Cigar Smell...How to get out of Maggies??

Hello all,

I just bought a pair of Magnepan 1.6s from a seller who did not disclose that he smoked cigars in his listening room!!

Now, I enjoy a good cigar as much as the next guy, but not in the house...and certainly not around my equipment.

What do I do? I can't spray the speakers with Lysol as I'm sure the moisture would not be good for the panels. Likewise, a powder (Carpet Fresh or the like) would also penetrate the grill cloth and get on the panels.

Currently, I have them sitting in the garage "airing" out.
Dan, if they're good Cubans or Dominicans they wouldn't make everything stink. Jeez I hate people that smoke cheap cigars. Cigar stores often keep a bowl of cigar cuttings around, somehow it absorbs the smell. You may want to put them in an enclosed space with some cuttings? The other thing that comes to mind is Febreeze, lighly mist the Febreeze in the air near the speakers and let it settle on the fabric? Hey, if it works on my hockey equipment it can kill ANY smell!

Lay them flat on a counter or workbench and apply a thin layer of baking soda on the fabric. Let it stand for 24 hours and then vacuum it off using a round brush attachment. Turn over and repeat the process. If it doesn't work, then you may have to have them recovered at Magnapan.

There are two problems here, and the one you mention is the least important of the two.

#1 Any kind of smoke will leave a greasy film on membranes found in electrostatics and ribbons. In my opinion, this is VERY likely to render the panels worthless in terms of performing to specification.

#2 The smell _may_ be eliminated by having the grille cloths replaced, as another poster mentioned.

I'd ask the seller to reverse the deal and eat shipping costs, due to nondisclosure.
I agree with Gthrush1. All tobacco smoke is bad for electronic equipment. The computer industry knows this, as they were one of the first industries to ban smoking in the workplace because of the damage the tars and 4,000 other chemicals cause on keyboards and circuits.

Besides, the Maggies are probably going through nicotine withdrawal won't be able to perform as they should.
Sorry to hear that Dan. I'm sure that this has dampened your "high" quite a bit. I don't think that there is anything wrong with smoking so long as there are no fumes escaping from the burning end and the user doesn't exhale : )

Short of chemicals, the only thing that i know of that will remove or minimize smoke damage is Ozone. I call is smoke DAMAGE because that is exactly what it is. However, i have NO idea if Ozone would be harmful to Maggies. I do know that it will eat the foam surrounds out of dynamic drivers.

You might want to contact Magnepan and see what they suggest and ask them about ozone. If they think that short term exposure ( 24 - 36 hours ) would be okay, you can try contacting a local company that does fire / flood restoration to see if they have "ozone rooms". If you don't know how to find any, try calling your local insurance agent and ask them who they use for fire claims. If you can find someone, i would suggest dropping them off and picking them up if at all possible. You know how you want these to be handled and they don't.

Other than that, LOTS and LOTS of "fresh air" will dilute the smell over time. Sean
Years ago car dealers used to take a car with cigarette smell, put a large can of new coffee grinds in the can (before Starbucks), cut apple slices and lay on top of the coffee. Sounds crazy but I tried it and it worked. Takes 3 to 4 days. Works better if its has some heat (sunlight) to make the odors more intense. I know this sounds off the wall but it wouldn't be invasive to your speakers. Good Luck!

First thing contact the seller asap & "air" your complaint. I've heard that lemon oil makes a good deodorizer; maybe spray some Lemon Pledge liberally misted throughout the room then close the door for a couple days?
This is interesting.
We also had this problem.
Someone traded in a pair of Maggies to us around 1991 that had this problem,
but it was with cigarette smoke. It was an enlightening experience, especially since these were the first Maggies we/I had ever had. When they arrived we opened the boxes the same day.
When the flaps of the box opened it literally smelled like the box was used as an ash tray.
Trust me, if this problem exists you will know it right when that box is opened.

We took the speakers, and the boxes, and put them outside (not stacked on each other) for 3 weeks. Brought them in every night due to the worry of the morning dew (and whatever else).
After 1 day it did nothing. After about a week they seemed a bit better. 2 weeks not much better. 3 weeks seemed to be when they improved. We had to toss the boxes in hopes that new smoke free boxes would help. We tried lightly sprinkling some scent free carpet powder on them and vacuuming it off but you have to be so careful and apply so little that it didn't seem to help. If you try that be CAREFUL! If this happened to us again we might also consider buying a fan and placing them in front of them at an angle (OUTSIDE).

There's also an issue about the tar from the smoke settling on the many contacts that ribbon speakers use. Maybe AgN should add a check off box for "Smoke Free" or "Smoke environment" for classified (and demo) ads.

----> "coffee grinds in the can (before Starbucks), cut apple slices and lay on top of the coffee"
Well, that's interesting, but where on the Maggies do you place the can?
Very lightly try spraying or really misting Fabreze in front of panels.The stuff works great on clothes by oxidyzing ordors.If you want a clean house you could try one of thos expensive ionizers sold by the Sharper Image or a simmilar product.Particulates,which dust,smoke,and odors are, can be ionized and fall to ground or in the case of the Sharper Image product get collected on a strip.if you are in a warm climate the fabreze and putting them out in sun/fresh air might help.But I would be concerned with build up inside as somebody else noted.
Dan Heather -

To contact us at MAGNEPAN please call 1-800-474-1646 Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4PM CT, or write:

1645 Ninth Street,
White Bear, MN 55110

why don't you contact the manufacturer and see what the experts say?

and you raised a really interesting point that I have not thought of when "screening" gear before buying - ask if the gear has been exposed to cigarette or cigar smoke.

best of luck to you... I can't believe that this is the first time that they (magnepan) would have ever been asked or faced.

I've got them in the garage airing out. I've added a couple of high velocity fans (one for each) blowing up at them 24hrs. It seems to be working. I'm going to look into the OZONE idea that Sean recommended, but need to talk to Magnepan first.

I don't think that there was any malicious intent on the part of the seller and i think that it would be a very valuable tool for AudiogoN to include a check box for equipment being sold by a smoker. That way, non-disclosure could be proved as intentional. It would certainly be helpful for unwary buyers. From now on, I will advertise my gear as being from a non-smoker and, when buying gear, will definitely remember to ask the seller to disclose the same.

I'll keep you updated.

I had the same experience except the ones I bought reeked of cigarette smoke. Brian hit it right on. . .you know it immediately. I emailed the seller about his failure to disclose and he never even responded. Anyway, I called Maggie and followed thier advice. I removed the cloth socks and washed them twice, letting them line-dry each time. That took the smell out of the cloth. I then CAREFULLY sprayed the wood frame with Fabreeze. I let the panels air without the socks on for a few days.

This process removed about 90% of the odor so I repeated the whole thing a few weeks later. That about took care of it. I ended up selling them and disclosed the now gone odor problem. I ended up paying for a new pair of socks and shipping them to my buyer just to make sure he was happy.

Anyway, the socks wash easily (at least my white ones did).

Good luck!
JJ and Highspeed are right: Fabreeze DOES work. I use it on auto upholstery if there's cigarette odor lingering.
I tried the coffee grounds idea...simply a cheap version of activated charcoal. Works well, but where do you put it?
(When I was a kid my aunt ran an order of nuns and told me they used a pinch of coffee grounds as a cheap breath freshener instead of wasting $ on Listerine, etc.!)
If the maggies actually have tar stains on them then Bleche White (tire whitewall cleaner) is the best stain remover I've found for both nylon material AND vinyl interiors.
I guess it's basically a very strong surfactant. It's MUCH better than 409, Fantastic, etc.
Good Luck