Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: ME 150HS Aquaplased surrounds 20 yrs old now.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bernard Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    355

    ME 150HS Aquaplased surrounds 20 yrs old now.

    Hello everyone.

    After reading a few posts about surrounds, foam vs cloth vs rubber and their life expectancy, I thought I would add a comment. I have had my JBL S/3100 for over 20 yrs now and the aquaplased foam surrounds still look and sound like new. I am not surprised by this as it is what I would have expected but I often do hear about surrounds drying up and splitting. I wonder if the coating has anything to do with this or is it that I do not listen at high levels? In any case, I am Name:  S-3100_1.JPG
Views: 300
Size:  451.5 KBvery happy about it and hope they will last as long as I do (I'm 71 now).

    Still loving the 3100!
    JBL S3100, VPI HM19 MKIV w/SAMA, Moerch UP4 ,Hana ML cart, Blackdog VTP , Audio Note M2 line stage, Perreaux PMF 1850.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    California
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard Wolf View Post
    Hello everyone.

    After reading a few posts about surrounds, foam vs cloth vs rubber and their life expectancy, I thought I would add a comment. I have had my JBL S/3100 for over 20 yrs now and the aquaplased foam surrounds still look and sound like new. I am not surprised by this as it is what I would have expected but I often do hear about surrounds drying up and splitting. I wonder if the coating has anything to do with this or is it that I do not listen at high levels? In any case, I am Name:  S-3100_1.JPG
Views: 300
Size:  451.5 KBvery happy about it and hope they will last as long as I do (I'm 71 now).

    Still loving the 3100!
    I have heard that moisture is a big contributor to the foam wearing out. I have the S/2600 which was shipped from Japan. That needed a refoaming before it arrived to me. They claimed it was needed every 10 years or so in the Japanese market due to the humidity and proximity to the ocean.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bernard Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    355
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanD View Post
    I have heard that moisture is a big contributor to the foam wearing out. I have the S/2600 which was shipped from Japan. That needed a refoaming before it arrived to me. They claimed it was needed every 10 years or so in the Japanese market due to the humidity and proximity to the ocean.

    Well, mine have been in the basement all of this time. I do dehumidify in the summer and then it is between 40-50%. In the winter under 30%.
    JBL S3100, VPI HM19 MKIV w/SAMA, Moerch UP4 ,Hana ML cart, Blackdog VTP , Audio Note M2 line stage, Perreaux PMF 1850.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    872
    Hi Bernard,

    I don't intend to rain on your optimism, but I wonder if the foams on your drivers are in fact in such great shape. They may LOOK like new but in my view its unlikely they would have survived intact after so many years. The fact you don't listen at high level may be part of the explanation for still looking great. Had they been driven to higher level in recent years with good bass content the foams may have shown signs of damage.

    I have woofers with foam, cloth and rubber surrounds, plus one "Hybrid" pair. Two pairs have foam surrounds, one of them being the 2214H. Their foams looked great, but the moment I pushed slightly on the foam with a finger there was a dent or hole in surround and foam was falling apart, that's how you learn about their real condition. Same thing happened with the other pair but smaller foam surround woofers.

    A good condition foam will easily pass the slight pressure on foam with finger test at a few places around the surround, and a bad one will show damage since overaged foam loses its compliance & holding together. I guarantee mine looked nice just before the "finger test", but the foam rot cancer was in them anyway.

    I'm with AlanD on this. 10-year plus foams need to be checked periodically with finger. Foam wise you can't rely on appearance only to judge them. Btw my speakers are used in almost identical conditions as yours, and don't blast myself either, but foam damage was still there even though the eyes couldn't see it without touching.

    The "Hybrid" small woofer pair is the only such one I have yet seen, not foam or rubber but rather a mix of the two: rubberized foam! May look like rubber surround on pic but to the touch they're not (texture is different), I know from having many pairs of rubber surround woofers. Really feels like "rubfoam". They've been quite reliable, have them for decades, checked them recently and still ok.

    For some years now when purchasing woofers I try to avoid those with foam surround and go instead for cloth or rubber since foam ones don't last long enough for me, plus its a hassle to refoam them properly.

    NOTE: If you're satisfied sound wise with what you presently have, maybe its not a good idea for you to finger test your woofer foams in case it makes a dent/hole in them and then you're on the hook for driver refoam jobs... Regards,

    Richard

    Name:  IMG_0482.jpg
Views: 234
Size:  66.0 KB

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Posts
    2,799
    Hello All;

    Out here in North West Las Vegas where it’s very dry and the air pollution is fairly low the surrounds on my 4435’s lasted 30 years before developing some cracks.

