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Old 02-02-2014   #126
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Yeah... Manufacturers specs are severely off sometimes. I remember measuring a TangBand w3-871 8ohm speaker which was specced at 15Wrms continuous. Had it playing a 1kHz tone to calibrate SPL, when I fed it about 2,9-3 volts the VC started to give off that nasty white smoke. 3*3/8 ~ 1,1W. This was like 30sec after I applied the signal. Just like T/S parameters, I treat those specs as BS most of the time. Some manufacturers like Scan Speak, Seas and a few others are pretty reliable though.
HAHA..


so, those Scandinavian companies pass muster, heh..



but that poor Taiwanese buildhouse can't make weight, hahaha...
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Old 02-02-2014   #127
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

It seems like most of the higher end speakers end up pretty close to TS specs and xmax while many of the lesser speakers outright lie about most parameters, especially xmax. That's not always the case obviously but more often than not.

I like the Dyn 10ms power rating. I think of this as the amount of power it takes to open a voice coil nearly instantly. I was going to say that I'm feeding my midbass a lot more power than they're rated for but with 300w available for each one I'm obviously below the short term power handling and I don't imagine I'm past the 180w long term by much if at all a d of course that's only at full tilt. I have had the bridged 600/4 shut off a few times on loud passages so assuming a good installation I dont know if that means I've tried to exceed the 600w continuous rating or if there's even more power getting to the midbass. Regardless I'll probably add more power in the future to the midbass and mids. Maybe a 750/1 on each midbass and bridge a 600/4 on the mids.
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Old 02-02-2014   #128
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by cajunner View Post
normalized power conditions.

when an amp is clipping, it's not just making square waves.

when the toroid saturates, it pushes a lot of nasty high frequency energy through the transistors, along with your solid square wave content.

this high frequency energy is not accounted for, when you've "normalized" the circuit for non-clipping operation.

that's one thing.
And that would apply additional POWER to the coil. That is not what you were discussing. You were talking about waveform.

Quote:
the other thing, is that even if the coil "appears" to not be static, you don't have the quickness of eye, to determine if the coil is or isn't being static, or held over longer periods at that periodic interval of a square wave.

the straight across power delivery into the coil during the square wave, means over time there is uneven power distribution, that has to be perfectly clear...

you have to look past the acoustic time interval, and look at the electrical time interval.

overshoot and ringing THD should, actually help, if your position is that the coil is never in a static condition.

I believe that the coil may dwell longer in that static condition than what's intuitive, because you're getting a pseudo-sine wave output registering on a microphone, when the electrical input to the coil is actually a square wave.
And if this "dwell time" was enough to significantly affect cooling, then the squarewave would have caused the driver to fail sooner. It did not. Hypothesis disproven. Power, not waveform, is the culprit.
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Old 02-02-2014   #129
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by squeak9798 View Post
And that would apply additional POWER to the coil. That is not what you were discussing. You were talking about waveform.



And if this "dwell time" was enough to significantly affect cooling, then the squarewave would have caused the driver to fail sooner. It did not. Hypothesis disproven. Power, not waveform, is the culprit.
actually I was talking about clipping, and waveform was a result of that.

the square wave may not be damaging by itself, (although I can remember a while back in a magazine article long ago and far away, one testing lab stating this exact point, square waves are damaging in and of themselves) but when it's in the context of clipping, the combination of out-of-band energy in concert with the square wave's deleterious effects, is enough to create dead speaker syndrome.

Hypothesis still alive, and kicking...!
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Old 02-02-2014   #130
 
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Thumbs up Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunner View Post
check this out:

I have recently been inducted into the queue of induction plate cooking.

(hah!)

so, let's remember that power in, doesn't equal acoustic power out.

and that a voice coil is an inductor that you put electricity into.

the efficiency of that coil to transfer the electrical energy to acoustic energy is somewhat less than 5% for even some of the best drivers.

that means that 95% of that energy is dissipated as heat.

now, let's enter the induction cooker theory.

that coil, is going to be releasing 95% of it's energy in some way, through heat.

