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Blown Woofer Stories
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Old 11th May 2008, 05:22 AM   #1
EWorkshop1708 is offline EWorkshop1708  United States
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Default Blown Woofer Stories

Any of you folks here ever blow a speaker and have a story to tell about it?
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Old 11th May 2008, 05:35 PM   #2
RVjupiter is offline RVjupiter  United States
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it's not a woofer, but i was playing around back in High-school. My house had this intercom system built into it from the late 60's when it was built and the system was all old anyway but still worked. so being 16, i took one of the speakers from an unused room (the shop) and fiddled with it here and there. from cut and reconnected headphone cord for the walkman, to whatever. I eventually wanted to see a speaker actually "blow". it was a 4 inch 3.2 ohm 4 watt very light duty paper speaker.

so my dad's stereo was kept n a pie-safe next to the fireplace then. nice component system for the day pushing through 2 big jensen 3 ways that reached down to 22Hz. anyway, i disconnected them. put one cable onto the small intercom speaker, placed it in the fireplace on a folded newspaper and with the a/b speaker switching turned off, I turned the volume...way....up, with the 1812 overture cued to the cannon blasts. i let it play, turned on the speaker and the thing bounced like you wouldn't believe.

The cone bounced about a good 3/4 inch and then stopped moving in the full up extension, and a 4 inch flame came out the side for a little bit and that was it. so i turned everything down and off and after a minute pulled it out to look. Basically the motor rejected the voice coil, and once it did so it was misaligned and couldn't get back inside....overheated and caught fire. the end. It was very cool to watch cause i got to learn what the insides of a speaker really are, and what happens if you give it too much juice.
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Old 12th May 2008, 10:27 AM   #3
Moondog55 is offline Moondog55  Australia
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I have had people blow up stuff that belonged to me, but the only time I ever blew a woofer was during a party when I was much younger and drank much much MUCH more, turned up the volume and blew the little 5C "Sound Cubes"
Unfortunately I also had my KEF compacts hitched up at the same time, some-one switched the speakers from 'A" to "B" and the KEF's took full volume; about 120 Watts and blew the crossover and midrange, and I knew nothing about speakers in those days so the B-110's got replaced with cheap generic mids, I still have the B-200, unfortunately with a Kevlar recone so not the same driver by a long shot.
Nothing ruins a party like losing the music does it??
QUOTE" The more I know, the more I know, I know (insert maniacal laugh >here<) NOTHING"
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Old 12th May 2008, 10:57 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Blown Woofer Stories
Where I used to work we often did mad ( dangerous ) things. Often connected old speakers ( complete cabinets the sort you get with cheapo music centers ) across the mains. Also used to connect them them to a Variac, fill the cone with meths or similar set fire to it and turn up variac.
100's of stories like this, the good old days.
Regards Karl
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Old 13th May 2008, 08:53 PM   #5
cujo75 is offline cujo75  United States
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Mooly. I thought meth was for smokin' not decorating cones.
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Old 13th May 2008, 09:13 PM   #6
cyclotronguy is offline cyclotronguy  United States
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Default Smoke-rings

Back years and years ago, I was working for a recording studio and we had the new kid on the block, amplifier wise. The mighty "Phase Linear". At that moment it was in bridged mode putting almost 700 watts into a load bank.

Jerry C., the company owner came in... paid no attention to the bouncing vu meters. He drops a needle on Yes's new album "Fragile" and switched inputs and load; load to the EV line array behind my tech bench.

Well, many smoke rings came out of the EV's just microseconds before the Flame Linear, belched smoke and smell. Jerry looked to where his hand was, gave everyone a sheepish look and wandered off into the night in absolute silence.

Smoke from the mighty Flame Linear, we came to understand was a common occurance. Every time it happend (usually at a public venue) the ouputs went to + / - rail and the speakers went out to recone.

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Old 13th May 2008, 09:35 PM   #7
elseif is offline elseif  United States
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A sound man working a band I was in thought that the DC protection crowbar across the output terminals of his Peavey CS-800 power amplifiers were detrimental to the sound. He removed them. You know what happened next.

The cabinets were these large Peavey folded horn bass cabs. During the gig one caught fire. It continued to smoke so he broke the column down, rolled the cab over on its back, put a garden hose in the cabinet and flooded it.
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Old 13th May 2008, 09:50 PM   #8
pjpoes is offline pjpoes  United States
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What a bunch of DIY guys blow something up, no never!!! Why everything I've ever built was always used within its limits and never hooked up incorrectly.

