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BeoLab 8000: which damping foam material to use for replacement?

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KolfMAKER
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Many B&O BeoLab 8000 owners are aware that the early 8000 models have damping foam that perishes, falls apart and gets sticky to the PCB and components.

I have such a pair now and want to clean all the foam dirt out and replace it with proper material. So I can use some suggestions:

  1. What is the foam material that B&O started using (the white damping foam) to replace the old bad foam (dark grey)?
  2. Is there any alternative, with good availability, that's recommended?

 

See picture of the new foam (white) attached.

Hope to hear your advice! 


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Beosince98
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 I can recommend buying basotect in two different thicknesses, it worked perfectly for me. 

KolfMAKER
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Thanks for your advise Beosince98.

Do you know the exact thickness of the thin parts en the thick parts?

Beosince98
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KolfMAKER:

Thanks for your advise Beosince98.

Do you know the exact thickness of the thin parts en the thick parts?

Unfortunately I do not rememberer. I guess I ordered one sheet with 1cm thickness and one with 3-4cm thickness. 

KolfMAKER
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Thnx.

By the way, is Basotect the same damping material as what B&O is using? 

Beosince98
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KolfMAKER:

Thnx.

By the way, is Basotect the same damping material as what B&O is using? 

I am not sure if it is the material they use, but it looks/feels the same and seems to be high quality foam for exactly this application. 

KolfMAKER
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Suggested by KolfMAKER

I found the foam material that seems to be the right fit.

It is called Basotect from BASF, based on Melamine. The characteristics make it absolutely suitable. And the structure and color of the material even look the same as the official foam kits from B&O. (Maybe it is the same)

gerard
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Do you have information where to place the different pieces?

My original foam , is a gluey mess.
KolfMAKER
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Hi Gerard,

The original foam is terrible as soon as it started deforming.
Please put the right amount of effort in cleaning it away. To my experience, it sits everywhere even where you don't see it at first hand. It is important to get it away from all components, and yes that is a lot of nasty work to do. Also check all the copper traces on the PCB. I have seen copper traces 'eaten away' and disturbing for instance the Auto Standby switching. 

Here's a picture of the foam set in all the pieces (original B&O).

 


KolfMAKER
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And here is a picture where you see all pieces in the right place in the speaker casing.

So the 'round' piece goes around the bottom side of the bas reflex pipe. The middle piece is waste, is not used.  

 


gerard
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gerard replied on Sun, Aug 8 2021 10:56 PM
Wow, THANK YOU very much for the picture!!!! Lets have a Party !!!Yes - thumbs up

Did you clean yours yourself?

Did you test different products for cleaning ? (chemicals?)

I have already had some pcb lines eaten away by the gluey foam mess.[:\'(]
KolfMAKER
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Yes, I did the cleaning myself. Not a task I like to do (understatement ;-)

For the cleaning I would recommend not to use chemicals. I never do with vintage audio equipment. I always look for eco/biological cleaning products.
The BeoLab 8000 (and other) speakers are made from aluminum and anodized. Anodizing creates a layer that makes them shine like chrome. But this layer can be very sensitive to chemicals. When it is damaged or gone because of treatment with the wrong materials, there is no way back (or you should anodize them again which is quite expensive).

So for the outside I mostly use an eco-friendly degreaser from a spray bottle. Read the label to make sure there are no chemicals added!

For the inside I use the same principle; no added chemicals. But the story is different because you have to get the sticky foam out. And it is very sticky. Here's what I do:

  1. Use a table covered with plastic you can throw away (so if pieces of the sticky foam fall, you keep them on the plastic). Put the BeoLab on the plastic covered table. Use plastic hand gloves to keep your hands clean.
  2. Remove both the 'power supply/amp' and the 'speaker panel' units from the speaker casing.
  3. Start taking out the big foam pieces by hand, from bigger to smaller. Be carefull as they easily fall apart. I stopped using a vacuum cleaner, as the sticky parts maken it constipated, and you can throw away the vacuum cleaner. Make sure you also remove the foam pieces on and in between the components, and from the PCB's (both the component side as the side with the copper traces).
  4. Clean the last foam remains on the PCB/components using isopropyl alcohol (96% or up). I mainly use ear tips for this. This part is also time consuming.
  5.  What is left is cleaning the inside of the empty speaker casing, the aluminum part. To get rid of the last foam remains, I use natural vinegar and an old cloth. If you use the right vinegar, there are no chemicals in it. And vinegar is able to dissolve the stickyness of the foam remains.

Again, it is a lot of work. But it is do-able. Anyhow, not doing it with old BeoLabs that have this sticky foam, means high risk of a beautiful speaker that will get serious issues.

If you have PCB traces that are already eaten away, you will have to create a new trace. You can easily do that by using a wire. Normally you can see where the trace is supposed to be, so you solder the wire in such way that you reconnect the components that are in the PCB trace. I have had situations where the Auto Standby relais was malfunctioning because of this. Be aware that sometimes a PCB trace looks fine, but if you use a magnifying glass you can see that is partly 'eaten away'.

Hope this helps you.

 

gerard
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Thanks for the infos.

Surprised to hear that vinegar is not to much acid for the aluminium, good to know that it de solves the gluey foam.

My threat for the pcb trace and standby issue is here:

https://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/34724/327855.aspx

KolfMAKER
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You are welcome.

Again, make sure the vinegar is a natural product without added chemicals.
And another thing, just put it on a cloth to remove the sticky foam. And immediately after it dry the aluminum with another (dry) cloth.
If you do not leave liquid, it will work.

 

PCB & dissolved traces: I have seen your thread, it is exactly what I did recreating the traces by wire. 

smuehli
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Thank you for this description. 

Does this problem belong to any BL8000? I own the Mk 1.5 as I remember  (1995 or 1996) . . . .

Where can I order the new foam?

Are there any gaskets between the panels and the housing?

The trace(s) could be restored by soldering over the wholes, or not?

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