Looking after your Speakers

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beagle
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Looking after your Speakers

Post by beagle » Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:45 pm

This is something that occoured to from a comment in one of the other topics...
I had to get my 4x10" cabinet of speakers serviced & repaired about a year ago and learnt a few things about how they work etc and what tends to break.
Here are some conclusions I came to in my own from of logic... (which can be questionable at times) as to how to look after my speakers better.
Feel free to correct / educate me ... maybe you've got some other ideas or different opinions on the topic.
1) After you've been giving the speakers a good thrashing... the voice coils can get hot and it pays to let them cool down before moving the cabinet. True or false?
2) If your cabinets has wheels... only use them on smooth surfaces. If the ground is bumpy then this can damaged the speaker. True or False?
3) In most cabinets... the speaker is mounted on it's side. This means that gravity is always putting pressure downwards on the voice coil. As there is little tollerance between the 'voice coil' and the centre pole or or pole peice... over long time the voice coil can sag downwards and so start to rub on the pole piece... then you need to get them repaired!
So .... If you were to store the cabinet on it's back (with the speakers facing upwards ) when not in use then this would releave the effects of gravity and therefore increase speaker lifespan. True or False?
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ryanmaiden
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by ryanmaiden » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:38 pm

You've got some interesting points there,

Letting gear cool down before moving it is always a good idea, especially if the warm things are valves. I can't say I've ever noticed my speaker cabinets generating heat though. I sort of see the logic in storing the cabinet on it's back, it would relieve the sideways pull on the speaker mountings, but as the speaker is built to move in the direction of the gravitational pull if the cabinet was on it's back, it may be more susecptible to stretching in this position.

I agree with the bumpy surface thing. All that bouncing around can't be a good thing.
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beagle
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by beagle » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:53 pm

Yeah valve amps always have to cool down huh.... 1 tick for solid state :P
I could easily be wrong about the voice coil heating up but it was in the back of my head and thought it would be a good thing to clarify. The hear would be unnoticable outside of the cabinet.
Yeah good point about stretching... I think vertical stretching would be better than lateral tho
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Crazykiwi
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by Crazykiwi » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:11 pm

My inclination is to think that if the speakers need that much molly coddling then they're not up to the job in the first place. I'm not sanctioning equipment abuse BTW but at the end of the day they've got a job to do and if, for example, they couldn't handle being taken over rough ground then how are they going to withstand being hoiked around by a bunch of roadies with not much time to set up? (As is often the case in real gigging situations).

If the speakers need cooling down after a gig then they're not designed properly for heat dissipation in the first place. Heat dissipation is one issue with neo speakers and there is a school of thought that neo cones probably aren't going to last as long as conventional cones because they generate more heat. I don't know anyone (including pro musicians) who have had a neo cone fail on them yet though.

In fact, some cabs like Acmes NEED a damn good thrashing to get them to do their job properly, mainly because they're very good sounding but inefficient. So they need a lot of power shoved into them (min 500w a cab). Sometimes a cab needs a gentle thrashing after its come home from the shop in order to get the diaphragms to loosen up a bit. That way its possible to get a little more growl and bark from them.
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by beagle » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:11 pm

Nah... I certainly don't molly codle my gear but am just interested in clarifying the facts.... bit of a nerdy topic really :wink:
Also looking at it from the point of view that many people can't afford to replace their cabinets too often.

Carrying cabinets over rough ground on the rare occasion probibly won't shorten the life span much but if it was being done 3-5 times a week then you would think the effects could be more substantial?

That's very interesting about the neo speakers heating up more than conventional. Obviously there is more difference to neo's than I thought so I'll go see what I can find out.
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by Crazykiwi » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:23 pm

Okdoke :)

All i'm gonna say is if the gear couldn't cope with being toured then don't waste your money on it.
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by beagle » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:04 pm

Yeah that's a fair call :-)
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by timi » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:49 pm

beagle wrote:Yeah valve amps always have to cool down huh.... 1 tick for solid state :P
But then take away that tick because if you used a tube amp you probably wouldn't have blown all those speakers :wink:

And on cabs, I've heard from some very on to it people that they should always be transported with the speakers facing up or down. This is so that there is no side to side magnet shift which can stop the speaker working properly. Makes sense to me so thats what I always try to do.

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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by beagle » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:07 pm

ha ha yeah good call :lol:
Your suggestion to transport speakers on their back ties up with what I had been told... makes sense really
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by Crazykiwi » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:10 pm

beagle wrote:Yeah valve amps always have to cool down huh.... 1 tick for solid state :P
I have a V8, a Mesa Strategy 400 and two Burman Pro4000 valve amps. It certainly does pay to flick the amps onto standby for a bit after you've finished playing. Mesa Boogie recommend a minimum of 30 seconds. Its not necessary for the valves to cool off completely unless you plan on working on the amp.
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Re: Looking after your Speakers

Post by john » Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:37 pm

timi wrote: And on cabs, I've heard from some very on to it people that they should always be transported with the speakers facing up or down. This is so that there is no side to side magnet shift which can stop the speaker working properly. Makes sense to me so thats what I always try to do.
i have heard that too.
also heard to rotate your speaker in the cab every now and then cos there is pressure on the coil over time . or something like that

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