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How to identify possible damage on speakers?

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by CRCANPRO, Jan 4, 2016.


    CRCANPRO Active Member

    I just got my first set of Professional Monitors/Speakers and I invested in a nice pair of Focal CMS 65. On the second day of using them I answered a FaceTime call on my iMac and stopped working on my mix. The FaceTime App was at a much lower volume level so I just hit the volume knob on my interface to the maximum level which was just decent for FaceTime. When I finished my call and went for a cup of coffee, very stupidly, I just played the mix I was working on and of course it was at a very high and unbearable volume. It was just a couple of seconds because as soon as the sound came out of the speakers I hit the volume know and turned it down. My question is: as you can imagine now I am paranoid about if I damaged my beautiful brandon new focal speakers. Is there a way to know, is there a sound test you can do on the speakers?
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well, the obvious thing to do is to listen to them - make sure you haven't cooked a tweeter or something; believe me, if you did, you'd know... same with damaging the woofs; you'd hear distortion.

    I'd say you got lucky this time. Focals are very nice speakers, are built very well, and could probably handle a momentary spike; but, I don't know how hot you hit them, at what fundamental frequency, or if you may have passed voltage; nor do I know the details of these particular monitors, either ...

    Some speakers also have protection circuitry built-in, to guard against situations just like this.

    But I wouldn't do that again just to prove that they do. ;)
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Those Focals self-limit at around 108dB SPL. I'd be surprised if you could do them any damage by applying excessive level at the input. Your ears, yes.

    I won't comment on your allowing internet calls on the same computer while you were mixing.

    CRCANPRO Active Member

    You're right. Dumb thing to do but I have an excuse. It is my first home recording set up and first time living with a mac. I was a PC user and didn't know this things connect to your phone to allow calls. Do you mean that the Focals self limit anything louder that 108 db SPL. Where did you get that info from? dDon't take me wrong. I read the manual and saw that their Maximum spa is 108 db but does that mean they do actually self limit anything higher than that? excuse my ignorance on this.
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I haven't delved into great detail about those particular monitors, but two things stand out.

    Firstly, these are active monitors, meaning they have their own internal power amplifiers, and so they have control over what output levels they produce. The 108dB SPL figure comes from the data sheet, and figures of this type are normally the maximum that the internal amplifiers will allow before some form of internal limit comes into play.

    Secondly, they are professional, high-quality products from a company that has a pride in its reputation.

    Put those things together and you get the condition where the designers would not allow a simple user slip to cause preventable damage to either the speakers or the company's reputation.

    CRCANPRO Active Member

    Thanks. This makes a lot of sense.

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