This is the solution I need. Mine, the problem is in the connection within the takeup reel: if I pull it out/retract it rapidly a number of times, it'll improve; but, over time, the cutting out keeps getting worse. So, this is what I need. Is there a source for the speakers and takeup reels? Or a way to repair them?
EDIT: Well, I found a parts source thru LG's website, but they haven't gotten back to me yet.
However, having been a copier tech once upon a time in my life, I remembered that contact cleaner would probably be what I need. Not having any available, I turned to the next best thing: WD40. Yes, it's a lubricant, but it's a cleaner as well.
And it worked perfectly: no more cutting out, no more crackling, no more working the reel/contact slider to get a good connection.
Just pull the speaker out to full length, put a drop of WD40 in the opening, et voilá! The lubricant works its way into the reel and the contacts, and cleans things right up.
This would be the cheapest & easiest solution, IMHO.