Sytem clipping at high volume

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Girish, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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    I am driving Infinity IL-60 with an HK AVR-500 receiver which I use as a prcessor and have a HK Signature 2.1(5X100 watts)amplifier. When I listen to the music at high volume the system intermittently clips. I also see the light bulbs in the room flickering!!!.
    I have checked the connections and the wires. The front speakers are set as small(even changing them to large does nbot make a difference). If I turn the balance to right or left still happens.
    I have hooked all the equipments(61"tv, rec, amp, cd, dvd,sat,vcr etc) to the wall outlet using two simple extension cords. I donot have any expensive surge protector or Power conditioner.
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Tom Grooms

    Tom Grooms Second Unit

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    turn the volume knob counterclockwise or buy a better amp.
     
  3. jinW

    jinW Extra

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    yes, more power[​IMG]
    I think you must have a big listening room...
     
  4. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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    the hk signature weighs 60lbs and I thought was a very powerful amp at 100 wtc.
     
  5. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    I agree with the others, it sounds like you just need more power for the volumes you are asking of the system. That said, your lights should not dim under any circumstance unless the bulbs are loose in the socket and you have heavy bass in the music. And even then, that would be more of a flicker. [​IMG] Lights dimming is more of a car stereo type thing, when you demand more current from the electrical system than it can provide, so voltage drops. In a house, this should not occur unless you are running some high power appliances on the same electrical circuit as your stereo simultaneously. For instance, a hair dryer, space heater, some vacuum cleaners, etc...

    But if the amp is clipping, plain and simple, you could use more power, especially given that it still occurs with the speakers set to small and only one channel driven. 100w is quite a lot of power for efficient speakers, but I can't find any information on how efficient the IL60's are. Also, we don't know the size of your room, your music preference, or how loud you like it, all of which can play a significant role. Generally speaking a 60lb amp is quite substantial. If you are using eight ohm speakers though, the output may simply be limited by the maximum voltage the amp can produce, whereas if you had four ohm speakers, the amp could produce much more power (50w/channel more according to H-K).


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  6. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I think it sounds like the power from the wall is inadequate. Are those heavy duty extension cords? It is not safe to run all that power through cheap cords.
    Try getting a good extension cord and plug the amp only into an outlet in a different area of the house. See if you get the same thing, and the same lights dimming. If you do not, you will need to have an extra electrical circuit run to your home theater.
     
  7. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian I think you are right. The extensions are $2 cheap one I had lying around the house. All the equipments are running thorugh them(61'TV, receiver, amp, dvd, cd, tape, satellite receiver,vcr,subwoofer) Also the IL-60S have two 500 watts built in amps which probably drain a lot of power from the outlets. I will try to buy a nice power supply and will hook some of the stuff to another outlet.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Girish,

    Brian is right, you should never plug amplifiers into light-duty extension cords, especially if you’re going to use them to the max. The problem is that they will inhibit current flow to the amp , which in turn limits output.

    Also your speakers might be on the inefficient side, which would require higher-powered amps. I couldn’t find yours on Infinity’s web site to verify this.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Randy C Sr

    Randy C Sr Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sowhat new to this forum but I'll try to help (I usually fequent the sound and vision site using the name Maddmaster).

    Many of the answers you have gotten are right on. Extension cords are not a good idea but I do not think that's going to solve your problem.

    First, if you like your speakers, crank that volume down to where the clipping stops or you may damage them.

    Second, the lights may be dimming because the system is putting a heavy demand on the power line and the lights are (if you're talking about the ceiling lights) are on the same circuit. If you are talking about the lights on your Receiver or PreAmp dimming then you are really pushing your unit to and beyond it's limits.

    Third, sounds like you need a stronger Power Amp and that will cost you. 100WPC is what you said you have right now. Most people don't know, but in order for you to hear a difference in volume you have to double the power. So if you go out and buy a 150WPC Amp you'll here no difference. The clipping may stop because you'll have a little headroom. Most listening is done around 1-5 watts. If you want it louder, than the 5 watts has to be 10; at 10 you have to move to 20, and so on. So you see it doesn't take long to reach the limit at very loud levels. To be twice as loud you have to increase the power by a factor of 10. Your 100WPC would have to be 1000WPC. Most high end Power Amps these days are around 200WPC; some like Sunfire (use to be Carver) may reach 400WPC.

    Third, as mentioned the efficiency of your speakers really makes a difference as well.

    My guess is you probably are trying to get more BOOM (Bass) and that eats power. Infinity does very well with mid's and high's but not the lower frequencies. You'll be better off adding powered sub.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Why don't you total up everything that's on that same AC circuit in terms of power draw and see if what you also may need is a separate line.
     
  12. syeo

    syeo Agent

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    How can you tell if your receiver is "clipping"? Does it make popping sounds? I think my Yamaha is doing that occasionally but not necessarily at high volume.
     
  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    The clipping I've heard usually has a sound similar to radio static--not exactly "fuzzy" sounding like real static but rather an unpleasant or hard sound. It's hard to describe but I know it when I hear it.

    But whatever it is caused by, if you hear something UNmusical it's time to turn down your system!!!

    BTW: every amplifier, no matter how powerful, will eventually start to clip if pushed too far (because I have yet to read of The Infinite Wattage Amp [​IMG] ).
     
  14. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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    What I am calling "clipping" is at high volume playing music with high bass, the system skips sound for a fraction of second and it does it repeatedly. I get this at a volume level of -5 db.
     
  15. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    -5dB? That’s pretty close to WFO. It’s amazing you haven’t fried your speakers.
     
  16. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    It sounds like the amp's protection relay is being activated.

    I think you just need a more powerful amp OR speakers capable of more output (low efficiency does not indicate a speaker's sound reproduction quality though).
     
  17. Sam A

    Sam A Stunt Coordinator

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    maybe the bass is making you cd player skip?
    HAS been known to happen .
     
  18. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    It does sound like amp protection circuits are cutting in but could be that this protection occurs when the preamp circuit senses it will clip the internal amps in the receiver - my Sony receiver goes into protection mode if the volume is cranked too high even though I'm using it purely as a prepro [​IMG].

    If this isn't the case, why not use the receiver to drive 2 of the speakers directly and the amp to drive the other 3? Then you will be placing less load on the poweramp's power supply.
     
  19. Randy C Sr

    Randy C Sr Stunt Coordinator

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    Girish, you can normally tell when clipping occurs. Instead of sounding clean the music will sound distorted. Usually if the protection circuit kicks in all sound is cut off for a very noticable period. A woofer of mid range speaker popping is usually from being over driven. The cone excursion jumps way out and slams back against the magnet.

    Do you use a Powered Subwoofer?
     
  20. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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    yes I use a powered subwoofer(Infinity IL-120s). The main speakers have two built in 500 watts for their 12" woofers. I will try to use two channels of my receiver for the rear speakers but I think its not going to make a difference because while playing music I donot use the rear speakers and the sub, play it in "surr off" mode.
     

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