This guide worked for my 2nd edition! I heated the front plate a little with a hairdryer and could remove it with my nails and a little force.

I guess the experts comment about the affect on the acoustics is because the 2nd generation uses a kind of sticky sealant together with a rubber wire for the main housing, which also acts like the speaker enclosure. It may leak after reassembly if you don't use new sealant? I haven't put it back together again so i don't know.
This speaker uses a passive membrane (the big one) to act as a bassreflex system, so it's important to be airtight. But i think it's not a big problem, the sealant is still a little sticky so i guess it'll work as long as the screws are tightened in a cross pattern with even force.