Over these days I was quite busy with work and more work. But I did manage to get around to replacing the foam in one of the Beolab speakers. Not that there was anything wrong with how they sounded, but these particular models, especially the early ones, are prone to foam rot.
See, these come in two varieties: older ones have grey-brown foam, while newer ones have white. Brown one rots, becomes sticky, attaches in flakes to boards... and is conductive. White one simply doesn't do anything of the sort. The old ones, however, are guaranteed to have a proper, analogue class A/B amp for each channel, while the new ones may or may not have that. At some point B&E decided to put digital amps instead. Now, I may not be a purist, so it wouldn't matter to me plugging this into a PC, but I intend to use it with a turntable. And I'd hate this to be the only non-analogue stage. Therefore getting an older pair, with risk of brown foam.
So I opened one of them, and lo and behold, it's brown. And rotting nicely. So emergency measures in place, I ordered some fresh white foam (supposed to be official B&E, but I'm sure they don't make it themselves). Whatever. It has arrived, and cleaning began. Note to anyone who decides to do the same: it's messy. Use a newspaper or something, cleaning the table is a b1tch. Even with technical alcohol. Speaking of which, that stuff melts with alcohol, making it easier to take away... and smear it somewhere else. So, like I said, messy.
With the new foam installed, it is now so much cleaner. Note that there is nothing random about these, so even cable management I did was a bit wrong. The picture shows speaker wire on top of internal connection wires... As I found out later, that's not how to do it. It is supposed to go behind internal connection wires and on top of the foam to prevent it touching the phase inverter tube and the drivers. This prevents buzz on heavy bass (and those babies are quite capable in this regard).
Lid attached. Note that it uses T10 Torx screws, not Allen screws. There is a tiny difference that may cost you a broken screw, and these aren't easy to come by. I've ordered some replacement ones just in case, but, perhaps, I won't need them. It turns out, even if your Allen wrench won't turn one of these any more, a nice fresh Torx bit will still work just fine. Still, it is best to use proper tools for the job. So, "pirates, ye be warned".
And here they are for the first listening. I've moved them more to the sides for proper stereo effect, and began listening to all the music I have in my collection. From AC/DC to Scorpions to Gorky Park to Ellie Goulding to Depeche Mode... suffice to say, if it existed and sounded well, whatever the genre, I would try it. End result: eargasm. And it doesn't seem to be a problem that I'm using a PC sound card as input. So if someone says "good speakers on PC is a waste", don't heed that advice. Granted, I'm using SoundBlaster ZxR... Realtek might be a different picture. Still, I'm pretty sure any sound source will benefit from a good set of these. Plus, this was just a test. Ultimately they go to the turntable...
P.S. At this point I've replaced foam in one to test if they sound the same via comparison using Ear Mk.1. Seems to be no loss in quality. So the second one is coming next. Then I've got that Korg 01W/FD to fix. I've received all the switches, the new backlight, new damping foam for keyboard mechanism and a FDD emulator. All I need now is time... and a better soldering iron. 😀
P.P.S. I've also tried some MIDI through the Sound Canvas... and oh my! Literally everything sounds better. Albeit, not quite as nostalgic...