overdriving subs

Airplay355
Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
as most of u know i own 2 rti100s.......i keep the volume on the subs 3/4ths of the way up.......i know thats kinda loud but i like bass.........i heard Dr. Spec say that you could overdrive a sub having it at 1/4 the volume? should i be worried about hurting things? and how would i know if i was hurting my subs while i was listening to music or watchina a movie.....
Post edited by Airplay355 on
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Comments

  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    If you were harming it, you could probally hear it. Or you could be like me and just play it till it dies. Other than that, I would see if you can turn off your speakers, and hear the sub alone - and turn it on ur regular volume and set it up then. If you hear distortion, turn it down.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Dr. Spec
    Dr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited February 2003
    The best way to prevent overdriving any speaker (but particularly a subwoofer) is to calibrate the entire system with test tones and an SPL meter. It's cheap, it's easy, your system will sound better, and it's damn good insurance.

    Once your sub is playing at the same volume as your other speakers, it's pretty hard to overdrive it unless you are playing the overall volume at a very loud level.

    Many enthusiasts unknowing have their sub running very hot and then spin a DVD like LOTR-FOTR, The Haunting, Monster's Inc., or Titan AE at high playback and "poof" - the sub blows.

    The sounds of a sub in distress are pretty obvious - audible distortion, farting, popping, or a loud clack - damage is imminent at that point.

    If your PROPERLY CALIBRATED system can't deliver the overall volume you crave without beating on the sub, then get a bigger or better sub.

    Running your sub on the hot side to compensate for its inadequate power or a too large room is a recipe for disaster.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • dbournival
    dbournival Posts: 131
    edited February 2003
    I have a pair of RT1000i that I had to turn uo to 3/4 to get proper bass (per spl meter), the room they are in is very difficult for bass. I felt that I may be driving them too hard (HD) so I recently bought a PSW404 to handle the low end.
  • Dr. Spec
    Dr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by ATCVenom
    As important as calibration may be, I feel its truelly only necessary for those with a large listening area or unequal proportions. As for a room my size, or anything below a 15x15 area...... if you depend on calibration for tonal accuracy and system maintaince, a hearing aid may also do wonders., :D

    I think you're in the minority here, ATC. The prevalent use of SPL meters and calibration DVDs like Video Essentials and AVIA speak for themselves.

    Getting all the speakers to play the same volume is essential in a HT set-up for realistic and seamless panning between all the speakers. For the sub, it's critical - almost everyone calibrates the sub hot by ear alone.

    I don't think there's a person in this forum who didn't report an audible benefit from proper system calibration, and I suspect it's probably also saved a few subs from blowing too.

    Calibrating your HT system will allow it to play to its best potential. It won't pull blood from a turnip, though.

    As for that disappointing system you just heard, do you honestly think it sounded bad AS A RESULT OF proper calibration? Or do you think it just sounds crappy because you didn't like the speaks?
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • MJD
    MJD Posts: 6
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by dbournival
    I have a pair of RT1000i that I had to turn uo to 3/4 to get proper bass (per spl meter), the room they are in is very difficult for bass. I felt that I may be driving them too hard (HD) so I recently bought a PSW404 to handle the low end.

    What room size do you have and what do you keep the volume set at on the subwoofer??

    Thanks
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    the bass on my reciever is at the lowest, i have the equalizer off and the DSP off, i find that the bass distorts quicker if i turn up the bass on my reciever then if i turn it up on my subs......an i still in danger of blowing them? have never noticed any of the signs of damaging a sub just smooth bass.....and half way is good but not enough any other suggestions?
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Buy another sub
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    hold on let me get my checkbook....oh wait i have no money hmmmmmmmmm.....nething else? lol
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Take a funnel like thing.....and put it around your subs.....it'll exstend the sound....
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    RCA makes a 12 inch sub for like....200?
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • kberg
    kberg Posts: 974
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by Dr. Spec


    Getting all the speakers to play the same volume is essential in a HT set-up for realistic and seamless panning between all the speakers. For the sub, it's critical - almost everyone calibrates the sub hot by ear alone.

    Couldn't agree more!
    Originally posted by Dr. Spec

    I don't think there's a person in this forum who didn't report an audible benefit from proper system calibration, and I suspect it's probably also saved a few subs from blowing too.

    Ditto above response. I never thought I would notice the degree of difference (pre- [by ear] and post-calibration) as much as I did. And by calibrating my sub just a *few* dB hotter than the rest of my speaks, it REALLY enhanced the overall sound without worry of overtaxing the sub at much higher volumes.
    Mains: polkaudio RTi70's (bi-wired)
    Center: polkaudio CSi40 (bi-wired)
    Surrounds: polkaudio FXi30's
    Rear Center: polkaudio CSi30
    Sub: SVS 20-39 PC+
    Receiver: ONKYO TX-SR600
    Display: JVC HD-56G786
    DVD Player: SONY DVP-CX985V
    DVD Player: OPPO DV-981HD 1080p High Definition Up-Converting Universal DVD Player with HDMI
    Remote: Logitech Harmony H688
  • Tour2ma
    Tour2ma Old School Posts: 10,177
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    ....it'll exstend the sound....
    Check your dentures there Sid, may be a little loose...

    Airplay,

    Actually Sid's "add another" is a valid option. It's possible to do so "on the cheap". Many Clubbers have built their own powered subs for ~$300. Search will produce multiple hits on this to give you an idea of the effort, and I'm sure the sub craftsmen here will be more than happy to assist you in your effort.

