Academy of Sound

Why Do Subs and Speakers Blow?

Why Do Subs and Speakers Blow?

The day has come, you’ve waited, sometimes patiently, it’s time to pump some serious bass and quality through your car with your sweet upgrades. Then the worst happens only a couple of weeks later. Your new subs and speakers blow! Why? Why do Subs and Speakers Blow?

In this quick little update, we’ll take you through the main reason why new subs and speakers blow. No matter how much they cost, how much power they’re rated to or what your mates or cousins said about them – this applies.

What Makes a Speaker or Subwoofer?

To fully understand what we’re going to talk about here, I need to know that you know what makes up a speaker. They’re a combination of a bunch of different parts working together with electricity, magnetic fields, and a little magic to provide that deep, delicious doof we’re all starry-eyed about.

Why Do Subs and Speakers Blow?

Dust Cap

Cone

Surround

Tinsel Leads

Spider

Voice Coil

The Basket

The Magnet

Dust Cap

Basically, the dust cap is a hat for the sub/speaker. It keeps everything underneath all protected and safe. Almost always, this is free advertising space for the manufacture. You’ll find the logo of the maker on the dust cap.

Surround

As the Cone is jumping in and out from the magnet making that sweet doof. The surround is the foamy, soft bit that keeps it aligned, straight and sounding awesome. The bigger the surround, the more excursion the Cone can do (more movement equals more sound).

Spider

This is one Spider you won’t mind having in your car. It’s the thing that suspends the Cone and the Voice Coil/s. It’s made of thin, layered wavy bits of super complicated material. It keeps all the things moving in the up and down motion they’re supposed to.

The Basket

No prizes for guessing what this does! It keeps everything mentioned together and in a nice little package. You’re wanting this piece to be as sound dead, and stiff as possible. The heftier the basket, the better the sub/speaker usually is.

Cone

One of only a couple of parts in the sub/speaker that moves. This can also be known as the diaphragm. It’s moved by the voice coil/s. As the voice coil/s move along with the pole piece, the Cone moves in and out making that sweet, sweet music.

Tinsel Leads

If you look closely, from the terminals on the side of the basket, there’ll be little metallic lines running across the Spider to the voice coil. These are called the Tinsel Leads. They carry the electrical signal from the terminal to the voice coil/s to start things shaking.

Voice Coil

Apart from the magnet and cone, the voice coil/s is the most important part of a sub/speaker. Through its ability to move along the pole piece and push the cone, sound is created. Think of it like a magnetic spring that moves up and down moving the cone.

The Magnet

Some people also call this the driver. It’s the muscle of the whole operation. The bigger/better the magnet, the better the magnetic field and quality of the sound will be. It’s sandwiched between the top and bottom plates. This is important because together, they create all sorts of magical opposing forces that keep the voice coil/s tight and responsive. The type of magnet the sub/speaker is using is important for the life of the product. For instance, ferrite magnets keep their fields stronger for longer.

Running Your Subs and Speakers In

Without a doubt, the number one reason why speakers and subs blow early on is that they haven’t been run-in. These are complicated pieces of equipment that need to ‘warm-up.’

Some of these units are dealing with 1,000W+ and can’t just go from a box to max volume in an instant.

Why Run-In When I Can Just Crank It Straight Away?

There are a couple of benefits in properly running in your new subs and speakers, but the biggest one of all is letting all the many components wear in and become loose (for lack of a better word).

Allowing a slow run-in lets the suspension components of your gear slowly set in and be the best they can be. You want all the parts to be as free and pliable so that they can reach the notes and the frequencies you’re wanting in your system.

How Do I Run-In Subs and Speakers Then?

The process is straight forward and easy. Of course, there are more complicated or more professional ways to do it, but I’m going to be talking about the easiest way for everyone.

Just. Play. Your. Music. Lower. Than. Normal. It’s as simple as that. Assuming you drive your car daily, just chill with the volume at like 50% for a week or two. You’ll notice that the tone and the quality of the sound will change and improve over that time.

Once you’ve run for around 24 hours, feel free to crank that bad boy. You should be in the clear and your subs/speakers will be running for years to come!

Trust us when we say it. It’s hard to resist but it’ll be worth it. Especially if you’ve spent some dollars on your system. Let it all work together and have all the parts play perfectly. Taking care of your investment in these types of ways will ensure that you’ll be bopping along for many, many years.

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About Shaun

Heading up the Digital and Marketing team, Shaun is a bass-head from way back. Starting with a 1991 Ford KH Laser that, at one point, was cranking 117dB! Getting around now in the Bankstown Sound & Marine Colorado Z71, you can bet, there's a savage passion for sound!