Polk MM651 speaker woes


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Thisc
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Polk MM651 speaker woes

Post by Thisc » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:26 am



Simply to find a solution to the issues that TONS of people are having with the specific Polk MM651 speakers. Not the UM versions, just the MM version.

I've been a fan of Polk Audio many a years dating back to my professional and multi trophy (most SQ but some SPL also) winning installation career. Fast forward 20 years...

About 2 years ago is when I first stumbled upon the MM651 speakers specifically to put on a Harley in the batwing fairing and rear tour pak pods. They fit, albeit I didn't like the wagon wheel grills for the rear pods but that was easily remedied. Couple that with a decent amp and you had one hell of a system that couldn't be compared to for under $500. So for 2+ years now I've been running the same MM651 speakers with initially an Alpine KTP445 amp and then onto the Soundstream PN4.520D amp. This system is amazing!

So being a member of an HD forum I started bragging about the sound quality of this setup and everyone bit as I would have expected some to do. The initial folks who followed my lead some 1+ years ago with the above mentioned SS amp and MM651 speakers combo were very happy with the outcome, again as I expected them to be compared to anything else on the market within a reasonable price point. HD specific audio costs were absolutely through the roof with nothing but crappy speakers, etc.

Now fast forward another year. Lots of happy campers including myself. However about March or so of this year (2013) all of a sudden I start seeing folks that have just purchased and installed their systems complaining about blowing speakers. Well after digging into it a little more what I was finding was tweeter stalks that were seperating and resulting in speakers getting so hot that the woofer cone would either seize or work sporadically. Some of the tweeter stalks I was seeing were angled as if melted, and no a lot of them were not angled in respect to the position of the speaker install. Some were pointed up, some down, some to the side, etc. So I finally get my hands on a pair of these speakers and after tearing apart the woofer cone, I see what appears to be nothing more than bad glue on the stalks and the stalks seperating from the base where attached.

So to further that investigation I started asking folks who were having issues to give me the serial numbers on the speakers and what I discovered was roughly 99% of those were in the 5000 range of serial numbers. Meaning the last 4 digits of the serial numbers were in the 5000 range. My speakers, both pair are in the 3000 and 4000 range of serial numbers as well as many others who still to this day don't have an issue.

So now fast forward a few weeks to warranty requests being denied by Polk to all these people because the speakers mostly were purchased from a couple of different places such as Amazon, WoofersETC, SonicElectronix which of course all turn out to be "unauthorized" dealers of Polk Audio.

So I call Polk myself, I call Sonic Electronix myself. With Sonic I was able to talk them into replacing a few of these speakers because they were not "technically" blown but malformed. Polk's response to me and to others is simply "we are unaware of any issues".

Not all but a lot are different amps by Rockford, SS, Alpine, and Arc Audio. The majority of them though are SS PN4.520D amps. So I get on the horn with SS about it and was able to go up the chain to the product manager for the SS Nano line of amps. We discussed in great detail, mostly technical and found there to be no issues. I ran some tests on 3 different amps I have here with a scope and a 1khz sine wave and produced those results to SS as well just for clarification/verification. All is good there. I didn't bother contacting the other amp vendors because at this point I'm relatively certain it's the speakers. So I contact Polk again only to be met with the same response "we are unaware of any issues" even though numerous people following my advice contacted Polk directly.

So here we all sit with a bunch of toasted speakers that the manufacturer won't back up a warranty on because they were bought (unknowingly) through an unauthorized dealer and we have an unauthorized dealer refusing to do anything about it apparently because they know but DON'T advertise they are unauthorized by Polk Audio.

What's a person to do with this other than chalk it up to lesson learned. I'll be honest, it's one hell of an expensive lesson to be learned when you start compiling the number of people with these bad speakers that no one seems to be aware have a blatant issue.

I have a full time line of events but not sure how to proceed with it because in all honesty, it just isn't right. If all these people are selling unauthorized product then Polk Audio as a company should do something about it instead of leaving their customers hanging out in the cold.


Any ideas from anyone?



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Sadanorakman
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Re: Polk MM651 speaker woes

Post by Sadanorakman » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:34 am

Maybe overheating of the pole-piece due to sun exposure or due to driving the speakers loud, or vehicle vibrations effected the glue. If it were over here in the UK, then we'd have valid channels to explore, as by law goods should be of suitable quality and fit for purpose. It wouldn't be too difficult to prove that there were a multitude of identical failures taking place which points directly to the reliability of the product it's self. Over here, a manufacturer can't hide behind an excuse that a dealer is not 'authorised'... what rubbish! The manufacturer must in some way have supplied or authorised the supply of the goods to these 'non approved' dealers unless the goods being sold turn out to be fake copies. If the manufacturer does not choose to control their supply chain, and actively restrict who they supply with their product (which probably breaks anti-competition laws of some sort), how can they deny warranty on that basis? Were the dealers complicit in causing the failures (I doubt)? Were they explicitly recommending the goods be used for an inappropriate application, or in an inappropriate environment outside of the manufacturer's recommendations? ...I doubt!

Anyway, good luck with your complaint. Maybe you should threaten a class-action lawsuit... These seem to be pretty popular in the US when there are a number of aggrieved customers sharing a common problem. We're starting to see more of them over this side of the pond too.

regards
Every day's a school day....What have you learned today?

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