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I still can't understand clipping

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've read so much about this issue and it seems like it's a pretty simple concept but I still don't get it's causes nor how to prevent it. From what I understand clipping is when a sound is amplified too much so that the speaker is not allowed to move in it's normal up and down pattern but rather gets stuck for a few seconds at the peak volume and it clips the sine wave into a square shape introducing lots of strain into the coil. Am I correct? If that's the case then preventing it should be as simple as turning the volume down, right?

 

I've just heard many mixed messages about this issue and I don't know want to end up buying an amp of too high or lower wattage and blowing a pair of speakers because I don't know what I'm doing. For the record, it's probably better to go with a lower wattage amp and pair them to higher wattage speakers then vice versa right?

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru12 View Post

 

I've just heard many mixed messages about this issue and I don't know want to end up buying an amp of too high or lower wattage and blowing a pair of speakers because I don't know what I'm doing. For the record, it's probably better to go with a lower wattage amp and pair them to higher wattage speakers then vice versa right?

 

You'd have a lot more chances of getting clipping using a low power amp on inefficient speakers than a high power amp on a relatively efficient speaker. Speaker input power ratings are nearly irrelevant because, seriously, has anyone used an amp with an output that really exceeded the maximum continuous input power ratings on speakers? Most standmounts get over 100watts max input, and floorstanders with more than two drivers usually get 150w max input. Unless you're using a powerful $300+ 150wpc T-amp you won't be getting anywhere near the maximum.

 

Unless what you have is an amp with bloated ratings and you're still going to get clipping, but in that case if you factor in the THD levels you are not really using a powerful amp. If anything the problem with an extremely powerful amp on a very efficient speaker is it might get it too loud too quickly, but from my own experience with equipment that is only really a problem with custom car audio systems using active crossovers (before the amp stage), and you have a 4ch amp with, say, 75w front channels powering 10wpc tweeters with no passive crossovers - fortunately the processor can lower the signal voltage to them by -8db. Unless you're at such an extreme situation, chances are you'd be annoying your neighbors before you hear clipping, provided that high-output amp is one that doesn't distort at that output level.

So really the only thing against quality high power amps is the price and size. When using a lower output amp, as long as you meet the minimum output required by the speakers and you aren't trying to mimic the SPLs in a live rock concert, you should be fine.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 2/15/14 at 7:52pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

 

So really the only thing against quality high power amps is the price and size. When using a lower output amp, as long as you meet the minimum output required by the speakers and you aren't trying to mimic the SPLs in a live rock concert, you should be fine.

 

 

So you're more likely to run into a lower powered amp that will begin to distort at it's highest volume levels then ever max out a speakers maximum input levels? That makes sense since most integrated amps are like 50W. The reason why I ask is the speakers I plan on getting are rated for 90db of sensitivity which is really good and have a max of 225w so something around the 50 to 75W range should sound pretty damn loud without running into issues?

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru12 View Post
 

 

So you're more likely to run into a lower powered amp that will begin to distort at it's highest volume levels then ever max out a speakers maximum input levels? That makes sense since most integrated amps are like 50W. The reason why I ask is the speakers I plan on getting are rated for 90db of sensitivity which is really good and have a max of 225w so something around the 50 to 75W range should sound pretty damn loud without running into issues?

90dB of sensitivity at what power?

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru12 View Post
 

 

So you're more likely to run into a lower powered amp that will begin to distort at it's highest volume levels then ever max out a speakers maximum input levels? That makes sense since most integrated amps are like 50W. The reason why I ask is the speakers I plan on getting are rated for 90db of sensitivity which is really good and have a max of 225w so something around the 50 to 75W range should sound pretty damn loud without running into issues?

 

Assuming it's rated for 1watt measured at 1m, and the amp is still at 0.1% distortion (or less) at 50watts, that should be enough to make the neighbors hate you if you have windows open.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Assuming it's rated for 1watt measured at 1m, and the amp is still at 0.1% distortion (or less) at 50watts, that should be enough to make the neighbors hate you if you have windows open.

Here's the speakers I'm planning on getting: (They don't tell you the power rating at that sensitivity level): LINK 

 

The amp specs says 0.015% THD using the digital outputs at 30W with 8 ohms of impedance. At 95W it jumps to 0.7 %THD at 4 ohms of impedance. Here's the spec sheet: LINK

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

Assuming it's rated for 1watt measured at 1m, and the amp is still at 0.1% distortion (or less) at 50watts, that should be enough to make the neighbors hate you if you have windows open.

If you have to open your windows to make your neighbors hate you, you're not trying hard enough. tongue.gif

se
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by higbvuyb View Post
 

90dB of sensitivity at what power?

They don't state what they rated it at but I'm assuming 1W/M as that's the standard. 

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