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  1. #1
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    Default It is official: I blew my lsi9's upper woofer with the ROTEL RMB 1095 power amp

    I have recently purchased the rotel rmb 1095 from a forum member. Needless to say, i wanted to finally figure out what this thing can do so i tested the blu ray The Dark Knight. I have the amplifier connected to the Onkyo 1009 receiver by the way.

    Anyhow, i started to crank up the volume PAST the thx reference level (82db on the display of the onkyo unit) and so as i approached to the 92 db mark, everything was ridiculously loud and to the point that i felt i was going to have heart murmurs. i turned the volume back to SANE levels and kept watching the movie. Then a few minutes later i picked up a burnt smell, but thought it was probably the rotel amp from being driven so hard for a few seconds that it might have warmed up a bit.
    however, ss i started to run test tones, i noticed my front lsi9's were not making the same pink noise sound as others. I got close to them and yep, the upper woofer was moving, but it had zero sound coming from it.
    After all was said and done, i took down my lsi7s and swapped out its woofers with the upper woofer from the lsi9s and problem solved. The lsi9s are perfect again and actually probably sound better than before.
    Here are a few questions i have and i would like to hear from everyone if possible.
    [/LIST][LIST=1]
    1. why didnt the amplifier shut off before blowing the speakers?
    2. why did my lsic, fxi a surrounds handled the volume with no issues when they have less power handling capabilities than the lsi9s? shouldnt they have handled it with no problem too?
    3. why werent all 4 woofers blown out in the lsi9s rather than just the upper 2??
    4. is a crackling noise normal on your front speakers as you are RAISING THE VOLUME to very loud levels when using a POWER AMPLIFIER?
    5. Is there a better option to the woofers the lsi come with? has anyone replaced the woofers with better ones? i am thinking since i have a beast of an amplifier, i could benefit from having more power handling on the woofers of the unit since the tweeter seems to handle the power with no problems.

    THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR RESPONSES!
    Last edited by whitecamaross; 02-03-2013 at 04:28 PM.

  2. #2

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    If the unit is calibrated correctly, reference level should peak at 105db. Going past that is risky, especially for 5.25" woofers. Do you have your fronts on "Large"?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    If the unit is calibrated correctly, reference level should peak at 105db. Going past that is risky, especially for 5.25" woofers. Do you have your fronts on "Large"?
    no they are set to small...

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    can you give me answers to the questions above ? i would like to hear everyone's input on them..

  5. #5

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    1. There is no reason for the amp to shut off.
    2. During dynamic passages in a movie most sound goes to mains/sub.
    3. The top and bottom mids are not playing everything the same. One rolls off above 200 hz.
    4. Hard to know.
    5. Probably not.

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    there is not a better option to the 5.25 woofers?

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    I am sure there are better 5.25" mids out there, but they would need to work in that cabinet with the same crossovers which seems unlikely.

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    You over-drove the speaker, period. At the point where you were with the volume. It's a matter of which one will fail first. Drivers are built very well but can only handle so much.

    There should be NO crackling sounds of ANY kind when volume is increased or decreased. DO you run older equipment? Perhaps the volume pot is dirty if so. An amplifier will only shut down if it reaches its specified limit temperature from driving it recklessly or (on some) if something internally fails, a protection circuit may kick in.

    The speaker worked as it should and failed because of human error. Don't blame this on a 5.25" speaker size because that's not the case.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drenis View Post
    You over-drove the speaker, period. At the point where you were with the volume. It's a matter of which one will fail first. Drivers are built very well but can only handle so much.

    There should be NO crackling sounds of ANY kind when volume is increased or decreased. DO you run older equipment? Perhaps the volume pot is dirty if so. An amplifier will only shut down if it reaches its specified limit temperature from driving it recklessly or (on some) if something internally fails, a protection circuit may kick in.

    The speaker worked as it should and failed because of human error. Don't blame this on a 5.25" speaker size because that's not the case.
    i have the onkyo 1009 receiver with the rotel rmb 1095 and monster 16 gauage thx speaker cable and the ps3. i am not sure what old equipment is creating the crackle noise? i dont hear a single hiss sound from this amplifier even at its max volume setting when not playing a source through it. It is extremely quiet. What i said was that if i am cranking the amp up WITH A SOURCE PLAYING, then i hear a crackling noise when the volume is PAST the thx reference volume (82 db on the onkyo receiver) and that is the only time i start to hear a slight " crackle" each tick the receiver goes up....

