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Soft Clipping On or Off?

TitaniumTroy

Well-Known Member
My NAD 218 THX, has a feature called Soft Clipping which is supposed to round off the signal when sent into clipping. However this does take away some of the units power, my speakers which are rated around 86db need all the power they can get. They are planer/magnetic with a ribbon driver, with built in fuses for protection, and I currently run them full range with no sub.

My question is should I keep the soft clipping circuit on or turn it off? Here are some spec's on my amp by Sterophile.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/nad- ... asurements

Troy
 

Zing

Retired Admin
Famous
I say turn it off. I'd think you'd want as few circuits in the chain as possible. On the other hand, if you're prone to clipping your amp frequently, I'd leave it on while you shop for a subwoofer and/or a new amp.
 

soundhound

Well-Known Member
Soft clipping circuits that I know of work essentially as a peak limiter which lowers the signal level when a certain voltage is exceeded within the circuit. Being a limiter (a limiter is simply a fast compressor with a sharper slope), it will destroy some of the dynamics of your music if you're getting close to where the limiting circuit triggers (if you're close to that point all the time, you should get a bigger amp or bigger speakers or both). I would turn it off.

Really, the whole idea that any clipping, no matter how brief will automatically fry your speakers needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Of course this can happen in some rather extreme cases (massive overload), but it is the sustained application of high energy density signals which can overheat the voice coil of your tweeter. Also, some music has naturally occurring square waves, especially that which includes synthesizers, since the square wave is one of the fundamental building blocks in synthesis.
 

TitaniumTroy

Well-Known Member
Well for almost 3yrs I have not driven it into clipping yet, that I am aware of anyway, Have blown a couple of tweeter fuses, but that is because some dimwit at NAD decided to put the receiver test tone button right above the button that changes surround and listening modes on the remote control. :scared-eek:
 
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