Scanspeak 10" driver replacement - blown woofer

Hi, I have to replace 2 10" drivers on a pair of Vandersteen 3a's. The drivers are 25w aluminum cone, and the voice coils are fried. Vandersteen will rebuild for 289 each.

Question: Is there a comparable replacement on the market that would be cheaper then the rebuild, and close in performance? I found a company, Madisound speaker components, which sells many 10" drivers from 37.00 - 355.00

I have hooked the speakers back up and have found the bass to be insane with the big 10" hole in the back, apparently in the design the 10" drivers act as acoustic couplers, part passive radiator and part driver. I placed a large book over the holes and the bass is instantly tighter, but not as deep as they used to be.

How important is the quality of these acoustic couplers?
Would a SEAS presitige aluminum woofer be as good at 165.00?
Would I hear the difference?

I know it's impossible for you guys to answer all these questions, I am just trying to paint a picture of where my head is at. Have any of you had to replace your woofers with aftermarket products? What brand did you choose? and how did it work out?

Thanks again,
With cheaper drivers you should simply replace them with new drivers. Make sure you get the same model driver. Only high quality drivers ($500+ each) are usually worth re-coning.
A guy outside of Pittsburgh is awesome and inexpensive but a little slow. Google: tristate loudspeaker in aliquippa PA. I'm sure he is wayyyy less money.
I don't know what driver is used in yr Vandy. Write Madisound and ask them for a suitable replacement driver. They are a reputable outfit. As Shadorne noted, it's not worth re-coning cheapo drivers.
Using a different driver could throw your speaker's balance off. Search for a replacement or have it repaired.
Any aftermarker speaker reconer(unless an authorized warranty station) will be using Waldom parts with which to affect the repair. Your speakers will never sound the same(or even close) if this course is taken. Unless you replace the driver(it's not simply a passive radiator) with an OEM piece; the design cannot function as intended. It's Thiel/Small parameters play a major part in it's functioning properly, and MUST be matched exactly for optimum performance in the Vandy's alignment. Then again; since you've toasted the voicecoils, it may be that the system wasn't providing enough bottom to satisfy you(have you boosted/EQ'ed your bass somehow?), and a more efficient/sturdier driver would serve you better there.
1. as per your previous post and the fact that you're still able to use your speakers, your crossovers are OK for sure and you don't have to send an entire pair of speakers so that's a good news.
2. the bad news that even if you manage to buy cheap new scanspeak driver, you won't be able to achieve the same performance and your speakers will be worth as they're with no driver. you will most-likely have to get rid of your original crossovers and properly setup an active crossover which is again to stretch your budget.
3. basing on 1,2 I guess, reconing your originals would be the best key even vs. buying available used 3A's and even vs. buying a single or a pair of powered subs. you will also bring back the value of your speakers.
Call Bill Legall at Millersound, (215) 412-7700. Vandersteens are a specialty of his. He can replace the voice coils, no problem. And, at low cost. Also, if the spiders and surrounds need to be done at the same time, and only if it's required, he'll do them. Bill's incredible work costs no more than buying a cheap set of replacement woofers. You've got a good pair of loudspeakers there, do what is required to make things stay that way.

Replacing drivers is A LOT more complicated than one might think. Factoring in parameters that combine to be expressed in specifcations like Qts, excursion, etc. make it a more difficult proposition for most novices than they can get their head around.

For example, replacing a driver that is designed for a ported alignment with one designed to be used in an Acoustic Suspension topology, or vice versa (and, do you know what parameters make a driver oriented towards one or the other), is a recipe for failure. Sure, it will make sound, but you'll never have anything close to what you started with.
As several others have correctly pointed out - if you can't easily (& cheaply) get the exact same model driver then it would be sensible to go with Vandersteen for repair in order to keep your speakers standard (better resale as nobody wants to buy a dogs breakfast of a speaker). Of course Vandersteen will be slightly more expensive than retail as they get the driver from Scan-speak and will probably carry a higher markup then a large retail outlet like Madisound (a clerk who just takes your order versus Vandersteen staff who are likely better paid).
Hi, Thank you for your inputs. Rodman, the bass is fine, was fine, great actually, it was a physical accident with a turntable, and more power then the speakers are rated for.

