Polk MM651 speaker woes

UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
edited June 2014 in Car Audio & Electronics
ok here goes my 2nd post and let me clarify why I signed up here in the first place. Simply to find a solution to the issues that TONS of people are having with the specific Polk MM651 speakers. Not the UM versions, just the MM version.

I've been a fan of Polk Audio many a years dating back to my professional and multi trophy (most SQ but some SPL also) winning installation career. Fast forward 20 years...

About 2 years ago is when I first stumbled upon the MM651 speakers specifically to put on a Harley in the batwing fairing and rear tour pak pods. They fit, albeit I didn't like the wagon wheel grills for the rear pods but that was easily remedied. Couple that with a decent amp and you had one hell of a system that couldn't be compared to for under $500. So for 2+ years now I've been running the same MM651 speakers with initially an Alpine KTP445 amp and then onto the Soundstream PN4.520D amp. This system is amazing!

So being a member of an HD forum I started bragging about the sound quality of this setup and everyone bit as I would have expected some to do. The initial folks who followed my lead some 1+ years ago with the above mentioned SS amp and MM651 speakers combo were very happy with the outcome, again as I expected them to be compared to anything else on the market within a reasonable price point. HD specific audio costs were absolutely through the roof with nothing but crappy speakers, etc.

Now fast forward another year. Lots of happy campers including myself. However about March or so of this year (2013) all of a sudden I start seeing folks that have just purchased and installed their systems complaining about blowing speakers. Well after digging into it a little more what I was finding was tweeter stalks that were seperating and resulting in speakers getting so hot that the woofer cone would either seize or work sporadically. Some of the tweeter stalks I was seeing were angled as if melted, and no a lot of them were not angled in respect to the position of the speaker install. Some were pointed up, some down, some to the side, etc. So I finally get my hands on a pair of these speakers and after tearing apart the woofer cone, I see what appears to be nothing more than bad glue on the stalks and the stalks seperating from the base where attached.

So to further that investigation I started asking folks who were having issues to give me the serial numbers on the speakers and what I discovered was roughly 99% of those were in the 5000 range of serial numbers. Meaning the last 4 digits of the serial numbers were in the 5000 range. My speakers, both pair are in the 3000 and 4000 range of serial numbers as well as many others who still to this day don't have an issue.

So now fast forward a few weeks to warranty requests being denied by Polk to all these people because the speakers mostly were purchased from a couple of different places such as Amazon, WoofersETC, SonicElectronix which of course all turn out to be "unauthorized" dealers of Polk Audio.

So I call Polk myself, I call Sonic Electronix myself. With Sonic I was able to talk them into replacing a few of these speakers because they were not "technically" blown but malformed. Polk's response to me and to others is simply "we are unaware of any issues".

Not all but a lot are different amps by Rockford, SS, Alpine, and Arc Audio. The majority of them though are SS PN4.520D amps. So I get on the horn with SS about it and was able to go up the chain to the product manager for the SS Nano line of amps. We discussed in great detail, mostly technical and found there to be no issues. I ran some tests on 3 different amps I have here with a scope and a 1khz sine wave and produced those results to SS as well just for clarification/verification. All is good there. I didn't bother contacting the other amp vendors because at this point I'm relatively certain it's the speakers. So I contact Polk again only to be met with the same response "we are unaware of any issues" even though numerous people following my advice contacted Polk directly.

So here we all sit with a bunch of toasted speakers that the manufacturer won't back up a warranty on because they were bought (unknowingly) through an unauthorized dealer and we have an unauthorized dealer refusing to do anything about it apparently because they know but DON'T advertise they are unauthorized by Polk Audio.

What's a person to do with this other than chalk it up to lesson learned. I'll be honest, it's one hell of an expensive lesson to be learned when you start compiling the number of people with these bad speakers that no one seems to be aware have a blatant issue.

I have a full time line of events but not sure how to proceed with it because in all honesty, it just isn't right. If all these people are selling unauthorized product then Polk Audio as a company should do something about it instead of leaving their customers hanging out in the cold.


