speaker and subwoofer care

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Stephen Gladwin, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Stephen Gladwin

    Stephen Gladwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, some questions (and worries!) I've been having ever since I upgraded my HTIB to JBL speakers for the fronts (EC35 center, twin E80s for L/R) and an SVS PB10 for a sub: how can I ensure the longest life for these pricey components? I mean, how hard is it to "blow out" speakers? As far as volume, I'd say I definitely don't listen as loud as reference level (although louder than I watch regular TV). I also read here that it's best to run a sub a little hot and keep the receiver sub level a little lower to minimize distortion. I have my SVS set to the 2 o'clock position (about 3 tick marks from max) and my receiver subwoofer output set to -2 (or less if it's a really bass-intensive film).
    The thing is, I'm just wondering if I'm overtaxing my speakers and sub. Usually I have to adjust my receiver (a cheap Sony HTIB one) to level 50 (the master volume goes to 70) for it to be pleasingly loud (I have to compete with two noisy air conditioners). Is it easy to ruin speakers with this type of volume? **I know the SVS is built like a tank and made to withstand punishment, but I'm worried that I'm slowly shaking it apart from the inside or something[​IMG]
    **Also, concerning the SVS: what is meant by "bottoming out", and why is it bad? Also, how can I tell if it's bottoming out? Sometimes on very deep bass passages I can hear a kind of fizzy clicking, but it doesn't always sound like it's coming from the sub.
    Finally, is it a bad idea to keep the sub "on" all the time? Will it overheat or burn out?
    Apologies for the longish post and thanks in advance for any tips!
     
  2. ScottLR

    ScottLR Stunt Coordinator

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    You are probably underpowering your speakers, which is about the worst thing you can do if you crank them. Too little power blows speakers, not too much. In other words, you're overtaxing the receiver/amp, which can blow your speakers.

    You can keep the sub on all the time.
     
  3. Stephen Gladwin

    Stephen Gladwin Stunt Coordinator

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    Yikes! Thanks Scott! I honestly thought I was being a little overly neurotic and my speaker level was OK--but maybe I'm wrong. **What exactly do you mean by "underpowering" my speakers? Is there a way to correctly power them and still have the sound pleasingly loud without risk of blowing them? Thanks!
     
  4. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    He means your receiver basically sucks, so step up to a more powerful, cleaner one. Other then that, you are driving yourself crazy even thinking about this stuff.

    Get a beter receiver (like a Pio 1015, HK435) and you will be fine.

    Yes, you are being overly nuerotic for sure BTW>
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i thought it was the other way. keep the receiver sub level high and lower the gain on the sub itself? not sure ... but that's how mine is setup.

    like scott mentioned, most speakers are damage by underpowering them ... not overpowering them. essentially, you force the amp to work harder then it's designed to. this causes a "clipped" signal to be sent to your speaker -- speakers do not like clipped signal.

    [​IMG]

    when they try to reproduce that clipped signal, it f's them up. in short, if you blow your tweeter, you underpowered your speaker. if you blow your woofer brag to your friends. [​IMG]

    almost for sure, with your speakers, you're underpowering them with a sony htb. getting a better amp (any decent stand-alone receiver) should yield some improvement.

    regarding bottoming-out, what that means is that your exceeding the amount of "travel" the driver is designed to move. so, if the driver travels past it's maximum distance, it "slams" into the casing.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    I'll bet the speakers made a drastic difference didn't they?

    Enough to reveal/move the weakest link to the component that is driving them for sure. I would say you are in some danger of unduely popping/blowing a tweeter and the speakers should not be blamed if that happens here.

    If your HTIB also includes your DVD and/or CD player it does start to stink to try to replace it.
     

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