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Blown Peavey Black Widow 18" subs
Old 13th May 2013
  #1
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Blown Peavey Black Widow 18" subs

Hey everybody,

This is my first post here so I might sound a little less than knowledgeable about all of this but I will try to be as specific as a can. let me know if you have any more questions. I have been having difficulty with my P.A. System recently, and have Blown 2 Pairs of Peavey Black Widow 18" subs. The first time they were blown I had them replaced by someone else, and afterwords I added peak limiter to the system. A couple months later they were blown again. They are rated at 1400w peak and 700w continuous. They are Powered by a Peavey CS 4080hz. The amp puts out 1250w per channel at 8 ohms. I am not sure if this is rms or peak... I have been running the system without clipping but the subs keep blowing. Could it be that the speaker just cant handle the wattage from the amp for too long? Should I just buy another pair of black widows, or should I invest in speakers with a higher power handling? Why are the blowing? I don't have power conditioner yet but I have the system plugged into a surge protected power strip. Could this be related? Thanks for your help and any input or suggestions is greatly appreciated!
Old 14th May 2013
  #2

Sounds like your amp may be passing DC. It only takes a little DC to blow the biggest of woofers...



-tINY

Old 14th May 2013
  #3
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Why would my amp be passing DC, and how can I prevent it?
Thanks.
Old 14th May 2013
  #4
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1250w rms into a 700w continuous rated speaker might have something to do with it.
Old 14th May 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen View Post
1250w rms into a 700w continuous rated speaker might have something to do with it.
It doesn't specify in the specs if it is referring to rms or peak for the amp. And your snarky attitude isn't very helpful. So from your answer I assume that you think I should probably buy a speaker with a higher power rating otherwise run the amp much lower. Any suggestions on a good 18" sub?
Old 14th May 2013
  #6
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You are just replacing the baskets on the BlackWidows right? There are (i think) six different ones that fit the same magnet, and this may have something to do with it.

Make sure you clean the voice coil gap with folded masking tape, sticky side out, until it comes out clean too. Sometimes when the coil gets cooked it sheds copper, sometimes when the basket is off foreign parts get in there.

I hope I am not butting in where I don't belong.
-e
Old 14th May 2013
  #7
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The Peavey LowRider is the next generation from them and rocks. The advantage (in my opinion) with Peavey is the ability to simply remove a few bolts and replace the basket yourself. Other makes, you toss the whole driver and start anew.

I used to sell PA stuff and we sold mostly Peavey, JBL, and EV, but sometimes Yamaha. There were folks that still insisted on huge scooped subs (like the older Cerwin Vega), but current smaller boxes are lighter and perform similarly.

If you like the Peavey and are tired of blowing them (BlackWidows), check and make sure the baskets you are putting on the magnets are the high power ones you want (I am almost 100% sure that all BW use the same magnet, and all BWX use another). Or go up to a LowRider (800w continuous, 1600 program, 3200 peak 25Hz-1k), or ProRider.

I hope this helps.
-e
Old 14th May 2013
  #8
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These things fail due to two things:

Mechanical failure (over-excursion)

Heat

Most likely you're trying to get more out of them than they can deliver, hence your driving them hard enough for them to tear themselves apart (over-excursion) or you're heating them up and they're burning out.

The most likely solution is more "rig for the gig". You may well need two to four times the subs you now have to keep from destroying them.

BTW, limiting is pretty much futile. You can still drive them hard enough to make them fail if they are insufficient for your desired levels.

Never put your power amps on "power conditioners". They do nothing to help and can introduce noise and even starve your amps for power. Keep them plugged directly "into the wall" without some cheap power strip.
Old 14th May 2013
  #9

when you adjust your peak limiter, you should have a meter handy.

A good "true RMS" meter that works to 400Hz will tell you the voltage at the woofer terminals. If you get one with a Peak hold or max-min function, you can see what maximum levels you are getting.

