These used to be an average pair of micro hi-fi bookshelf speakers. I decided to turn them into “SONY Gold”… They actually sound a bit better to boot!
Since WordPress didn’t actually save my draft (which was mostly speaker techno-babble anyway), I will make a shorter post 😉
This is the original speaker(s), picked up cheap at a second hand charity store. They featured dirty grills and peeling fake wood laminate. If they were a house, they would be “renovator’s dream!” or nightmare as they sometimes are… Anyhow, they were perfect for experimentation, given that I have many many second hand speakers.
Firstly I added matress topper foam to the back and top sides of the inside of each enclosure, to reduce internal reflections. I also added some to the big ferrite magnet on each woofer.
Next, I used plastic and tape to mask off all areas of the woofer except for the cone, which I painted with “gold” spray paint. A few layers of clear coat made them nice and glossy.
The front panel of the speakers was sanded while the rest of the speaker was masked off. After priming the surface, I added a thick layer of “Indian Red”. While the paint was still liquid, I added some “Gloss Red” until I got a nice deep red colour. There is slight variation of intensity, but I think it adds interest. The good thing is that the paint didn’t run very much – the panels were horizontal while painted. Some clear coat added that glossy piano look, albiet not as smooth as a piano!
After adding the speakers and rubber grill inserts (taken out before painting) back into/onto the panel, I found the look I was after. Deep glossy red with a gold speaker cone. I left the fake wood laminate on the rest of the speaker as it kind of vanishes when in proximity to my fake wood laminate desk.
Onto the listening test, I am quite happy with the sound – it is slightly more detailed than the originals. The stiffer, heavier but less efficient woofer cone gives the speaker more treble, slightly deeper bass and less noticeable midrange peak. The foam gives better clarity since less sound is reflecting back through the cone. These could make good studio monitors until I feel I am needing something better for my amatuer music making…
For such cheap speakers this experiment turned out quite well – they look good next to my monitor sitting on some Samsung HTiB mini speakers that don’t have cables anymore.