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Don't do this to ya monitors! (esp Adam) Studio Monitors
Old 26th August 2007
  #1
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Freemiumaire's Avatar
 

Don't do this to ya monitors! (esp Adam)

Last night I was messing around with a wave generator.. kinda testing out my Adam S2.5a's responses & looking for my limit of hearing (approx 17khz.. is that normal? Maybe need another thread).

Anyways, when I had the generator running sine @ an inaudible 24khz, I thought I'd check out if high gain would have any noticeable effects (e.g. glass breaking, dogs barking, heads exploding, etc)... and there was a noticeable effect... SMOKE!!!

Yes, a strange 'wafting', almost toxic-looking smoke virtually oozed out of my Adam's ribbon tweeters!!!

After much blowing and subsequent testing, they don't seem damaged (in fact, I swear they sound 'better'). Maybe it was some lacquer or something burning off?

Anyways, best not to pump high frequencies into any Adam monitors at high gain - unless you like fried ribbon..
Old 26th August 2007
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron View Post
After much blowing and subsequent testing, they don't seem damaged (in fact, I swear they sound 'better').
Yeah, you just keep telling yourself that.
Old 26th August 2007
  #3
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numrologst's Avatar
well it's freq response does go way above 24khz
Old 26th August 2007
  #4
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Freemiumaire's Avatar
 

At the price I paid for these I'll have to keep telling myself they're fine!!

Seriously though.. S2.5a's support 34 Hz - 35 kHz... I don't see how they could be damaged by running a 24kHZ sine wave at moderate gain (only hooked up to RME ADI-8DS via passive volume control, which only got to about -8dB before the tweeter smoke fest).

At least I can say I literally "burnt them in"!!

Anyone else seen anything like this?

My guess: The ART ribbon tweeters got a bit hot from the 24KHz vibrations and some coating smoked off..

Last edited by Freemiumaire; 26th August 2007 at 08:16 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 26th August 2007
  #5
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At least im not the only one blowing stuff up heh



.
Old 26th August 2007
  #6
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you're probably right though dude. If they sound normal, then I wouldn't beat myself up over about it. We've all done **** like that
Old 26th August 2007
  #7
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yup, tried the exact same thing as OP, but instead on a pair of NS10's, lol.

thankfully, it's the tweeters that needed replacement, not the poplar woofers.

you can i'll never crank @ 20k no more.
Old 26th August 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron View Post

Yes, a strange 'wafting', almost toxic-looking smoke virtually oozed out of my Adam's ribbon tweeters!!!

After much blowing and subsequent testing, they don't seem damaged (in fact, I swear they sound 'better'). Maybe it was some lacquer or something burning off?
Smoke is bad! I doubt it was the tweaters themselves. This was almost certainly a component overheating due to the sudden flux of gain. You could have overheated a voltage regulator, or blown a cap. Was there a smell? If there was an acidic smell, you probably blew a cap.
Old 26th August 2007
  #9
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i would tend to talk to the manufacturer. That smoke could be quite toxic, we don't want you at risk of being gassed!
Old 26th August 2007
  #10
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benoïde's Avatar
 

I need to replace my ANF10 tweeters because I did the exact same thing. Although the consequences were somewhat different : fire, smoke then smell on both tweeters. Now I only hear the woofers.
Old 26th August 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numrologst View Post
you're probably right though dude. If they sound normal, then I wouldn't beat myself up over about it. We've all done **** like that
Uh, speak for yourself dude.
Old 26th August 2007
  #12
I love the smell of burning tweeter ribbon in the morning, smells of success!
Old 26th August 2007
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

You should repeat this test at 12Khz/high gain to see how incredibly loud it actually was. An spl meter and ear plugs will probably come in handy.heh

M.
Old 26th August 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad View Post
I doubt it was the tweaters themselves. This was almost certainly a component overheating due to the sudden flux of gain.
I'm inclined to disagree. It is, in fact, not unusual for the folded ribbons to smoke when they've been damaged.

In my opinion, Cameron's experiment did damage his tweeters. I'm not an engineer, but as I understand it, it's kinda dangerous to experiment with frequencies that most people can't hear. It's one thing when they're combined with a full audio spectrum, but another thing entirely when you don't have the other more audible frequencies to give an indication of how much SPL is being pumped into the drivers.

