Don Lindich: Consumer Advice

Consumer electronics advice from Don Lindich:

masonite ringQ: In preparing our living room for the new additions, I was moving some 1978 vintage Advent Bookshelf speakers. To show my 5-year-old son what a speaker looked like, I removed the front grill and found that much of the “foam” that surrounded the woofer had disintegrated. Because of its age I assumed that was normal, but is it” I then thought of a second question. Can it be fixed and, if so, should it be fixed”

Carl Tabacjar, Allison Park, Pa.

A: It’s normal for the foam to rot out, especially after 25-plus years. It is no reflection on the quality of the speakers.

Though your speakers are older, quality classic audio equipment such as your Advent speakers can still sound very good. I myself own and enjoy some classic audio equipment and could not imagine being without it. It has a quality that much of today’s mass-produced, cookie-cutter electronics and speakers seems to lack somehow. Call it soul, if you will.

This is an easy one for me to call. If you enjoy the speakers, they are worth fixing. It’s just a matter of removing the old foam and attaching new surrounds.

If you want to have someone do the work for you, I recommend The Speaker Exchange®, located in Tampa, Fla. You can visit them online at www.speakerex.com.

The Speaker Exchange® has an incredible reputation among audiophiles restoring classic gear. I’ve corresponded with people who have sent older exotic, costly speakers and The Speaker Exchange® has been able to restore them as good as new, even when the manufacturer said it could not be done.

According to the Web site, it would cost around $65 to have The Speaker Exchange® refoam your Advents for you. You can’t get new speakers that good for that much money. I’d refoam them, sit back and enjoy them for another 25 years.

Don Lindich is a national columnist and author of “Digital Photography Made Easy.” To submit a question, visit www.donlindich.com.