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Tweeter failed 4X this year!


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 06 2011 - 03:21 PM

My Mirage OS-3 CC speaker has failed for the fourth time. Speaker handles 10-175 Watts, 3/4” Titanium hybrid (3” mid + 2x 4.5 woofers) AVR is Pioneer Elite Sc05: 140 Watts/ch with all 5 channels driven 20-20KHz. Use 12AWG Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper Speaker Wire Cable from monoprice & have banana plugs on both ends so no stray stands of wire crossing over from positive to negative terminal. (I’m told by a tech that if using bare wire & do have wires cross it damages amp & not speaker anyway.) Bought Mirage speakers 3-2009 & upgraded to this Sc05 AVR 6-2009. Center Channel Speaker problems: 1-2011: Returned to Best Buy due to muffled sound from CC. They found failed tweeter & replaced. CC worked great again. 8-2011: Same symptoms. Returned to Best Buy due to muffled sound from CC. They found loose connection to tweeter & soldered/repaired. CC worked great again. (I assumed sloppy, incompetent job with tweeter replacement 7 months prior -- causing the loose connection) 10-2011: Same symptoms. Muffled sound from CC. This time I called Mirage direct & they agreed to exchange for NEW CC speaker. Got new speaker & CC worked great again. I thought it was over. 12-2011: Same symptoms. Muffled sound from CC. (Arrrrrrggggggghhhhh!!!!!!!) I called a Pioneer authorized repair shop & spoke at length with a tech. I was going to bring in my AVR thinking there was some distortion going out to the CC. Tech says it would be very rare based on my symptoms. He thinks AVR is fine & suspects problem (design flaw?) with Mirage crossover or tweeters. If there was a high frequency digital noise problem with the AVR he would expect it to damage the tweeter in hours & it would not take weeks or months of daily use to do this. I listen loud (BD movies at -8.5 dB on my display & TV at -13.5) but, I do not think I’m clipping the amp. AVR Max volume is +8.5 & I never get close to that. Rarely, with a quiet BD, I’ve gone to -7.5. I realize these numbers are subjective & -8.5 on 2 different AVRs would not be the same dB if measured. I’m going to call Pioneer tomorrow & then Mirage. If/when I send in speaker for repair I think in 6 weeks or 6 months I’ll have a 5th failed tweeter. Every expert tells me distortion is what damages tweeters or woofers. Or the part itself is defective. (Or the crossover?) Any suggestions? On my last nerve! Thanks for any help.

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 07 2011 - 06:00 PM

Update: Spoke with Pioneer “Troubleshooting” Department. They agreed with Local Authorized repair center that is is very unlikely to be the AVR. Especially since the Sc05 is designed to shut down if clipping begins to occur! I will speak to Mirage Thursday & get repair authorization & ship it to them. I will call when they receive it & try to talk to the tech assigned to fix it to see exactly what is wrong; tweeter failure, loose connection or X-over. Maybe I can get him to replace the X-Over & triple check/solder the wiring & see if he has any ideas? When my SPL meter arrives I will check the volume at my max -8.5 BD setting & check it again when the repaired CC is back in place.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 12:42 AM

It sounds like a crossover problem. Something has gone wrong with probably the capacitor.

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 08 2011 - 02:17 PM

Robert, 1st time I lost tweeter Best Buy replaced the tweeter & it worked great for 7 months. Then same symptoms--no tweeter function & sent back to Best Buy. They had to solder the wiring, no replacement parts & once again it worked great. I assumed bad repair the 1st time. If tech was sloppy when he soldered the replacement tweeter in place in January then after months of use it must have loosened. 3rd time 2 months later I never found out exactly what caused the tweeter to stop working since I sent the speaker back to Mirage & received a new replacement. I will be sending this speaker back to Mirage for anther replacement but the tech promised that he would have someone examine it to tell me what the problem was; bad tweeter, bad crossover or bad wiring. He was unable to tell me what the problem was with my old speaker that I sent them 10-2011. He said they just junk them. So we are talking about two different speakers.

