The original Sega speakers that came in my Astro City cabinet sound like crap. They’re very tinny and basically have no bass, which just won’t do when you’re playing Battle Garegga and want to crank the excellent soundtrack. Thankfully, others have also found them lacking and there’s a pretty easy upgrade, documented here.
To summarize that forum thread, find a pair of Cambridge Soundworks SBS52 PC speakers, pull the drivers out of them and install them in your Astro City. Here’s a link to a search on eBay for the speakers.
Once you get the speakers, you need to disassemble them. I wrestled with this since there is a hidden screw on the front of each speaker under the speaker grill holding the enclosure together. Thankfully getting the grill off is easy, just jam a flatblade screwdriver between the grill and the plastic and wiggle it outward, then remove the screw. Once you get all the screws out, open the enclosure and you’ll see this:
Next, use your soldering iron to desolder the two wires that are going to the driver. Make sure that you remove the existing solder from the posts on the driver, otherwise the quick disconnects for the speakers on the Astro City will not fit due to the excess solder. Then unscrew the driver from the housing and replace the one already in your cabinet. Repeat for the other speaker and you’re in business!
Here is a new and old speaker side by side:
The old speaker is the one on the right with the Sega logo.
This was a good and easy first step in making the cabinet sound better, however in the future I might look at more speaker options. There’s plenty of room in the cab for a subwoofer and I really would like to be able to use headphones. This blog post talks about putting Logitech S220 speakers (which I conveniently have lying around) inside a Taito Egret II cabinet, so I might try doing something similar with my Astro City. I just need to figure out how to fit the speakers in the existing speaker cavity and where I can put the wired remote.