Tip of the Day: How to Avoid Blowing Out Your Speakers

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
Ratings
1,634
#1
Every so often some variation of this question gets asked on the Audioholics Forums, "Will I blow my speakers if I use amplifier X with speaker Y?" A good general answer is that so long as reasonable care is taken, odds are good your equipment will last for years to come. That is to say, if you detect strain or distortion, simply turn the volume down to the point where those problems go away. Bluntly, no you won't destroy your new speakers simply by the act of hooking them up to a receiver that can deliver something other than the exact amount of power they happen to be rated for, so go enjoy some tunes. Not satisfied yet? No problem, follow the few steps below to make sure your system stays rockin' for the long haul.




Discuss "Tip of the Day: How to Avoid Blowing Out Your Speakers" here. Read the article.
 
anamorphic96

anamorphic96

Audioholic General
Ratings
201
#3
That looks like a JBL 2245 sub driver that has seen better days. Subs with that kind of damage are very common in cinemas.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,943 9 1
#5
I can see how 'under' powered amps might have been able to blow some tweeters now and then but such talks tend to get over blown to the nth degree. To me, too much power on hand, if not used wisely, is a surer way to blow speakers. I guess most of us who work in the industry would have noticed there are tons of boom box/ghetto blasters have their volume know turned fully clockwise all day long, with fully distored sound for the sake of SPL, yet they seem to last forever. That is at lease one proof to support the camp that believe in too much power is more often the culprit than under power. At the end of the day it does not mattere which camp you belive, the golden rule is still, if you can hear distortion turn it down, except for those ghetto blasters in shops and canteens etc.
 
C

CerwinVega

Audiophyte
#6
Kbps...

There is a very important thing that you guys may be missing or did not know... The quality of your music files depends on how hard you can drive your amp and speakers as well. I only play 320kbps mp3 or Wav (Original audio disk, not burnt) I find that playing music at high levels on my x2 Cerwin Vega Xls-215's with a Wav file does not distort, does not even go anywhere near dangerous clipping levels ( I have x2 cv1800 rack amps) But at 256kbps or 128kbps, 64kbps ans so on the quality of music is ver very poor... Poor or low kbps WILL damage your audio equipment permanently!!!!:eek:
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
8,383 23 6
#9
Don't use amps greater 200W may help too. Using an AVR would be safest. Power kills speakers, not clipping.
 
T

tcarcio

Audioholic General
Ratings
293 2
#10
I am of the opinion that if you set things up correctly and don't overdrive your speakers you can run amps or recievers that have more power than your speakers are rated for and have no problems. I have run my setup for years with more power then called for and over the past 30 years have only blown one tweeter and that was about 3 years ago on a set of B+W 801 series 80 that I believe had more to do with age than power. My first pair of decent speakers were a set of Henry Kloss towers that I ran for years with 300w amps. I asked at the time I bought them how much power they could handle and was told it really wasn't an issue as long as I took care and didn't abuse them. Now I am not saying I am right and someone else is wrong but I have said before if you run your system correctly and keep your drunk nieghbor away from the volume control you should not have a problem, IMHO.
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
863
#11
There is a very important thing that you guys may be missing or did not know... The quality of your music files depends on how hard you can drive your amp and speakers as well. I only play 320kbps mp3 or Wav (Original audio disk, not burnt) I find that playing music at high levels on my x2 Cerwin Vega Xls-215's with a Wav file does not distort, does not even go anywhere near dangerous clipping levels ( I have x2 cv1800 rack amps) But at 256kbps or 128kbps, 64kbps ans so on the quality of music is ver very poor... Poor or low kbps WILL damage your audio equipment permanently!!!!:eek:
The bit rate has nothing to do with possible damage to amps or speakers. Modern music is unfortunately mastered to very high average levels: -12 dB or even greater is not uncommon and I have a Barenaked Ladies CD where the average level is -8 dB!. When a WAV file (1,411 kbps) is converted to a lossy format, it often introduces clipping in the waveform. Whether the bit rate is 64 kbps or 320 kbps it is the excessive clipping coupled with the very high average level plus high volume (read power) that introduces the possibility, but not certainty, that speaker damage may occur.
 

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