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"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound from microphone to ear, achievable by recognising and controlling the numerous confounding variables that exist along the audio chain. The Harbeth designer's objective is to make loudspeakers that contribute little of themselves to the music passing through them.

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Feb. 2018
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Why HIFI amps does not have Clipping light/signal

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  • Why HIFI amps does not have Clipping light/signal

    Hello,
    I have seen different pro amps and they have a clipping signal in form of a small light. Seems usefull cause is a very good and very easy way of knowing, without doing any maths, or using oscilloscope, if one person needs a more powerfull amp. So i wonder why Hifi amps don't have that kind of clipping indicator. Is there anyone that has it ?
    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by kerouack View Post
    Hello,
    I have seen different pro amps and they have a clipping signal in form of a small light. Seems usefull cause is a very good and very easy way of knowing, without doing any maths, or using oscilloscope, if one person needs a more powerfull amp. So i wonder why Hifi amps don't have that kind of clipping indicator. Is there anyone that has it ?
    Certain amps from Adcom, Benchmark, Bryston and McIntosh have clipping indicators.
    The McIntosh 'Power Guard' circuit can instantaneously reduce the incoming signal level as needed to prevent the amp from being driven into clipping.

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    • #3
      The Benchmark AHB2 amplifiers have extensive indicators for clipping, temperature and so on. In addition, they also have protection circuits to shut down in the event of errors.

      On another note, I have not seen many DACs that indicate overloading - either through DSP or tone controls or simply because of the source material being too loud. One DAC that does show this is the RME ADI2 DAC (the volume indicator turns red on the display - cool). Surely there must be other DACs out there as well.

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      • #4
        Thank you, yes, some of them have it, but there are a ton of other that don't, brands like Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, NAD, Marantz, etc...

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        • #5
          The Harman/Kardon hk 775 Ultrawideband Monophonic DC Amplifier has a peak reading power output meter. This gives a good indication of how close the amplifier is to being driven into clipping, by using a red coloured LED when the maximum power levels are being approached.

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          • #6
            It seems insane that a clip indicator is not included on all amplifiers, I use a simple dj mixer into a pro power amp and I can set input/out put levels at the preamp and then set suitable gain on the power amp and watch for clipping. I suppose for moderate volume home levels most amps over 50W will probably rarely clip but that information is absolutely useful, especially as you do no want to damage equipment.
            Getting to know my C7ES3

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            • #7
              Originally posted by witwald View Post
              The Harman/Kardon hk 775 Ultrawideband Monophonic DC Amplifier has a peak reading power output meter. This gives a good indication of how close the amplifier is to being driven into clipping, by using a red coloured LED when the maximum power levels are being approached.
              Are only products currently in production to be considered, or should this also include a survey of antiques - good as they may have been?
              http://www.thevintageknob.org/harman_kardon-hk775.html
              http://www.cieri.net/temp/HK775-Test.pdf

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              • #8
                My Bryston 2.5 cubed has a clipping indicator. It has more than enough power for any Harbeth speaker. Also my vintage accuphase amp has meters with red zone clearly labeled. Any serious amp would have such indicators, I suspect.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by acroyear View Post
                  I suppose for moderate volume home levels most amps over 50W will probably rarely clip ...
                  It does depend upon your average listening level and the dynamic range of the source material you choose.

                  Perhaps you may recall the example, posted several years ago by A.S., which exhibited a dynamic range of about 22dB:
                  https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...8805#post48805

                  A subsequent reply demonstrated that, even if your average listening level only requires 1W of power, an amplifier with a peak output capability of nearly 160W would be necessary to reproduce those 22dB peaks without clipping.
                  https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...8817#post48817
                  https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...8819#post48819


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IMF+TDL View Post
                    It does depend upon your average listening level and the dynamic range of the source material you choose.

                    Perhaps you may recall the example, posted several years ago by A.S., which exhibited a dynamic range of about 22dB:
                    https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...8805#post48805

                    A subsequent reply demonstrated that, even if your average listening level only requires 1W of power, an amplifier with a peak output capability of nearly 160W would be necessary to reproduce those 22dB peaks without clipping.
                    https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...8817#post48817
                    https://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/...8819#post48819

                    I agree, and for unclipped music in all circumstances more power is better, my 50ish watt amp is used only in lower volume conditions, I do run the compact 7 with a 350W pro amp, that seems entirely sufficient as even at the loudest I play them still light only the -20dB under clip.
                    Getting to know my C7ES3

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by acroyear View Post
                      I suppose for moderate volume home levels most amps over 50W will probably rarely clip...
                      Well... some people use less that 50W amps, so....
                      Also, which is the price of putting that clipping light in the design of an amp ?

                      I was checking new amps with clipping light that were not very expensive, Adcom seems the only one.
                      Strange brand, they dont have a lot of dealers in the world, and designs seems old, price are good. It seems a taiwanese company bought Adcom, or something like that.

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