1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Running Distortion - Amp Risks

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DopplerShift, Apr 8, 2006.


  1. DopplerShift

    DopplerShift

    Apr 19, 2005
    Chicago Area
    I did an hour long search on running distortion and its effects on amplifiers and only dug up a few applicable threads.

    It seems that running a disortion pedal can be dangerous mainly to your cabinet's tweeter except for the FX loop inputs which sounded like it could be damaging to your amp head. I'm no expert so correct me if I'm wrong.

    I have a russian Big Muff Pi and plan on running My EBMM Stingray through an Eden WT600 bridged (600w->8ohms)Avatar Neo 210 (8ohm/600w). Sometimes I will use an Avatar BH115 Kappa Pro (4ohm/600w) and run the head in stereo (2x300w->8ohm/4ohm). I do use my tweeters.

    Can anybody give me any advice on the risks of this setup? If I ever NEED to (which I most likely will not), do you think I can go past 12 o clock, esp in the bridged mode? What sorts of things should I look out for? Thanks.
     
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I have not had problems running gut wrenching distortion at high volumes through my Bergie 210 which has a tweeter.
     
  3. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Never had an issue. Ever. There's a huge difference between clipping a head or a speaker, and running a clipped effect with controlled volume.

    Case in point, if you listen to as much rock and metal as I do, maybe you'll have about 100,000+ hours of distorted guitars running through perfectly fine 12 year old bookshelf stereo speakers as well. :D
     
  4. joelb79

    joelb79

    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    yeah.. intentional clipping from a pedal is differnt from reaching the amplifiers limits and clipping the mosfets, causing speakers to move in a non-linear fasion.

    I run 700 watts, and distort for some songs and its safe for tha lil' kids.
     
  5. Not really. Either way you're sending a clipped waveform to the outputs. You only have a problem if you're sending too much juice to one or more components of the cab or if you're forcinga driver into overexcursion.
     

  6. Exactly how is it different?
     
  7. DopplerShift

    DopplerShift

    Apr 19, 2005
    Chicago Area
    For those who think there is a risk, could you explain what that risk is and what general safe operating levels would be? Also, what would be indications of unsafe usage?

    The thing is I just got all this new gear, and with my old crappy stuff I didn't care if I beat the hell out of it. But I'm in it for the long haul with my new stuff. I am just looking for some guidelines and possible things to look out for.
     
  8. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Clipping your amp (SS) sounds like ****.

    :D

    Joe.

    /watches in fascination as Mark poises on his soap box with one foot in the air and both hands reaching out :D
     
  9. This is indeed a general difference.;)
     
  10. jsbach1982

    jsbach1982

    Feb 11, 2005
    Nashville, TN

    Clipping an amp (SS) results in what is called "hard clipping", where the top and bottom of the waveform is effectively sliced right off. This leaves a flat spot at the top and bottom of each sound wave, which is the same as DC, which is BAD for speakers (especially tweeters).

    Distortion effects, on the other hand, use much softer clipping that only rounds off the top of the signal. No flat spots, no DC, safe for speakers.



    -Jono
     
  11. Not true. There is no DC in a square wave, by the very definition of a wave. The speaker goes in and out exactly as many times as it would for a sine wave. DC means it doesn't alternate, again by definition.

    As for distortion effects using "softer" clipping, that depends on the effect and how it is set.

    Ask Mark about the experiments he has conducted.
     
  12. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Oh NO! - not the DC argument again. You were doing well up to there! ; }
     
  13. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Probably the best way to think of this is that any distortion or fuzz effect simply outputs a waveform - just as an instrument does (synths ferinstance). Which the rig then reproduces. It's up to the user/mixer not to send that signal at a level that actually clips the power amp or demands more of the speaker system than it is able to handle thermally or excursion-wise.

    As someone mentioned before, we listen to plenty of music with distorted guitars (and waveforms from synths that are of similar shape).
     
  14. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Sure, but generally within the dynamic range of the power amp.

    Clipping the power amp is not the same thing. Hence the undeniable increase in speaker damage incidence from power amp clipping regardless of the carefully accumulated scientific data available that says otherwise.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  15. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    You need to read and understand ALL that I said. Not just quote one bit without context. Otherwise your debating method resembles tilting at imaginary windmills ; }
     
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Waveform is waveform. What difference does it make if the power amp generates the waveform, or if it reproduces the same waveform fed into it externally? The only difference is that the external waveform can be turned up to the power amp clipping threshold, but also turned down, whereas power amp clipping occurs at a fixed amplitude determined by the amp design.
     
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    DC doesn't get to tweeters, since there is typically a blocking capacitor in the crossover.
     
  18. I'm sick of trying to explain this stuff to people who refuse to actually think about it, so I'm not gonna bother to get involved.

    Richard, Greenboy and Fdeck: Good luck! :D
     
  19. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Mark,

    Much like many other topics on bass forums ; }
     
  20. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Um...yeah...windmills...

    :eek:

    TiltingWindmills.

    Try to read my post without being defensive, it becomes much more reasonable.

    :D

    Joe.
     

Share This Page