If you use 6 ohms for your power calculations (minimum driver impedance), you should read something under 60 V(RMS) average and 90 V(RMS) maximum.

While you are there, checking for less than about 250mV DC would be good too.




-tINY

Old 14th May 2013
  #10
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My guess is mechanical failure too. I find that to be the main cause of LF driver failures. If you pass a signal an octave lower than the cut-off for the box all things being equal the driver will handle only 1/4 of the power rating that it will in the mid-band.

So question #1 ... what HP filter are you using?

Are these drivers in Peavey boxes?
Old 14th May 2013
  #11

I thought the BW had extra room to the backplate (one-piece casting with the polepiece) to reduce the likelyhood of mechanical dammage.

...like from driving a ported enclosure below the port tuning...




-tINY

Old 14th May 2013
  #12
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Not that I know of and I was the product manager for them for 4 years I guess it depends on how you make that call.

But even so there are other mechanical limits like surrounds, lead length, spiders. Bottoming out is a big potential problem of course but even before you get there you get "non-tangental" performance from the voice coil. It basically starts going out of round as it continues to get pushed more and more. If you deform it enough it will begin to rub. And once it starts rubbing you quickly move on to vc burnout.

The OP didn't describe "blown" so I don't know. Did he mean VC burning and open coils? Could have also been broken lead wires.

I also noted in his original post that he quoted specs of "1400 peak, 700 continuous". Peavey never has a spec like this. Peak power is always stated as 4x continuous. The other problem understanding the power handling of Peavey speakers is that there are so many drivers called BWs it's sometimes hard to know which ones you are actually dealing with. Not all baskets fit in all magnet structures but most do. Also if you switch to the newer ND magnets you will almost double the power handling (thermal) of the baskets as opposed to using the standard ferrite magnets because of improved cooling. But the excursion limits won't change.
Old 14th May 2013
  #13

I guess I was AssU-Me ing that "blown" ment open VC. I wasn't thinking in terms of broken leads or torn spiders.

Bottoming out the backplate leads to open VC's when the former gets stuck in the gap. Most of those other failure mechanisms could result in an open VC, but there would normally be a prolonged period of poor performance that should be obvious...

Assumptions, Assumptions.... we need pictures!

(I don't know how common it is for newer amps to pass DC when the AC mains voltage droops significantly - this used to be an issue with 70's and 80's PA amps).




-tINY

Old 15th May 2013
  #14
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Thanks for the helps guys, I will take a closer look at everything. I have quoted the wrong specs on the speaker and I know that's an important piece of the problem. I looked it up online and posted the specs of the speaker I thought I had... I meant to say program instead of continuous Peavey Black Widow 1801 Speaker at zZounds I have the box in storage for the actual speakers and I will get it out and figure out the exact specs in case these are wrong. I have a voltmeter but not a true RMS meter. It looks like a hefty expense on top of buying a new set of baskets. Anyways, I will take pictures as soon as I get a little more time. I take it I probably should'nt leave the enclosures open for to long to avoid dust? In terms of the HP filter, I am using a crossover, but I don't have it in front of me right now, I don't remember what the crossover point is set too. Do you have a good recommendation for that? The speakers are in Peavey boxes. I would really like some recommendations for some new subs as well. Sounds like I should maybe get some BWXs? maybe something like this 18-WOOFER-SPEAKER-DRIVER-/170775306978?. I am sort of new to all this and doing my best to run sound for a small house venue after saving up for this P.A. System all last summer. I apologize for any lack of clarity or knowledge on my part, but I am here to learn. thanks again for all your help!
Old 15th May 2013
  #15
PDC
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Never trust a retailer. The people that put those sites together put sites together. They do not know gear or specs. Go to the source every time. Even then you still might have an issue. Peavey has a new fangled invention called a telephone. I'll be darn if someone down there in Mississippi doesn't answer it every time I call.

