Why am I blowing my Klipsch woofers??? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-23-2010, 05:32 PM
So I have blown 2 woofers in my Klipsch KG4's (one on left speaker and one on right) ever since getting this refurbished Sansui 8700DB reciever (160 watts rms).

I do get aggressive on the volume sometimes turning volume to 60 (on 100 point dial) with loudness off. But never more than that.

Speakers are rated at 100 watt max. Could be as simple as that, but I've heard that most of the time it doesnt matter i.e "a 30 watt amp can blow 150 watt speakers". Possibly just hearsay.

Either way, I've blown two woofers by playing too loud on some otherwise outstanding speakers.

Could it be I need to upgrade to speakers that handle more power? If so, Ill take any suggestions. I play only vinyl and listen to EVERYTHING from 1920 to 2010.

Or, is there a deeper more technical issue I need to consider?

Any thoughts are appreciated. I am new to a lot of the hi-fi and sound technology jargon but will attempt to follow along doing my best.

harley .guy07
11-23-2010, 08:21 PM
I have seen people blow speakers with lower powered amps clipping out way more that a higher powered amp overpowering the speakers. As sensitive as your speakers are I would think your amp would have no problem powering them as loud as they should be driven under normal listening but every person has a different version of what normal listening is. how old are your speakers because as time goes by the drivers(woofers,tweeters,etc) get weaker and weaker by way of the motor structure being driven and like any electromagnetic motor structure is it will at some point wear out and need some tlc. but I have seen speakers last for many many years without these issues. my guess is that most likely you are putting your amp into clipping which basically you are pushing your amp past its normal and reserve power and causing it to clip or square wave which basically the amp starts to distort and that will damage your drivers. I would say if you notice that your highs go missing when the bass hits or you here audible distortion then the chances for damage to your speakers increases a lot.

11-23-2010, 10:38 PM
By clipping your amp. Generally the first to go are the tweeters and mids. But usually the tweeters. Start using your rumble filter. Or your bass filter.

11-24-2010, 03:22 AM
You need to install an in-line fuse. 1A X 125v should do it. Should run you just a few bucks for the fuse and fuse holder, save you a lot of grief.

11-24-2010, 06:01 AM
I've had my Kg4s since the mid 80's. I'm more quality over quantity, but have never been afraid of cranking them a bit when the feeling hits me. Since you're blowing woofers in both speakers, I would suspect your receiver over the speakers themselves. If you have a turntable a sub-sonic filter would be a good suggestion. Fuses are also a good suggestion. Does the sound provide any hints (woofers bottoming out, distortion) before the woofers blow? Good luck finding direct replacements. Klipsch have black substitutes, but not K-8-K.

harley .guy07
11-24-2010, 08:59 AM
you guys have a point I did not think of the rumble filter being on or off and if it were off I could see woofer damage happen with high rumble because I have seen woofers almost jump out of their baskets due to a high amount of rumble, good point.

11-24-2010, 09:51 AM
Undoubtedly the problem is rumble, and possibly even feedback at the high volumes that he must be playing it at.

11-24-2010, 10:04 AM
I think you might just be driving the woofers too hard...more movement than your woofers can take. Part of the issue probably is in fact rumble and feedback, but clipping doesn't seem like it in this case. I won't argue that clipping can be an issue, but with a vintage Sansui rated at 160 watts with speakers rated at 100 watts, clipping doesn't jump out at me as the culprit.

From my own experience, my 125-watt Marantz was able to trip the protection circuit on my 125-watt Cerwin-Vega speakers without turning the volume knob much past halfway. Most of the increase in the volume seemed to occur in the 10:00 to 1:00 area. Now, I haven't turned it up to even 12:00 in years.

That said, my suggestion is a speaker upgrade. These don't appear to be capable of playing as loud as you want them to play.

harley .guy07
11-24-2010, 02:52 PM
I would think turntable rumble at super high volumes could cause clipping in some cases but also it could be overexerting the woofers to the point that they are getting damaged, either way it is a problem that can be fixed by narrowing down the culprit and either getting something different or changing listening habits to keep this issues form recurring.

harley .guy07
11-24-2010, 02:53 PM
I would think turntable rumble at super high volumes could cause clipping in some cases but also it could be overexerting the woofers to the point that they are getting damaged, either way it is a problem that can be fixed by narrowing down the culprit and either getting something different or changing listening habits to keep this issues form recurring.:23:

11-24-2010, 09:44 PM
I always have my subsonic filter (rumble filter?) and tone defeat turned on. I mostly play with loudness feature turned on as well, but when listening at higher volumes I turn it off because I think the boosted low freq distorts the music. I think this is where I am getting into trouble. With loudness off I can get crisper highs but have to turn the bass up to get satisfaction.

The last house I lived in, I had what could be considered a "concert hall". Dont remember the dimensions but it had cement floors, tall cielings, and was wide. It was an addition as a game room. I hand built six 4 inch thick bass traps and positioned them behind and to the sides of my speakers. I had excellent sound in there. Club-like bass. Was so much fun.

