Hi Folks, I just purchased a brand new set of Paradigm Series 7 speakers (1 pair of Monitor 11's, a Center 3, and 1 pair of Surround 3's). Upon inspecting the speakers, I noticed that most of the rubber surrounds in the drivers have a dried and faded appearance to them. Is this normal? Please see the picture. I took several both with and without flash, but could only attach one to this thread. I know that production shifted to China on these series, but they have been out for a year or so. Could it be a bad batch of drivers? I searched on their website, but they do not even provide an e-mail address so that I can e-mail them pictures. Not sure if this affects sound quality, but I was expecting a lot more for the price point where these are at. Even the felp on the inner grill where they hold the magnets to place on the speaker are peeling off.
I would rather document them and deal with paradigm directly, as my dealer experience was not that great. I am surprised that they do not have an e-mail address listed on their site. I called, but they are on EST time, so no one was available.
I will wait Paradigm to contact me. If I need to go through my dealer, then so be it, but I would much rather deal with the manufacturer. They can just send me an RO to return these, and ship new ones upon receipt.
It may just be the mold release compound from manufacturing. I see a similar residue quite a bit when unboxing new drivers (from many different manufacturers). It will likely wipe off easily and the surrounds will last many years...wait for Paradigm to recommend a cleaning agent to protect your warranty and then enjoy!
I have Paradigm v6s and I just looked at mine. They are dark gray, but feel soft and rubbery. I wouldn't be concerned with how they look. If they sound right and the rubber feels soft, then you are all good. If they actually feel dried out or cracked, then you have a problem. If they are soft and you are still concerned, contact Paradigm:
Not that I can definitively say that something is wrong, but I've worked at several electronics stores and installed dozens of different brands of speakers and I've never seen rubber on a surround that looks like that. Not that it means there's a problem, but it definitely looks weird. I don't know who would buy brand new speakers, open them up and expect them to look like that.
Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.
Folks, as an update, I am working with Paradigm to replace these speakers. It is obvious that these are a bad batch of speakers. Others that I saw were nothing like these. I did get them from an authorized dealer, but they operate from a home, thus have no store front or inventory. The grills also are of a poor quality. these are brand new out of the box speakers, and should look nothing like these, especially at this price point. There are to replace my 10-year old Polk RTI speakers, which looked in perfect shape, even after 10 years of use. putting Armorall on the surrounds would be like purchasing a car from a dealership that already had faded rubber trim from the factory, and applying Armorall to try and make them look like they should. Paradigm has admitted that they are not supossed to look like this, and that there is something definitely wrong with them. I am posting more pictures.
Paradigm 11.jpg 249k .jpg file
They told me that they would get back to me today since I first contacted them with the issue last Wednesday, but did not hear from them. Hopefully tomorrow as I want to get this experience behind and start enjoying the sound from the replacement ones. These are a part of an entire HT installa with all new gear, so I am anxious to get everything calibrated and adjusted.
Found this video, among several others, of the new Monitor 11's series 7 that I have. As you can see, the surrounds on the woofers are black and look supple as butter. MUCH different than the dried out faded surrounds on mine.
Not an isolated problem. I picked up a new Paradigm Center 3 today and one of the speaker surrounds had the white residue. I'll give my salesguy a call but won't be returning it because audio quality is fine. Was able to get most of the residue off with a soft cloth but cover will be on all the time anyway.