Speaker aging !?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Johannes, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Hi!
    I'm about to buy a used cabinet stack, which is the Trace Elliot 1153 + 2103H. I find their sound very pleasing and already needed some serious cabs long time ago. The person i'll buy it from has used 'em on a regular basis for several years, but never pushing them to their limits or beyond (I know him, he's my Bass teacher!).
    Despite his good treatment of the cabs, could it be, that the speakers may decay or something, loose their flexibility (especially those parts made of rubber!) ???
    Please give me some advice, I have GAS and want to buy as soon as possible!!! :p

  2. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I'm not an expert in this area, but speakers can change their characteristics over time. From what I've read, there is "green" stiffness exhibited by brand new speakers, and it goes away after a little bit of serious use. As long as speakers aren't abused, they usually age gracefully. One thing I do know is that drivers using certain kinds of foam rubber surrounds are subject to "foam rot" - chemicals in the atmosphere (ozone, primarily) break down the rubber molecules and the surround falls apart. I've had this happen to some hi-fi woofers I've had. Rather than losing their flexibility (as you mentioned), their flexibility *increases* - the holes in the surround drastically reduce the restoring function of the suspension.

    I think paper accordion surrounds last *much* longer. I have some 15" musical instrument woofers that are probably around 30 years old and show no sign of breakdown.

    Ultimately your ears will tell you if something's wrong. If you like the sound of the cabinets, go ahead and buy them. It's always a good idea to look for visible signs of damage on the cones and the surrounds, odor of burned coil insulation, etc. And you should play them briefly at a high level to make sure there isn't a hidden defect, such as a coil rubbing or other misalignment.

    - Mike
  3. Thank you Mike, it seems that you've understood what I mean !:)
  4. jcadmus


    Apr 2, 2000
    There was a discussion about this in Bassplayer magazine a few months back -- talked about speaking aging and how often to re-cone.
  5. fachie3


    Nov 12, 2001
    Chicago IL.
    I had a mesa boogie 1x15 speaker re- coned.
    I had it for abour 5 years and noticed a buzzing sound coming from it after checking and double checking to make sure there was nothing loose I brought into a friend who has a shop that works on speakers and musical equipment. We hooked it up to a meter and it was tired very tired - so I sent it back to EV to be re-coned. Mesa Speakers can be expensive and this solution worked out best for me.
    So to answer your question they can get tired and lose their sound.

    Hope that helped.
  6. I hope that this will not happen do me all too soon!:(