Now I have them in an older house "dining room". Lower ceilings, carpeted, and narrower. Keep trying to reproduce the sound I had before by adding volume. End up blowing 2 woofers in the process.

I think I probably need speakers that can handle more power. I love mind-blowing loud music! In-line fuses will be a must.

Facing a problem though searching more new speakers. All new speakers seem to be dedicated home theatre. All reviews are done in regard to how they sound as home theatre speakers. I just a want an awesome new huge floorspeaker with lots of bass and mid/high clarity without having to use a satellite sub

11-24-2010, 10:01 PM
if thats the type of bass you like, then a subwoofer is a must for you. Im sure some one will chime in on suggestions. And still use your speakers for upper bass and beyond.

11-24-2010, 10:07 PM
...speakers that can handle more power...fuses...huge floorspeaker with lots of bass and mid/high clarity without having to use a satellite sub...



11-24-2010, 10:23 PM
I've tried satellite subs and dont like the sound for reproducing music. I think they may be better suited for home theatre setups. When playing music it just seems there is too much reflection and noise cancellation and just sounds strange to my ears.

02audionoob.......I forgot about Cerwin Vega. Love that they still make speakers with large sub woofs. Although I feel like a neanderthal for liking that design as every "high end" speaker manufacturer seems going with tall slim design and like fourteen 6" speakers.

The main complaint I hear about these new speakers is lack of bass. Almost every review talks about midrange and highs. And how you need a sub to get the low bass.

So confusing. How to get full range sound on a two channel setup with just two speakers? Perhaps the cerwin vega cmx 212 is the answer.

You give me hope. Thanx

11-24-2010, 10:54 PM
It's funny you mention those tall slim speakers. My primary 2-channel speakers look like this...


11-26-2010, 12:45 PM
I have heard of this issue from back in the day. The older receivers were conservative on thier power output. Your amp is more than likely 160 RMS, but at peak power, the spikes could be well over 200 watts. I agree with the others that truntable rumble might be the cause. I also know that noise is also a big culpret, giving you dirty transients. What it=s the quality of the speaker cable you are using? Please tell us that you DO NOT have any splices. Also back in the day, the EQ was the thing to have. For what you are doing, an EQ might be an option by eliminating or reducing the frequencies that are causing you so much pain.
Let us know how it comes out.

Pat D
11-27-2010, 08:12 AM
Tweeters usually blow due to overheating. Woofers usually blow because they are driven past their excursion limits, which is easy to do in the very low frequencies. So, like some others, I think turntable/record rumble is likely the cause for woofer damage.. A better tonearm/cartridge combination might help the cartridge ride the record warps better, but a rumble filter would reduce the excursion as well.

You say your receiver does have a Low filter, which many receivers of that vintage had.

You mention you often use the Loudness feature, but at louder volumes you don't but just turn up the bass. Well, either provides a low frequency boost and that will continue down into the record warp range below 15 Hz or so. So you use the low filter but then you turn around and boost the bass--kind of work against each other!

Even though I have a big subwoofer, I use an old product called Warp Knots, which fit in the RCA phono inputs to reduce the level of record warps even to the subwoofer. I do not think they are available. I think this product works very similarly, but still, it won't help much if you keep turning up the bass.


Well, as I recall, the KG4 doesn't go all that low in the bass anyway, so if you like the sound, I do suggest a subwoofer. A subwoofer will have a high pass filter to reduce the level of bass frequencies going to the main speakers, and any good subwoofer will outperform most speakers in the deep bass, anyway.

11-28-2010, 07:07 PM
Dwayne.aycock: I didnt know splices were a bad thing! I use a lower guage wire from the recieve to the speaker, but its too big to fit in the tiny speaker wire holes provided on the Klipsch terminals, so i spliced in a higher guage wire to fit. Could have used banana plugs bu didnt think it would make a difference.

02audionoob: Helluva great looking speaker, pal. Its really beautiful. Seems to be the trend is going toward this type of setup i.e towers for clear mids and highs, some low end, but a need for a satellite sub to complete the full range of sound. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just havent quite wrapped my ears around it yet.

Pat D: As far as tome arm/cart combo I use an older Technics SL-D3 direct drive table with s-shape weighted tone arm and an Ortofon 2M Bronze cart. Will look into the Warp Knots.

Well....did the "unthinkable" for a high end audio forum. Threw caution to the wind and bought some cerwin vega xls-215's. Two 15"subwoofs, 6'5"woof and a tweeter/horn. 500 watt max so I will be plenty okay pushing them. Just a kid at heart. Bought them on sale at least for $900/pair. Usually $600 a piece. Will be here in a week.

Definately not the B&W or polk's I was looking at in the same price range, but [hell] I'm on a budget. My Wolfmother album should sound delicious, along with radiohead, whitestripes, deep purple, ten years after, cut chemist, lcd soundsytem, gorillaz, beastie boys, franz ferdinand any many more. :4: