how old is old? sounds like you might have some problems with the woofers. If an amp clips it clips the entire signal not just the lows, you will usually notice when your tweeter and mid no longer work.
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...but there is more energy in the low frequencies, so you'll get the clipping first in the low frequencies. You can probably get clipping without low notes if you play it loud enough. But the other choice is possible, too, you may have a problem with your woofers -- is the buzzing coming from the woofers or from the tweeters? If the woofers, bad, they might be "blown".
Something worth considering - if the speakers have been sat unused for a long time (or are old) then the cone surround may have deteriorated causing the cones to "slump" down and the coil winding to come into contact with the magnet pole pieces. This can cause a horrible "buzz" when you try to play a signal thru the speakers. Try and check this out, it may help you. Richard
Thanks all for your advice. I did check back with the person who sold them to me, who seemed quite trustworthy. He says the speakers weren't blown. I do know that I have to turn up my amp quite a bit higher to get the same sound level as with my earlier speakers, so I'm thinking indeed it is the sound of clipping. I'll try to verify it by using the speakers with a different, more powerful amp whenever I get the chance.