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 08 2011 - 08:57 PM

2nd update Spoke with Mirage CS rep at length. He said they do not repair defective speakers! (This is hard to believe) They only replace with new & that is what they will do again. I did convince him to have a tech look at my returned speaker to tell me if it is; bad tweeter, crossover or wiring. He was unable to look up what the problem was on my other CC I had sent in 10-2011 for the new CC that is broken now. Too bad. It would have been very useful for me to know why the tweeter had stopped working for the 3rd time on that original CC. So, 1st time was bad tweeter & 2nd time was loose connection. The Mirage CS rep said he doesn’t trust Best Buy repair of Mirage speaker. He said even though the BB repair tech said it was a loose connection it may have been an intermittent tweeter or some other problem & maybe BB moved it & it started working so he re-soldered it. (I find this speculation hard to believe) BB IS an authorized Mirage repair facility. My choices under warranty have been to let BB send it to the BB facility in CA at N/C or to ship back to Mirage in CA at my expense. That was why I used BB the 1st two times. Based on some questions he asked me re relative volume of CC speaker vs my others & EQ, I checked the Sc05 MCACC data. I think using this auto calibration gives me great sound. I do write down the distance & the +/- dB for each speaker every time I run the MCACC set up. The differences each time are very slight. Maybe 0.5dB for volume & a fraction of an inch for distance. The last time I ran it & the current settings are as follows: Channel Level: L=+3.0 dB C=+4.0 dB R=+3.5 dB SR=+1.5 dB SL=+1.5 dB SW=-1.0 dB The last 4 times I ran it C= +3.5 or +4 R= +3,+3.5 or +4 L= +3 So, I don’t think the CC speaker is boosted significantly more than the R&L. Are these settings typical of what you people see with your auto calibration? Speaker distance remains constant all the times I run the MCACC so no errors & I did measure with tape measure the 1st time I ever ran it. Finally, I checked the EQ looking to see if the CC has a big boost in treble above the 2.7kHz X-over frequency. It does not. At 4kHz the EQ is below the 0dB line & 8kHz right on the 0dB. At 16kHz it is set above the 0dB line (no scale but, maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the available space above the 0dB line) However both R & L speakers are also similarly set for 16kHz. I don’t see any problem with any of these settings. When I receive the replacement CC speaker I will run the program again. I always mark the exact spot for the CC speaker when it is gone so I return it to it’s spot. I’d be surprised if I was off by more than 1/8 inch. Maybe I will manually set the CC to the lower (+3.5 dB) of the two setting it tends to auto set at. Even if it auto sets to +4.0. Just to be extra careful. I will probably get my SPL meter b4 I get my new, replacement CC speaker. I’ll do some testing with my substitute (large box Advent as CC on the floor) just to get a ballpark idea of how loud is loud. I’ll have the real results of SPL tests after I test with my replacement Mirage CC. The Mirage CS rep said only two things destroy tweeters & those things destroy woofers even sooner & more often; Too much power & distortion. He agreed I do not have too much power. (140 Watts & sp rated till 175). He could not say why it worked for 6 weeks to 2 months b4 tweeter stopped if it was distortion from the AVR. He asked if I plug in an iPod & get a loud pop which can blow tweeters (I do not) He didn’t have any other ideas. A couple times I have put in a cheap BD (I think it was Mill Creek,$5 or $6 titles?) And as usual I set volume to -8.5 b4 the BD even loads & the Mill Creek or whatever studio logo came on with sound WAY TOO LOUD! I turned volume down -10 or even lower & then when movie started I had to turn back up to -8.5. But that has happened maybe 3x & not for many weeks. So if that instance of very loud &/or distorted sound from the BD caused the tweeter problem , it didn’t happen right then which makes no sense to me. I always notice the CC tweeter going out bc I have sudden trouble understanding dialog in movies since usually only CC carries dialog unlike TV DD 5.1 where CC AND R&L carry dialog (I’ve checked this). I will decide if I should waste my time & money by bringing my AVR in for a checkup after I hear back re the reason for the tweeter not working. It will be a huge hassle & both Pioneer & local repair shop & everyone on these forums say it is very unlikely it is the AVR. But, if my SPL tests do not show that I listen at 100+ levels & the tweeter is blown, I may just do it to not leave any possibility unchecked -- however remote. Before I consider spending much money to replace my Mirage with another brand, I’ll check the AVR. If I do end up replacing speakers, I would probably replace R & L & CC with the same brand & continue to use my existing Mirages for SR & SL & SW. I think using the same brand designed for HT gives you a more balanced sound in the front especially when sound sweeps across the soundstage. I know some may disagree & think, if needed, I should only replace the CC & keep the Mirage R&L. I’m hoping Mirage sends me the new one & a couple days later tells me it was NOT a blown tweeter rather a X-over or wiring issue.

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 08 2011 - 11:19 PM

Are these settings typical of what you people see with your auto calibration?

