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How To Video
Fix a dented speaker coneDid someone poke in the center of your speaker? CNET's Donald Bell shows you how to take the dents out of a damaged speaker dust cap.
There is something about the center of a speaker that just seems to cry out for pokey kid fingers. So, if you're suffering from the effects of a collapsed dust cap, here are a few tips to fix your speaker using items from around your home. One commonly advertised way to fix this problem is to use a vacuum cleaner attachment to suck the dome back out. You could try it, but it makes me a little nervous. Depending on how delicate your speaker cap is, it might tear the whole thing off or just warp it out going the other direction. For a more controlled version of this technique, take an empty paper towel roll. Place it over the cone and use it like a giant straw. I'll let you use your imagination on that one. Another technique is to use a slightly bent sewing needle to poke into the cone and then pull the dent out. It's a good way to go if you have multiple dents 'cause you can kind of address them all with one little point of entry. The bad news is that you've got a hole in your speaker now and possibly more if you're not careful. Sonically, a few holes in your dust cap really aren't gonna make a difference, but it doesn't look back great. So here's my favorite technique, and I've used this one a couple of times with great results. You take a Q-tip. Chop off the top of it mid-way so that it's nice and flat, then apply a few dabs of superglue to the tip. Let it soak in for a few seconds and hold it on the dent until it can stand up without your help. Now, you want the glue to be dry enough to withstand a good tug, but not so dry that you have a Q-tip stuck to your speaker for the rest of your life. I'd give it about 5 to 10 minutes and err on the side of less time 'cause you can always try it again if it falls off. Now once the glue sets, give it a pull straight back and you should be able to tug that dome back out, and then gently twist the Q-tip back and forth while pulling on it and the thing should pull right off. Hopefully with a minimum of glue left behind. So there you go, four ways to resuscitate your old dented speaker. For more tips like this, visit howto.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell for CNET, helping you keep your old domes fresh and perky.