I have a blown driver and I'm not sure what to do

I have a set of Paradigm Speakers that make up my 7.1 set-up.  I had blown driver in one of the ADP 590s I'm using for a side speaker and replaced a driver in it ($300) 

I hear distortion in the other ADP and I'm pretty sure it's ANOTHER blown driver.  The price of the driver has gone up to $500.....same exact part.

Part ID # 2030800007 

I don't know that it's worth it....

Any thoughts?

Check with Madisound (https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/ under the Madisound Services tab) to see if it might be repairable.

I'm sure that this has occurred to you but, if they didn't get blown at the same time (and possibly even if they did), you need to find out what's causing it! :)
It seems you are overdriving your speakers. Is it a volume issue or maybe an amp issue?
Paradigm makes their own woofers. Even with that as a reality, they may use the same woofer in other speakers, specifically the floorstanders.

to make a new woofer for each and every new model that is introduced, is not the most efficient in time and resources.

Also, that tuning the top of a woofer’s (passive) crossover is the hardest part of crossover design.

so when a woofer is made that works, the incentive to change it or make a new one is less than zero. less than zero.

thus, woofer designs tend to get moved around in a given model year or model type sales period/cycle.

thus, that same woofer is probably available in other models, specifically the floorstanders from that model/cycle/period, or window, of possibly 2-3-4 years of designs.

If they change the surround, or the spyder, or so on, they change the top end response of the woofer and thus complicate it’s use. It’s far easier to change the box design and change the bottom end spec.

From that model cycle, look for woofers of the same design and basket.

They may be a drop in replacement and available as a $500-700-900 pair. With possibly 4 woofers, even (paired woofers per floorstander box, etc).

Or find an orphaned single/pair floorstander with a blown tweeter, the most common problem.

I’m trying to give the reasoning behind looking for a floorstander based compliment to your ADP blown woofer. The odds are better than even that is is out there.

properly done, this may change the costing of the woofers you are looking for to being less than half of the paradigm costing.

You just gotta spend the time on the research end of things. And see if what I’m thinking is possible - actually is possible.

Thus the pool of potential donors can increase by a factor of 3-4-5, thus increasing your chances of getting to lower cost and more timely - replacements.

Pay the price they are asking for their limited stock of NOS replacements at hand....or go to the work-self-time equation. Pick your trade-off.

eg, in this image, the bottom two woofers on the floorstanders and the outside woofers on the center and the woofers in the surrounds, are possibly all the same woofer. It’s just good design practice.


If you ask paradigm directly on this subject, they may or may not clarify. That is up to them, as to how they may handle such a question.

My thoughts should first be targeted towards amplification.

Please check DC(using conventional DC voltmeter or DMM) when system at idle on the speaker terminals or buy woofers in bulk for your 7.1 system 2 per each speaker just in case. After checking DC at idle, I would check with 1khz/.5Vrms input signal to check DC on the output. That requires either signal generator or Serato LP or any record/CD with test signals.

Meanwhile, don't keep your system on at idle and turn off

$500 for a driver, it better be one of the best in the world.  I can't believe paradigm is charging that much. It's not right for their customers and plain pretentious.
Thanks for the responses!

When the first driver went I did consider my amp, and determined that it wasn’t this issue based on discussion with friends and Paradigm.

Denon AVR3808CI

Maybe I missed something, but it’s been the same amp and speakers for over 8 years now. Maybe something is wrong with the amp?

Here’s the rest of my set-up:
Studio 60 v4
Studio CC 590 v4
Studio ADP 590 v4
Sunfire True Sub

130W sounds like a lot, but it's not. So if you play loud you might be
distorting (over driving) the very small power supplies in the amp.
Low power = heat= blown speakers

Do you think the amp isn't enough?  It was recommended by several people and I've had no issues for years.

These are only surround speakers, so they really haven't been used much.

You are driving a lot of speakers with that amp and up to a certain volume level, you should be ok. You might have crossed that line and as peterr53 suggested, over drove the speakers. A distorted source could have contributed to the problem also. When driving multiple speakers you need high power and high current for high gain. I don't think your amp is up to the task, especially if you like it loud and have a large room.

When I hear Denon AVRXXX, I freak out. They're unpredictable, unmanageable, and unserviceable and may reveal LOTS of intermittent problems.

They throw an array of intermittent problems within the time of usage and do not match specified parameters. As previous posters noted, use this AVR only at moderate to low volume levels and do not try to reach IMAX SPL. Also make sure that your speakers do NOT go bellow 6Ohms (which isn't probably the case with your paradigms, but who knows...) or your AVR will be history shortly after blown woofers. The output amp modules are not designed to drive heavy speakers even if specified parameters are showing contrary.

any recommendations for an amp?

The place I bought the speakers suggested that amp, and I had several other friends speak so highly of it.  I'm really surprised...


Are you willing to go separates or just replace receiver?

I like Carver/Sunfire amplification and would aim for either receiver similar to Cinema Grand or Ultimate Receiver or TGA/TGP combination.

Sell your Denon till it has warranty and value, because they turn to $50 scrap junk very fast. TGA/TGP will always hold value with minimal depreciation.

When you say separate, do you mean drive the mains with one amp and the others with another?

I'm open to suggestions....I hardly use this anymore, except to watch movies. 

I would probably move the Denon to another room with cheaper speakers and look for a one amp solution, unless you have a strong recommendation.  

I could also use another amp for the mains and use the Denon just for the surrounds?


I had a lengthy discussion with a tech at Paradigm and they echoed much of what you're saying here.

