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Too Little Power

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Steven Kephart 
Platinum - Posts: 1,737
Platinum spaceThis member has been recognized as an authority in Mobile Audio and Video. Click here for more info.spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: November 06, 2003
Location: Oregon, United States
Posted: November 07, 2009 at 2:09 AM / IP Logged  
1967type-1 wrote:

As a former installer who recieved factory training from both Kicker and JL Audio Techs,I was taught"too much power blows mids and highs,distortion blows subs".If you give a 250 watt (rms) rated sub,500 rms watts of undistorted signal it will play perfectly fine.But if you give the same sub 200 rms watts of a distorted (clipped) signal you are very likely to fry the voice coil.Basically from heat and the non linear movement of the speakers cone,wich causes the voice coil to move out of the magnetic gap it floats in and possibly causing it to touch the walls of the motor structure because of the non linear movement.Also the coating on the windings of the voice coil will get hot enough to bubble.This causes the sceatching sound you sometimes hear if you push the cone of a blown sub.In extreme cases it will bubble enough to make it swell enough to lock the voice coil in the gap.You may have seen this in a blown sub where you push on the spesker cone and it doesn't move in or out.Our Kicker Tech had a 12" Comp VL that was sent in and thet cut the speaker in half right through the motor structure basket cone spyder etc. so we could see the damage he was talking about.I personally have had subs come back to the shop blown,and the customer is saying how could I blow a 500 watt speaker with a 300 watt amp? The first thing I would check is where the gain was on their amp.Usuall it would be all the way up.I would try and explain to them that the gain is not a "rear volume controler" I also noticed it was easier to blow subs in a bandpass box than in sealed enclosures.Someone else mentioned in a comment about blowing subs from hard bottoming.I was taught that if your sub was bottoming out (voice coil hitting the bottom of the motor structure),then your box has a leak in it.A well sealed enclosure can't bottom out because the air inside the box becomes part of the suspension system helping to control cone motion.Limiting cone movement and preventing the voice coil from such extreme linear movement.Also most subs have bumped out back plates on the pole and magnet to help prevent it even more.


I suggest you read this entire thread and the links provided. Because all these things have been discussed in detail. For one thing you will notice that we are discussing realistic power handling and realistic power output, not made up power ratings. In fact if you follow one of the links you will see JL Audio's VP of Marketing Manville Smith included in the discussion along with engineers from Polk Audio, Harman Kardon, and some independent engineers all coming to the same conclusions as this thread has.
But if you like I could easily pick apart your points. I have a lot of experience with diagnosing blown subs.
Gold - Posts: 4,913
Gold spacespace
Joined: November 03, 2008
Location: Australia
Posted: November 13, 2009 at 7:28 AM / IP Logged  
Go SK!
I suspect this is the thread I visited ages ago....
I was torn between laughter and wanting to offer specifics, but I read that old posts should not be reopened.
I like the "sub-cycle" being "DC". A novel approach - granted. I wonder what frequency that DC is? (LOL - DC has zero frequency; anything else is AC.)
But didn't such Fouriers go out with horses?
By the way, my underpowered engine blew up because of overheating because it wasn't powerful or fast enough to blow out the heat and.....
Copper - Posts: 229
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 27, 2009
Location: Missouri, United States
Posted: November 13, 2009 at 7:13 PM / IP Logged  
oldspark wrote:
By the way, my underpowered engine blew up because of overheating because it wasn't powerful or fast enough to blow out the heat and.....
LOL. That made me smile. lol
UNLABELED Custom Car Club President
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