My frustrating experience of cleaning the S3 MKII Beryllium tweeter

goodattiDUDE

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2017
4
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I think if someone sees this title, some of them must shaking their heads. It is indeed a troublemaker thread. :oops:

Although this is my first thread, I'm quite active in this forum and have built a few good connections with members here. I've talked to Ack a lot in PM and gained a lot of experience from him to build a satisfying system (Magico S3 + Spectral SV combo). And I also learned a lot from this forum. For that, I really appreciate it.

But recently, I've done something rare and stupid on my S3 tweeter and don't think someone will have such similar experience, hence I share it here for help.

It all started with the misconduct of the housekeeper. I caught her using the micro-cloth wiping the whole front side of the speakers straightforward, I stopped her but it was a bit too late and cannot blame her much. Then I found there were a few water mark or stain-ish things (detergent maybe) left on the tweeter of my both speakers. I was aware that leave it there will be much safer than trying to cleaning it off and I was also aware of the "do not touch the tweeter" wording on the magico manual. But I just cant stop my OCD and I was so curious to clean it off.

I did do some research before trying: like checking out some science paper of "the corrosion of the beryllium" so that I know that it will be safe to use distilled water or even ethanol to clean the beryllium without any corrosion (https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/824446.pdf)


During my day in college, I used to work in the biochemistry lab doing lots of analytical tasks and so I feel confident that I have a delicate hands to conduct the clean carefully. Plus, I was also thinking people cleaning the CMOS sensors of the camera, so BE tweeter can't be more delicate than that.

So I prepared a bottle of distilled water, cotton sticks and KIMTECH delicate task wipers for the clean and that's how I cleaned: dip the cotton stick in the distilled water, and point the stick tip on the stain mark and rolled the cotton stick without any force and dry the water off the tweeter surface gently using the wipers

It was successful on the first tweeter, but the second one did not go well. As the stain on the tweeter did not go off, I rolled the cotton stick a few times and then left an obvious water mark on the tweeter. But I doubt it was water mark as the water is distilled. I think that I might wipe off some first coating or wax coating of the tweeter and hence get such an obvious mark.



Sound-wise, at least I cannot hear difference since I did not make any physical dent or deformation of the tweeter. But this makes me feel just worse.

I'm planing to upgrade the S3 to M2 when the time is ready and do not want the next potential buyer to see such flaw caused by me and might also an excuse to devalue the speaker. I'm starting to think about replacing it with a new one.

So I need some advice:

1. can I solve such mark? (maybe some insider or more professional dealers know? like applying wax coating)
2. any soldering invovled for replacing the S3MK2 tweeter? How much is the part?

I come here for advice because I think my local dealer has not encountered such issue and cannot give any technical advice.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Rhapsody

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Jan 16, 2013
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I think if someone sees this title, some of them must shaking their heads. It is indeed a troublemaker thread. :oops:

Although this is my first thread, I'm quite active in this forum and have built a few good connections with members here. I've talked to Ack a lot in PM and gained a lot of experience from him to build a satisfying system (Magico S3 + Spectral SV combo). And I also learned a lot from this forum. For that, I really appreciate it.

But recently, I've done something rare and stupid on my S3 tweeter and don't think someone will have such similar experience, hence I share it here for help.

It all started with the misconduct of the housekeeper. I caught her using the micro-cloth wiping the whole front side of the speakers straightforward, I stopped her but it was a bit too late and cannot blame her much. Then I found there were a few water mark or stain-ish things (detergent maybe) left on the tweeter of my both speakers. I was aware that leave it there will be much safer than trying to cleaning it off and I was also aware of the "do not touch the tweeter" wording on the magico manual. But I just cant stop my OCD and I was so curious to clean it off.

I did do some research before trying: like checking out some science paper of "the corrosion of the beryllium" so that I know that it will be safe to use distilled water or even ethanol to clean the beryllium without any corrosion (https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/824446.pdf)


During my day in college, I used to work in the biochemistry lab doing lots of analytical tasks and so I feel confident that I have a delicate hands to conduct the clean carefully. Plus, I was also thinking people cleaning the CMOS sensors of the camera, so BE tweeter can't be more delicate than that.

So I prepared a bottle of distilled water, cotton sticks and KIMTECH delicate task wipers for the clean and that's how I cleaned: dip the cotton stick in the distilled water, and point the stick tip on the stain mark and rolled the cotton stick without any force and dry the water off the tweeter surface gently using the wipers

It was successful on the first tweeter, but the second one did not go well. As the stain on the tweeter did not go off, I rolled the cotton stick a few times and then left an obvious water mark on the tweeter. But I doubt it was water mark as the water is distilled. I think that I might wipe off some first coating or wax coating of the tweeter and hence get such an obvious mark.



Sound-wise, at least I cannot hear difference since I did not make any physical dent or deformation of the tweeter. But this makes me feel just worse.