Any ideas from anyone?
UltraNutZ
Anyone from Polk that wants to contact me, feel free to do so..
ultranutz at outlook dot com
eight three two five eight five three one three three

PS - If you want to see any of the threads or pictures pertaining to this whole fiasco/subject, visit www.hdforums.com and take a look in the Audio section. You will find more than you're willing to read. There are other HD forums out there with many of the same/related issues as well.
Post edited by UltraNutZ on

Comments

  • MacLeodMacLeod Posts: 14,362
    edited August 2013
    Sounds like you might be out of luck. If you buy from an unauthorized dealer there is no telling what you're going to get. Generally it's remanufactured or refurbished gear and some times it's outright knock offs. That's why most all manufacturers websites have all kinds of warnings telling you to only buy from authorized dealers. Polk has one as well in big red letters telling you you're on your own if you don't buy authorized.

    I've been on this forum a long time and the VAST majority of the time people come in here complaining of dead speakers, it's gear they bought from an unauthorized dealer. They did have a rash of SR 12's a few years back where the tinsel leads were coming off but Polk was quick to replace all the ones that were reported defective.

    Pretty much no manufacturer will honor warranties on products not bought thru their authorizes dealers. Polk Audio has some of the best customer service in the business but I doubt they'll cover things like this and I don't blame them. With unauthorized joints like Woofers Etc, Polk can't ensure that it's "A" stock, brand spanking new goods that they're selling and you can't warranty products that could be refurbished crap.

    I'd contact them anyway and try since this was kind of a group buy. Maybe they will do something for y'all in the way of repairs or something. Can't hurt to try but don't get too upset with them if they don't. No manufacturer will honor unauthorized purchases. Your beef is actually with the places like Woofers Etc where the purchases were made. They're the ones that should be standing behind their products.
    polkaudio sound quality competitor since 2005
    MECA SQ Rookie of the Year 06 ~ MECA State Champ 06,07,08,11 ~ MECA World Finals 2nd place 06,07,08,09
    08 Car Audio Nationals 1st ~ 07 N Georgia Nationals 1st ~ 06 Carl Casper Nationals 1st ~ USACi 05 Southeast AutumnFest 1st

    polkaudio SR6500 --- polkaudio MM1040 x2 -- Pioneer P99 -- Rockford Fosgate P1000X5D
  • UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
    edited August 2013
    i wasn't complaining first of all and after re-reading what I typed I should clarify what I meant in this paragraph.
    "I have a full time line of events but not sure how to proceed with it because in all honesty, it just isn't right. If all these people are selling unauthorized product then Polk Audio as a company should do something about it instead of leaving their customers hanging out in the cold."

    I simply meant Polk should do something about all these unauthorized retailers selling their products. I mean in the end, the customer gets left holding the bag and although I'm not blaming anything on Polk, there are plenty that are and will.

    I was simply soliciting ideas...
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,985
    edited August 2013
    Hello UltraNutZ,
    Welcome to Polk's forum, I'm sorry you're having a problem. I'm not sure what Polk might be able to do, MacLeod is perfectly correct, but you have some extenuating circumstances. Contact Kim Jasper at kjasper@polkaudio.com or via telephone at 1-800-377-7655 extension 208. I'll send a copy of this thread to him.
    Regards, Ken
    "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available", G. Benfield
  • UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
    edited August 2013
    Mr. Swauger I certainly appreciate the info sir. I'll make a phone call later this morning to Mr. Jasper.


    Thanks again,
    UN
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,985
    edited August 2013
    No problem, glad to be of help.
    "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available", G. Benfield
  • Renegade87Renegade87 Posts: 1
    edited January 2014
    Hi Guys,

    Rather ironic that I find this thread amongst the first listed in my MM651 search as I just experienced what I believe to be the very same issue.

    Not two days ago I'm driving home from work in my car listening to a CD (Alpine IWA-900, Alpine KTP445 amp, Polk MM6501 (front) and Polk MM651 (rear) at about 1/3 volume... pop suddenly the rear channels sound like total crap.

    I haven't had any time to look into the physical condition of my 651's yet, but I will tell you, I'm not happy. I will be following up with my registration info and further details with Kim Jasper as suggested.

    Thanks.

