New drivers for B&W 602S2. Advice please!

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Hi all,

I haven't been on this forum for years so consider me a newb.

I have recently picked up a very cheap pair of B&W 602S2 with the yellow kevlar drivers.

One of the drivers is buzzing, suggesting that it has been overdriven and so I'm in need of a replacement.

Having been unable to find a replacement driver online I guess it would make sense to see what I can do in the way of upgrades to these fairly good hifi speakers.

Any advice on what drivers I should look out for will be appreciated. One of the tweeters has a tiny ding after being pushed in but this doesn't really sound any different to the other one so I will just consider replacing them, depending on price.

My max spend is £200 ($300) inc tweeters if required and I am based in the UK so parts from Europe would be much preferred in order to avoid customs duty.

Try to find someone in your vicinity who can repair speakers... much cheaper and easier than getting a new driver (which is quite difficult with B&W speakers anyway). Unfortunately I am living pretty far from you, otherwise I could repair them for You at the fraction of the cost of a new driver.....

I have just spoken to B&W who have a driver for £62 delivered, but they discouraged me from buying them as the speakers were only £300 13 years ago. Apparently the centre cover cannot be replaced.

I wasn't aware that such things could be repaired, but I'm happy to have a go as I'm not afraid of DIY and good with my hands.

Are there any threads on here which may help me to do this?

I'm also quite happy to put uprated drivers in there if anyone can recommend something suitable. Spending £200 on these B&W would give me a much better sound than going out and buying another pair of speakers for the same price, and at the moment they are just large pieces of static modern art in the corner of my workshop.
you could try ebay:

DM602 S1 Woofer | eBay

My temptation would be either buy one of those (contact the seller and let them know it's priced too high as you can get it from B&W for less, see if they want to drop the price ;) also it's S1 not S2)

or buy two new mid-range units, though you'll need to either make sure they fit perfectly (unlikely) or build new baffles... either a pita or fun, depending how you look at it. both of these would give you a good upgrade though:

Scanspeak 18W/8434G00 MidWoofer - Discovery Range

Seas CA18RLY H1217-08 Woofer - Prestige Series

Have you thought about upgrading the crossovers? what are the 602 xo's like? haven't seen them myself (working with XT4 drivers right now)

btw, where are you based?

Depending on how well the xo's are made, you may be better off making a new front baffle and buying all new drivers, you should be able to get £60 odd for your old stuff on ebay anyway ;)


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I recently measured the B&W 602S3. The S2 should be similar. The crossover to the tweeter is too high and the tweeter has a nasty resonance around 10 kHz (emphasizes the ssss sounds). That said, the woofer as a driver is very good: smooth and low distortion. If I were you, I'd buy the raw driver, replace the tweeters and build a new crossover and new cabinet. Although, the B&W cabinet is very good.

A quick and easy solution might be a notch on the tweeter.
Hi Guys.

Both good suggestions there. I'm in the UK so nannoo your links are helpful.

I agree that the woofer is pretty good, but that the top end is unrefined. They cost me £50 so I'm not complaining.

The S1 woofer is actually the same model according to B&W so I may ask that eBay guy to reconsider his pricing, however the price of the upgrades you recommend is also attractive. I will need to measure up to see how they match up with the original aperture of the cabinet.

I'm not interested in cabinet building as my skills extend to a soldering iron but not a saw however adjustments to the crossover seem like a good idea as does replacing the tweeters...

What would a crossover mod involve?
Best to build crossovers from scratch, wouldn't bother modding, but depending on the quality of the components originally used you may want to salvage some parts, post a picture and I'm sure you'll get some opinions!

For this level of speaker I'd recommend a simple 2nd order crossover, for which you'd need 2 capacitors and 2 inductor coils, a good reference page is:

Crossover Design Calculators

from there you should get a basic idea of what's going on, but feel free to ask questions - crossovers certainly aren't the great mystery some people would have you believe!
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Agree with nannoo. If you replace the tweeters though, the problem you will have is mounting new tweeters on the existing baffle.

I think that the B&W tweeter in that model is pretty wretched, despite all the advertising. But changing it will require some woodworking (at the very least). So, an improved crossover might be your best bet.
This is brilliant. For about £150 I can get a pair of new drivers from B&W plus an uprated crossover which will deal with the tweeter issue, making them better than new.

I could get the buzzing driver repaired but they have both lost their centre caps and I don't expect the other one is going to perform too well for much longer considering the condition that they are in (having been stored in a shed for 5 years).

Would someone mind recommending a tweeter? If it's cost effective I will make them fit as they would be far easier to mount than an alternate driver. May as well go the whole way!
I'd be hesitant about the B&W crossovers, they're likely charging you more than they would cost you to make yourself, and the result could be lower quality components. also if you're crossing over with a custom selected tweeter the B&W design may lead to odd performance results.

ra7 can probably advise the best xo freq for the mid woofers, from there zaph audio has plenty of reviews, but I've always been a big fan of the XT25 as a budget tweeter.

Incidently, what are your plans for the old drivers? I've been after some cheap but ok drivers to attempt to mod and improve performance!
Sorry I wasn't clear enough. The first line should have read:

"For about £150 I can get a pair of new drivers from B&W and build uprated crossovers using the specs and link you guys have provided'

There are no plans for the old drivers. If i could recoup something to put towards the other mods i'd be happy, especially as I'm getting all this advice. How cheap is cheap?

The one side sounds fine, and the other has this little buzz which I didn't actually notice until I played some classical music, but that will annoy me now so they have to go!

If it helps, the modded speakers when finished will be at the end of this chain:

192k USB tube-pre DAC
Cyrus Pre Xvs
Cyrus Smartpower x2 in mono mode

So any performance gains from modding the speakers won't be wasted considering the other kit.

I have spotted some ribbon tweeters on ebay for £35 each. A square hole would be easier to cut with a jigsaw, better than a round one unless I could find the perfect hole saw.

I have no idea about crossover frequencies for ribbons, but i do have a pair in my Adam studio monitors and they sound fantastic in comparison, much smoother and more spacious. Maybe I could make these B&Ws into 3 ways with the ribbon chipping in around 10k and the crappy tweeters filing the gap between the ribbon and the driver?
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