FWIW, I've been told more than once that steady state sine wave testing is actually not the best idea for any tweeter because of the amount of heat it generates.

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Old 26th August 2007
  #15
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mac black's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
I'm inclined to disagree. It is, in fact, not unusual for the folded ribbons to smoke when they've been damaged.

In my opinion, Cameron's experiment did damage his tweeters. I'm not an engineer, but as I understand it, it's kinda dangerous to experiment with frequencies that most people can't hear. It's one thing when they're combined with a full audio spectrum, but another thing entirely when you don't have the other more audible frequencies to give an indication of how much SPL is being pumped into the drivers.

FWIW, I've been told more than once that steady state sine wave testing is actually not the best idea for any tweeter because of the amount of heat it generates.

dB
ADAM Audio USA


Oh dear .......
Old 26th August 2007
  #16
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I agree with Dave. The tweeters couldn't dissipate the magnetic heat, so it took it out on the folded ribbon.

Also, I would personally never knowingly subject my hearing apparatus to those frequencies at even moderate levels. Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean the damage is not being done...

And if it can do that to the tweeters, imagine what it could be doing to your tympanum and middle ear bones
Old 26th August 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
I'm inclined to disagree. It is, in fact, not unusual for the folded ribbons to smoke when they've been damaged.

In my opinion, Cameron's experiment did damage his tweeters. I'm not an engineer, but as I understand it, it's kinda dangerous to experiment with frequencies that most people can't hear. It's one thing when they're combined with a full audio spectrum, but another thing entirely when you don't have the other more audible frequencies to give an indication of how much SPL is being pumped into the drivers.

FWIW, I've been told more than once that steady state sine wave testing is actually not the best idea for any tweeter because of the amount of heat it generates.

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Well you would know more about the tendancy for folded ribbons to smoke than I would so you're probably right.

I was thinking about this for a moment last night and wondered what sample rate Cameron was running during the test. If he was running 44.1 but trying to output a 24khz signal is there a chance it would be sending a distorted or square wave signal out of his converters into the adams?

Just a thought.
Old 26th August 2007
  #18
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wirerecording's Avatar
ya really gotta watch that hi freq sine wave test. Many years ago when i was much smarter than i am now, i tried to "test" my hearing by jamming 20 khz thru some speakers...lucky for me the tweeters fried before my ears did

stuart
Old 26th August 2007
  #19
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Did you just let the smoke go away or did you try to catch it and put it back in there? Getting the smoke in there in the first place is one of the hardest parts of the manufacturing process. They don't sound as good once it gets out.
Old 27th August 2007
  #20
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Master Tang's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killahurts View Post
I agree with Dave. The tweeters couldn't dissipate the magnetic heat, so it took it out on the folded ribbon.

Also, I would personally never knowingly subject my hearing apparatus to those frequencies at even moderate levels. Just because you can't hear it, doesn't mean the damage is not being done...

And if it can do that to the tweeters, imagine what it could be doing to your tympanum and middle ear bones

Let alone the fact that every dog in a 10 mile radius can no longer hear their whistles....

Old 27th August 2007
  #21
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Thanks for all the comments..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
It is, in fact, not unusual for the folded ribbons to smoke when they've been damaged.
- Bryce, I take it you'e seen this before? How common are damaged/faulty ART ribbon tweeters?

- Could my 'kentucky fried ribbon' be a result of faulty ART tweeters in the first place (see below), magnified by a steady-state sine test?

- I'm out of warranty, so how much are replacement ART tweeters out of interest? (They look very easy to replace)

You see, I did have issues with the S2.5a tweeters when I first bought my Adams in 2004, where they'd cut-out and crackle every now and then, requiring a few turn-up/down tricks with volume to stop this behaviour. I did email Adam support in Germany, and my local supplier in Australia about this - without a single response! I kind of got used to living with it given I could generally get rid of the crackling/cutting-out... but now this smoking at normal gain with sinusoid makes me suspicious...

Something has clearly sublimated off the surface of my folded ribbon tweeters as smoke (and I swear "I didn't inhale!" ), which obviously must affect their operation... even if only up around 24KHz and above.

FYI - I was running 24bit/48KHz, so by Nyquist's theory 24kHz should not have been distorting, and I know from sweeping frequencies that the volume setting was quite ok for a human in front.

