Can you damage imac speakers when volume on max?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by juss, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. juss macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #1
    I have a new silver Imac 24 2.4, had an corrupted version of divx file when sound went really loud. before I managed to turn it off, it was really loud for 15 sec. Can you damage the built in speakers in full volume?

    Thanks!
     
  2. filmgirl macrumors regular

    filmgirl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    I seriously doubt that 15 seconds is going to kill the speakers -- 15 minutes - yes.
     
  3. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #3
    I've seen integrated speakers on other appliances destruct in less than 1 second. It depends on the quality of the device (over heat / clipping / over limit protections).

    I haven't used my iMac speakers enough to know - using externals since day 1.

    But, if you over-limited them with a ton of distortion - and now it sounds terrible - that could be it the case.

    If it was over limited for a long period of time (into minutes / hours) the amp may have over-heated (which kills power and induces a lot of distortion, and could return to normal after it cools off). Obviously you can damage the amp permanently form this as well.

    Again, it all comes down to the quality and thought that went into the device.

    I had a cell phone / MP3 player with over-limit and distortion protection. (which produces what, 1/4 watt of power at max?)

    And my Logitech Z5500 (500 watt) surround speakers CAN and WILL kill themselves in an instant if I jack the volume up too high. (mainly speaking the SUB on this thing)

    I'm no stranger to the "speaker rattle of death" - seen it a few times before. :cool: oh wait, I mean: :eek: / :(
     
  4. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2001
    #4
    I have the original intel iMac and I have been using those speakers on full all the time. Plus in iTunes I add another 6db of volume and still have not had a single speaker issue.
     
  5. filmgirl macrumors regular

    filmgirl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    What Big-TDI Guy said is very true - but if you aren't hearing the distortion now, and you didn't hear a big pop - I think you are OK. I was writing it under the impression that everythign sounded fine now, but you were worried about the long term damage.
     
  6. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #6
    Well - one issue here is the Orignal Intel Imac (core duo) had an analog amplifier it. Starting with the 24" imac - it went to a digital amplifier. As is the case with the Core 2 Duos thereafter (I'm not 100% positive on the other Core 2s though)

    Hey! OP, I just noticed you have an alum 24" imac! If you're hearing a "whooshing" or strange sounds at random - it's almost certainly a driver issue. I've seen other people with this problem. Do a search in MR for "imac wooshing sound" I think I participated in that post. There was a link to the driver that fixed this issue.

    Good luck.
     
  7. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2001
    #7
    Seriously huh? So, what are the advantages of my vintage iMac and its analog ways?
     
  8. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #8
    Truthfully - I thought they sounded "warmer and richer" than my 24" imac with the digital amp.

    The main advantage to digital, is they are a LOT more efficient than Analog types. The best sounding amplifiers (being a generalizer here - there are always exceptions) are analog Class A amps. Excellent sound and signal / minimal distortion. Drawback: Hugely inefficent. Requires 20 watts of power, to give you 1 watt of sound. Then there are other variants - which combine types of amps go give you the desired results. (be it high efficency, good signal, hi gain) So you can have class A, B and C analog amps - with class AB being a common hybrid in audio, as it satisfies both decent power, and good sound. Class Cs typically are dedicated to CB radio transmitters (not speakers) and other applications where you want a ton of power - but don't care much for signal quality. (Class C seems to be dying off in the digital age, b.t.w.)

    Now, enter class D: It's a digital amplifier, but because digital is either ON or OFF, that does little to produce musical notes that vary in attenuation. (like every sound we hear in music) So, the signal gets "chopped" up at a higher frequency we can resolve with our ears, and it gets "transformed" into an analog output for your speaker. The upside is Like 1.2 watts of power for 1 watt of audio (or maybe even better) so that means less heat buildup, and lower power requirements for the same amount of sound. The down side of class D is sound quality at higher frequencies. It tends to fall off and get worse as frequency gets higher (symbols, "S" sounds things like this - the "chopping" can be heard) Kinda like a poor quality MP3 - actually, very much like that. Digital amps are progressing, and getting better and better with their Digital to Analog conversion. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they rival class As in the near future. Maybe not as good as the "ultimate" clean analog: Vacuum tubes, though. But to the hard-core people into those, nothing ever could be. Cough! Biased. Cough! ;)

    Just a couple years ago, Digital amps could ONLY be used for in audio amps for Subwoofers and low-frequencies because of the noise problem. The fact we're seeing them in a (for the most part) full-range iMac speaker, signals just how far they've come.

    So, in closing: WTF is wrong with me and my huge posts? And why TF do I remember these things???
     
  9. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #9
    In hindsight - it looks like you were being sarcastic - and I'm a tool for taking it literally and answering. :)

    Oh well. I am what I am.
     
  10. al256 macrumors 6502a

    al256

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2001
    #10
    Um... lol. I was serious. I really do appreciate that knowledge and your reply. I almost thought my question was going to be left behind. Thanks!

    -Alan
     

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