I cannot get an exact matching new driver, so I am left with getting them repaired. Vandersteen will charge 289 per, and Bill Legall charges 65.00 per.
The rubber surrounds are fine and the speaker looks perfect from the outside. I would hate to have Bill replace the voice coils to save a few bucks, then get them back and figure out the aluminum cones are warped or some other problem that Vandersteen would probably catch. I guess I could buy another pair of 3a's for 1000.00 and have spare mids and tweeters and cloth?

Well, I have some thinking to do,

Thanks for talking me out of cheap replacement drivers.

Have you ever dealt with Madisound? Of course they have clerks who take orders, but they also have an excellent technical staff, some who have been in the industry for a long time.
Have you ever dealt with Madisound? Of course they have clerks who take orders, but they also have an excellent technical staff, some who have been in the industry for a long time.

No I have not. I get stuff from Solen. You are probably correct and that they have great staff - sorry if what I said sounded negative - all I really meant was that it is NOT unreasonable for one to expect a boutique like Vandersteen to charge a lot more for a replacment part than a large outfit like Madisound.
Mike- Are you certain the voice coils are burned? Is there any sound from them with signal applied? If so- It's possible, with a sudden high input transient(ie: If a tonearm were dropped), for the voice coil to exceed it's linear range, bottom on the magnet plate and/or strike the magnet's top plate and pole piece. Either will bend/deform the voice coil's former and cause a nasty scratching/rattling sound during play. I've repaired a number of drivers that had that misfortune over the years(NOT my own), without having to replace the voice coil(aluminum is easy, Nomex/polymide/Kapton are much trickier, but doable). That insured no change was made in the unit's T/S parameters, or it's sound. I've no doubt Bill at Millersound could do that repair as well, if he's willing to take the time.
I can personally assure you that Bill Legall isn't going to miss ANYTHING in terms of the drivers, and can make whatever repair they require. His driver rebuilds provide a product that is normally superior to what was originally produced by the factory.

Before Bud Fried passed away, he gave me his longtime personal loudspeakers, which featured a lot of wrinkles, reflecting a man as intelligent, creative, and unique as Bud. All of the drivers were one offs, specials he had the OEMs do just for him. There was an issue with one of the 6.5" drivers, and Bill figured out it needed a new voice coil. The only rub was that it featured a 1", 4 layer, copper DVC on a kapton former. Bill said in 55 years and all the thousands of drivers he seen in doing this, he'd only encountered that once before. No matter, he could have them made for me without issue. But, surprisingly enough, after looking around for about 10 minutes, he had them in stock. Not only that, but his work resulted in increasing the sensitivity, excursion, and whatever else of the drivers which manifested itself in the speakers becoming more easy to drive, impactful, and with better tone. Incredible!

Take a look at the feature on him at The most interesting thing about the feature is that Bill did not allow his contact information to be listed. He was even reluctant to be featured by in the first place. It speaks volumes when a business does not need to advertise, as he receives so much work from loudspeaker manufacturers and commercial entities that until a couple of years ago, he tried to stay away from the individual type of customer.

At $65 per driver, this is a total no-brainer.
In other words, he changed the Thiele/Small parameters of the driver completely, which thereby negated the designer's alignment and response goals. Exactly what I said would happen if OEM(ie: Vandersteen) parts were not used in the repair. That does not make everyone happy, especially if the owner enjoyed the way the speaker was designed to perform initially.
Rodman99999, my question to you is, have you seen and/or heard any of his work?

Yes, Bill changes the T/S parameters of the driver. Completely? Every situation is different, and warrants a different solution. Negating the designer's alignment and response goals is an assertion that seems to cross the line of what can be inferred in the effort to dismiss his work out of hand. It also ignores the fact that most OEM drivers are not nearly as close to meeting their specification sheets as we hope. Beyond that, there are parameters Bill optimizes the vast majority of people have never encountered, are not captured in a specification, and that OEM driver and loudspeaker manufacturers do not take into account.