I've sent another email to Adam support Germany, if I do hear anything back this time I'll post it here..


cheers

Last edited by Freemiumaire; 27th August 2007 at 08:56 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 27th August 2007
  #22
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Bryce's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron View Post
How common are damaged/faulty ART ribbon tweeters?
Faulty? Next to never. Damaged? That varies, depending on the amount of abuse... there isn't really any kind of pattern that I'm aware of.

Quote:
Could my 'kentucky fried ribbon' be a result of faulty ART tweeters in the first place (see below), magnified by a steady-state sine test?
Not likely - especially given that the exact same thing seems to have happened to both units at the exact same time. The odds against that are pretty high.

Quote:
I'm out of warranty
Damage to tweeters caused by end users isn't covered by warranty by any speaker manufacturer, as far as I know.

Quote:
how much are replacement ART tweeters out of interest? (They look very easy to replace)
I don't know how much they sell for in Oz. USD they're $225 each. They're as easy to replace as you would think - four screws, two spade lug connectors. You do have to take them out and check to see what the microhenry measurement is for each units (sticker on the back of each tweeter will tell you that) before getting new ones.

Quote:
You see, I did have issues with the S2.5a tweeters when I first bought my Adams in 2004, where they'd cut-out and crackle every now and then, requiring a few turn-up/down tricks with volume to stop this behaviour.
Both units? In exactly the same way? Once again, pretty unusual.

Quote:
I did email Adam support in Germany, and my local supplier in Australia about this - without a single response!
Really? ADAM technical support is usually pretty good. What email address did you use? What date you send the email? I'll check with them to see why they didn't answer it, if you'd like. Maybe you got caught in their spam filter...?

As far as the Oz distrubutor in 2004 - it is no longer the same company. The current distributor is Group Technologies in Victoria. Give them a call...+61 3 9354 9133

Quote:
Something has clearly sublimated off the surface of my folded ribbon tweeters as smoke (and I swear "I didn't inhale!" ), which obviously must affect their operation... even if only up around 24KHz and above.
It is possible that their performance would be affected, yes.

Quote:
FYI - I was running 24bit/48KHz, so by Nyquist's theory 24kHz should not have been distorting, and I know from sweeping frequencies that the volume setting was quite ok for a human in front.
I'm not a tech...and even if I was, it's difficult to diagnose a problem without seeing the speaker. However, I have been told that steady state sine waves can do damage even at moderate volume levels. The fact that the same thing happened to both units at the same time kinda indicates that what you did is what caused the damage - it's not likely that if there were something defective, it would be the exact same thing with both units which would cause them to fail in exactly the same way at exactly the same time.

Quote:
I've sent another email to Adam support Germany, if I do hear anything back this time I'll post it here..
Make sure and use [email protected]. You might also try the Oz distributor...they're great guys.

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Old 27th August 2007
  #23
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what am i missing? - just because it says it has a freq. response of 34 - 34kHz,
why is there a need to test it by shooting an inaudible sine wave straight in?
or is it just because MY hearing is bad, and most of you can hear above 20kHz?

now that that ribbon has smoked, how compromised is the sound? it could be completely broken?
Old 27th August 2007
  #24
Dan
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You still have nothing on Bruce Swedien. Write back when you set woofers on fire. That's when the mix is hot.
Old 27th August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan View Post
You still have nothing on Bruce Swedien. Write back when you set woofers on fire. That's when the mix is hot.



.
Old 27th August 2007
  #26
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Freemiumaire's Avatar
 

Great response Bryce - thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Both units? In exactly the same way? Once again, pretty unusual.
Started out with crackling/cutting-out in my left monitor initially, then both got to doing it (but not at the same time). Like I said, I could always stop it by swelling the volume, and it was irregular enough to ignore. Just thought this might have indicated a predisposition to overheating or smoking.. but probably not given your response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
Really? ADAM technical support is usually pretty good. What email address did you use? What date you send the email? I'll check with them to see why they didn't answer it, if you'd like. Maybe you got caught in their spam filter...?
Yeah really. I was very under-whelmed at the time actually (2005). But I guess it was the change-over of the local distributor and a spam filter in Germany perhaps. The good news is your guys in Germany have now responded within 24 hours thumbsup . I also sent them my original email about the crackling too for what it's worth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cl516 View Post
why is there a need to test it by shooting an inaudible sine wave straight in? or is it just because MY hearing is bad, and most of you can hear above 20kHz? now that that ribbon has smoked, how compromised is the sound? it could be completely broken?
There wasn't a direct need per se.. By sweeping sine waves I was interested in aurally assessing monitor flatness (for eq-ing them), room resonate frequencies (which I did find - windows shook like an earthquake), and my own limit of hearing. Once I got to about 17kHz I couldn't hear anymore, but was looking for any noticeable effects in the room up to 24kHz. Then the smoke..

