I too have assumed that the amp was clipping in my HK525 when I noticed slight crackling sounds at high volumes.
I'm running Studio 60's crossed over at 40Hz with the internal x-over. Have only noticed it on my Chris Botti CD (trumpet soloist) and only at high levels....around -14 or so on the volume. Adjusting the x-over higher gives me a couple of more notches on the volume, but I don't like the balance anymore with the sub at 80 Hz.
I don't notice it as much with other music, but with the trumpet, it really sticks out.
What are you walls made out of? If they're concrete or you have sliding glass doors, tile floors, stone fireplace all that stuff you worry about your kids chipping their teeth on. If you have any of that then that would be your problem. I made my own acoustic panels I made two panels which together were 8x6 and cost me about $100 and is definitely the best $100 I've ever spent on my system if it was $1000 or even $10000 it'd still be the best money I've spent bang for you buck wise (not that I've made bad choices).
One thing about this forum is that it's hard to get alot of info about acoustic paneling because so many people don't use it and never took the time to try it. They've heard people like me and never decide to try instead they buy new amps trying to make the system better but it doesn't make that much difference. I bet maybe one other person on this thread has tried acoustic paneling and, I don't think anyone has because they all would've agreed with me that it was your acoustics. Instead they said the amps because they've never tried acoustics and really have no idea how huge a difference it makes nothing compares to it , nothing even hold a candle to it. It's seriously a landslide at how much bigger a difference it makes over cables, amps, receivers, dvd players, power conditioning, etc. I've tried them all except the amps and wasn't even close. I know I sound like an infomercial which makes people think I'm exageratting but I'm dead serious. Especially if it's only $100 what do have to lose. Please call now operators are standing by. BUT WAIT if you call now you'll get a free juicer that's a $50 value absolutely free. You'll get the acoustic panel and the juicer which separately sell for $10,050 but call now and cut the price to $100 plus S&H. Call now and don't forget to ask about or Rush Shipping and our easy payment plan.
Does it make this crackling with all your source material. It seems like alot of the crackling on my CDs and DVDs is caused by how the original material was recorded. Like if its to close to certain instruments during loud passages the mic itself starts to distort. Then this is recorded into the disc. Many times this can only be heard at higher volumes. Can you try listening to the same material with headphones? You might be able to hear these distortions at low volumes. This would at least rule out the material.
The easiest way to hear clipping is to turn a cheap car stereo way up. It'll get real shrill and compressed sounding just before the speakers burn up. Just watch out because this will blow the speakers out really quick. After you do this the speaker either wont work or will always sound staticy during louder passages.
James you're getting carried away with this clipping thing. You'd have to be playing at extremely loud levels in order to clip. For example with just ONE watt of power your speakers put out 90dB of sound that is already 5 or 15dB (depend on who you ask) above reference level which is very loud and that's with one watt. You have 75w. With that much power you could go to about 109dB thereotically and at that point it's extremely loud and way above reference level and very uncomfortable. Also adding a new amp and doubling your power to 150w will only let you go to 112dB so you're not gonna gain much. Acoustic paneling doesn't mask the sound of your electronics it masks the sounds of your room by reducing the effect the room has on the sound coming from your speakers. I had the same problem as you and adding panels solved it plain and simple adding an amp won't it will just let you play 3dB louder.
I totally agree that you are getting carried away. You are not 100% sure that you have a power/clipping issue yet. Let me reiterate my suggestion; just measure at what SPL you are getting this harsh "S" s and compression when your meter is 1m away from one speaker, so that we will have a reference using which we can compare our setup. I don't own same speakers as yours but a pair of 91dB Kefs and a 80 wpc receiver. If you provide me with the SPL, I'll try and see what my setup sound like around same levels.
well if i'm getting carried away, its only because i'm afraid to damage my speakers. at age 15, 500 dollars is a reasonably massive investment, thus i want to make absolutly sure that i'm not going to fry out my tweeters.
i'll go to RattShack and see if i can pick up an SPL meter. i'll also look into paneling.
Amplifiers don't have to clip in order to sound harsh when pushed. And CD players can sound harsh too.
Don't worry about it too much, just turn it down if it starts sounding bad. It is really unlikely your tweeters would be so weak that you could damage them by feeding them too much power (from, say, a 200 watt amplifier), without noticing any distortion. I would expect you should reach peaks of somewhere between 95-105db without obvious distortion, with those speakers. Pretty dang loud with most music, if you ask me.
And it's nice to meet another kid on the forum! I am 16 and I'm also quite careful about protecting my own 500 dollar speakers. Didn't stop me from hooking a 400 watt amp up to them, though. The fact that I can replace the tweeters for $20 apiece helps.