How does a speaker blow out?

I don't understand how a speaker "blows" if the wattage of the amplifier is less than the upper limit of the speaker's limit.  Then again, I guess I don't really understand what "clipping" is.  The amp is 22w, I was listening at a moderately high level, there was a bass heavy section in the music, and then I heard the most painful noise coming from one the of woofers.  Sad.

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xmikedc

As others have said, clipping generally causes damage to the tweeters before the woofers. If you heard a bad noise from the woofer, then it seems likely it is a mechanical failure, not an electrical failure. 

Does the speaker make any sound when you play it now? Is the tweeter and midrange still working? If so, and the woofer is not totally dead, then this seems like it is damage due to overdriving, not clipping. 

You can often tell if there is mechanical damage by gently pushing on the cone. If you feel any scraping or stiction, then you have mechanical damage. 

How old are your speakers? Have you always used the relatively low power tube amp to drive them? Do you use any equalization or dsp to boost the bass? 

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using low powered amps, and your want volume, but the little amp is asked to push more power than available, as mentioned sends DC to tweeter, mid, and heat destroys the coil, driver, etc.

NEVER any issues with my high powered amps, just be careful downing, alcohol, it tends to make you push upper limits.


 drunk ears, don't hear the tweeter, strain, nor the clipping,....if you have a clip light, or the MAC limiter, you should be ok.


just set a volume you don't cross, and your golden.

my( as just mentioned today, by me) set a limit for volume which sounds good, clear, and great. don't cross the limit.


my speaks are rated 250W peak im sure, yet ive been using my 650-700 W RMS amps for a few years now, nary an issue, or problem. Just have self control when you wanna show off with friends over, and they say, is this all? don't it go louder. Most people think your at a live show, and want the floor, and chest to get a front kick in the sternum, that's not how it works, for some yes with massive wallets and a wicked speaker pair, otherwise, be gentle when ripped, or tweeters will melt.


 blow a tweeter/mid on a beautiful speaker pair, or try to impress friends, or yourself.


the most accountable culprit is low powered amps which can not give you the OOOMPH, you really want.

get a good power amp with headroom, 250-300 WPC+.

don't look back

Power and speaker quality are what you need

i have a Krell 700fpbcx puts out 700 watts crystal clear sound 👩‍⚕️ paired with a set of B&W 801 series 2 these were used in most recording studios until the nautilus

line came out I could rattle the windows in the house

but this is just a good example of a high quality power amp matched with speakers that can handle the power

@mikedc -

       When you heard that painful woofer sound, during the organ music, was your source vinyl?

        Asking because: subsonics, caused by stylus travel (ie: record warp, arm/cart resonance, etc) will often cause woofer over-travel and damage, in a vented system.

                                       How old is your amp?

       Asking because: power supply filter caps (if one has gone South/leaked electrolyte) can cause noises that simulate a woofer malfunction*, at anything above low volume.      

                            *Especially on heavy Bass notes.