Why are my speakers blowing?/Should I start over?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pOstmOd, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. pOstmOd


    Apr 13, 2012
    This is kind of long question. I'll give my set up and issue. For what it's worth I'm in a post-punk/indie-rock band and we play shows quite a bit. We're loud and I play a lot of feedback and heavy bass lines (post-rockish).

    Set up
    Hartke 350w 4 ohm head, Acoustic 15" cab 250w 8 ohms running parallel with a 4x10" Tubeworks cab (in the process of replacing speakers with Fender 8ohms), Big Muff pi distortion, Digitech delay, and mediocre digital multi effects pedal.

    I went in today to have my Acoustic 15" replaced for the 3rd time. It'll play fine, then just quit and I'll get a very, very quiet distortion sound. I've also blown 3 of the 10" speakers in my other cab. I've talked to several people and no one can figure out what is going on. I keep the volume of my head at 2 1/2 and my guitar at 6 (which is still quite loud). I've replaced one of the 10" speakers with a Fender 8ohm and will probably replace the other 2 with the same. Question 1 - should I do so? (The first one sounded nice and punchy but will it last? Question 2 - Why are all my speakers blowing and has anyone had this issue with the Acoustic 15" cab? Question 3 - Should I replace the Hartke head with an Acoustic head, either the b200 or b600? Question 4 - What if I got one of the Acoustic heads and switched out my current 410 cab with the Acoustic 410 cab? Or, do you think I'll be okay with the current 410 with the new Fender speakers?

    Sorry the multiple questions/scenarios. I need to do something about this and I have little money to do so. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I'm having so many issues.
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    You're gonna keep blowing 15's running them up against a 410. I take it the 410 now has different speakers in it all sharing the same space. They'll interfere with each other too. Some of your effects could also have hot output or enhanced low frequencies, the volume settings on the amp don't mean much.

    I say stop throwing good money after bad and get a decent cab you like, and suss out your gain structure/signal path and see where all the extra is coming from.
  3. In bold: Feedback and heavy bass, cheap cabs with the cries of the 15" under the 410 where you can't hear it. Lots of effects with too hot of a signal going into the amp so you keeping the volume on the amp low means nothing as the amp is putting out a lot of wattage with the low setting.
    You need to learn how to setup your gain before the amp head and scrap the idea of using cheap cabs. you will need good professional grade cabs to hold up with the sound you have chosen.
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
  5. pOstmOd


    Apr 13, 2012
    Right now the 410 has 1 Fender and the other "3" are what I started with. The reason the 3 is in quotations is (and I haven't been using my cab since) 1 of the original speakers is still hooked up and working fine, another is original but the cone is tearing, and the 3rd I took out because that was totally blown. I anticipate eventually have all of the same speakers in, whether all 4 are Fenders or I scrap it altogether and get an Acoustic 410.
    I guess I find it hard to believe that just having a 15" hooked up is screwing me over so bad. I see rigs often that have a 15 and 410. So, you really think my big problem is having the 15 in the mix? I love having the low end rumble which is why I decided to get it.
    Overall I'm pleased with the sound when everything is working properly. I'm not really looking to cheap out, I do honestly want a good sound, it's just unfortunate that I can't drop major cash on and Ampeg or anything like that you know?

    "suss out your gain structure/signal path and see where all the extra is coming from" - I should point out I'm not totally tech savvy and some phrases may go over my head, LOL.
  6. pOstmOd


    Apr 13, 2012
    So, then should I just sell off the cabs I have now and apply that towards a 1 good 410? If so, what?
  7. Stop putting cheapish speakers in a cheapish speaker cab. For your use you are wasting money. Find a good used Peavey 410 and a Peavey BW equipped 115 if you must. A 115 will never handle the punishment a 410 will and will always be the weak link.

    If you are pretty loud with the amp head at 2 1/2 then the amount of signal boost from all the pedals and stuff is WAY too high. Someone with greater patience will have to take over from there.
  8. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    You'll need more excursion than pretty much ANY "mainstream" speaker box tends to deliver. Investigate the Eminence 3015, among others.
  9. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Perhaps implementing "Unity Gain" would be a good start.
  10. pOstmOd


    Apr 13, 2012
    "Perhaps implementing "Unity Gain" would be a good start." - Again, not entirely familiar with a lot of terms, could you please clarify what that is? Thanks!
  11. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Output that equals the input. To a degree, the output volume should be close to equal with effects engaged or not.
  12. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Case in point, I have a Peavey MINX110 with an MX110 extension cab for [email protected] I would run my bass into a Tech21 SansAmp BDDI. It sounded GREAT! I cranked it well above the volume of running bass alone. After a few months I ended up with what sounded like a blown speaker. I replaced the speaker but still sounded like [email protected] I fried the amp. Not a big deal, I'd been eyeing a GK MB200 for awhile. I got one, slipped it in where the MINX chassis was and all I can say is "WOW!" I should've fried that puppy months ago!
  13. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    Dude, you killed a Peavey? That's got to be some kind of record or something
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    If you want to cause people's heads to explode with volume, you need big cabs that can take it and move as much air as possible. The stuff you want to do isn't always cheap, and it doesn't come small. It doesn't have to be super expensive...410's that take decent power grow on trees and are always turning up used for good prices. So are 810's...sometimes even better deals on them than 410's. For now, though, you have to live within your means, and that means stop turning everything up so loud. You can't do it. Period. Know your gear's limits and live with them. That's all you have to do. Once your cabs start farting they won't put out any more volume with extra wattage anyway, so why push it?
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You're just asking more volume from your cabs than they can give. A couple decent 410s will cure your ills. You don't need a 15.

    It reminds me of an old friend (then ex-friend, now dead) who had a Jeep CJ5 with a V8 in it. He was 20 years old and didn't understand the consequences of putting the pedal to the wood and keeping it there. We'd be out 4-wheeling, and he'd take off up the hill with the throttle wide open, and I could hear the valves floating. I kept telling him it would kill his engine, but he was too smart (he always reminded me that he took honors physics in high school). Then one day, it happened ... aaaaaaaaaAAAAAA CLUNK!

    "What was that?", he exclaimed as the engine went silent up there on the side of the hill. "Uhhhh - you sucked a valve, dude." Same thing with speakers.
  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Try plugging your bass directly into the amp, bass guitar at full volume,amp at 2.5 and give a listen.

    Then do the same with all your effects on line but turn down the gain in each to nearly zero. Then adjust the gain just enough to acheive the same overall volume you got with your bass straight into the amp.

    Also consider using a rumble filter/high pass filter to cut out any stray lows below about 40Hz. Fdeck's Hpf/pre or the efx's micro-thumpinator should work.

    Add some insulation to your cabs to get about 2 inches all the way around inside except for the ports.
  17. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    I would also go easy on the feedback. The only speakers I have ever blown was caused by letting my bass feedback.