Identifying and Fixing PA Speaker Problems – Expert Advice

You might be giving a speech, and suddenly, your loudspeaker fails. Maybe you’re just setting up a PA system and the speakers disappoint. There are many reasons why a loudspeaker may fail. But when it happens to you, you don’t care why it failed, just that you’re left in the middle of an event without sound. Our goal is to prevent PA speaker problems from happening in the first place so that you don’t have to worry about anything.

What Can Go Wrong With A Public Address Speaker?

Some of the most common issues with PA speakers include:

  • A damaged enclosure that exposes internal components to damage
  • A blown electrical fuse
  • A blown thermal fuse
  • Faulty voice coil
  • Faulty crossover network
  • Damaged solder connections
  • Faulty cables
  • Improper cable connections
  • Damaged driver cone
  • Speaker not be in phase
  • Broken level controls

Luckily, most are repairable.

classic PA speakers

How to Identify PA Speaker Problems

Tip 1– If the loudspeaker is not producing any sound, check whether the source component is properly connected and adjusted properly. You’ll need to disassemble the cover if the components are well connected. First, power it off from the main power before disassembling it. Check the fuse for any signs of damage. If the fuse is blown, replace it.

Tip 2– If there is no sound from the drivers, try testing the fuse, drivers, and crossover wiring. Replace any damaged parts. If possible, you can test the components on another speaker. If you still fail to get sound, the receiver may be faulty.

Tip 3– If one driver is not producing sound, you’ll need to test it. You can press the cone lightly with your finger to check for any vibration. If it is not vibrating, replace the driver.

Tip 4– If you’re getting distorted sound, try flexing the sound cable at low volume. If the sound changes while flexing the cable, clean the connectors and replace the cable. Also, check whether you’ve connected the cable properly. If no sound, press the cone with your fingers repeatedly. In case it’s not moving smoothly, replace the cone.

Tip 5– The voice coil may be damaged if the loudspeaker sounds noisy. You’ll need to check it for any signs of damage, such as holes. If you find a hole, seal it with rubber cement. If the damage is major, replace the driver. If the cone has no signs of damage, try cleaning the volume control using an appropriate electronic contact cleaning agent.

Tip 6– If you’re getting intermittent sound, check whether all connections are fixed properly. Also, check the coil and test the fuse.

Tools Needed For Fixing PA Speaker Problems

Keep these basics on hand to be ready for PA speaker repair jobs.

  • Replacement components
  • Speaker repair kit
  • Foam
  • Wire
  • Rubber cement
  • Multimeter

funky PA speakers

How to Repair a PA Speaker

Step 1- Turn off the main power and unplug the power cable. If it’s not powered by AC, unplug any speaker cable.

Step 2– Start disassembling the speaker. Remove the grill to expose the drivers and crossover. Depending on the make of your loudspeaker, the grill may be secured with screws, snaps, or glue.

Step 3– Detach the drivers. Some drivers are screwed in place, while others are sealed. If it’s sealed, use a sharp knife or blade to detach it. When reattaching the driver after repair, use an appropriate sealant.

Step 4– Lift the speaker driver to expose wire connectors. Remove the connectors carefully with pliers. Some connector wires may be soldered in place.

Step 5– Remove the crossover if necessary. Most crossovers can be accessed easily from the front, while others can only be accessed after removing the main driver.

Step 6– Test the fuse using a multimeter.

Step 7– Using the multimeter, test the resistance on the crossover network, terminal block, and driver. The resistance of most drivers is written on the back in ohms.

Step 7– Replace any damaged component and reassemble the unit.

Repairing a Damaged Cone

If you found a small hole or tear on the cone, you’ll need to seal it. Apply some rubber cement on either side of the hole. In case the tear is extremely large, the cone may need replacement.

How to Obtain the Correct Polarities (Speaker Phasing)

If you have incorrectly attached the speaker cable, you’ll get poor or no sound. Thus, you need to ensure that the speaker is in phase. This means that the terminals should be properly connected. The positive terminal is usually red in color, while the negative terminal is black.