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One of the most-asked questions we receive about speaker repair for vintage Snell Acoustics speakers is what to do about the deterioration of the foam surrounds. It was always Snell Acoustics' policy not to re-foam their speakers. The main reason for that policy is the difficulty of predicting a consistent, good outcome of re-foaming while maintaining the Snell Acoustics audio performance standard of +/- 0.5dB from the engineering reference.
If you have speakers that have been re-foamed and you are not happy with their performance, you can usually get your Snell Acoustic speakers back to original factory specification by replacing the drivers with our hand-tuned replacements. When you order replacement parts from our store, you are buying all the Snell Acoustics parts necessary to bring your speaker back to life! Have a look through our Snell drivers catalog to find what you need.
Snell also sites the following details on why re-foaming causes issues:
The compliance of the cone suspension is determined by the foam and the spider, obtaining the right foam compliance to properly work with the other materials is, at best, inexact.
Cone excursion is a critical spec. Replacement surrounds can lack sufficient travel.
Gluing the foam to the basket and woofer cone, while keeping it aligned is critical, and difficult to do. There can be no interruption of the glue seam or an air leak will result. Too much glue can cause added mass, or alter the compliance of the surround.
The resting position of the foam can affect the location of the voice coil to the magnetic field. Therefore, the offset of the replacement foam must exactly match the offset of the original factory foam. This issue is often not considered when a new surround is installed.
Lastly, the paper cone and other soft parts, in addition to the foam, break down over time. New and re-coned woofers use new parts.
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