Yaesu SP-101 Speaker Upgrades

by MD0MDI
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Yaesu SP-101 Speaker Upgrade - 025

Yaesu SP-101 Speaker Upgrades

After seeing several videos around about this I decided to put this post together, especially as a few of them miss some important details.

I decided to start on the extension specker for the Yaesu FTdx-101MP which is obviously the SP-101, there is nothing wrong with the speaker that is sold with the extension speaker and the same fitted inside of the power supply, BUT, they are basically cheap, and actually like all extension speakers by all manufacturers, this is an area where it seems they are happy to rip everyone off, after all we pay around £4000 for a Ham Radio Transceiver and then it either comes with a speaker as in the case of the FTdx-101MP or we all purchase a separate speaker such as the SP-101 to complete the look of our new kit, but these are basically a blooming con, on average the speaker is around £150, but after you take off the fancy plastic you are left with something that was normally supplied with those 80’s CB Radios that we all loved.

Yaesu SP-101 Speaker Upgrade - New Visaton FRW10N 8 Ohm Speakers
Yaesu SP-101 Speaker Upgrade - New Visaton FRW10N 8 Ohm Speakers

Thankfully there is a good alternative which we found at CPC here in the UK which I located after just doing a search on Google for the part number (FRW10N).

2 Days later and on a Bank Holiday weekend we get a few boxes through and in among those was 2 new speakers for the Yaesu FTdx-101MP and the SP-101 Side Speaker, I could not weight to compare the two speakers and as I later worked out I should have ordered a few more as I worked out that I could also replace the speakers in the SP-9000 as well.

I have added the Datasheet below for anyone to look at.

Visaton FRW10N 8 Ohm Speaker Datasheet

Visaton FRW10N Speaker Performance
Visaton FRW10N Speaker Performance

And just in case you do not remember the part number, here it is again…

Visaton FRW10N Speaker Unit

This Bit is Simple

The Yaesu SP-101 Extension Speaker
The Yaesu SP-101 Extension Speaker

You need to remove “ALL” of the screws on the Case, this means all of them, Top, Bottom and on all of the sides.

The rear of the Yaesu SP-101 Extension Speaker
The rear of the Yaesu SP-101 Extension Speaker

Make sure that you remove the two on the rear end of the speaker unit.

This is what you paid £150 for!
This is what you paid £150 for!

This is why I get annoyed with when it comes to the kit that we cherish so much, if this was some high-end HiFi equipment Speaker or a Speaker like we use in an Audio setup then we would kick up a stink, but I suppose it is OK to spend £4000 on a Transceiver and then attach a bit of shit like this is to it.

A Very Basic Speaker

There is ‘Nothing’ special about this speaker, if RadioShack was still around then this would be something they would sell you, this is basically a CB Audio Speaker, so we all pay basically £150 for the case so that it matches the main transceiver, and in my case the SP-9000 as well is exactly the same, just an empty box that cost £350 with a couple of cheap speakers in it!

Un-plugged and all alone.

Make sure that you remember which way round the connections are so that you get the polarity of the speaker is correct if you intend to use the same cable (which is just about possible).

There are still a lot of people that do not understand the importance of connecting up speakers correctly and maintaining the correct polarity, also the differences between 4 Ohm and 8 Ohm Speakers, there is plenty of information on this available, if you think that messing about with these things does not matter then please educate yourself.

The original speaker removed.

There are eight ‘Silver’ screws inside of the front panel of the speaker, you only need to remove the inner 4 screws to enable the removal of the original ‘cheap’ speaker unit.

Comparisons time!

I just thought that I would just weigh the two units against each other, the overall build of the Visaton Speaker is more solid in my hands and it looks to be a lot better.

The original speaker unit fitted inside of the Yeasu SP-101 (and the FTdx-101MP) Speakers.
The original speaker unit fitted inside of the Yeasu SP-101 (and the FTdx-101MP) Speakers.
The New Visaton FRW10N Speaker Unit
The New Visaton FRW10N Speaker Unit
A Simple Swap Out Case
A Simple Swap Out Case

Physically the new speaker is the same as the original, the screws will not need to be forced into the unit, make sure that you loosely fit the speaker and also screw in all four screws before you tighten up the screws so as to make sure that you do no damage to the plastic front panel.

