We have a sony DVD player with home theater speaker system. Recently, we are using it for live band rehearsal.

Does bass drums and bass guitar really damage home theater speaker system?

Band instruments have small audio mixer and that goes straight to the home theater speaker system using aux input.


  • There are too many variables to say. An inappropriate signal from any source can damage a sound system, and any kind of sound system can be damaged through misuse. May 24, 2015 at 7:51
  • Let's assume normal use for band practice of Pop Rock Music. No Heavy metal. Roland Electronic Drumset attached on Guitar Amp. Yamaha electric Bass Guitar attached on Bass Amp. Both Amp output attached on Xenyx Audio mixer and Xenyx main out goes to Home Theater system.
    – Wayne
    May 24, 2015 at 19:03
  • Why would you route an electric drumset through a guitar amp, incidentally? May 25, 2015 at 20:44
  • @leftaroundabout, we have limited monitor for the band. 2 instrument sharing one monitor :)
    – Wayne
    May 26, 2015 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


Any speaker will sustain damage if you drive it too loud. Nowadays, it can be judged pretty well electronically when this happens, and modern professional PA systems will generally protect the speakers by limiting or even shutting down the power amp level – at least in active systems, where the amp is exactly matched to the speaker. Live PA equipment is expected to be driven rough and possibly out of the safe range, and supposed to somehow cope with it.

The same is not necessarily true for HiFi systems: these can much more optimistically expect a “well-behaved” input signal, like from a CD player (always limited to 0 dBFS). Which means you're a bit on your own risk when driving it with anything but consumer signals. An unmastered drum track has a very wide dynamic range, in particular quite severe transients. The same goes for bass. So I wouldn't bet on your home theater system surviving this. If you have a compressor, you can set it to limiting mode, insert it in the master out and get some safety, but really this isn't very well-controllable.

My recommendation would be to get a pair of professional (not necessarily high-end) active monitors, or even a single one.

  • Thanks for your recommendation. I think that is what I have to do. I saw behringer CE500 which is within my budget. Planning to buy 2 to replace my Home Theater system. behringer.com/EN/Products/CE500A-BK.aspx will this speaker be in the safe zone? Thanks
    – Wayne
    May 26, 2015 at 18:50

Fact. Anything using up enough power bandwidth for a long enough time through a system where the maximum output of the power amp is higher than the maximum dissipation of the speakers can damage the speakers. Or, if a system allows a large enough transient to cause over-excursion then you can damage a speaker that way. Doesn't have to be drums, bass, or band practice. You can do that with an iPod.

Get a crown or QSC power amp and a couple yamaha wedges for band practice.

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