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Thread: Why subwoofers blow: slam, bang, pop, and sizzle

  1. #1
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    PDX, ®egon

    Why subwoofers blow: slam, bang, pop, and sizzle


    at least there's a good picture
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Christchurch, NZ
    A better rule of thumb would be to drive a sub with 2 - 3 times its rated RMS power. I have always done this and never popped a sub woofer.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Chris Brown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Northern California
    The article is incredibly sensationalist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    now it is trying to move the cone and voice coil much further than they were designed to go, tearing the cone, spider, and surround apart, destroying the subwoofer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    the voice coil crashes into the back plate of the magnet assembly, cracking the coil and its former (the tube it coils around), and probably jamming it in the voice coil gap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    The clipped signal tries to make the sub do things it's not designed to do, which leads to it tearing itself apart or overheating and burning out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    Nothing travels that fast, and the sub either tears itself apart trying, or the flapping cone wobbles just enough to jam the coil in the magnet's voice coil gap, killing the sub.
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    The coil usually burns through one or more of its windings, or heats up enough to deform its shape so that it jams in the magnet's voice coil gap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Article
    Usually, it's the glue holding the coil wire to the former that first melts under all the heat, and the coil crashes in its gap.
    Nothing like contrived doomsday scenarios to scare people into thinking that they need more expensive hardware - all presented by a website that is trying to sell that hardware

    The basis of their explanations are accurate enough, but for things to actually play out that way, you would think that they are talking about a pair of kids trying to intentionally kill a sub while making a youtube video about it or similar. For things to play out that way in the real world would require exceptional amounts of negligence, far beyond the point at which common sense would have taken a back-seat. It's also worth noting that most subwoofer drivers are built pretty tough, especially compared to many regular speaker woofers. Most can handle a fair amount of abuse just fine - and many can handle extreme amounts of abuse just fine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Written for the kid that used to live next door to me with a two twelve sub in an 80's Camaro. He used to drive around listening to square wave all the time.

    He asked me one day if I have any idea why his subs only work when the volume is way up and they stick where you push them?

    I explained that the voice coils have been overheated and are now deformed and dragging in the gap, recone or scrap.

    I think to myself at least I wont have to hear them for a while anyway.

    Ever resourceful, he cut the dust caps off and drowns them with WD40, and they worked for another week. Sounded about the same too.

    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

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