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Interview with FBT Expert Jack Wilson: Caring for your speakers in a Heatwave

This week we caught up with FBT's resident expert Jack Wilson to find out some tips on caring for your speakers during a heatwave!

In this hot weather do you recommend anything specific for our DJs and venues storing speakers?

Keep your speakers in a cool, dry and ideally dark place out of direct sunlight.
A concrete or brick building will be a better choice to your speakers in, a metal shed will usually be hotter inside.
Ideally keep them covered with protective covers if you have them but remove them for use.
Heat in general isn’t too bad but extreme heat will cause problems.

In true British style our weather changes so fast... anything you recommend in extremes of temperature & weather to prolong life of speakers?

Generally, keep them out of direct sunlight. If your speaker is hot to touch from the sun or general heat, I would recommend turning them off for a period of time to allow them to cool. In some cases I have seen people direct fans onto their amplifiers to keep cool air circulating through them.
A passive speaker in heat/sunlight is generally better than an active speaker as long as the amplifier for the speakers are kept in a cool, dry place out of direct light.
Allow speakers to acclimatise before using them – i.e. if you have kept them in a very cold room and bring them into a hot place then allow them to “settle” for a small while before turning them on.

Anything to avoid in this temperature?

First of all, do not place the speakers in direct sunlight where possible, passive speakers will not have as much of a problem as active speakers.
If you cannot avoid placing active speakers in direct sunlight, at least make sure it is the front face that is facing the sunlight and not the amplifier section as this is the part that would be most prone to overheating.
Do not leave on any covers if you are operating speakers in this temperature.
Try not to run your speakers at high levels for prolonged periods.
Try not to expose the cones to direct sunlight if possible.

Any basic maintenance tips?

Vinyl or carpeted speakers will be most prone to damage in hot weather, the glue will melt under the carpet and the carpet will lift, if you can’t help where they are stored then it’d be a good idea to keep some spare glue with you.
Speakers left in thick padded covers whilst operating will likely be warmer than those that are out of covers, in hot weather it is recommended to operate the speakers without the covers on them.
Wooden painted cabinets are generally the best speakers to have in hot weather but the sun will fade their paint finish and dry out the wood, keep them well maintained and painted to keep them looking their best.

Top tip for prolonging life of your speakers?

Keep an eye on speaker temperature throughout their operation, if they feel majorly hot then it would be a good idea to turn them off or reduce their input for a small period to ensure the internals are not too hot.
Ensure that any openings such as vents or cooling fans are kept clear and clean and are operating as normal.
Keep a grille on covering your speaker cones and drivers where possible.

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