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I have a Game Boy, and whenever it tries to play sound, the sound is very quiet but there's a loud clacking sound.

Here is a sample. In this case, it is Tetris Attack playing:

https://soundcloud.com/james-larrowe/soundrecord-2020-04-06-16-24-02

(I am not the author of this music. All credit goes to the composers (Masaru Tajima, Masaya Kuzume, Yuka Tsujiyoko).)

All of these sounds are created by the Game Boy. Even the large clacks at the beginning and end.

What might cause this? How can I fix this, preferably without replacing the speaker?

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A loud click at beginning/end of the sound, but faint sound inbetween might be caused by a failed DC blocking capacitor. According to the gameboy schematics found at http://www.devrs.com/gb/files/gameboy1.gif, there is a 100µF capacitor in series with the speaker. If this is indeed the case, sound should be working fine at the headphone jack, because it uses separate blocking caps.

Another possible cause is a broken speaker. There is a report on instructables on how to re-glue the diaphragm of a gameboy speaker. Essentially they disassemble the speaker until both the diaphragm and the voice coil are removed from the housing and then use superglue to first fix the coil to the diaphragm and then to re-mount the diaphragm in the housing.

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  • Yep, that's it. Is it possible to fix this, or will I have to use headphones if I like to hear my games? – S.S. Anne Apr 8 at 12:00
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    If headphone output works, the possible culprits are limited to the amplifier chip, the capacitor and the speaker itself. The capacitor is an off-the-shelf part, replacement speakers are also available on the internet. It might even be possible to repair a broken speaker: instructables.com/id/… – Michael Karcher Apr 8 at 12:07

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