I propose, that when a speaker is "stuck" in the clipped waveform, it's spending a lot more time in that one area at the top and the bottom of the waveform, and that's where the heat is being inductively coupled to the pole piece and top plate gap.

the coil is acting like an induction stove's coil, it's heating up the surrounding ferrous metal parts that are activated by the induction energy transfer.

so, when it's moving normally the coil distributes the inductive energy more or less, evenly.

when it's clipping, it's distributing the energy at the top and bottom of the coil's travel, over a longer time period, which leads to those places getting more energy than before, without clipping.


so, as the surrounding structures heat up, this also raises the temperature of the coil itself, causing the glues to soften, the former to warp, the copper itself to expand and delaminate from the former.

all signs of heat damage, that is the result of clipping energy being distributed unevenly by the induction process at the top and bottom of the waveform.

how's that for blow your mind?


haha.


that 95% of energy, in watts going someplace, means that it's no joke that a motor needs to dissipate heat, and motors that can't shed heat will fail.


maybe someone can disprove this hypothesis, but I think we're on a track now...
Wise words!
I believe this is the best and most likely explanation of why clipping hurts.
Cajunner I think your def. on the right track her!

Regarding manf. specs:
Some manf. simply dont public any specs, some lie and overrate their products and some underate. Personally I prefer to deal with the underrating manufacturers!

Last edited by WinWiz; 02-02-2014 at 07:31 PM..
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Old 02-02-2014   #131
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

Bottom line... why would you want to send a clipped signal into a speaker??? I do agree that you should set a system and get every drop of power... I do agree that clipping won't lead to global warming... its not that big of deal, to most of us that really understand what we are doing.... BUT to the below average person in car audio that isn't educated that turns it up all the way, just cause he can.... Will torch more speaker due to lower power higher distortion..... So is it the distortion or clipped brain cells... I personaly have NEVER blown a speaker or even a fuse in one of my systems....
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Old 02-05-2014   #132
 
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Lightbulb Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

Well honestly I do not understand the "max it until it clips or overheat" mentality that seems to rule here on diymobile...
Personally I prefer a lot of headroom, what ever happened to the old "never above 12 a clock" (50%) volume on the amps mentality??
The power specs of amps makes it quite clear that amps have more distortion when they are loaded down to maximize power output, so for SQ I think its better to get a "overpowered" amp instead of "trying to utilize 100%" of a smaller amp.
Am I missing something here??
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Old 02-05-2014   #133
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by WinWiz View Post
Well honestly I do not understand the "max it until it clips or overheat" mentality that seems to rule here on diymobile...
Personally I prefer a lot of headroom, what ever happened to the old "never above 12 a clock" (50%) volume on the amps mentality??
The power specs of amps makes it quite clear that amps have more distortion when they are loaded down to maximize power output, so for SQ I think its better to get a "overpowered" amp instead of "trying to utilize 100%" of a smaller amp.
Am I missing something here??
To me it seems like more people agree with you than disagree. Just read some of the build logs and you'll see people putting 200+ watts to tweeters. I, on the other hand, would rather save some money and only spend on an amp that puts out the power that I'm going to use rather than power that will forever sit there untapped.

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Old 02-05-2014   #134
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by WinWiz View Post
Well honestly I do not understand the "max it until it clips or overheat" mentality that seems to rule here on diymobile...
Personally I prefer a lot of headroom, what ever happened to the old "never above 12 a clock" (50%) volume on the amps mentality??
The power specs of amps makes it quite clear that amps have more distortion when they are loaded down to maximize power output, so for SQ I think its better to get a "overpowered" amp instead of "trying to utilize 100%" of a smaller amp.
Am I missing something here??
it's because there is no old "never above 12 o'clock" analogous to gain, as each amplifier has a different ratio of min to max gain.

one amp could adjust from 250mV to 3V, and another amp could adjust from 100mV to 1V, and another amp could go from 2V to 16V.

in home audio, there are common standards that cap the line level voltages and input/output impedances, to ensure most consumer product is able to work with each other.

in car audio, the gain at 12 o'clock could be 500mV on one amp, and 2V on another. That's a huge swing.

and on source units, the same problem exists!


so it's important to remember that a system that is maximized for gain, will have the source unit push as much undistorted voltage to the next component in line to meet it's S/N ratio specs.

an issue of late, is overdriving the inputs to digital processing units. Another wrinkle the home audio industry has seemingly ironed out, because of their adoption of standards.


