Subwoofer repairable?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by Kulahan, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Kulahan Audiophyte

    Kulahan
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    Hi, I was wondering if my subwoofer was repairable.

    Now, before I start off, I'm not going to lie and say that I'm some amazing professional with subs, but that's why I'm here, I guess. I figured someone on here has GOT to know a lot about subs and could help me out. The 100% honest truth, however, is that I know very little about car audio. I simply hate the fact that my sub isn't working correctly, so I took it out, looked it over, and decided I wanted to fix it. I tried looking for ways to fix it on the internet, and found this place, and thought someone could maybe help me out.

    I have a JL audio 12W3-D4 Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer. It came in the truck that I bought off of my friend. The truck is a '95, so I'm very strongly assuming that the sub is newer than that. The problem is that it makes a popping sound whenever I get my sound to -20dB or above, and sometimes much lower on some songs, depending on the base levels in the song. The only time I hear it is when the song makes a thump - it's fine on sounds like low rumbles, etc. I know it's attached to Punch 600a4 amp, if that helps at all. When I took it into a shop certified to deal with JL audio, they listened to it for 5 seconds, said that it was the voice coil, and assured me that the only course of action was to throw it out and buy a new one. Well, I'm a cheap person, and I'd rather repair this than buy an all new one.

    If anyone could either show me a tutorial on how to fix it, be willing to help walk me through some simple (or, if you're willing, not so simple) steps to fix it, or simply explain to me why it's gonna be pretty darn near impossible to fix myself, I'd really appreciate it. I'd just ignore the problem, but to be totally honest, it's getting difficult, because the thing seems to be getting worse as time goes on, and I don't want to hit some point-of-no-return in terms of repairs.

    Thanks for any help you guys can give me!
  2. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    I don't know anything at all about car audio. However, I suspect that the solution to your problem is a new LF driver. Just go buy a new one and hook it up.

    And......since you play it loud enough to smoke it, please don't drive around my neighborhood.
    fmw,
  3. croseiv Audioholic Samurai

    croseiv
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    PM TLS guy. He can help you out. THere is also a place called Orange County Speaker repair or something like that that can recone/coil your speaker possibly. Search the site here. You should be able to find some info. We just had a thread going about woofer repair.

    http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44601
  4. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    We have had these sorts of posts previously. Take a look at this post where I helped a guy recently.

    http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/showpost.php?p=419031&postcount=5

    Your speaker needs replacement or re coning.

    Re coning is cheapest, however I suspect yours is a junk Far Eastern driver. I have checked all the major sites for re coning of that driver and no one seems to have parts for that brand.

    See if you can get the parts from JL, I bet you can't. You will need a new cone complete with voice coil and suspension, a surround plus any gaskets and a new dust cap. You will also need factory shims, or shims of identical specification, to gap the voice coil. You will also need the correct bonding agents.

    If you can find the parts, and you are willing to try the repair, I will try and talk you through it. You have to work carefully and meticulously. You will have to know how to use a soldering iron and have one. The other supplies you will need is acetone and lots of razor blades. A source of compressed air also helps to blow dust out of the gap. There likely will be debris in the gap, from the blown voice coil. Any debris left in the gap is a killer.
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  5. annunaki Moderator

    annunaki
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    I would re-think my statement there. The reason there are no parts available is because JL Audio uses a patented Voice Coil Reinforcement Collar (VRC) for cooling, which also sandwiches the spider, voice coil and cone assembly in the neck joint. The parts are proprietary to JL Audio, that is why you cannot find any parts.





    JL Audio used to offer re-coning on those drivers, but since they are a few years old now they may just replace it with a refurbished driver. I would contact them at 954.443.1100 for further assistance.
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  6. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    There is nothing highly unusual about a vented pole piece. If you could get the parts shims and correct bonding agents, it must rebuild like any other driver. JL had to put it together. I bet JL won't supply parts though, so he will have to buy another driver.

    I agree though it might not be the best driver to learn to do a rebuild on.

    It is still not on though, not supplying parts to legit re coning services. Obviously they should go on the avoid list.

    By the way I have just rebuilt an old Atec 411 8A. I could get factory parts from ex Altec employees at Great Plains Audio. The driver is as good as new. That driver is over 30 years old!
  7. Kulahan Audiophyte

    Kulahan
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    TLS, I already read that post you made to that guy who was talking about how he heard that basketball against the wall thump, and the only reason I didn't simply listen to that one was because of the fact that I didn't hear any huge thump, or anything. In any case, I'm gonna take some time to look around and see if I can get it repaired cheap, and I'll check out that OC audio shop. Thanks for the help everyone! I really appreciate it.
  8. Gimpy Ric Moderator

    Gimpy Ric
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    Also google "The Speaker Exchange" in Tampa, FL. I've been to their shop before and whoa, the stench of glue as all types of speakers were being re-coned. Big outfit, give'm a call.
  9. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    The problem is those outfits don,t have JL on their lists. Anunanki who knows the industry well, says JL don't supply parts. To repair a speaker properly, you have to have access to factory parts, or ones of the same spec.

