How to Replace Boombox Stereo Speakersby Nichole Liandi
An older boombox can be a valued vintage treasure. If something breaks on it, it can be a real heartbreak for the owner. Some problems can be fixed with a little effort, and replacing speakers is one of these problems. Older speakers can wear out through overuse or dry rot, so this isn't an uncommon problem. No specialized electronics repair skills are necessary, but you'll need to invest a little time and effort in your project.
Switch off the boombox and then unplug it from any electrical source or remove the batteries. One or both of these steps may be required. Place the boombox on a sturdy working surface, like a workbench or table.
Examine the back panel for any screws (usually small Phillips-head) and remove them. There are so many designs for boomboxes that there is no one single method you can use to open it--consider this and subsequent steps as guides. Note where the screws came from and keep them separate to ease reassembly.
Look around the perimeter of the boombox for any additional screws or fasteners. Remove them as you find them.
Find the joint where the front and back parts of the boombox's case joins together. The typical boombox is constructed so that the front and rear separate to allow access to the inside. Pull at the joint, or pry the joint open carefully with a thin flat-blade screwdriver. Use caution in this step and if the case seems to be sticking, look for any screws or other fasteners you may have missed. When you've removed the back side of the case, proceed to the next step.
Remove any screws holding the speakers in place and pull the speaker out from the back of the case. If possible, disconnect any wiring plugs attached to the speaker. If the speaker wires are soldered to the speaker (which is far more common), cut them as closely as possible to the speaker as possible with wire cutters. Note which wires connect to the different terminals (plus and minus) of the speakers.
Measure the size of the speaker. Measure the width across the cone, and the distance between the screw holes in the frame. Also make note of any specs printed on the speakers, like power ratings and impedance. Finding replacement speakers for a boombox can be difficult. Parts-express.com, listed in the Resources, is a good source for replacement speakers and other parts.
Solder the speaker wires to the new speakers' terminals. Place the wire onto the terminal and then hold the soldering iron to the junction until it's hot. Touch the solder to the joint and let the melted solder flow in. Remove the soldering iron and repeat with the other connections.
Test the speakers by turning the boombox back on. If the speakers are working properly, screw them into place in the boombox and reassemble the case.
Items you will need
- Phllips screwdriver
- Thin flat-blade screwdriver
- Wire cutters
- Replacement speaker(s)
- Soldering iron
- Rosin core solder
- "Troubleshooting & Repairing Consumer Electronics Without a Schematic;" Homer Davidson; 2004
- speaker image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com