The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
(prank) how to electronically reduce maximum volume of speaker system?
Old 11th August 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

(prank) how to electronically reduce maximum volume of speaker system?

Hi.

I have this noisy housemate that keeps putting his cheap speaker system all the way up annoying me. The speaker set consists of two small speakers and a subwoofer, and it has a little control module with volume and bass level. He cranks both knobs all the way up. The subwoofer is especially disturbing.

The system looks something lke this:
https://http2.mlstatic.com/parlantes...0_012016-F.jpg

We've had some conversations about it and he says he wouldn't be so noisy if he had some headphones, but he can't afford them.

So I've decided I'll give him a pair of headphones, but not without doing a little prank on him.

I would like to somehow reduce the maximum volume of his system, or the maximum volume of the subwoofer, so that even with the knobs all the way up, the system/subwoofer only reaches half volume or something like that. When he gets upset or angry, I show him the new headphones.

I've thought of maybe cutting the positive or negative wire only, so that the amplitude is reduced by half. I'm not sure if that would work. It doesn't need to be something reversible as he'll be trashing the system once I give them the new headphones

I have a soldering iron and a cheap multimeter. Can I do what I intend?

thank you
Old 12th August 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andertex View Post
Hi.

I have this noisy housemate that keeps putting his cheap speaker system all the way up annoying me. The speaker set consists of two small speakers and a subwoofer, and it has a little control module with volume and bass level. He cranks both knobs all the way up. The subwoofer is especially disturbing.

The system looks something lke this:
https://http2.mlstatic.com/parlantes...0_012016-F.jpg

We've had some conversations about it and he says he wouldn't be so noisy if he had some headphones, but he can't afford them.

So I've decided I'll give him a pair of headphones, but not without doing a little prank on him.

I would like to somehow reduce the maximum volume of his system, or the maximum volume of the subwoofer, so that even with the knobs all the way up, the system/subwoofer only reaches half volume or something like that. When he gets upset or angry, I show him the new headphones.

I've thought of maybe cutting the positive or negative wire only, so that the amplitude is reduced by half. I'm not sure if that would work. It doesn't need to be something reversible as he'll be trashing the system once I give them the new headphones

I have a soldering iron and a cheap multimeter. Can I do what I intend?

thank you
How about just reversing polarity of one of the 2 speaker feeds?
Easily reversible and headphones will sound so much better since both of these channels will still
be in phase!
Old 14th August 2018
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
How about just reversing polarity of one of the 2 speaker feeds?
Easily reversible... ...
Thank you. Do you mean making the positive wire negative or the negative wire positibe so that there are two positives or two negatives instead of one positive and one negative?
If so, how do I go about doing it? what tools do I need? do I just connect both wires (positive and negative) to the same end on the speaker?
Old 14th August 2018
  #4
Poke a hole in one of his speakers, and tell him it blew because he was not using his gear properly.
Old 14th August 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andertex View Post
Thank you. Do you mean making the positive wire negative or the negative wire positibe so that there are two positives or two negatives instead of one positive and one negative?
If so, how do I go about doing it? what tools do I need? do I just connect both wires (positive and negative) to the same end on the speaker?
For one of the speaker feeds only, reverse the positive and negative wires (at one end only). This will make this speaker inverted compared to the other speaker and the sound from this speaker will acoustically tend to cancel out the sound from the other one.
Old 14th August 2018
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

If you're really ambitious, you could try adding some resistance to each speaker. Adding 10 ohms will drop the level by about 6 or 7 dB, which should be easy enough to notice. Of course, the distortion will still be there as the amplifiers clip.

If you use these:

SQP10AJB-10R Yageo | Resistors | DigiKey

they have the added advantage of not catching on fire when they fail (like a fuse). They will get hot, so keep them away from anything flammable. It will probably take a while for them to do the fuse trick, so that should be even more dramatic.


To add resistance, put one resistor in series with either the positive or negative lead to the speaker. Don't put it across the speaker terminals.

Geoff
Old 14th August 2018
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DomiBabi View Post
Poke a hole in one of his speakers, and tell him it blew because he was not using his gear properly.
hahaha that's temptimg. Do you mean in the cone inside the speaker? would that make it stop working inmediately, make it gradually stop working or make it sound bad permanently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
For one of the speaker feeds only, reverse the positive and negative wires (at one end only). This will make this speaker inverted compared to the other speaker and the sound from this speaker will acoustically tend to cancel out the sound from the other one.
oh I get it now. This would affect the small L and R speakers. I have done this with headphones and it suonds reaaallly weird. After that only the subwoofer would be left to sabotage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbc6403 View Post
If you're really ambitious, you could try adding some resistance to each speaker. Adding 10 ohms will drop the level by about 6 or 7 dB, which should be easy enough to notice. Of course, the distortion will still be there as the amplifiers clip.

