Ok, so the title sounds like an ad from Popular Mechanics. Just about the one thing left from my first (and only) marriage…apart from the spouse, is a pair of “Smaller Advent” bookshelf loudspeakers, ca. 1972. At the time they cost about 75.00 each, and I bought the smaller version because I didn’t feel at the time that I could afford the larger version at $90.00, each. The speakers have been in constant use since I purchased them. Eventually, however, the sound was so fuzzy and weird that I figured that something had to have gone seriously wrong. Popping off the front grill, I found that the foam ring that surrounds the paper cone had deteriorated.
Enter Simply Speakers. These folks specialize in parts and assistance for repairing and restoring older loudspeakers. They seem to be particularly helpful with brands from the 70’s. For example, the Boston area provided a New England sound with KLH, Acoustic Research (AR), Advent, JBL, and Bose. Simply Speakers has parts for fixing any of these brands. A brief telephone call, and I had ordered a re-foaming kit, which consists of two foam rings, and some cement, similar to model airplane glue. Complete instructions were included, and they are also available on the Simply Speakers web site, so you can see what you are getting into. Here’s what it looks like after the repair.
The results were spectacular. The original foam had been deteriorating for years, which resulted in gaps between the speaker cone and the enclosure. This contributed to a gradual loss of bass response. Now that both speakers are completely tight again, they sound terrific with a tight bass and a smooth midrange. My favorite instrument to compare speakers is a ‘cello. The speakers sound warm and mellow.
The one tricky part of the repair was unsoldering and resoldering the wires that connect to the speakers themselves. This probably could have been avoided by simply leaving some slack, and cutting the wires, so that they could be wound back together and covered with electrical tape.
Cost for the kit was about $27.00. I probably spent a total of four hours total taking things apart, doing the actual repair and reassembling everything. Because I noticed the problem just before Christmas, I was eager to have a backup in place, so I went out and bought a pair of Boston Acoustics HS60s for about $320. While these sound Ok, they don’t compare with the Advents at all.