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Clipping on active system

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Clipping on active system

Postby aekoi » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:02 pm

Hi there,

I often hire speaker systems to DJ's. All the systems are active, which removes the possibility of driver being fed clipped signal due to underpowered amps (I assume). However DJs like to plug all sorts of signal sources into their mixer, and I'm concerned that, for example, a laptop may send clipped signal to the mixer and then on to the speakers. Another concern is 'enthusiastic' DJ types turning mixer gains up full.

How quickly will my speakers be fried by clipping produced in such a manner (ie NOT by underpowered amp).

Thanks in advance.
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aekoi
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Re: Clipping on active system

Postby seablade » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:34 pm

aekoi wrote:Hi there,

I often hire speaker systems to DJ's. All the systems are active, which removes the possibility of driver being fed clipped signal due to underpowered amps (I assume). However DJs like to plug all sorts of signal sources into their mixer, and I'm concerned that, for example, a laptop may send clipped signal to the mixer and then on to the speakers. Another concern is 'enthusiastic' DJ types turning mixer gains up full.

How quickly will my speakers be fried by clipping produced in such a manner (ie NOT by underpowered amp).

Thanks in advance.

Depends on how oblivious the DJ is. Whether the amp is underpowered or not might depend on the manufacturer of the speaker. One would assume they have them matched well, but there are no guarantees.

Your best option is to rent as a system that includes a speaker processor/limiter before the speakers in this case, set so that when the control on the speaker is turned all the way up, it still doesn't get a signal strong enough to clip it. Sucks for gain structure, but might be your best option.

Or if you are capable with a soldering iron, disabling the gain control on the speaker all together is not out of the question;) Again a speaker processor/limiter is recommended even in this, but this way you can get slightly better gain structure as most of those have gain to account for plugging a mic directly into the speaker.

This is the basis for the conversation on gain structure Nathan and I had years back that comes up every now and then, with slightly different situations involved.

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Re: Clipping on active system

Postby mpostor » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:34 pm

Never underestimate the lengths a DJ will go to to get all the red lights in a system to light up.

If you're hiring the system out, include a 'you break it, you buy it' clause in the contract, sit back and let them go for it.
If they break anything, they pay for the replacement. Just make sure you take a high enough deposit from them to let them know that you're serious.

HTH.

Stu.
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