    Check with JL like Anunaki recommends and see if JL will repair it, or if they sell pats to a repair center. If they don't see if they can sell you a refurbished driver. If none of the above is possible, let them know you think that is bad service, and that your next speaker will not be JL.
  10. audioman00 Audioholic

    audioman00
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    get on that darn new fangled computer of yours and take a look at how bleeding cheap you can get a JL sub. any size even! If only it was that easy to find a 12" sub replacement for my HOME sub... lol! Don't mean to be 'snub' , but this is a really cheap solution here and who knows what the basshead dude with the truck originally did to that sub, if YOU didn't blow it, then I'm sure he started the problem and it just got naturally worse with time. I used to sell those china made subs and I will not sell them short of being a good woofer amongst all the "stuff" available these days, but the sub you need is like $20 on ebay. Fixing this unit would cost you more IMO than just getting a new one. (and some peace of mind).
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  11. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    The driver he needs is $138 on eBay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/JL-AUDIO-12W3v3...ryZ18803QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Those cheaper 12" subs look really crude. You can't possible make any sort of decent driver for $20!
  12. Alex2507 Audioholic Overlord

    Alex2507
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    That seller has a 95.6% positive feedback rating. There are more neutral feedbacks and mutually withdrawn feedbacks are no longer mentioned. In my view I would say that at least 1 out of 10 people walk away from dealing with them feeling screwed.

    I wouldn't buy a crack pipe from that clown. :D
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  13. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    I think your right about that Alex!
  14. annunaki Moderator

    annunaki
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    You need to look a little bit closer at that link. It is not a vented pole piece. It is a collar that locks the voice coil former, spider, and cone neck in to one very strong joint. Not to mention it is vented so that it pumps air directly over the coil windings at their hottest point at the top of the top plate and pole piece. It draws the cool air in through the elevated frome just above the top plate.

    It is a unique patented cooling system. I do agree it would be nice if they made the parts available to do the reconing, but I also understand the position of protecting intellectual property. Especially in a "me too" industry like audio. They are in the process of shifting all production "in house" "in the USA". Currently the W6v2 and W7 products are the only ones manufactured in the US.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  15. bronman69 Audiophyte

    bronman69
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    hey im not sure how to ask questions on this but i have a 12 inch pioneer sub woofer and its blown where the magnet is i think.... there are no rips or anything that is visible but when i apply some pressure to the sub and push it down it makes a scratching sound and does not play.... can i fix this some how or anything? thanks for the info!
  16. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    The voice coil has burnt out due to over driving. You now have gap rub. The driver needs to be reconed. This is a job you could do yourself of you can get a new cone complete with voice coil , surround, dust cap, and shims to set the gap. Alternatively you could send it to Pioneer and have them do it, of they offer the service, or see of a reconing service such as Orange County speakers can do the job for you.
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  17. bronman69 Audiophyte

    bronman69
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    do you think its even worth it? its only a 90 dollar sub and my buddy just gave it to me.... and if i did it myself how do i remove the magnet and what not? thanks!
  18. alexwakelin Full Audioholic

    alexwakelin
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  19. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    It probably is not worth it.

    You have to dissolve the glue on the suspension and surround with acetone. Unsolder the V/C wires. Clean all surfaces thoroughly with a razor blade. Clean the V/C gap with masking tape and compressed air gun.

    Then place the new cone and insert the V/C shims. Set the voice coil the correct depth. Glue the suspension and surround to the chassis with loudspeaker glue. When the glue is well dried, solder the V/C wires to the terminals and remove the shims. Glue the dust cap on, after ascertaining there is no gap rub. When the glue is dry you can test and reinstall the woofer.
  20. bronman69 Audiophyte

    bronman69
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    hmm i see i have all of the tools just no kit at loud speaker glue where should i buy the kit from... i looked on the internet but could not find anything ... how would i take everything apart? with out injurying it to bad? do i have to remove the magnet? how am i supposed to get to it? thanks!

    and more thing my buddy has two 12 inch pioneer in a legit box.... but he just recently blew them and one of the subs were brand new.... they are 800 watts each running off a 4000 watt amp but its not turned up all the way or anything.... thanks so much!

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