2 plus 2, Grill Cloth, Cleaning

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Ronald Hicks2004-02-23 22:21

I removed the beige grill socks from my 2+2\'s for cleaning as part of a general upgrade and checkout of the system. After handwashing them in Woolite, they still had a grayish tinge over the panel areas and a much \'cleaner\' look over the areas that were supported by the frames. I then had them dry-cleaned, but without much additional improvement (although it was somewhat noticeable compared to the original state). My question is: do the charged panel attract dust from the area and \'embed\' in the fabric over the years? After disassembly, I found a sticker indicating a manufacturing date of June 1982, so I would think 20 years of exposure to the sun and elements would have taken its toll. The cleaner said the fabric was \'permanently discolored\'.

Also, with long term exposure to the sun damage the panels in any way? Like I assume many others, mine are near a window that gets some direct sun and I was concerned about the electrostatic equivalent of foam rot; with the ultraviolet drying out the mylar and such. But being originally made in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, maybe this was compensated for.


Andy Szabo2004-02-23 22:21

I\'m not surprised that your beige grille cloth has become discolored after twenty years. In fact, it is a testament to the quality of the original material, and to the good care that you have provided, that the grille cloth is not in worse condition. The electrostatic element can attract dust, so the darker areas would be expected where the dust can be drawn to the cloth. Furthermore, normal air movement would tend to trap more dirt in these areas, since the air can move freely through the cloth.

I am not aware of any reported problems with the plastic louvers or Mylar diaphragm due to sunlight exposure. Any plastic will eventually degrade when exposed to long-term sunlight. Adding a UV-inhibitor to the plastic will slow down the process. I don\'t know if any of the plastics in the speaker are UV-treated. The louver structure was originally intended for use as a diffuser in fluorescent light fixtures, so it might be.

The good news is that the degradation, if any, will be nothing like the familiar ”foam rot” that has ruined the foam surround on so many woofers. That degradation actually causes the foam to break apart and turn to dust. For the plastic materials used in Acoustats, I would expect, at most, some discoloration and perhaps an increase in brittleness.

If you are asking about sunlight exposure with the intent of operating the speaker without grille cloth, I would recommend against it. The cloth offers significant protection to the panels from dust, sunlight, and pointy objects, and of course, enhances the ”Spousal Acceptance Factor” of the speaker! There is a source of new grille cloths listed under ”Replacement Parts”.

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