Cube speakers

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by swamprock, May 2, 2019.

  1. swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    Aug 2, 2015
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    Michigan
    #1
    So... I was digging in the garage when these appeared, which I thought were long-gone-

    [​IMG]

    The amplifier still works, however, those baffles...

    Anyone know a good source for baffles that will work with these, other than the 'bay? I'll go that route if need be, but I thought I'd check here first if anyone has any experience with restoring these bad boys...
     
  2. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    #2
    I also have a pair of the same model, also with rotten baffles. So any answers on this query will interest me too.
     
  3. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #3
    I have the same issue, most people do I think. The later white models had a much stronger material but these just fall apart. Problem aside from getting parts is actually replacing them, I don't know if it's possible to replace them without damaging other parts.
     
  4. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #4
    I also have a pair in not quite that bad a condition. I bought a cheap pair of the white speakers and will just replace the driver units with those. Any other sort of repair is going to be fiddly and probably cost more.
     
  5. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #5
    Yeah. The later Pro speakers seem cheap and plentiful enough. I’ll probably grab a set of those and attempt a driver (baffle, whatever) transplant...
     
  6. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #6
    Taking a closer look at one of my own speakers, it looks like the foam / rubber (which is it?) suspension should be replaceable just like on other speakers (found some videos of people replacing them).

    It's glued on top of the outside border and below the center part of the speaker. Don't know if that makes a difference as to what type you need, dimensions shouldn't be too much of an issue judging from a quick web search.

    Could be hard to remove the old foam on the underside.

    dydT2Y1xSqmT6jH2W%V2rg.jpg
     
  7. sunapple, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019

    sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #7
    Update: managed to remove the foam after some scraping and cleaning (click for detail):

    IMG_0792.jpeg
    IMG_0794.jpeg

    Underside was the hardest, used a few q-tips with white gas (correct term for Dutch 'wasbenzine'?, not to be confused with white spirit). It's a sticky mess, hope replacement foam will adhere.

    Next, I searched for 2" / 50 mm foam rings and I think this might be right (Dutch). I will buy them and try to glue them on, post results afterwards. Not sure if they fit, but this is the best size I found.

    Edit: measurements of the foam I ordered:
    A: 50 mm
    B: 43 mm
    C: 35 mm (size of shiny middle part)
    D: 28 mm
    A B C D.jpg
     
  8. philgxxd macrumors regular

    philgxxd

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    Malaga, Spain
    #8
    Awesome @sunapple !

    Thanks a lot for these details and the good information.
     
  9. sunapple, May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019

    sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #9
    Let's hope it works. The alternative, replacing the drivers with those from the later white iMac G4 speakers means trashing these drivers anyway so there's not much to lose here. Black does however looks best next to my Cube with the black keyboard and mouse.

    Both cleaned:
    IMG_0796.jpeg
     
  10. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #10
    Good info. From measurements just taken from my Cube speakers it appears that the replacement speaker foam you've ordered should be an exact fit. Couldn't quite understand though if their price indicated is for one speaker piece or a pair.
    A quick Google translate of the adhesive they show, indicates it's "Special water-based, flexible adhesive for repairing speakers." Just wondering what other adhesives would be suitable, or if speaker adhesives have specific properties.

    A little more research shows that similar sized speaker 'rubber surrounds' (28mm / 35mm / 44mm / 49mm) are available from a well-known Chinese seller HERE. Very inexpensive too, and being rubber and not foam, possibly not so susceptible to rot.
    Just found a second pair of rotting Cube speakers in my closet, so looks like I'll be ordering replacement parts from someone very soon.
    Should be interesting to see sunapple's completed repair. ;)
     
  11. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #11
    In the topic of glue, there’s probably a lot of info on that on specialized websites. You want something that doesn’t dry too quickly or placement will be very difficult. I read even wood glue should work.

    I’ve done no research for better prices, these were per piece not pair. Expensive indeed, might look elsewhere for cheaper ones. Good to know however the right size does seem to exist.
     
  12. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000

    MultiFinder17

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    Tampa, Florida
    #12
    I rebuilt my own cube speakers a year or two ago using a beater pair of iMac G4 speakers. A few screws, a little soldering of the wires, and they're working and sounding wonderful. Can confirm, the iMac G4 speakers will work fine if you have a pair sitting around.
     
  13. galgot macrumors regular

    galgot

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    May 28, 2015
    #13
    Thanks for these infos, as I have some too with the rotten rubbers.
    I don't have them at hand right now, but remember checking how I could open the shell to get the speaker out...
    Seems to remember it was glued ? How did you disassembled these please ?
     
  14. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #14
    Not much of a disassembly, the speaker can be taken out of the transparent casing by unscrewing the three small screws. The speaker unit is connected to the wire that runs out of the back of the casing, don’t pull the speaker out but rather push the wire in from the back. If you pull the speaker, the wire may break away. Pushing the wire inside the case may be a little difficult as the wire can be sticky.

    5249D3FF-803E-4943-A4AA-2CCC308E8699.jpeg
     
  15. galgot macrumors regular

    galgot

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    May 28, 2015
    #15
    Missed these screws last time . Thks, very useful when i'll get them to clean them.
     
  16. sunapple, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019

    sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #16
    Sooo, the 'surrounds' finally arrived in the mail today, spent a few hours glueing it all together.

    First off, the rings fit quite snugly. Maybe the inner ring (size C from this post) sits too close to the mirrored part, but it works. It's hard to get them underneath the mirrored cap, so I figured that should be done first before applying the glue.
    IMG_0802.jpeg

    This was the first speaker I did. Used white wood glue and that stuff gets messy when it gets on the black top. Tried scraping it off, it looks a little better than it did in the picture below. The wood glue hardens quickly and ruins the flexibility of the surrounds when it gets on top. Also, they originally had a black ring (1mm width) to cover up the gap between the foam and the metal on the outside, haven't figured out how to replace that but it's not too important.
    IMG_0804.jpeg

    For the second speaker, I used a transparent water-based glue for kids on the inside, trying not to leave such a mess on top this time. Paper helped as well. Still have to find out if this glue will adhere correctly. Outside with wood glue again.
    IMG_0807.jpeg

    The end result is quite neat, especially the second one I did. Looks miles better than it did before anyway. Not sure if I will even get to using them, their big brother that sits in the background blows them away anyway (H/K GLA-55, their spiritual badass successors).
    IMG_0808.jpeg

    I plugged them in when I had finished the first one (this is how you can connect them to a modern Mac BTW), the speaker with wood glue was already adequately dry and sounded a lot better than the speaker without foam.
    IMG_0809.jpeg

    I'm sure I could get called out on my amateurish DIY techniques by true specialists, and I'm not sure how this affected the sound. However, for my purposes, this was as much as I was hoping for. They look great next to my Cube and could be used if I wanted too (still looking for an iSub BTW).

    It's not an easy job, but it's somewhat doable :D
     
  17. Alex_K macrumors newbie

    Alex_K

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    #17
    Nice job. They look really good. Might try to pick up some original cube speakers for my cube now, and try your repair.

    My cube is currently connected up to Harmon Kardon soundsticks 1 (via the adc monitor's usb port). These work really well aesthetically with the cube and sound great. But it would also be nice to have the original cube speakers working with it.
     
  18. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #18
    Thanks!

    When the Cube launched in July 2000, the USB SoundSticks where actually the 'standard' speakers for the Cube, the Apple (+ Harman Kardon) Pro Speakers launched in January 2001 (and the Cube was killed July 2001...). The SoundSticks with subwoofer sound better, but the Pro speakers are cuter!
     
  19. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    #19
  20. swamprock thread starter macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    #20
    Update- I bought a pair of Pro speakers on eBay and will use them to replace the drivers in my old Cube speakers. The pair that I bought has no jack or amp connected to it.
     
  21. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

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    #21
    I saw those too I think, great option. Not for me though, shipping costs would’ve been too high to Europe. Good luck!
     
  22. Justin122 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 14, 2008
    #22
    Amazing work being done! These speakers have such a beautifully satisfying design. Even the USB box..
     

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21 May 2, 2019