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Need Help with Speaker Issue: blown Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 vs. Yamaha Amp

o00

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Hi everyone,

I’m facing a tricky situation with my audio setup and could use your expertise. A few weeks back, I purchased a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 12.2 speakers and a Yamaha A-S301 amplifier. I’ve been careful with the volume since my room isn’t suited for really loud music.

But here’s the issue: recently, when I played music a little louder than usual, one of the Wharfedale speakers started making a popping sound. To check if it was the amp, I switched the left and right speakers, but the problem stayed with the same speaker.

It gets more concerning. This speaker now distorts sounds, and when I gently push the woofer, I can hear a mechanical noise, but it’s only on one side of the woofer. The speaker setup involves 14 AWG 4m cables with banana plugs.

I’m trying to figure out if the problem lies with my new Yamaha amp or if the Wharfedale speaker was defective from the start. How can I tell if the amp might have caused the damage?

Any advice or troubleshooting tips would be super helpful!
 

Apesbrain

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By swapping the speaker you've confirmed that it is the source of the problem. The woofer's voice coil is rubbing on its chassis; likely the woofer will need to be replaced. Discuss it with the store where you bought it. They can explain the possible causes and evaluate whether the amp needs to be inspected.

That Yamaha amp should have been able to safely drive these speakers "a little louder than usual", but knowing nothing about how loud this actually was or the size of your room that's just a guess. If you explain what happened to your dealer, perhaps the repair can be made under warranty.
 

OldTimer

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From my past experience. usually the speakers that do the damage to the amp. My Wharfedale speakers have broken 2 amps (Yamaha and Onkyo) for the past 40 years. 30 years for the Yamaha and 10 years for the Onkyo. Now the speakers connected to Fosi Audio V3. Hopefully the amp can survive more than a year.
 
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raif71

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From my past experience. usually the speakers that do the damage to the amp. My Wharfedale speakers have broken 2 amps (Yamaha and Onkyo) for the past 40 years. 30 years for the Yamaha and 10 years for the Onkyo. Now the speakers connected to Fosi Audio V3. Hopefully the amp can survive more than a year.
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MaxwellsEq

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From my past experience. usually the speakers that do the damage to the amp.
I've never experienced this, having had the same power amplifier for more than 30 years. What's the mechanism for the speakers damaging the amplifier?
 

OldTimer

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I've never experienced this, having had the same power amplifier for more than 30 years. What's the mechanism for the speakers damaging the amplifier?
I don't know. It might be too loud so the amp become hotter, or wrong speaker connection to the amp such as bi-wiring. Because I always do the bi-wiring, no matter what kind of amp.
My point is, the speakers survive but the amp broken.
 
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Willem

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The most realistic explanation is probably a faulty speaker. Yes, you can destroy a speaker by playing too loud, but this is not that easy. The two most likely ways of doing that is by playing either electronic music with a lot of bass, or recordings that were mastered with little dynamic range.
 

MaxwellsEq

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I don't know. It might be too loud so the amp become hotter, or wrong speaker connection to the amp such as bi-wiring. Because I always do the bi-wiring, no matter what kind of amp.
My point is, the speakers survive but the amp broken.
Interesting, it's possible to have speakers that are incredibly hard to drive and this can cause overloading, but most amplifiers have protection to limit overheating. I wouldn't waste money on bi-wirings, it's a rip off.
 

OldTimer

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Interesting, it's possible to have speakers that are incredibly hard to drive and this can cause overloading, but most amplifiers have protection to limit overheating. I wouldn't waste money on bi-wirings, it's a rip off.
Could be the protection broken after years being used. I use the cable from the speaker purchased. Don’t want to waste money to buy another cable.
 

Zapper

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It gets more concerning. This speaker now distorts sounds, and when I gently push the woofer, I can hear a mechanical noise, but it’s only on one side of the woofer. The speaker setup involves 14 AWG 4m cables with banana plugs.
This is clearly a defective speaker. Return it or exchange it at the dealer if you can, or have it repaired under warantee.

What were you playing "a little louder than usual"? Small speakers like this can be damaged by large volumes with very deep bass. As Willem mentioned, small speakers like this aren't a good choice for EDM house parties. Action movie sound tracks are another common source of intense very low frequencies.

