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muzika

Blown Amp! (Classé 15) and Faulty Speaker (Gale 401C)

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

I recently purchased a new stereo setup here and ran into some drama while testing it – blown amp! I’m posting here to help get an idea of what happened and perhaps a way forward to fix the problems and to avoid this kind of thing in future (and get maximum enjoyment from the system!).

 

System in use at the time:

 

  • ·         Gale 401C
  • ·         Classé 15
  • ·         Blusound Node 2i

 

How it happened

 

After getting the Gales home and first listening, I noticed a lopsidedness in the sound. The output from one of the speakers was noticeably lower and sounded muted and dull, and as though the sound were ‘trapped’ inside the box rather than clearly emerging from the front of the speaker.

 

To further test this, I unplugged the ‘good’ speaker and attempted to do some isolated listening to the faulty one. Due to the low volume of it, I momentarily turned up the volume and <fizz>, the amp blew. The fuse is blown and smoke came from within the enclosure.

 

I’ve opened up the amp and can’t see any obvious damage anywhere, besides the fuse itself.

 

Is it likely the faulty speaker had something to do with the blown amp, or otherwise a combination of how I set it up and ran it?

 

Remedy?

 

I’ve contacted Atilla Tanka and am planning to drop the Gales off tonight. I’ve been recommended CVE electronics for the amplifier (but not been in contact yet).

 

The amp was recapped about 4 months ago by the previous owner, and the technician reported that the amp looked in good shape.

 

I know smoke isn’t a good sign but, without seeing any obvious damage, would it be unwise to simply replace the fuse and try to use the amp again? Or should I take it to be looked at?

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Edited by muzika

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Can you take a photo of the amplifier with the lid off , it does sound like the speaker was stuffed and by unplugging the good speaker and turning up the amplifier was a real rookie mistake.  Please never do that again. Essentially the amp was pushing power into a great big resistor and you broke it. 

It might just be the fuse or there may be one or two inside the amp as well. If your curious to change the fuse and fire it up use a different pair of speakers that you know works . Again use a PAIR  ! 

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I think someone else posted about a Amplifier taking out their speakers. I am pretty sure it was the same type of amp?

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Posted (edited)

 “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” A.E.

 

Even if it worked in some way after replacing the fuse, would you really use it like that? 

Edited by Decky

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 “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” A.E.
 
Even if it worked in some way after replacing the fuse, would you really use it like that? 
It may be the the caps in the speakers were shot , the amp might not be the culprit. I would take the lid off and have a good look take a few photos and then take it to a techie of course. Actually I'd have a go at fixing it myself if the schematic was available.

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Thanks guys.

Yup Deano, I'm definitely a rookie so it wouldn't surprise me if I made a profoundly foolish blunder like that. For some reason, I'd assumed as long as the amp wasn't set to mono, I wouldn't be changing the relative power delivery to the speaker.

Anyhow, your summary makes sense to me, that I'd sent too much power into a big resistor and caused something to blow on the amp.

And yes Decky, I don't want to make the same mistake twice but, like Deano suggested, I wonder whether the issue is really the speaker and perhaps I've got away with just a blown fuse (although does the smoke suggest that's not true?). Thus, if I get the speaker fixed and replace the fuse - all may be good to go again. But I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Pics to come.

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These are the only pics I took this morning before work. I got the torch out and looked around but couldn't see anything out of the ordinary (i.e. Charred componentry or dust etc.). Can add more pics later tonight though. 20190409_065622.jpeg20190409_065644.jpeg

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If smoke came out of the amp , then it must be checked by a good tech before being powered on again or you could do more damage to the amp. Gales have fuses in them so a blown fuse could have caused the sound imbalance but the amp could have been faulty also, causing the sound imbalance.

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Thanks ozcall. Sounds like a once over is certainly in order.

I don't belive the amp was the cause of the imbalance - I tested the speakers with a Dussun T6 also and noticed the same problem.

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Can you take a photo of the amplifier with the lid off , it does sound like the speaker was stuffed and by unplugging the good speaker and turning up the amplifier was a real rookie mistake.  Please never do that again. Essentially the amp was pushing power into a great big resistor and you broke it. 
It might just be the fuse or there may be one or two inside the amp as well. If your curious to change the fuse and fire it up use a different pair of speakers that you know works . Again use a PAIR  ! 

Not necessarily high resistance/impedance it may have been the opposite and a very very low impedance.

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1 hour ago, muzika said:

Thanks ozcall. Sounds like a once over is certainly in order.

I don't belive the amp was the cause of the imbalance - I tested the speakers with a Dussun T6 also and noticed the same problem.

My Gales have 2 fuses , one for the  tweeter and a main fuse, If yours are the same check the tweeter fuse as a first step. If the fuse is ok you could unscrew the tweeter and put a multimeter across the terminals to check for continuity. If you get an open circuit the the tweeter is probably dead and will need to be replaced. Check the mid and bass units to see if they are all working , just use a finger touch to make sure all the units are vibrating when music is being played. If the tweeter is working it should give a resistance reading of between 4.7 and 8 ohms and that suggests a problem with the crossover.

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3 hours ago, Ozcall said:

If you get an open circuit the the tweeter is probably dead and will need to be replaced.

Can you still replace those Tweeters Oz? I recently bought a pair of "A"s and one of the best speakers I've heard.

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Any tips (similar rookie question) or best practices for not blowing drivers with your amp? I’ve just added an amp with 250W class A into some small bookshelves, have only turned the volume 4 presses above mute so far, and am naturally concerned about preserving the difficult to replace Scanspeak/Kef drivers...

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26 minutes ago, crtexcnndrm99 said:

Any tips (similar rookie question) or best practices for not blowing drivers with your amp? I’ve just added an amp with 250W class A into some small bookshelves, have only turned the volume 4 presses above mute so far, and am naturally concerned about preserving the difficult to replace Scanspeak/Kef drivers...

What amp do you have that 250W class A?

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Any tips (similar rookie question) or best practices for not blowing drivers with your amp? I’ve just added an amp with 250W class A into some small bookshelves, have only turned the volume 4 presses above mute so far, and am naturally concerned about preserving the difficult to replace Scanspeak/Kef drivers...


It’s much easier to blow speakers by under powering (via clipping) than to have ample power. You are on the right side of the equation although I suspect it’s not 250W of class A

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4 minutes ago, A J said:

 


It’s much easier to blow speakers by under powering (via clipping) than to have ample power. You are on the right side of the equation although I suspect it’s not 250W of class A

 

Sure, to a certain extent. But I have seen cones cracked by too much power as well. I first want to know what amps the guys talking about. Small speakers can be less efficient and harder to drive then bigger speakers. EG DB's.

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