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overtheairbroadcast 16th February 2012 01:47 PM

Can old surround speakers be modded?

Still new to this place, but this seems as good as a place to ask. I have been given a couple of centre channels and eight surround sound speakers (all Pioneer and all FREE) by a friend of mine who bought a couple of new systems (he kept the amps). These are not the greatest speakers as they are already probably ten years old or so. The housings are about 5 inches tall and about 3 inches deep in a wedge of cheese shape. Each of the surrounds come with a dome tweeter and a 3 inch speaker. The centre channels are gone (one just not registering anything and the other to my brother in-law who wanted it for lack of a centre channel).

Though the cheap little ABS boxes are the same, the back surround sound speakers are junk (7 ohms each) without shielding and have stiff foam surrounds, made in Malaysia, those might be saved for use in the garage.

The front surround (6 ohms each) speakers have the same tweeter, with stiff paper cones with a butyl rubber surround, made in Korea and they sound way more dynamic than the rears in their current form, but sound "hollow". With the 9V battery test, they move farther than the rears do.

They both have a fingernail pathetic looking yellow disk capacitor as a crossover I suppose. And testing with and without the tweeter, surprisingly makes not much difference unless you are listening to violin music (so I might clip out those tweeters and crossover altogether).

The fronts possibly not bad for a small desktop amp hooked up to my computer or in the bedroom to a small amp and CD/MP3 source. These would be better than the tinny sound my laptop is pushing out now.

Knowing what little there is to know (no information on the maker, the model, no markings or stamps, and generic looking) and having zero experience in making speakers, what is your opinion? Are these surround speaker drivers worth the time, effort, material, into modding/hacking into something better? Or am I dealing with junk to begin with and not worth it (and I should grab some Fostex speakers and make those full ranges)?

Trash or try it?

picowallspeaker 16th February 2012 02:25 PM

So ( Hi !) you are reporting not so useful information , such the impedance but not the diameter . And 9V battery I think it's too much ,maybe ok for a very short period , usually it takes only 1.5 V battery to do the (polarity ,phase ) test . Also ,:o ok , it's cheap made ,and probably the woofer hasn't any lowpass filter ( an inductor ) so the tweeter is put there just to add some sparkle . Making a stiffer box would already change the sound ; filtering the woofer ( to prevent from hearing the break-ups at the end of their pass-band range ) would add some points ,then probably an economic tweeter but better than the one you've got , would make a better system.
The question is , if you like the sound of the driver alone and if you think there could be some betterments with these changes.

overtheairbroadcast 16th February 2012 02:36 PM

"Each of the surrounds come with a dome tweeter and a 3 inch speaker." The three inches referred to the diameter of the speaker. The dome tweeter is just that, a dome as it looks like it is a piezio (how do you spell that?) disk glued on.

No inductors, no snubber, zero. Other than the little yellow disk cap.

So you are saying maybe a good side project then?

picowallspeaker 16th February 2012 02:57 PM

Oh , yes , sorry : I thought that the front ones were bigger ...indeed you feel no great change with or without the ( so called , yes ,that's trash : a piezo ) tweeter . So no great air displacement from a 3" ...just take it as it is :o

overtheairbroadcast 16th February 2012 03:06 PM


Originally Posted by picowallspeaker (
Oh , yes , sorry : I thought that the front ones were bigger ...indeed you feel no great change with or without the ( so called , yes ,that's trash : a piezo ) tweeter . So no great air displacement from a 3" ...just take it as it is :o

Thanks. This is making it easier to move the whole lot to the garbage or garage stereo system I am making (too much wood working, plumbing, and painting for good speakers).

picowallspeaker 16th February 2012 03:22 PM

Yes . you are right !
Me too , it's one week that I've made the front baffle and a hole for a 5" ext diam woofer ( still to buy )because I found two nice little tweeters ( from a big Sony Tv ); with an oval speaker ( just the membrane ) I made a waveguide and the housing for the tweeter ; today I bought the glue ; still have to cut the wood ( leftovers from a wooden floor ) ,etc. etc.:rolleyes:
Big work for such little things that probably I don't even need :confused:
But once a year I like to listen to little speakers :p:p

overtheairbroadcast 16th February 2012 11:24 PM

You know, I am looking and measuring the scrap plywood (from making a workbench) I have and I might just have enough to use up the glue, screws, and stuffing to do this. Just for the heck of it, I might just use twin 3 inch speakers a side as I have four good speakers. These will end up in the garage radio system (replacing the old digital clock radio finally) with some kind of simple LM1875 chipamp. The piezo speaker/disks are getting tossed too.

Just kind of a shame to see all the plastic and grilles in the garbage, and cheap speakers going to the scrap metal recyclers.

The search continues for the decent desk speakers.

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