    Dave
    "The world ends when you're dead. As long as your breathing you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man and give some back."
  • lmasseyglmasseyg Posts: 5
    edited May 2014
    WOW!! Just a suggestion on maybe an oversight, refer to MM specs! The people I've helped where i live did not pay attention to the Nominal Impedance value of 2.7 ohms. Hooked up and powered properly ive had my mm651's for 2 yrs in boat and truck. Hope this helps. Hate seeing a damn good speakers thrashed....

    Pioneer AVIC-X850BT
    Front Doors: Polk DXi6501x2
    Rear Doors: Polk MM651x2
    Powered By: Polk PA660.4**FRIED AFTER 1 DAY OF USE**
    Substituted By: Alpine MRP-F300**SUX**
    Subwoofer: Orion XTRPRO 124
    Powered By: Hifonics Brutus BRX1400.1D
    Cap: Maxxlink Low ESR 5 Farad Hybrid
    Home Theater
    Sherwood Newcastle R-772A (which is now dead!)
    Fronts: Polk Monitor 65T's
    Center: Polk CS10
    Surrounds: Polk T15 Bookshelves
    Sub: Polk PSW10

    Boat
    Front(2): Polk db651's
    Rear(2): Polk MM651's
    Amp: Polk
  • TaintmanTaintman Posts: 1
    edited June 2014
    I just had to replace my MM651 speakers after only 1 month of use. I have since heard about the suspect speakers and the serial numbers in question. My serial number was 6799. I am hoping Amazon will take them back. I ordered the new speakers direct
    from Polk. New serial number is 7269.
  • I might have just had a mm651 go out on me. Im running soundstream pn4.520D amp with polk audio mm651's for speakers in my harley streetglide. UltraNutz actually was the person to recommend polk audio speakers to me and is a great source of experience and information.
    Im going to have to dig into the fairing tonight and pull the speaker out and see what the problem could be. Just wondering if the stalk turns out to be the problem, is that something we can glue or fix ourselves? Or does the speaker have to be sent back? Im about a year out of warranty, dont it figure.
    I did have 2 speakers go out on me during the warranty period, and while Im grateful for those being covered Im a bit skeptical now with a possible third speaker going out in 2 years.
    I dont push the tunes full tilt either, usually not more than half way.
    With that said, when these speakers work they work great!
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,985
    Hello,
    Contact Polk CS at 1-800-377-7655 or via email to: polkcs@polkaudio.com for assistance.
    Regards, Ken
    "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available", G. Benfield
  • Thanks Ken!
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,985
    You're welcome!
    "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available", G. Benfield
  • I opened a ticket (Case Number - 00017900) a week ago with polk audio regarding my blown speaker and failed tweeter stalk and have yet to get a reply.
    I understand Im not the only customer having issues with blown polk audio speakers but I would think a weeks time is more than enough to make a decision or issue a RMA to see whats wrong with the speaker.
    A little disappointed and frustrated at the moment.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 5,985
    Hello,
    Sorry for the delay in response, I'll send this thread to some of the CS guys and ask for assistance.
    Ken
    "Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available", G. Benfield
  • UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
    edited January 2015
    lmasseyg wrote: »
    WOW!! Just a suggestion on maybe an oversight, refer to MM specs! The people I've helped where i live did not pay attention to the Nominal Impedance value of 2.7 ohms. Hooked up and powered properly ive had my mm651's for 2 yrs in boat and truck. Hope this helps. Hate seeing a damn good speakers thrashed....

    Pioneer AVIC-X850BT
    Front Doors: Polk DXi6501x2
    Rear Doors: Polk MM651x2
    Powered By: Polk PA660.4**FRIED AFTER 1 DAY OF USE**
    Substituted By: Alpine MRP-F300**SUX**
    Subwoofer: Orion XTRPRO 124
    Powered By: Hifonics Brutus BRX1400.1D
    Cap: Maxxlink Low ESR 5 Farad Hybrid

    Specs were never the issue. Quality of manufacturing is what's at question here.
  • UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
    edited January 2015
    Anthony, as you know from our conversations on the forum, back in August of 2013 I went round and round with Mr. Jasper on this issue of manufacturing. I was told then (after many hours of dealing with this) that the manufacturing plant changed sometime earlier that year and ironically enough about the same time we started seeing these issues of the stalks not staying properly adhered. The end result was Polk telling me that these speakers were never designed to be used in a motorcycle environment and I then called BS on that. Nice cop out as far as I'm concerned.

