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Arrrrrgghhh!!! I've gone through two pairs now...

 

New member
Username: Floyd997711

Post Number: 1
Registered: Apr-05
Hello, I was wondering if I get some advice/help from some experienced audio folk. I am very much a newbie for all things audio but have now blown two sets of speakers.

My situation:

I have a very old Kenwood receiver (KR - 6030) that my older brother game me some years ago. It sounds great. He also gave me some huge and heavy floor speakers that he built himself like 30 odd years ago. He built the cabinets himself and I have no idea what components he used inside.

I recently have been using the stereo (at very loud volumes) to play along with my drums. While playing along a month ago I blew the tweeters on the original speakers. Thinking they were just at the end of the read, I bought some used old Cerwin Wega's from work (not sure the model -- they say U123 High energy design on the back). Sounded good, then a few songs into a round of drumming, I blew the tweeters on these too. I thought they could handle loud volumes, but like I said I don't know much about audio. So is it the receiver that is blowing the tweeters. A friend said he has some old fisher speakers that he can lend me, but I don't want to blow these too. I have heard that under powering speakers can damage them? I cannot find the specs for my Kenwood. Should I try for another receiver? I need a very loud sound and don't need quality (sorry that probably made a lot of people cringe here ;-) ) So I guess I am wondering if the Kenwood is the reason for blowing the tweeters on both sets of speakers at these high volumes. Not sure I want to try a third set of speakers. So if it is a problem with the receiver, could anyone recommend a very cheap receiver that I can use to play at very loud volumes or have any other suggestions?

Thanks for any help and sorry for the length of the post.

 

Silver Member
Username: Cory

Canada

Post Number: 178
Registered: Jan-05
It sounds like your receiver is clipping. Witch could casue the tweeter/s to blow I think you have two options one new more powerful amp/receiver or keep the volumes down below 3/4

good luck
Cory
 

Bronze Member
Username: Max190

Maryland Heights, Missouri US

Post Number: 31
Registered: Apr-05
Ed,

Cory has good advice... also buy yourself some headphones and use them when you play.

Steve
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3564
Registered: May-04


It is not the receiver blowing the tweeters, it is you. The receiver can only do what you tell it to do and you are telling it to go into clipping. Buy some decent headphones and stop blowing up speakers.




 

New member
Username: Floyd997711

Post Number: 3
Registered: Apr-05
Thanks for the replies everybody, much appreciated. I suspected I was asking too much of the receiver. I just couldn't find it's specs anywhere, but regardless I was probably still pushing it too high. So I won't go ahead and try to blow a third pair! I tired headphones before and they just didn't fit the bill. I might try a a pre-amp or more powerful receiver. Thanks again everybody.
 

Silver Member
Username: Smitty

Canada

Post Number: 193
Registered: Dec-03
You might want to consider a NAD receiver or integrated amp with the Soft Clipping switch ON. This should protect the speakers somewhat.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3566
Registered: May-04


If you want to do surgery on the speakers, you can install a fuse holder in the line to the tweeter. Make the fuse holder accessible from the outside of the speaker. Use a 0.25 Amp FAST BLOW fuse in the line to the tweeter. If it blows immediately step up to a 0.5 Amp fast blow. The fuse will blow out before the speaker. Do not exceed the 0.5 Amp and always use fast blow fuses. In your case, I would buy the fuses in bulk quantity.




 

Anonymous
 
Fisher speakers will fry.
You can also try turning down the treble level.
It's not your receiver, it's the speakers.
You need to use some higher power capable speakers. Old speakers were not designed, in general, to handle lots of power.
mz
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 808
Registered: Jan-05
LOL

The speakers are blowing for the exact opposite reason.............Based on the descriptions above, the kid is clearly pushing his receiver too hard and he's clearly clipping the crap out of his speakers.

Geesh.....Ya gotta love lame 'anonymous' advice. Too bad all the anonymous posters either dont blow a fuse, or clip themselves into submission.

Once again........thanks for being completely wrong on every point made in your last post. No wonder ANON is ashamed to attach an identity to such lame and incorrect advice.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3655
Registered: May-04


Paul - Just a note for clarification. I'm sure it was just a brain phart, but amplifiers clip not speakers. The speakers are reacting to the clipped signal which amounts to very high levels of mostly higher order, odd order harmonics (5th, 7th, etc.) if it is a transistor amplifier with bipolar outputs.

(Tube amps and MOSFETs tend to clip differently. The tube amp will clip when driven hard enough into an overdriven situation, but it first tends to round off the sine wave giving the "soft clipping" and compression at overdrive of tubes.)

The clipped waveform then causes heat to build up quickly in the voice coil of the tweeter. Ferrofluid, introduced as a heatsink for tweeter vc's, will help the situation but cannot overcome a gorilla at the volume control. Eventually the tweeter's voice coil simply either comes apart or welds itself into a solid mass. Either way the tweeter stops working. This is estimated to be 99.99% of the cause for tweeters to fail in the consumer field.

The simple rule remains, when you hear distortion - turn down the volume.

Distrotion is present in much of what many people listen to; so when is there too much distortion? Volume controls can be either linear or log scale devices. This will affect how the volume control increases the amount of voltage it passes in relation to its position, i.e. 9, 11 or 1 O'Clock. Most receivers and pre amps will have a linear scale of progression if they still utilize a simple rotating pot for a volume control. Log scale is the more common among higher priced and newer products and will progress on a decibel scale with each step being a similar amount of increase in volume.

For a simple linear scale control, you will most often run the amp into clipping when the control is around 1 to 2 O'Clock. For a log scale with a digital readout, there is no set point for clipping as at what point an amplifier clips will depend on the amount of voltage in to determine the amount of voltage out.

A simple rule is this, when the volume control no longer seems to increase the volume in relation to an increase in the control, clipping distortion has already begun. To increase the volume past this point is going to assure damage to the tweeter and possibly the amplifier.

Sorry to make such a long answer, Paul. I know you prefer the answers be short (and, by your own admission, obnoxious). But someone needed to put some intelligent remarks somewhere. I know you depend on me to do that.




 

Bronze Member
Username: Virus5877

West Lafayette, Indiana USA

Post Number: 69
Registered: Apr-05
Try noise canceling headphones, they usually have cupped design, to keep the noise out, and they usually are capable of getting louder than regular headphones. ...I'm just trying to save Ed some money as opposed to buying a new receiver...
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