No but my center channel has a much higher sensitivity compared to my mains. Calibration is different for every room / speaker combination so there shouldn't be a typical setting. That is unless two people are using the same equipment in the same house plans and the same room layout. You have been more patient and thorough than most people who post here with problems. Keep us informed of the service you get from Mirage.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 09 2011 - 04:38 PM

Thanks Robert, Even though I am getting few replies, I am updating to help others in the future. I’ve researched many problems & many forums on many subjects & have often found similar problems with no followup. Sometimes the OP solves the issue & doesn’t bother to post the solution. Re my asking if others have similar settings, I didn’t mean; +3.5 dB etc. as much as I meant the L,R & CC all were boosted about the same. My limited understanding of auto calibration is given a perfect room with all speakers exactly 10’ away from listener, all speakers would be at 0dB . No need to adjust. My AVR adjusts relative volume & delay & frequency/EQ to take into account the room acoustics, the different distances & efficiencies of the different speakers.

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 15 2011 - 11:13 PM

Update after preliminary SPL testing I spoke with Pioneer again re the MCACC speaker relative volume. I was told that while it is common for one speaker to be set at 0 dB & that I would have the same RELATIVE volumes if I manually changed them so one was at 0 & others lowered by the same amount, I should not do that. The test tones are 75dB & the speakers are individually adjusted so each one puts out 75dB. Depending on speaker efficiency, room size & speaker placement, speakers may all need to be boosted by a few dB in order to achieve that 75dB reference volume. Current MCACC settings: • L = +3.0 dB • C = +4.0 dB • R = +3.5 dB • SR = +1.5 dB • SL = +1.5 dB • SW = -1.0 dB My proposed manual changes keeping same relative DB: • L = -1.0 dB • C = 0.0 dB • R = -0.5 dB • SR = -2.5 dB • SL = - 2.5 dB • SW = - 5.0 dB Although when I run MCACC with new CC speaker, I will run it a few times & use whatever the lowest boost for the CC is. Probably +3.0 rather than +3.5 or +4.0. Despite the Pioneer c.s rep not thinking this change is very important, rather than place the mic on the top of the headrest of my recliner, I will use a tripod & tape a yardstick & the mic to the yardstick so it “floats” close to where my head/ears are. Some people on Pioneer MCACC forums claim better results. I received my SPL meter & and ran many preliminary tests using my temp CC speaker (Advent 3002 on the floor tilted up) along with the rest of my Mirage 5.1 setup. The SPL meter, Inexpensive, Pyle PSPL01, is accurate to +/- 3.5 dB @ 1kHz 94dB freq. range 31.5Hz-~8kHz C weighted Fast response 125 ms. Seems reasonably accurate. B4 testing my HT, I tested quiet room (25-35 dB) And my drum set. I was able to get Max peak of ~96 - 98dB with cymbal crashes 2 feet away & 118.0 dB! with snare drum rim shots. I detected virtually 0 difference with & w/o wind screen & pointing mic straight ahead vs 45 degrees upwards. So, these are with ws on & pointing almost straight ahead, a slight tilt so I could see the screen. held SPL meter just in front of my face. HDTV shows with DD 5.1 audio at my normal volume of -13.5, depending on show & station I’m getting max peak of 62-72 dB. Music Blu ray disc (BD) Stereo “Carlos Santana presents...”, sounds Loud at -16.0 volume, max peak = 75.3 dB. Loud action Movies (BD), the most important tests: I typically listen at -8.5 or -10.0 it audio mix seems too loud. I am considering making -10.0 my maximum for most BDs based on some interesting data below. “Leon, The Professional” DTS HD MA 5.1: volume -10.0 ~50-65 dB during music, dialog 79.1 dB during gun fights 103.0 - 105.5 dB Loudest explosion Volume -8.5, same movie, same scenes sampled: ~55-70 dB during music, dialog 91.1 dB during gun fights 98.6 - 98.9 dB Loudest explosion I was puzzled as to why the louder -8.5 master volume setting has a lower max SPL during the one big explosion when compared to the -10.0 volume setting. I ran that test 10x. Same 30 second clip of the explosion. Turning off & then back on my SPL meter b4 each test. I am convinced Sc05 has some programming that limits louder volume when the master volume is turned up past a certain point. Since I saw the same phenomenon when testing other BDs! So, in effect when listing with master volume at -8.5 I am experiencing LESS dynamic range than when listening at -10.0, in effect some audio compression. Probably to prevent peaks of 110-115 dB. “Fifth Element Remastered” Dolby Tru HD: volume -10.0 opening credits 90.9 15-17 minutes 101.0- 101.4! 