Instructables

Fixing an Old Speaker: A DIY Guide to Improving Your Home Stereo

Do you want a new pair of home audio speakers but can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars? Then why not repair an old speaker yourself for as little as $30!? Replacing a speaker driver is an easy process, whether you have a blown speaker that needs to be fixed or an older speaker that could use a boost in performance. This guide, perfect for DIY types, will look at the process of selecting an appropriate driver for your speaker, as well as the physical replacement. Armed with nothing more than a screwdriver (or drill) and ruler, this quick and straightforward process will have you upgrading your home stereo in no time!

(Note: Before starting it would be helpful to refer to the speaker anatomy picture to familiarize yourself with terms that will be used throughout this guide)

 
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Step 1: Find the Problematic Driver

Before you begin, you have to know which driver needs to be replaced. First, remove the cloth section covering the front of the speaker, more commonly known as the speaker grill. This should come off fairly easily.

To test the speaker, play music through it. Music is the ideal media to test with because more frequencies will be used simultaneously, allowing you to pinpoint the blown or under-performing driver more quickly. Based on what type of driver you are testing, you should adjust your system’s equalizer accordingly:

• Tweeter: Increase the system’s treble setting
• Mid-Range: Increase the system’s mid setting
• Woofer: Increase the system’s bass setting

Run each driver test individually at a reasonably high volume (somewhere around 7 or 8 out of 10)  and take note of any noticeable cracking or buzzing. Based on this test decide which driver, or possibly drivers, need to be replaced.

Step 2: Unscrew the Old Driver

Picture of Unscrew the Old Driver
Unplug any wires coming into or out of the speaker to ensure that it is not hooked up to any sort of power source. Unscrew the guide screws holding the driver to the box. Hold onto the driver while removing the final screw to ensure it doesn’t fall.
C. Wheeler8 months ago
That's pretty cool! I have a question. Can I buy a home theater control box without the speakers? My home theater system control box broke and I finished it off by taking it apart and goofing with it. Now I have the speakers and the other two speaker looking things which I don't know what they are called. Will I have to buy a whole new sound system? Any suggestions? Thanks
Daev3 years ago
Great instructable! These are things that every music lover should learn - huge cost savings! I've built, repaired and replaced many speakers and had some excellent results.

This step reminded me that I've had a speaker buzz because someone had done this before and over-tightened the screw. It stripped the hole in the MDF or plywood and the screw wasn't holding the speaker tightly to the box. The simplest solution is to use a slightly larger screw.

If the back of the speaker box is removable, you can drill the existing hole all the way through the face of the speaker box, put a small bolt through the front and fasten it with a washer, nut and lock nut at the back (you'll need to take the back of the speaker box off to access this, though).

A third, very easy option is to abandon the original screw holes, turn the speaker in its hole and drill all brand new screw holes. If it's covered by the grill cloth, nobody will see it and it shouldn't affect the sound. For the one in the photo, if it were turned by 1/8th, the screws would be at the top, bottom and sides - a little "different", but not bad looking!
Lhtrf Daev1 year ago
Another trick is to put wood glue into the hole and sick several tooth picks in, nearly instant undrilled new hole waiting for the screw
yobub1 year ago
need help, i intend to build a pair of floor standing speaker box. my woofer specs are : 2 x 8 inch woofers 250 watts/8ohms, 93db, freq. response is 45hz - 4khz . tweeter specs : 150W/8ohms, 107mm diameter. can anybody suggest the speaker box inner dimensions?
where can you find speakers like these if not brand new but old at thift shops or goodwill
onemoroni13 years ago
I fixed my old speakers by getting foam kits available on the internet. They worked great. Big five, four way Pioneer speakers I got for $5 each at a thrift store because the foam was all gone. But replacing with new is the ultimate if you can afford it. I've researched mine and good used condition ones sell for up to $400 on some websites. My total investment less than $50 for speakers and kits.
bobert6104 years ago
 can u guys give me the url of a good cheap speaker site?
Sorry on such a late reply, but to be honest, nothing beats using google shopping to find the cheapest place to buy. Amazon is usually ok though.
docrings3 years ago
great speakers for low prices can be found at parts express (.) com
mattyfu4 years ago
Great guide! Thanks for making it