Kef Q5. Replacing tweeter worthwhile?

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Hello

I have a pair of KEF Q5 with aluminium domes pushed in. My son did it some years ago :( .

Now I am considering to replace myself the tweeter as it is a quite easy operation ( I have no problems soldering).

The official KEF spare part is a 19mm tweeter with tangerine guide (not the original one but it is the one recommended by KEF). Price 160EUR for both tweeters. It is the same tweeter as in the KEF CI160QR.

But I have some doubts:

1) These are a 2003 KEF speakers. 18 years... Does a speaker degrade over time? I mean that I wouldn't invest money fixing some old electronic equipment, but maybe a speaker is a different matter. They have been used lightly, not very often, and not high volume.

2) I know KEF Q5 are quite a love/hate affair. To my ears they have sound quite good driven by an old Marantz AVR. Even with the tweeters pushed in. Actually if I touch the tweeter then the sound is really muffed, but without touching apparently seems to produce a normal sound. Unfortunately both speakers are pushed in and I can't compare.
It could affect that I can't hear above 14-15Khz (tested both with speakers and headphones). My children can hear 2-3Khz more... So I am also wondering if the pushed in tweeter affects in a way that I can't notice (higher KHz) and thus replacing it won't improve any SQ.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any comment and suggestions about this pushed in/replacement issue. I realize that there are tons of posts saying that there is no difference and others saying that there is difference...

Thanks!
 

password1

Well-known Member
If they are well looked after and not stored in extreme environments (too damp, hot, cold, etc) and the components and drivers in good condition (you can see if the cones or surrounds are still good) then speakers should last decades or a lifetime.

Worth replacing if you intend to keep then I would say. However check used prices, it might be cheaper overall just to buy another pair and sell yours.
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
If they are well looked after and not stored in extreme environments (too damp, hot, cold, etc) and the components and drivers in good condition (you can see if the cones or surrounds are still good) then speakers should last decades or a lifetime.

Worth replacing if you intend to keep then I would say. However check used prices, it might be cheaper overall just to buy another pair and sell yours.
Thanks!

Unfortunately due to the pushed tweeters and some cosmetic issues I don’t think I can sell them at all. At least at a reasonable price.

A friend of mine came this weekend to my house. He has a pair of MA Silver so it is used to good speakers. He listened to my KEF and he said he noticed a lack of high frequency, bright. He suggested that we could measure the spectrum with an iphone app while reproducing white noise.

This is not a very precise test but it can serve well to my purpose to identify a problem. Iphone mic freq response is also relevant but I saw that 6s one is quite flat. Actually my idea is to compare several speakers in such a way that mic imperfections will be implicitly considered. For example I would say that until 14k it must be quite flat...

These are the spectrum measurements of:

  1. KEF Q5 (fully pushed in)
3132403



  1. A very basic and small Keenwood satellite (KS 306HT)
3132404



Comparing both it seems quite clear that after 10k, the KEF has a big dip that can’t be due to mic (Keenwood is much more flat).
Could this dip explain this lack of detail in HF?

Later I discovered Rew software. Amazing. Unfortunately I don’t have an Umik but again with internal (uncalibrated) mic and comparing I can extract some information. I don’t mean to have an absolute measure and detect the smallest notch. Just to detect an important deviation.
  1. Brown KEF, Violet Keenwood.
3132405



Don’t pay attention to absolute levels. Just a frequency comparison. REW seems to corroborate the white noise measurements showing a fall after 10k.
This is a linear measure since I wanted to pay attention to higher freqs. Anyway, the log version is this one:


3132406



Finally, I have read this:

Loudspeaker measurements

It is quite clear that REW measurements have these reflections. This afternoon I’ll apply a gate to filter them (I know I’ll alter LF but my main interest is just the HF). As soon as I have them, I’ll post them. Anyway, mentally smoothing the measurements seems to confirm the HF issue.

What are your thoughts?
 

password1

Well-known Member
The best comparison is by comparing the frequency curve of another pair of the same speakers, even then they may not be exactly the same.

He may he used to the different sound signature of the ma silvers.

most people can't hear anything about 16k and as you get older its not uncommon to not hear much if anything above 10k.

its a good excuse to buy new speakers
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Thanks!

Yes, I'd like to compare with others KEF but unfortunately it is not possible. Mines are both pushed and have similar freq response.

In my case my HF limit is aorund 15k... Not that bad :)

Yes, my friend is used to a bright Silver. But the freq response is quite bad after 10k and this seems an objective test...
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Final update. I finally decided to fix the pushed dome. Just reshaping. I know it is creased and this could affect sound but nothing compared to a pushed in...

The process was quite easy and a huge improvement. I tested sound quality with one speaker fixed and the other one pushed and the difference was noticeable. After fixing the second one both sounded similar.

Some before/after pics... I realize that Rew is not calibrated. I am just comparing before/after to show the difference in sound of a pushed vs reshaped&creased dome...

