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Leslie 122 tweeter padding

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  • Leslie 122 tweeter padding

    I have seen photos of some kind of padding under the top shelf and covering the tweeter driver. I still have bits and pieces of it stapled under there in mine. Should I replace that padding?
    1942 Hammond BC Organ
    Late 40's Hammond DR-20 Tone Cabinet
    1973 Leslie 122 Speaker (rumored to have been owned by Karen Carpenter)
    1905 Steinway Vertegrand piano
    1879 Steinway A Parlor Grand Piano Forte
    The only instrument I can play is the radio (But 4 years into piano lessons now!)

  • #2
    It's optional. What it does, in a ported cabinet like this, is damp/dissipate/scatter the back wave from the speaker cone somewhat so that it doesn't reflect off the opposite side of the box back into the cone. Leslie really made only a token gesture with the flimsy paper stuff. Some of the older 50s cabinets have some horsehair padding material on the underside of the shelf that was probably more effective.

    In one of mine, I have polyester batting on three sides of the woofer compartment. It does change the sound. The most noticeable effect is smoothing peaks and dips in the bass frequency response. Whether you like it better or not is a matter of taste. If you want to try it, get some polyester batting or padding from a fabric/upholstery store, the stuff they use to make padded quilts. Doesn't need to be thick. That's not the idea. It's cheap and easy to try. You can tack it in and remove it if you don't like it. You can do it better than Leslie did it by cutting out around horn driver shelf components.

    In advanced HiFi bass reflex speaker building, they sometimes use specialized thin sheets for this purpose made out of expensive sound-deadening polymers with patterns in them to scatter the sound waves, but that would be overkill here.

    What you do not want to do is pack the whole box with fiberglass, which I've run across a few times. That's something you find in sealed box HiFi speakers, and sealed boxes are a different animal. That's when I put on a mask and gloves, get out a trash bag, and start pulling it out.
    I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

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    • #3
      Thanks David. I didn't want to spend a lot of time experimenting, so I decided to stick close to the original factory design. I ended up using a piece of shredded cotton blue jean insulation that came out of a Home Chef delivery box. I cut it to approximately the same size and shape as the original, and stapled it to the underside of the tweeter horn shelf and covering the driver magnet. It looks like it should work pretty well, and the speaker sounds very good, although I can't swear I really notice any difference compared to without any dampening.
      1942 Hammond BC Organ
      Late 40's Hammond DR-20 Tone Cabinet
      1973 Leslie 122 Speaker (rumored to have been owned by Karen Carpenter)
      1905 Steinway Vertegrand piano
      1879 Steinway A Parlor Grand Piano Forte
      The only instrument I can play is the radio (But 4 years into piano lessons now!)

      Comment

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