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I have an old pair of Mission 701 speakers that have been in storage for a while. I finally have the space to use them again, and I got them out, cleaned up the cones, and they still sound great.

However, one of the speakers has swollen damp-damaged wood on one of the bottom edges at the mitre joint. The black laminate is peeling at that point on both sides of the joint.

Damaged speaker 1

Damaged speaker 2

The wood seems hard still, and not soggy. There is no sign of mould.

What would be the best way to repair this aesthetically with minimum risk of impacting the working of the speakers?

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    some better lighting will help tremendously for us to see what's going on.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 12:53
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    Are you sure those are solid wood panels, or is it veneer over chipboard or particleboard? Better photos from different angles would definitely help.
    – MattDMo
    Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 14:30
  • Not wood. This is impoosible to fix I think :(
    – Volfram K
    Commented Sep 17, 2022 at 8:28

2 Answers 2

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As mentioned in the Comments, we could do with clearer photos to be sure what's going on here, but there are some generalities with commercial speakers that probably cover this sufficiently.

Speaker boxes are virtually always made from some type of manmade board material. So plywood earlier on, followed by chipboard (particleboard) when it became available and then MDF after. The latter two often had a real wood veneer glued to their outside faces, which despite the solid black colour might be what you have here1.

Simply glueing the separated veneer back down is doable, but no sort of proper fix. Regardless of whether this is ply, chipboard or MDF a water-swelled edge can be recompressed but it's generally not that simple to hide the damage completely, but regardless I think effectively impossible to do in situ2. Plus you're probably not set up to do it anyway.

Since I doubt it's financially viable to get a pro to look at this for you (and wouldn't come with any absolute guarantee of success anyway) I think you're left with two options. Three if you can just live with it :-)

  1. Replacement speaker, or just its box, from a secondhand set of the same speakers. I presume from what I've seen online the 701s were popular enough that this might not be too difficult in some parts of the world.
  2. New or new-to-you speakers naturally.
  3. As it seems this doesn't affect the sound output it's really only an aesthetics thing at the end of the day. Perhaps you can position the speakers so you can't easily see this side of this speaker and leave it at that.

1 Could also be textured vinyl or impregnated paper.

2 It requires substantial clamping force from strong clamps and/or a vice, but really requires access to both sides of the affected board. So the box has to be taken apart which I think rules this out.

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What would be the best way to repair this aesthetically with minimum risk of impacting the working of the speakers?

Position the speakers where they sound good. Then, get a nice potted plant and place it in front of the damaged area. Adding speaker grille covers might also help obscure the damage.

From the photo, the moisture has caused the substrate under the veneer to swell. There's really no practical way to fix that, and none that makes sense economically when you can buy replacement speakers for $150 or so.

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    upvoted for short and to-the-point: "none that makes sense economically" Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 12:28

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