Danger of clipping?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan_McCormick, Jul 5, 2002.

  1. Ryan_McCormick

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    Hello all,

    I just ordered 2 front tower speakers to add to my system. I am using a kenwood VR-606 receiver pushing 100Wx5. The tower speakers are rated at 200 watt max. I usually listen to my movies at about 3/4 of max volume. My question is how much of a risk of clipping am i running? At this level the speakers i have now rated at 100 watts max have no signs of distortion. The volume rating is from -00db to 0db and i run them at about -35db. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thank you,
     
  2. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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    Ryan.

    This is very difficult to predict. Speakers "rated at 200w" do not mean a lot in the real world. Not only because of different ratings systems but because it does not directly translate into max SPL, being that it is independent of speaker sensitivity.

    Also "3/4 of max volume" is not meaningful. If you are not clipping now and your new tower speakers are of the same sensitivity and impedance as your old ones, you are home free.

    If they are not then we need to know the differences in sensitivity and impedance to try to asses the situation.

    Hope this is of some help.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    its a question of speaker sensitivity that dictates in part how loud they sound. what's their sensitivity?
     
  4. keir

    keir Stunt Coordinator

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    theres not a whole lot you can do except make sure and turn it down if it becomes distorted somehow. the kenwood is rated at 100x5 watts but probably cant actually deliver 100 watts to every channel for a sustained period. if the speakers sensitivity is decent then 100 watts is more than you would use anyway except at very loud dynamic peaks. i also have a kenwood with similar power rating and -30 to -25 is enough for movies and i don't get noticable distortion. my speakers are 89 dB sensitivity (paradigm atom/titan/cc-170)
     
  5. Ryan_McCormick

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    They are the same impendence, but i dont know there sensitivity. I will take the advice of turning them down when i hear distortion of any kind.

    Thank you,
     
  6. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    Find out the minimum wattage of the speakers. If the Kenwood wattage drops when running all channels below the minumun wattage of the speakers you could be in trouble.
    I blew a pair of B & W's that were 50watts minimum with the Onyko 600 rated at 80x6 but is only 34w x5 when 5 channels are working. Any DVD movie that increases the volume when action scenes develop the speakers demand the watts but receive distortion since the amp can not deliver the watts.
    Clipping produced.
    http://www.audiovideo101.com/dictionary/clipping.asp
     
  7. Ryan_McCormick

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    There minimum wattage is 5 so i hope that i dont go below that or kenwood has some explaining to do. Thanks for the input.
     
  8. Mike Veroukis

    Mike Veroukis Second Unit

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    Ryan,

    you should be good as most movie sound tracks don't usually demand full power from all channels at once. So there should be some reserve power for those action scenes.

    If however you were playing all channel music (or perhaps a music DVD) you might put more of a strain on the system which would reveal any weakness in your system.

    Also, if your speakers are fairly efficient (91+) then you should be okay.

    - Mike
     
  9. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Minimum wattage for speakers? That's a new one. There is no such thing as minimum power for speakers.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  11. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    This is a receiver question more than a speaker question. The real question here is how clean is the power coming from the Kenwood VR-606, thus I am moving to amps/receivers.
     
  12. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think a speaker can be damaged by having too little power delivered to it, so long as the signal is not clipped. My impression is that clipping occurs when an amp is driven beyond its capabilities causing it to clip off the high end of the sound wave it is trying to deliver. Think of the capital letter "A" and that same letter without the pointed top of the letter. The clipped sound wave would be the "A" with its top pointed part chopped off and instead of delivering a sharp pointed wave of sound, it would deliver a flat-topped signal to the speaker which could cause the damage. Am I all wrong in all of this? I know what I want to say, but am having a difficult time expressing it. Have I been mistaken all these years? Probably...
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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  14. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Bottom line is if it sounds distorted, compressed, bad.

    turn it down. Doesn't really matter where the volume dial is at. You'll hear when an amp is clipping and the danger is damaging speakers.
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  16. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Couldn't agree with you more John. The problem most people have is that the speaker companies list, at times it seems almost arbitrary, power listings on speakers. My Klipsch reference speakers state 150 maximum watts on the back label. Less versed consumers sometimes think naively that this means the speaker is more powerful or, more commonly, that this means they should not mate the speakers with amps with more power. I have a Parasound amplifier rated at 140 watts/channel X's 5. I need a bit less than 8 watts to achieve an SPL of 105 decibels. The problem with the misinterpretation some consumers make is that they think an amp rated at 100 watts per channel will be plenty sufficient. They don't always realize that those ratings also can be misleading and that their amp could possibly only put out say 40 watts per channel with all channels being driven as hard. If they have inefficient speakers, this could well lead to clipping at high volumes and the result could be damage to the speakers. For instance, to achieve that same SPL of 105 decibels, with speakers rated at a rated efficiency of 78 would require 512 watts of power.

    I know that you already know all of this John, I'm sure better than I do. The reason I'm posting is because it might help someone who is less versed understand that a speaker's efficiency rating is more important that max or min power ratings on the speaker.
     
  17. Ryan_McCormick

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    Very good points. My understanding was also that it is not the speaker rating as wattage ratings are not all that important to a speaker. They are more or less there to give you an idea of what the speaker can handle. I have also read that as a rule of thumb you want to take the max wattage of the speaker and double it to get an idea of what you amp/reciever should be pushing. I originally got the idea that i may be damaging my speakers from another post asking if he could turn his amp up all the way because his speakers were rated alot higher than his amp. But i then started looking at equipment lists from some of the home theaters on this site and noticed that most of them were running higher rated speakers (especially front speakers) then there reciever was rated and were not using amps. So i thought i would post here to get the general consensus. And so far i have been assured that as long i am not getting crazy with the volume knob i should be okay. I really appreciate all the help. And my apologies for putting it in the wrong category.

    Thanks again,
     
  18. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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  19. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    Ryan,
    The bottom line is with minimum watts of 5 you would not have a problem with clipping. As others have stated many A/V receivers rated 80 or 100 watts when all channels are going the wattage can fall to 27w to 40w depending on receiver. This could cause clipping with loud source material and speakers that require a larger minimum watts.
    The speakers to produce the required source demand more than the receiver can deliver and distortion & clipping occurs.
    ie: 34w from the receiver with all channels going, loud source material (many movies with special effects of loud sound) and speakers with 50w minimum. These speakers are demanding power to drive them from the loud source material and can only receive the 34w. The drivers can not move back and forth faster enough to cool the wires attached to the voice coil and the glue melts and the speakers blow.

    To avoid this situation buy enough watts with low efficient speakers or buy speakes with low minimun watts.
     

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