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Weather proof speakers that can withstand extreme tropical conditions ?

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Augustine Leudar:
Hello all,
I have a query in regard to a semi permanent sound installation at the Eden project in Cornwall UK. The tropical Biome is a large indoor tropical conservatory (1.5 hectares) and has the same climate as a tropical rainforest. "Weatherproof" speakers have been tried before but did not last long. Generally weatherproof speakers are designed to cope with "all" weather - which may be fine for some conditions but ideally we need speakers that are designed to deal with outdoor tropical conditions. Even keeping a mains supply running in the tropical biome is a challenge because of two factors :

1. Extreme humidity (no rain just sticky 100 % humidity soaking everything)
2. Ants ( they chew through everything)

We can possibly deal with the ants using pesticide coating. However the humidity is a challenge. Any recomendations for speakers (perhaps self draining) that could specifically withstand such conditions appreciated. 100 - 150 w RMS per channel minimum. Sound quality is also important as the speakers will be delivering a detailed 3d soundscape (animals , insects , thunder etc) so a good full(ish) range reasonably flat frequency response is also required . The thunder can be delivered on a slightly larger pair with more bottom end (perhaps a subwoofer)
cheers,
Gus

Brad Weber:
It sounds like you've tried some 'weatherproof' and they weren't up to the task, do you know what specific products did not work as that might help avoid recommendations for products you already know won't work while also providing some reference for what is needed?

Augustine Leudar:

--- Quote from: Brad Weber on January 26, 2011, 01:16:30 PM ---It sounds like you've tried some 'weatherproof' and they weren't up to the task, do you know what specific products did not work as that might help avoid recommendations for products you already know won't work while also providing some reference for what is needed?

--- End quote ---

I cant be certain as it was before my time working there but I think they may have been Bose. I'll give someone a bell tommorow during working hours and get the exact details.

Brad Weber:
My first thought was Technomad, One Systems and the Community R and WET series.  I just didn't want to suggest those if they were what had already not worked in the past.

Rory Buszka:
If humidity is high, then mold growth in a paper diaphragm is a potential problem, even if the diaphragms are 'treated'. You may need to look for speakers that don't use any paper diaphragms anywhere. For example, the Community WET series uses carbon fiber diaphragms for its cone drivers and mylar diaphragms in its midrange and treble devices, so mold growth in a paper diaphragm is not a risk. The Community R series uses paper-cone woofers, and while they are shielded from direct exposure to rain by a multi-layer grille and are set back further in the cabinet on a horn, they are still exposed to humidity, and the paper cones are not treated. Many other companies like One Systems are still using paper diaphragms, even though they are weather-treated.

There are a couple of compromises involved in using carbon-fiber diaphragms. Since they are lighter than a poly cone but not lighter than dry paper, sensitivity of the speaker is slightly lower, and the woven carbon fiber material is more expensive than either paper or polypropylene. However, carbon fiber is much more rigid than paper, so the carbon-fiber cones do sound good.

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