    The deterioration from OK but softening to cracked as judged by the “finger poken” test was about one year. Be careful with old ones.

    Having re-coned plenty of otherwise broken drivers I have been able to see just how tough “good” surrounds are. You have to try very very hard to push a finger through them. Surprisingly tough.

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Coast of Maine
    Posts
    542
    I also have S/3100's in my office. This pair was in used condition when I purchased and one of the woofers needs a re-foam. I also have a JBL 940t from the 80's that have never been re-foamed and the woofers still look good.
    Careful man, there's a beverage here!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jblnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Mass
    Posts
    898
    Our 940's will outlive us, and the cockroaches too :-)

    jblnut

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Coast of Maine
    Posts
    542
    Quote Originally Posted by jblnut View Post
    Our 940's will outlive us, and the cockroaches too :-)

    jblnut

    Ha! I think you are correct, jblnut.
    Careful man, there's a beverage here!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bernard Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    355
    I just tried the "finger" test although quite gingerly. I pressed in about 1/8th of an inch with no problem. I will not gamble going further. As the quality of the bass response never ceases to please me, I must assume the surrounds are still doing their job.

    Count me lucky or what but I will wait till they visually crack before doing that again! After all these years, in my big room with 180 watts of Mosfet power they are still wonderful!
    JBL S3100, VPI HM19 MKIV w/SAMA, Moerch UP4 ,Hana ML cart, Blackdog VTP , Audio Note M2 line stage, Perreaux PMF 1850.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    872
    Hi Bernard,

    RE I will not gamble going further.

    I agree with you not trying to push further on a 20 year foam surround. If it had been in poor condition it might well have cracked already with the 1/8" push. So as they say if it ain't broken don't fix it...

    On the other hand I note that foam surround duration is somewhat all over the map. As i recall, recently Toddalin mentioned 9 years, AllanD talked about 10 years, i got maybe 15 years on the 2214H foams and same for another small woofer pair, yours are at 20 years now, Barry mentioned getting 30 years in his very dry and low pollution environment, and jblnut/Tom have foams that will outlive them...

    Then its difficult to put a ballpark number of years on foam life. Most probably local atmospheric conditions and foam material used by the manufacturer must be relevant to their duration. Still worth checking their condition once in a while. Regards,

    Richard

  11. #11
    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    near Glasgow Scotland
    Posts
    2,088
    2235h foams from our house suppler just tipped 20 with no visible degradation..

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bernard Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    355
    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Hi Bernard,

    RE I will not gamble going further.

    I agree with you not trying to push further on a 20 year foam surround. If it had been in poor condition it might well have cracked already with the 1/8" push. So as they say if it ain't broken don't fix it...

    On the other hand I note that foam surround duration is somewhat all over the map. As i recall, recently Toddalin mentioned 9 years, AllanD talked about 10 years, i got maybe 15 years on the 2214H foams and same for another small woofer pair, yours are at 20 years now, Barry mentioned getting 30 years in his very dry and low pollution environment, and jblnut/Tom have foams that will outlive them...

    Then its difficult to put a ballpark number of years on foam life. Most probably local atmospheric conditions and foam material used by the manufacturer must be relevant to their duration. Still worth checking their condition once in a while. Regards,

    Richard
    I wonder if the Aquaplas has anything to do with it. The foam looks to be a bit thicker than what I have usually seen.
    JBL S3100, VPI HM19 MKIV w/SAMA, Moerch UP4 ,Hana ML cart, Blackdog VTP , Audio Note M2 line stage, Perreaux PMF 1850.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    103
    Good to know! Late last year I had a set of 128H's reconed by edgewound. Fantastic job, but was wondering what to expect from the foam. I'd say extremely low humidity wouldn't be good for the foam either though. I'm heavy into cars, and while all you western dry guys can boast about a solid, rust free car, your interiors and paint are shite! I'd wager between 35-50% humidity is the ticket.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Why did JBL choose aquaplased Ti-diaphragms over the good old AL-diaphragms...?
    By Dr.db in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-06-2016, 01:53 PM
  2. JBL L86 surrounds
    By freebird4808 in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-03-2011, 08:34 PM
  3. JBL LE-14 surrounds
    By NikonSP in forum Lansing Product Technical Help
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-27-2011, 09:07 AM
  4. Questions about Aquaplased diaphrams
    By Russellc in forum Lansing Product Technical Help
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-23-2007, 03:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •