September 30, 2023, 08:11:21 PM

Author Topic: I restored my Paradigm 3SEs!  (Read 1282 times)

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Offline ccmccull

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I restored my Paradigm 3SEs!
« on: July 17, 2022, 10:05:29 AM »
I thought someone might be interested in my latest project restoring the the first good speakers I ever owned, received for my 17th birthday in the late 80s. Over the years I've kept them mostly for nostalgic reasons as I moved up through better and better speakers.

At one point in the 90s for some reason I even decided to paint them with this horrible black flat paint. Horrible. It's all scratched up and even comes off on your fingers.

So a few weeks ago I decided to restore them. Beyond refinishing the surface, one of the foam surrounds was coming off slightly, and I also wanted to try replacing the crossover caps.

So first I acetoned off the paint. I was expecting to also take down the finish on the veneer but it turns out the veneer is vinyl and it just cleaned up to like-new condition with the acetone! The whole job took around an hour for both speakers.

Then I bought $6 Jantzen 4.7 microF caps to replace the cheap electrolytic original caps in there. Before replacing them, I took a REW measurement @ 2 inches from the tweeter, and then re-measured after replacing. The new caps reduced drop-off above 15kHz measurably, bringing up the 20kHz by ~4dB.

But the real test was the listening! It's surprising how much cleaner and brighter they sound now. Now I remember why I bought them at 17!

This was a very fun, satisfying, and cheap project which I'd highly recommend if you have any similar vintage speakers lying around.
{Ortofon 2m Blue > U-Turn Orbit > Eros 2} & {Roon Ropieee RPi4 > hifiberry-digi2-pro > ANK DAC 2.1} > Moreplay > S.E.X. > {{Spendor_S3/5r2 & SVS_SB-1000 (x3)} & Grado_sr325x}

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: I restored my Paradigm 3SEs!
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2022, 10:11:05 AM »
You may find that renewing the ferrofluid in the tweeters is also helpful.

Sometimes the fluid can get pretty nasty and roll off the top end a bit. 
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Online Thermioniclife

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Re: I restored my Paradigm 3SEs!
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2022, 11:04:55 AM »
I always liked Paradigm, I worked for an AV company that were dealers, I have a lowly pair of Atoms that sound great with a Stereomore 2. I had a pair of Mini Monitors until someone liked them also and stole them.
Lee R.