How to refoam a speaker for home theater?

Episode 927

Scott from Springfield, PA

Scott would like to replace his thirty year old speakers for his home theater system. Scott says that it's not uncommon for the "surround" foam to deteriorate and cause the speaker diaphragm to vibrate more than it should. Refoaming a speaker isn't easy, or cheap. Ross says that there are kits out there on the internet, or there are companies that can do it, but it's probably time to get new speakers.

Is a low impedance speaker better than a high impedance speaker?

Episode 892

David from Mission Viejo, CA

David called in and got very geeky about the electronics behind speakers in reference to another caller to the show Saturday. All jargon aside, Leo wanted to know if a low impedance speaker is better than a high impedance one. David said low impedance speakers around 4 Ohms are used mostly in car stereos because there isn't as much voltage to drive them. Home stereos can have higher impedance speakers simply because there's more power available.

How can I get my older JBL speakers to work with my computer?

Episode 886

Warren from San Diego, CA

Warren's speakers are unpowered. They need an amplifier to power them. He'll need to take the line level out of the soundcard from the back of his computer, which is a mini-jack that will go into his pre-amp. Then that will go into his big powered McIntosh amplifier, which will go into the JBL speakers. He should think of his computer as an aux input.

What did my nephew do to make my speakers stop working on my old Windows 98 computer?

Episode 875

Michael from Pasadena, CA

It's most likely the sound somehow got assigned to something other than the speakers, but there are numerous things that could have happened. Leo suggests a few things to try:

  • Open the "mixer" in Windows' system tray
  • Look for the speaker icon, and right click on that to make sure the sound is turned up and not muted.