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My left speaker is busted and distorts like crazy. I have gone into System Preferences -> Sound and balanced the sound to the far right. That works, but then when I plug in a USB audio interface or some headphones the setting resets, and I have to go back into System Preferences -> Sound and pan back to center. Is there a way to tell my Mac not to use the left speaker?

Note: I'm quite comfortable using the Terminal.

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In other words: I want to disable the speaker rather than routing the signal to the right. –  Quickredfox Apr 24 '13 at 0:03
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Is opening the Mac out of the question too then? –  Canadian Luke Apr 24 '13 at 0:03
    
Hmmm.. Might be worth answering with that nonetheless if you have the know-how. May helps someone else, seems like no too many answers so far. –  Quickredfox Apr 26 '13 at 1:54

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Although the instructions will vary depending on which Mac model you are using, another option is to open up the notebook, and either disconnect or plug the speaker. There are sites available (such as iFixIt) that have step-by-step instructions on how to open them up.

Again, if you can just disconnect the speaker, it will solve the problem, but depending on the notebook, it may be a simply plug or you may need to unsolder a connection. As with anything inside of a system, be careful, and ask for help if needed

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