Phonema PHITS speaker upgrade

I am doing a Phonema PHITS speaker upgrade to my Kenwood SP-990 speakers. The second upgrade will be the Phonema PHITS acoustic modification kits. They will ship in February from DX Engineering.

Despite the $295 price tag, the Kenwood SP-990 received numerous complaints of poor audio quality. After listening to them, I would agree.

Phonema PHITS speaker upgrade
Kenwood SP-990 speaker

Lets begin with the tear down.

There are 4 screws per cabinet side. In addition, there are 3 screws in the top to be removed. There is a somewhat adhesive strip near the bottom along each side. This strip will cause the top cover to stick in place. As a result, care must be used to separate the cover from the chassis.

Cover removed from speaker chassis

The speaker kit provides a new, superior-quality, Neodymium-based driver to dramatically improve the sound quality. In addition to the improved quality, comes more weight and bigger design.

stock vs. upgrade
Stock speaker on left, upgrade on right
stock vs. upgrade
Stock speaker on left, upgrade on right

Looking at the pictures, you can see a big difference is size and quality between the speakers.

Four screws hold the speaker in place. The red speaker wire is missing a terminal, therefore one is provided in the kit.

Phonema PHITS speaker
Phonema speaker installed

After fitting the red speaker wire with the supplied terminal, it’s time to start putting it back together. I am writing this article to provide more information on this upgrade, which is hard to find on the internet.

In conclusion, the Phonema PHITS speaker upgrade is an easy one. Above all, the audio quality is noticeably improved. Further improvements will come with the installation of the acoustic material kits. These kits reduce the vibrations heard in the speaker cabinet.

These SP-990 speakers, once retrofitted, will be a nice addition to the Kenwood TS-990S station. Hope to hear you on the air.