If a deck can put 3V undistorted into an amp designed to max out at 2V, (like most old school amps) then you will certainly be able to drive that amp into clipping on occasion. Drive a DSP with that 3V, one that only takes 2V, and you can cause some serious issues with your system.

Anyways, I remember my old Technics receiver from 1982 or so having the ability to only use 50% of it's volume knob's range, (tone controls set to flat) and when I connected an equalizer to it with the smiley face curves, it would go about 4 detents to listening level, and 6 detents to distorted output, on a 32 click knob?
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Old 02-05-2014   #135
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

Regarding S/N and amp gains...
I have been thinking about adjusting my gains.
Before I reconfigured the amps my system would play "very loud" when the 80prs was only at 30 so I never had any need or desire to turn it up more than about 35 or so...
After I reconfigured the amps I need to turn the volume a little higher to like max 40 to match the previous volume at 35.
But the 80-prs goes to like 62 (or is it only 52?) so I realise i'm not getting anywhere near 5v on the rca outputs does this hurt the SQ of my system?
I don't wanna turn the dial 4 turns just to reach normal volume if I don't have to. normal volume at 25 would suit me best.

Do you think I would improve the sound if I lower my gains to get higher voltage from the RCAs?
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Old 02-05-2014   #136
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

Gains should be set correctly. There's no golden "only use half of the output" rule. You'll have headroom by having enough power output from the amplifier at the level you like listening at. Reducing gains to the point where's there no clipping at all will only reduce the output capability of the system, if you don't have enough power and don't wanna allow any clipping the system will most likely not be especially loud. No music is recorded at 0dBFS anyway so it's simply redundant to be so conservatory with the gain knob. Use a -10dB sine tone together with a scope or use your ears.

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Old 02-05-2014   #137
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by WinWiz View Post
Regarding S/N and amp gains...
I have been thinking about adjusting my gains.
Before I reconfigured the amps my system would play "very loud" when the 80prs was only at 30 so I never had any need or desire to turn it up more than about 35 or so...
After I reconfigured the amps I need to turn the volume a little higher to like max 40 to match the previous volume at 35.
But the 80-prs goes to like 62 (or is it only 52?) so I realise i'm not getting anywhere near 5v on the rca outputs does this hurt the SQ of my system?
I don't wanna turn the dial 4 turns just to reach normal volume if I don't have to. normal volume at 25 would suit me best.

Do you think I would improve the sound if I lower my gains to get higher voltage from the RCAs?
I tend to lower the gains on my tweeter/midranges amp so my headunit outputs higher voltage to the DSP. I only do so because I have enough power AND because of the improved SNR (outside noise).

62 is max at my p99rs. Very loud usually lies around 50-55 in my setup, whilst normal listening volume usually lies around 40-45. I don't think the volume knob/preout voltage got "linear" increments either. It feels like it boosts the signal more around 58-62. Unless you running sine tones at 0dBFS and have the volume knob at maximum, most headunits outputs much less voltage than the specced one on a average/continuous basis.

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Old 02-05-2014   #138
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by Golden Ear View Post
To me it seems like more people agree with you than disagree. Just read some of the build logs and you'll see people putting 200+ watts to tweeters. I, on the other hand, would rather save some money and only spend on an amp that puts out the power that I'm going to use rather than power that will forever sit there untapped.
I guess thats the difference between SQ and SPL...
But your nick is golden ear? If you use all the power from you amp it will have lots of distortion, how can someone with a golden ear stand that?
I would rather listen at half the volume with near zero distortion and no power compression etc. than have my hearing damaged from the high spl and distortion from an amp at full power...
And these days you can get great amps dirt cheap, just find the old proven sq amps used!
I have just sold a Ground Zero titanium 1200w amp...
[email protected] 10% distortion!! It may be 1200w and 1 ohm stable but the distortion is 10%!! No thank you not for me!
@1000w the distortion is "only" 1%! Would you also try to max your amp if you knew for sure it behaved the same way?
And how different do your amp behave at full power??

