NAD soft clipping: any reason to switch off?

 

New member
Username: Willsf

Post Number: 10
Registered: 01-2004
I'm trying to figure out when (if ever) I should turn on soft clipping on my NAD 752 - does anybody have any advice? Clearly not an urgent question but I'm curious to see what others are doing. How hard do I have to push the 752 for it to distort? Is there ANY disadvantage to leaving soft clipping on all the time, even at modest listening levels?

I've got an NAD t752 driving B&W 603s3 fronts and a B&W LCR600 center (surrounds coming soon). The 752 drives the B&W's beautifully at all volumes. I switched on soft clipping a few days after the receiver arrived, and have left it on since, and I'm trying to figure out whether I should leave it on or switch it off - the main question is whether I lose anything by leaving it on.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Paul_t

Post Number: 61
Registered: 12-2003
Good question Will.. I have the same receiver driving Paradigm Studios and the first week I ran soft clipping on and then after I bi-wired the following week and I switched it off.. I read in the manual:

"However, for critical listening, to preserve optimum dynamics you may wish to defeat it by setting this switch off."

I am "Critical listening" ever time I turn it on LOL....
 

lauro
Unregistered guest
Hi Will D.
Can you give me some discriptions with the sound of your t752 with b&w speakers? I have just bought same receiver but right now im still pairing it with my old b&w dm302. Maybe because of the lower quality dm302, the system doesnt sound very impressive. Is dm603 really good with t752? Is it smooth and not bright? Cause im planning to buy 603 too. Thanks.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Willsf

Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2004
Hi Lauro,

I've been extremely happy with the pairing of my t752 and b&w 603's... Of course it's a matter of taste, but I've been a VERY happy boy so far with this setup. The 603's are powerful speakers, and will reveal any problems with your amplification - w/ my old receiver they sometimes sounded boomy and bright. But the 752 pushes them with incredible accuracy - bass is powerful but precise and controlled (NEVER boomy), midrange and highs are accurate but warm - not laid back (but may sound that way when the 603s are new), but definitely not bright either. It's an incredible sound - makes you want to turn the volume higher and higher to hear all the perfect details of the music. Voices, strings, drums (ah, the drums), bass - all sound startlingly realistic. You do need a decent-sized room to really take advantage of these speakers - I recently moved the setup to a larger room and the soundstage really opened up.

So as you can tell, I'm already a big fan of this combination... It's hard for me to turn off the music and leave the house - my old CD's have never sounded anywhere near this good. I haven't heard the dm302's, but the 603's are an amazing speaker, especially for the price.

FYI - I bought the speakers about 6 months ago and was driving them with an old sony receiver - just added the NAD receiver about 2 months ago and it made a HUGE difference.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 202
Registered: 12-2003
Soft clipping must take off the high-amplitude transients. I assume it is best off unless you hear clipping distortion. But you are unlikely to get near that unless you are driving very heavy speakers at high volumes.

At normal volumes it probably makes no difference whether it is on or off.
 

Anonymous
 
And a decent example of music where soft clipping might protect is ... the 1812 Overture, right? I've got an NAD T753 w/ Paradigm Studio 60s and soft clipping is currently enabled. The recording has warnings on it about the cannons. I have actually been a bit surprised at the lack of extreme dynamics during the cannon passes and wondered if it was due to soft clipping. I have not turned off soft clipping yet; wanted to get some thoughts on it before I did so. So, thoughts, anyone?
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 208
Registered: 12-2003
Anonymous,

Yes, that is exactly the sort of thing where it might make a difference. Try it and see. And let us know. You are unlikely to damage speakers unless you leave it running. Ears are more sensitive, and clipping is unmistakable: once you hear it you will know what it is.

There was a Telarc/ Cincinnati pops version that had a speakers warning, I think. I always thought they were exaggerating...
 

Seamus
Unregistered guest
Query about the same brands, so don't want to start a new thread. Has anyone auditioned the NAD T753 or T 763 with B&W DM 309 or 303 ? Am leaning to this combination, but since no dealer here carries both the brands, have not had a chance to hear the combination as yet.
 

Anonymous
 
Well, I re-examined my soft-clipping setting. It *was* off; I had thought the opposite was true. I did play the 1812 cannon passes with clipping on and off a few times. With it off, I think I heard both more pronounced bass and greater extension. That could be wishful thinking, though. I was only able to listen for a few minutes -- my young children had definate opinions about what volume levels were and were not allowed. Interestingly, they willingly allowed my playing a recording of thunderstorms at levels to shake the house. Go figure.

John, thank you for the Telarc recording comment. That's what I have. I won't be too concerned then that equipment and/or settings are filtering too much of the dynamics for this recording. I'll run the same listening tests against some thunderstorms next ....
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 210
Registered: 12-2003
Anonymous,

Thanks. I cannot say I have heard any effect of soft clipping either, but have not really investigated carefully. I have not heard that 1812, I just remember seeing the disc. That is the sort of music that will benefit from a sub-woofer, I think. Our children always choose much lower volume settings than I do, too, and I am far from going deaf. I don't know why. They enjoy the whole surround sound experience, though.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Willsf

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2004
John A & Anonymous - thanks for your thoughts. It sounds like it won't have any effect either way 99% of the time, and that I probably won't notice the effect in that remaining 1% of the time... My speakers are relatively efficient (B&W 603's), I haven't yet heard anything even remotely like clipping or distortion.

I also live in dense urban San Francisco - not often that I can really push the receiver and test this out... Perhaps sometime this weekend.

I'm curious to see what your further testing reveals - please post back!

Thanks again
 

Bronze Member
Username: Willsf

Post Number: 13
Registered: 01-2004
Seamus - I've never heard the B&W 300 series, or any other small B&W's, so it's hard to say...
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