General Discussion General discussion about all things car audio, from pioneer, orion, alpine and eclipse.
View Poll Results: Would you over or underpower your component speakers?
overpower a lot (25&+W)
33.33%
overpower a bit (0-25W over)
46.67%
underpower a bit (0-25W under)
17.78%
Underpower a lot (25&-W)
2.22%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

how to avoid breaking speakers

Old 11-17-2006, 12:57 PM
  #1  
0 Watt CAFz'r
Thread Starter
 
frankydudy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17
how to avoid breaking speakers

hello,
i found out i have a broken speaker this morning and i was wondering if you have any tricks or instructions so that this doesnt happen to me in the future. I am now running 120W on speakers rated for 60w RMS (focals 160v2 slim) but I have been told this is not a problem. I can kind of assume putting volume too high can break them, but what else?
frankydudy is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 01:00 PM
  #2  
4000 Watt CAFz'r
iTrader: (66)
 
MR2NR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6,420
If you are running 120w rms into a 60w rms speaker, that is a major problem. In all cases, blowing a speaker is due to overpowering. Overpowering also brings mechanical failure to the table as well. Start by turning the gain way down, engage a HP crossover and limit the low end response to the speaker. Avoid bass boost and loudness setting when you can. Next if you want to continue to operate with that much power, find some speakers that can handle that kind of power. A speaker will do what it is told to do, you feed it distortion, it will play it. You overpower it, it will play it until it dies.
MR2NR is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 01:09 PM
  #3  
1000 Watt CAFz'r
 
theboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,267
Having headroom(toomuch power) can be a good thing,but like stated above you have to set you gains right!I run my fronts x-over so low they are always on the edge of high volume failure,but thats my choice and I understand the replacment cost vs great sound difference.If its a midbass problem look to a driver that can handle more power at a lower x-over point.
theboy is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 01:11 PM
  #4  
1000 Watt CAFz'r
 
theboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,267
Originally Posted by MR2NR
If you are running 120w rms into a 60w rms speaker, that is a major problem. In all cases, blowing a speaker is due to overpowering. Overpowering also brings mechanical failure to the table as well. Start by turning the gain way down, engage a HP crossover and limit the low end response to the speaker. Avoid bass boost and loudness setting when you can. Next if you want to continue to operate with that much power, find some speakers that can handle that kind of power. A speaker will do what it is told to do, you feed it distortion, it will play it. You overpower it, it will play it until it dies.
can you not blow a speaker from underpowering(distortion)?????
theboy is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 01:25 PM
  #5  
4000 Watt CAFz'r
iTrader: (66)
 
MR2NR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6,420
No. If you "blow" a speaker it is due to too much power, be it clean or distorted. Either scenario is a signal that is going to the speaker. If the speakers thermal barrier is not breached, you can play a distorted signal into the speaker all day long. Underpowering does not and will not ever damage a speaker.

Running a distorted signal into a speaker may have an adverse effect on the mechanical operation of the speaker. A mechanical failure is far different than a thermal failure.
MR2NR is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 01:37 PM
  #6  
4000 Watt CAFz'r
iTrader: (17)
 
JordyO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 6,363
OOOOhhhhhh boy... it's been a while since we've had the "underpowering blows a speaker" debate...

I think it would be good for the newer members to see people make their points... but please try and keep it civil.
JordyO is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 02:32 PM
  #7  
Administrator
 
Dukk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 16,855
Lightbulb

Originally Posted by MR2NR
Underpowering does not and will not ever damage a speaker.

I cannot agree with this entirely. I would rather say that it is unlikely that a car speaker, running in it's proper passband, will be damaged by an undersized amplifier.
Dukk is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 02:34 PM
  #8  
1000 Watt CAFz'r
iTrader: (1)
 
Tom.F.1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,217
LOL
I like this kind of discussion.
Yes, you can destroy speakers with distortion. And it doesn't take much power. Happens a lot with deck power. I know all this from expericance, but it was also greatly covered in my college courses.
When you try to get loud, without enough power, you're driving the amp into clipping. This puts a combination of square waves and DC into the coils. The DC simply heats up the winding on the coil and if it doesn't actually melt the copper, it will melt the glue that holds the windings in place.
At the same time, square waves (picture a sine wave with the top and bottom cut off flat) which are really harmonics of a ton of frequencies combined, are driving the speaker crazy! That's where the mechanical failure comes in.
I had to get a warrantee replacement once on a pair of ImageDynamics Mid-bass. They told me they'd been over powered, I told them yes, it was there "authorized" installer who blew them up. He had them hooked up as subs, even though the drawing i gave him had them on a crossover for mid-bass only.
This is where it gets interesting... My solution is more power!! I have enough power to seriously hurt my speakers IF mistreated. And the trick is i never play it that loud. My system will go loud enough to hurt my ears, but why would i want to. I already have permanent damage to my right ear, which was just about at the focal point of all 6 or 8 speakers in all the cars and systems i've had.
The other trick is i don't show it off to my freinds, or at least i don't show them how loud it will go (anymore). I take them for a drive and let them listen to how Good it sounds, No SPL for me. I've blown speakers showing people how loud it is. Not only is that embarassing, it's costly.

AND, I always take out my faceplate when the car goes for service.

Last edited by Tom.F.1; 11-17-2006 at 02:36 PM.
Tom.F.1 is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 02:55 PM
  #9  
500 Watt CAFz'r
iTrader: (12)
 
df.dima's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 643
Originally Posted by Tom.F.1
AND, I always take out my faceplate when the car goes for service.
That's a good idea, I had shop people cranking up my system so many times .
df.dima is offline  
Old 11-17-2006, 03:45 PM
  #10  
4000 Watt CAFz'r
iTrader: (3)
 
Haunz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,218
Ive never seen distortion cause a mechanical failure... only power in general...

as far as distortion blowing speakers thermally if your amps have lots of current on hand you may even double output but the distortion would be pretty outragous.... given a sub amp set up to run at %20 duty cycle you would gain a minimum average of 8% THD to increase output by 1db... for example...

Its also worth noting that an amp under heavy load tends to clip differently then an amp that has solid rail voltage.... basically if an amp is already at or near its limits chances are you aint gettin a spit more without driving THD through the roof....

Last edited by Haunz; 11-17-2006 at 03:48 PM.
Haunz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: how to avoid breaking speakers


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.