If you use these:

SQP10AJB-10R Yageo | Resistors | DigiKey

they have the added advantage of not catching on fire when they fail (like a fuse). They will get hot, so keep them away from anything flammable. It will probably take a while for them to do the fuse trick, so that should be even more dramatic.


To add resistance, put one resistor in series with either the positive or negative lead to the speaker. Don't put it across the speaker terminals.

Geoff
Does the resistor you link to cost 0.73 usd? also, can I put a resistor in series as you say inside the subwoofer case (see picture) so that it's concealed? are there tutorials on this site about this kind of operation?
Old 14th August 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andertex View Post
Does the resistor you link to cost 0.73 usd? also, can I put a resistor in series as you say inside the subwoofer case (see picture) so that it's concealed? are there tutorials on this site about this kind of operation?
Actually, the link goes to the Canadian site, so it's even less than U$0.73!

On second thought, maybe the 5 watt version of that resistor would be a better idea. It won't get as hot before it fails and the speaker goes silent. They do cost 4 more cents each though.

I'm pretty sure there are no tutorials for this sort of thing. I got the idea from a passive crossover in a small PA speaker. It actually uses an 8 ohm, 5W resistor in series with the HF driver as part of he crossover network to drop the level down to match the woofer. I had a blast of feedback take out one. I was prepared to replaced the HF diaphragm (about a $50 item), but was pleasantly surprised to find that all I needed to replace was the wirewound resistor, worth less than a dollar.

Putting the resistor inside the box will conceal it, but that might be more work and getting the box apart might damage something. There's also a slight chance that the resistor could get hot enough to set something on fire, although that is doubtful if you use the resistor I suggested. The one that failed in the PA speaker showed no outward signs of heat or any other failure mode.

Geoff
Old 15th August 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 

* Have a reasonable discussion with them and convince them to keep it down
* Have an unreasonable discussion and make them keep it down
* Force them out
* Move out

In that order
Old 15th August 2018
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by andertex View Post
hahaha that's temptimg. Do you mean in the cone inside the speaker? would that make it stop working inmediately, make it gradually stop working or make it sound bad permanently?


oh I get it now. This would affect the small L and R speakers. I have done this with headphones and it suonds reaaallly weird. After that only the subwoofer would be left to sabotage.



Does the resistor you link to cost 0.73 usd? also, can I put a resistor in series as you say inside the subwoofer case (see picture) so that it's concealed? are there tutorials on this site about this kind of operation?
A small hole near the speaker surround will probably not stop it from playing, but might make it sound ugly.
Old 18th August 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
* Have a reasonable discussion with them and convince them to keep it down
* Have an unreasonable discussion and make them keep it down
* Force them out
* Move out

In that order
I've talked with him several times and he's said he wouldn't be so noisy if he had headphones. That's why I'm giving him the headphones (after pranking him)
Old 18th August 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Fair enough, its your choice. I hope you like the taste of **** because you'll be eating it the rest of your life with that attitude.
Old 18th August 2018
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
Fair enough, its your choice. I hope you like the taste of **** because you'll be eating it the rest of your life with that attitude.
What attitude mate? I think you're misunderstanding the situation. I'm doing a little prank on him for being noisy, then I'll give him new headphones so that he doesn't need use the speakers any more. I'm 100% sure he'll love the headphones and we'll both laugh in the end.
Old 18th August 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 

ok I worded that rather strongly but the point is that you are dealing with someone who does not respect you, and you are going to buy them stuff? Odds are they will take the cans, decide they prefer listening on speakers most of the time (almost everyone does) and carry on as before. Now you've lost some headphones and even more respect.
Old 21st August 2018
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumbergh View Post
ok I worded that rather strongly but the point is that you are dealing with someone who does not respect you, and you are going to buy them stuff? Odds are they will take the cans, decide they prefer listening on speakers most of the time (almost everyone does) and carry on as before. Now you've lost some headphones and even more respect.
Those speakers sound ugly and he knows it. They have no midrange, almost any headphones will sound better.
I know he loves headphones because I've seen him using headphones a lot before. He just doesn't have a pair now. So I'm giving him the headphones (after the prank )so that he continues using them instead of the annoying set of speakers.
Old 21st August 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andertex View Post
I've talked with him several times and he's said he wouldn't be so noisy if he had headphones. That's why I'm giving him the headphones (after pranking him)
Problem solved.

Damn dude. Now buying the guy a pair of headphones would have been my first move too....

I could have also put firecrackers inside his speakers...If I was an asshole...
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump