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Amp/Speaker problem

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Posted by Zach on November 11, 2001 at 19:32:18:

Hi all,

I'm currently using an SWR SM-500 powering an SWR Goliath III 4x10 speaker. Well, for a while now, I've been getting some strange noises coming out of my speaker. You'd think that a 700-watt speaker would be able to handle a 500-watt amplifier, but it's almost like the speaker is struggling. Either that, or my amplifier is putting out some really nasty signals.

I first started noticing this problem about a month ago. I hadn't used my rig in a while, but I finally dragged it out for a big gig that we were doing for the Homecoming festivities at my college. I have the attinuator on the back of my speaker at about 2 o'clock, just for a little extra high end for slap. This causes the horn to hiss a little, but it's not noticeable when playing. I also keep the bass control on my amp at about 2 o'clock and the bass control on my instrument almost all the way up, with neutral midrange and a little bit of treble. Despite having two active basses, I use the Passive/Active input on my amplifier.

That's not the problem though. The problem is in the woofers on my speaker. Every time I would hit notes on the low B or E string, the 4 10-inch speakers would pound and beat to the point of distortion on the lower registers. The sound would resemble a loud farting with low pitch. I figured it was a problem with the gain, but the gain was only set on 2. I turned it down anyway, and to compensate, turned up the master volume, which I had set on 8, with the limiter at 2. The woofers continued to distort, so I turned down the master volume on my amp and compensated by turning my bass up. Despite my every effort, I could not get this problem to go away. In fact, because of this constant distorting, I managed to tear a small hole in my lower right 10" woofer. The whole isn't big enough to cause a problem (yet), but still, it's rather disturbing.

Also, I was using the D.I. output on the back of my SM-500 amp to the main bored. During soundcheck, the soundman was complaining that my signal was making a crackling noise. I went out onto the floor to check it out for myself, and sure enough, every time I would attack a string at a medium or high volume, a sharp cracking in the system would occur.

Along with these two problems, I'm just not getting a whole lot of anything out of this amp anymore. The bass is muddy thanks to the distortion coming from my speaker, and I can hardly get any high end, especially from slapping, despite turning up the attinuator and keeping the treble on my bass pretty high. My sound is really weak and lacking; and it's disappointing because I have two high-end basses, Keith Roscoe 5-string and 6-string fretless, both of which have Bartolini 18-volt preamps, and the sound coming out of my rig doesn't do them justice. I check the batteries in my basses all the time too, and I keep them fully charged, so that wouldn't be part of problem.

So what's the problem??? Where is the problem??? How do I solve it? How do I remedy it? Is it in the speaker? Is it in the amp? What should I turn down? What should I turn up? Do I need a compressor? Do I need a more powerful amplifier? Is my amplifier too powerful? Do I need another speaker to take some of the power-pounding?

ANY help is greatly appreciated. I don't have a lot of time and money, so if there is any way I can save a little of both, that would be rad.


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