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Topic: Monitors - How long do they last

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  1. #1

    Monitors - How long do they last

    Hello,
    I bought a pair of second hand Mackies 824s.
    I was wondering, is there any knowledge about how monitors suffer over time?

  2. #2

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Hi,

    It pretty much depends on how much abuse they're put through. If they're in a smoke-free environment and the speakers aren't popping through the cones all day long, then they'll probably last quite awhile. It will also depend on the materials used for the speaker cones and voice coils, etc.

    Well, that was a long answer to only say that it depends. I've known people who have had speakers for 20 years. Usually, in that time period, you're going to need to do some sort of maintenance on them. I know that it's not a definitive answer but it really does depend. It's like asking how long a car will last. Well, if you never change the oil and run the snot out of it, it'll probably only last a year or two. Take care of it and don't abuse the engine and it can last 20-30 years or more.

    Are you concerned that something is wrong with them? or have you not received them yet and you're a little bit concerned?

    HTH,
    FV

  3. #3

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Foam surrounds from the '70s can corrode over time - especially if you live in a smoggy environment - but speakers last indefinitely. There are ads saying that your speakers don't perform to spec, and they're probably true, but there are speakers from the '50s in service today.

    You can also get them re-coned when necessary.

  4. #4

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Nick's right. You can re-cone, and this replaces everything but the basket and magnet. You can also get the magnet re-magnetized to get it at full strength, though the need for this is rare. A good shop can measure the flux in the gap to determine the need for this at the time of the recone job.

    Some time ago I priced recone jobs on my 15" JBLs. It was around $130 per speaker. Your Mackies shouldn't need reconing for another decade or more.

  5. #5

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Thanks everybody for your replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by FV
    Hi,
    Are you concerned that something is wrong with them? or have you not received them yet and you're a little bit concerned?
    HTH,
    FV
    I bought them from ebay, and some audio guy - actually the one who wanted to sell me new ones - told me that there is a risk that they don't sound as good as new ones.
    Well, they sound very good - though I could not compare them with a pair of new ones.

  6. #6

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    I called Mackie Tech Support once, and asked them how loud I could use the speakers (HR624's). They said to make sure that they never have their red "overload" LED light up, and they should be fine. But, for the overload to light up, the speaker would have to be VERY loud. If you are sitting in the mix position (usually about 3 feet with nearfields) with the speakers up this loud, you are more likely to damage your ears than you are the speakers.

    I suggest cranking them up really loud only when you are far away from them. The HR624's are very fun to listen on, and really fill the room when blaring. The HR824's are a bit bigger, so you'll have even more fun with those.

    Just use some common sense and dust covers when not using them. Also, unplug them from any wall outlets and mixing consoles during an electrical storm.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Location
    69 Lois Lane, Metropolis
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    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    The trick is getting a good amp that can handle the speakers. As I've always understood it, if you have a pair of 100 Watt rated speakers, get a good 150-200 watt Amp. I always thought it worked the opposite way, but my speaker tech guy set me straight.

    He expalined that when you have an underpowered amp, you really have to crank it to get decent volume out of the speakers. This is bad. When you crank it, you're pushing the amp past it's comfort zone thus creating harmonic distortions which fry the speaker cones. Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but it made perfect backwards-logic sense to me.
    Hudson

    Quote Originally Posted by audiophile
    Hello,
    I bought a pair of second hand Mackies 824s.
    I was wondering, is there any knowledge about how monitors suffer over time?

  8. #8

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Hudson,

    That's true about underpowered amps. When you turn 'em up loud they tend to make square waves rather than sine waves, and that can really beat up a speaker.

    No problem with the Mackie's though. They've got integrated amplifiers - and nice ones at that!

    -Jon Fairhurst

  9. #9

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Lee,

    There may be some truth in that story. A friend of mine is an audiologist, and he explained to me that it is not the volume level that damages hearing, it is distortion at high levels. That does not mean guitars played through tube amps, but more like you get when you go over digital zero and are clipping.

    -- Martin
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    69 Lois Lane, Metropolis
    Posts
    394

    Re: Monitors - How long do they last

    Sorry, Lee, but your "myth" is actually documented "fact". The kind of music you're playing through the system, or content as you put it, doesn't make a difference. Any kind of music, whether it be a guitar solo or a kick drum track has the potential to fry your speakers if the amp is underpowered and overstressed.

    What I was referring to was "clipping". That's when you push an amplifier beyond its nominal output limits which creates it's own brand of harmonic distortion that will fry your cones.

    Besides, I wasn't buying my audio equipment from a Radio Shack salesman...the guy I was speaking of is an authorized JBL/Mackie repair tech who was replacing my tweeters under warranty. Since upgrading my amp, I haven't had a single problem with blown cones.

    For further reading, check out the JBL FAQ. The first thing they say is "Ideally you should pick an amplifier that can deliver power equal to twice the speaker's continuous IEC power rating." They even have a link titled "Danger: Low Power" which explains how an underpowered amp will fry your speakers in far more detail.

    http://www.jblpro.com/pages/general_faq.htm

    -Hudson

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    This is a myth that's been floating around for some time (most commonly used by hi-fi salespeople attempting to sell larger amps). An amp with ample power is a good idea for transients and distortion free playback, but content with harmonic distortion (within reason, of course) is not going to fry your speaker cones.
    Lee Blaske

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