I blew up my RTIA9, twice..

Hello everyone,

I bought 2x RTIA9 last year for my place. I'm running them bi-wired with 2x Emotiva XPA-1 gen1, with a marantz pre-amp. I used them maybe 5-6 times when I realized that my 4 mids and 1 tweeter weren't playing.

I took them off and checked the resistance with a multi meter. 3 of them were blown and 1 was still ok.

I then bought 3 brand new Rtia9 mids and 1 tweeter on eBay. I installed them, they worked perfectly. I then played music (80% volume) for 1 hour when I realized that they stopped playing again. I unscewed the speakers and saw smoke coming off.

The same 3 mids and the same tweeter blew up, again.

What's going on? am I playing them too loud? Am I just stupid, because I can't understand what's the problem.

Thank you very much for your help!
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Comments

  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,133
    Your amplifier may not be able to supply the current for the RTiA 9’s, as they are very power hungry speakers. When you turn up the volume too high, you are asking more than the amp can handle, which will cause a clipped signal.
    Speakers can play sine waves. Clipped amplifiers produce square waves, which are sine waves with squared ends. This can destroy your speakers, and quick, even if you had 500 watt speakers and a 10 watt amplifier. Very few speakers can endure clipping.
    Not Tom, or Trey, or Jim
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    I've always thought the goal of high end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,756
    I would recommend that you forget that you ever heard the term bi-wire, and run one set of cables to your speakers, and replace the jumper plate with quality wire.

    Second, if you decide to repair the A9’s, and don’t want to do it again, don’t turn the volume knob very much past halfway on the dial.

    If you feel you need it louder, get a more robust amp, or more efficient speakers.
  • But I don't understand why my Xpa-1s aren't powerful enough? they are 500watts rms each.

    could the pre-amp signal be the problem?

    Thanks guys
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,602
    1. Bi-wire shouldn’t matter either way.
    2. Yes, those amps should be plenty powerful.
    3. Dude, that is LOUD. Download SPL pro or a similar app on your phone and measure the DB level. You are going to destroy your ears. Those speakers are made to play reference volume, but not rock concert level PA system volume. That may be your problem...
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  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,835
    You need to look at the crossover for burnt or discolored components. Not all "watts" are created equal. Those speakers also require a good amount of current to go along with those watts. It does sound like you are over driving them. If you find burnt and discolored stuff on the XO board show us a picture so we can help you out, that is if you know how to solder.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,378
    I then played music (80% volume)

    There's most of your problem.
    Emotiva XPA-1 gen1

    There's the rest.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,767
    Yep, overdriving them. Your going to have to check the crossovers now to see if you toasted anything on the boards.

    The volume dial is not all useable, and just because you added amps doesn't mean you can crank on the volume.
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  • mantismantis Posts: 15,009
    Cranking them up to 80% volume is madness not to mention your not thinking long term listening. At that kind of volume with those amps your way over driving the speakers into distortion as stated above. Your Crossovers are likely shot as well as also stated above.
    I suggest adding a subwoofer or 2 to give you more bottom and and more impact in the room as lower volumes.
    Your speakers now need a overhaul with new crossovers and probably all drivers. You probably damaged all of them.
    I don't see anything wrong with Bi wiring, continue there.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Nothing wrong with the amps. I’ve had a pair of the xpa1 gen2s. Plenty of power and current.

    You likely damaged your crossovers at some point and you’ll keep frying the drivers until they’re replaced.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,835
    edited September 30
    Jeremy these are XPA gen 1 amps. I do not know the difference very well. Here is what I found out there on the interwebs. To the OP. Unless you have a stout dedicated circuit you very well may be starving them of power.

    Copied from web.

    The specifications are quite impressive: 500W RMS into 8 Ohms, 1000W RMS into 4 Ohms. As we’ll see later in the measurements section, these are very conservative ratings. It will drive a 2 Ohm load, but requires a 20A 115V circuit or a 10A 230V circuit to reach its maximum output into that load. If you’d want to try to run a pair of them into 2 Ohms at or near full power, you’d want a dedicated 20A 230V circuit.

