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Old 08-03-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
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Amp question

Why would cause an amp to clip after a few songs while driving but won't clip when engine is off? Thoughts or suggestions please?

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Old 08-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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All sources?

Does it clip on all inputs?

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Old 08-03-2013, 10:53 PM   #3
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Yes, I have two amps running off I block. If I turn the music up while the engine is off its fine, turn the engine on and after 3 or 4 songs at higher volume it will start clipping. The mids & highs on one amp and 2 10's on the other. Gain on the subs amp is at 70% up. Not set up for boom but rich sound
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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With the jeep running you are getting more juice because of the alternator. Try turning the gain down?
Im just guessing.
I set my gain one channel at a time for the mids and highs.
On my head unit I set the eq to flat and turn the volume to 26. Then on the amp I turn the gain up until it starts to distort or clip the turn it back down a little bit. For the amp running the subs I have a red green indicator light. I put on something with heavy bass and turn up the gain until the light turns red. Then back it down till it just turns green.



I had a very similar problem and it was my iPhone4. My girlfriends 4s didn't do it. I bought a new 5 and no problems.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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I'm sourcing my music from my 4s. I have the HU EQ set to my liking but I'll give your suggestion a shot. Maybe turn the bass boost off as well. Initially I though it was a grounding issue but I double checked all my grounds and they are good. Wiring is also more than adequate gauge. I'll post the results tomorrow
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:32 PM   #6
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Try some else's phone. Mine was driving me nuts till I figured it out.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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I took your advice and set the subs amp to flat, also used my iPod vs iPhone. So one or both solved the clipping issue. Thanks a bunch for the help
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:59 PM   #8
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I took your advice and set the subs amp to flat, also used my iPod vs iPhone. So one or both solved the clipping issue. Thanks a bunch for the help
Cool.
I meant to set your head unit eq to flat while you were adjusting the gain on your amps. The after the gain is set you could adjust your eq however you like.
If you are getting the sound you want out of your subs then I'm glad I could help you out.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Cool.
I meant to set your head unit eq to flat while you were adjusting the gain on your amps. The after the gain is set you could adjust your eq however you like.
If you are getting the sound you want out of your subs then I'm glad I could help you out.
Yeah I did that, but also set the sub amp to flat as well. Readjusted the HU to suit and ended up liking my new settings slightly better, better mid response.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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you said you set your sub amp to flat. Are you talking about the crossover? If so you don't want that at flat you want the somewhere less then 120hz depending on your set up.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:35 PM   #11
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If you are getting clipping from your HU unit, then the problem is not the Amp, if the gain is properly set. The problem is that there is too much gain in your music, or you have EQ'd too much gain at certain wavelengths causing distortion. A lot of rippers put to much gain in the music causing clipping and distortion. You will likely see the same clipping in your computer audio program. It is there that you want to reduce the gain, and resave the song(s) with the proper gain set. Then, no matter how loud you turn it, it will not distort, if you have a good audio system with low THD. This is fundamental to digital recordings. It is normally not an issue with copyrighted CD's, because the gains are normally properly set. The best way to acheive the best sound, is to EQ your music on your computer and set the proper gain. Then, you have no need to EQ it in your car stereo, and you can turn it up as loud as you like with flat EQ. But, when you rip them, or get ripped recordings, they are normally over-gained. Therefore, you will hear a lot of distortion at higher volumes because the gain on the music itself it just too high. When you amplify the music in this case, you are also amplifying the noise. You will be amazed at how clear the music will sound at extremely high volumes if the gain on the music itself is right. This is the nature of digital recordings, the clarity. If you record a cassette with the gain too high you will get the same effect.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #12
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If you see a digital spectrum readout, you can see the clipping. The top of the peaks are cut off, and smashed. This is where the music is distorted. You want to reduce the gain to avoid that clipping in your music. Clipping means that the top of the peaks are cut off or "Clipped", because the gain in the music is too high. But, if it is bad clipping, reducing the gain will not help. Because, the music had been inheritedly distorted. You will either need to re-rip the original music with the proper gains. Or, you can also try normalizing the music, and setting the EQ how you like it, with the proper gain, and resaving it. Or, get a better copy/rip with the gains properly set.

