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can mids and treble damage or blow speakers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by liquidsmoke, Feb 12, 2018 at 6:22 PM.


  1. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    Even if you aren’t putting more watts into the speaker than it’s rated to handle?

    Example- 400 or 500 watts into a 600 watt rms LF 15 using a lot of mids and treble and lots of dirt from a pedal.
     
  2. Hard to say for certain.
    Best thing to do is listen to your speakers for signs of distress.
    Basically, anything that doesn't sound right means you gotta back off.

    And FYI on cab ratings. If you can trust that they are accurate, the rating is for thermal power handling capacity only. Usually mechanical limits get exceeded before thermal. Again, weird sounds are an indication of exceeding mechanical limits.
     
    liquidsmoke and SJan3 like this.
  3. chris_b

    chris_b

    Jun 2, 2007
    Firstly very few 600 watt drivers are going to put out 600 watts of any frequency.

    Second I don't know the answer to your question so my advice is to play safe. Put together a rig that no matter what you do, you can't break it.

    The loudest I get is when I run my 700 watt amp with the gain and master at just over noon through 2 Barefaced cabs which are rated to handle a real 600 watts each. I feel safe at any volume with this type of cab and this ratio.
     
    liquidsmoke likes this.
  4. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    That seems like sound advice.
     
  5. And hopefully the sounds are all good ones. :thumbsup:
     
    liquidsmoke likes this.
  6. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    This sounds conservative yet reasonable. I cringe when people talk about running a 2,000 watt power amp into an 800 watt cab because they ‘like to have the headroom’.
     
  7. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    When things get weird I back down the volume or adjust knobs. I’ll keep doing that. :cool:
     
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  8. bobcruz

    bobcruz

    Mar 10, 2004
    Alameda, CA
    Disclaimer: I'm not a tech or engineer. But from what I've learned here on TB, you can blow a speaker by pushing it past it's mechanical limit (Xdamage or Xlim in the speaker's Thiele-Small parameters) or by melting the voice coil with more watts than the speaker's thermal rating. Unless the mids you're concerned about are fairly low in frequency, I don't think you'd push the speaker past Xlim--typically that happens with excessive LOW frequency boosting and/or massive high volume. But pushing mids and treble with a lot of watts could create enough heat to melt the voice coil (those wires are THIN, like human hair). Usually you get thermal compression (loss of volume) as the voice coil heats up so that would be a sign that you should back off. Turning up to get that volume back is a death spiral for speakers. Just my $.02 based on reading on TB, so take it for what it's worth (not much?). Peace, Bob
     
  9. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    I’m positive that I’m not feeding the speaker more watts than it’s rated for but I am pushing it hard and I’m getting uniquely ugly sounds when I have more treble and mids cranked as opposed to the ugly sounds I get when I’ve got the lows cranked too much. I’ll use my ears and be conservative.
     
    chris_b likes this.
  10. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    That won't bother a woofer, either thermally or mechanically. It may bother a midrange or tweeter, because a normal clean signal in a 600 watt 3 way speaker will send maybe 200 watts to the midrange and 50 watts to the tweeter. Clipping the signal anywhere in the signal chain, including a distortion pedal, increases the power in the mids and highs way above normal, and that can send a lot more power into a midrange or tweeter than they're able to handle.
    However, sending even 300 watts of lows can mechanically damage a 600 watt woofer. The power rating is thermal, not mechanical, and the mechanical limits can be hit at power levels way below the thermal limit.
     
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  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    First of all, many ratings are based on surviving for 2 hours and some damage is acceptable. I don't know of any 15" driver for bass guitar that can really handle 600 watts RMS over a time period that most players would be ok with.

    also, many amps can deliver greater than rated power when used with overdrive effects. This too cases unexpected stress on the driver.
     
    son_of_mogh, MDBass, Korladis and 2 others like this.
  12. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    So use your ears! Definitely. And don’t push everything too much if you want it to last. :thumbsup:
     
    bobcruz likes this.
  13. bobcruz

    bobcruz

    Mar 10, 2004
    Alameda, CA
    That goes for your ears too. ;)
     
    liquidsmoke likes this.
  14. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    Yup.

    767848F8-8425-4049-AFF3-F1350DD355C2.
     
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  15. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Ears aren't going to help much when the tone is intentionally overdriven.
     
  16. liquidsmoke

    liquidsmoke

    Jan 11, 2018
    It’s harder to notice no doubt.
     
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    It's hard for many players to hear without overdrive.
     
    Korladis likes this.
  18. FingerDub

    FingerDub

    Jan 8, 2016
    Yeah I always noticed that the volume seems to double. Why is that?
     
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Any frequencies can blow speakers. With bass, the bottom end is the most common culprit. Others will chime in about the meaning and reliability of speaker "ratings," which may mean something and may not.
     
  20. Nope.

    The one exception is cabs with tweeters. Because the power handling of the tweeter is a lot less than the woofer.