Concerning the ferrofluid there was not a lot. Actually I'm afraid that some of the ferrofluid went to the dome when I separated the magnet from the voice coil... Maybe later on I'll exchange it...

Thanks for all your help!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1700.jpg
    IMG_1700.jpg
    246 KB · Views: 28
  • IMG_1708.jpg
    IMG_1708.jpg
    654.5 KB · Views: 29
  • IMG_1715.jpg
    IMG_1715.jpg
    225.9 KB · Views: 34
  • IMG_1716.jpg
    IMG_1716.jpg
    337.1 KB · Views: 33

nowthatswhatica

Active Member
Final update. I finally decided to fix the pushed dome. Just reshaping. I know it is creased and this could affect sound but nothing compared to a pushed in...

The process was quite easy and a huge improvement. I tested sound quality with one speaker fixed and the other one pushed and the difference was noticeable. After fixing the second one both sounded similar.

Some before/after pics... I realize that Rew is not calibrated. I am just comparing before/after to show the difference in sound of a pushed vs reshaped&creased dome...

Concerning the ferrofluid there was not a lot. Actually I'm afraid that some of the ferrofluid went to the dome when I separated the magnet from the voice coil... Maybe later on I'll exchange it...

Thanks for all your help!
Hi mate, I actually have the same issue but rather than replacing the tweeter dome I was hoping to take the driver off and perhaps push the tweeter dome back out - is that even possible?
Thanks in advance
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Hi mate, I actually have the same issue but rather than replacing the tweeter dome I was hoping to take the driver off and perhaps push the tweeter dome back out - is that even possible?
Thanks in advance
Yes! I did exactly this.

With the KEF Q5 you can easily do it and reshape the dome. Changing the dome is far far more complicated and riskier.

However If you have another brand/model I can't say for sure if this is possible. But at least it is for these old KEF Q1/Q3/Q5/Q9.

If this is your case, tell me and I'll give you some advice on this particular repair...
 

nowthatswhatica

Active Member
Yes! I did exactly this.

With the KEF Q5 you can easily do it and reshape the dome. Changing the dome is far far more complicated and riskier.

However If you have another brand/model I can't say for sure if this is possible. But at least it is for these old KEF Q1/Q3/Q5/Q9.

If this is your case, tell me and I'll give you some advice on this particular repair...

Amazing!! Thank you. Mine's the KEF Q5 SE. Any help would be really appreciated - thank you!!
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Yes! I did exactly this.

With the KEF Q5 you can easily do it and reshape the dome. Changing the dome is far far more complicated and riskier.

However If you have another brand/model I can't say for sure if this is possible. But at least it is for these old KEF Q1/Q3/Q5/Q9.

If this is your case, tell me and I'll give you some advice on this particular repair...

By "Changing the dome" I mean just the dome keeping the rest of the tweeter part.
Changing the whole tweeter is quite easy but expensive.
 

nowthatswhatica

Active Member
By "Changing the dome" I mean just the dome keeping the rest of the tweeter part.
Changing the whole tweeter is quite easy but expensive.

Yep I'm hoping to keep the tweeter and dome as they both work fine - the tweeter is just pushed in like yours so I was hoping to open the speaker up and push it back out.
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Amazing!! Thank you. Mine's the KEF Q5 SE. Any help would be really appreciated - thank you!!

Probably you mean iQ5 SE... A couple of generations after my Q5...

You can try and if you notice that the procedure is not compatible you can abort and retrace your steps.

First of all you have to watch this video several times and evaluate if you feel comfortable:


It shows how to dissasembly the driver and also dissasembly the tweeter...
 

nowthatswhatica

Active Member
Probably you mean iQ5 SE... A couple of generations after my Q5...

You can try and if you notice that the procedure is not compatible you can abort and retrace your steps.

First of all you have to watch this video several times and evaluate if you feel comfortable:


It shows how to dissasembly the driver and also dissasembly the tweeter...
Thank you mate - ill watch this a few times and then set some time aside to do the repair - thank you!
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
Several comments about the video/procedure (which is not mine but I saw it dozens of times):

1) The allen / screws part is easy.

2) In 00:38s the driver is still attached to the speaker and the next shot the whole driver is already removed. You have to disconnect 4 cables. I recommend you to mark them with a label to connect them properly in the assembly phase. Anyway my Q5 connectors are different to avoid a confussion. However what happened to me is that the connectors were so hard that I was unable to remove two of them. I was afraid to break them so I decided to leave the driver connected and proceed to the desoldering while keeping it close to the speaker. Maybe you can disconnect them easily. Just to say that you can do it without.

3) Desoldering (00:50s). Easy. But again label/mark the cables to make sure that you connect them properly.

4) 01:00, remove the screw. Easy.

5) 01:15, Then you have to remove a small black piece. It took me a while because it was not easy to catch it with my tweezers. Just be patient...

6) 01:23 Once you remove this piece you will be able to extract the whole tweeter from the driver front as in the video

7) 01:30 - 02:23, IMPORTANT! In the video the guy dissasembly this piece with the spludger. But you don't have to do it unless you plan to change the dome. If like me, you just want to reshape it don't do it. It is not necessary and besides is quite difficult. I tried before realizing that it wasn't required.