    If you are running 2 off a standard 15 amp 120v circuit they may clip very easily.
  • It sounds like a big set of PA speakers may be your answer.....
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  • thanks for all the answers guys, overdriving them was probably the issue... Now, what's the best way for me to check if the crossovers are damaged too??
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 13,867
    That had to sound horrible, why so loud? I owned the RTiA9 for almost 10yrs while great speakers I used them for HT, they are a very bright speaker for music, add the emotive amps = ear piercing..
  • jeremymarcinkojeremymarcinko Posts: 3,191
    edited October 1
    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    That had to sound horrible, why so loud? I owned the RTiA9 for almost 10yrs while great speakers I used them for HT, they are a very bright speaker for music, add the emotive amps = ear piercing..

    So the xpa1 gen2 mono I owned for several years we’re basically the same as the gen1 except mine could produce 600wpc @ 8ohm and a 60wpc class A was added.

    And for the record the Emotiva xpa1 monos on the big RTI12s/RTiA9s are a fantastic match. I ran this for several years in different rooms and houses; loved it. I can’t speak to the other multi channel Emotiva amps, but the 80lb monos tamed the RTI teeter wonderfully.

    But if you haven’t heard the XPA1 you wouldn’t know that. I have read other’s experiences with Emotiva and noting the brightness, but not the flagship monoblocs. It’s also possible there are signature differences between the gen1 and 2 but to the OP don’t think right away your amps aren’t any good for you.
    Oh, Listen here mister. We got no way of understandin' this world. But we got as much sense of this bird flyin in the sky. Now there is a lot that bird don't know, but it don't change the fact that the world is happening to him all the same. What I am tryin to say is, is that the course of your life, well its changing, and you don't even see it- Forest Bondurant
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,835
    Maxmercier wrote: »
    thanks for all the answers guys, overdriving them was probably the issue... Now, what's the best way for me to check if the crossovers are damaged too??

    Take screws out of binding post plate. XO is attached to it. Depending on how much slack wire you have you may need to disconnect all speaker connections to see enough
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,767
    Post a pic here once you get them out far enough, we should be able to spy anything if your unsure of yourself. Good luck
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  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 13,867
    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    That had to sound horrible, why so loud? I owned the RTiA9 for almost 10yrs while great speakers I used them for HT, they are a very bright speaker for music, add the emotive amps = ear piercing..

    So the xpa1 gen2 mono I owned for several years we’re basically the same as the gen1 except mine could produce 600wpc @ 8ohm and a 60wpc class A was added.

    And for the record the Emotiva xpa1 monos on the big RTI12s/RTiA9s are a fantastic match. I ran this for several years in different rooms and houses; loved it. I can’t speak to the other multi channel Emotiva amps, but the 80lb monos tamed the RTI teeter wonderfully.

    But if you haven’t heard the XPA1 you wouldn’t know that. I have read other’s experiences with Emotiva and noting the brightness, but not the flagship monoblocs. It’s also possible there are signature differences between the gen1 and 2 but to the OP don’t think right away your amps aren’t any good for you.

    I have heard the 1's,2's, and 3,s all first gen, I still run my XPA3 in my HT works great, my experience with Emotiva and the RTiA9's when listening to music even with my SDA's is not great, but focusing on the RTiA9's is very bright, and the OP having the volume up that loud is like mashing on the gas of your car waiting for bad things to happen, and I am sure it had to be ear piercing. The damage to these speakers almost seems intentional, but part of me also thinks pitdogg is also on to something with the amps starving for juice but the OP has yet to respond to this..

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,767
    It's a combination of things, amps not having the juice, and cranking on the volume dial.

    I think the OP was under the impression that adding amps gives you unlimited access to that volume dial.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
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    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • K_MK_M Posts: 1,030
    edited October 1
    1. Were these used or new speakers?
    2. how exactly are the amps configured. You mention 2 amps AND biwiring?
    3. How loud were you playing them?
    4. Are the binding plates removed or still on?
    5. was there audible distortion at the volume you used?
    6. WHY would you blast them immediately a 2nd time... :#
    7. Can you post pics of the actual damage please?
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  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,835
    K_M wrote: »
    1. Were these used or new speakers?
    2. how exactly are the amps configured. You mention 2 amps AND biwiring?
    3. How loud were you playing them?
    OP stated volume was turned up 80% EFFIN LOUD

    5. Are the binding plates removed or still on?
    6. was there audible distortion at the volume you used?
    7. WHY would you blast them immediately a 2nd time... :#
    8. Can you post pics of the actual damage please?

