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Amp clipping vs over driving speakers

Stinga

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Hi guys, wondering if you could elaborate for me how to tell the difference.
When I turn my system up very loud the bass drivers get ugly and I have to turn it down. Is this the amp clipping or the speakers being over driven?
Running NuPrime AMG sta amps in mono - 300w at 4 ohms.
Happens on both my Sonus Faber Electa Amator 2 and also my new perlisten S5m
I have limited the max volume to stop anyone else doing it and possibly damaging the speakers.
Your thoughts would be much appreciated
Thnk you
 

voodooless

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Clipping usually is most noticeable in the tweeter, and it will often kill tweeters first if the woofer can cope with the power.

Mechanical noises usually mean that the driver can’t cope, so too much power.

A combination of both is also possible of course.
 

Vladetz

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Hi guys, wondering if you could elaborate for me how to tell the difference.
When I turn my system up very loud the bass drivers get ugly and I have to turn it down. Is this the amp clipping or the speakers being over driven?
Running NuPrime AMG sta amps in mono - 300w at 4 ohms.
Happens on both my Sonus Faber Electa Amator 2 and also my new perlisten S5m
I have limited the max volume to stop anyone else doing it and possibly damaging the speakers.
Your thoughts would be much appreciated
Thnk you
Have you measured power consumption of amp from outlet?
 

Hayabusa

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Only way to really know is to look at the waveform with an oscilloscope and 'see' if it clips.
Amps should have clipping indicators...
 

Chr1

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Agree. This is where pro amps are better by design....
However, the cynical part of me wonders if manufacturers of hifi would prefer that you didn't know their product was clipping?!
 
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sergeauckland

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Occasional clipping most probably passes unnoticed until severe. It then sounds like a 'roughening' of the sound
A loudspeaker bottoming is a very obvious mechanical clunk or thud. (Don't you hate subjective words!)

As Voodooless mentioned, one can of course have both at the same time, and as Hayabusa said, the only real way of checking amplifier clipping is with an oscilloscope unless the amp has a clipping indicator fitted.

S.
 

ampetrosillo

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A speaker will produce lots of distortion ("bad sounds") well before reaching its maximum mechanical excursion (Xvar or Xlim). If a speaker reaches its maximum excursion and bottoms out, you might have actually damaged the speaker irreparably. But it's not easy to reach maximum excursion, because that would assume that the user is deliberately ignoring the gross distortion you start getting much sooner (IIRC, speakers may well produce somewhere around 10%THD at Xmax, the maximum controlled excursion).

Amp clipping is often inaudible, and it's mostly harmless per se (apart from the sound quality degradation), assuming the amp is well dimensioned as regards cooling.
 
OP
S

Stinga

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Thank you lads, it is definetly the woofer not being happy so it sounds like power is not the problem. Its a large open plan space so not so easy to drive at highish levels using monitors.
I will try measuring power at the wall for interests sake.
At least I don't need new amps, more likely a sub:)

Cheers
 

MaxwellsEq

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Thank you lads, it is definetly the woofer not being happy so it sounds like power is not the problem. Its a large open plan space so not so easy to drive at highish levels using monitors.
I will try measuring power at the wall for interests sake.
At least I don't need new amps, more likely a sub:)

Cheers
You simply might need larger speakers with greater displacement.
 
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