speaker mod

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I decided it was time to mod my speakers. This is actually a phase of a larger mod project, but I thought I’d write it up anyway.

For this mod, I’ll be disassembling my Sony SRS-88 powered speakers, using vinyl dye to color them black, and replacing the LEDs with bright blue ones. These are really nice speakers–I paid around $100 for the pair six years ago or so. I’ve always been quite happy with how they sound. But since any possibility of warranty is long since gone, I felt like it was time to mod.

classic beige, but not for long

Here you see one of the speakers, in classic beige. I have had great results with the black dye from Plastikote. This is Plastikote Ultra Vinyl Color, flat black. I’m also showing you the can above to give you a sense of the size of the work piece. You can see the speaker has a power switch and two knobs on top, plus a clear lens for the power LED inside the case. There’s a front grille covered in cloth. To prep, I removed several stickers, removed the residual adhesive with De-Solv-It, and wiped the piece with isopropyl alcohol. Since I removed the warning labels, I guess I’ll need to remember on my own that there’s a “risque du choc electrique.” C’est la vie.

prepped, disassembled, and ready to paint

Here’s the disassembled cabinet ready to paint. You can see how the cabinet is made of two pieces that fit together. The grille, knobs and lens for the LED are removed. The knobs slide neatly on to the shafts of the post, the grille was mounted to the cabinet with four screws, and the lens for the LED was screwed in place. The cabinet has a very nice seal, and the construction is very high quality throughout. I was impressed with the workmanship as I disassembled the unit.

this is one light coat of vinyl dye

Looking good, huh? This is the pieces after a single coat of dye. I coated the pieces with four or five light coats like this one.

several coats later

Now the pieces are starting to look like I want. That grille cloth absorbed an amazing amount of black dye without turning a dark black, so it got ten or twelve coats.

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