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Is it the speaker or the cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ross AriaPro, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
    After shopping for combos for a few days it becomes apparent that most have too many watts for the surface area of the speaker cones installed.

    One Harkte I tried rattled so much at high volume that it might have exploded at any moment...sending bits of tolex flying in all directions!

    But what is it that rattles...the connection between the speaker and cabinet, or the cabinet joints, or what? -Ross.
  2. Could be the cabinet, could be the head in the cab, could be the speaker exceeding it's mechanical limits, could be the amp distorting. Just because the volume control goes to "10" doesn't mean it was made to sound good there.
  3. I've had cabinet joints rattle , I've had baffle plates rattle , I've had loose speakers rattle, I've had speaker cages rattle and I've had bad speakers themselves rattle. It can be really frustrating to try to figure out which of the above is the culprit too.
  4. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    And if you were demoing new in store, the temporary tags/labels they put on the grills often buzz at higher volumes.
  5. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The problem is, most players buy amps or combo's based on the wattage rating of the amps output, and give little or no thought to the speakers. And reality is, it's ALL ABOUT the speakers, in one way or another. Certainly, with a combo amp, the speaker is the #1 limiting factor regarding volume. And, just because some company's cram a 500 watt amp into a little 1x12 box, in no means implies that little speaker can handle that much power. They never do. And nowadays, they don't even include an EXT SPKR jack, because they want to sell you the amp at FULL rated power. An educated consumer, blah blah.
  6. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
    Funny you should say...the owner pulled off the label and lifted it into the air...still a buzz box!
  7. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
    Agreed...will a more expensive speaker rattle less?

    Or how about adding an extra layer of plywood?
  8. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
    If the cabinet were made out of 3" thick cement...would it still rattle?
  9. If a donkey could fly would you need a plane :confused:
  10. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
  11. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    And speaker cabinets have been built out of concrete.
    I can't the link right at the moment, but they were subs in a permanent installation.
  12. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Wanted: Roadie with a really strong back to carry my concrete speakers for me to gigs:

  13. Ross AriaPro

    Ross AriaPro

    Dec 27, 2013
  14. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    Many combo amps and speaker cabinets have grills that will rattle at high volume. It's not so noticeable on stage with a full band, but obnoxiously obvious in a bedroom or music store.

    What is the optimum wattage to square inches of speaker cone ratio?
  15. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Heck, I had a plastic logo buzzing away on the front of a power amp at Saturday's gig.

  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The aluminum chassis of my racked power amp buzzes as do the boards inside it when I'm at gig volume. Most of the problem was handled with 3 layers of 1/4" neoprene cut into rounds and put under the feet of my rack. I can still hear it a bit when I'm playing right against my amp but from a few feet out it's unnoticeable.
  17. Hi.

    IME the #1 rattle source is something else than the rig.
    Symphatetic resonances can sometimes be a total PITA to locate.

    You didn't say whether the combo you tried was a used or new, but some of the older Hartke aluminium cone drivers dust caps have a tendency to detach and that causes rattles and buzzes like a blown speaker.
    Very easy fix though, and can be used as a strong haggling point.

    If it's the cab that rattles, sitting on the panels one at a time will reveal that.

    The asking price has very little to do with the rattling, or the quality of a cab, only the quality of the components, the design and the quality of manufacturing does.

    Adding a layer of plywood will only make the cab heavier, and since gluing large sheets together without a press is very difficult, it would probably rattle more.

    No it wouldn't rattle.

    3" is impractical though, with a steel reinforcing net, 1/4" is more than sufficient.

    There's plenty of Hi-Fi speakers (both DIY and commercial) made out of concrete, stone, aluminium and steel.
    Only the weight restricts the use of those materials (except for aluminium of course) in MI/PA SR.

    Overkill for a MI cab IMO.

    The bracing thickness isn't ideal either, but more importantly, the baffle looks to be on the thin side.

  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A lot of your less expensive combos will have speakers that are rated for somewhere around the peak wattage, which is usually double the RMS (clean) wattage. Most figure you'll want to run it clean anyway, so to keep the prices down, they use less expensive speakers. Welcome to the world of inexpensive combos. You want power handling enough to handle the amp when you turn it up all the way? Get a more expensive combo.
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've removed panels from components and installed either foam or felt to deaden the resonant response. A piece of dense foam (insulation, etc) between the components and enclosure helps sometimes.