    So the end result for a lot of people who were duped into buying these speakers from reputable online shops as well as Amazon (but not authorized polk dealers as we came to find out) was they were simply trash can material. For the record, I've personally ran these MM651s since they came out and never had an issue with them and loved them. This whole situation left a sour taste in my mouth for PA and although I like the products from PA, I stopped recommending the MM series of speakers because of all of this.
  • Hello UltraNutz, yes I remember the conversation. I too have been promoting PA via word of mouth in person and online for 2 years now. I thought the speakers sounded great, but always wondered in the back of my head when they would fail.

    Like I recently mentioned, several online forums and groups had so called audio geeks putting packages together for up to 1200 bucks. I would tell the members hey, you dont have to spend that kind of money for great sound. I spent 300 on amp, speakers and rings and my system is plenty loud and clear, thanks to your recommendations.

    Knowing now that mm651's are not recommended for Harleys I have to recommend the other speakers you told me about. It really is a shame, cause I liked the polks. With the amount of Harley baggers out there and the increased demand for good audio you would think PA would do some R&D and come out with a good motorcycle speaker / system.

    Ultra, you turned so many people on to PA I really thought you where a rep or had stock in the company. lol
  • well if I had a .10 for every sale I made for PA... I thank Ken above for pointing me in the right direction initially and I thank Kim Jasper for taking my calls and emails back in 2013 but the sad ending is this is simply falling on deaf ears. I get that out of 10,000 customers (just pure speculation on my part) maybe 200 - 300 unhappy customers are left holding the bag but that's business and 2 - 3 % is not that large in the grand scheme of things.
  • It also doesn't help that Polk does not publish the online dealers. When I search for dealers, all I get is some guy that must have bought enough to qualify as a dealer.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/dealer-locator
  • drs1955drs1955 Posts: 1
    Just got my MM651 speaks recently, with no problems so far. Will definitely have to check out serial numbers though. As far as "authorized" dealers go, I think when a company manufactures a product, it has the responsibility to the end users not to be greedy and overproduce it's product, sell it to any company looking to sell stuff, and then denying warranty if seller was not "authorized". Many businesses today sell products willing to make small profit margins by simply "drop shipping" from another source, ie: they don't physically handle the product. Knockoffs are a whole other ball game. But if I buy any new, unopened & sealed product from anyone, I expect the manufacturer to back it's product, "especially" after I take the time to "register" that product for it's warranty through the company's website and/or fill out the paperwork in the box! Can you imagine Ford, GM or any other car company denying a warranty claim if a car was purchased from any other dealer than it's own? What would you do if you bought a Ford from a Toyota dealer, the car is a legit trade-in, the mileage, and time, is still well within the initial Ford warranty period, you run into a problem, you take it to a Ford dealer, they verify there is a problem, BUT they won't do the work unless you pay? You would go NUTS, that's what anyone would do. And they would be wrong. If any company wants to produce an absolutely crazy amount of a product, the pipeline is eventually going to lead to so-called "unauthorized" stores/dealers selling these products. Sell-by date coding for warranty purposes might help a little, but it would eventually lead to many units "never" being sold. So, I guess my bottom line is simple. If it's a legit product, no matter who the manufacturer is, it is purchased and registered with the company for warranty, then the company should "by law" have to warranty that product. I also recently had an issue with a Rockford Fosgate amp that was less than 3 weeks out of warranty, I did not purchase through a so-called "authorized" dealer, and to their credit they honored the claim.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 8,155
    arthuruscg wrote: »
    It also doesn't help that Polk does not publish the online dealers. When I search for dealers, all I get is some guy that must have bought enough to qualify as a dealer.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/dealer-locator

    Many authorized dealers are integrators that are authorized through the distributors such as AVID
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures, Simaudio 780D DAC
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Modwright LS100, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 13,434
    As a dealer I take offense to your post Drs. Polk has a responsibility to its dealers as well as its customers. Dealers go out of their way to stock, demo, and push gear from their distributors. Much time and money is invested by dealers so that they can profit as well as the distributor. If one chose to buy elsewhere from a fly by night or otherwise known as an unauthorized dealer, the results do not fall on Polk. I've had clients who get upset if I make $100 on a sale. They see that I just made money off them... How dare I do that when I've done nothing more than be a middle man? The tens of thousands invested beforehand means nothing to customers anymore. I'm just hoping to get back in the black one day.

