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  • Amplifier clip indicator ?

    So for a LONG time, I've been running my RF Power 1000 25 to Life amp, with the fancy LED clip indicators right on the front of the amp, and these have been SO useful. I could always turn around and with a glance over my right shoulder, see right where my output was... Probably why I never fried the amp, or blew speakers.
    Well, I sure got spoiled with that feature. But I figured that even when I retired that amp someday, "every amp" should have, at the very least, one tiny red LED light somewhere on it, that flickered as it started to clip ? Guess I was wrong :( I just bought this amp SKv2-100.4AB | 800 Watt 4-Channel Car Amplifier
    and apparently, that LED light that says protect, is only an on/off type of light, that will literally come on, when the amp shuts off, from a direct short or something really bad. No slight flickering to show that your just starting to clip.... so that is basically worthless :(
    The only reason I bought the amp in spite of this, was that I figured an aftermarket clipping indicator should be really cheap and easy to add. Wrong :( I've searched high and low, and the closest thing I have found, are the SMD clipping meters, which 1) are way bigger, brighter, and fancier than I need, and 2) are way too expensive. What would be awesome would be a tiny little box with a single red led that starts to ficker as the amp starts to clip. Seems so easy for an amp company to build into the amp... or, at the very least, put it on a cheap cable to bring it to the front of the vehicle, and charge $20 for it.

    I'm considering returning this amp when it gets here, just because of this.

    Any suggestions ?

    PS, Inevitably, somebody will mention that if the gains are set correctly, you don't have to worry about clipping. The problem with this logic is, that some recordings may be perfectly loud enough at a certain volume level on the HU. Others recording might need to be pushed much harder from the HU, for the same level of output signal.... and of course the HU has a clipping point too. My HU is 100% clean to 32 (out of 35)

  • #2
    You could probably build something up out of a couple of resistors and an led. You should be able to build a voltage divider network based on the clipping voltage of the amp. Won't be as accurate as a factory indicator but you should be able to get close.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by devnull View Post
      You could probably build something up out of a couple of resistors and an led. You should be able to build a voltage divider network based on the clipping voltage of the amp. Won't be as accurate as a factory indicator but you should be able to get close.
      Kind of considering this. I'm just very surprised that every amp doesn't have a simple little red LED clipping indicator built in. My old, crappy amps from 30 years ago did. Now they don't ?

      BTW, this would also be very helpful when setting gains...

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      • #4
        Just a suggestion, but this site isn't frequented all that much by auto sound guys. You'll get far more responses on auto sound forums. That said, what you're looking for to cure your problem is a limiter. In pro-sound they're standard equipment. I can't say if they even exist for auto sound.
        www.billfitzmaurice.com
        www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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        • #5
          Thank you Bill. I would definitely consider a limiter.

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          • #6
            The Eminence D-Fend is likely something that will suit that need. You can power it with a 5V USB cable, IIRC, and set it for your purposes.

            Later,
            Wolf
            "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
            "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
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            "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

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            • #7
              Originally posted by devnull View Post
              You could probably build something up out of a couple of resistors and an led. You should be able to build a voltage divider network based on the clipping voltage of the amp. Won't be as accurate as a factory indicator but you should be able to get close.
              ....and the thing is, I know they are that simple, which makes me wonder why all amplifier manufacturers don't include this feature ? Or, why there are not 15 aftermarket options, for like $10 or $20 ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                The Eminence D-Fend is likely something that will suit that need. You can power it with a 5V USB cable, IIRC, and set it for your purposes.

                Later,
                Wolf
                Will look into that now.... TY

                Whoa ! $200 ! Heck, the amp was only $259...
                Looks big and complicated too ?

                I love the bass knob with the little LED clipping indicator for my bass amp. So simple. And btw, IF I were using my 4 ch amp bridged, in a bass amp mode, with the remote bass knob, the clipping indicator would work.... Just not as a stereo amplifier 😕

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                • #9
                  Use your ears as a clip indicator

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
                    what you're looking for to cure your problem is a limiter. In pro-sound they're standard equipment. I can't say if they even exist for auto sound.
                    That has always perplexed me. You'd think that's the one thing that would be really needed in a car audio system. Yet, it's conspicuously absent from almost every car audio system I've looked at.

                    I was hoping that Dayton would include limiter functions in the DSP408. Alas, it's missing from that too.
                    Brian Steele
                    www.diysubwoofers.org

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dynamo View Post
                      Use your ears as a clip indicator
                      Not accurate enough. Especially in a noisy situation, like driving down the freeway with the windows down.... Which btw, my system is loud enough to do this. Fun sometimes 🙂

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brian Steele View Post

                        That has always perplexed me. You'd think that's the one thing that would be really needed in a car audio system. Yet, it's conspicuously absent from almost every car audio system I've looked at.

                        I was hoping that Dayton would include limiter functions in the DSP408. Alas, it's missing from that too.
                        Right ?
                        I swear, 25 years ago, all car audio amps had simple led clip indicators. What happened ???


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fishchris View Post

                          Not accurate enough. Especially in a noisy situation, like driving down the freeway with the windows down.... Which btw, my system is loud enough to do this. Fun sometimes 🙂
                          Always worked for me. I’ve never had an amp with a clip indicator.

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                          • #14
                            Wouldn't it just be easier to set your gain on your headunit to just under clipping, then set the amp to right at clipping - solved, no chance you can ever clip the amp? At least that is how we always set up customers vehicles back in the good 'ole days. Not hard to set for clipping, old speaker and a cap.
                            Paul

                            The "SB's" build page
                            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...-4-(pic-heavy)

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                            • #15
                              That only works if all sources are the same level. Back in the good old days you had AM/FM and 8 Track, Cassette or CD, depending how long ago those days were. Today you have FM, CD, satellite radio, pads, phones, and who knows how many other sources that can be connected via hard wire or Bluetooth.
                              www.billfitzmaurice.com
                              www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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