Quite often a high-end audio speaker manufacturer will issue crossover updates and make them available for field installation. Updating your crossover is a good way to keep your speaker system up to date, and retain its value on the used market.
But you’ll need to decide if you’re up to the task of undertaking a crossover update or repair yourself.
Typically, if you are good with a soldering iron and understand the basics of recognizing different values of electronic components, you should be able to complete your own speaker repair with relative ease.
As we’ve mentioned previously, the crossover typically comprises a number of resistors, inductors (coils) and capacitors. You’ll need to be able to identify these components and recognize their values and the direction for current flow. If you feel comfortable with this aspect, the rest should be relatively easy. Obtain a good soldering iron with soldering station, some quality silver based solder and a good quality flux.
Hopefully the manufacturer of your speaker system has provided good, clear instructions on making the upgrade or repair. In many cases, it’s better to also source the parts from the original manufacturer.
Most speakers have the crossover situated internally, within the speaker chassis. In this case your manufacturer will need to give you instructions on how to access the crossover to make the repair/upgrade. Sometimes this involves removing the drivers and accessing the XO from the front, othertimes removing a backplate and access from the rear.
Practice before you start swinging the soldering iron around. You don’t want to get to much heat on delicate components, so become proficient at tinning wires and applying solder, before you start working with the actual components.
Once you’ve replaced the neccessary parts, ensure that the componennts are securely attached to the circuit board or whatever the originals were attached to. These components are often microphonic, that is they’re susceptible to vibration, so they’ll need to be secured in place to perform at their best.
Check everything carefully once you’ve made the repair or upgrade. Ensure the drivers are working distortion free. There are sophistciated software programs available for checking frequency response, but if you know about those you probably wouldn’t be reading this rudimentary procedure.
Lastly, if you’re handy enough you can make a nice sonic upgrade to your speakers by replacing the crossover components with components of identical values, but better quality.
There are many places online to source the gear you’ll need to do this, and often the better quality parts can be very expensive.