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Is tweeter ferrofluid replacement due to age worthwhile?


al_roethlisberger
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I'm a new member and have just recently discovered Snell speakers.

I've picked up a set of Type E III and Type Ci speakers recently and am learning about those models and Snell in general.

As is obvious, both sets of these speakers are 30+ years old, and debatably might benefit from some maintenance.

I'll say up front that both sets seem to play fine, and have both had their woofer foam surrounds replaced by previous owners, and I understand the potential concerns some might raise there regarding replacing the surrounds versus whole driver replacement from AtomicHiFi. 

And I'd be interested in refreshing any electrolytic capacitors in the crossovers, and again I've read a lot about varying opinions on that topic too. 

That being said, feel free to offer any experience or advice on those topics.

 

One additional thing I'm curious about though are the tweeters.  Again, by ear all the tweeters seem to be working fine, so maybe the short answer is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"  😉  And I'm generally fully supportive of that  position as I don't need to invent new things to do, or break what isn't.

But with age some say that ferrofluid in tweeters dries out and gets sticky, and to maintain/recapture the original performance the ferrofluid should be replaced, or the tweeter entirely replaced.  There are kits to refresh the ferrofluid, and new correct tweeters are available for relatively low cost.

So what are others' thoughts on the need to refresh ferrofluid in tweeters of this age, and if anyone has experienced doing so?

Thanks in advance!

 

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BTW, this is a good brief on the topic from Ken Kantor:

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/i-asked-ken-kantor-if-ferrofluid-can-dry-up.756802/

 

And a couple others to add to the consideration:

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/the-ferrofluid-dilemma-fact-or-fiction.757847/

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/how-long-does-ferrofluid-last.529872/I'

 

With my Snell Type Ci speakers the front & rear, and rear tweeters of the E III speakers appear to be the same Vifa tweeters that may still be available very inexpensively, and all are available properly matched from AtomicHiFi.  So the effort to research and perform any ferrofluid may not be the best use of my time, even if arguably necessary.  We'll see.  I'm still curious if anyone has looked into this specifically for the old Snell tweeters though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a conversation with Steven at AtomicHiFi, who is the last and only supporter of Snell products since Snell went out of business. Via his many decades of experience with Snell, his advice is that both the tweeters as found in the Type Ci and Type E III (and some other models using the same tweeters) do not typically have issues with ferrofluid leaking or drying out. 

And unless the tweeters in these models look physically damaged, or otherwise exhibits performance problems, he does not recommend disassembling the tweeters to clean and replace ferrofluid or replacing the tweeters.  He says they generally do not fail and are very durable.

He did say that some of the very earliest silk dome tweeters used in early Snell products can have issues with the ferrofluid leaking, and the tweeter doping drying out and cracking.  Those tweeters are not worth trying to repair, and should be replaced with later model appropriate tweeters as used by Snell.

Steven is great to chat with, and is very generous in sharing his expertise and experience with supporting Snell products.  If one has questions on this topic specific to Snell products, I would highly encourage giving Steven a call.

 

https://www.atomichifiandtv.com/about.html

 

 

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