Bill Legall, doesn't advertise it, but more than a few high-end audio loudspeaker manufacturers turn to him when they have a driver issue themselves.

As I said earlier, Vandersteen loudspeakers are a specialty of his. To hear the improvements he has made for many people over the years in the Model 2 and 3, which actually transcend the drivers themselves, shines a lot more light on the subject that my words can. Suffice it to say that a lot of people have changed their minds about purchasing a new pair of loudspeakers after their Vandersteens were modified by Bill.
In prior communications; I've recommended to Mike that he contact Bill regarding his speakers. I've purchased cones and surrounds from Bill in the past, but I'm not intimately familiar with his work. Our conversations HAVE always shown him to be knowledgeable. You stated that he changed the sensitivity and excursion of the drivers mentioned. If the changes were audible: That would not only change the Fs, Qes and Qms(which will change all the other system Q's yielded in the T/S formulas and the Vas), but would also cause a rise and overlap in the frequency response at the designer's crossover point. Like I said, changing the designer's original performance goals is not everyone's desire. Most of the higher end speaker builders(especially those that have their drivers custom made), hold the manufacturers to more stringent tolerances than you obviously think. Otherwise there could be no unit to unit consistancy in reproduction.
if i knew which driver i can build or rebuild drivers. Everybody who are talking about change of T/S after rebuilding driver can relax and chill out. Noithing will cange if the same VC, the same weight/qty glue, the same VC height in gap adjusted and of course the same original surround and spider are used if needed to replace. after rebuilding spider can be softened mechanicaly to speed up burn in.
Thank you for your confirmation.
Rodman99999, "Most of the higher end speaker builders(especially those that have their drivers custom made), hold the manufacturers to more stringent tolerances than you obviously think. Otherwise there could be no unit to unit consistancy in reproduction."

Sorry, but you could not be more wrong.

A lot of high-end audio manufacturers wrestle with this all the time. One of the (household name) loudspeaker driver manufacturers supplying Bud Fried with product in the mid 1990s, and part of the business arrangement was that they used to send a group of measurements/plots of the units shipped to Fried. Bud began to suspect something was askew, though the company insisted that they stood by their figures. And, I guess in most situations, nothing more would come of it. Except that Bud wasn't the type to just let it go. So, being that he visited Europe 3 - 4 times per year, he dropped in on them, and demanded they measure the drivers of the model they were shipping to him in his presence so that he could confirm everything was as they said. Well, they soon found themselves in the position where they had to admit the numbers were fudged.

I'm glad you have patronized Bill in the past. On his knowledge, customer service, and workmanship we can agree.
The companies I'm referring to test every driver for consistancy/tolerances, plus match the drivers for use as pairs. BTW: What you just posted as Bud's actions concerning the source and quality of his drivers confirms what I said of, "most higher end speaker manufacturers"(ie: "He couldn't just let it go") KUDOS to Fried!!
Two pairs of high-end audio loudspeakers I own (one fairly ubiquitous and highly respected, the other less well-knowned, but growing) were blessed with tolerances that not at all tight. I can easily identify the differences in the one pair, which I still have, simply through playing them.

By the way, I applaud you for maintaining this standard, but a lot of our hobby is more of a cottage industry with the good and bad that goes along with that.

But, yes, KUDOS to Fried!! They'll never be another like Bud.
Get the T/S parameters for the original drivers from Vandersteen, then find replacements from Madisound that most closely match the original.
Vandersteen will charge 289 per, and Bill Legall charges 65.00 per.
The rubber surrounds are fine and the speaker looks perfect from the outside. I would hate to have Bill replace the voice coils to save a few bucks, then get them back and figure out the aluminum cones are warped
Hmmm, in light of this new info, I thoroughly recommend you go for the B-L solution. It is most unlikely he will miss a warped cone -- or anything else for that matter. It's really not rocket science (more of an "artistic" craft).
Thank you for all your responses and info, I have decided to send them to Bill tomorrow.
I got the drivers back yesterday, put them back in and they sound perfect, no issues whatsoever. Thanks Bill.
Thank you for following up on the repair. Obviously, for good reason, I'm a huge fan of Bill's.