Rebuild old speakers?

New to this forum but was glad to find it in the nick of time. Sadly I must brush in "broad strokes" here for I am not by any means educated in this industry. Have a nice (new equipment) home theatre system. 53" HD Sony TV, Digital reciever, 12" JBL sub woofer etc. Seems my only weak point now is my left and right front speakers. They are 6 year old bookshelf 2 way 6" driver JBL's When I want to really "crank" the stereo music mood seems they just start to give up at the level I like it. Have a chance to trade these for a pair of Kenwood 3 way speakers with 10" subwoofer drivers. The Kenwoods are extreamly well built (like tanks, nice hardware etc) front double ported cabinets with +2 and -2 adjustable crossovers. Sadly they are older speakers from around 1970. The old paper cone tweeter and such. Elderly couple had these since day one. 10 inch drivers had good foam in them but no doubt once I crank em they will take a dive. To my question... I think that I have one heck of a foundation to make a nice set of speakers. Would I not be able to send out the 10" drivers to be rebuilt by a reputable firm brining them to new life? Some of the older sub drivers (magnets, construction etc.) beats the devil out of some of the new stuff or so it seems. Then, find the T/S specs. on the tweeter and mid range and upgrade them? If I match all the specs of the drivers would they not match the calculations originally done on the cabinet? Hope that I am on track here and I look forward to any help that you can give me.

Thanks tons!
 
Consider this one of those replies that you sometimes see in love advice columns in newpapers.

Dear Speaker Lover,
Give up.
Trying to match drivers to existing cabinets is well nigh impossible. The flow goes the other way. Design the cabinet to fit the drivers. If you're infatuated with the way that the older cabinets look or whatever...'fess up...but it's still just infatuation, and the chances for a meaningful relationship are slim to none.
There are no such thing as cone tweeters any more. How are you going to fill that hole? Once you start changing the drivers the crossover won't match the new ones. Ugh. A nightmare.
There are few speakers from the 70's that have any resale value today. Why? They were lousy by today's standards. Thiele-Small hadn't hit yet, and driver design was pretty poor. Built-like-a-tank, while admirable, isn't the same as good-sounding. You can pick up any number of old, ragged-out vintage speakers in pawn shops for $30 a pair.
Sending a driver out for a rebuild isn't an option. Not in the hifi world. If I were to blow a driver in my bass rig, I could get the driver reconed. (But I wouldn't--I'd buy a new one.) It's not as critical an application. You have no idea what you'll get when you get a driver rebuilt, but it certainly won't be anything with predictable Thiele-Small parameters. More like the bastard offspring of a cheap guitar driver and a TV speaker.
So dry your tears, save your pennies, and get something made within the last ten years or so.

Abigail (aka Grey)
 
curious

One has to be curious where the "speaker lover" comes from. No "infatuation" or the like was mentioned. Just information about some Kenwood speakers with simple related questions. Not sure how "speaker lover" was read into what was said but I suppose things may get boring here and one must do what they can to "jazz" it up a bit for the sake of the web site. My fault that I was caught off guard, being new I should have read more of the forum seeing how things are here. That being the case then ummm oh yeah, ha ha ha.
 
No offense intended (assuming that any was taken).
It's a question that I've dealt with many times over the years; a couple of times here on the DIY site (including one just a week or two back). After a while, one looks for new ways to say the same old things. I suppose we could preavil upon Jason to start a FAQ and direct similar questions in the future to the FAQ section, but that might come off seeming rather brusque:
NEWPOSTER--Can I rebuild my nineteen-ought-whatever speakers to bring them up to date in performance?
OLDFART--Oh, gad...go read FAQ #16.
Somewhat lacking in the warm hometown welcome sense, yes? So I try to vary my particulars when I respond so as not to sound like the proverbial broken record. Add to that the idea that I tend to view this as an informal talk (as, I think, most folks here do) around the kitchen table, perhaps with a beer in front of us. To me that includes a bit of teasing from time to time to lighten the mood a bit. I gather from some peoples' reactions that they expect/want something more formal, more cut & dried. To them I say,"Lighten up...if you're not having fun with this, why are you doing it?"
Where "Speaker Lover" came from? I made it up. Those advice columns always have some tag line like "Heartbroken in Hoboken" or "Squashed in Seattle." For whatever reason, it seems to be part of the accepted format for advice columns. Nothing deeper to be read into it. Just playing so as to change the wording from the last time the question came up. Sorry if the format of my response bothered you...

Grey (aka Grey)
 
I see

No offense taken. As I had stated before, I am new here and fully should have known the question I asked had come up before. I can kid around with the best of them and I can also apreciate what you do here to "lighten" it up some. Thank you kindly for your time and in the future I will go more with the flow. :)
 
Is it the speakers or the amp that are running out of steam when you turn it up?

