That speaker don't work here no mo'

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AdamJames306, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Hey guys, I tried to do my due diligence and searched on this topic, couldn't find anything. I apologize if it is redundant.

    A few weeks ago i posted on here about my Ampeg 215 flashing a little light on the lower speaker. Thanks to you, I found out that when you pushing the tweeter too hard, that little light sucks off some excess energy. "Fantastic!" I thought to myself. "I just learned something, AND perhaps saved myself the pain and cost of speaker replacement." I went into the studio later that week, EQ'd out some top end and presence, and lo and behold, I have not heard from Mr. Flashing Tweeter Light since.

    Now, flash forward to last night. I went into the studio, turned everything on, and something just seemed... wrong. After some rote trouble shooting, I turned around, and it hit me. My lower speaker ain't pushin air. I took the grill off, and the cone seemed to be fine, but the speaker just doesn't work any more. Is this thing finished? Did I kill my speaker? Or is there a possibility that it's something simple like wiring shaken loose or something?

    Here are the gory details for those keeping score at home:

    Ric 4003---> pedal board including MXR M-80, Big Muff, MXR Octave, MXR EQ Pedal, Boss Chorus and Noise Gate---> GK 1001 RB-II---> Ampeg 215

    I'm not gonna lie, I run a pretty damn hot sound. Makes Lemmy seem tame at times. And I knew that doing so could definitely damage my speakers, but I'm an all or nothing kinda dude. Anyway, any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you think I might be better off with an 810 as opposed to a 215 (Bill Fitzmaurice I'm looking in your direction) please let me know.
  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Remove the speaker and check with a battery (1 1/2 to 9volt) for cone movement. If the cone moves with small battery power then you have a loose wire/connection somewhere in the cab.
    How ever the 1001RB II has a lot of power for a 215, is the cab 4 ohm? If it is an 8ohm cab get a second cab to pair with it.
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Possible blown driver, but check that wiring didn't come loose first. Assuring the wiring is intact, touch the end of your speaker cable with a battery. The cone that doesn't move is blown....both move = both OK.
  4. Yeah the cab is 4 Ohm. We took the speaker out of the cab, and the wiring goes up into the cab up to god knows where. Neither myself nor my drummer are certified speaker repairmen, so we didn't play around too much. I'm a pretty damn good bass player, but I'm an utter moron when it comes to things like this, so please bare with me. Where exactly am I touching the battery to?
  5. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    To the terminals on the speaker that the wires attach to. :)
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    If the speakers out of the cab, you're touching it to the + and - terminals where the wires go. A 9volts terminals usually are about the same distance apart as the terminals so you don't need to rig up wire. Or run a couple pieces of wire and use an AAA out of your tuner or something.

    If it works, put it back in and touch the batter to the tip and sleeve of the end of the speaker cable you'd normally plug in the amp. See that both cones move in and out together. If they move in opposite directions from each other, reverse the + and - wires on one of the speakers.

    Ideally, the cone should move outward when you touch + battery to + terminal. Flip the battery around so it's + to - and the cone should move inward, although some speakers were wired opposite of that.

    That's what an amplifier does....swings voltage + to - and back again, really, really fast.
  7. Awesome, I'll give that a shot. Thank you gentlemen.
  8. Question- will continuing to play the cab with only one functioning speaker damage that speaker in any way? Am I now running a different load size?
  9. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    The load will be halved to the amp, so will the sound output from the cab. That is a lot of strain on one 15" so don't expect it to get anywhere close to as loud or you will need two speakers. ;)
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006

    You'd also be playing a system with half the drivers in twice the enclosure size.....easy to push things to mechanical damage.

    Long and short of it is, don't gig like that. Only play it for low volume testing while you're chasing down problems/testing fixes if needed.
  11. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The non-functional driver will work as a passive radiator, totally messing up the function of the cab and making it very easy to damage the remaining driver. You shouldn't use it until you fix it.
  12. Okay, so I did the battery thing. Pretty sure the speaker is done. So, now, it's a question of replacing it. I looked all over the speaker, couldn't find a serial number or even a brand name. So, a couple of questions-

    What speaker type does Ampeg typically use in their cabs?

    I know it's an 8 ohm speaker, and i need to replace it with another 8ohm, but do I need to match the wattage? Cuz that information isn't on there.

    Lastly, what's the best way to go about ordering a new speaker? E-bay? Guitar Center? Seems like shipping costs would be astronomical.

    Thanks guys.
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    You need an exact match, which probably means ordering from Ampeg.
  14. Talked to the Ampeg guy, he said it's 150 watts, at 8 ohms. You're saying that the replacement would have to be EXACTLY the same speaker as the previous? I couldn't replace it with any 15" 150 watt 8 ohm speaker?

    Also, I'm wondering if i'm overpowering the cab. My amp is 700 watts. What if I replaced both speakers with, say, 300 watt 8 ohm speakers? Does it work like that?

    Any suggestions for replacements? Celestion? Eminence? I play mostly rock and hard rock, with, like i said earlier, a very hot signal. I'd need a ton of low end and punch, with clarity. Not too much top, I don't like a clicky sound.
  15. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    There's a lot more to speaker specs than just wattage ratings. If it is not the proper speaker designed for the cab the results could be unpredictable. I would not mix and match drivers in a cab like that.
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The best off the shelf speakers to put in an Ampeg 215 are the Eminence Beta or Delta 15's. Or you could get your speaker reconed if you'd rather keep the originals.
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    You can replace both speakers with newer, heavy duty speakers. As TB'r JohnK_10 discovered in his 2x15 build (one with two Eminence Kappalite 3015's (non LF's),the other with Faital 15PR400's), with the new technology, close enough is good enough to get awesom tone/volume out of a less than optimally designed cab or upgrading an existing cab.

    Also, you can also add insulation and/or modify the ports, if necessary, to improve cab/speaker performance.
  18. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Watts don't count for much; impedance does, along with all the rest explained here:
    Understanding Loudspeaker Data | Eminence Speaker

    If the Ampeg guy wanted to be truly helpful he'd give you the T/S specs.
    Watts don't define output capability. Displacement, T/S spec Vd (see above link), does.
  19. Thanks for the link Bill. Unfortunately, it may as well have been written in Esperanto. I guess I'm looking for someone more knowledgeable than myself (which doesn't take much) to give me a "bottom line" answer. Obviously, I'm doing something wrong that caused my speaker to kick the bucket. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling I'm overpowering the cab, so I need a solution to that problem. Is there really no merit in switching out two 150 watt speakers for two 300 watt speakers?
  20. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    None whatsoever. Watts don't define output capability. Displacement, T/S spec Vd (see above link), does. If you need super loud and bullet proof you need a long excursion high power driver, like the 3015. They don't come cheap, but top quality never does.

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