Underpowering Polk DB 570 Speakers

 

New member
Username: Pedalman1988

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jan-08
I just installed a set of 5x7/6x8 Polk DB 570 speakers in my 2000 Ford Focus sedan. I have a Sony CDX-GT320 head unit that puts out 17W RMS. The speakers I just installed can handle anything in the range of 6-60W RMS. As of now I do not have any external amp hooked up to my new speakers. I like to listen to my music loud, consistantly running the volume level up to 20-24, when the max volume level is 34. I generally listen to any kind of rock, including heavy metal, and some rap. I have heard that if you turn up the volume too much on underpowered speakers, it can damage them. I have run my speakers for about 4 hours at these high volume levels since I put the speakers in. I did notice that when I used the new speakers from the beginning they didn't seem to have as much bass or authority as the old stock speakers.

What I am wondering is if I damaged my new speakers by underpowering them while also listening to them loud. If I did damage them, how would I know? What does distortion sound like, audible clicks or something? Any advice or help would be appreciated.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Northwest PA

Post Number: 5558
Registered: Jul-06
You can't damage speakers by underpowering them.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exige

Post Number: 56
Registered: Nov-07
to be honest, yes you can. higher chance of damaging speakers underpowering them than feeding them too much power (within reason....im talking 150w to 100w RMS comps...not 1kw to 100w comps)

i was about to say rule of thumb is simply turn it down once you reach distortion...however...we need to clarify distortion for you.

i think the best way i can put it is the point at which the music is no longer clear, the bass becomes highly bloated, the treble begins to break up, and typically the speakers cannot keep up with the beat of the music.

as for your new coax's...Polk DB's really need the full wattage to do well. underpowering them does not have the best effects. based off of what you said though, i would guess that you didn't do too much, if any damage. i think you would have noticed a drastic difference in sound (even if you didnt know what to listen for) if something was being damaged.

aftermarket speakers typically do not have the same amount of bass as factory speakers. the reason is that most companies presume you will be running a sub with your new speakers and therefore concentrate on the areas above...say...65hz.

factory speakers are intended to provide ALL of the sound for the car and therefore need to be able to get some decent bass.

i hope this all makes sense....if you have any questions, let me know.

ps..i would highly recommend an external amp for your polk's.
 

New member
Username: Pedalman1988

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jan-08
I think that the Polk DB speakers I have run down to 52Hz. When I was driving I did notice some crackeling noises coming from the speakers. I ordered an amp yesterday, that puts out 60W RMS for four channels. So, to get better bass than the factory speakers I took out, should I get a sub, even though I am getting an amp for the Polk speakers?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exige

Post Number: 57
Registered: Nov-07
if you can afford a sub and an amp for it, it will definitely help out your setup a lot. the noise you're describing actually doesnt sound like the speakers are being played to distortion...more like there's a wire loose or something. who did the installation? is that crackling present at low volumes or only at high volumes?
 

New member
Username: Pedalman1988

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-08
I installed the speakers myself, but I used the factory wiring harness with Crutchfield adaptors. Also, there are bass blockers and baffles installed from Crutchfield. The crackling is definatley present at high volumes, and it might stil be going on at low volumes too, but if it is, it isn't as loud as when the volume is high. I am getting an amp for it, but I don't have a sub for it. If I was to get a sub, I was going to go with a self powered unit. Is this a good choice? I would prefer clearer bass, as opposed to the thumping sound that rattles your brains out.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Waresgaragestereo

Fort Valley, GA United States

Post Number: 36
Registered: Jan-08
Like Exige said, there may be a loose wire. it can either be on the radio connections or the speaker connections.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Northwest PA

Post Number: 5582
Registered: Jul-06
You can't damage speakers by underpowering them

http://www.bcae1.com/2ltlpwr.htm



You can very easily damage speakers by overdriving your amplifier and causing distortion/clipping.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exige

Post Number: 60
Registered: Nov-07
that's one person's opinion...i'm very familiar with the site. most things on the site are correct and agreed on. i disagree on that one and that is strictly my personal opinion. i have physically blown drivers out from too little power before so that's where i stand.

and also the damage is not from standard listening levels....its from extended volume stuff as the OP is mentioning.

anyways....check your wires...sounds like some stuff is definitely messed up.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Leapoldstotch

Post Number: 25
Registered: Nov-07
thats the most common way of damaging speakers.. giving it dirty power. if you are trying to run your speakers at full potential *50 watts* and your deck is only feeing it 14 watts. then the power is dirty b/c it can only give 14 watts and its trying to give 50 watts. this causes clipping and distortion, that can destroy speakers. try and drive a car 150 mph with a 4 cylinder engine. it wont work. your trying to push the speakers to far when u dont have the power to do so. it destroys them.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nd4spd18

Northwest PA

Post Number: 5801
Registered: Jul-06
Exactly, thats distortion/clipping, by far the most common way people blow speakers.

It is NOT POSSIBLE to blow a speaker from giving it "too little" CLEAN power. If that were true, you speakers would blow whenever you turned the volume down, think about it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Exige

Post Number: 80
Registered: Nov-07
that's what i meant earlier, sry i didn't make that clearer when i was talking about it, but yes clipping was the reason for it.
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