I rip apart many an old speaker cabinet (literally 100s of them). You will actually find some quite interesting and good vintage drivers... the oldest alnico ones have some resale value, the ceramic drivers less (and ones with foam surrounds typically gone and worth using for resurround practice or salvaging for fridge magnets). The cabinets thou are on the whole only suitable for recycling into shelving, or being tossed onto the fire pile (rainy season soon -- i promised a picture of my "mountain" before we set light to it).

So my advice is to stay away from the Kenwoods -- they don't sound like they have anything interesting in them, and just start from scratch -- the hardest part there is that there are so many choices that it can be bewildering where to start (you can almost be assured that once going you won't be able to just build one pair :))

dave
 
suggest you try

kits from http://www.madisound.com/


or Parts Express
or Zalytron
or Speaker City

Personally, I recommend Madisound because I have used them myself and been quite happy. I was very pleased with their service and responses to questions.

There are plently of folks in this forum that have purchased from the other vendors named and they seem to have had good experiences also.


Select a kit from one of them and go for it.

regards

Ken L
 
GRollins said:
Consider this one of those replies that you sometimes see in love advice columns in newpapers.

Dear Speaker Lover,
Give up.
Trying to match drivers to existing cabinets is well nigh impossible. The flow goes the other way. Design the cabinet to fit the drivers. If you're infatuated with the way that the older cabinets look or whatever...'fess up...but it's still just infatuation, and the chances for a meaningful relationship are slim to none.
There are no such thing as cone tweeters any more. How are you going to fill that hole? Once you start changing the drivers the crossover won't match the new ones. Ugh. A nightmare.
There are few speakers from the 70's that have any resale value today. Why? They were lousy by today's standards. Thiele-Small hadn't hit yet, and driver design was pretty poor. Built-like-a-tank, while admirable, isn't the same as good-sounding. You can pick up any number of old, ragged-out vintage speakers in pawn shops for $30 a pair.
Sending a driver out for a rebuild isn't an option. Not in the hifi world. If I were to blow a driver in my bass rig, I could get the driver reconed. (But I wouldn't--I'd buy a new one.) It's not as critical an application. You have no idea what you'll get when you get a driver rebuilt, but it certainly won't be anything with predictable Thiele-Small parameters. More like the bastard offspring of a cheap guitar driver and a TV speaker.
So dry your tears, save your pennies, and get something made within the last ten years or so.

Abigail (aka Grey)

Obviously need heard of plastic surgery, liposuction, botox or POOGE.

I picked up a lovely "pair" of big bossomy elder-KLH's, standing like a hooker on 10th avenue outside the Lincoln Tunnel.

You know the type, the big curvaceous kind of speaker with the large drooping hooters yet tiny firm tweeters. Show their age poorly from too many Rockin' Rye's with Mama Cass. Still California dreamin...

Well, we botoxed up the wrinkles in the hooters with a liberal application of DUCO, and pulled off her grill cloth so that everyone could see her in the "altogether". I am thinking of a new fishnet to cover her front, but neither Victoria's nor Frederick's carries anything for such a boxy fox.

The only major surgery was on the unfortunate pair of tweeters, which I am sure had pleased many an admirer in their day, but they had to be audaxed and underwent the knife.

and the story continues...
 
LMFAO!!! I LOVE THIS FORUM!


Unfortunately, I fell under the single lover-type.

I looked back at jack picking up his new found partner, KLH, but decided that KLH was not my type and all possible jealousy dithered. I knew, that if I waited, the best will show it's beautiful face with it's embracing power and sound in all of it's ugliness. I was a true partner with the 901s (I said it!). I really did love them, I could look at them standing there in all their glory...wearing the high altitude chrome boots. There was really nothing like it on the street.

The curvature on the front arose all curiosity within me, leading me to their behind. None prettier then that of the rear of a 901, two buldging cones from the centre of the left and right sides, though, held together by a smaller, more tuned cone that was lacking certain parts that the adjacent cones had. Though, it acted as the coach of the other two, providing leadership and motivation for the rest of the loudspeaker.

It's a sad story really, I would later find a newer more sophisticated model by the name of 4-way Open-baffle system. The 901s have slowly slid into non-existence and sit in the corner of the city's basement. Never showing their odd shapes to the world in the same way that they used too, they are simply embarrased by the sound of the Seas drivers and the sheer power of the Shiva. But, most importantly, shameful that they simply are not the best and not as accurate as their more modern and higher quality brethrens.

A requiem, however, is played every now and then. Boston-More than a feeling brings the same emotions into the air that the 901s had months before. But, now with true-fidelity (new class perhaps?) and lack of shift in the frequency response. The 901 were, aren't and never will be the best again...though they were, at one time, in my mind.