Many years ago I picked up a pair of speakers at a flea market. I don’t remember how much they were but since I probably didn’t have much money back then I’m guessing they had to be under $10. They were good solid cabinets but the drivers were way beyond repair. This seemed like a fun project and a cheap way to get some new speakers so I proceeded to pickup new 8″ woofers and a couple of piezo tweeters from Radio Shack (back when they still used to sell all kinds of cool electronic parts). I swapped out the old drivers with the new and had a fairly nice sounding pair of speakers. They were my main speakers for quite a while and finally got moved to my surround speakers (replaced with a pair of Bose AM5′s which I’d really like to retire). They’ve severed me well for the past 25 years or so.
A couple of months ago I started hearing strange buzzing noises coming from the surround speakers while watching movies. A few weeks ago I finally got around to investigating the noise and found the foam surrounds on the woofers had completely disintegrated, hence the unsavory sounds. Time to replace the drivers again. I had recently been introduced to Parts Express which has a great selection of parts for building (or re-building) speakers. I found some likely replacement candidates for the existing drivers. I decided to replace the tweeters as well even though they were still working well. I pulled out the old Radio Shack drivers, put in the new ones and once again I have a pretty good sounding pair of speakers. Ready for another 25 years of use.
At some point in the not to distant future I’d like to replace all the speakers in our living room. I’m currently considering the Intimus speakers from Aperion Audio. These look like they’re solidly build (kind of like my flea market boxes), the price is right and they’ve gotten very good reviews. At that point I’m thinking I’ll move the newly re-built speakers into my office where they can live on.