Fixing a Speaker Cabinet by Replacing a Home Theater Speaker
By Tl Kleban
When it comes to great audio sound, there is no part of a home theater that is more overlooked that the speaker cabinet. It is the very last link in the sound chain and controls the final way you hear everything. The speaker cabinet reproduces the tone as sound waves in the air which creates the subtle differences in sound. What happens when you have a blown speaker in one of your cabinets? Do you fix it or just buy a new one?
Usually the answer to this question is a wholehearted yes, simply for the reason that those cabinets were built with your speakers in mind. That is what they designed for. Think about the amount of math and engineering that was involved in building the cabinets with a certain amount of air space in mind. These cabinets were tuned specifically for those old speakers. Installing other speakers in there will not sound the same as your old speakers.
Here is a simple step by step process how you can remove the bad speaker from the cabinet and repair it.
- Take the speaker cabinet you'll be working on and set it on its back to remove the speaker grille. Some grilles are different than others. Some simply pop into place, while others are secured in with screws visible from the side or front of the cabinet.
- Now that you have the grill removed, you'll next unscrew the first screw from the bad speaker, and then the screw opposite the first one. All of the screws need to be removed in an opposite pairs order.
- Now, carefully list the speaker out of the cabinet. It will still be connected by wires to the other speakers and the head unit. Some are attached by two wires while others by four. There should never come a time when you remove a speaker and there is only one wire. If this you see this is the case then you may be lucky and the speaker is just disconnected and not blown out.
- Now take those wires hanging out the back and pull them out of the speaker tabs using the plastic connectors. Never pull on the wire itself. You'll end up damaging it. Those tabs should be color coded to help you distinguish between the positive (red) and the negative (black) wires. If they aren't, then simply label them with a marker before you remove them. Be careful not to let the wires fall back inside the cabinet once they are removed by taping them to the sides.
- Double check that the removed speaker is in fact blown and dead by determining the resistance between the two positive and negative connection tabs. If you get a read out on the meter of less than an ohm or more than twice the impedance rating, you have yourself a bad speaker. If you get a reading between the two good zones, then there shouldn't be anything wrong with the speaker. One other way is to lightly press on the center of the speaker cone. The speaker is blown if it makes a scratchy sound or does not spring back to its original shape.
- Now that you have your new speaker ready to go, you'll need to reconnect the wires by pushing the connectors onto the matching tab. Set the speaker into the mounting hole and replace the screws in that same opposing pair fashion as used earlier.
- Lastly, you are going to tighten all those screws, replace the grille and return the speaker cabinet back to its upright position.
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