Blown Speaker?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Milspec, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I just sold a 20 watt tube amp with a really great vintage speaker in it to a guy in the neighboring town. I never played it much anymore so I let it go, but it always saw a few hours of playing time every week.

    The day that I sold it, the buyer was able to play it for about 15 minutes and loved the tone of that speaker as well, so the deal was struck and all were happy.

    A day later I get a call that the amp was "garbage" and didn't work. So I drove out to his place and found the V2 tube was dead. I rarely come across a 12ax7 tube go bad in the V2 position, but okay, I replaced it and the amp was back....for awhile.

    The amp once again sounded great at around 4, but when he introduced a boost pedal and cranked the amp to "stage levels" the speaker sounded blown. At moderate volume it sounded great, but once pushed and especially on a hard pick attack, it would fart out and crackle intermittenly.

    He accused me of selling the amp with a blown speaker, but I never experienced those noises before in the 8 years that I owned that amp. Admittedly, it has been a home use amp and I never really pushed it all that hard, but the speaker was rated for 5 times the power handling of that amp and seemed strange that it would let go like that despite the age.

    So, I agreed to replace the speaker with a new Emminence speaker I have on hand in the next couple of days, still disappointed in the speaker disaster. I did learn that the new owner played that amp for 8 hours straight and pushed it hard the whole time without complaint until the vacuum tube went so now I am thinking that the damage was done by the owner, but I guess I am stuck being the nice guy.

    I don't know, is there a chance the speaker is okay and it is something else? I did disconnect the speaker and run the amp through a different cab and there was no issues even when pushed hard so it pretty much has to be the speaker yet I am still surprised that a little amp could blow out a high rated speaker like that.

    The cone didn't show any tears, no noise when pushing down on the cone, cap seemed to be intact and in place, yet when pushed hard by the amp with lots of over-drive, it falls on its face.

    I guess I didn't really ask any questions here, just venting more than anything, but feel really disappointed that a simple transaction to save some space in my practice room is going to end up costing me lots of time, loss of a new speaker, a new tube, and getting back what was a great speaker which now needs to be rebuilt.
     
  2. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    You just experience every reason why I rarely if ever sell any of my gear. I know I have too many guitars and amps and sometimes I get to thinking that it’s too much of a pia to keep them cleaned and tuned up just to look at.
    But I have no patience for the buying public at all.
    I have in the past sold items only to have some mysterious issue cause the new owner a problem. Then they accuse you of knowingly selling them a bad product and I lose my patience very quickly.
    Good luck with it, sounds like you’ll need it.
     
  3. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

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    Bummer. Sounds like he might have really pushed it hard.

    You are really going beyond what I would expect from a seller. Good on you!

    Hope it all works out.

    Cheers
     
  4. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I wouldn't buy anything he has owned.
     
  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you had sold it "sight unplayed" (so to speak) he would have had a case....but since he played it and was happy, you have little responsibility. If it was a brand new item right out of the box, that would be one thing. But an older "vintage" amp? ....that's just "caveat emptor". You have gone far beyond anything realistic, especially if the guy "ragged" it out for eight hours.
    What kind of amp?......you didn't mention anything about it.....
     
  6. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Holic

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    That farting out when cranked may be blocking distortion from driving the amp beyond its limits, and not a blown speaker. Can sound a bit similar.

     
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  7. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    An old speaker, that never saw hard use, suddenly slammed for 8 hours of high volume play? I doubt I would ever put a vintage speaker through that. As speakers age, they can lose their power handling ability. I have a feeling, his irresponsibility cost you a tube and a speaker.

    Sorry to hear it. But, good karma to you for being the nice guy.
     
  8. GuitLoop

    GuitLoop Tele-Meister

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    Agreed with others that u went above and beyond as a seller. Hope it brings you the karma you deserve.
     
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  9. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    IMO there's simply not enough information to comment one way or the other, so could it would help to have this additional info:

    1. What amp, how old was it, and if over 15 years old when was it last serviced?

    2. What speaker; how old; if not original to the amp what was it used in previously?
     
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  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Agreed, you went beyond and above. All sales are final and as is/will be without expressed exceptions, imho.
    A small amp, especially with a boost/distortion pedal, can burn down a 200 watt speaker if given enough time.
    Don’t be surprised if the person calls again......
     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is one reason I tend to not sell old amps!
    More likely to trade them in at shops where they know that old gear is old gear.
    Or make sure the buyer fully understands that a vintage amp and speaker is more fragile unless all the fragile parts are new.
    I ran a '60s Vox labeled alnico Celestion gently for ten years before it started sounding like a bag o' rocks.
    Sad day.

    An old speaker with 5 times the power handling of an amp can indeed still go bad, and IMO a buyer of a vintage speaker needs to understand that a vintage speaker has lower power handling than it did when new.

    Something like a vintage 25w speaker in a 5w amp pushed by an OD pedal?
    I just wouldn't use that speaker that way.
    I used to love vintage speakers with original cones more, but after many went bad I'm less fond of them.
    I also used to feel that a recone was never right.
    But now I find that some are very good, if done with suitable parts.
    Plus the repro speakers available now are great too, since in the last 10-15 years the market responded to buyers craving for vintage tonez.

    Here I would say it was nice and borderline to replace the tube, but replacing the vintage speaker after the buyer really pushed it harder than he should have, given that he liked the vintage aspect, I'd say you don't need to replace it.
    But if you told the buyer that the speaker was good in that amp due to higher rated power handling, then maybe you misled the buyer, and you're stuck now.
    Is it more painful to give him a speaker, or to stick to your principles?

    Certainly try it first to make sure it is indeed the speaker!
     
  12. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    To answer some of the questions: This was basically a tremolux clone built by a quality shop back in '94 as a 1x12 combo. It was fully serviced last about 4 years ago and had a recent check-up and tube sockets tightened about 6 months ago. The Altecs were probably were from around '73 and were aquired in a 4x12 cab. I sure felt he was getting one hell of an amp set-up, but now I am just annoyed.

    At least I get the Altec back in the trade for the Texas Heat and a couple of tubes, but it should not have ended like this.
     
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  13. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    That is very similar to what was going on. I am heading over to the place now to make repairs...will certainly be inspecting the speaker closely when I get home to test it out. It just seems so strange how it still sounds great at lower volume...rarely see that with a blown speaker in the past.
     
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  14. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    Next he will call you and tell you the amp is completely trashed. You will go over there and find out that he has thrown it out the upstairs window and expect you to fix it....again!

    The guy is a PITA. Give him his money back and take your amp back. Sell it later after you are comfortable with its performance and don't sell it to a guy who thinks it's a 100W Marshall.
     
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  15. Telecasterless

    Telecasterless Friend of Leo's

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    My original Oxford on my SFDR sounded pretty good at 4, maybe 5. Anything above that and it was HORRIBLE! When I pulled it to replace it, it had a hole in the cone.
     
  16. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I just got back. I replaced the speaker with a Texas Heat speaker. He loved it for about 10 minutes and then went back to his cranking routine and pushing the amp hard with some high output buckers, boost and OD pedal, with all dials damn near dimed. Then complained about the speaker farting again and there was a slight fart sporadically under those conditions. I had enough and re-set the amp settings and used a Strat....perfect performance even when pushed with the boost pedal. He sat down with the Strat and gave it hell....no fart, perfect performance. Ten minutes later, he went back to volume at 9 boosted and tone knobs dimed....with that bucker guitar. Not surprisingly, some static noises when he really hit the strings hard.

    The dude could play, no doubt about it, but his understanding of amps was a problem. He was used to high wattage solid state amps and just couldn't grasp how they would be different. I gave up, told him I was just going to take the amp back then and refund his money, but he wanted to keep the amp. He simply convinced himself that to stick with single coils and roll back the settings for the amp to perform. His tone was excellent when he backed it off and hopefully he will realize that eventually before he ruins the speaker and / or the amp in the process.

    I don't know what to think about my Altec now. It shows no signs of any issues outside the amp. No tears, no cone drag, no rough areas, no displaced dust cover, nothing. It appears by all perposes to be a good speaker, so I will stick it in a cabinet and play it some more to find out. I just know that it was a frustrating deal and I suspect I will get a phone call come this weekend after his next stage event, so I might have to keep that number blocked.

    I appreciate all the comments gang, I was just getting really frustrated by this mess (still am a bit) but I think he was just pushing that amp beyond its limits and the limits of that old speaker.....and the limits of my good nature.
     
  17. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    I would have STRONGLY insisted the deal is off, made him take the refund, and taken the amp back. What a jerk!
     
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  18. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I think you've gone above and beyond. Ignore his calls...
     
  19. LuthRavin

    LuthRavin Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I've sold decades old amps example (74' Marshall JMP 50 watt lead..64 Fender Champ) and the buyer never even tried them out (after driving down from Vancouver, Wash to my little town in Oregon just south of Eugene)..I offered but he was happy..I mentioned that "if your not happy I'm not driving up there and taking them back"..he was very happy..even ended up buying a non-running 78' Trans Am in my garage..he came back two weeks later to pick it up.. You went above and beyond anything I would have done..plus if I knew he had slammed it hard for 8 solid hours(not knowing what kind of amp it is yet) I would have told him to F#*k off..but that's my old age coming out and the Marine still in me!!
     
  20. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    Exactly.
    I am not a guitar store.
    If you buy it you own it.
    When I buy stuff, that's how I am.
    Once the seller ships, it's mine, better or worse.
    Reason why I, as a seller, I ship very quickly.
     
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