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Help with clipping.... well advise anyways.

 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 131
Registered: Dec-03
okay ill start with what i got.

Kenwood VR-6070
Kenwood CD-403(through analog, I find it sounds better then the optical. I know its the weak-link sound wise but I like the SL-16 for my RF remote)
Playstation 3 Console
Paradigm Monitor 9 v2's (fronts, Kenwood M1 Power-amp)
Paradigm Monitor 7 v1's (surrounds)
Paradigm CC-270 v4 (center)
Paradigm ADP-170 v4's (one is a "rear" one is a "B")

When I run my cd player (403) the comfortable volume level is around -42 db on the dial. When I use my ps3 (analog RCA as well) the dial needs to be way up around -30 to get the same amount of sound. Now I found out i can turn up the output level on the ps3, however if i set the volume to 40db and turn up the ps3 to get the same amount of sound, my receiver clips. Why would it do that?
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1802
Registered: Oct-10
I have some questions G.Dawg. First, are you turning up any tone controls or eq bands? If so, set them to zero. Use of tone controls and equalizers should be avoided if possible. If not, they should be used to reduce the strong parts of the signal rather than to increase the weak parts. Next, can you turn the volume above -30 while listening to CDs or radio without clipping? If not, there might be a problem with your receiver. Otherwise, there may be an issue with your PS. The output from your PS SHOULD be about the same as that of your CD player. There could be a problem with your PS or with the connection to your receiver. I would check these things out and see what comes up.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 132
Registered: Dec-03
It is definitely in the pre-amp stage as even with all speakers turned off (using just the m1 with E-drive) it will clip. The only was I can make the receiver clip power wise is to turn on "CSII Mono" which is essentially all channel stereo and crank the volume to where the amp is stressed which I don't do very often. Driving 4 Paradigms at very high volume playing bass heavy music and making the amp clip isn't the issue, thats common sense.

I tried an optical connection from the PS3 with the same issue. Not really an issue as I can just turn the volume on the Ps3 down but why my CD player can be louder without clipping has me wondering.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1803
Registered: Oct-10
Let's clarify some terms here. The preamp stage is in your receiver, not the PS. Remember, a receiver is a tuner, preamp and power amp in single chasis and the receiver may very well have a passive preamp which would make clipping in that stage impossible. If you are able to play CDs loud without clipping, the problem is probably in your PS, especially since you're having this issue regardless of how you connect the PS to the receiver. You might want to connect the audio output of your PS to your TV and see if there is clipping when using the TV speakers. If so, it would point to the PS as having the problem. Is the PS still under warranty?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17145
Registered: May-04
.

When I run my cd player (403) the comfortable volume level is around -42 db on the dial. When I use my ps3 (analog RCA as well) the dial needs to be way up around -30 to get the same amount of sound. Now I found out i can turn up the output level on the ps3, however if i set the volume to 40db and turn up the ps3 to get the same amount of sound, my receiver clips. Why would it do that?"



You have a few lessons to take away from this experience. The first lesson in audio reproduction is output level is relative to input level and vice versa. Sort of the same idea as higher water pressure will fill the bucket sooner than lower water pressure. The higher the force into the container, the sooner the container gets full to the point of overflow. (The actual point to observe here would be, the higher the water pressure into the container the more the water splashes out of the container - but more on that later.) In the case of your receiver, the input level (determined by the source player's "output voltage" specification) must satisfy the "input sensitivity" of the following gain stages within the pre amp section of your receiver. Or, to put it another way, the output level of the source must be of adequate voltage output to enable the next gain stage the opportunity to create its full output voltage. If these specifications aren't adhered to, problems will arise - as you have observed. In your case it doesn't really matter where in the rotation of the volume control knob (or what number on the volume control's digital readout) you reach a comfortable listening level as the amount of voltage into the next gain stage is relative to the output voltage of the source. Lower input voltage, you'll have to run the vc at a higher rotation. Higher input voltage and you won't have to increase the roatation as much in order to reach a comfortable listening level. It's just that simple. If this sounds like I am running in circles, you would be correct since in a chain of audio components, each with their own set of gain stages, each output voltage must satisfy the input sensitivity of the next gain stage if that next stage is to reach full output before clipping sets in. With the modern digital readouts this is slightly more complicated to explain than an old style rotational pot where the user judged level by the" O'Clock" position of the front knob. In either case though, the position of the knob or the readout on the digital display, where "comfortable listening levels" are reached will be a (mathematically predictable) reaction to the input voltage coming from the source player. If you had to rotate the knob higher for one source than another or display a different number on the digital readout out, you wouldn't necessarily be concerned as long as you could reach a comfortable level for each input. This is the way most audio systems, whether home or professional, operate; with each input selection requiring a slight change in the position of the vc to reach "comfortable listening levels" by adjusting the volume control.

Therefore, the slightly different readouts on your receiver shouldn't bother you unless you are simply a stickler for not adjusting volume - ever. There are ways to adjust the output voltage levels of each component which would make all inputs to the receiver equal in voltage coming into the volume control but they are somewhat of a PITA unless your (far more expensive) component has those facilities built in. And, IMO, they aren't worth the trouble when you can just adjust the volume each time you switch between components. The one thing james has mentioned which is correct and should be noted is you should generally try to first reduce the "stronger" - or more appropriately, the "higher" - voltages rather than raising the weaker voltages. The next lesson to take from this post is that each component, or, in your case, each successive gain stage, has a set of specifications which state not only the highest undistorted output voltage of any gain stage but also the minimum voltage input - stated as "input sensitivity" - which would drive that stage to its full rated output. If your source component's output voltage falls below that minimum, the next gain stage will not have sufficient input voltage to reach its full output. Make sense? Possibly though that wouldn't be terribly important to you as long as you could still raise the volume to a satisfactory listening level.

The issue in your receiver becomes one of not how much you must increase the volume levels for each source component (as indicated by the some what inconsequential digital readout) but rather an issue of what happens should you provide too much input voltage to the next gain stage. As you have found out, what happens is distortion. Your next gain stage, or in your case, the input stage of your receiver's pre amp, is being overdriven by excessive output voltage from the source player. The system is happy when the PS3 outputs lower voltage and it is unhappy when you increase the output voltage from the player. That is the cause of your distortion and not that the power amplifier is being driven beyond its limits and into clipping. If this is not quite clear to you, consider the modern rock guitarist with an electric guitar and an amplifier stack. Most of the amplified rock music created since the 1960's has depended rather heavily on a distorted "electric sound" which clearly sets it apart from the clean sound of an acoustic guitar as used prior to the birth of rock and roll. This ability to increase the output of the instrument set the guitar up to be a lead instrument rather than a mere contributor to the larger rhythm section as it had been in the first half of the twentieth century. Today an electric guitarist might be looking for "hot pickups" on an instrument and those hot pickups would produce higher voltage output than other pickups. If you know guitars, this would typically be the difference between a hot single coil pickup on a Stratocaster vs the typically lower output pickups commonly found on a humbucker equipped Les Paul. The hotter pickups are useful to the player due to their ability to feed high voltages into the front end or input stage of the pre amp - the next gain stage in the audio system. Now the player has one more location in the chain of locations where they can overdrive the next gain stage with higher voltages and therefore begin to shape the character of the distortion they are achieving. If more or a different type of distortion is desired, the player can also increase the amount of voltage going into the power amp by increasing the output of the pre amp - cranking the volume control and/or the master gain of the pre amp. Now, two slightly different types of "overdriven" distortion are available along with the hot pickup's output from the guitar itself, and, if the player is still not satisfied, the power amp can be driven into clipping distortion along with the speaker being overdriven which will create yet other types of distorted sound.

And there is your final lesson for this post, the power amp section of your receiver is not being driven into clipping. Instead the input section of the component is being overdriven into distortion. The power amp is merely passing along the distorted output of the prior gain stage. The solution to your problem with distortion is remedied by the same advice given to any user of home audio; when you hear distortion, turn the volume down. In your case, this would mean decreasing the amount of voltage coming from the PS3. I'm not familiar with your player so I don't have an idea whether your player has a continuously variable output adjustment or whether it has a set of fixed output levels you can switch between. Either way, the solution to your distortion is to lower the output voltage of the player and live with the fact that most source players in the vast majority of audio systems do not all play equally loud at the same relative setting of the volume control.

Questions?



.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 133
Registered: Dec-03
In all that, you managed to miss my question. I was really asking how it can be overdriven with less sound. But thats not an issue anymore as I have since switched back to optical toslink and have not had an issue since. (athough I do have to change the volume everytime)

I have since ditched the center (didnt like the sound, now searching for a used CC-300) and moved the surrounds to another room as B speakers(off the 6070) and am running the four towers as A+B on the M1, I have also ordered a M2A off ebay and am waiting on its arrival with much haste.

For my new cement floor listening room(quite large now) The monitor 9's (v1's my mistake) can keep up but I find the 7's to be overdriven too easily. I am going to upgrade to Monitor 11 v2's and move the 9's to the rear and run the 7's off the M1(once I have the M2A) and ditch the ADP's.

