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How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

I have two peavey cabs, one is 4X10, the other is 1X15, powered by an SWR 400 head. Typically I use both cabs, but for conveniences sake I have the 4X10 cab up at school and use that pretty much exclusively. Anyway, last night at rehearsal I noticed a very loud buzzing sound coming from what I thought was the speaker. It seemed to go away when I moved into the upper register, but it's pretty noticeable when deeper notes are played. Also my bass has very low action, which I don't mind, but I haven't taken the time to set up properly so I end up getting a lot of buzz off the frets. So does anyone have any insight into what the problem is? Blown speaker, bass needs to be set up properly, or both? Thanks
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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 3:41 PM

Joe Benedetto (5497) wrote:

if the speaker is farty, could be blown, if you get buzz, it could be grounding...of the bass or the cable or the map itself....

try another bass or guitar through your amp, a different cable and see what happens, try to isolate the problem...

could be low battery if you have an active bass or it could even be effects pedals....if you have any,,,,,try minimalizing the equipment...
bass, cable, amp.
then try a new cable, then try a new bass with the old cable and the new one....if buzz occurs most likely blown speaker baffle...
j3

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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 3:44 PM

Chris Perkins (1281) wrote:

I'm not sure what a blown speaker would sound like but the obvious assumption is that it doesn't put out sound at all. I'd plug your bass up and listen to the cab...is sound coming out of all the speakers? I want to think there is a way you can check blown speakers using a 9 volt battery. Maybe someone here can clarify on this one.



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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 3:50 PM

Keith Shannon (2406) wrote:

A blown speaker will produce sound. It's "blown" because the cone has been damaged. It will sound buzzy and peak at very low volume levels, giving an overblown sound.

A grounded speaker will work intermittently, if at all. If it's not bad, it will buzz as it grounds at a certain point in the speaker's travel.

My guess, if you haven't fiddled with that speaker, is that it's blown. Check the surface of the cone for bends, warping, or tears. Also check the rim of the cone. There should be either a ring of rubber or an accordioned section of the cone connecting the cone to the chassis. If any of this is damaged or missing, the speaker will buzz, since it is no longer stabilized.



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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 5:41 PM

Chris Perkins (1281) wrote:

>>A blown speaker will produce sound. It's "blown" because the cone has been damaged. It will sound buzzy and peak at very low volume levels, giving an overblown sound.<<

ahh ok...goes to show that I have no idea what a blown speaker sounds like since I haven't encountered one. Thanks Keith.

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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 4:25 PM

Mike Boltz (6729) wrote:

nick, my 4x10 had a blown speaker out of the box, i was able to dectect that the buzzing noise was only coming out of one particular driver.

@ a fairly low volume, play some of those lower notes, put your ear right up to the cab, listen carefully to each driver, you should be able to pinpoint what driver is giving you the problem (ported cabs will be a little harder to pinpoint, but by no means impossible).

if it seems to be emulating out of every driver, perhaps the drivers could be out of phase with each other (some are going out as some are going in...this will cause some strange sounds, and noticiable loss of volume, like they're canceling each other out).

isolating the problem is the name of the game here, i work tech support man, trust me, you gotta narrow down the possibilites, bad cable, bad battery, bad bass?

its not a glasslike tinkling sound is it? is so the could be the preamp tube on its last legs, but it doesnt sound like it.



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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 4:36 PM

CJ Jahncke (438) wrote:

Sometimes you can get buzzing from loose screws rattling.



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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 4:59 PM

Nick Donatelli (60) wrote:

it sounds to me like more of a torn-paper flapping sound. Not quite that dramatic but it's not as harsh as a glass breaking sound, and it doesn't really make the sound at lower volumes. I tried changing cables, batteries, plugging in direct, etc., and it all seemed to have a minimal effect on the noise when I was playing at the volume I would play at when rehearsing with the band. Also I don't notice the clipping LED on the amp light up so I'm assuming that I'm not driving the cabinet too hard. I tried as a way of seeing if it was a bad set up to play an open E and push the neck forward so as to stop the strings from rattling so much, but it wasn't very easy to play, push the neck forward and then notice if the sound was still there. So for now it seems like a blown speaker.....which leads me to my next question...what's a good speaker? Nice tight midrange but with enough ooomph to hold down the low end?

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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 7:57 PM

April Stevenson (14009) wrote:

i had a really farty sounding amp for awhile. i was terrified i had blown the speaker. Then i moved it away from the wall and everything was fine.


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Re: How can I tell if my speaker is blown?

3/27/2002 9:10 PM

ROY MESSMORE (1197) wrote:

Nick, if you can pull the grill cover off, it's easy to check for coil drag. Put your thumbs on the opposite edges of the speaker where it attaches to the frame and gently push towards the back of the cabinet. If it drags, you'll hear a grinding sound. If not, it's probably OK. If the cone is torn, you can tell that too.