Before getting heavy into DIY I competed in car audio. Initially in SPL competitions, and had more pocket cash than brains at the time. I joined a local shops competition team, received a sponsorship through Kicker Competition, and received a pallet with 6 of the then brand new Kicker L7 solobarics (not even available to the public yet, probably around 1998-99ish). I also had the ZR1000 amps (I think thats the model) which put something like 1100 watts out (Given enough current from the batteries), and they sent me enough to run 2 per speaker. The speakers were rated at something like 500 watts rms and they are telling me that I should stick them in large ported boxes and give them 2000 watts, and everything will be hunky dorey. Well lets just say they received a pallet of blown woofers a few weeks later, though I did have a nice trophy for loudest car in my class. After some lessons learned, adjustments to the enclosure size and tuning, I did end up taking home the IDBL championship trophy in 1999 or 2000 in my class. I also exited that year from the whole thing as I was finding that, while I was fully sponsored, it wasn't a free ride, and it was taking up way too much time and money. I also had dreams of winning IASCA, but with no experience in Iasca, and being forced to enter as a pro, I never placed better than 3rd at an event, and quit the whole thing at the end of the year.

Anyway, to my point, we blew woofers on a regular basis during my 4 years or so competing. Often it was bad recommendations from the manufacturers too. I remember when the first really massive subwoofer came out, it was made by Memphis Audio, I had switched to a sponsorship with them for IASCA competition, and recieved a pair of them for free. It had quad coils, so we ran 8000 watts to them with custom bridged Class D amps they sent me (never available tot he public), and sent them back molten voice coils. By the way, one of the nice aspects of those woofers was that they could handle line voltage and current just fine. They used to connect them directly to the wall outlets just to show how strong they were. It's roughly 1800 watts continuous into a dead short, and many of the big woofers that started coming out after around 2000 could handle that no problem. In fact, I liked to point out that my big Memphis amps swung more than 120 volts.
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Old 14th May 2008, 05:12 AM   #9
Zero Cool is offline Zero Cool  United States
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I had this crappy 12" Fisher white cone woofer in my shop for the longest time. it was my unknown amp test speaker. I used it for testing amps that i was unsure of that way if it blew the speaker, who cared. Well that speaker went through years of abuse. pops, bangs, humms, buzzes and it just kept on working. Remembering when i was a kid. I used to connect small speakers to the 110V outlet to watch them blow up. and you would be surpised at how long some of those old TV speakers would run before catching fire! well one day we decided to do that to that old fisher woofer . so we connected it to a line cord and that sucker made the LOUDEST racket , the dust cap popped off immediatly and just kept on going and going and going! A good 3 minutes before catching on fire and it still kept going sparks shooting out everywhere! finally the coil just popped out of the gap and went up in flames! but not before popping the breaker as the tinsel leads crossed. toughest damn woofer i have ever seen! and it was a piece of crap too!

But It was my very first exposure to high end audio that i will never forget. I must have been 12 or 13 tops, i went into a place called "Sound Of Music" here in Minneapolis. they had the strangest looking tape deck i had ever seen. it was made by Technics and used a VHS tape to record on. one of the first home Digital decks. I was standing there looking at it when the salesman come over and asked me if i wanted to hear it. sure i said. so he presses play and classical music started playing which years later i learned was the 1812. and the first shot of the canon blew the left woofer out of the box! I stood there mouth wide open. woofer cone flapping around by the leads. the salesman was scrambling to find the stop button. i was like WOW that was awesome! Apparently the sales guy was unaware of the cannon shots and had it turned up to a pretty good clip! and i do believe that it was a Phase Linear system the deck was connected to. Not sure of the brand of speakers. that was far too long ago. but i will never forget that! I felt bad for that salesguy. but if he knew all of the things i have done in audio today from that one experience. I think he would understand just how worth it it was!

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Old 14th May 2008, 05:24 AM   #10
joetama is offline joetama  United States
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A couple of years ago a friend had a 15" Car Audio woofer which he wanted to be an 18".

So, naturally the 15" cone had to be destroyed. So, we destroyed it using the power from the electric company.

The video speaks for it's self.

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