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Denon 1803 keeps blowing speakers


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   MarcW

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Posted April 02 2003 - 02:22 AM

A friend of mine bought a Denon 1803/Energy Take 5+1 package over christmas. After about a month of usage one of the rear woofers blew. He contacted Energy and they send him a replacement woofer. A few weeks later both of his front woofers blew. He contacted Energy again and now they are saying that he is driving the speakers too hard. The receiver is rated 80w/ch @ 8ohms. According to Energy's documentation on the Take 5+1 system the satellites recommended amp power is 15-100watts/channel. So if the speakers are supposed to be able to handle up to a 100watts/ch then how come 80watts/ch will blow the woofer ? He is not even pushing his receiver to the max. Usually his listening level is around -10db. If anyone has this specific receiver/speaker combo and could offer some advice my buddy would highly appreciate it. Thanks, -MarcW

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Keith Shaw

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Posted April 02 2003 - 02:48 AM

Did he set his front speakers to "small" in the receiver settings?
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#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Lee Bailey

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Posted April 02 2003 - 04:07 AM

He can be driving the amps in the receiver into clipping, and this can happen with sudden peaks. You're saying that he is running it at -10db below the max, that does not leave alot of headroom.
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#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted April 02 2003 - 04:23 AM

I'm also guessing he's clipping the signal. In other words, it's not the speakers, it's the receiver. Simply not enough juice to get the volume he wants. Remember, it's far more dangerous to run with too little power than too much. Still, you say he's running at 10db below reference? Any receiver rated at 80watts/channel should easily be able to hit those levels with the easy-to-drive Energy speakers. And I'm also surprised that one of the rear woofers blew first... did he associate it with a particular loud sound?
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#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted April 02 2003 - 04:30 AM

On my receiver, -10 is way past the half-way point. That’s some pretty hard driving for speakers with little 3½” woofers. Energy specs these speakers for small-to-medium sized rooms for this reason. Regards, Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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#6 of 24 OFFLINE   MarcW

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Posted April 02 2003 - 05:19 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. His fronts are set to small on the receiver. I haven't heard his setup but I agree with Rich that running these speakers at -10db below reference shouldn't be a problem. My buddy tells me that at -10db DVD's are really not all that loud. So what are your suggestions ? Buy better speakers ? Thanks again, -MarcW

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Ian_A

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Posted April 02 2003 - 05:20 AM

Maybe your buddy when he set up the receiver he could have turned the volume for each speaker all the way up. The factory settings are 0 and if he just turned them to +12 thinking it would make it louder now that -10 on the Master volume is more like +5 and there will be no headroom left.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   JeremyFr

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Posted April 02 2003 - 05:28 AM

I've got the 5+1's running off a Yammy 730 and have never had a need to get them past -20 on my reciever, though the satellites are internally crossed off at 90hz as to prevent blowing them, I've had mine since December and have had no problems with them at all. Depending on the source material used -10 could very easily drive the amp into clipping which yes would easily blow most speakers, I would suggest either something with a little better headroom or trying to listen to not nearly as loud.
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#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Marc H

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Posted April 02 2003 - 05:28 AM

I would also guess at clipping too but it's usually the tweeter that goes first in that situation.
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#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted April 02 2003 - 06:29 AM

[quote] I haven't heard his setup but I agree with Rich that running these speakers at -10db below reference shouldn't be a problem. My buddy tells me that at -10db DVD's are really not all that loud. So what are your suggestions ? Buy better speakers ? [quote] Assuming we've diagnosed this correctly (and I'm not making that assumption), he needs a better receiver.

Again, I find this odd, but there have been other receivers from other manufacturers that don't meet the stated specs and which clip signals and blow speakers... dunno if that's the case with the 1803 (and would be surprised and disappointed to find it to be so), but I do not believe this is in anyway a speaker problem. A clipped signal can destroy even the best speakers.
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#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted April 02 2003 - 09:25 AM

Marc,

[quote] My buddy tells me that at -10db DVD's are really not all that loud. [quote] And that tells me he’s using them in a large room – which he shouldn’t be.

There’s a few more things missing here: The crossover frequency and slope. Both are critical with small speakers, especially at high volumes.

Denon’s web site says the 1803 has selectable crossover points at 80, 100 and 120Hz. However, there is no information given on what the filter’s slope is. We can assume it is an adequate 24dB/octave with the THX certified models, but not so with the non-THX models.

If your friend is using the 80Hz frequency, and if the slope is a meager 12dB/octave, there’s the problem. The bass-heavy content in many action flicks can effectively flatten a 12dB/octave high pass filter, so these little speakers could well be called upon to deliver the goods as low as 40Hz.

To clarify, no knowledgeable audio enthusiast would connect an equalizer and boost the lowest bands to the max with little speakers like this, and then turn the volume up really loud. But what they often fail to realize is that with bass-heavy action flicks, that boost is built right into the program material!

So yes, I can see how your friend could have blown those speakers. If he’s using the 80Hz crossover frequency, and if the slopes are only 12dB/octave, it would be easy to blow them at –10dB volume levels with the right movie.

Your friend’s best bet is to change the crossover frequency to 120Hz and maybe turn the volume down a little. Or trade up to more substantial speakers.