Anybody have experience with 9's vs. 11's for power capability? I cant find much for specs on the net on the 11 V2's.. I know my 9's are rated for 150 watts(8ohm) and 200 max. But my 105 wpc(210 dynamic) M1 already overdrives them.

Also... any other recomendations?

I am considering a Paradigm sub I seen used for sale, cant remember the Model # but its a 12" active driver with two 10" radiators for 400$ cdn. and I think it said 1950w peak. so that I can re-route bass to the sub instead. ( currently all speaker)

(side notes) Active EQ On:Music/Sp. EQ On: large -- Tone control off, Loudness On ( when its gets used loud I run bass at "-4" treble "0"
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17175
Registered: May-04
.

"In all that, you managed to miss my question. I was really asking how it can be overdriven with less sound."



No, that's exactly what I addressed in my response.

"And there is your final lesson for this post, the power amp section of your receiver is not being driven into clipping. Instead the input section of the component is being overdriven into distortion. The power amp is merely passing along the distorted output of the prior gain stage."


Sorry you missed it but the explanation is somewhat complicated should you not understand how exactly a complete audio system operates.




.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17176
Registered: May-04
"I know my 9's are rated for 150 watts(8ohm) and 200 max. But my 105 wpc(210 dynamic) M1 already overdrives them."




I would say you are once again misunderstanding what distortions you are hearing. First, completely ignore wattage ratings on loudspeakers, they are meaningless. For example, "(side notes) Active EQ On:Music/Sp. EQ On: large -- Tone control off, Loudness On ( when its gets used loud I run bass at '-4' treble '0'."


Check your spec's for the receiver and you will probably see a boost from the loudness circuit which is approximately +10dB. An additional ten decibels of output will require approximately ten times as much power - wattage - to achieve. Therefore, if you are cruising along at ten watts average output the loudness circuit will require the output to rise to 100 watts through those frequencies affected by the loudness circuit. That would be very close, if not more than enough, to clip a 150 watt amplifier on peak demands. Given the fact most HT receivers are selling a rated wattage output which exists only in the rarefied atmosphere of a test bench, and even then typically without all channels driven simultaneously and with only one sine wave frequency driving the amplifier, your HT receiver is once again being overdriven into clipping by way of the loudness circuit's action. Should the speakers require more "power" rather than more "wattage", then the issues with the receiver simply not having sufficient output capacity - it cannot deliver the required amperage (or "current") - will become even more pronounced.

Let's explore that last sentence because it is rather crucial to understanding how a home audio system operates. "Power" is a function - a mathematical equation - of voltage and current feeding into a load. The load would be your speakers which are termed a "reactive load" vs the "resistive load" of a test bench load resistor. The test bench resistor is, for our purposes, just a resistor, it does not vary in impedance with frequency input. Your loudspeakers are "reactive" due to the fact they vary wildly with frequency which presents a different impedance load for the amplifier at each frequency and a resulting dissimilar power requirement for each frequency band.

Now, to combine why loudspeaker power ratings and impedance are important to the discussion, we need to agree that music is, by its very nature, dynamic - ever changing, up and down, loud and soft. The first implication of that statement is that loudspeakers do not operate on a single wattage but rather on innumerably different amounts of power to all frequencies which will vary from moment to moment. The amount of power required to drive the speaker is not a single number. The power requirement placed on the amplifier is determined (in large part) by the impedance load of the loudspeaker; the higher the impedance the less current required from the amplifier, whereas, the lower the impedance more current is required.

To clarify, watts are made up of volts and amps (current) and it does not matter on a test bench or spec sheet how the numbers are arranged - with higher volts and lower amps or vice versa - the numbers will result in the same rated on paper output wattage. The problem occurs in the real world where speakers are never one single impedance but rather vary across the frequency spectrum along with the power demands they place on the amplifier which must feed those volts and amps through the loudspeaker crossover and finally to the drivers. Once again HT receivers are pretty miserable at delivering amperage to the reactive load of real world loudspeakers. Even more so when all channels are driven as opposed to test bench requirement of only two channels. They can perform well on a test bench where they are loaded with a purely resistive two channel load and driven by a single sine wave (output by a signal generator ) but they fail to deliver the stated wattage in a real world situation of driving reactive loudspeakers playing music.

