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How do I know if I blew my tweeter?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by electricdemon3, Dec 21, 2000.

  1. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I have owned a ampeg tube amp and two crate speaker cabinets for a few years now and have played at extremely loud volumes in heavy metal bands. As far back as I can remember, the tweeters in the cabinets make a loud buzzing sound when I take my hands off my bass strings. It sounds like popcorn. I am not sure of the model of my crate cabs, but the one on top has 2 10"s and a tweeter and the one on bottom has 4 10"s and a tweeter. They both have a switch in the back that says "high frequency attenuator." The settings of the switch are "off", "-6", and "0". The popcorn sounds only happen on settings "-6" and "0". It sounds worse on "0". I am assuming that when it is on "off," it turns off the tweeters. However, the tone of the bass sounds best when they are on "0." The noise only happens when I take my hands off the strings. Does this mean the tweeters are blown? if not, what could be wrong?
  2. spoolie


    Nov 30, 2000
    You are correct in your asumption that "off" turns the horns OFF. "0" would be ON and "-6" would be ON but attenuated (volume of horn reduced) by 6db. If you only hear the noise when in the latter two positions, your drivers are working at least to some degree. It is common to hear a hissing from high frequency drivers when you take your hands completely off the bass (especially if you have the treble or presence boosted on your amp). This is caused by radio frequency (RF) leaking from ungrounded bass circuits (it's grounded when you touch it) and even well shielded basses can have a little of this. It's NOT common for this to sound like "popcorn" though. A popcorn sound could mean the driver is working but the diaphram is torn or otherwise damaged. Just put your ear to the horn (at LOW VOLUME), play, and see if the sound is distorted. If it is, the driver is probably damaged and needs replacement. Of course if no sound is coming out, it's shot. Also open the cabinet to see if all the connections to the attenuator are still solid. And last, put another head on the cabinets to make sure the Ampeg is not the problem. Hope this helps.
  3. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I've also sometimes heard some popping sounds when I take my hands off my bass strings. I'm attributing it to low static discharge, but I'm not really sure. In my case, it has nothing to do with the speakers.
    - Mike
  4. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I guess popcorn was the wrong description now that I think about what popcorn sounds like. it sounds more like bees. Just a steady buzz. However, when I play at home since my house is not grounded, if a neighbor is using an electric saw, I can hear it through my speakers when I take my hands off. Maybe I will try to incorperate that sound in my technique... :)
  5. no offense but the topic of this thread sounds funny.
  6. spoolie


    Nov 30, 2000
    OK, if it's a buzz, it's probably just an unshielded bass and your tweeters are not blown. I leave the preceding line as a setup for those who follow.
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member


  8. 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
    Here's a method that I found works well. You need to get a microphone (I use a Shure SM-58) and one of those low to high impedance converters, with a female XLR on one end and male quarter-inch on the other. Plug the converter into the bass input plug on your amp, and then plug the mic cord into the converter. So it's set up like the mic is your bass. Now set your EQ flat, and turn down (to zero) any "enhance" type controls the amp may have. Now turn up the treble just a little bit, to about 2 o'clock (assuming 12 o'clock is flat). Set your pre-amp at about half power, and the same for your main. If your amp has two output jacks for the speakers, make SURE you're plugged into the UPPER one. OK, now bring the mic slowly up to about one-half inch from your mouth, and say "TWEET, TWEET, TWEET." If nothing comes out of the speaker cab, your tweeter's blown.
  9. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Sounds like a plan to me,Munjibunga. :) LMAO

  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    that or a lingering after-taste of copper... :D
  11. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I had a whole slew of comebacks for this one, but since it's the holiday season, I think I'll behave and pretend like I never read that! :D:D:D
  12. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I sort of intended the subject line to sound funny... :D

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