Is it worth repairing?



<font color='#000000'>Hello. I recently found your site and learned a lot from it, so hopefully someone might give me a good advice.

I own a pair of KEF Reference 104ab speakers (made around 1980, I have had them since 1989) which have been treated much worse than they deserve (child, cat, movers &amp; other monsters). Here is a list of injuries:

A. Both tweeters have been touched by a not-so-gentle little finger and their domes are no longer dome-shaped but look rather like a hat that someone has sat on.

B. The dust cover in the middle of one of the woofers has collapsed.

C. One of the passive radiators has a puncture.

D. The foam covers (grilles) no longer exist. (I am not really concerned about this.)

The speakers work, i. e. none of the drivers is dead, and the sound still appears good. I cannot really tell how much their sound has deteriorated (I don't have other hi-fi speakers to compare them to, and I am aware that my ears and brain try to compensate for the speaker's distortions), but as a rough test of not being completely dead, they still obviously blow away any lo-fi sources like the built-in speakers on a Sony Wega 24'' TV set or a Sony minisystem.

So my questions are:

1. Is it worth repairing these speakers?

2. Are there things I can safely do myself? Would some tape over the puncture on the passive radiator help/hurt? Is there any way I can try to pull the tweeters back to their shape while not damaging them more?

3. Are the limp-looking tweeters and a collapsed dust cover terrible signs that the acoustic suspension of the speaker enclosures is basically dead?

Some additional info:

- I am not too emotionally tied to these speakers: if the repairs would cost (in money and inconvenience) anywhere close to the price of good new speakers, I'd rather replace them.

- However, right now I can't afford to replace them with speakers of similar quality, so I'd very much like to keep them alive for another year or two.

- I use them with an NAD amplifier from the '80 (bought at the same time), in a 180sqft room, for both music and movies, typically at moderate volumes (volume control rarely turned much past 9 o'clock).

Thanks in advance for any constructive input.</font>
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

<font color='#000000'>I'm not sure if you'll ever get your system back up to 100%, but you can try using a DIY Kit to replace foam surrounds and dust caps...

This is in lieu of replacing the entire driver and may work for you, assuming you can get the correct sizes/parts that you need...

Remember, if precision is what you want, then perhaps repairs should be left to a professional. You may cause serious damage to your speaker by trying to repair your own speaker.

One size (surround-foam edge) do NOT necessarily fit all, and a flat edge surround will not fit properly on a turned-down edge cone.

One more thing... In case you were tempted to do so, using a vacuum cleaner for &quot;unsquishing&quot; dust caps is probably a bad idea! &nbsp;
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<font color='#000000'>Be aware also that KEF has changed their lineup dramatically. The big beautiful KEFs of old have been replaced by ultra-skinny high-tech looking curiosities. So you won't be able to buy an equivalent new model from KEF.

But if you're not emotionally attached, I wouldn't put too much effort in. If you're keeping them for a while longer, I'd try to replace the passive radiator. You might contact KEF directly and find out the cost of that.</font>

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