Do I need to Take Outdoor Speakers In During a Storm?

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As with most of our answers, the answer is it depends. We'll answer the question at the end of the article but first, a few things to consider.

Most outdoor speakers are not waterproof and many are barely weather resistant. True waterproof outdoor speakers will usually set you back $300 or more for a pair. Although there are many waterproof and resistent bluetooth speakers, some of us, like the folks at TSG's prefer to have actual speakers on our decks or back porches, capable of filling our yards with quality sounding music, not just background noise.

What to look for in a Waterproof Speaker
  • How are they sealed - are they sealed with gaskets that will keep the rain out?
  • The quality of the cabinet - Is the outside of the cabinet easy to keep clean? Read reviews to be sure.
  • The quality of the driver - Are the drivers made of a material that will stand up to not just water, but temperature variations.
  • The quality of the binding posts - gold plated, not just gold colored binding posts will increase the lifespan of the posts and insure a solid connection.

So, do you have to take them inside or what? 

During normal summer weather, you should not have to take almost any quality outdoor speaker inside. But note that if you're expecting a driving rain storm and you opted for a less expensive outdoor speaker, you might take the time to bring them in.

Other times you'll want to bring any outdoor speaker in no matter the quality is in the fall and winter. With rapid changes in temperatures during the late fall and winter months you should consider bringing your speakers inside, especially if they are expensive! Any material can become brittle over time when exposed to extreme temperatures, breaking down the seal that's keeping moisture out. Besides, it's unlikely you're sitting out there in the yard listening at that time of year in any case.

Hope this article helped. Please share with a friend.

How to replace a bookshelf speaker Tweeter

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You really like your bookshelf speakers. You've become accustomed to their sound and hey, they are almost part of the family. But sometimes tweeters blow out. Now what?

Diagnosing a faulty bookshelf speaker

If your sound is suddenly dull and lifeless because one of your tweeters has blown out, then it's time to grab a screwdriver and do some investigating. Here are a few things that could be wrong.
  1. The wires to the tweeter are somehow disconnected. (unlikely but hey...)
  2. Your buddy turned your system up to 11 and poof! (yep, this happened to me)
  3. Your crossover is faulty. (possible but unlikely)
  4. It just got old and died.


In any of these cases you'll need to pull out the speaker and check for item 1 first. Don't worry, this is pretty easy. You'll need a Phillips head screwdriver. (usually)
  • First remove the speaker grille from the cabinet. You can usually pry it off with your fingers. Avoid using tools.
  • Carefully, don't puncture the tweeter, remove the screws from the tweeter face plate.
  • Carefully lift the tweeter from the cabinet. If it is tight, use a small flat head screwdriver or putty knife to remove it. Be VERY careful not to scratch the cabinet. 
  • Check the wires to be sure they are fully connected to the speaker.
If all is well note any designations on the rear of the speaker. Take note of the impedance and diameter. Put it back in the cabinet for now. If you suspect it's the crossover you can test this by removing the tweeter from the other speaker and trying it in the malfunctioning cabinet. 

Buying a new Tweeter

This is the cheapest way to get back to listening to your jams but it does get a bit tricky. Here's what you need to do.
  • Note the correct impedance.
  • The size of the tweeter itself as well as material, aluminum, foam, silk etc.
  • The diameter and mounting (screw) configuration.
  • Depth of the cabinet. 
Once you do this you're ready to go shopping for a new tweeter.  

Important - If you're replacing a tweeter and it's not from the manufacturer of the speakers, you'll want to replace BOTH tweeters. Huh, why? No matter how carefully you think you're matching the speakers to the one you already have, the new tweeter WILL sound different than the original. Lots of folks might not notice the difference but chances are you will. 

Is it worth fixing the speakers vs buying a new set of bookshelf speakers? It depends on how old your speakers are, how attached to their sound you've become and of course, if you have the money.


Amazon Outdoor Speaker deal of the day

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OK, these Yahama 6.5 inch all-weather speakers are not top of the line outdoor speakers and likely will lack a bit of bass when played softly, but if you are on a budget, they are a great deal.

Yamaha outdoor speakers are a good value across the product line but at $99 these are a good buy.

As with any outdoor speaker we don't recommend you leave them outside during extremely cold weather and if you can put them under an eve, do so. There are better high end outdoor speakers but the come at a price.

Turntables to make your speakers sound better...

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...when you're playing vinyl records that is. Of course better is relative. But if you're new to vinyl or have a basement full of your own or Dad & Mom's old vinyl, these reasonably priced turntables should help you get great sound without breaking your budget or having a cheap turntable ruining your often irreplaceable vinyl.

U-Turn Audio Orbit Turntable with Ortofon OM-5E Cartridge


This turntable from U-Turn Audio sports clean lines and ease of use with lots of color choices.


Pro-Ject - Debut Carbon DC (Blue)


This neat little package from Pro-Ject-Debut is similar in design and function to the U-Turn. A bit more money but includes a carbon tonearm designed to further reduce the effects of vibration.
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Which Amazon Echo is Best for Me?

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Which Amazon Each should you choose?

Amazon now has 3 versions of its popular Echo speaker, home automation, information hub, thingy. bluetooth speaker that does wi-fi streaming of Internet radio all on its own. But it also can hear your spoken commands to play songs or stations. Playing songs does require you have an Amazon Prime account however, and even that is a bit limited but still fulfilling considering the low cost and total return of an Prime account. But that is for another article, onto the choosing the best Echo for you.
Besides playing streaming music it can control your lights, thermostat, door locks, read you the news, tell you how your sports teams are doing, tell you the weather, and a lot more. Yeah, it's pretty difficult to classify this device. The original one is a

Here are three scenarios for consideration.

I listen to music and want the simplest solution for one room

This situation is easy. The original Amazon Echo is your best choice. It's a singular device that has touch-free (you can be across the room) interaction capability that lets you talk to it to chose a station on Pandora, iHeart Radio or Amazon music as well as others. It also will tell you the weather and do all the other cool Echo tricks.

I want to move around the house or yard or go to the beach

The Echo Tap would be your best choice here. With 9 hour battery life and all the normal Echo features you'll be free as a bird to listen and ask wherever you are. Be warned that the price of this freedom is you'll have to "tap" a button on the front of the Echo in order to get it to listen. This will be worth it given it's freedom to move and the neat charging station that comes with it. If you mostly listen to music and don't plan on a lot of interaction with the device, like obsessively asking Alexa questions, then this is your best choice.

You want the best music experience along with the power of Amazon Echo's Alexa

The only device of the three Echo's is the Amazon Echo Dot. This small, puck sized device has a speaker but it's not designed to play musics. But it does have something the other Amazon Echo's don't have, a 3.5mm audio out jack. This allows you to attach the Echo to any powered speaker or home audio system for a full stereo experience. Oh and it also has the 7 mic array as the original Echo so you can talk to it without touching it. Nice.

So that's it. Choose the Amazon Echo that's best for you and start your first experience into the world of intelligent devices. See below for a handy chart showing the key differences between the different Echo devices. If you found this helpful, please share, and thanks for reading!




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