DJ Sadness = Another set of speakers down the drain!
April 7, 2007 9:37 PM   Subscribe

I just tore through yet another set of traditional speakers DJing and am ready to try something new. What are my options MeFi?

Background: I have a nice set of powered monitors that are great when I'm producing music but sound much too dry for everyday listening so I'd prefer not to go down that road. At the same time, my DJ setup is in the living room and I don't want gigantic speakers with 18" woofers or, my wife forbid, an actual PA. I'm very space conscious and would love to try small speakers with a subwoofer handling most of the bass but am unsure if this is a good solution for a traditional DJ set up - two turntables and a mixer. I should also note that my while amplifier is pretty cheap, I'm careful to never send an overdriven signal to it via my (nicer) mixer.

So what can I do here? I'd love a solution that will keep me listening to music for at least the next five years fart free - preferably for a budget that won't break my bank.
posted by phixed to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
How many speakers have you killed already? And have you killed them all while using the same amp?

If you've always been using this amp, I'd say this is the weak link in the chain. "Home listening" hi-fi type amps often don't have adequate protection for "pro" applications like music production or DJing. I'm sure you're very careful with the levels from your DJ mixer, but if the amp decides to crap out and / or send a huge spike to the speakers, then it's bye-bye drivers, I'm afraid.

Back when I was just starting out in the recording studio business, I was a partner in a tiny one-room project setup in London. Myself and my partners had pooled our gear, and we were running Yamaha NS-10M's with a Sherwood hi-fi amp. We lost tweeter after tweeter (along with the occasional woofer) before someone more clued up than us pointed out that this hi-fi amp of questionable provenance was probably sending an extremely "dirty" signal to the monitors. We swapped it for an extremely inexpensive Samson Servo power amp, which has excellent built-in power on/off and clip protection. In the next 10 years, we lost a single tweeter due to user error (someone causing a catastrophic feedback loop).

Speakers + sub could be a good solution, particularly if the sub has bass management - i.e. you feed the signal into the sub, and it sends everything above the selected crossover point (100hz, say) to the full range speakers, and takes care of the bass itself. I hope your neighbours are understanding, though. Even a tiny sub can throw bass a long, long way through adjoining walls.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 1:39 AM on April 8, 2007

This looks like a pretty good article addressing your problem - Distrortion Kills Speakers or "Pop Goes the Tweeter".
posted by Chuckles at 11:05 AM on April 8, 2007

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