Maybe I'm just old...
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Old 02-05-2014   #139
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by Hanatsu View Post
Gains should be set correctly. There's no golden "only use half of the output" rule. You'll have headroom by having enough power output from the amplifier at the level you like listening at. Reducing gains to the point where's there no clipping at all will only reduce the output capability of the system, if you don't have enough power and don't wanna allow any clipping the system will most likely not be especially loud. No music is recorded at 0dBFS anyway so it's simply redundant to be so conservatory with the gain knob. Use a -10dB sine tone together with a scope or use your ears.
The part about: "No music is recorded at 0dBFS anyway" is becoming outdated. Try google the loudness war

I really don't care horseshit if my system clips above 45 because I nor anyone I know will never play it that loud. So if i'm not losing real world SQ (volume corrected blind test anyone?) I will keep my gains so that I do not have to turn the knob 2-3 turns just for normal volume.

Last edited by WinWiz; 02-05-2014 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 02-05-2014   #140
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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I tend to lower the gains on my tweeter/midranges amp so my headunit outputs higher voltage to the DSP. I only do so because I have enough power AND because of the improved SNR (outside noise).

62 is max at my p99rs. Very loud usually lies around 50-55 in my setup, whilst normal listening volume usually lies around 40-45. I don't think the volume knob/preout voltage got "linear" increments either. It feels like it boosts the signal more around 58-62. Unless you running sine tones at 0dBFS and have the volume knob at maximum, most headunits outputs much less voltage than the specced one on a average/continuous basis.
I think a linear volume knob would be awkward to operate...

But can you actually hear any difference in sq due to the higher SNR at the lower gain setting? Isnt SNR so high on modern hifi that its way below what a human can actually hear anyway??
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Old 02-05-2014   #141
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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I think a linear volume knob would be awkward to operate...

But can you actually hear any difference in sq due to the higher SNR at the lower gain setting? Isnt SNR so high on modern hifi that its way below what a human can actually hear anyway??
You misinterpreted my entire quote :P

Not linear knob, I know most of them is log based. I meant the increments over a certain range worked logarithmically but the top end of scale somehow was boosted above the logarithmic steps.

By SNR here, I was referring to RFI and EMI. The ratio between the "external" noise and the signal strength in the cable (voltage) would determine the SNR. A lower voltage in the cable would mean that the amp would amplify any noise present as well much louder since the ratio would be lower.

...and yes. It can be very audible.

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Old 02-05-2014   #142
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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The part about: "No music is recorded at 0dBFS anyway" is becoming outdated. Try google the loudness war

I really don't care horseshit if my system clips above 45 because I nor anyone I know will never play it that loud. So if i'm not losing real world SQ (volume corrected blind test anyone?) I will keep my gains so that I do not have to turn the knob 2-3 turns just for normal volume.
I'm very aware of the loudness wars. No "competently recorded" music reaches 0dBFS anyway, if it does someone has really screwed up in the recording process and it will sound like crap anyway.

We're not talking about "gaining SQ" here. We're talking about reducing the possibility of noise in our systems. If there's noise present (even low amounts) in the signal cables to the amp, the amplifier will amplify the noise in a GREATER AMOUNT. Regarding hearing differences, I'd take on that challenge any day (if there's even a small amount of noise, it will be audible as soon you increase the volume. Especially on quiet portions of some songs)

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Old 02-05-2014   #143
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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I will keep my gains so that I do not have to turn the knob 2-3 turns just for normal volume.
It's really not that bad...

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Old 02-05-2014   #144
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

With no dedicated pause or mute button on the 80prs (havent integrated the remote in my steering wheel yet)I already find it a little irritating when I have to turn it all the way down from about 30, so I think I would find about 50 very annoying.

Before I moved my tweeters to the onboard amp I could sometimes hear a faint noise when listening at night in total silence with my ear very near the tweeter on certain mp3 files... But after i'm using the internal amp I can't hear ANY noise at all except when my phone rings. Will lower gains/higher voltage on rca make the noise from my phone go away?
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Old 02-05-2014   #145
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

