"Music to Your Ears"
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Introducing the Essay portal, beta version. My take on "How to Save Radio Shack"
In general, most woofers (low frequency drivers) are pretty straightforward, they should be reconed to duplicate the original sound and eliminate worn, tired, and deformed parts. Some use such oddly dimensioned parts that it is better to just replace the foam (many old Advent speakers come to mind) and keep the original internal parts intact, but in general reconing is better. I can rebuild or replace some tweeters and horn drivers but usually I need to see the original unit to determine this. This is a non-destructive process and if you have something you want me to look at you should send it in with your address and telephone number for me to contact you with the options.
This entails stripping the driver down to the original metal chassis (magnet, basket, etc.) and building the driver again, as if from scratch. Duplication of the original performance is the goal. I can also usually repaired damaged magnet structures as well. My assembly materials and workmanship are professional industrial grade, and are the result of years of manufacturing experience. You can expect a reconed driver to sound like new and give many years of satisfaction.
This process consists of accurately replacing the rotted annular foam surround. This process also involves removing and replacing or re-attaching the dust cap in order to accurately center the cone while gluing. Lead wires will also be replaced if necessary. I will inform you of the need for a complete reconing if the original parts are too worn to be serviceable. This process is recommended mostly if the original driver will be very difficult (or impossible) to source appropriate parts for a full reconing.
Something that can be very worthwhile doing is rejuvenating speakers that have "good" cabinets but never sounded as well as they should. By "good" cabinets, I mean ones that are solidly built. Often older speakers (say, pre-1975) just weren't capable of the great sound my drivers provide, but they were still manufactured very well, with wood veneered cabinets and very solid jointwork. These speakers will tend to still have great nostalgic value to their owners.
What I do is remove all the old speaker parts, wiring, etc., then I rebuild the speakers with my high quality parts, crossovers and terminal connections, test them thoroughly, and you can enjoy music like never before! Even if the holes cut in the front of the box are not convenient, this can still be remedied by attaching an extra layer of MDF to the front with the appropriate holes cut into it. A typical project would be to use my PRO 005 woofer and PRO 002 M2 tweeter in a 1.5-2 cubic foot cabinet. If not too much cabinet modification is required, this would be about a $300-350 job. If you think your speakers would benefit by this process, please contact me and we can discuss it.
This is by far and away the most fun I have with other brands of older, worn out speakers. The result by the time I am through is that I have turned them into what essentially would be a current HUMAN Speakers product. This is easiest to do with a speaker that is a sealed box, not vented with a port tube, and has an eight inch woofer hole. The candidate should be a sturdy, heavy box, or at least look very good/cool. Of course these issuess can always be rectified if they are not ideal - front baffles can be replaced or rebuilt, and cabinets can be braced for more strength.
First, all the old parts are removed. Then any cabinet improvements are effected, such as bracing and thickening of cabinet walls. Then it's time to install new rear terminal/crossover assemblies, fresh damping material if necessary, and the woofers and tweeters. Voila! Great sounding, vintage looking speakers!
Prices can change and specifications will improve without notice