth that's not wet enough to leave any water behind.

    I'd be inclined to re-think your storage, even if it just means throwing a tarp over the cab when it's not in use. Or perhaps getting a proper cover made up.

    Also, Partsexpress have a product which sprays onto speaker cones and creates a protective coating once it dries. Apparently the added mass to the cone can affect yout speakers T/S parameters slightly, so don't use too much. Try to keep the application as thin as possible and it should be ok.
  5. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Thanks. Yea, I already began storing them in my living room instead. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?
  6. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    Ditto to what Petebass said. A slightly damp cloth should get them clean. You can also use an old toothbrush to gently brush off the surrounds. A thin coat of Mod Podge puzzlecoat (available at craft stores everywhere) will seal your cones without affecting the sound too much.

  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I used methyl alcohol (shellac thinner) on an Eminence Kappa Pro cone and it worked well. I'd worry about water warping the cone.
  8. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Thanks, good advice...im gonna try the dry toothbrush first.
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Be careful with it, though. Dont forget it's just paper and it might be damaged if you brush it too hard or in the wrong direction...

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