I think the gains on my old fosgate punch 150 is still at the factory setting, 32dBV !
According to the manual this is correct for most 500 millivolt sources, so I guess my 80-PRS is able to drive it into clipping even at a very low volume setting...
I think I will try the min. gain setting, if it is better I can live with having to turn the volume dial a little more
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Old 02-06-2014   #146
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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I guess thats the difference between SQ and SPL...
But your nick is golden ear? If you use all the power from you amp it will have lots of distortion, how can someone with a golden ear stand that?
I would rather listen at half the volume with near zero distortion and no power compression etc. than have my hearing damaged from the high spl and distortion from an amp at full power...
And these days you can get great amps dirt cheap, just find the old proven sq amps used!
I have just sold a Ground Zero titanium 1200w amp...
[email protected] 10% distortion!! It may be 1200w and 1 ohm stable but the distortion is 10%!! No thank you not for me!
@1000w the distortion is "only" 1%! Would you also try to max your amp if you knew for sure it behaved the same way?
And how different do your amp behave at full power??

Maybe I'm just old...
I didn't say I want to use an amp to the point of distortion. I said that I want to use all of an amps usable power. That means power available before distortion. If that means 130 watts to my tweeters (which is what I currently have) then so be it. I just don't see how putting 400 watts to a tweeter is going to make it sound any better or play any louder if the tweeter is rated for 50 watts. I'm sure there is something I'm missing because I'm no electrical engineer.

10% distortion would be terrible. My JL HD amps are rated at .03% distortion. From what I've learned the human ear cannot discern 1% distortion or less. Once again I could be wrong.

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Old 02-06-2014   #147
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

actually, 10% distortion is not terrible, depending on the frequency and the duration of time when distortion occurs.

10% distortion is certainly audible, but if it's only at the very top of waveform peaks, or I should say signal peaks, then the duration is not very long at all and people will have a very hard time hearing it.

This is light clipping, when the majority of the sound is powered cleanly and an amp only momentarily clips. It's also when you are finally getting at the threshold of too much power, or not enough money.

I believe that speakers that can handle music program peaks of several hundred watts, can also absorb the occasional square wave signal's dirty power, which is why it's perfectly okay to run your amp into an occasionally clipping level as far as that goes.

the main issue is when you set a volume level that has 30% or more distortion, which is distortion over much longer duration and clipping becomes a negative.

the setting of the volume is what is killing the speakers, because if you can hear the distortion it's not "just barely clipping" anymore. That's where people tend to get in trouble, they listen for distortion, and if it's not too bad or disrupting their enjoyment of the song, they think it's okay for the speakers, but that's about 20% more distortion than what is acceptable.
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Old 02-06-2014   #148
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

"Distortion" is such a wide concept to begin with. EVERYTHING that deviates from the source material would be 'distortion'.

Clipping creates a great deal of non-linear distortion. Depending on the symmetry of the clipped waveform, it consist of mainly even or odd order non-linear distortion. Odd order distortion is widely considered to be more offensive than even order. Unfortunately, most solid state amps will mainly create odd order HD/IMD when it clips. The audibility of this non-linear distortion is a complicated matter, steady state distortion is more audible than transient distortion for example. It's also frequency dependent (might even be level dependent according to Gedlee), generally the non-linear distortion might be audible from 1-10% (completely arbitrary numbers here) depending on condition.

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Old 02-06-2014   #149
 
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

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Originally Posted by Golden Ear View Post
I didn't say I want to use an amp to the point of distortion. I said that I want to use all of an amps usable power. That means power available before distortion. If that means 130 watts to my tweeters (which is what I currently have) then so be it. I just don't see how putting 400 watts to a tweeter is going to make it sound any better or play any louder if the tweeter is rated for 50 watts. I'm sure there is something I'm missing because I'm no electrical engineer.

10% distortion would be terrible. My JL HD amps are rated at .03% distortion. From what I've learned the human ear cannot discern 1% distortion or less. Once again I could be wrong.
130w is a lot for tweeter, take care of your ears man
Can the rest of your system keep up with the tweeters output at 130w ?

I drive with my dog in the car 99,5% of the time so I don't play very loud.
My ears are already a little damaged at high freq's because I worked for years selling ice cream, so I don't wanna damage it any more.
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Old 02-07-2014   #150
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Default Re: Secrets of Amplifier and Speaker Power Requirements Revealed

WinWiz...

I think what needs to be remembered is that music is dynamic. There's dips and peaks that may require a burst of energy in order to play. Due to differences in recordings, sometimes those peaks can be clipped with your current gain setting.

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