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How to Repair a Blown Subwoofer

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How to Repair a Blown Subwoofer
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How to Repair a Blown Subwoofer

Music is an important part of many people's lives as songs and sounds mark memories, set the mood, and awaken emotion. When crisp sound turns fuzzy, however, the listening experience quickly becomes less than satisfying. One of the primary reasons for a sudden switch to static is a blown subwoofer. Not an uncommon occurrence, blown subwoofers occur when the bass is too loud, either because of increased audio volume or overly boosted low frequencies. Luckily, repairing a blown subwoofer is an easy procedure that almost anyone can perform. By following a few easy-to-implement instructions and obtaining any necessary replacement parts from eBay, such as a subwoofer repair kit or speaker cones, do-it-yourselfers can restore immaculate sound in no time.

The Function of the Subwoofer

As any audiophile knows, the subwoofer is the component of a stereo system that delivers the low bass frequencies, e.g., those from 20 Hz to 150 Hz. The subwoofer steps in when the standard speakers bow out, as the latter are unable to produce the low frequency sound waves as their specialised woofer brother. Depending on the listener's preference, subwoofers can be part of both home and car audio, including home theatre systems. There are two types of subwoofers: powered and passive.

Powered Subwoofer

Passive Subwoofer

Standalone cabinet

Built into the speakers

Single or group of speakers

Enclosure/driver, but no amplifier

Built-in amplifier

Requires external amplifier

More common in home audio

More common in car audio

Adjustable equalisation

With or without internal crossovers

More expensive

More common overall

Powered subwoofers are less common but preferred, requiring a separate power supply from either the stereo receiver or amplifier to run its internal amplifier. Passive subwoofers have no built-in amplifier, instead accessing power only from an external amp.

How to Repair a Blown Subwoofer

The trouble with subwoofers is that they, like audio speakers, are prone to blowout. Usually, this happens from listening to music, especially that with heavy bass, at elevated volumes, such as that which is required when driving at 100 kilometres per hour down the highway with the windows down. Even keeping volumes steady but cranking the bass one step too high can cause a subwoofer to blow. When this happens, the speaker adds an undesirable buzzing or rattling sound to music, necessitating replacement of the subwoofer.

Unfortunately, in many instances, replacing a subwoofer also demands replacing either the entire speaker or amplifier; this is because a burst speaker cone often accompanies a blown subwoofer. The good news is that speaker/ subwoofer replacement is a relatively easy procedure, even for the technologically disinclined.

Purchase a subwoofer repair kit, making sure it is the right one for the woofer in need of repair. Now, the actual process begins, with four steps on the agenda: take off the speaker grill, remove the speaker from its cavity, unwire, and wire the replacement speaker, and then return. Although these instructions may sound overly simplified, really, they are not, and with the aid of a subwoofer repair kit, they are even less daunting, and less time-consuming.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Admittedly, the above guidelines provided a broad overview; step-by-step instructions break down the project into seven easy-to-follow, bite-sized pieces. Returning to the beginning, first determine which speaker requires repair by switching the equaliser back and forth between speakers; listening to each individually identifies the problem. As outlined previously, use a screwdriver to remove the speaker grill/faceplate, taking care not to tear any attached fabric. Although replacing the cone is preferred, using tape or glue to repair it works, too. If the voice coil shows damage, such as melting, which delivers a distorted or absent sound, it warrants replacement, as well. When the replacement parts arrive, carefully replicate the assembly of the speaker, performing the aforementioned steps in reverse. If necessary when reattaching wires, enlist the help of a soldering iron. Once reassembly is complete, test the speaker and subwoofer for proper, pristine sound.

Replacing the Amplifier

Should the amp need replacement, too, the savvy listener should first determine if this is a project he wants to tackle at home. Although replacement and installation are not particularly difficult, there are a number of steps to follow, as well as a number of necessary tools. A bit of electrical system savvy is nice, too, as the mobile amplifier procedure involves removing the car's dash, disconnecting battery cables, and threading power cables through the firewall. Persons desiring to perform this task at home should seek the help of a detailed instruction manual.

How to Buy Subwoofers on eBay

Sound is important to you; you have proven as much by incorporating a subwoofer into your stereo system. So when a subwoofer blows, you want to replace it. Luckily, eBay has everything you need for this procedure, from subwoofer repair kits and cones to outright replacement subwoofers; any tools not always in your collection also abound on the site, including screwdrivers and soldering irons. Should you choose to upgrade your audio, you can also search for receivers, amplifiers, and headphones. A blown subwoofer is never fun, as its scratchy, dusty, and muddy sound quickly grows irksome. To keep your ears happy and your toes tapping, tackle the simple task of repairing the woofer.

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