Monday, 6 August 2012

2 Hour Dynaco Speaker Refinishing

I picked up a pair of Dynaco A25 speakers in a yard sale a couple of months ago. They were quite beat up but are a quite desirable and still highly regarded model from 1969. Even though they were made in quite high numbers and sold for just $79.95 each back then, they hold pretty good value but they don't seem to pop up very often around here. Even so, when I saw them I instantly thought I knew what they were and I was right.

Dynaco A25 1

Chipped veneer, serious water stains from plants, scratches, stained and torn grill covers. At least the drivers looked fine and "they work" claimed the seller. The drivers were also dirty but thanks to rubber, not foam, for the surrounds they looked intact.

I am no expert at refinishing and I did not think that without a real effort and possible re-veneering that these would look show-room quality again, so I did a quick power-tool enhanced job on them today. I just wanted to make them good enough for me.

Dynaco A25 2

With my sanders, both belt and orbital, I soon had the finish completely removed from one. On the other one the water damage went quite deep and I ended up going beneath the veneer or into a flaw in it at least. Too bad about that but I can use some filler and colour matching to hide it.

I did what would also probably be considered really bad form by not even removing the tweeters and woofers. Since they were dirty anyway I was not too concerned, but had to be careful. I found the terminals were soldered anyway and did not have my soldering gun nearby.

Dynaco A25 3

I went over all the veneered surfaces with walnut stain that was already nearby but had to run out to the Despot and get some MinWax oil finish even though I was sure I had some around. So the 2 hours actually became more like 3.

Dynaco A25 5

After cleaning the drivers and faces with damp cloths, and a bit of buffing and wiping down the results are very good. I will still do a bit more work partly because it started to rain a bit and before I noticed I got more water marks! The few tiny spots will come out easily though with a bit of gentle sanding and more stain and/or oil.

The grill faces will get re-covered soon. Linda looked at the fabric and said "transparent linen, they should have some at the fabric store". It was too hot and being a holiday we do not want to risk driving to the nearest big one to check, but she will tomorrow. If they don't have it I can check out the local electronics store.

Dynaco A25 6

So I think they look pretty darn good so far! Too bad I sanded too deep on the one side. Be careful with that belt sander, Eugene.

With the combo of the dark stain and the oil finish I probably did not have to take out the entire water stain and it would have been masked. So it goes.

I'll bring them inside soon and check out how they sound. Eventually I will get around to replacing the crossover capacitors and maybe the binding posts. That will be another day and post.

Edit: A day later...

Linda stopped at a fabric store today to get some grill cloth. I was hoping for something more like the original linen, somewhat coarse and a bit like cheesecloth but that is not what she brought home. It's a bit stretchy and synthetic and much whiter. However I think it will turn out fine after all and might just grow on me. Only done one so far though.

Before grill cloth but sounding good:

Dynaco A25 7

After cloth, I think the contrast is good:

Dynaco A25 8


  1. Really nice job, they look sweet!

  2. Thanks! I think they will look even better with the linen fabric if I can find the right stuff.