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Clipping unhealthy?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Audiosolace, Jan 15, 2003.


  1. Audiosolace

    Audiosolace Guest

    Oct 8, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    The "Output Limit" light on my WT-300 is flashing every time I attack a note. The "EQ Clip" light, however, does nothing. Am I running the amp too hard? My cab is handling it fine - at least as far as my ears can tell - but I would hate to do any long term damage to my precious new Eden.

    Anyway, my fearless guitar player says that clipping isn't going to hurt anything as long as I don't "hard clip" for a long period of time. His track record for saying smart things is not the best in the world, so I came here for a second opinion. :D

    I'd like to be able to play my new, tube-a-licious amp without constantly glancing over my shoulder to see if the "Dangerously Overworked" light is glaring back at me, so any intelligent feedback would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If you clip your output too excessively, you risk frying the voice coils in your speaker. I did this for the first time last summer, and learned an expensive lesson.

    Your output clip light should only flash briefly every once in a while. If it stays lit for most of a passage, you are at risk for problems with your speaker(s).
     
  3. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    If you play slap, or hard pick, you might clip your amp. You should not do it too much, though. First, when you at the start of clipping, it will compress your sound, but when you really dig in, you can cause distortion--and not the good kind. Guitar amps are made for proper distortion, and only very few high end bass amps are made for it too. But just try and keep clipping to a minimum. My G-K head must ALWAYS have the 10 dB pad turned on. My active bass make it clip very easily, and so do most passive basses. But even with the pad turned on, it will rock with a guitar stack easily. I am only running it right now into an eden 2x10. But the point I am trying to make is this:

    A little clipping is not so bad, but a lot and your amp (or speakers) can turn up dead.
     
  4. What cab are you using?

    At any rate, the odd flash of the output limit light is not going to hurt anything. If it's on constantly you might run into problems. Have a listen to the amp while you're playing at that level. If you can't hear any distortion then you're not likely to damage anything.