Does speaker clipping mean they are blown?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brandon_T, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    Hello,

    Over the last two weeks my speakers have clipped on two separate occasions. The first was with the phantom menace, and the second tonight with Independance Day. I am not running a sub unfortunately, so I ask my speakers to do a little more. They are Paradigm studio 100's. I do have my rec. set to large cause of the no sub. So since they clipped a couple of times, does that mean that they are definatly blown? I hope not. I can't afford to replace them. I just can't afford a sub now either. Any suggestions on how to further avoid this would be greatly appreciated!

    Brandon
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Brandon,

    You are confusing the terminology a bit. Clipping usually refers to amplifiers. When an amplifier clips, it means that the signal is distorting. What you are refering to is your speakers bottoming. This when you overdrive the speaker and cause the voice coil to slam against the back plate. Neither of these are good things can lead to permanent damage of your speakers.

    As long as it's only happened a couple of times you're probably fine, but I wouldn't push it. One thing to try is to make sure you aren't adjusting the bass and treble controls on your receiver. I always leave mine set flat. If you want more bass simply turning down the treble slightly will give you a perception of more bass. Other than that, simply turn the master volume down.

    I can understand not being able to afford a sub too! We've all been there. One of the best things to do if money is tight is to consider a DIY sub. For around $400 total you could build a sub with a 12" driver and a 250 watt amp that would easily outgun most of the $1K subs on the market. Even if you don't have any tools I bet you know someone that does. You might even be able to find someone in the DIY forum that's in your area and is willing to help!
     
  3. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    What do you mean by your speakers "clipping"? A mechanical sound of the woofers bottoming out? Clipping typically is meant to mean an amp being driven past its low distortion limit. This kind of clipping is dangerous to tweeters. If you are talking about the mechanical bottoming out of you woofers, a couple incidents of that should not ruin the speakers.

    If you have the bass turned up to compensate for lack of a subwoofer, back off the bass control. If you don't have the bass turned up you will just have to turn the volume down a bit till you don't get the "clipping".

    Get yourself a decent sub ASAP.
     
  4. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Brandon,

    How do they sound on music and movies. Do you still have highs from your tweeters? Do your woofers buzz or make any strange sounds? I've blown tweeters before and they just stopped working all together. No sound at all. If they sound fine then they're probably fine. I just wouldn't play them so loud on movies anymore until you get a sub and can re-route those low frequencies.
     
  5. Brandon_T

    Brandon_T Screenwriter

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    Thanks all for the quick reply's!! I did misspeak myself when I said clipping. I did mean bottoming out. Everything sounds fine, with music and movies. I am running an Anthem MCA5 and sometime get greedy with how loud I can go without a sub. I am trying to save for an SVS, but that is still a ways away. I made sure the bass was not cranked up at all, and played around with the x-over a little and think I might have it under control. I just wanted to know about the longterm implications about them bottoming out. Would hate to lose such a great speaker.

    Brandon
     

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