Tips on changing a speaker...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Dean, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Well... here's a first. I've been playing bass for over 30 years and have never replaced a speaker in one of my cabs. So, since I am an advocate of asking dumb questions (and yes I searched), are there any tips or protocols I should be aware of when I change out a blown speaker?

    I assume that its a simple matter of unscrewing the old, disconnecting the wiring and then installing the new... but I also know assuming can lead to :smug:
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    It's just as simple as that. There should be a + and - where the terminals attach, pay attention to them.

    Reconing a speaker is much more economical than replacing one FYI.
  3. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Don't drop the scewdriver!
    I have seen LOTS of cones get damaged this way.
  4. lhoward


    Apr 27, 2003
    Western NY State

    Also, make sure that if you have to apply a lot of torque when putting in the new driver, that you cup the screwhead with your fingers so that the screwdriver doesn't accidentally slip off the screw head and into the cone. Instantaneously makes it a bad day.
  5. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Don't drop the screw driver! That's exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for (seriously) :)

    I thought about reconing, but I think I will get a better tone with the Kappalite 3015 over the original EV 15L. I have been using this particular cab (Mesa Diesel) a lot more than I thought I would, so I've decided to upgrade the speaker.

    Thanks everyone!
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    As well please guide the screwdriver's tip with the fingers of one hand to control where the tip goes should it slip.

    One slip of an errant screwdriver tip can puncture a speaker surround or cone! :eek:

    EDIT: I gotta type faster.

    But then, good advice is worth reading twice! :D
  7. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Your hand will get tired turning all of those screws.
    Take a break ---and take your time.
  8. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    And to exhaustively explore the boundaries of this issue:

    Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey. :p
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Not necessarily. If you're within driving distance of a reconer you may save some, but if you have to ship the drivers the shipping costs may eat those savings.
    If the bolt hole circle is identical, yes, but don't assume that they will be. Drilling out the holes to a larger diameter will usually fix that problem.
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    Don't overtighten the screws. You just need the gasket on the rear to be firmly seated. The screws should have star type lockwashers on them so they don't work loose from the vibration.
  11. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Well... I swapped out speakers tonight and I gotta say the Kappalite 3015 sounds as good as advertised.

    I did discover something though, the cab was more damaged than I thought (the cab rolled out of the back of my wagon and rolled end-over-end about 15-20 feet down a hill). The outer wall of three of the screw holes were crushed by the weight of the EV15L as the cab rolled, so I just rotated the new speaker about three inches and screwed it in.

    Now, just for the yucks, should I get the old EV reconed with a Hemocone (Tone Tubby)? They're about 30 minutes away.
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Find a decent cab for the reconed EV and you'll have a nice 1x15 stack.
  13. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    That's what I'm thinking... every so often I see old Diesel 115s for sale on CL for about $250... next time, I'll buy another.
  14. tocs100

    tocs100 Utah Bass of Doom, Metal DJ @

    Sep 16, 2007
    Ogden, UT
    I have a related "duh" question: My EV started sounding really distorted, but only on soft notes. Loud notes sound fine--and I don't see any tears in the cone.

    Is it blown? Or is this common from a joint coming unsoldered?
  15. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    When tightening the speaker screws, you want to tighten the screws in an X pattern, like how they tighten the lug nuts on a car tire, that way the pressures are applied somewhat evenly
  16. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    Dude, I just replaced two speakers in my EV bins with Kappalites this morning.
    I used my battery powered drill and set the chuck to slip at a certain point, so that all the bolts have equal torque, then I bumped it up one and went around again. Held the nut with a wrench. Piece of cake. While out, I checked my jacks, and upgraded the wire with heavy gauge speaker wire soldering it to the jacks.

    One thing I found though with the Eminence, the wire attachment on the speaker kind of sucks, IMO.
    I like the EV spring loaded a lot better. The little screw on the backside of the kappalite wire connector would come loose and allow the whole thing to spin. Solder would be better too.
    They sound like bass speakers to me.
  17. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Lay the cabinet down flat - face down or up so that gravity holds the driver in place with all the fasteners removed. You don't want it to come crashing down when that last screw comes off!

    Torque the fasteners down evenly when you install the new/reconed driver. You don't want to distort the basket by having some fasteners over/under-tight. As somebody else mentioned, use a "star" pattern. If you have a torque wrench, so much the better - you can make sure they're all even.

    Some drivers have "+" and/or "-" markings, others have a red dot (+). When you hook them up, make sure that all the wiring is correct. If you reverse polarity on a driver, you'll find yourself with an out-of-phase situation, where 1 driver is moving in while another is moving out. This can cause some weird effects as some frequencies cancel each other.

    Hang onto your tools! Even if you drop something where you think it's harmless, a big driver magnet can pull a dropped tool right into/through your brand new cone! You don't want to have to pay for another recone job so soon!

  18. What a coinkydink! I just finished replacing all 4 of my aguilar 10's in my gs410 cab. Went the recone route, all four had extruded and creased bigtime. The cost was less than half of having new speakers put in. 55 bucks a piece, compared to over $100 plus shipping I was quoted by aguilar.

    After straining my brain to remember how to hook the wiring harness back up,...:meh:.....plugged it into my "new" Mesa 400+ and couldn't believe how great the cab sounded. Had been running the Aggy 500sc with it, nice rig, but kind of "polite" sounding. The Mesa brought that cab to LIFE! But to get back to your query,.... a big YES to all the points made above. It also doesn't hurt to check that you are rewiring correctly, as I wound up doing. Google is your friend at times like these!
  19. tocs100

    tocs100 Utah Bass of Doom, Metal DJ @

    Sep 16, 2007
    Ogden, UT
  20. All excellent advice above. I'll add one little tidbit for those who might be installing older JBL drivers.
    The polarity markings on K, D, & E series drivers are reversed from most other makes, ie; if connecting the + speaker terminal to the + lead, this will result in the cone traveling backward, which is ok if all others are doing the same, but will be out of phase when combined with other drivers or cabs.

    I always battery check polarity before installing any driver, just to make sure. BTW, there might possibly be other drivers that I'm not aware of that share this scheme.