I did this all the time in my Recording Studio using programs like Cakewalk for instrument recordings, Sound Forge for audio recordings, and Cool Edit Pro for digital cleaning of clicks and pops in digital and analog music recordings and noise reduction. There are many more computer programs in this genre, and familiar to sound studio engineers.

My profession is Chemistry. It is the same in Chemical Instrumentation analysis. If your peaks are smashed at the top then, your have too much saturation. It is the same in music.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #13
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How do you know it's clipping? Is the sound just changing or distorting after a few songs?

Set your gains on your amp using test tones and a DMM and you shouldn't encounter clipping - unless it's in the recording (which I've never encountered that I'm aware of)

I'm thinking the gains are set incorrectly.. Saying the gain is set at 70% doesn't tell us anything.. The gain is a level matching device used to match the signal voltage from the RCA cables to the amount of amplification needed in order to output a clean amplified signal... With the gain at "70%", a headunit with an output up to 5v may be fine but a headunit with an output up to 10v could make the signal be clipped in the amp because the "70%" may actually be trying to match at 4.2v
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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How do you know it's clipping? Is the sound just changing or distorting after a few songs?

Set your gains on your amp using test tones and a DMM and you shouldn't encounter clipping - unless it's in the recording (which I've never encountered that I'm aware of)

I'm thinking the gains are set incorrectly.. Saying the gain is set at 70% doesn't tell us anything.. The gain is a level matching device used to match the signal voltage from the RCA cables to the amount of amplification needed in order to output a clean amplified signal... With the gain at "70%", a headunit with an output up to 5v may be fine but a headunit with an output up to 10v could make the signal be clipped in the amp because the "70%" may actually be trying to match at 4.2v
I'm not sure he has the right terminology for what he is describing. It sounds like he is saying that his amp is heating up, and shutting off (Clipping?), after a few songs at high volume. It sounds to me like his amp is going into protection mode. It could be a wiring problem, bad ground, or amp placement. Cheap amps also heat up fast. I had my amp rewired and it doesn't get as hot. I've also heard of guys doing internal cooling on their amps too. Definitely sounds like he is talking about protection mode. Most likely though, it is a wiring issue, like incorrect ohm's, or incorrect wire sizes. The ground must connect to bare metal. If it isn't that might cause clipping?, or sound disappearance. Make sure the Amp and the HU are properly grounded.

I've recently experienced sound loss and it was due to my HU. Too many modifications to my stereo system, must have damaged or shorted my HU. I also did not experience it when I was stopped. But, as soon as I started driving, my music would start shutting out. A song would play for three seconds and stop for two seconds. My amp was under warranty and my EQ. The shop changed them both and still the problem remained. I finally replaced my HU, and it hasn't happened all day. I sent my HU out for repairs, and I brought a duplicate one. My HU was under warranty but it was pretty beat up from constantly pulling it out and re-wiring it. I blew out speakers that was clearly shorting it. Finally, my HU started malfunctioning, so I brought a new one. Problem solved, and I won't be messing with this one.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ChasUGC View Post

I'm not sure he has the right terminology for what he is describing. It sounds like he is saying that his amp is heating up, and shutting off (Clipping?), after a few songs at high volume. It sounds to me like his amp is going into protection mode. It could be a wiring problem, bad ground, or amp placement. Cheap amps also heat up fast. I had my amp rewired and he doesn't get as hot. I've also heard of guys doing internal cooling on their amps too. Definitely sounds like he is talking about protection mode.
And if that's the case, then rated ohms of the amp/sub could also be causing the amp to heat up. (If they are different) like a 4 ohm amp and 2 ohm sub
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:00 AM   #16
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I eventually installed a cap and that solved the problem. The head unit wasn't shutting off, it was the infinity amp. Have proper gauge & quality wiring with a proper ground. I think the amps were pulling more power than the wrangler could supply. With the cap installed I can adjust my setting at the amp & HU anywhere I want & play it as loud as i want without the amps cutting out at all.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:17 PM   #17
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I eventually installed a cap and that solved the problem. The head unit wasn't shutting off, it was the infinity amp. Have proper gauge & quality wiring with a proper ground. I think the amps were pulling more power than the wrangler could supply. With the cap installed I can adjust my setting at the amp & HU anywhere I want & play it as loud as i want without the amps cutting out at all.
As long as it's working for ya!
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #18
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So far so good, still fine tuning to get the best sound buy it has yet to cut out.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:25 PM   #19
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I eventually installed a cap and that solved the problem. The head unit wasn't shutting off, it was the infinity amp. Have proper gauge & quality wiring with a proper ground. I think the amps were pulling more power than the wrangler could supply. With the cap installed I can adjust my setting at the amp & HU anywhere I want & play it as loud as i want without the amps cutting out at all.
I'm going to have to try something too. My amp keeps going into protection mode. I can only play it cold for 15 minutes or so, before it heats up in the Southern California heat. I thought it was my Power Acoustik Gothic amp that was causing the problem. So, I brought a $700 Alpine PDX V9, and it is doing the same thing. I've heard that these passive cooled amps can be a bear. Now, I want to get my Gothic amp back, and run some fans inside it. I don't want to do this with the Alpine because it is so small and I don't want to mess with a $700 amp.

