Speaker Cone Dust Affecting Tone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Variable, Jul 12, 2018 at 1:42 PM.


  1. Variable

    Variable Member

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    So, the other day I was playing my PWE EH3 through my oldest 2x12, an EarCandy buzzbomb that I used to love the dickens out of. It has a pair of Guytron BigTone 55 speakers in it. I kept wondering why this amp sounded so bad through it since the BigTone speakers are meant to be in the flavor of a V30, which Ted has said is the speaker he uses most with the EH3.

    Wondering why this cab, which always used to be my favorite, sounded bad, I proceeded to pull the speakers and make sure the leads were still good, not corroded, etc. Put the speaker back in after everything checked out, checked my DMM to make sure the ohms rating was correct, and the cab still sounded bad. Very buzzy (no pun intended), harsh upper midrange that can't be dialed out, sort of like a really nasty treble response overall. When I compared it to my beat to hell VHT/Fryette Fatbottom with well broken-in P50Es, there was no contest. The VHT cab was far better.

    I then, on a whim, grabbed a microfiber cloth and cleaned the dust off the paper cones for both speakers.

    To my surprise, NOW the cab sounds like I remember: punchy, great woody midrange, no annoying frequencies.

    So, my question to y'all is, would a bunch of dust piled on the cones over the years really have that big of an affect on the tone?
     
  2. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Member

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    I seems like it would have to be a LOT of dust to have a noticeable effect on your tone.
     
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  3. Variable

    Variable Member

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    I did the same on my VHT 4x12 afterwards, and that also seemed to open up the tone a little, though the VHT cab had much less dust on the speakers. There was a good film of dust on the 2x12 cab, though, enough where I notice how much blacker the speakers are. I've had them for something like 10 years and never cleaned them till this week.
     
  4. teveinsene

    teveinsene Member

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    In my experience, through the years speakers in an enclosed cab do indeed sometimes get very dusty, interesting what you heard.
     
  5. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Or maybe just the fact you pulled them and re torquing them changed the coupling to the cab if they are now tighter or looser than they were. Just thought.
     
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  6. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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  7. BudLite

    BudLite Supporting Member

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    Leave the dust there, it's gives you a better dirty tone,...
     
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  8. Variable

    Variable Member

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    Ted Stevenson, the owner of PWE.
     
  9. Variable

    Variable Member

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    I thought about that, too. I only pulled one speaker in that cab, though, and left the other mounted. Not really sure what it was at this point.
     
  10. Bluplirst

    Bluplirst Supporting Member

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    You don't want to start the tonedust debate. Very strong feelings on both sides.
     
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  11. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    I had to google PWE.

    Ill cut up my tgp card.
     
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  12. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Member

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    I still remember the big dustup over it back in ‘16!

    Brutal!
     
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  13. 6Tones

    6Tones Supporting Member

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    it was the dust mites eating up your tone.
    Fairy dust is the dust you seek, the grail of tone.
     
  14. Alton

    Alton Member

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    I would tend to think pulling them then reinstalling/retorquing them did the most good. Guitar speaker frames though often made of steel are really NOT that strong and it can be a challenge making and equal tension on EACH bolt that is not distorting the frame yet keeping the speaker securely mounted. Put down the screwgun and use a driver similar to a screwdriver to set your support bolt tension.
     
  15. wetordry

    wetordry Member

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    My cone dope is like a cat hair magnet.
     
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  16. vr6pilot

    vr6pilot Member

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  17. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    ^ Don't let an amateur near yr speaks!
    They can't resist poking the dust covers.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. grumphh

    grumphh Member

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    When i have a speaker cone dust problem i usually just pour some pure alcohol on the speakers and light it. This will burn away the dust and your speakers will sound crisp and as new again.

    Don't use denatured alcohol, the residue from the denaturing chemicals will kill your speakers top end response.




    Seriously, if you have speaker cone dust problems that you can hear, you may just as well burn your speakers :)
     
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  19. Frankenstratocaster

    Frankenstratocaster Member

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    Now I have to worry about speaker cone dust, too!
     
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  20. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I dunno. .
    I’m not getting how dust and dirt on the cone would make the high end harsh, more likely attenuate it if anything.

    I could see pulling the speaker and re-installing it having an effect on the bass and punch, and hearing the relative diff as you describe, but the "harsh dust" seems intuitively backwards to me.

    I have "fixed" quite a few things over the years by taking them apart and reassembling them tho.
    Sometimes just showing the thing a little attention is all you need to do.
    When you're done, the problem remains a mystery but who cares? It's better.
     
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