I'm planing to upgrade the S3 to M2 when the time is ready and do not want the next potential buyer to see such flaw caused by me and might also an excuse to devalue the speaker. I'm starting to think about replacing it with a new one.

So I need some advice:

1. can I solve such mark? (maybe some insider or more professional dealers know? like applying wax coating)
2. any soldering invovled for replacing the S3MK2 tweeter? How much is the part?

I come here for advice because I think my local dealer has not encountered such issue and cannot give any technical advice.

Any help would be appreciated.

Call (510) 649-9700 or email Dave Shackleton at Magico. dave@magico.net
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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Boston, MA
Sorry to hear about your troubles. The berillium tweeter must not be touched, you are lucky you did not shatter it. It will also darken over time, and things like that are OK. Magico should be able to help, but please, hands off tweeters
 

dcathro

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2016
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Melbourne, Australia
Tell us truly, where have you put the cleaner's body?
 

andromedaaudio

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Jan 23, 2011
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Amsterdam holland
Sound-wise, at least I cannot hear difference since I did not make any physical dent or deformation of the tweeter. But this makes me feel just worse.
Luckily you didnt clean the speaker internally with water and soap, lol.
I would just leave it at this.
Wait for what magico has to say .
I dont think it will have an impact soundwise .
If there was an anticorrossion layer / paint on the dome i doubt this slight colouration might have an impact soundwise .
If it was deformed it would be another story.
You can go to the scanspeak site for example there is a possibility this tweeter or at least the dome is derived from there .
You can read all about berylium domes there and if or what coatings are used .

Brg hj
 
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andromedaaudio

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Jan 23, 2011
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From what i read on the net is that berylium dust particles are very toxic when you inhale them in your lungs .
It could also be that a coating is apllied primarily for safety reasons .
Because berylium itself is not very corrosive
 

goodattiDUDE

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2017
4
2
68
From what i read on the net is that berylium dust particles are very toxic when you inhale them in your lungs .
It could also be that a coating is apllied primarily for safety reasons .
Because berylium itself is not very corrosive

Thanks for joining in for discussion.

I think there shall be some layers above Be for sure like BeO? then should be applied with diamond coating (possibly carbon mixed with nickle or other metal...) then with some waxy layer to make the tweeter shiny and uniformed. If you look very closely at the tweeter, you can clearly see some coarse pores/textures like our skin.

Beryllium will immediately react with the combo of hydrocarbon solvent + water while no reaction with pure distilled water or hydrocarbon solvent. But I don't see the combo reaction happening on the S3 tweeter, I tried to use medical ethanol cotton (70-75% ethanol + water) to do a tiny bit clean, did not see any things come off. Guess it's the diamond coating doing the protection.

My concern is more about: what layer did I swipe it off? Hope its not the diamond. Because If I understand correctly, the diamond layer helps the Be tweeter reach beyond 50kHz instead of 40kHz like Focal Be tweeter.

Regarding Be chemical hazard, I don't think it's an issue for home use and has been discussed several times on other forums unless someone uses a knife to grind the tweeter and then sniff it.:D

I will let you know the official advice from Magico. I would like to either recover it to the original appearance or replacing a new tweeter, being responsible for the next buyer and cure my OCD.

@dcathro And yes, I will tell my cleaner to stay away from the stereo room. She can survive this time :cool:
 
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andromedaaudio

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Jan 23, 2011
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the diamond layer helps the Be tweeter reach
A lot of it is a bit marketing as well imo
Putting an extra layer with whatever coating increases the weight a bit of the cone , which can be more of a negative thing .
I reacted to your opening post which stated the use of a berylium tw.

By the way if you can hear a 20 khz tone you deserve a medal because i know nobody who can .


Brg hj
 

goodattiDUDE

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2017
4
2
68
A lot of it is a bit marketing as well imo
Putting an extra layer with whatever coating increases the weight a bit of the cone , which can be more of a negative thing .
I reacted to your opening post which stated the use of a berylium tw.

By the way if you can hear a 20 khz tone you deserve a medal because i know nobody who can .


Brg hj
I would say the over 20khz high frequency range is not for people to hear but it has more other meanings for audio playback such as transient reproduction performance (spacial, airy, 3D dynamic...)those kind of things.

Like many ribbon, plasma, diamond tweeter, all of them can reach way beyond 20khz, but they exist for their audio performance purposes not for the sake of being located in human audible range.

Off-topic a bit and it is also a controversial one, so l drop it.
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
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Sorry for your troubles. This reads like a horror movie and hopefully all is ok. I had a dealer once tell me a story when I inquired about a phono stages reliability. He said they had only had one with a issue. He proceeded to show me a picture, some dude wife had taken a hatchet to it. The hatchet was still stuck in the circuit board.... :oops:
 

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