Clipping anyone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TJBass, Dec 23, 2000.

  1. On my Ampeg B3158 combo, I have a light that indicates "peak" and two lights together that indicate "clipping" on the 15 and the 8 inch speakers. Whats the difference? I can peak and still not clip or vice versa, what should I not do? Will this blow the amp or the speakers if done too often?
  2. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Here's my 2 cents:

    I think the "peak" lights mean you're overloading the INPUT.
    Does your Yamaha have active or passive pickups?

    Inputs accept a "range" of signal strengths wherein they will operate cleanly.
    For instance: 0 - 500mv, 0 - 1V, etc. When you've got the bass' volume cranked
    and/or play aggressively, the pup sends a BIG signal to the amp's input.

    The "clip" lights (I'm guessin' now) are a function of the finals.
    Once again, I think it has to do with "clean" (non-distorted) reproduction.
    The final amp & speakers were designed to operate cleanly over a certain
    range of output power. Exceed that range (all gain controls on "11") and
    you will get distortion or clipping. Not necessarily a bad thing.

    If you keep everything at "11" for extended periods, you'll probably increase
    the chances of blowin' up / burnin' out the finals. But an occasional foray into
    "non hi-fidelity" land shouldn't harm anything.
  3. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Yes, 'peak' refers to the pre-amp, 'clipping' to the power amp.
    For what I know, overloading the preamp just sounds bad (with solid state amps) but won't harm anything.
    Clipping sounds bad too AND can fry your speakers - you should avoid that!! (clipping led should flash just occasionally)

    With tube amps it's different, they are considered to sound 'good' when they are overdriven (has got to do with different kinds of harmonics, but I don't know too much about that)

    Maybe one of our tech experts can give a better explanation?
    (and correct me if I'm wrong)


    BTW: Merry Christmas everyone!!
  4. I have a passive pup and I don't "11" any of the amp controls but I do "11" the Vol and Tone controls on the bass. I always run thru the graphic EQ instead of the 3 band EQ which gives me better warmth. With graphic I actually like to keep all seven slides all the way up, just sounds great like that and thats when the clip lights start flashing, they don't stay on constantly but its close to it! I do play hard and really beat on the bass so I can see where the input will peak out when the strings are hit harder than normal but is that so bad? The peak light flashes occasionally but the clipping indicators spend a lot of time on. I keep the drive at about 5, the master at about 5, and the gain about 3 and it gets loud but the lights do worry me. If something starts to go bad what would be the first indication? Thanks for all your help guys....
  5. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I'm quite sure your EQ setting is the cause of this problem.
    EQ-sliders are nothing but additional gain controls for certain frequency ranges, simply said. So if you add too much, you will very likely overdrive preamp and/or power amp. Only because it is physically possible to set all sliders and knobs to max. this does not mean that the amp can handle this!
    Setting all EQ sliders to max. is not so good anyway (at least IMO) because you get a comb effect - a very 'uneven' frequency response.

    Pushing low frequencies very much also 'eats up' amp power.
    You should really experiment with different EQ settings. Try to get the best sound without EQ first, than add or attenuate a little here and there.
    Someone on this forum said you have to think of the EQ as salt and pepper, or something like that - I second that.


    Merry Christmas!