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Pre amp vs. Power amp clipping

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by soothsayer86, May 8, 2010.

  1. soothsayer86


    May 5, 2010
    This may be a dumb question but is there a diff bewtween pre and power amp clipping? My amp has a light labled pre amp clip just trying to figure out exactly what that means...

    I have a swr bass 350 btw
  2. Volume4


    Sep 15, 2009
    Long Island
    The Gain control adjusts the volume of the preamp section. Since the Gain control is similar to a "pad," a small amount of signal will be heard even with the Gain control rotated fully counter-clockwise (with the Master Volume up).

    After all EQ settings and the Aural Enhancer are set, the Gain control should be raised until the preamp clip LED barely flashes when your loudest note is struck. This will insure maximum signal to noise ratio and prevent unwanted clipping of the preamp section.

    The preamp clip LED will light whenever the preamp, tone section or output buffer reach clipping (run out of headroom). This function does NOT monitor the first tube stage of the Passive input.

    In the event the clip indicator lights, turn down the Gain control. Since this circuit monitors the tone controls, boosting any one of them can cause the clip LED to activate. Once again, you may leave the tone control at its desired level, but turn the Gain control down further.


    My Ampeg B-100R has pretty much the same thing going on.
    It's very beneficial to follow these guidelines.
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    poweramp clipping on the other hand sounds terrible. back off if that clip light goes on or if you hear it. nothing nice about SS power amp clipping.
  4. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Clipping in the preamp means that the pre has already reached its maximum output voltage. The power amp usually is the next stage, and no matter what the preamp puts out, you can't possibly damage the amp's input circuitry.

    Clipping in the power amp means that the amp has already reached its maximum output voltage. The loudspeaker is the next stage, and you could damage it if you put too much power into it.

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