Refurbishing Ten Year-Old Speakers
Posted on: 27/09/2011

There was a pair of speakers I had for years. They started out new and shiny (below photo, left) then became graffiti-ed (below, bottom) before finally being absolutely hammered by a decade of abuse from myself and a multitude of airport baggage machines. So, I decided to repaint them.

Speakers before

First off, I needed to decide what they looked like. I figured on a blue and black colour scheme (yeah I know, original), and thought about what would go on the front. I eventually settled on the old BBC logo (below, inset), but realised that as a canvas - speakers suck. If half of your painting area is gone it makes it very difficult to get any detail. So, the logo was changed until it became what you see below you on the left.

Speaker design

So, the speakers were taken apart. Primarily in order to paint them, but also to fiddle around with the electronics. I was going to attach a new switch to get rid of the old partially broken red one, add a new 3.5mm stereo jack, and rewire the cables to black. There was some attempt at placing a speaker on the small area circled in green as I had seen in other more advanced models. But, days messing around with ammeters, on audiophile blogs, and looking for a decades old design and spec sheets told me it'd be tricky to find a speaker of exact size and power, on a reasonable budget. So, the plastic shapes were returned to their moorings and painting was continued.

Speaker innards, with highlight of the secondary speaker outlet

Unfortunately, pictures of the actual painting have long since vanished from my computer. But, the after pictures are below for all to see. The switch and jack was easy to install with a bit of cutting and a plastic repair kit, as were the various cracks and holes in the unit. The actual stencilling had to be performed not just with a front stencil, but newspaper had to fill the gaps and solvent had to be quickly applied to mop up any mistakes. The volume, bass and treble controls were painted on top and on the line down the sides by a mixture of tape and PVA glue to cover up the bits I didn't want painted. But after a while, my speakers were reclaimed and ready to be thrown about for another ten years!

Right speaker Left speaker close up of volume controls

Filed under: Projects Tags: Stencils, Painting, Refurbishing