Can You Fix A Blown Subwoofer?
First of all, let me express my condolences.
If you have to ask the question, chances are you’ve already experienced a blown subwoofer.
The good news is that, yes, it is possible (in most cases) to fix a broken subwoofer.
But can you (the consumer) fix it as well as a professional would?
If you follow these steps, and are prepared to settle in for what could be quite a lengthy process, then the answer to the question is a tentative, qualified ‘yes.’
Fixing A Blown Subwoofer
First off, it’s important to know that there are multiple ways that a subwoofer can be damaged (or, “blown”). You’ll know this if you’re an experienced user, but if you’re less experienced with having subwoofers in your car and maintaining them, you might not have a lot of knowledge about the numerous ways in which a subwoofer can be damaged.
In most cases, subwoofers can be repaired by their users, and you’re certainly going to want to (at the very least) try to repair your subwoofers before you decide to buy new ones, since that is almost always a difficult, lengthy process.
Subwoofers are complex machines, yes, but there are really only two main types of injuries they can incur in the course of duty.
If your subwoofer is busted, you’ll know it, and there’s an extremely high chance that it either has (1) a blown coil, or (2) a damaged speaker cone.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to check the coil of the subwoofer.
The coil is the part of the subwoofer that runs between the cone and the amplifier. It’s one of the last intermediary steps between sound input and sound output.
If your coil is damaged, it’s probably not going to respond to different densities of current.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of why this is the case (which is dense and complex), let’s just go over how to tell whether or not your coil has been damaged.
The main way you’ll be able to tell, in short, is by increasing the frequency of current (RMS) entering the coil system by a large quantity by hooking the subwoofer up to a multiplier.
A multiplier will accelerate and further amplify the current entering the subwoofer, and if your subwoofer either (1) audibly buckles at this amplification, or (2) fails to respond to it at all, then your problem may be with your subwoofer.
If you’re able to determine that the problem isn’t with the coil, then it’s probably going to be with the sound cone.
It’s a lot easier to identify a busted speaker cone than it is to identify a blown coil.
If you’ve ruled out a blown coil, you’re going to want to actually feel around the speaker cone in order to determine whether or not it’s damaged. If it is in fact damaged, it might either be too rigid or too loose. If you’ve felt it before, you’ll be able to tell if something is way off with it.
Once you’ve identified the problem, you’re going to want to take the whole thing apart and focus on trying to repair it.
Once you’ve reached this step, follow these instructions:
- Disassemble the speaker by separating the voice coil and the speaker cone from the rest of the subwoofer. This needs to be done with care. These are fragile parts, and, seeing as they’re already probably damaged, you need to be careful not to damage them further.
- If you know the problem is with the voice coil, you need to buy a new voice coil. Not a whole new subwoofer, mind you; just a new voice coil, and at this point in the process you’re going to want to replace the old one with the new one. This part is pretty cut and dry. Simply apply glue, and wait for the glue to set into place. After it’s dry, you’re going to need to glue and dry the speaker cone back into place around the new voice coil.
- Once this is complete, you need to connect the new wires with their old sockets. This is best done with a common household object: a hot iron.
And just like that, you’re done!
One of the major takeaways from the previous blocks of text should be that most subwoofers are salvageable. There are very few situations under which the subwoofer will be damaged beyond prospect of repair.