Thankfully, I don't see any adverse effects in my Adam's performance at all. Probably a testament to the ART tweeter's themselves.

Here's what Adam Germany had to say:

"I think you were close to damaging your tweeters... If the speakers still sound the same you could be lucky and carry on using them like you did. It's not a very good idea to test your speakers this way."

I agree! Thus this thread...

Maybe manufacturers should put a warning in manuals or on the monitors or something?? It's not like I pushed my monitors very hard. Even things like Stylus come with sine waves these days.
Old 28th August 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron View Post
Great response Bryce - thanks!



Quote:
Maybe manufacturers should put a warning in manuals or on the monitors or something?? It's not like I pushed my monitors very hard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameron View Post
Anyways, when I had the generator running sine @ an inaudible 24khz, I thought I'd check out if high gain would have any noticeable effects (e.g. glass breaking, dogs barking, heads exploding, etc)... and there was a noticeable effect... SMOKE!!!
tutt heh

dB
ADAM Audio USA
Old 28th August 2007
  #28
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Freemiumaire's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
tutt heh
Funny..

I guess it comes down to what you term 'high gain'.. for me this is a volume that is perceived 'loud', but not uncomfortable and certainly within normal operating conditions of equipment.

I would have expected my Adam's to have coped with much higher gain (i.e. pushing them 'harder'), than what it took to get the tweeters to smoke (I was at about -9dB on a passive volume control that attenuated output from RME ADI-8DS set to 'high gain' (yes, this is literally one of the output options on the RME ADI-8DS).

Surely RME did not put a 'high gain' setting on their AD/DA to blow up monitors?!?

In any case, I'm thinking that rather get replacement ribbons I might go for some NS-10s that aren't so.. shall I say... 'fickle'??

Last edited by Freemiumaire; 28th August 2007 at 02:32 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 28th August 2007
  #29
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What else was in your signal path? There may well have been distortion introduced somewhere along the way as not all gear is equipped to handle those frequencies, and since you were outside of your hearing range to begin with you would have had no warning...

Quote:
In any case, I'm thinking that rather get replacement ribbons I might go for some NS-10s that aren't so.. shall I say... 'fickle'??
Considering how often NS10 tweeters are known to blow I would guess that they would have given in sooner...and I wouldn't consider tweeters that have problems when you run a pure (or not?) 24kHz sine wave through them...especially since

Quote:
FYI - I was running 24bit/48KHz, so by Nyquist's theory 24kHz should not have been distorting, and I know from sweeping frequencies that the volume setting was quite ok for a human in front.
According to Nyquist, at a 48 khz sampling rate there should be nothing at 24kHz...so who knows what the system was actually putting out?
Old 28th August 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
According to Nyquist, at a 48 khz sampling rate there should be nothing at 24kHz...so who knows what the system was actually putting out?
Good point! But not specifically 'nothing'. I think this may be the explanation I was looking for (quoting Wikipedia):

"If the signal contains a frequency component at precisely the Nyquist frequency then the corresponding component of the sample values cannot have sufficient information to reconstruct the Nyquist-frequency component in the continuous-time signal because of phase ambiguity. In such a case, there would be an infinite number of possible and different sinusoids (of varying amplitude and phase) of the Nyquist-frequency component that are represented by the discrete samples."

This suggests that with a precise 24KHz sinusoid @ 48KHz sampling rate, I may have actually ended up with heap of various sinusoids at different phases and strengths.. quite possibly resulting in stronger signals than anticipated from monitoring lower audible frequencies (that were correctly represented).

Thanks for that.. no more sine tests for me!! tutt

cheers
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