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OK to turn off tweeter?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NJL, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I know, I should know better and I have done a lil' searchy and haven't found the answer, but I have an Aggie 112 and an Eden 112, they each have attenuators...is it OK to turn off a tweeter? I had heard that you can fry something if you do...

    fact or f(r)iction?

  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    If there's an attenuator, you're not going to break anything by rolling it off. Horns suck. I always turn all of mine off, and I've never broken an amp.
  3. I have heard of one instance where an attenuator melted during heavy use... so the first few times you use it, may be worth monitoring the heat levels!
  4. Right. I've yet to blow one either by turning off the tweet.

    A new question: if I aquired a 5" driver to pull high-register duty and retrofit in place of the tweeter currently installed, will the top end be smoother, AND, will I interfere with the tune of the cab or the interplay between drivers?
  5. I'd guess that the top end would be smoother, and more significantly it would be less directional (tweeters tend to give you piercing highs directly in front of them, and not enough elsewhere).

    I don't *think* it would affect the tuning or drivers much as long as the impedance is matched...
  6. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    My SWR cab's have been fully attenuated since '94
    with no adverse effects.
  7. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    pulling your tweeter out and replacing it with a small driver 5"? could be strange for a few reasons. Tweets are louder than cone drivers, you might not hear the 5" near enough. your cross over will not get the most from the 5" . It might be smoother but at what volume? Matched components work better as a system.
  8. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    When you turn down a tweeter, the attenuater absorbs all the power that would otherwise end up in the tweeter, so long as it's properly rated it'll be fine.

    As to putting a 5" in instead of a tweeter? I wouldn't do it, tweeters have a sealed back, most 5" drivers don't, you'll mess up the tuning, the crossover and most likely blow the 5" as soon as you play a low loud note through the cab.

    P.S. Due to it's size a 5" driver would not appear as a point source for high frequencys and would in fact be more directional.
  9. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Incidentally, some styles of music require different sounds. People who say tweeters catagorically suck means they suck only for them. For my use, I figure out how to roll off the 5K when I play a rock tune, and switch back quickly to a scooped Marcus sound when its a funk tune. Depends on the gig and your bag. Cheap crossovers used by certain "CHEAP" manufacturers use 15 watt L-pads in a 500 watt bass cabinet with a simple one component crossover. Thats asking for trouble. If you have a decent crossover with multiple components on a circiut board with coils and capacitors and a big 50 or 100 watt L-pad, your okay to turn the horn off until the Chargers win a Superbowl. -frustrated San Diegan
  10. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Sorry about the Chargers. :)

    Anyway, I have always run my cabs with the tweeters full on and just cut the highs a bit either on my bass or my amp. That way, it's there if I want it. If you turn your tweeters all the way down/off, there is really no way to achieve that high end without turning your tweeter back on, which is a pain in the rear when your rig is on stage and you can hardly get to the back of it without putting your bass down and making a scene of it. Leaving the tweeter full on and cutting highs with your onboard EQ or on your amp, you can always turn a knob or two and have the high end right back. It's a win-win situation.

  11. Thanks. That's what I figured. I just remember seeing a cab that did that once (I elieve it was a Hartke MX cab) and I was a bit intrigued...but had never tried it to see if it was sucessful.
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Wow! I get home from a gig and I already have all these responses! You guys rock! Thanks...

  13. FenderHotRod


    Sep 1, 2004
    I have unhooked the tweeter from my amp. The hiss was so bad I couldn't stand it. I have had no problem with mine. I heard the same storys about unhooking the tweeter would destroy an amp. So far no problems.
  14. Adding a 5" driver will change the impedance of your cab, so you need to be wary if you're running multiple cabs. The cabs I've seen with a 5"driver added have internal partitions to separate the back firing waves from the main driver.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The 5 in. cone speaker in the Hartke 2.5XL and 4.5XL has a sealed back like a midrange driver in some three way home stereo cabinets. IIRC, it's crossed over pretty high anyway.

    A true midrange like in the Acme cabinets has a little sub enclosure behind the midrange driver acoustically isolating it from the woofer enclosure.

    As for turning the tweeter all the way down, some problems occur if the attenuator (L-pad) is a low power unit. Too little of the resistive element carries the tweeter current and overheats. It is probably more likely to happen in a cabinet with a simple 6 dB per octave crossover (single cap like an Avatar) than with a 12 dB or 18 dB/octave crossover like an SWR cabinet. The presence of the protective light bulb in SWR's and Eden's design (among others) might help too as it's the last thing in line between the crossover network and the tweeter's L-pad.

    Not that this applies directly, but I believe that one of the differences between Acme Series I and Series II cabinets is that the crossover in the Series II has been modified so that you can't completely turn off the mid and tweeter and thereby run less of a risk of burning out an L-pad.

    I'm sure that Aguilar and Eden have opinions about this...
  16. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    true, i need to contact Eden and Aguilar about it as well (i know Aguilar will respond very quickly, but i have never dealt with Eden...maybe brother Gard can help me on this on Monday).

  17. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio

  18. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've heard that if you turn off your tweeter, you'll go blind...


    I kept the tweet down all the way on my Avatar b410 cab when I was still using it, and nothing bad ever happened, and the tweet works when you turn it up...

    though I have heard that there's a potential for trouble... I bet it's less likely to be a problem on a better cab, like your 12s, though that's just a wild guess.

    You're at 1 month+ without a smoke. Rock. K8 is still smoke free, too... :hyper:
  19. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    woo hoo!!!!!!

  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've had a good look at the crossover in my Eden 210xlt and by the looks of it, the only danger is that you might melt the resistors that make up the attenuation circuit. If that happens, a replacement/repair should be a simple and inexpensive affair. I say give it a try and see what happens. Maybe leave the horn on by one inaudible poofteenth just in case.