    New, unopened, whatever the case may be, as soon as it leaves the distribution network of Polk and enters into unauthorized sellers hands, Polk has no idea what could be tampered with. Would you want the legal responsibility of a product when you have no control over said product anymore... No way to hold the sellers accountable for their actions?

    I get the frustration and there may have been some issues with these speakers. That doesn't change the fact that they were bought outside of their network. Polk has been known to replace many products without issue, even after warranties expire, if there are legitimate issues with the product and they were bought from authorized dealers.

    You may very well be a victim of a poorly crafted product... Lemons happen. However, presenting yourself as a victim of Polk saddens me as you made the choice to save a buck and buy from unauthorized dealers. That was the risk you took by doing so.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Usher: CP-6311, Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S60, S55, S35, S30, S20, S15, RTA 15tl, Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, iFi LS3.5
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Dayens Ampino, Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, AURALiC Altair, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
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  • UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
    edited May 2016
    DSkip sir. First let me point out that this as far as I'm concerned is no longer an issue because the 100s if not 1000s of recommendations I made for PA speakers all went right out the window with this issue. I moved on to a better quality speaker that the manufacturer stands behind.

    It seems as though you're taking this a little too personal by the comments being made here by others (and maybe myself as well who knows) but the bottom line is simple, the issues that forced me to start this thread in the first place are REAL manufacturing issues and PA did absolutely squat to make it right. I get that you're a brick and mortar store and have a vested interest to protect but are you going to sit at the other end of that internet connection and tell me that you as an authorized vendor for PA products is making so much money with walk-ins and local sale ads that you don't (or haven't) looked to the internet to increase your sales? That's what all these others are doing. The fact of authorized vs un-authorized is irrelevant, at least to me it is. I can tell you this from a buyer's perspective as well as an installer's perspective. I don't buy equipment to re-sell it and I never will; I make the users purchase their own equipment and bring it to me specifically for reasons like this. I can guarantee my installation work but I'll be damned if I'll guarantee a product that the manufacturer (regardless of who it is) won't stand behind and that is precisely what has happened here - the manufacturer is not standing behind a product THEY haphazardly manufactured using cheaper components in a different/"more cost effective" manufacturing facility; that was told to me specifically BY POLK AUDIO MGMT!

    Most of the folks I know that went through this back in 2013 when I started this thread were all victims of one MAJOR player and that is Amazon. One would think Polk Audio would have their authorized/non-authorized police looking after places like this and eBay. I mean realistically how is the average Joe supposed to know if Amazon or eBay sellers are authorized or not? There are some really BIG resellers on Amazon and eBay both who own brick and mortar stores just as yourself and sell through these mediums.

    For example and I'm simply using this for an example, it means nothing other than what it is from a manufacturer's perspective just as PA very clearly pointed out to me during my discussions. This is in NO WAY a hit/dig against Sonic Electronix. SE - they are an authorized dealer for Power Acoustik which we all know is Epsilon. However, and I've verified this with PA that if purchased through Amazon, your warranty is basically a tail light warranty and nothing more but if you purchase directly from SE through their website, you get the full 1 year warranty.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 8,155
    edited May 2016
    FYI----
    Skip and I are not allowed to go to the internet for sales. It's against our agreement as dealers

    Internet sales are for authorized internet dealers

    Internet policing has become very difficult and very expensive to keep track
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures, Simaudio 780D DAC
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Modwright LS100, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers
  • UltraNutZUltraNutZ Posts: 9
    Look I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings and to be quite honest I don't know how this almost 2 year old thread was allowed to be brought back to life. My apologies if I offended anyone.
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 8,155
    Fair enough but the thread was dead in April and revived today

    There has also been a lot of changes in the last 2 yrs

    Going to let this thread die again

    ---Cheers and good day
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures, Simaudio 780D DAC
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Modwright LS100, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers
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