Avoid dust? Shoot. The woofer is moving more air and dust through that cab than you leaving it open. You will not hurt anything leaving the cab opened.
Old 16th May 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlesse View Post
In terms of the HP filter, I am using a crossover, but I don't have it in front of me right now, I don't remember what the crossover point is set too.!
Don't confuse a high pass filter for the sub with a crossover. The high pass filter limits how low a frequency gets sent to the sub. This is way more important in protecting a sub that how much power you use.

In my experience speakers get blown probably 20:1 from mechanical limitations being exceeded than by too much thermal power. It's hard to imagine how too much power could ever get delivered to a speaker in normal use. They would just sound so bad you couldn't stand to run them that way.
Old 20th November 2013
  #17
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magnets

My question is can a low rider basket fit on a bw magnet? I have several bw magnets 1801-8 and 1808-8 with an extra lopw rider basket. Will it fit on one of these magnets or should I start looking for a low rider magnet?
Old 21st November 2013
  #18
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Generally no
Old 22nd November 2013
  #19
270182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlesse View Post
Hey everybody,

This is my first post here so I might sound a little less than knowledgeable about all of this but I will try to be as specific as a can. let me know if you have any more questions. I have been having difficulty with my P.A. System recently, and have Blown 2 Pairs of Peavey Black Widow 18" subs. The first time they were blown I had them replaced by someone else, and afterwords I added peak limiter to the system. A couple months later they were blown again. They are rated at 1400w peak and 700w continuous. They are Powered by a Peavey CS 4080hz. The amp puts out 1250w per channel at 8 ohms. I am not sure if this is rms or peak... I have been running the system without clipping but the subs keep blowing. Could it be that the speaker just cant handle the wattage from the amp for too long? Should I just buy another pair of black widows, or should I invest in speakers with a higher power handling? Why are the blowing? I don't have power conditioner yet but I have the system plugged into a surge protected power strip. Could this be related? Thanks for your help and any input or suggestions is greatly appreciated!
The power strip has nothing to do with it and the power strip is likely doing very little to help you either.

If you are blowing woofers and the evidence is a burnt coil, you are sending too much voltage. If the evidence is physical damage to the cone, or the cone being shot out of it's happy home, that is the result of frequency.

The amplifier could be damaged, but you would likely see/hear other things going on before the sub drivers have blown.

I would like to suggest that you cross reference the speaker cabinets with the baskets and the baskets with the magnets. Chances are the cabs could have the wrong Peavey drivers. Peavey has discontinued drivers and no longer offers direct replacements for some models. It could be the wrong replacement basket was previously installed too.
Old 22nd November 2013
  #20
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That speaker is rated at 350 watts continuous, if it where my rig I'd put 500 watts peak amp power at the very most to it. That also may be to much but it you put a fuse in-line on your speakers it will blow before the speaker.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #21
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Fuses by themselves do little to protect a speaker. You can blow a speaker with too little power and distortion. I think Peavey has it right for the HF drivers, using light bulbs though.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASCMe View Post
You can blow a speakeru with too little power and distortion.
Can you please elaborate on this? AFAIK, speakers fail due to:

1. Over-excursion

2. Thermal overload/heating.

3. Excessive power, either long-term (see #2) or instantaneous as when a mic is dropped or a hot input is plugged or unplugged producing a spike which is then (over)amplified.

How does low power contribute to any of these failure modes? And what does distortion have to do with it?
Old 23rd November 2013
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Can you please elaborate on this? AFAIK, speakers fail due to:

1. Over-excursion

2. Thermal overload/heating.

3. Excessive power, either long-term (see #2) or instantaneous as when a mic is dropped or a hot input is plugged or unplugged producing a spike which is then (over)amplified.

How does low power contribute to any of these failure modes? And what does distortion have to do with it?
The problem has to do with the amplifier, not so much the speaker. If a user were to not power a driver sufficiently, and ran that amplifier into clipping for extended periods of time, that could do it. Of course, it is amp dependent. But, it can and does happen.

