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Can I damage my cab by playing too loud too low?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ReeV0, Nov 26, 2020.


  1. ReeV0

    ReeV0

    Apr 5, 2013
    Hi all,

    So I've got a TC RH750 paired with a TC RS212. I've just updated my HX Stomp with the 3.0 update and have been playing around with the poly effects.

    I really like the sound I can get with the poly pitch turned down -24 octave, playing around the 12th fret gives a really cool double-bass sound.

    Working through the effects, I coupled it with a Teemah distortion and a few other blocks. Sounded really nice. Turned the volume up and started blasting out that lovely low-end, to the point my ears were actually starting to feel a bit weird, like there was pressure in them (a bit like on a plane or going through a tube tunnel).

    This lead me to wonder, could I possibly do any damage to the paper speaker cones of my cab by playing at such a low octave at high volume? Could it rupture them?

    Cheers for any advice
     
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Pushing any driver past its mechanical limitations can lead to damage.

    Riis
     
    Al Kraft, Reedt2000, bbh and 9 others like this.
  3. catalin gramada

    catalin gramada

    Dec 25, 2014
     
    triode6L6a likes this.
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Yes, it’s quite possible to cause damage to speakers that way.
     
    Reedt2000, murphy, jamro217 and 5 others like this.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Yep.

    What's the quickest way to fry a speaker? Overdrive it with frequencies it was not designed to reproduce.
     
    murphy and jamro217 like this.
  6. ReeV0

    ReeV0

    Apr 5, 2013
    How do I know what the mechanical limitations are? Connected to one cab, the amp should probably be pushing out around 350w. The cab is rated to 400w. I was only playing on 1/2 volume (volume at 12pm) so what is the indicator that I'm pushing it too much?

    I quite like to play subby-type stuff 808 etc... but don't want to blow the speaker
     
  7. ReeV0

    ReeV0

    Apr 5, 2013
    If a bass cab is not made to reproduce the low sound then what is?
     
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Your ears are mechanical devices with limits too. You can't replace them though.
     
    Avigdor, tom-g, murphy and 7 others like this.
  9. ReeV0

    ReeV0

    Apr 5, 2013
    Haha true, I wasn't actually playing that loud but the sub frequencies made it sound like I was, extra pressure in the ears perhaps.

    The gain knob was only on about 8 o'clock and the master on 12 o'clock... So as the amp is set relatively low I don't know how to determine the speaker limits... Other than to just keep turning it up until it blows
     
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    With any luck, you'll hear the driver crapping-out if pushed and on the threshold of failure. I don't have a clue as to your situation, just answering the general question as it applies to enclosures as a whole. I use a high pass filter to provide some level of protection.

    Riis
     
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    If your ears act funky it's too loud. If your amp or driver sound funny it ain't good. You can clearly hear mechanical limits in the tone.
     
    CameronJohnson and MCF like this.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep, but don't discount the possibility of doing that to your ears as well.
     
    jamro217, MDBass, Kubicki Fan and 6 others like this.
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Yeah it's not fun to hear but there is a bunch of old and not so old musicians with severe issues in their life due to excessive amounts of volume.
     
    jamro217 and JRA like this.
  14. ReeV0

    ReeV0

    Apr 5, 2013
    My ears weren't feeling odd so much from the volume, more the low frequency. Would a low-pass filter help protect the speakers?
     
    murphy likes this.
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    High pass filter.

    Riis
     
  16. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    If You use anp amp that gives more power to chanells of Your cab and eq. too many bass, gain and volume, it's easy to kill Your cabs fast.
     
    JRA likes this.
  17. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    In general, yes. That particular amp, which I own, has certain well-documented limitations that might spare you—but that is purely conjecture on my part. I wouldn’t want to test it out with my gear.
     
  18. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Without the specs from the driver manufacturer, you don’t. You only find out when you have exceeded them, unfortunately.

    Not true with this amp. Do some searches on TB for the RH750 drama a few years back. Not to raise that conversation again, but the RH750’s power rating is not based on the usual industry standards. But, I’m sure you can still damage your speakers with it.
     
  19. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Can be the same thing, SPL is SPL but the ears are more sensitive at mid frequencies which make them appear louder.

    a low pass filter (high cut) won’t help, a HIGH pass filter (low cut) might help.

    A speaker’s published power rating is generally based on thermal limits. Mechanical limits can easily be as low as 1/2 of that value at frequencies below ~60Hz. This is what folks here are cautioning you about.
     
  20. 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.

     
    Jan 25, 2021

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