amp power

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jeff cr, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. jeff cr

    jeff cr Agent

    Mar 2, 2002
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    okay, you say that to little power is worse for speakers than to much power because when the amps starts clipping then it is bad forthe speakers. My question is how do you know if your amp is clipping or not? for example my speakers sound great up until you turn the volume knob on the receiver to about 90% of full. then the speakers start to sound crappy and there is some distortion . Does this mean my amp is clipping at this point. also, if your amp is rated at 100 watts/ch and your speakers are rated at say 150 watts why does it hurt the speakers if the amp clips. thanks
  2. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

    Oct 14, 2001
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    If it sounds bad turn it down. Most times that distorted, compressed, harsh sound is the amp clipping. run a search on clipping and you'll find all you need.

    If you want to listen to max volume (you can damage your hearing though be careful) listen to your CD and slowly turn up the volume. Once you hear the slighest hint of distortion of any kind on the loudest sounds like snare drums and vocals turn it down a few notches, like 4 or 5 clicks on a digital volume. That way you should have plenty of headroom for peaks.

    Keep in mind you have to do this with each and every recording and sometimes tracks as CDs are recorded at different levels.
  3. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

    Jan 6, 2002
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    "if your amp is rated at 100 watts/ch and your speakers are rated at say 150 watts why does it hurt the speakers if the amp clips."

    Speaker wattage ratings are relative. For example, no speaker rated at 150 watts will take a sustained high frequency (let's say 10KHz) signal at 150 watts without blowing the tweeters. Speaker ratings are either with program material or with some other qualifying restriction.

    Program material contains much less high frequency information than mid and low frequencies.

    When an amplifier clips it generates as distortion products high frequencies that were not present in the original material. It is these high level high frequencies that do the damage.
  4. Mark R O

    Mark R O Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 2, 2001
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    Do you have a Dolby Digital receiver? If so, check out the
    level adjustments in the calibration set up. Guessing that they are adjusted way down. You should not have to (nor get away with) turning your volume knob that far.
    Here's a thought about wattage. Let's say you are watching a movie and the dialog is around "thx" reference level.
    On speakers of average efficency, you are only using perhaps 7-10 watts of your 100. Then Carrie Anne Moss and
    Kneau Reeves walk into that tiled lobby and start a full auto ass kicking. The gunshots are almost 20dB lounder than
    what you were just listening to. That requires your amp to deliver nearly 100 times more power, or 700 to 1000 watts per gunshot! Your 100 watt amp is now 10% of what your speakers need. Thats like trying to run your entire house off one 99 cent extension cord. You burn a 60 amp rated house down with a 1/2 amp cord. (100 watt amp kills 250 watt speakers.)
    So careful with vol. knob, ya never know...

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