How to Fix a Subwoofer's Rubber

Written by gary wolfe
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How to Fix a Subwoofer's Rubber
The black outer part of the middle speaker is the rubber surround. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

The rubber part of a subwoofer, or bass speaker, is called the surround. The flexible surround allows the speaker cone to move forward and back to generate the sound waves heard as bass tones. Over time, the rubber can dry out and crack, affecting the speaker's performance quality. New rubber surrounds can restore an older subwoofer or other low frequency loudspeaker to near-new condition. Surround kits can be purchased very economically.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Speaker surround repair kit
  • Putty knife
  • Nail polish remover
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Lay the subwoofer speaker on its back on a work surface. Remove the speaker grill. Remove the screws that surround the speaker and lift it from its case. Detach the wires from the terminals of the loudspeaker.

  2. 2

    Remove all traces of the old surround and glue from the speaker frame, also known as the basket. Use a putty knife to scrape away old rubber, and rubbing alcohol to disintegrate dried glue. If the glue is springy, like dried rubber cement, it can be peeled off.

  3. 3

    Remove as much old surround material from the backside of the cone using rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.

  4. 4

    Position the new surround on the basket to test for fit. Apply a thin film of glue to the back of the cone where it connects to the surround. When the glue becomes tacky, press the inner edge of the new rubber surround around the perimeter of the cone until it adheres.

  5. 5

    Let the glue dry overnight.

  6. 6

    Apply an ample amount of glue to the metal frame of the loudspeaker. Approximately five minutes after applying the glue, press the new rubber surround all around the metal frame. Press down on the cone's outer circumference to test that it moves back and forth. Wait roughly five minutes, then press it down around the frame perimeter a second time, again making sure the cone moves freely. Wait another five minutes and repeat the process a third time.

  7. 7

    Reattach the wires to the speaker terminals and reinstall the speaker to the cabinet.

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