8) 02:29 - 03:00, you have to separate the small wires. You don't need the cutter, just remove the label with your fingers or use the cutter if you can't remove it. Be careful then.

9) 03:00 Once you have the wires off use a spudger as in the video to separate the tweeter... I recommend a plastic spludger and not a metal screwdriver to avoid excessive force and break it and be careful around the metal contacts of the wire... The video is quite good for this part.

10) 03:15, Then use the screw to separate the tweeter and the plastic around. I had to apply much more force than in the video. Don't apply force in the contacts, just in the plastic part. Hopefully it will separate in 2 pieces, tweeter and dome...

11) The video ends here. There is just one more step. Push the dome from the inside. Use something soft. Some pencils have a small eraser in the other side. You can use this eraser. I used a small silicon tube. Your fingers won't fit probably, and please don't use anything hard or sharp that can break the dome... Push very gently. The dome is somehow glued to the piece but I don't know how much can hold. Anyway, it is impossible to have a perfect reshape. It will have some creases but it doesn't affect audio quality as a pushed in dome (check my graphs)

12) Retrace all steps... I had only one problem... After mounting the tweeter again and using the small black piece and the screw it was not perfectly fixed and the first time the tweeter was slightly inclined and sounded weird. I reopen and make sure that the tweeter was not inclined and worked perfectly. For some reason I was unable to fix it perfectly. Maybe you can do it better.

I hope you can do it... Please notice that the iQ5SE is not exactly the same. So I can't predict if there is something different in the procedure... You have to consider it once you have it open...
 

nowthatswhatica

Active Member
Several comments about the video/procedure (which is not mine but I saw it dozens of times):

1) The allen / screws part is easy.

2) In 00:38s the driver is still attached to the speaker and the next shot the whole driver is already removed. You have to disconnect 4 cables. I recommend you to mark them with a label to connect them properly in the assembly phase. Anyway my Q5 connectors are different to avoid a confussion. However what happened to me is that the connectors were so hard that I was unable to remove two of them. I was afraid to break them so I decided to leave the driver connected and proceed to the desoldering while keeping it close to the speaker. Maybe you can disconnect them easily. Just to say that you can do it without.

3) Desoldering (00:50s). Easy. But again label/mark the cables to make sure that you connect them properly.

4) 01:00, remove the screw. Easy.

5) 01:15, Then you have to remove a small black piece. It took me a while because it was not easy to catch it with my tweezers. Just be patient...

6) 01:23 Once you remove this piece you will be able to extract the whole tweeter from the driver front as in the video

7) 01:30 - 02:23, IMPORTANT! In the video the guy dissasembly this piece with the spludger. But you don't have to do it unless you plan to change the dome. If like me, you just want to reshape it don't do it. It is not necessary and besides is quite difficult. I tried before realizing that it wasn't required.

8) 02:29 - 03:00, you have to separate the small wires. You don't need the cutter, just remove the label with your fingers or use the cutter if you can't remove it. Be careful then.

9) 03:00 Once you have the wires off use a spudger as in the video to separate the tweeter... I recommend a plastic spludger and not a metal screwdriver to avoid excessive force and break it and be careful around the metal contacts of the wire... The video is quite good for this part.

10) 03:15, Then use the screw to separate the tweeter and the plastic around. I had to apply much more force than in the video. Don't apply force in the contacts, just in the plastic part. Hopefully it will separate in 2 pieces, tweeter and dome...

11) The video ends here. There is just one more step. Push the dome from the inside. Use something soft. Some pencils have a small eraser in the other side. You can use this eraser. I used a small silicon tube. Your fingers won't fit probably, and please don't use anything hard or sharp that can break the dome... Push very gently. The dome is somehow glued to the piece but I don't know how much can hold. Anyway, it is impossible to have a perfect reshape. It will have some creases but it doesn't affect audio quality as a pushed in dome (check my graphs)

12) Retrace all steps... I had only one problem... After mounting the tweeter again and using the small black piece and the screw it was not perfectly fixed and the first time the tweeter was slightly inclined and sounded weird. I reopen and make sure that the tweeter was not inclined and worked perfectly. For some reason I was unable to fix it perfectly. Maybe you can do it better.

I hope you can do it... Please notice that the iQ5SE is not exactly the same. So I can't predict if there is something different in the procedure... You have to consider it once you have it open...
Wow, thank you so so much for the write up and tutorial mate - you've spent a lot of time sharing this so I really appreciate your help! I will read this over and over again and feedback once I've given it an attempt :)

Thank you again!
 

CalabiYau

Standard Member
You're welcome... I spent a lot of time studying this repair and doing it but the result was awesome and I'd really recommend it. But remember that there is some risk...

I hope you can do it... I expect your report...
 

The latest video from AVForums

Oculus Quest 2 VR headset + Rotel A14 MkII Amp Reviews & Best of the Month
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom