How to test speakers at the minimum to find out if they are defective? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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A newbie here. I bought some Energy RC-LCR and RC-R speakers (still in sealed boxes) and because the return date is just around the corner, I would like to test them. I haven't had time to open them up until this weekend.

I have the following:
  • a 7.2 A/V receiver
  • a 100 ft 12AWG speaker cable (note just one)
  • speakers to test
  • HDMI cable
  • laptop with HDMI output
  • no HDTV
What would kind of testing should I do at the minimum to find out if the speakers are in good condition? I am not able to set them up as a 5.1 system at home just yet as I currently rent a small apartment unit but will be moving out in a few months time. Because I was advised not to cut up the 12AWG wires, I plan to rotate and check all of the A/V receiver's speaker in connections. What kind of music should I be playing at home and how loud should it be? I understand that the speakers I bought has a break-in period of about 100 hours but that I cannot do right now and so am wary of cranking the volume too high.

I'm sure I will have to do a physical inspection of speakers' exterior for any damage. Should I be gently shaking the speakers to check if anything inside is loose?

Thank you for all your help.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 06:53 AM
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Speakers either work or they don't--damage will be easily heard. Just hook them up and play them--make sure each woofer/tweeter has sound coming from them and you're done. Speaker break-in isn't like a car engine break-in--you can turn them up as loud as you want from day 1.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-11-2010, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badassfajita View Post

Speakers either work or they don't--damage will be easily heard. Just hook them up and play them--make sure each woofer/tweeter has sound coming from them and you're done. Speaker break-in isn't like a car engine break-in--you can turn them up as loud as you want from day 1.

Thanks Badassfajita for helping out. Nice name by the way. So I should just make sure that sound comes out of anything that looks like a separate component (based on shape or color) including woofers/tweeters? I have several RC-LCR's and RC-R's to test and because of this, it will likely be easy to test whether any of them will have a defective component.

What kind of audio should I be listening to for both high and low frequencies?

How's this for the test cd? Or is it overdoing it? Found the link in one of the AVSforum speaker threads:

http://virtuelvis.com/archives/2004/09/audio-test-cd
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-12-2010, 12:17 AM
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Alan,

You're making this into a science project! No need for fancy audio CD's. Just your favorite CD. Honestly, this test should take no longer than 3 minutes. Pop the CD in and hit play. Turn up your amp to a reasonably loud level. They should sound good without blatant buzzing sounds.

Speakers *rarely* are defective IMO. There's no electricity. Only way to blow them is by under/overpowering them, something that takes major effort to do, not at all likely from powering by a normal receiver.

"So I should just make sure that sound comes out of anything that looks like a separate component (based on shape or color) including woofers/tweeters?" --- I have no idea what you're talking about. Sound only comes from woofers/tweeters!
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-12-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Right, aside from signs of physical damage to the drivers or the enclosure, just listen to them.

Physical damage with new speakers is rare, but would likely be form being dropped from some distance, which obviously would damage the box they came in pretty obviously, so you'd want to look for superficial damage. And obviously there shouldn't be anything shaking around inside. Usually it would be something like the crossover components coming loose from a particularly bad shock or something. Rare.

If they're new, there really shouldn't be any reason for electrical issues, if they play fine they should be fine. You can always test the resistance of the speaker and see that it's not blown(shorted) but again if they're new this wouldn't be the case.

Plug them in, listen to them and they should sound great.

If there is something wrong, it is usually very and immediately obvious. And almost all speaker damage comes from abuse. Seeing as how they are new, you haven't even had the chance to abuse them...
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-12-2010, 02:33 AM
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I bought a center speaker off e-bay that worked but it was damaged. Im not sure if the guy i bought it from knew the speaker had damage or if it happened during shipping to me.

One of the magnets on the back of the driver had busted loose from the basket and when i first hooked it up it sounded really thin but all the speakers were working. Then i decided to push on the cone and when i did i felt the cone dragging as if the voice coil was dragging.

Once i took it apart and i hammered the magnet back into the basket it sounded alot better but it was always on my mind the magnet and maybe the voice coil were damaged.

So it would play music and when i put my ear to it, it played music, im sure testing it with a meter would show they were good also but they were actualy damaged.

Quote:
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sit in normal spot
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-12-2010, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badassfajita View Post

Alan,

You're making this into a science project! No need for fancy audio CD's.

I'm guessing you've never actually used one, then you'd have a real idea of how simple and useful it is. It's a free CD you burn. And it makes reduces things to simple questions, which anyone relatively new to speakers can answer easily and with certainty - is there sound at that frequency, is it clean, and is the apparent volume of the sound what you'd expect. (You do perceive different frequencies at different volumes, and speakers range varies too.)

Listening to music should be done too, but it is such a variable experience that those less experienced will be left unsure if or where there is a problem, and they will not have any real certainty about their answers.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-12-2010, 03:05 PM
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The one thing I do when testing an unknown speaker is to start by putting an 8 - 10 ohm power resistor in series with the (+) speaker wire when I first power everything up. That way, if the speaker is shorted, there's no risk of damage to the amp. - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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