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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:35 am
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Location: Los Angeles
Hi all, I'm sort of new to bass and bass amps, and I'm hoping to better understand why amplifier clipping can be bad for bass speakers and in what contexts. There is a lot of talks out there on forums about clipping and speakers, but much of it seems to be opinion, unclear, or incorrect.

So - general consensus seems to be "pre-amp clipping good, power amp clipping bad". If there is accuracy in this statement, can someone help me understand why? It seems to me that a preamp clipped to square wave and then cleanly amplified is pretty much the same as a square wave caused by the power amp hitting its limit.

Then, there is again this understanding that this applies to solid state amplification, but it's cool to run tubes into clipping. Again, what's the reason? an overdrive pedal in front of the amp is solid state clipping, so I don't see a difference between that and overdriving the preamp.

For a specific example: I've got an Acoustic 270 which I play guitar and bass through. It starts clipping pretty early with a guitar or bass with modern "hotter" pickups. As there is a single volume knob, not a gain/master volume setup or any modern clipping LEDs or any of that, it's tough for me to tell what's preamp clipping and what's clipping the power amp. With guitar, I don't really care - I think it sounds pretty good as the whole thing gets loud and distorts. With bass, where is the line between oldschool overdrive and something that is going to damage my speakers?


Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:22 pm 
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Location: Shawnee, OK
Don't know if this has any bearing, just my views. Sound (music) reproduction-Clipping is bad. You want to reproduce the sound ,as closely as possible, to the way the artist wanted it to sound. Sound (music) production- clipping can be good if it's the sound or tone you want to produce. But solid state clipping is very often harsh and tube clipping is a smoother sound due to the way tubes overload (soft clipping). As far as a guitar/bass speaker goes, they're built differently than audio speakers and, I would think, that as long as you're not running a high wattage amp through a low wattage speaker (say a 100W amp into a 25W) speaker, you should be OK. Others with more insight and experience may have a different view and I could be wrong or possibly not be answering the question you posted.

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