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Buzzing Bass Amp Speaker

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  • Buzzing Bass Amp Speaker

    Question for tech-heads:

    Our bassist uses an Ibanez Soundwave 35W amp for his personal monitor. It has a small but noticable buzz or vibration coming from the speaker when turned up past anything but minimal volume. I can play the bass at very low (unusable) volumes with no buzzing, but one it reaches a certain level it vibrates at the attack of every note.

    Does this just mean the speaker has been blown somhow, or is something else going on?

    When I plug headphones into the same amp, the bass sounds fine.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    A couple easy things to check-

    Make sure nothing got into the speaker cage and is laying against the speaker cone (if it's open backed). Also make sure something in the cabinet isn't loose and rattling. On that same note, if the speaker is clearly visible, someone may have pulled the wires off to run an external speaker and hooked them back into the speaker backwards.

    How is the EQ? If the bass knob is dimed it might be clipping the speaker- especially if you are using an active bass with a hot preamp. I know when I've used those little bass 'practice amps', I had to crank up the bass to get any of the low end to come through. Don't know what kind of bass you are using, but if it's active with the bass knob boosted and the amp EQ has the bass boosted, it might be clipping the power amp or speaker itself.

    The main thing with those small bass amps is they just can't move enough paper to get a good bass sound with a band. There isn't enough "headroom" to handle things like the spikes that come from different attack styles, picking, low end harmonics etc. They put too much stress on the speaker and blow it, or they overwork the amp sections and clip.

    Hope this helps
    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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    • #3
      Everything Mike said is right on.

      The only thing I would add is to check the cone, and especially where it connects to the outer ring of the speaker, for any tears.
      Travis Paulding,
      Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church
      www.sscommunitychurch.com
      twitter.com/tpaulding

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