Make sure that you remember which way round the polarity of the speaker is.
Make sure that you remember which way round the polarity of the speaker is.

The polarity of the speaker units that I received at this time is the same as the original, make sure that you remember this as they may change the polarity at a later date.

A Cheap Electrolytic Capacitor fitted to the speaker cable.
A Cheap Electrolytic Capacitor fitted to the speaker cable.

The speaker comes with a make shift 47μF 50V Electrolytic Capacitor that is fitted to the rear of the RCA socket on the rear of the speaker unit.

2024 05 25 Ham Radio Yaesu SP 101 Speaker Upgrade 020

At this point I had two different ways of doing this, the cable is only just long enough to fit between the speaker and the socket on the rear of the unit, I could have just replaced the fittings on the end of the lead as the internals are terminated with very small crimps and annoyingly the only ones I could find that would fit the new speaker would be cheap automotive crimps (5mm) and I could have cut the original ones off but it would be very tight after fitting new crimps on the end of the original lead, so I decided to replace the lead as well which meant unsoldering the original speaker cable and fitting a new cable.

New Audio cable fitted!
New Audio cable fitted!

I hate using standard 2 core ‘Speaker’ cable for this sort or work, instead I used 2 core shielded ‘Audio Grade’ cable, it is not a big upgrade as it is only just 12” of cable, it is just that I like to do things right. Re fitting the cable tie will keep the cable from applying undue stress to the rear of the RCA socket.

The Newly Fitted Cable
The Newly Fitted Cable

The finished installation of the new cable.

Make Shift Speaker Dampening
Make Shift Speaker Dampening

Something that annoys me is that they do not come with any dampening in these speaker units and a lot of us will have come across a really good substitute that makes a very good job of this task. I would not install this stuff if I was replacing thew speaker boxes for a set of Mission or KEF Speakers, but I have found that this does a very good job. so, what is this wonderful make shift speaker dampening material? – “Hello Fresh” Food deliveries always arrive with a sheet of this material in the boxes to stop your food from getting damaged, the material is not a foam, but more like a Rock Wool house insulation material, but one sheet of this is all that you need for these small units.

Folded Over to make a tube.
Folded Over to make a tube.

When using this stuff you can carefully push this underneath the speaker connections and towards the front of the speaker unit, this will not only hold the material in place but it makes it firmly fitted to the rear of the front panel of the speaker, once this has been done you can basically make a tube up by folding it over itself whilst always trying to fit the material to the maximum size of the internal of the enclosure, the aim is to not fill the gap up, as you need to make sure that you can basically see the rear of the speaker so that the lower frequencies (as in the bass) can escape to the rear of the speaker.

Yaesu SP-101 Speaker Upgrade - 025

All finished and ready to plug in.

I will update this post with photos of me doing the FTdx-101MP Power Supply/Speaker and maybe the SP-9000 as well.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker

Well as the bench was in a mess still, I thought that I would just break open the SP-9000 and see if it is possible to use the same speaker units in this enclosure as well.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 001
Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 001

I am hoping that this one at least has a bit more stuff inside than the SP-101 which was a complete disappointment, The Speaker is after all huge, front to back it is the same as the FTdx-9000 and as this was Yaesu’s flagship transceiver for a number of years now I am hoping that a little more thought went into this speaker.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 002

You have the normal Selection switch but you also have a little bit of Filter Adjustment as well.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 003

Well it certainly has a lot more inside it than the SP-101, even so I am not sure that it is really worth £350 and I cannot recall what they were originally sold for way back when.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 004

The rear speaker connections is a fairly simple affair.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 006

Now this is more like it, this is the same quality that I would expect to find is some good quality HiFi equipment, glued to the PCB’s and a little bit better thought about.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 007

Looking at the rear of where the speakers should sit a square of foam covering the rear of the speakers to act as damping, no room for low frequency noise to escape before being muffled, this will have to go at the moment and may not return.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 008

With the foam removed I am able to see if the speakers fitted are the same size, but not only are they the same size, but they are the very same units that was installed in the SP-101 so I am one happy bunny, I will add a load of these to next order that needs placing, I will possibly just order 10 units as this just might be a very useful size to keep in stock.

Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 010
Yaesu SP-9000 Extension Speaker Upgrade - 012

From here I will wait until the rest of the speakers arrive as I only have one in stock which will be for the FTdx-101MP’s Power Supply/Speaker Unit and I really do not just want to fit half of the speakers in this enclosure. I will desolder the leads off the back of the speakers so that I am ready to install the two speaker upgrades to this enclosure. – Back Soon…

I am really sorry here, but I thought I had taken photos of the installation of the two replacement speakers and the foam dampening, I ended up making two rolls of the foam to all them to be set up as tubes, this sounded better than just covering over the two speakers as was as supplied from Yaesu, it was not exactly pretty but it seems to work well.

FTdx-101MP Power Supply/Speaker Unit

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

I was not exactly leaving this one to last but I was waiting on the speakers to arrive from CPC as they keep running out of these for some reason.

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

Compared to the External Speaker there are a few more screws that you should remove from this unit, the ones on the rear as well as the side ones.

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

As we will need a bit more access this time, it is best to remove these two screws as well from the underside of the Power Supply, this will give us a lot better access to the Speaker Unit.

As we will need a bit more access this time, it is best to remove these two screws as well from the underside of the Power Supply, this will give us a lot better access to the Speaker Unit.

With the Cover now removed you will be able to remove the speaker unit complete with the front facia and it’s cheap CB style of Speaker, just make a note of the polarity of the cables ready for the change over to the new speaker being fitted.

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

Taking a quick look at the power supply and just how tight it is in there reminds me of the issues with the FT-897D Internal Power Supply, I just hope that this will cope a little better in the long run, it is a confined space with limited ventilation with the only real exit for hot air is to the rear of the unit, there is a little ventilation to the front around the edges of the speaker unit but this is very minimal.

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

I decided to install the new speaker 90° to what was originally fitted, my reasoning for this was just to give me better access to the connections and to keep them as far away from the power supply section, I did a test fit and with these units it seemed to me to be the best option. Again, this is a straight swap out as regards to size, but it is a much better improvement regarding the sound. As a quick note, in all cases here I packaged up the old speckers and put them aside in ‘Really Useful Boxes’ with a label on the front that will go to the new owner when they are sold on.

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

As you can see, with the speaker mounted 90 degrees from the bottom you are easily able to get to the connections without breaking your fingers.

Yaesu FTDX-101MP Speaker-Power Supply Speaker Modification

Welcome to my Sheep Dog Speaker. I still would like to add a little dampening material to the speaker unit, I could have just added a layer of this stuff to the rear of the speaker but that would block off and even end up causing the Power Supply to suffer from heat issues, this way the Power Supply has a clear route to shift its heat out of the rear of the unit, and the dampening will help the speaker sound nicer.++

The complete project ended up being a bit of a nightmare as I ended up doing the SP-9000 Speaker as well, overall, I think that this was a great modification, cheap and an auditable improvement to so existing kit. My own hearing was damaged by the radiotherapy back in Clatterbridge, one of the many things I lost, I ended up losing nearly all of my hearing in my right ear and about half in my left ear, thankfully three years later I have got about 80% of my right hand hearing back now and near perfect on the left hand side, but even I can hear the difference here for both CW and Phone, When I had one of each in the SP-9000 Unit it was quite dramatic switching between the two different speakers so overall I am not complaining here.

I always think any modifications should be 1. Visible, and 2. Easily returned to normal, and therefore I will make sure that the speakers from the original units are kept with documentation for the radios so that they can be past of when I end up given the stuff away or sold.

Last Updated : 12th June 2024

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