I can't get a active cooled amp with 100wattsx500watts RMS, or I would definitely go that route. I am going to talk to the Car Audio Warehouse and my Car Stereo Installation Shop to look at other solutions. They have already rewired it, because it was shutting off at times. That turned out to be a connection that had come loose on one of my speakers, somewhere behind my dash. But, since then, it gets hotter faster. So, I'm definitely taking it back again.

I'm thinking that turning down the gain would help. I think my amp is opened up full. I can't even stand the volume above 24 out of 39, so I don't think I need all that volume. I may even try to mount a fan under my passenger seat to help cool the amp. I don't think putting it under the dash would help, because it is even more congested under there.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:35 PM   #20
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Try bringing the amp inside and running it in the A/C on a bench type setup.. I don't think it's heat causing your issues.. I have 2 amps under my rear seat (nearly no ventilation, the underside of the seat actually has imprints of my amps) and I've never had one shut off - even on 95+ degree days..

As a matter of fact, you say your amp is opened up full.. if that means your gain is all the way up then that is definitely your issue.. You're over working the amp by sending in a higher signal than the amp is trying to amplify.. You should set your gain using a DMM and some test tones..
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:39 AM   #21
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Try bringing the amp inside and running it in the A/C on a bench type setup.. I don't think it's heat causing your issues.. I have 2 amps under my rear seat (nearly no ventilation, the underside of the seat actually has imprints of my amps) and I've never had one shut off - even on 95+ degree days..

As a matter of fact, you say your amp is opened up full.. if that means your gain is all the way up then that is definitely your issue.. You're over working the amp by sending in a higher signal than the amp is trying to amplify.. You should set your gain using a DMM and some test tones..
I'll discuss this with my car stereo installation shop. It does seem strange that a $700 Alpine amp is having overheating trouble like this.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:01 AM   #22
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I'll discuss this with my car stereo installation shop. It does seem strange that a $700 Alpine amp is having overheating trouble like this.
Does the sound get distorted if you turn it up high?? If so then it's definitely the gain setting..
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:55 PM   #23
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Does the sound get distorted if you turn it up high?? If so then it's definitely the gain setting..
No, it doesn't distort. I'm particular about that issue. The stereo actually gets so loud that I can't stand it. I figure its about 65watts of power and everything is clear. It is a 100watts RMS amp, but about 65watts is all I can stand with the top on the vehicle. This is about 26 out of 39 on the volume control. I never get to the point where it starts to distort, because my ears couldn't take it. So, I have no reason to go that high in the volume. I think the installation shop messed up my speaker installation. I noticed that my left channel gave sound from my right speaker. So, I went behind the stereo and checked all the connections. I made sure that the RCA output plug on the radio matched the same color on the input plug on the amp. Still, I got reversed signal on the balance. I had to switch the plugs to get it right. But, it isn't suppose to be that way. When I told the installation guy about it he thought it was no big deal. But, messing up the polarity on my speakers, and messing up the phase, and the channel is probably what led to the sound cutting out.

I brought a brand new HU, and within a couple of weeks, it was doing the same thing. I really don't like that installation guy, so the Warehouse actually brought over a new guy from another shop, and kept the old guy to work on other cars. I have to respect the Warehouse for caring about their customers this way. They have been switching components, and still the same problem. I'm going to call the Warehouse Monday, and tell them about my new amp and my speakers being messed up. Hopefully, they will resolve it.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:08 PM   #24
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Either way.. if the gain is up all the way then you either have a really low HU signal or the gain is set wrong..

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