So, trying to make this as short and understandable as possible, your amplifier is having a difficult time supplying the actual power - not wattage - you are asking of it. Its job is complicated by the fact that by engaging the loudness circuit you are introducing a circuit which requires an additional ten times the average power output in the deep bass which is already the most power hungry portion of the frequency bandwidth. In short, there are no single power ratings for speakers which have any meaning since music is dynamic and speakers are reactive. Where a low frequency driver might be asked to absorb 100 watts, a high frequency driver at that same moment might only be seeing two watts input. Should you use a loudness circuit you have increased the power going to the low frequency driver by ten decibels or ten times as much power. There would be a very good chance that most HT receivers in a real world situation will fail to provide clean power as the volume increases.


I would advise you that you are overdriving the HT receiver's capacity and now clipping is occurring. I would also suggest the Paradigm speakers you are considering are some of the more difficult loads for an amplifier and are likely to make the situation worse rather than better. You can improve the situation by switching the speaker settings to "small" which will roll off most of the bass from the speakers and therefore from the amplifier's load. A powered sub would be beneficial though the concept of requiring nearly 2k watts of power from a sub running with a Kenwood HT receiver is, well ... silly.

All watts are not created equal and you sort of need to get a grasp on what power really does and how it operates. High power for cheap dollars amount to cheap watts and, generally, the result of cheap watts is cheap sounding systems.


Why do you roll the bass off as you increase volume levels?






.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2712
Registered: Oct-07
Dawg,
one of the takeaways from Jans posts above would be to get easier-to-drive speakers. OR simply more sensitive, which means they turn power into the same loudness with less power.

The other thing which may play into this is WHERE you have everything plugged in. By the time you are drawing 10 amps on peaks, you are also dragging down the line voltage. This hurts everything.
Pluggin in yet more amplifier power might not help.
I'd investigate another breaker for JUST the amp(s).

Check out this link for how amplifiers can be measured.

http://www.audiograph.se/Downloads/PowerCube_12p_brochure_complete.pdf

Jan, you may enjoy that link, too, if you've never seen it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17177
Registered: May-04
.

I have, you've linked to it on several occasions in the past.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2713
Registered: Oct-07
OK,
I just hope Dawg gives it a view. It may help him visualize 'all watts aren't the same'.......
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 134
Registered: Dec-03
The amplifier in my Kenwood receiver isnt powering anything, its merely acting as a pre-amp. (loudness according to the manual is +6 db @ 80hz) Yes I turn the bass down when I'm running music loud, as I dont want to beat on my Paradigm's too much.

When I say "overdriven" I do not mean distortion.. I mean over excursion. I would never run my speakers to distortion. But I need speakers that can handle more power, and I love my Paradigm's they (to me) sound awesome with my Kenwood setup and I wont be replacing them, just upgrading the fronts to something that can handle the extra power without having to turn the bass down and get thinner sound. I'm just waiting till I find a used pair of M11's within a few hundred miles of my current location.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 135
Registered: Dec-03
They are comparing 2 channel Rotel Amps to an "off the shelf" home theater receiver? You get what you pay for.

"ya, my Ferrari F50 can beat your Honda Civic in a drag race... your car must be a peice of crap"
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17180
Registered: May-04
.


"(loudness according to the manual is +6 db @ 80hz)"


OK, that's still 4-5 times the amount of power compared to your average level - @ 80Hz. What happens beneath 80Hz? Loudness contours are (nowdays) typically based on the Fletcher Munson loudness curves which dictate your hearing is increasingly less sensitive to the frequency extremes. I would guess the Kenwood's loudness contour is still boosting levels with an ever increasing slope down into the low 20Hz range. They just haven't told you as much since many HT receivers have a subwoofer cutoff filter with a knee placed at 80Hz. Therefore, the spec at 80Hz and not at the frequency extreme.

But you have no subwoofer right now, right? So you'd be running the fronts as "Large" and they would be receiving full range signals down into the 20Hz range. Right?

Or am I not seeing something else you haven't mentioned until now?



"The amplifier in my Kenwood receiver isnt powering anything, its merely acting as a pre-amp."


Isn't this the first time you've mentioned that fact? I don't see "Rotel" anywhere in your posts until just now. And, if the Rotel is a two channel amp and you're running more than two speakers, either you're still not telling us something or you're still not understanding why the amp and speakers aren't playing well together.

Yeah, I'd agree you do get what you pay for - and what you put in. Why'd you bother to include "clipping" in the title to the thread if you meant all along the speaker was being overdriven?

Communication's not your strong suite, eh?




"When I say "overdriven" I do not mean distortion.. I mean over excursion. I would never run my speakers to distortion ... I wont be replacing them, just upgrading the fronts to something that can handle the extra power without having to turn the bass down and get thinner sound. I'm just waiting till I find a used pair of M11's within a few hundred miles of my current location."