I moved, and re-did the speaker configuration using Audessy in my new home.  The crossover was set to 80 mhz, but the speaker size was set to small.  I can't see much more detail than that, but I wonder if that's why it would under-drive the speaker.

Anyway, they recommended the Anthem amplifiers.

Do any of you know them?   

Thanks for your input!


Meaning of separates is broad, but the core idea is to use separate processor and separate multichamp. You can also separate music from movies using either dedicated amp or dedicated amp/preamp for mains with theater bypass.

I moved, and re-did the speaker configuration using Audessy in my new home. The crossover was set to 80 mhz, but the speaker size was set to small. I can’t see much more detail than that, but I wonder if that’s why it would under-drive the speaker.

Technically, you’re not under-driving or over-driving speaker, but practically, read my prior note about Dennon AVR units. As a service man and techie I told that these units are unpredictable, overly sophisticated and absolutely unmanageable and unserviceable (anyone tries to ask me fix their Denon AVR, I simply send them away to whoever has another technical opinion about them). Your unit most-likely fails at some point and destroys your precious speakers. The point is you never will know the exact reason when dealing with it. If you try to make warranty claim and succeed, it will be a very good time to sell it right after you’ve been granted either overhaul or complete replacement of unit.

I stick to Sunfire products as they’ve presented to me maximum neutrality, precision and the most objective and truthful reproduction of instrument and voices with sufficient dynamic headroom. There are people that love Anthem products, but I find Sunfire giving more for the value.

Thank you for the input!  It sounds like even if I tested the Denon, I wouldn't find any predictable problem.

What I'm probably going to do it suck it up and buy the driver, making sure to by an amp that won't destroy another.

I can use the denon in another room, with cheaper speakers.

Anthem MRX 720?

I hear Anthem has great room correction software so I could also split it with the AVM 60 and an amp, but I don't know if I want spend the monry right now.

My house also needs windows :-)

Thinking about this problem today, contact Paradigm and ask if there is an undocumented upgrade.

Sometimes speakers go out, develop issues like this, and the manufacturer makes a change to the crossover to reduce the load on the tweeter.

It's a long shot, but worth asking.


Thank you E,

It looks like they will work with me on the driver.  They are willing to sell it to me for the price I paid two years ago ($300), but I will ask that question.

RIght now I'm just deciding what to drive it with from here.  I know that splitting is the best way to go.

Anthem MRX 720
Anthem AV60 and Anthem PA 7
Sunfire TGA-7201 (7401 seem like over-kill for what I have?)

A few people have said that the Anthem has the best room-correction software.  Anyone know anything about that?

Thanks again for all of the input!

I'm excited to get this repaired, and to improve the sound.  I'm a professional musician, and sadly, don't just listen to music much anymore. 

Perhaps this will inspire me to listen more!


I heard something wrong in my left Vandersteen 5A...  I  ran the Ayre break in disc which has a slow glide tone from 20 - 20,000 hz, which revealed that the midrange was the culprit.  I took out 4 screws, cut the wires to the driver and sent it back to Vandersteen who rebuilt the speaker for 150.00.  It now plays as when I first bought the speaker.
I ordered my PA7 and AV60 today, as well as a power conditioner.

Anyone have a recommended app or sound source for testing the speaker with pink or white noise?

I want to make sure it's blown before I get the new driver.  It may have just been (I'm hoping) a distortion from the amp at that frequency (wishful thinking, I know)

Thanks for all the advice,


Scott, pink or white noise might do the trick but a better test would be a set of frequency sweep tones.  Unhook the speaker that you think is ok and play the set of tones that should be covered by the driver in question (be careful of the volume).  A truly blown driver should be obvious.  I don't have a source for the tones right now as I'm at work but I'm sure others will chime in with a link.  Dick
where do you live and do you still have 1 properly working driver?
I asked because I was willing to spec out this driver and help you find a suitable replacement

I have 3 working drivers (each ADP speaker has 2 of these.  They way these are built, I doubt that it would be replaceable with anything else.

I can take a picture when I get home (traveling right now)

I live in the DC area.


No pictures necessary,  I would have taken full measurements of a driver.  With that, we could source a suitable replacement.  guessing on a driver like this just isn't the way to go. 
ok,  I understand wanting to keep the original,  good luck,  Tim
I actually have the old one, but it's not simply a single driver.  It's a whole unit, and the single driver that's blown isn't removable.

A picture would make more sense....


Maybe I read wrong,  I thought you had Paradigm ADP590..... the side woofer pulls out,  for the front woofer, you have to remove the front plate and the woofer is attached to the rear of that plate.  If the front woofer is not removable, then I would need the front woofer tweeter unit....
If run in the same cavity in parallel regarding shared back pressures (the most likely configuration), then one would have to replace with identical pairs, then the other speaker would have to be done the same way.

Obtaining a new or used woofer of OEM nature is the strongly preferable  way to go in this case.

Ie, a single driver replacement of a different woofer type, even one designed to be a perfect replacement... would very likely cause it or the remaining original to pop, when the playback levels get high enough.
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@timlub - are you close to the DC area?  I'm curious about pursuing your solution.

@djohnson54 - did you think of a good test app?

I set up the new gear and it sounds great, minus the one driver.  It's only noticeable at a couple of frequencies.

Scott, a search for "download test tones" will turn up a bunch of sites.  http://www.testsounds.com/ is just one of many.  I'd start with a tone that is close to the middle of the range handled by the affected driver and see if I got any output.  Dick
@shweinhold   No, I am in Arkansas,  I would measure the driver for QES, QMS, QTS, FS, VAS, etc.... we would then search all drivers in its size and compare published spec's... you would then simply buy a pair of the closest thing available and replace in the front, rear, sides etc.