Burning Smell from 1x15 Cabinet - Too Many Watts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zwish, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. zwish


    Nov 3, 2009
    I normally run an Orange AD200B Head into two Mesa Boogie Diesel 1x15 Cabs rated at 400W and 8 ohms. I run a separate speaker cable to each cab from the head.

    A buddy played through my cabs the other day at practice for a different band where I play guitar. He played his Peavey MiniMega 1000W head into the cabs running in series (correction - running in parallel):

    Peavey MiniMega > Input of Cab 1 > Out of Cab 1 > Into Cab 2

    After about 20 minutes of playing we noticed a burning electrical smell that was coming from Cab 1. We powered everything down and let it sit for a while. I hooked up my normal Orange AD200B setup and things sounded fine.

    Was this just a case of too much wattage hitting these cabs? Just want to make sure this guy doesn't blow up my cabs.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    That's not series, that's parallel.

    The MiniMega is rated at 1000w (maybe a little more) so that means each speaker was getting 500 watts. Add to that the fact that since it wasn't his equipment he probably drove them very hard and boosted the bass EQ. And if he added any overdrive that's even more abuse.

    So yes, your speakers are rated at 400 watts and he could have very easily put way more than that into them. Once they are toasty enough to smell, the damage is done.
    Bass_Pounder likes this.
  3. It may look serial because one cable/cab follow another.
    But unless the jacks on your cabs were rewired after they came from the factory... this is electrically a parallel hookup.
    So if both cabs are (or now were) 8 Ohms, the amp was seeing a 4 Ohm load and capable of dumping full power out to the cabs.
    Yer idjit buddy owes you two new cabs.
    rodl2005 and Meghans Dad like this.
  4. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    As mentioned, that's a parallel connection, and the amp is too powerful if you crank it up as high as 3 o'clock
    or if you bump up the low end too much

    Impedance varies with frequency & the lower frequencies see a lower impedance & can fry stuff faster than the mids or highs.
    Meghans Dad likes this.
  5. zwish


    Nov 3, 2009
    Well this is a bummer to hear. I appreciate all the info. When I plugged the Orange AD200B back into my usual setup, things sounded ok. Do you think there was some bad damage done to the speakers? I love these cabs and want to make sure there 100% healthy. Thanks.
  6. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    They're at risk of already being damaged. That smell was probably the windings in the coils melting together.

    Maybe the experts can provide another explanation to the burning smell.
    Meghans Dad likes this.
  7. That smell is little wisps of magic cab smoke. Once it's all gone the cab stops working but don't expect it to work 100% with 10% of its magic smoke lost.
  8. slagheap

    slagheap Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    may not be required as yet, but if so, used mesa black shadows ( re-badged ev15Ls, ) are pretty easy to come by. if you've got the money try a couple of faital pr400.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    If those were the EV version of the driver, the proline is advertised and promoted by EV as rated at 400 watts RMS but it turns out that buried (hidden) in EV's OEM specs that the applied voltage is based on a 6 ohm impedance rather than 8 ohms, so normalized for 8 ohms it's probably more accurately closer to 300 watts RMS.

    I typically like to stick between 1x and 1.25x the rating of these drivers, which is in line with the maximum recommended power of 400 watts RMS BUT these drivers do not have a lot of Xmax (which is part of the reason for the unique and desirable mid voicing) so they do not hold up all that well to overpowering. These were most often sold with Bass 400's and the like, so power handling was not a problem until really big solid state power amps became popular.

    Every manufacturer has had to evolve from these classic designs, and this is one reason why this driver is no longer available... it could not be scaled up while retaining what players liked in them. They were also awfully heavy.

    The MM1000 is kind of a large amp to use with these speakers at very high output levels, especially with a lot of low end content. It's likely that the VC's got hot and began to singe the anti-scuff adhesive coating on the wire. Fortunately, there are factory EV proline kits still available (at least the last time I looked), but it's probably best done by a pro recone shop as it's a little tricky to do properly.
    wave rider and rodl2005 like this.
  10. zwish


    Nov 3, 2009
    Really appreciate the info everyone. I'm going to pull it apart tomorrow to check the damages. Would you assume that it's just the speaker that's damaged or do you think the input jack assembly would be damaged as well. Trying to decide if I should just buy a replacement speaker. If so, any recommendations?
  11. Recone it per Agedhorse instructions.

    Reconing replaces all the moving parts with new. Done correctly with the correct parts and glues it's essentially a brand new driver for much less cost than substitution.
  12. While I agree that they are probably damaged from overheating,
    I will try to let you down easy by pointing out that they my have a
    few more years left in them, since you say they still sound good.
    This is assuming that you don't ever push them too hard in the future.
    Once the VCs start to deform, it's time to give up and replace or recone.

    I guess it's kind like saying your tires could stand to be replaced,
    but there is still a little tread left, so you can get by if you don't drive over
    sharp rocks or get them hot on a road trip.
    Not ideal, but they'll get you at least to pay day. ;)
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 17, 2021

Share This Page