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paper speaker cone infected with mold.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by billoetjen, May 1, 2010.

  1. just scored what seemed like a bargain (!) on Craig's List. Ampeg BA112 American-made, of uncertain vintage. Everything looked okay on the outside; sounded on-par at the guy's house; and the controls all worked right and no odd noises. I didn't bother to look under the grill cloth because the grills on these units can be a pain to remove.

    Got it home :meh: and the upper mid sounded more nasally than I expected. Yanked the grill and found pretty substantial growth of mold in spots across the cone and dust cap. Even more concentrated in the surround. A quick look with a flashlight through the port in back didn't reveal any.

    Now, I can't tell if I am finding fault with the tone because I saw the mold, or if the mold might actually affect the sound.

    Any suggestions? Treat the cone? Replace the driver? Any cab experts out there want to weigh-in?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    You need to get that cab out of your house before the mold causes major health issues with you and your family. Go move it to the garage NOW.

    FIX. Buy some chlorine bleach like a bottle of chlorox. The real basic stuff, pure chlorine and water mix; the really smelly stuff, not some marketing BS Chlorine substitute. Then mix it about 7-10:1 further reduced with water in a spray bottle and spray a rag and wash the cone gently with the rag. Don't be afraid to lightly spray the cone. It is already junk, you are trying to bring it back. If you fail throw it away.

    You will want to wear gloves and a mask.

    You are trying to kill a living organism that is trying to kill you. Don't let it succeed.

  3. maybe someone can ask Greenboy or one of the other really knowledgeable guys to jump in. I'm reluctant to apply any liquid to a paper cone; that has to mess with the structural integrity of the thing.
  4. j_nition


    Jul 28, 2009
    Mold is everywhere, on many of the surfaces in your home already, present in most air you breathe daily. Not all of it is toxic and most of the time its not a big deal.

    Not a big deal. I would say that the fact that mold is growing on the paper cone is a tell tale sign that it's been through a small water damage or stored in a high moisture space for an extended period of time. If the electronics fire up and are without serious corrosion, thats the more important issue.

    I you feel like you need to treat the mold with something, ask a janitorial supply store for a quaternary disinfectant like Microban to stop it from activley growing during levels of high humidity in the summer.
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Mold and other fungi are pretty ubiquitous. Did it damage the cone and cause a sonic difference? probably and maybe. Put it outside and crank it up! disinfectants and dehumidification in the storage are may kill it off entirely and some loud playing should damage the hyphae quite a bit and disperse any spores.
  6. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    You cant be too careful with this highly threatening organic material.
    I know about this stuff, I used to live in Grenada!, One day a little green/black spot appears in the grouting between the tiles in the bath room and the next thing you know. Rampant mildew in your underwear!.:eek:
  7. EXKid


    Aug 10, 2008
    If nothing else it represents the presence of moisture. I'd tend to think if you clear out the mold from the surface of the cone and the tone issue still exists, the moisture made it to the voice coil and started to corrode either it or the leads or something.
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, if you just misted the cone a couple of times with a water/bleach mixture, (i.e mist, let it dry and re-mist) it shouldn't cause any more damage to the cone that has already been done by the previous moisture that it has obviously encountered.

    .......or just have the speaker reconed.
  9. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    very few molds are that dangerous
    lightly misted chlorox or microban or recone and you're good to go
    I have a VT40 that has slight mold on the speakers and grill cloth; been like that since the early 80's; be careful not to remove the funk when you clean the mold

  10. T o o l a t e

    I ' m t y p i n g t h i s i n
    a n I C U w i t h b y b l i n k i n g a t a n L E D

    I l e a v e m y SX m o d d e d P t o Bo ng o m a n i a.

    But seriously, I'm not worried about the stuff I just want the driver to be 100% pristine and as new as the rest of the hulkin hunk.
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    uh oh, judging by the odd typing it seems you've contracted ergot poisoning!!! :D
  12. Whoa, that would explain why my old Phish albums sound so good through it.
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    This is good advice.

    I used to live in the Caribbean, and it was so humid year-round that EVERYTHING used to grow mold on it. We had to keep "heat bars" in the closets to keep moisture down so mold wouldn't grow on everything. I remember pulling out a suit jacket once and the entire back was covered in green fuzzy mold, and it had only been two weeks since I'd worn it. :eek:

    All of the musicians down there used to get mold on their speakers. We did exactly as Bob recommended above, every month or two. It worked like a charm every time, but you must be gentle when you rub the speaker.
  14. Bleach doesn't work very well. Use something meant for mold, like Mold-x or similar.
  15. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    According to the EPA chlorine bleach works as well as anything
    Have been involved in some mold remediation projects on residential projects that had air sample tests and wipe tests done before and after treatment and bleach kicks butt

    Interesting thing on the air sample tests in that no matter how clean the space, the outside air can very greatly from day to day with concentration of mold spores

    As I recall, aspergelious is the bad one for children, oldsters, and anyone with breathing issues
    Besides, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger
  16. Update - I keep all my gear in a well-dehumidified basement practice space. Mold won't have a chance to extend itself. So I'm not even bothering myself about it. As for the tone, it seems that the seller told the truth about never using the amp. The BA112 must not have seen any duty, because the driver just needed to break-in. Hard to believe but he had it for YEARS and didn't use it. The tone opened up beautifully and it sounds just the way I expected it to. Me very happy!
  17. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Oh ... the drama! ;)
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    The BA112 is a great little amp. I use mine for acoustic gigs with my Tacoma Thunderchief or my acoustic upright. Not loud, but great tone! Take the time to disinfect it ... it won't hurt a thing, and you'll feel better about it.
  19. Smurf-o-Deth

    Smurf-o-Deth ¡No me gustan mis pantalones!

    Oct 2, 2007
    The state of denial.
    Nothin' cleanses like fire. All I'm sayin'.
  20. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    i'd just play it and not worry at all..

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