  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,129
    The first generation of Emotiva XPA amps ran at 32 dB gain, which is why they sounded so powerful to enthusiasts who had only been using home theater receivers before. Of course, that had some negative effects on overall sound quality. The second generation cut the gain back to 29 dB. Now the third generation is completely different.

    So, not only was the preamp being overdriven, it was being overdriven into an amp with an unusually high gain level. BOOM!
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,767
    Bingo !! ^^^^^

    efizp45iwwse.jpg
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1430 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • Hello guys,

    To answer some questions:

    -I do run the emotivas on a dedicated 15A 120v circuit, with nothing else on it.
    -Binding plates are off
    -I couldn't hear any distortion before, even at 80%.

    From your answers, I can understand that I overdriven the speakers like an idiot. (Won't happen a third time)

    I've been trying to get the crossover out to take a picture, however, the wires are too short and I can't get it out.

    The 3 bass speakers on each tower are good. I tested them and they all work perfectly.

    Now my main concern is that, If I put brand new mids and tweeters in there (again), will it blow up again because of the crossover being damaged? Is there any other way to check if they are damaged?
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,133
    Maxmercier wrote: »
    Hello guys,

    To answer some questions:

    -I do run the emotivas on a dedicated 15A 120v circuit, with nothing else on it.
    -Binding plates are off
    -I couldn't hear any distortion before, even at 80%.

    From your answers, I can understand that I overdriven the speakers like an idiot. (Won't happen a third time)

    I've been trying to get the crossover out to take a picture, however, the wires are too short and I can't get it out.

    The 3 bass speakers on each tower are good. I tested them and they all work perfectly.

    Now my main concern is that, If I put brand new mids and tweeters in there (again), will it blow up again because of the crossover being damaged? Is there any other way to check if they are damaged?

    Pull the drivers out and disconnect all the drivers, then you should have enough slack to pull out the XO.
    The LF drivers may work, but they could have coil damage, which could leave the drivers functional, but having different overall specs, and not work quite right.
    I'd recommend buying all new drivers, and checking the XO and posting pics of it. Depending on the pictures, you may want to buy a new crossover as well.
    I am not the most intelligent person here, so wait for someone else to agree/disagree with what I've said here. :)
    Not Tom, or Trey, or Jim
    NAD C352
    Monitor Audio Radius R90’s/Mission Freedom 770 IV
    BJC speaker cables, generic RCA’s, one homemade power cable, because that’s going to do any good with the rest of the generic ones.
    Technics SL3200 turntable and a Shure M97xE phono cartridge
    Velodyne VA-907 subwoofer
    Lafayette LR-1100 acting as a tuner and phono.
    I've always thought the goal of high end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,133
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I'm just gonna put this out there: once you add up the cost for new drivers and any XO repairs, it might be cheaper to purchase a clean used pair...

    Good point.
    Not Tom, or Trey, or Jim
    NAD C352
    Monitor Audio Radius R90’s/Mission Freedom 770 IV
    BJC speaker cables, generic RCA’s, one homemade power cable, because that’s going to do any good with the rest of the generic ones.
    Technics SL3200 turntable and a Shure M97xE phono cartridge
    Velodyne VA-907 subwoofer
    Lafayette LR-1100 acting as a tuner and phono.
    I've always thought the goal of high end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.
  • krazypolkkrazypolk Posts: 288
    FestYboy wrote: »
    I'm just gonna put this out there: once you add up the cost for new drivers and any XO repairs, it might be cheaper to purchase a clean used pair...

    I believe Adorama also sells RTIA9's that have damaged cabinets at great prices. You get all new components and toss the cabinets.
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,173
    edited October 1
    After you determine you have a good working set of drivers in your speakers, can I have the leftovers for the cost of shipping? 30630
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  • I checked all the LF drivers with a multimeter and they all seem perfect. At this point, I will replace the mids and tweeter again and keep the volume low. See how it goes...
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 40,378
    You really need to pull and check the crossovers before doing anything else.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


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