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#12 of 24 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted April 02 2003 - 09:33 AM

I don't understand why so many people seem to think the only acceptable volume levels are maximum and slightly less than maximum. He is simply overdriving the speakers. The Energy Take 5 system and the Denon 1803 should be a perfect match for each other.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Michael R Price

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Posted April 02 2003 - 11:41 AM

10db under reference is peaks of 95db per channel at the listening position if everything's properly calibrated. In a large room there may be a 6-10db drop in SPL from the level at one meter... so he's asking way too much of those little speakers. Their low efficiency may be causing the amp to clip trying to get to those levels, but that's not the problem - woofers wouldn't be damaged by clipping, but rather by too much power (distorted or not). It's not the receiver's fault. Unfortunately, if you want big sound in a big room, you'll probably need big speakers.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Adam Bluhm

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Posted April 02 2003 - 12:21 PM

Just for a reference, I'm powering JBL S26II's all around with an 1802. I'm in a small room, but I've never had any clipping or powerloss problems... from Dumb and Dumber to Lord of the Rings, it's worked okay. .. just a reference.
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#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Craig Morris

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Posted April 02 2003 - 01:43 PM

I'm not denying that he may be overdriving the Take 5's, but I would like to point out that the original Take 5's had an internal built-in high pass filter to protect them. Maybe they dropped it on the 5.2's... I also thought that clipping would blow his tweeter first.

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Adam Bluhm

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Posted April 02 2003 - 01:46 PM

By the way, I posted what I did above because I am not knowledgeable enough to give two cents and figure out how this happened. I figured that if I post what I did, it might strike a candle for one of you more knowledgeable fellows.
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#17 of 24 OFFLINE   EricSm

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Posted April 02 2003 - 03:47 PM

I have used my 1803 with a Polk RM-6600 system and have had zero problems driving them at whatever listening levels I find strike my fancy. I doubt the energy take system would be significantly different in regards to the load they can take, and I also have a hard time imagining that there simply isn't enough power to drive them. Energy makes highly efficient speakers. Just my two cents, but I'd be shocked if there was an incompatibility between the receiver and the speakers. Sounds like something maybe faulty with the receiver, however. I'd email denon as well and see what they have to say, if anything. I think that receiver and those speakers would be a perfect match. Something is wrong somewhere...

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Marc H

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Posted April 03 2003 - 06:22 AM

The 5.2s still have the buit-in high pass filter but it's ten hertz lower than on the original Takes. I wonder if the receiver might be leaking a bit of DC current when pushed. That would explain the woofers going first.
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#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Lee Bailey

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Posted April 03 2003 - 06:52 AM

If the receiver is still under warranty, take it in, explaining the problem. They should be able to re-create the conditions. Unfortunately, you'll be without sounds for a while.Posted Image
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#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Phil Iturralde

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Posted April 03 2003 - 07:10 AM

[quote] Drawbacks:
As with all small speakers you must watch how hard you drive the speakers (crank up the volume). My Sherwood Newcastle R945 is rated at 100 watts per channel and after driving the speakers to around 80% of full volume I have already gone through one bass/mid driver on one of the TAKE 2 speakers and a tweeter on the TAKE 1. So be careful not to crank up the volume to high or something could go up in smoke in the speakers. [quote]
I've also received a couple of emails from HT Forum Take 5 owners asking me about the JBL NSP1's, ... one of them was waiting a week or so for Energy to send him another 3" bass/mid driver to replace the 2nd one he blew up!

So, it seems from what I read (including this thread) & heard personally about the Take 5's, ... HT enthusiasts have exceeded the Take 5's design mechanic's and blown the little drivers because they wanted to just recreate that all-important Cinema Theater SPL sounds in their homes!

Anyway, I ended up purchasing the highly regarded JBL NSP1's (w/AudioSource SW15 200w 15" sub - all Video Essentials REF Calibrated) and have watched quite a number of my blockbuster DD-DTS-5.1 DVD movies during my once or twice a month Friday NITE DVD's with my usual family / friends over @ -10 db below REF Level - AVG Fast SPL peaks = approx. 106 dB, ... dynamically & clearly , without the fear of blowing up the speakers since APRIL 2000!!!

Anyway, you can read my comments about my JBL N-Series speaker in this earlier thread (JBL N24's or HTD Level 2) + Sony SA-WM40 Sub Opinions?

SIDE NOTE: (copied from the thread above) ... I personally like the JBL Equipped Studio Monitor Sounds and JBL Equipped Cinema Theater Sounds I've heard, and my JBL NSP1's w/AudioSource SW15 garnered from my usual once or twice a month Friday NITE DVD family/friends group, ... "sounds better than our local Cinema Century Theaters"!!! Posted Image My favorite comment came from a retired Engineering Manager friend wife (both were from Cuba/Florida), ... when she asked me after watching James Cameron's Titanic (around SEP 1999) @ approx. -10 dB below (Video Essentials) REF Level (106 dB Fast SPL LFE Peaks) ... "Is this illegal??? ... Does the local Theaters know that you have superior sounds than they do!!!" - hee-hee!!! Posted Image

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