Why should I choose Innovative Audio to repair my speakers?
At Innovative Audio, we provide the best service, on a timely basis, AND at the best price possible. When you get your speakers repaired/refurbished by us we will do everything we can to make sure your speakers are repaired properly, using high quality parts, for the price we promised. When possible, we will use original parts for your items and will only use best replacement parts should original parts be unavailable. In addition, our repair facilities are outfitted with state of the art test equipment to insure absolute precision when repairing any item. With all that behind us, we offer a full 3-year parts and labor warranty on any and all speakers repairs performed in our shop. Of course there are exceptions to this warranty, ie abuse, over driving, poking your finger through the dust cap, etc. More about this below.
We service most brands. This includes re-coning, surrounds, cone replacement, voice coil, spider, dust cap and lead wire replacements; diaphragm repair and replacements, cross-over work, speaker driver replacements.
Here is a description of speaker repairs available:
The word “re-coning” is actually a misnomer. I say this because it is actually a complete driver overhaul. You have to remove all the moving parts of a speaker driver and replace each with new parts. This may include replacing the cone, spider, voice coil, lead wires, dust cap and/or gasket. A full re-cone is usually necessary when really bad things happened and damage has affected the suspension, or the voice coil has started rubbing, the spider or cone is ripped. Original re-cone parts are often available and, when not, replacement or after-market parts are used.
Ah yes, the bread and butter of the speaker repair business. First, 99% of all speakers with foam surrounds that are 15+ years old may be due for new surrounds. This isn’t ‘manufacturers’ defects’ it’s just the way things are. Foam surrounds usually have a life expectancy of 8-14 years depending on climate, usage and speaker placement (speakers placed close to windows in direct sunlight). Being near salt water or in a dry or humid climate will also have an effect on the speaker surround life. Often people believe that putting surrounds on speakers is easy and are quick to buy ‘surround kits’ that are – for the most part – generic ‘one kinda size fits all’ replacements. A few dabs of glue, a little time in the garage and Voila! The speaker is as good as new! This simply cannot be further from the truth. Care when replacing the surround is critical, and needs to be done properly to insure proper alignment, positioning, movement and using the right parts so the new surrounds fit exactly. There are those that that feel that with enough glue, ANY surround will work on ANY speaker – ouch! There are still others that will happily cut and trim a 12″ surround foams to fit a 6″ driver. Again, not good. Replacing a surround takes time, patience and skill. Done right speakers look and perform beautifully. Done wrong you will know it during the first song played through them.
Voice Coil Replacement
This type of repair is normally performed on vintage and older speakers where recone kits are no longer available. The moving parts are removed without damage and the voice coil is matched and replaced. This is NOT a job for the DIY’r or the timid. Replacing a voice coil is time consuming, a bit pricey and requires a great deal of skill. When matching a voice-coil, there are numerous factors that need to be considered such as material (both for the backing and wire itself), diameter of the coil, number of windings, impendence etc. If properly working vintage speakers are important to you, then voice-coil replacement is a good decision.
When the spider only has a tear (usually circular around coil) then the cone kit is carefully removed without damage and a new spider is installed. Most often this repair is performed on vintage and occasionally on pro speakers.
Dust Cap and Lead Wire Replacement
I have no idea why nobody has thought of designing a toy for children based on the pushing in of dust caps. Kids love poking dust caps and yes, the dust cap can affect the sound of the speaker. For the most part the dust cap keeps dirt/dust from getting into the voice-coil gap. In some cases, depending on the material used, a dust cap attached to the voice-coil former will add a substantial amount of high frequency (aluminum). You cannot just put any dust cap on any speaker.
When a speaker does not work or measure on a multi meter, but all parts seem good and are moving freely, the speaker may only need lead wire replacements and not a full re-cone. When you take your speakers to a repair shop do not allow them to take a knife to your speaker (cut it open) before proper testing has been completed. Otherwise, you will be paying for a whole re-cone when the less expensive repair of lead wire replacement was all that was needed. However, it is possible, through arcing, that the voice-coil is damaged below the spider where the winding separates from the coil and runs up the former. In this case a full recone may be necessary.
Diaphragm Repair and Replacement
Sometimes a compression driver diaphragm or dome tweeter diaphragm can be repaired if the wire on the coil is not burnt or has not come unwound. This repair, when possible, can save a lot of money, especially for compression diaphragms.
When all speakers in a cabinet are functioning properly when hooked up individually, but not working when hooked up through the terminals, there is usually a cross-over or terminal problem. Cross-overs are mainly made up of resistors, capacitors, inductors, L-pads, wiring and sometimes circuit boards. We have all these parts on-hand and, because we also have many years of electronic experience, can repair most cross-over problems.
Speaker Replacement Parts
For one reason or another, a speaker repair may not be possible. In this case, replacing the entire speaker part would be the only alternative. We will try to provide an original or a very close match replacement speaker (sub, woofer, mid or tweeter).
A word about our warranty:
We take pride in what we do and it shows. From the moment your speakers are dropped off to when they are picked up they will be treated right. Because we only use the best parts and proper technicians to do the job right we want to insure that you get many more years of enjoyment from your newly repaired speakers which is why we offer a full 3 year parts and labor warranty. This warranty covers all components and parts used for a needed repair. Cool, huh!
Ok, so what is not covered under our warranty includes:
We all like loud music once in a while (especially unsupervised teenagers) but sometimes a speaker can only take so much – even freshly repaired ones. If a speaker comes back and we find that is has been ‘abused (and yes, we have very precise instruments that can tell!) the warranty is void.
Children LOVE to poke things and having small fingers that can push in dust caps, poke holes in drivers and shove toys into bass ports is too irresistible to resist. Therefore, speakers that have been child modified are not covered – sorry
Putting plants on speakers is a time honored woman thing and really, these weeds should be in the dirt outside and NOT taking root on your beloved speakers. Do we really need to explain that water dripping on speaker drivers will void the warranty?
Oddly enough dropping a speaker CAN cause nasty things to happen. If you just had a speaker driver completely re-build and accidentally dropped the thing on its face dislodging all that hard work then sorry, the warranty is void. (Again, we can tell!)
Ok, so how exactly does one ‘improperly use’ a speaker? Easy. Taking a house speaker and using it for a garage band rig is actually pretty common. And garage bands are not known for playing at soft volumes and singing Anne Murray songs. House speakers + pro amplifiers = no warranty
Believe it or not there are people out there that feel (after reading internet forums because if it was posted there IT has to be true!) that modifying a factory built component will make a speaker ‘sound better’. Yup, uh huh, you bet. If we repair something and you pull it out and ‘modify’ that repair – sorry Charlie, no warranty for you.
Another of those ‘believe it or not’ things I actually have to put in here due to past customer experiences. Just because YOU did not abuse, poke, handle, water the weed atop your speaker and actually LENT out your speaker to a friend and THEY did it, the warranty is still void! Really! We actually do have discussions with customers regarding the finer ‘legalities’ with respect to ownership, responsibilities and the ‘I didn’t do it but it’s still under warranty’ excuse that we have to actually include this clause. We understand that you want to share but please – choose wisely
Just because you had something repaired and decided to bring the item home and store it for 8 years before hauling it out and finding it has an issue, the warranty is done. Over. Finished. I have heard this over and over where something was repaired and not used for such and such weeks/months/years and the same problem is still there. Ok, I can sometimes understand depending on circumstances but please do not expect us to honor a warranty after a decade of storage.
So, there you have it. Our warranty is for any and all items and components used during a repair including labor for 3 years.