    Other than that... only no-cost thing you can do is play with the positioning of your speakers. In-corners and on the floor tend to reinforce bass output. May compromise your listening from soundstage and other aspects. This is the reason I used "no-cost" in lieu of "free" above, but I don't sense this is as big a concern for you as getting more boom. You can do this “by ear”, but I agree with others above, a good test DVD and an SPL meter is the better, as in more precise, way to go.

    You might also “liven” your room up some. While this does not have much impact on true bass (<120Hz), I get a feeling from you that we’re talking mid-bass here as well. Possible help could include getting the speakers off of the carpet by pulling it up, or buying a couple ceramic tiles at Garden Ridge or HD and setting your speakers on these.

    All the above I wrote MAY be good, but then I reread this:
    Originally posted by Airplay355
    the bass on my reciever is at the lowest, i have the equalizer off and the DSP off, i find that the bass distorts quicker if i turn up the bass on my reciever then if i turn it up on my subs......an i still in danger of blowing them? have never noticed any of the signs of damaging a sub just smooth bass.....and half way is good but not enough any other suggestions?
    Something in this, bugged me the first time I read it, but I blew through it. After the reread I looked at your post history (it’s a curious one) to try to figure out what was going on here. I probably still don’t know, but that never stops me… ;)

    You were recently posting about: the value of adding a sub, breaking your desk, your dead receiver (did they fix the Aiwa?); an old sub that sounded bad at ¼ and …. Anyway, here are my thoughts:
    1. you’re a bass super-freak;
    2. you’ve already damaged one of more of your drivers; probably one of the RT’s mid-woofers, not the “sub” (same driver);
    3. you’re setting your receiver tone controls to compensate for the bad driver(s) as best you can; and
    4. the bad driver took out your receiver before will do it again.

    Airplay if I were you I’d get a troubleshooting guide from Polk, ASAP. Check out your Rt’s and the rest of your rig as well. And take any “suspicious” speakers back to the dealer. You are in warranty I assume… After you do this, then try the other stuff for the room livening, but I think you’ll need a “true” subwoofer to satisfy your “habit” or you’ll repeat the whole cycle…

    Let me know if I’m onto anything here…
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    the problemn with my reciever had nothing to do with sound or power, it was the power supply that blew......in would switch on but would not stay on...........how have i already blown the drivers on my rts? wouldnt i hear it if i had blown them? the sub that sounds bad is over 15 years old and uses foam in its construction.....i hear nothing wrong with my speakers.......how would i know if i blew a midrangedriver?
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    itd crack and pop like popcorn...
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    both of them sound perfectly fine, no crackling or popping from the tweeters mid drivers or woofers
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Did u say that ur M&K had a foam surround?
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    the MK sub has foam in it....its part of the cone.........told ya it was old lol
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    holy s***....lol! M&K drivers are pretty decent, but for how much the Sub cost -- they could be better. Mine have heavy duty rubber surrounds, but layered coated paper...its annoying
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    go to the site....its called the volkswoofer and the **** is old dryrotted and cracked.....prolly from when i was usin it but i dont give a crap lol
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    oo i believe ya...
    lol buy one of their upper drivers...they only cost 82.50! lol! And put it in there, it rocks.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    hey...u might be interested in buying a new driver from M&K, and a new amp - make sure the driver has rubber surrounds. That would be a good subwoofer.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    i have come up with this list of priorities, first i need to buy speaker wire so i can put my surround speakers where they belong, then its a new reciever prolly one from harmon kardon unless people here say otherwise, then after that im either going to buy nicer surround speakers, buy a nicer center speaker, buy a nicer TV or save for a car
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    wow thats a good idea....i could just put a new driver in there.........hmmmm sumthin to think about, the amp in it is prolly fine, maybe not tho i dont know we'll find out
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    yeah...it'll only cost u 82.50 or less then!
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    what bout car audio.............could i put a car woofer in that enclosure? or is there a difference betwen HT woofers and car ones?
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Go out, and buy a 12 inch JL Audio Car Audio subwoofer....U want loudness...It'll give you and your neighbors loud.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Tour2ma
    Tour2ma Old School Posts: 10,177
    edited February 2003
    Airplay,

    I started another response, but canned it. Instead let me ask you one question...

    Have you always had to turn the bass control on your receiver all the way down to avoid hearing distortion?

    If yes, then look back at the tips I offered you on positioning your speakers and treating your room, and save your money for a real sub-woofer.

    If no, then ask Polk customer service for the troubleshooting manual, because at least one of your drivers has a problem.

    Either way I'm done here... Good Luck...
    More later,
    Tour...
    Vox Copuli
    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Old English Proverb

    "Death doesn't come with a Uhaul." - Dennis Gardner
    "It's easy to get lost in price vs performance vs ego vs illusion." - doro
    "There is a certain entertainment value in ripping the occaisonal (sic) buttmunch..." - TroyD
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    MxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    I think the conclusion comes to - buy a seperate sub. or repair your blown M&K....IMO - that would be the best and cheapest move for a pretty good sub.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    the answer is yes
  • Airplay355
    Airplay355 Posts: 4,293
    edited February 2003
    my reciever is an aiwa avd57 adn the thd is .9 so its not the best thing out there