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The Rescue of my Home Theater, Part 2 (1 Viewer)


Senior HTF Member
Dec 19, 1998
I love my VMPS main speakers. They have such substantial build quality, MUCH better than the typical speaker. They sound fantastic. Next month I will have had them for 25 years. In speaker terms, I suppose they could be called senior citizens. Seniors know that body parts wear out. Last year I wrote about how I had to replace the midrange ribbons:


Last Friday, I found myself facing yet another crisis: One of my woofers started sounding horribly distorted while I was playing the stargate sequence from 2001, which is fairly loud, but not particularly loud or bassy by modern standards. I’ve played plenty of LOUD and BASSY stuff over the years, and it hasn’t been a problem.

But enough of the how. Further investigation confirmed my worst fear: I had a burnt out voice coil. I was faced with same problem I had last year: A driver that’s no longer made. I’ve seen Youtube videos describing voice coil replacement, so I tried contacting a local speaker repair shop. Unfortunately, that went nowhere. I HAD to replace the driver, but I hated the idea of getting something different. Not only was I unsure of the effect on the sound, I hated the idea of a visual mismatch (each VMPS speaker has two woofers). Then I realized I DID have an exact replacement driver: In my VMPS subwoofer in my bedroom. Perfect! Now all I needed to do was find a replacement driver for the subwoofer. I wasn’t worried about a visual mismatch (the sub has a 15 inch driver next to the 12 inch driver). I needed a driver that met two requirements: It needed to be 8 ohms (the drivers are wired in parallel for a combined 4 ohm impedance), and it needed to fit the cutout for the old driver (I did NOT want to have to modify the cabinet).

After considerable investigation, I settled on the Morel MW 1258. Carbon fiber-reinforced cone. HUGE voice coil (5 inches). Great power handling, and very good XMAX. Some might ask “Robert, what about the other Thiel Small parameters?” I had no ability to compare them to the old driver. What I read seemed reasonable for my enclosure, so I went for it. Unlike last year, when I did everything myself, I asked my friends John Sparks and John Gordon to help me with the woofer replacement. Thanks so much, guys! I couldn’t have done it without you! It’s times like these when a man knows who his friends are.

Everything sounds great. I feel good that I have a path forward for replacing the other woofers, should I ever need to. I feel like Oscar Goldman from the Six Million Dollar Man. “We can rebuild him”. Yes I can. And I did.

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