View Full Version : Speaker Rot

07-12-2008, 10:04 AM
So I lost my A/V receiver recently from a lightning strike that also claimed a few cordless phones, a modem, my DSS receiver, and a couple wall outlets.

While trying to trouble shoot the receiver, I removed the grills from my tower speakers (SONY SSU-501s) and saw these big gaping holes in the foam (http://i37.tinypic.com/59uixk.jpg) surrounding the cones on the woofers.

First I thought they were blown, but upon closer inspection, I discover that it's friggin' dry rot! I had no idea speakers could rot over time. After doing some reading on the net, I found that this is apparently a common problem as speakers get older (10-15 years).

My entire five-speaker home theatre system is around the same age so I'm not sure if the center and rear speakers have any dry rot or not. I don't know if the grills on the rear speakers are removable.

I don't know whether to try to get them repaired or buy a do-it-yourself refoaming kit. Anyone have this problem and tried repairing their speakers?

Exhaust Port
07-12-2008, 11:19 AM
I've lost one set of speakers to rot but since they were a cheap set I just tossed them. Years ago my dad repaired his old set of speakers with one of those refoaming kits. It worked and gave him another 5+ years out of them but they eventually needed another repair. I don't know if it was the 1st repair that failed or if it was another part of the cone that failed. My guess it was the rest of the cone was continuing to rot away. At that point he just tossed them and bought a new set.

If you have real nice speakers you want to keep forever I would try to get them professionally repaired. If you see yourself replacing them in the next 5 years anyway I would do the DIY method.

07-16-2008, 10:05 AM
I would get new speakers, unless money is a major concern, or you are in love with the Sonys. Speakers have traditionally been an area in which I try not to skimp. A system can only sound as good as its speakers. Definitive Technology makes some darn good sounding floor speakers for a reasonable price.

I haven't gone speaker shopping in 8 years, though, so I'm likely behind the curve.

07-18-2008, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the input, fellas. I do need to replace my old A/V receiver, so I may just buy all new speakers too. It seems like the current crop of A/V speakers out there are just so tiny compared to the monsters I have. Some of the home theater systems I've seen have speakers that'll fit into the palm of my hand! It's hard to believe that they'll sound good at all.

So I moved the speakers out to the garage and the rest of the foam around the cones on the woofers just crumbled. Even my Sony center channel speaker is rotting.

I can't tell about the two rear speakers since the grills aren't removable. The rear speakers are both Pioneer and I bought them around the same time as the Sony front tower/center speakers (circa 1991-2). I wouldn't be surprised if the Pioneers are rotting too.

What gets me is that this problem has been well-known for some time yet manufacturers are still using the same materials knowing full well that the stuff will rot over time.