1:27-1:32 concert/fight scene 93.2 max (Often used for HT demo in stores & awesome audio!) volume -8.5 opening credits 96.1 15-17 minutes 101.1-102.4! (I think it is limited again) 1:27-1:32 concert/fight scene 96.0 max Now Mirage cs had told me even peaks of 105 should not be a problem if no distortion. “The Incredible Hulk” DTS HD MA 5.1: (Have not watched in over 1 year so this movie did NOT break my CC any of the 4 times. I watched this in mid-late 2009 one of my 1st BDs) volume -10.0 ~ 48 minuets college campus fight scene max = 107.1 ! (Wow) volume -8.5 ~ 48 minuets college campus fight scene max = 106.9 ! (Again, peak dB must be limited) So, I tried lower master volume setting for this BD: volume -11.0 ~ 48 minuets college campus fight scene max = 107.1 again (wtf!) volume -12.5 ~ 48 minuets college campus fight scene max = 102.5 (Made note & will use this volume for this BD in future. Regardless of my CC issue, this gives wider dynamic range & is still plenty loud for this movie & may save my hearing ;) Now I wanted to see if my speakers were set at 75dB at reference by MCACC using Digital Video Essentials (DVE) BD. Even though any CC readings are from the temp speaker the other speakers would give correct test results. And I can “ballpark” the CC since the Advent is 88 dB efficiency vs the missing Mirage at 91. I’m guessing the Mirage will read louder using SPL meter than the Advent but not sure since Advent is designed differently & drivers pointing directly at meter vs the Omnipolar 360 degree soundstage technology. DVE says if I set my master vol to “0” each speaker should read 75dB with Pink Noise. Was a bit worried about turning vol up that high but, wasn't too loud. It was tricky getting the test tone for each speaker since the DVE had no way to go speaker by speaker with me controlling when to change to next speaker. It went from left to right & around the room using effectively a 10.1 speaker system. It had diagram & the speaker outputting the sound would change color for 5-10 seconds. In addition to the normal speaker location, it used phantom, extra speakers such as one between L & CC achieved by using both speakers so sound appears to come from an imaginary speaker between the two (Hence my 10.1 mention earlier) I discovered I could use Skip FW/chapter FW & Reverse keys to skip the phantom speakers & repeat tests on my exact speakers & also I verified which location in the diagram output sound only from my surround R & SL. Of this I am certain. So all numbers below are from the speaker listed & only that speaker. (Wish DVE was more user friendly but, got it to work) For these individual speaker tests I pointed SPL meter directly at the speaker holding it close to my head. Section titled “Multi Channel Levels & Balance” Recall with my master volume at 0, I should see 75dB from each speaker. L= 68 C=68.4 R=68.3 SR= 65.4 (possible lamp shade in the direct path between speaker & mic) SL= 66.6 Did not test subW since I like the sound & volume & there are volumes written/posted on sub calibration. Main thing I learned its my speakers are all putting out LESS than 75dB. Maybe 7 dB too low. If true than when I listen at master volume setting of -10.0 it may be the same as listening to master vol -17.0 with speakers that are more efficient than mine of a different/better/smaller room! This may well explain WHY MCACC set a 3-4 dB boost for my front 3 speakers. Also, are my surrounds set too low? Of course, I will repeat all these tests once I receive the replacement Mirage CC & after I run MCACC using the tripod as described above. Also, will d/c R & L speakers & play some BD action scenes listening to just the CC speaker & crank the volume up from about -20 to -10 but no higher than -8.5 & see if I begin to hear any distortion at all. However, unless there is a drastic difference, I don’t think I am listening at levels that should give the Mirage CC any problems at all. Do you?

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 16 2011 - 02:24 AM

I will use a tripod & tape a yardstick & the mic to the yardstick so it “floats” close to where my head/ears are.

That's what I do. Try a different SPL meter. I didn't even know that Pyle had one. Radio Shack ones have been so popular that they have have them tested against known meters to develop correction values. http://www.danmarx.o...on/rsmeter.html I use that exact analog model in the link.

However, unless there is a drastic difference, I don’t think I am listening at levels that should give the Mirage CC any problems at all. Do you?

No. I'm still thinking it may be a crossover issue that is blowing the tweeter.

