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'Speaker Restoration

 
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b3rtie
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 19
Location: loughborough UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 8:53 pm    Post subject: 'Speaker Restoration Reply with quote

Does anyone have any advice on the restoration of veneer to KEF or any other speakers? The veneer on mine is quite battered round the corners and I was considering either a total re-cover or repair. I dont know how the veneer might come off since construction is only chipboard. I am worried about bringing off large bits of the cabinet underneath.

Any advice or recomendation of books/websites?

Are KEFs like antiques, the more altered from original the less they are worth? (!) Would it matter if I changed the grille cloth, cable connectors or internal bits of the cabinet? To me these would be an improvement from standard. I was considering changing the grille cloth although Wilmslow Audio supply these, along with other accessories.
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terry
Senior Contributor 200+


Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 7:46 pm    Post subject: Re: 'Speaker Restoration Reply with quote

b3rtie wrote:
Does anyone have any advice on the restoration of veneer to KEF or any other speakers? The veneer on mine is quite battered round the corners and I was considering either a total re-cover or repair. I dont know how the veneer might come off since construction is only chipboard. I am worried about bringing off large bits of the cabinet underneath.

Any advice or recomendation of books/websites?

Are KEFs like antiques, the more altered from original the less they are worth? (!) Would it matter if I changed the grille cloth, cable connectors or internal bits of the cabinet? To me these would be an improvement from standard. I was considering changing the grille cloth although Wilmslow Audio supply these, along with other accessories.


You have another possibility when restoring the appearance and that is to put a completely new covering onto the speaker. I have done this quite successfully. I simply attached pine boarding over the original chipboard. You don't need to take off the veneer. You do of course need some woodworking skills. There was no degradation in the sound. In fact I think that it improved the sound. the speakers were of course much heavier.

Old KEFs tend not to be worth much. If you are selling KEFs I hate to say it but most of the time the best thing to do is to sell the drive units separately. Just now prices tend to as follows: T27s fetch around 50; B110s around 110; B139s around 60. For Concertos you might only get 120 including all the drive units. I think that you should change the grille cloths and others bits and pieces as the speakers are still fantastic. They are as capable as anything new which costs 1500. Remember to add spikes to the speakers. If you then sit them on concrete slabs or a nice heavy piece of marble they will sing. A veil will be lifted.
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b3rtie
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 19
Location: loughborough UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 9:34 pm    Post subject: Restoration Reply with quote

Thanks Terry for the advice.

Adding extra panelwork to the existing boxes will improve the sound since the speaker walls will be thicker and less prone to resonate. A friend of mine re-boxed his concerto drivers into 3 enclosures, 1 enclosure for each of the drivers with excellent results. Another friend is considering this move. I'm undecided so far, still need to explore all the options.

I have fitted better connectors and will fit new grille cloth some time soon.

Did you try fitting sound deadening sheets to the internal walls? My Wharfale-Dovedales worksed so much better with these, alot less box-boom and more detail. definately worthwhile.
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terry
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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three years ago I changed the tweeters to Scan-Speak D2905-9300; had new cross-overs (tri-wired) built by Wilmslow Audio, internal wiring replaced, external (binding posts) connections changed to accommodate tri-wiring (all from Wilmslow Audio). I then added spikes and sat the spiked speakers on concrete slabs which are surrounded with wood. Felt pieces on the bottom face of the stands protect the wooden floors. The speakers are now incredibly easy to move - they just glide over the floor.

I didn't change the damping material at all but I have been thinking about that. I have also thought quite a lot about re-boxing the drive units as you suggest to isolate them from each other. One additional tweak I have been wondering about is to re-locate the crossover units to some spot externally on the back of speakers like Naim SBLs. I would attach them in some way that would acoustically isolate the crossovers from the speakers.
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b3rtie
Junior Contributor 10+


Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 19
Location: loughborough UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen some of the pictures on your website. The speakers certainly look solid! How did you integrate the marble slab and the spiked cabinet? Can the slabs be removed?

What difference did the scan-speak tweeter and the change of x-overs make? A friend of mine did this, although I havent heard the results.
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terry
Senior Contributor 200+


Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

b3rtie wrote:
I've seen some of the pictures on your website. The speakers certainly look solid! How did you integrate the marble slab and the spiked cabinet? Can the slabs be removed?

What difference did the scan-speak tweeter and the change of x-overs make? A friend of mine did this, although I havent heard the results.


The speakers are solid with double thickness sides, top and bottom. I used simple concrete slabs from B&Q and surrounded them with wood on all sides except the top. Felt pads were put on the wooden bottom so that they would slide easily on the wooden floors. The spikes are attached to the undersides of the speakers and they sit on the top of the concrete 'plinths'. You will maybe see that in the photos below.





The plinths can be removed from under the speakers but two strong people would be required to lift each speaker. As they are they glide over the floor with ease.

If I was to be honest the scan-speak gave a dryer sound but did not provide more detail as far as I could hear - despite its specification. I wouldn't say it improved the quality of the sound - it was just different. The T27 is 'warmer'.

The crossovers (110) and the tweeters (128.80) were changed at the same time and I didn't take time to disentangle the effects of the crossovers from the effects of the tweeter changes. Perhaps they did make a difference but it was nothing like the difference that the spikes and slabs made. If I was doing it all again I probably wouldn't change the tweeters and I wouldn't change the crossovers but I would recommend the concrete plinths (6 approx including wood) and the spikes (17.50).
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