Read this JBL White Paper:
http://www.jblpro.com/BackOffice/Pro...s/lowpower.pdf
Old 23rd November 2013
  #24
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I don't know everything but I do know that after I started using inline fuse's on my speakers I stopped blowing speaker's. I do admit I was using all new pro gear and had by that time figured out a little about gain-staging and basic EQ.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASCMe View Post
The problem has to do with the amplifier, not so much the speaker. If a user were to not power a driver sufficiently, and ran that amplifier into clipping for extended periods of time, that could do it. Of course, it is amp dependent. But, it can and does happen.

Read this JBL White Paper:
http://www.jblpro.com/BackOffice/Pro...s/lowpower.pdf
We've all read that and similar treatises. Of course, it's not possible to "idiot proof" anything, but it takes some serious and continued OE to cause such damage. It's not really fair to attribute the damage to under or over powering when it is simply the fault of the operator for not running the system properly.

OE can cause damage any old way. Under-powering...not so much and only in the hands of the less experienced or inept operator.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
We've all read that and similar treatises. Of course, it's not possible to "idiot proof" anything, but it takes some serious and continued OE to cause such damage. It's not really fair to attribute the damage to under or over powering when it is simply the fault of the operator for not running the system properly.

OE can cause damage any old way. Under-powering...not so much and only in the hands of the less experienced or inept operator.
As a guy who has to service clubs and churches, I automatically look at what people are doing when I am out and about. If I had a dollar for every time I have seen Peavey CS amp DDT lights on non-stop, sometimes burnt out, I would be rich. It happens all the time.
Old 23rd November 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASCMe View Post
As a guy who has to service clubs and churches, I automatically look at what people are doing when I am out and about. If I had a dollar for every time I have seen Peavey CS amp DDT lights on non-stop, sometimes burnt out, I would be rich. It happens all the time.
Yup. There's no cure for stupididity...

But in the case of amp clipping and distortion, CAN'T THEY HEAR IT HAPPENING?

It should sound like c*** and they should stop or at least back off until the c*** goes away...


My favorite was the HOW that kept blowing their HF drivers by pulling their condenser lectern mics with the system and phantom power on. The reason they pulled them was so the kids wouldn't damage them when running amok after services. So they would just yank the mics producing the loud "pops" you'd expect and gradually destroying yet another set of HF drivers.

Instead of keeping the kids under control or actually shutting down, THEN disconnecting the mics, they just kept paying to replace drivers every 3 months or so, sometimes more often.

Buy them books and buy them books and all they do is eat the covers...
Old 23rd November 2013
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Yup. There's no cure for stupididity...

But in the case of amp clipping and distortion, CAN'T THEY HEAR IT HAPPENING?

It should sound like c*** and they should stop or at least back off until the c*** goes away...


My favorite was the HOW that kept blowing their HF drivers by pulling their condenser lectern mics with the system and phantom power on. The reason they pulled them was so the kids wouldn't damage them when running amok after services. So they would just yank the mics producing the loud "pops" you'd expect and gradually destroying yet another set of HF drivers.

Instead of keeping the kids under control or actually shutting down, THEN disconnecting the mics, they just kept paying to replace drivers every 3 months or so, sometimes more often.

Buy them books and buy them books and all they do is eat the covers...
I am looking at the C***. Is that c-r-a-p? Is c-r-a-p a bad word now?
Old 23rd November 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASCMe View Post
I am looking at the C***. Is that c-r-a-p? Is c-r-a-p a bad word now?
It just looks more impressive and emphasizes the viler aspects of the word if you use a*terisks...
Old 28th April 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen View Post
1250w rms into a 700w continuous rated speaker might have something to do with it.
Well the 1801 only handles 350w rms. I have blown several of these with a qsc 2450 and other amps. Don't even bother using money trying to repair these.
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