Repair speakers damaged by rats? Here is the Advice

Audio Pro launches compact SW-5 sub for Award-winning wireless speakers

-R.H., Minneapolis

Q. A friend recently gave me a pair of ADS CN-6 bookshelf speakers, both of which have audible faults caused by rats. One tweeter makes an improper bird-tweet sound on high notes, and one woofer has rat nibbles in the cone. I am using them with a Denon AVR-1200 receiver and they still perform to a level I consider almost acceptable. I think both the woofer and tweeter replacements are available at a reasonable cost, but is it worth it to repair them?

A. I love vintage ADS (Analog and Digital Systems, also called a/d/s) speakers, especially the L series from the 1980s. What you need to consider before repairing them is if the replacement drivers are original, and what it would cost to get them operating perfectly again.

If you are not using the original ADS woofers and tweeters all you have is ADS cabinets with different drivers in them, not an ADS speaker. I could not find the CN-6 speakers within the historical ADS lineup and even if I could, I imagine original replacement parts for your speakers are hard to come by.

Unless you have a sentimental attachment to the speakers or really like the style, you also must consider the cost of brand new speakers that will have a warranty and better performance. I would wager heavily that the $249 Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ or $315 Q Acoustics 3020i would both sound better, even if your vintage speakers were in optimal working condition. See them at and

I think repairing the chewed cone and correcting the tweeter defect is your best option. It would not cost as much as replacement drivers and it would preserve the original sound of your speakers. The Speaker Exchange at is an excellent resource for speaker repair parts and advice. The woofer should be relatively easy, and they may be able to tell you what is causing your tweeter to make the unwanted bird-tweet noise and help you repair them. I would put a cap of $125 on the project since the money is at risk and you have no guarantee of the repair attempt being successful.

TLOVII Toothbrush brushhead update: I tried the Philips Sonicare HX9023/65 heads (mentioned last week) on my TLOVII toothbrush and they are not compatible. For now it is best to wait for the original TLOVII brushheads to be restocked in June.

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Tribit Audio manufactures the popular $49 StormBox Micro, a small, rugged Bluetooth speaker with excellent sound quality and a sturdy strap that allows it to be secured to bicycle handlebars and backpacks. I recently tried Tribit’s $119 StormBox Pro speaker and FlyBuds 3 and FlyBuds C1 earphones ($39 and $69) and you can add them to my recommended products list as well. Through May 31 you can use the coupon code Z42RT4U2 to save 20% on Tribit products. The code works with the two StormBox speakers on Amazon, and on all four products at  

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