You make some interesting points. Concerning damaging your speakers - yes, there is a real possibility that you will damage the tweeters. As I demonstrated in my Clipping example 1 video (a few posts back), clipping generates harmonics not present in the source material. And harmonics means unintended (by the music) energy in the higher frequencies. Not only that, clearly an amplifier that is clipping is working on the very edge of its performance capabilities - akin to thrashing a 1000cc car engine up an alpine mountain pass. It just can't be good to be running any electro/mechanical system at full power - that induces premature failure and could destroy your entire M40.1, not just the tweeters.
Originally Posted by Kathylim
You mention linearity. In a strict sense, by this I meant the relationship between the audio components in the chain from the recording to and through your speakers. In a wider literal sense you are right to include the room and even your ears in the linearity equation, but few audiophiles have the desire/space/resources/interest in 'linearising' their room, and not even surgery can improve your hearing. So, really, we should say that the listening room and the listener's ears are as they are - givens - and we should properly concern ourselves with the input-output relationship along the audio chain. If any one element in the chain clips - be it the microphone, digital recorder, CD mastering, CD player or amplifier, the damage is done: no matter how fine subsequent elements are, they will merely pass along the corrupted signal to the next in line. And clipping cannot be unclipped.
As I showed from video 1, clipping chops-off the top and bottom of the audio waveform: what comes out of the equipment in clipping is not directly related to what went in. A simewave went in representing a musical tone, and something that was demonstrably not a sinewave but a modified, non-linear representation of a sinewave came out accompanied by perhaps several % distortion. That's just not what high fidelity reproduction needs or wants.
Forgive me for asking this - I do so solely in the interests of better understanding. Is it at all possible that you have been significantly exposed to loud and/or repetitive noise in your life? For example, the repetitive noise of an automatic machine, firearm, pop concerts, headphones, revving engine, been in the services or the like? And how quiet is your bedroom?
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK