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I'd like to DEAL in, and repair kef 104/2 speakers.

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Joined: 15 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:00 am    Post subject: I'd like to DEAL in, and repair kef 104/2 speakers. Reply with quote

Hello, this is my first post and I'd like to introduce myself and solicit a little feedback if I may.

I bought my second pair of 104/2's not from the factory, but from eBay, and as you might expect close inspection has revealed a few problems.

A swift call to those ever helpful people at KEF reveals that there are NO spare parts (Except a replacement tweeter) and that the D'appolito midrange units are about as non user serviceable as was possible to make with 80's technology, (some say they were grown in extraterrestrial cloning vats).

A swift set of phone calls reveals that NO-ONE on the recommended list, will touch my b200 with the magnet fell off, (Glue Failure) and that there are few takers for the midrange rebuild that thought I might need.

SO I'm going have to dust off my speaker rebuilding skills, get a jig made up and rebuild my B200 myself. (I've doen it sucessully without a jig in my youf, but now I has done fixing aeroplanes recently, I has a new approach to engineering matters. Whilst I am at it, I may as well redo all four donuts, and clean and generally give service to them. Actually even with teh defective drive unit they were sounding really sweet, and neither I or a friend with decent ears could actually point to the effect of the missing driver, although we did no a-b testing, just listened in stereo.

I'm in the West Midlands, there is obviously a demand for someone who can do some service work on the 104's, and I figure that if I buy defective pairs I should either be able to repair them for resale or when the damage is too serious, build up a collection of parts for repair purposes.

HOWEVER, having read some of the more able and knowledgeable posters opinions and experiences with "traders" I'd like some hints and tips on what people would expect in terms of honesty / making a fair compensation for what will undoubtedly turn out to be quite an undertaking.

For instance, I reckon doing all four donuts will take me half a day to get it all apart, lay it out and clean what's cleanable, and generally make a fair assessment, BEFORE I start the scraping and gluing part. NOW a mans wage is about 1 - 200 quid a day I am told, which equates to between 12.5 and 25 quid an hour. I can get by on far less, (I do!) BUT I need to invest in stock and I am going to be paying rent and heating costs for the space it will take.

Looking at them and giving an estimate (best guess) should always be free of course, but the next step in a fair transaction is to take them apart and quote properly based on a proper asessment. Now anyone who has disassembled these bad boys for the first tiem after twenty five years service will know how easily the acess panels come apart (even with with my secret technique, invoking the might of the norse god "thor") they still take a while to get apart if you want em to go back together without looking like someone took them apart.

So that four hours of careful dismantling, which is really needed to make a proper assessment, as part of the quotation process, needs to be fairly charged. The question is what would you pay, simply to find out how your speakers will cost to get fixed? (Of course, if ones quote is accepted, before the reassembly mhas been done, then in practice it's simply part of the job, the question of "reasonableness" will only likely arise if somone does not want the job done after getting their quote. (Which if the estimate was "on the money" should not be the case, of course)

If any of our more seasoned mebers have any suggestions as to what services would be good to offer and what pitfalls I should avoid, (and of course, leads to caches of "new old stock" parts would be good) they would be much appreciated.

Obviously, I am not offering a lifetime of previous industry experience, nor do I have better ears than you when it comes to your speakers, But I do have excellent mechanical skills, recently honed afetr 5 years af careful and exacting aircraft maintenance work, lots of disparate repair experience and techniques which I can bring to bear, and I am in Central England, so I should be useful in some capacity.

It would also be nice to see some sensible pricing appear for these speakers, my Ray Cooke 104/2's cost me nearly 2,000 when new, and the modern equivalent according to the man from Kef are nearly 4K! How is one supposed to adequately value these (for insurance purposes, or sale) when a good pair looking pair of 104's failed to even fetch 480 quid last week on ebay? Admittedly those look to have the quick rot foam surrounds as opposed to the rubber types that mine have. (how many different incarnations of that B200 did they use for goodness sake?)

Food for thought anyone?
Keeping the best of the old world working for when the new world runs out of throwaway crap.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which b200 model is it exactly that you are looking for I might have a spare pair. Regards mark
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:43 am    Post subject: b200 units. Reply with quote

I have the SP1188 drivers with the "not foam" surround...

I do have high confidence that I will be able to repair my broken unit to operate exactly as if it had never broken, but if I fail I'll certainly need to buy replacements, and if I succeed, and go on to do some other work, then I'll want stock, so yes please, tell me if you have the right drive units for my speakers, and how much of that imaginary money they keep printing nowadays that you'd want for them. :c)

Thanks for the interesting, and potentially helpful reply.

Steve C.
Keeping the best of the old world working for when the new world runs out of throwaway crap.
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Joined: 26 Aug 2012
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Location: Cheltenham, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post and well done you for setting up your concept so openly. On the magnet, I know it's no comparison but my wife teaches Zumba and here PA system (not my choice) self destructed inside 2 months

Like you I draw upon a lot of mechanical and electrical systems engineering skills so I ripped the box apart to find one of the 8" woofers (surprisingly sophisticated) had thrown a magnet clean off the back !

I worked out a nice quick way of recentring the magnet using a scope and a swept sine wave to look for linearity and reattached it with glue.

Rebuilt, stuffed some baf In the cabinet and presto !

On your B200's I'm sure you could do the same but It might be better to remove the foam and donut off to gain access to the airgap. In this way using shims to centre, you can be really sure the magnet is in them right place.
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