speaker mod

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flux it up

The secret to getting a good clean solder joint is using flux. I used that wire to put a small glob of flux on the leads of the new LED and the solder pads before soldering.

and that’s the new blue LED installed

My finished solder joints. You can’t tell them from OEM. The picture doesn’t do them justice. It does nicely show the 90 degree bend in the LED leads, though.

it’s alive!

The true test…and it passes! I have an unfortunate tendency to install components with the wrong polarity the first time, but a little extra patience and caution paid off here–I got it right the first time. Needless to say, the other speaker was just the same.

everything laid out neatly

I like to use sealable plastic bags to consolidate my parts when doing a paint job on a disassembled unit. It makes it easier to keep track of the various screws and small parts that seem to be drawn into a vortex beneath my bench. So here’s the disassembled units, painted cases, knobs, and parts bags, all ready for reassembly. One crucial thing with speakers is correct polarity of the drivers. If you connect the drivers out of phase (meaning the positive and negative terminals are switched), your speakers will sound terrible. So I took extra care again to observe correct phase relationships when reassembling the cabinets.

reassembled and ready for testing

looking good now

slick as heck

original texture remains

Here’s several shots of the finished and assembled units. In the first shot you don’t get a good depiction of the color of the grille because of the flash being so close. So I took the rest without flash. The second pic shows the grille color more or less as it appears in normal room light. Both blue LEDs are visible since these are the high brightness ones from Radio S*ack. The third pic shows how nicely the dye finishes. There’s no trace of the original markings for the knobs. In the fourth pic (a detail from the third pic), you can see what a nice job the dye does of leaving the parts texture intact. Sorry for the blur, but I am too lazy to get out the tripod and set it up.

This was an easy and fun mod that made my old Sony speakers look as good as they sound. I know there are those who think that black with blue LEDs is overdone, but it looks really good. Maybe that’s why a lot of people like it?

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