Hey there! Do you have a couple loudspeakers from 1992 lying around that you may or may not have run at obscenely loud levels? Do they perhaps have reduced base response as a result? Well if your speakers have Black Widow drivers in them, This might just be your post! While thrashing a couple beautiful Peaveys, I noticed that there was odd distortion from the low-end audio. Now, I'm no audiophile, but I know when the bass response is off. I did some exploratory surgery on one, and discovered that the foam from the rear of the magnet, had degraded and made it between the coil and the magnet, gumming it up. This is a guide on how to clean said foam gunk out.
- Allen wrench (for the magnet)
- Exacto knife or another thin knife/spudger to clean the magnet
- Impact wrench (for removing stubborn screws and bolts)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Microfiber cloth
- Air duster can (for blowing out the magnet)
Step 1: First, Remove the Two Top Impact Guards
There is one on the left and right, remove both from the top and carefully place them aside. Don't bother with the bottom ones, That will only present more time upon reassembly.
Step 2: Now, Remove the Cover, Then Remove the Driver
Removing the cover is a simple task of pulling the cover apart from the heavy duty hook and loop fasteners behind. Make sure not to loose any of the fasteners, as they are what prevents the cover from vibrating and causing distortion during operations. If one of the fasteners comes off, use a staple gun or small screws to reattach it, as it will improve sound quality later on.
The drivers are quite heavy and attached with two cables, simply remove all the surrounding screws from the speaker and lay the driver on a flat surface clean of particulate. I found that laying it down on my legs while all my tools were within arms reach works best, as it allows for good access and I didn't damage the cone so, all is well!
Step 3: Next, Remove the Magnet
This is where the problem lies, the grill has foam that degrades, clean whatever foam may be left from the grill before doing anything else as the problem could reoccur.
Removing the Magnet:
The magnet is the heaviest part of the driver, remove the three allen bolts with an allen wrench, or in my case, an impact wrench. Then twist the magnet to unseat it and lift directly up to pull it off of the coil. The bolts may be difficult to remove, but be patient and unthread them all the way and remove them and place them where they won't be attracted to the magnet. It would be catastrophic (although unlikely) if the bolts were to be attracted THROUGH the cone. You've been warned. The same goes for all of the other bolts in the build.
I used an Exacto knife into the magnet to clean out the gunk, but you can use whatever makes sense for you. Then, use compressed air (or blow) out the loose particulate. It would be stupid to just let it sit, and it's difficult to shake it out.
Step 4: Next, Clean the Coil
As you can see, there is a substance on the inside of the coil. I used an Exacto knife to get the majority off and acetone to get the rest off. You may use less harsh chemicals if you wish.
I have run into matter on the outside of the coil as well. If there is gunk on the outside DO NOT USE A KNIFE TO REMOVE IT! YOU COULD PERMINANTLY RENDER THE SPEAKER DYSFUNCTIONAL. Just be careful! Use alcohol for the outside, acetone could remove the coating on the coil and damage it as well!
Now follow the steps backward to reassemble. And you're all done, get back to enjoying your listening experience!