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted December 22 2011 - 12:51 AM

Surprising info from Mirage techs! BTW, Mirage is owned by Klipsch. So, I call & sent speaker to Klipsch for tech support. Heard from Mirage/Klipsch today. They tested my OS3-CC & saw problem & he pulled 2 new ones off the shelf & tested & they have SAME ISSUE! When using amp with 130-140 wpc, the “lead” comes off the tweeter. The glue is good & the soldering is good. Putting more glue will not work. (I think the lead is a wire from terminal to voice coil) He said the tweeter is not taking the amount of power we are sending to it. Network checks out. He did not want to send me another OS3-CC since thinks the same issue will occur. He wants to send me a much more efficient speaker that will take that power easily. Klipsch RC62 Mark II. Efficiency/Sensitivity = 98dB. My OS3-CC = 91dB. So, it appears that the specs on the Mirage OS3 CC may be... to put it nicely.....“overly optimistic.” Stating amps from 10-175 wpc. So, I will need to change CC speaker to a different one. I want to keep a uniform sound stage for the front 3 speakers. Since my L&R are Mirage OS3 FS which are omnipolar speakers & throw the sound up & out 360 degrees, I prefer a different Mirage to replace my CC. The choices are: Mirage OMD-C1 Mirage OMD-C2 Both 6 Ohm speakers. The C2 is awesome but just too big to fit anywhere. I will try to get an OMD C-1. Has a 1” tweeter like my L&R ones do. While the OS3-CC is $400 & rarely discounted, the C1 is $750 & currently $300-330 at Amazon or Vanns. http://www.miragespe...md-c1-overview/ My problem is where can I put it? My OS3-CC sits in front of my 65” TV on the pedestal stand, which sits on the console. My speaker is not very high (5.2”) & I have less than 1” b4 the bottom of my screen. The C1 is 7.88” high. It will block approx. 2” of the bottom of the TV picture! I can move my components around to free up the top center shelf. It is 7” high, 21” wide & 16” deep. So a typical front firing speaker that fits would work but, Mirage must not be blocked from above! I will try a few ways to make this work. Tilting the speaker with a wedge to see if I can have all the drivers facing out, or placing a wood plank on my shelf that sticks out 3-6” & putting the C1 on the edge of this extended shelf. I’ll secure or clamp the loose wood to the back of the shelf so no tipping. Or use the wall mount bracket & then attach “something” (a block of wood?) & secure that something to the shelf so the speaker appears suspended in air just in front of the shelf. Maybe Mirage Macromount bracket would work? Secure the bracket to the front of the shelf?

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted January 31 2012 - 12:55 AM

Final Solution Finally received the replacement Center Speaker from Mirage. Got a rosewood OMD-C1 & I have photos (If I can post them) to show the placement problem & my solution. Ran MCACC a few times & this is now the relative speaker volumes: • L = +3.5 dB • C = +0.5 dB • R = +4.0 dB • SR = +3.0 dB • SL = +2.5 dB • SW = -0.5 dB Redid SPL tests with Master volume set to “0” twice more: L=68.3, 68.2 C=67.6, 67.6 R=68.0, 68.5 That is as close to ideal as I think I’ll get. My speakers will not put out 75dB @ master volume set to 0. However, they are fairly well balanced & sound great to me. Oh, the surrounds are ~ 66.0 & 66.9 but much more variability due to me holding /pointing the SPL meter so, I’ll leave them as MCACC set them.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted January 31 2012 - 01:01 AM

Cannot post photos or even links to photos. So,unless I hear from someone telling me how, I will not explain with photos how I accommodated the larger CC speaker.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted January 31 2012 - 01:17 AM

With 54 posts, it's odd you can't link to photos. What site is hosting them?

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Iconoclast

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Posted January 31 2012 - 08:59 AM

Robert, I see no way to add attachments/photos to my posts. I also tried copying a link for each photo that some other Home Theater forums use when I upload photos. The link appears but is inactive. Typically, the link has the name of the other forum & then a slash & the word attachment & some numbers. As a test I will link to this forum/this thread. BTW, Is there a way for me to upload photos? Basically my thread is about 4x failure of the tweeter on two different speakers & ended up with the manufacturer admitting the speaker cannot handle 140 wpc despite the specs stating otherwise. Mirage offered a replacement model & the replacement was too big & I solved that side issue. http://www.hometheat...ed-4x-this-year OK, I can post a link. The link issue is that the photo links I want to post are those hidden type of link where it is not in the form of “Http://...” Much like when you read something & it will say to see xyz click “HERE” & that word here will be the link.