The best way to protect small speakers is with a DSP low frequency crossover and a subwoofer. The crossover blocks low frequency from the small speakers and directs it to the sub. Unfortunately your amp doesn't provide a means to insert a DSP between the preamp and power amp. It has a subwoofer output but no means to high-pass the main speakers.
 

Zapper

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I've never experienced this, having had the same power amplifier for more than 30 years. What's the mechanism for the speakers damaging the amplifier?
A damaged speaker can create a short on the amplifier. I've seen a blown crossover capacitor (blown as in foil confetti everywhere) blow an amp by shorting it. A driver coil that escapes the magnet pole piece (due to surround failure) has very low impedance and can also short the amp.

But these are examples of a blown speaker taking the amp with it, which may not be what Oldtimer is discussing.
 

OldTimer

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A damaged speaker can create a short on the amplifier. I've seen a blown crossover capacitor (blown as in foil confetti everywhere) blow an amp by shorting it. A driver coil that escapes the magnet pole piece (due to surround failure) has very low impedance and can also short the amp.

But these are examples of a blown speaker taking the amp with it, which may not be what Oldtimer is discussing.
But there are some good amps which able to survive to such low impedance and still sounding good. And it run very hot.
 

DSJR

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I don't know. It might be too loud so the amp become hotter, or wrong speaker connection to the amp such as bi-wiring. Because I always do the bi-wiring, no matter what kind of amp.
My point is, the speakers survive but the amp broken.
Bi or 'buy' wiring is not to be encouraged no matter what the advertisers once said. Just one set of good gauge conductors is all and with the links or brass rods (in the case of my Diamond 7.2 SEs) clean and tight ;)
 
D

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You have already isolated the defect to one driver in one speaker. So it's time for warranty. Don't use the broken speaker anymore until it has been repaired as to not cause any issues with the amplifier due to shorting.
 
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o00

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This is clearly a defective speaker. Return it or exchange it at the dealer if you can, or have it repaired under warantee.

What were you playing "a little louder than usual"? Small speakers like this can be damaged by large volumes with very deep bass. As Willem mentioned, small speakers like this aren't a good choice for EDM house parties. Action movie sound tracks are another common source of intense very low frequencies.

The best way to protect small speakers is with a DSP low frequency crossover and a subwoofer. The crossover blocks low frequency from the small speakers and directs it to the sub. Unfortunately your amp doesn't provide a means to insert a DSP between the preamp and power amp. It has a subwoofer output but no means to high-pass the main speakers.
I was playing Queen - We are the Champions :) My room is 14 sq meters..it was not too loud really...

Thank you everyone for the replies. I am Network/Radio Engineer IRL but I am a complete newbie to audio..wanted to make sure I am not going crazy.
The shop refuses to refund/exchange. They are stating that the speaker was "blown by customer" without even looking at the speaker. I am in Australia so I am trying to get the refund via Consumer Affairs under ACL. Other option would be Wharfedale's warranty.
 
D

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I was playing Queen - We are the Champions :) My room is 14 sq meters..it was not too loud really...

Ha! -That's ironic. Speakers not champions that's for sure.
 
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OldTimer

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I was playing Queen - We are the Champions :) My room is 14 sq meters..it was not too loud really...

Thank you everyone for the replies. I am Network/Radio Engineer IRL but I am a complete newbie to audio..wanted to make sure I am not going crazy.
The shop refuses to refund/exchange. They are stating that the speaker was "blown by customer" without even looking at the speaker. I am in Australia so I am trying to get the refund via Consumer Affairs under ACL. Other option would be Wharfedale's warranty.
Better claim it to the manufacturer than to retailers because sometimes they only replace it with used one.
 
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raindance

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I have had this type of issue before with a Wharfedale speaker where the glue used to secure the crossover became brittle when the speakers were shipped in winter and the crossover PCB and wiring was floating around inside the cabinet. A wire touching the bass/mid cone would make an awful noise.

I have also had it with a KEF speaker where the barcode label from the rear of the magnet came unstuck and attached itself to the rear of the speaker cone, which flapped around and rattled like crazy. Fixing this saved me having to ship them back under warranty and be without speakers for potentially months.

And one more idea, check that all the screws are tight. They are often loose.
 
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