Sounds like you've got this figured out. What did you need from us?






.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17181
Registered: May-04
.

Why'd you put this thread under "Receivers"?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 138
Registered: Dec-03
"Why'd you put this thread under "Receivers"?"

"Sounds like you've got this figured out. What did you need from us?"

--Because my 6070 was clipping for unknown reasons when it was receiving less input from my ps3 but not clipping when receiving a higher input from my extinct CD-403 CD Player.(it has a bright red CLIP indicator on the front panel)

"But you have no subwoofer right now, right? So you'd be running the fronts as "Large" and they would be receiving full range signals down into the 20Hz range. Right?"

--correct.

I was using the amp in my Kenwood before to run my center, rear and rear surround speakers, with the Kenwood Basic M1 running just the fronts.(mentioned in the first post)
I have since switched to "4 channel stereo" running the M9's and M7's as A+B off the M1, and now the 6070 is merely a pre-pro.

"Isn't this the first time you've mentioned that fact? I don't see "Rotel" anywhere in your posts until just now. And, if the Rotel is a two channel amp and you're running more than two speakers, either you're still not telling us something or you're still not understanding why the amp and speakers aren't playing well together."

--My power amp is listed in the first post, I dont see how you missed that. and it is a stereo power amp with 4 speaker outputs(+ 2 sensors for the A channels)

I only mentioned Rotel because they were comparing a Rotel power amp to an "off the shelf HT receiver"( though they dont list a brand) in the link Leo posted.

"Communication's not your strong suite, eh?"

-- I dont think that was necesary
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 139
Registered: Dec-03
"Why'd you bother to include "clipping" in the title to the thread if you meant all along the speaker was being overdriven? "

Because it was clipping, not being overdriven. Understanding english isnt your strong suite, eh?

The speakers being overdriven isnt an issue, I was merely mentioning that my room size has increased severely and I need bigger front speakers to get the desired amount of sound.

I will be upgrading to a subwoofer eventually, but want to do some research and it will be after I buy a pair of Monitor 11's, I also just purchased another power amp, so Im stretching my audio budget as is.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1805
Registered: Oct-10
"Paradigm Monitor 9 v2's (fronts, Kenwood M1 Power-amp)"

No offense Dawg, but I can see how this reference would be missed.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17185
Registered: May-04
.

""Why'd you bother to include "clipping" in the title to the thread if you meant all along the speaker was being overdriven? "

Because it was clipping, not being overdriven. Understanding english isnt your strong suite, eh?"




The speaker was clipping?!



But it wasn't ...


"When I say "overdriven" I do not mean distortion.. I mean over excursion."


I stand by my first assessment of why your receiver was distorting with the higher output from the PS3.


I also stand by my first assessment of your communication skills.




.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gdawg

BC Canada

Post Number: 140
Registered: Dec-03
Okay, my bad on the grammar, I've been working 16 hour shifts and it was like 3am when i posted this... and I was talking about the amp, not the speakers.

Also, the ps3 has a lower output then the cd player not higher, and your post only explains why a higher input would make it clip. I was hoping someone could explain a possibility of what was making the receiver clip so I could avoid possible problems in the future.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17190
Registered: May-04
.

Geeeee, Dawg, I did explain why the input was being overdriven. And, if I am keeping all of these changes to what and how and why you are asking these questions straight, the receiver's input was not clipping, its input stage was being overdriven.

Or, are we back on why the speaker was being overdriven? This has been very difficult to follow when you throw a Rotel into the discussion that doesn't exist while the Kenwood that does exist isn't a Rotel that has nothing to do with this discussion. But we weren't even discussing the amp at that point if I have this right. We were discussing why a low frequency driver - it was a low frequency driver, right? - was being driven into excessive excursion. Not "clipping" but over excursion. And none of that actually meant there was distortion - except that there was.

And we were discussing an amp not a receiver but now we're back on, what? the speaker or the receiver?

Or, the amp? Or, the receiver feeding the amp which is causing the speaker to distort - except that it's not? Or, do I have that all bolloxed up?
This has been a very confusing thread you know.

And I'm going to say that most of the confusion has not been caused by myself or leo. We were innocent bystanders who got hit by a runaway train when it jumped the tracks.




"so, the ps3 has a lower output then the cd player not higher ... "

"Now I found out i can turn up the output level on the ps3, however if i set the volume to 40db and turn up the ps3 to get the same amount of sound, my receiver clips."


Someone help me! I've fallen and I can't get up!!!


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2715
Registered: Oct-07
I've got the OPPOSITE problem, Jan,

I'm standing and I can't fall down!
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