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    It's not the amp, it's probably the mismatch between your receiver pre-out levels and the amplifier. Preamp output level was most likely too much for the amp, amp output oversaturated, started getting distortion, fried the driver. Out of curiosity, check what the acceptable voltage level on the amplifier inputs, and check maximum possible output voltage level of receiver pre-outs. I'd be very surprised if the coil in your speaker got fried from just very loud sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ View Post
    It's not the amp, it's probably the mismatch between your receiver pre-out levels and the amplifier. Preamp output level was most likely too much for the amp, amp output oversaturated, started getting distortion, fried the driver. Out of curiosity, check what the acceptable voltage level on the amplifier inputs, and check maximum possible output voltage level of receiver pre-outs. I'd be very surprised if the coil in your speaker got fried from just very loud sound.
    well, i did the calibration by using the test tone from my receiver. That should be the most accurate way of evening out your db levels for each speaker. i am not sure what distortion would have come into play because the rotel would probably make my ears bleed before it clips..

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    Actually, the most accurate way to calibrate is using an SPL meter. Most of those cheap little calibration mics are pretty crummy.
    The auto calibration gives you a good baseline to work from but is far from infallible. For example, my Aventage set my left front to -7.5dB and my right front to +3.5dB. Very noticeable difference. After adjusting them using my SPL meter, they sound perfect.
    The auto calibration also set my sub to 32ft away. My sub is 12.5ft from my listening position.
    Last edited by Kenneth Swauger; 02-04-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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    Yeah your lucky you didn't break more. Running 10db over reference with a loudspeaker rated at 200wpc and a amp capable of way more than that at 4ohm. Those poor things didn't stand a chance. Only guessing here but 92db during a loud scene would be drawing close to 300w from that amp with those 88db eff. 4ohm lsi's. Brutal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremymarcinko View Post
    Yeah your lucky you didn't break more. Running 10db over reference with a loudspeaker rated at 200wpc and a amp capable of way more than that at 4ohm. Those poor things didn't stand a chance. Only guessing here but 92db during a loud scene would be drawing close to 300w from that amp with those 88db eff. 4ohm lsi's. Brutal.
    ok you make sense. However, WHY didnt my other speakers blow? the fxia6s cant handle more power than the lsi9s, and neither does the lsic...
    I really did think that the Rotel amp would shut off before damage happened?

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    Because, as stated elsewhere in someone else's reply, most of the sequence's "volume" was being directed to your mains.

    Even in a full on firefight, your rears and center are only providing ambiance and fill. Your mains are doing the most work and as such are hitting greater peaks in output.

    Your amp's protection circuitry is designed to protect itself. Not the speakers. Until it sense a short, it is going to keep pumping signals to the speakers.
    I am not familiar with the Rotel's clipping circuitry, but it is very possible that you never reached a true clipping event.

    Fact is, most speaker damage comes from 2 things. Over excursion (which is most likely what happened in your case) and an over abundance of distortion (I doubt yours was caused by this).
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
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    Ridiculously loud is never a good idea. Bad stuff happens when you exceed limits. Live and learn...
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
    Because, as stated elsewhere in someone else's reply, most of the sequence's "volume" was being directed to your mains.

    Even in a full on firefight, your rears and center are only providing ambiance and fill. Your mains are doing the most work and as such are hitting greater peaks in output.

    Your amp's protection circuitry is designed to protect itself. Not the speakers. Until it sense a short, it is going to keep pumping signals to the speakers.
    I am not familiar with the Rotel's clipping circuitry, but it is very possible that you never reached a true clipping event.

