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First Timer Blown Speaker - Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by WordIsBorn79, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. WordIsBorn79


    Jan 10, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hi folks !

    For the first time in the 13 years I have been playing the electric bass, I have blown a speaker in one of my 2 cabs. I use a 550w Hartke HA5500 head thru a Hartke 1x10 & 1x15 (non-aluminum). Both cabs are rated at 8 ohms, and my head has 2, independent, 8 ohm outs.

    I received a call from the repair shop today that my 1x15, which had stopped producing any sound about a week ago, had a blown speaker. Now, this will be fixed/replaced, as this cab is still under warranty, and I must admit that in the 12 years I have been using Hartke amps/cabs, this is a first. My question, tho, is how did I blow the 1x15, and not my 4x10 (which is perfectly fine)?

    Now, right off the bat, I gig heavily with this gear, and has proven it's road-worthiness to me countless times. I NEVER turn my volume past 3 (out of 10), as the headroom I get is just perfect for not only stage volume, but also for projecting to the crowd (which I might add, is just icing on the cake, because my head runs direct out of the PA as well). However, I DO use effects, such as a bass wah, envelope filter, fuzz, and harmonizer. Could the use of these effects cause a blown 1x15, or is there more that I am not aware of?

    Since this is again a first for me, any advise will be helpful, and I am willing to entertain additional questions if need be. Thanks again guys/gals!
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Possibly, especially if you do any sub-fundamental synthesis. And sometimes speakers just blow. :meh:
  3. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    A complete loss of output from a speaker usually means a burned voice coil. This usually happens from excess power (though if it were rubbing it could also be damaged).

    Assuming power was the cause, be advised that the position of your master volume control does not really control power output. It controls the power amp sensitivity. Turning down means it takes more input to reach full power output. Turning up gets more power from the same input signal.

    You can still slam full power (and beyond) with a very strong transient signal. If, for example, you drop your bass, that can blow a speaker. More "normal" transients can still send a huge power spike to the speaker. If you hit a big boost pedal you're boosting the input signal too.
  4. What is the nominal power rating of your 4x10 and 1x15? Both are going to receive the same power from your amplifier. If say your 4x10 is rated at 400W and the 1x15 at 200W it is quite possible that you are overpowering the 15, as Rick thinks, while the 10s are just cruising along comfortably. As Bill says effects will just aggravate the situation.

  5. bovine mind

    bovine mind

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Francisco
    i melted the voice coil 15" of an ampeg 1540HE [4x10 / 1x15 fridge cab ] from using too much sub freq fx [ line6 fm4, insane amts of fuzz, and octave fx ] oover extended periods of time. i was holding very effected sustained notes, drone oriented stuff, and eventually the speaker failed. the 4x10 on top was unharmed.

    since then i've started using a limiter to tame spikes and upgrade to an 8x10 + 2x15 to give me more surface area and spread out the abuse a bit, but i still worry from time to time.

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