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shadow
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Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: Apr 5 2012 - 9:02pm
PSB Alpha B, needs repair

I just recently purchased a set of used PSB Alpha B's. Everything was fine until I (due to my own clumsiness) managed to get the sleeve of my sweater caught up with the tonearm/cartridge of my turntable as I was lifting up to flip a record over. The tonearm slammed down and hit the record as I pulled back when I felt the contact, and a very loud and audible series of pops and clicks followed as my amp was still at the level it was when playing the previous side of the record (I'm new to the vinyl world and haven't quite gotten into the habit of being more careful + reducing the volume on the amp when flipping sides).

Anyway, since this happened (just this afternoon) there is an audible "fluttering" noise whenever the turntable puts the needle to the record (I suspect there is also damage to the cantilever), this effect can be heard by listening to the short clip I uploaded to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p2rdUzBdTs

Additionally when testing to see if the damage was isolated to the turntable, there is an audible "buzz" or vibration when source material contains a low frequency sound. I believe I have isolated the noise as coming from the center dust cap but am unsure.

There does not appear to be any overt signs of damage on the rubber surrounds or where the cone attaches to the surrounds. I did remove the driver from the chassis and inspect the underside, there do not appear to be any rips or tears in the material.

Here is another audio clip indicating the buzz (for reference, the balance control was 100% to the left, the volume was @ 1.5 on the amp, and the camera was held approximately 3-4 inches from the face of the speaker): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5K6O0NS-pU

I should also note that the right channel has not exhibited these symptoms as are present in the left.

Also of note, and very good reason as to why I will never again purchase speakers used over the internet, is the former owner was an obviously heavy smoker, and these things reek. 

I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to replace the single driver (if that is indeed the issue)and put in the effort to de-stink these decent entry level speakers, or consider my 150 bucks plus shipping thrown away.

I'm seriously considering just throwing these as is into the garage where the smell of motor oil and gasoline far outranks that of stale cigarette smoke. I don't really want these in my house anymore!

jackfish
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Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Dump 'em,

lesson learned.

Reputable internet sellers will advise whether or not units were in a smoke free environment. Ask before you buy. If the item is misrepresented you have recourse on eBay and AudiogoN. AudiogoN is a good place to do internet audio shopping.

shadow
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Joined: Apr 5 2012 - 9:02pm
Figured as much
jackfish wrote:

lesson learned.

Reputable internet sellers will advise whether or not units were in a smoke free environment. Ask before you buy. If the item is misrepresented you have recourse on eBay and AudiogoN. AudiogoN is a good place to do internet audio shopping.

Thanks, my problem is that I live in a remote area so availability to view products in person is scarce. I'll dump these and take the 200 dollar hit, shitty nonetheless.

jgossman
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Regarding the smell

Clean them with bleach or ammonia based Windex.  If they are vinyl covered, which I suspect they are, wipe them down with an automotive vinyl protectant when you are done.  If they are wood, immediately treat them with some form of oil.  I'd use a tung oil followed by a coat automotive paste wax the nest day.  Regardless of what anyone tells you, you can get the smell of smoke out of wood and doing so will also rejuvinate the wood.  And smoke doesn't affect the sound of the speakers.  Don't get all silly season over nothing.

Regarding the sound, make sure the lead wires are either secured to the frame or pulled away significantly to not be rattling against the cone, creating a buzz.  I've had this happen and it was a quick fix.

shadow
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Think I found the problem...
jgossman wrote:

Clean them with bleach or ammonia based Windex.  If they are vinyl covered, which I suspect they are, wipe them down with an automotive vinyl protectant when you are done.  If they are wood, immediately treat them with some form of oil.  I'd use a tung oil followed by a coat automotive paste wax the nest day.  Regardless of what anyone tells you, you can get the smell of smoke out of wood and doing so will also rejuvinate the wood.  And smoke doesn't affect the sound of the speakers.  Don't get all silly season over nothing.

Regarding the sound, make sure the lead wires are either secured to the frame or pulled away significantly to not be rattling against the cone, creating a buzz.  I've had this happen and it was a quick fix.

I took a few minutes to look for any other signs of damage, I suspect the buzz is due to the spider seperating from the housing as seen here: http://ubuntuone.com/5HSzzTnfkkaba12sfJvsyH

I'm waiting to call the PSB distributor on Monday to see about pricing out a woofer replacement.

As for your comment about getting silly over nothing, I'm pretty sure I didn't imply the smell had anything to do with the performance of the speaker, or was that just your inference? I was tired, and perhaps the contexts were blurred; in any event they are two seperate issues.

bfrisch12
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I am having the exact same

I am having the exact same problem with my speakers right now: the spider has separated from the housing. What did you do to solve the problem? I can't figure out where to buy a replacement woofer.

John Atkinson
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Re: Replacement Woofer

bfrisch12 wrote:

I am having the exact same problem with my speakers right now: the spider has separated from the housing. What did you do to solve the problem? I can't figure out where to buy a replacement woofer.

You didn't say what brand your loudspeaker was. The first step would be to contact the dealer from whom you purchased it, then the manufacturer. Unless the loudspeaker is very old, the manufacturer should have replacement units.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

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