    Fact is, most speaker damage comes from 2 things. Over excursion (which is most likely what happened in your case) and an over abundance of distortion (I doubt yours was caused by this).
    i understand and you are probably right. I was just really surprised that all 4 woofers on the lsi9s did not blow.
    Do you think if i replace the woofers on them with a better 5.25 woofer that handles more power that i would probably have more power handling out of them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post
    Ridiculously loud is never a good idea. Bad stuff happens when you exceed limits. Live and learn...
    how loud is the thx reference mark on the receiver? how many db ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitecamaross View Post
    i understand and you are probably right. I was just really surprised that all 4 woofers on the lsi9s did not blow.
    Do you think if i replace the woofers on them with a better 5.25 woofer that handles more power that i would probably have more power handling out of them?
    The bottom woofer has a high pass at 200 Hz while the top woofer has a high pass at 2.4 KHz. Thus the top woofer is receiving more power at any given time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwohlford View Post
    The bottom woofer has a high pass at 200 Hz while the top woofer has a high pass at 2.4 KHz. Thus the top woofer is receiving more power at any given time.
    makes perfect sense. What if i replaced it with a woofer that handled more power? would that make the speaker handle more power ?

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitecamaross View Post
    makes perfect sense. What if i replaced it with a woofer that handled more power? would that make the speaker handle more power ?
    Is that much output important to you? You will not find a woofer that is better suited (sound-wise).
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    No you can't do that. You'll just blow the tweeter or fry the crossover next. Not to mention it would sound aweful and the damage to your ears. I think reference is about 15db louder than most of us listen anyway. But hey its your gear, do whatever eff you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitecamaross View Post
    makes perfect sense. What if i replaced it with a woofer that handled more power? would that make the speaker handle more power ?
    You would also have to modify the cabinet and crossover.

    Why not replace it with an OEM Polk driver and keep the volume at a sane level?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Seriously...if you want loud, buy a wall full of Cerwin Vegas.

    If you wanted clean detailed sound, repair your LSi9s with stock replacement drivers and keep the volume at sane levels.

    It's like the guy complaining that his tires are crap because they keep blowing out. All he did was do burnouts at every stop light. His tires shouldn't blowout. He then "upgrades" to "better" tires and has the same problem. And once again blames the tires.
    Never once does he look in the mirror and say to himself, "Self...*I* may be the problem..."
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    You said that you set them to small, but what is the crossover set at? If it is below 80 Hz, I would knock it up to 80 Hz. You can play around with higher settings especially if you can place subs in such a way that the sound is harder to localize. (One subwoofer placed outside of the two speakers will tend to be easier to localize than multiple subwoofers or a subwoofer placed between the two speakers.) This should buy you a little extra protection in the future. (Not that I am condoning the volumes that you listen at right now.)
    Last edited by nwohlford; 02-04-2013 at 12:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tbone289 View Post
    Is that much output important to you? You will not find a woofer that is better suited (sound-wise).
    it is not really about that. The reason why i said i was thinking of upgrading it is to have a little more of a "safe zone" as far as sudden high volume levels..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    You would also have to modify the cabinet and crossover.

    Why not replace it with an OEM Polk driver and keep the volume at a sane level?
    i have just fixed them... however, i am going to be picking up lsi15s pretty soon.. would they have more of a "forgiving" factor than the lsi9s?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
    Seriously...if you want loud, buy a wall full of Cerwin Vegas.

    If you wanted clean detailed sound, repair your LSi9s with stock replacement drivers and keep the volume at sane levels.

    It's like the guy complaining that his tires are crap because they keep blowing out. All he did was do burnouts at every stop light. His tires shouldn't blowout. He then "upgrades" to "better" tires and has the same problem. And once again blames the tires.
    Never once does he look in the mirror and say to himself, "Self...*I* may be the problem..."
    you are correct.. I am just here trying to "educate" myself a little more with regards to the lsi line. Nothing else..

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwohlford View Post
    You said that you set them to small, but what is the crossover set at? If it is below 80 Hz, I would knock it up to 80 Hz. You can play around with higher settings especially if you can place subs in such a way that the sound is harder to localize. (One subwoofer placed outside of the two speakers will tend to be easier to localize than multiple subwoofers or a subwoofer placed between the two speakers.) This should buy you a little extra protection in the future. (Not that I am condoning the volumes that you listen at right now.)
    crossover was set at 40hz by Audessey for all speakers and they are set to small too. Are saying that setting all my speakers to 80hz which i believe it is the thx setting, that it will make my lsi9s not be driven so hard by bottom lows?

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    Try it and let us know. Actually don't its not worth it. they'll probably blow too.sooner than later.

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