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Clipping Indicator?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lomer, Sep 26, 2005.


  1. lomer

    lomer

    Mar 20, 2005
    Perth, Australia
    Ok so I did a search and didn't find anything so here goes.

    I've read up a little bit about clipping and how it can damage cabs etc. so what I want to know is, is there a pedal or something I can buy which has indicators to tell me when i'm driving my cabs into clipping?
     
  2. No. The clipping you are referring to occurs in the amplifier.

    So a pedal (between your bass and the amplifier) won't know what's going on inside the amplifier.

    Some power amps have clipping indicator LED's built in to them.
     
  3. most amps nowadays have a clip led for both their pre and poweramps.
     
  4. MODNY

    MODNY Guest

    Nov 9, 2004
    if you are clipping...you are driving your amp too hard, hands down..
     
  5. Daytona955i

    Daytona955i

    Feb 17, 2005
    Albany, NY
    Do limiter pedals/rack mount effects have clip lights on them?
     
  6. a compressor/limiter will help prevent clipping, but clipping usually happens within the amp, not in the signal path before it, so getting a pedal/rackmount effect with a clip light is not gonna help tell you when your power amp is clipping!
     
  7. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Generally speaking, solid state amp clipping sounds like crap. So if you turn up and your sound turns to crap, you are very likely clipping . . . . . hardly scientific, I know, but very easy to hear (at least with my ears . . .)

    - Tim
     
  8. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    You would be suprised on how many bassists can't tell if they are clipping. A bassist used my Sunn 1200S and refused to use the Graphic EQ or the -6db pad with his active bass after I told him to so I just let him fart out all night and fry his speakers.
     
  9. If your clipping a tube amp it sounds like sex :p , if its a SS amp, it sounds like an old bald fat man whos eaten too many beans
     
  10. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Probably the same crowd as the car audio guys. If I have $1 for every car I have heard go by with a THD of at least 50% that some pinhead thought sounded good, I'd be rich . . . .

    - Tim
     
  11. jacostilllives

    jacostilllives

    May 4, 2004
    Just turn the gain down and the master up. Clipping wont damage the speakers unless your cab is rated less than the wattage of your amp. Clipping comes from having too much gain not from a loud master.
     
  12. lomer

    lomer

    Mar 20, 2005
    Perth, Australia
    yeah i'm not overly worried cos I dont drive my cabs hard anyways, I was just wondering cos my head doesnt have any indicators etc.... thanks for the help ppl...
     
  13. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    That's not entirely true. You can clip both your preamp AND your poweramp. It is entirely possible to clip a poweramp by turning it up too loud.
     
  14. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I was told the opposite for my iAMP. Turn the preamp up as high as possible without overloading (my preamp has an "overload" LED). This maximizes the efficiency of the power amp and allows you to run with less output. Less output means less chance of clipping.

    This may be specific to the iAMP though, so YMMV.
     
  15. As other people have pointed out already, you can clip both the pre and power amps, and if its the power amp you are clipping then your more likely to do damage
     
  16. The "Overload" light is the clipping light. You can clip both your preamp and your poweramp - Ideal situation is to get as much volume out of both without clipping either one.
     
  17. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    I don't honestly think that this can do anything for efficiency, but what it WILL do is give you the cleanest signal, with the least amount of noise. Once you get into the power amp, and past it's volume controls, the same amount of drive will give the same output no matter where the drive comes from - IE, if the preamp puts out 2v, and the volume control on the amp drops it to 1v into the amp for full output, that is no different to the amp than the preamp giving 1v and the amp input wide open - the effective drive voltage is the same. The higher input signal WILL put you (primarily in the pre) that much further above the noise floor of the device (hiss, hum, etc.) so that when it hits the amp, there is less noise coming out.

    - Tim
     
  18. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I guess I should have said headroom rather than efficiency? By cranking the preamp, I can get the master volume down below 5 (12:00), which makes me feel better.

    But cleanest signal with least amount of noise sounds good to me!
     
  19. Yes to cleanest signal/least noise. The position of the master volume is irrelevant, below 5 should not be an indication that you cannot drive it into clipping.... or having it set to full blast, if that's what's needed. The relative position of the master volume just means they did a reasonable job of matching the gain of the power amp to the output of the preamp.

    Randy
     
  20. That's a good question... if you have a tube preamp, I think its true. But if its a SS amp, i think same waveform gets created, so its just a matter of how loud you are, i.e. what's the wattage of the clipped signal going to the speaker.

    From the standpoint that the power amp could be quite low while the preamp is clipping, it generally would be less dangerous to clip the preamp. The power amp clipping guarantees you're getting a) bad waveform and b) a lot of power cramming that bad waveform into the speaker. I started out maybe disagreeing and talked myself into agreement....

    Randy