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Amp is clipping

Old 04-17-2006, 08:35 PM
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Unhappy Amp is clipping

I am having some major issues with my amp clipping. It is an infinity 1300Wrms x 1 amp so I have a light that indicates when it is clipping (this clipping light is possibly the best invention since the wheel). I just installed a new Stinger battery (as main battery) and I can turn up the volume to about 31/60 before it starts to clip (before the new battery only to about 21/60). I am getting a new car soon (2001 Aurora and slappin some 20's on it!) so I am not going to do the "big 3". But with this new car I am also getting a multichannel infinity amp 111Wrms x 4 and I am thinking that this will make my amps start clipping at like volume 15/60. Would you suggest that I use the stock battery to run the car and use the stinger battery as a secondary battery (if so, will there be any extra equipment that I will need for a 2 battery installation?)? Do you think that when I complete the "big 3" on this new car that i should have no problems? Would you guys suggest that I upgrade my alternator or is that a waste of money?
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:32 PM
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Did you set your gains properly are u using the bass boost, I have the infinity 1210a amp and ran 2 compvr 12's at 800 watts and it workd fine, I set my gain with a multimeter.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:07 AM
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from my experiences with infinity amps with the clipping lght, it's going to flicker as the bass hits, but it's when it on constantly, then it's a problem, as per the manual at least... Like mentioned above, what do you have your gains set to etc..

doing the upgrades you mentioned, as well as the battery are only going to make your problem worse. I say this because when the new battery was put in, the amp was getting more power, hence why the amp was 'clipping' at a lower volume. Upgrading the big 3, will also add to this problem, since you are creating a better electrical environment for the audio system...

Keep the gains, and bassboost in check, and you should be fine. as far as adding a second battery, that's completly up to you, just one thing, if you're going to run one in the trunk, make sure it's the stinger, or any sealed battery, you don't want to kill yourself, or the passengers....


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Old 04-18-2006, 10:52 AM
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"what do you have your gains set to etc.."

I turned my gain all the way down then turned my volume up on the H.U. until the mids and highs were the perfect volume. Then I turned by gain up until the clip light was barely blinking. (I assume you see my reasons for doing this? Is it smart to do it this way?) As for my bass boost it is almost all the way off.




"I say this because when the new battery was put in, the amp was getting more power, hence why the amp was 'clipping' at a lower volume"

Sorry if i worded my last post wrong, the amp clipped at 20 before the new battery. When i installed the new battery it didn't clip until about volume 30. But why would giving more power to the amp make it clip at a lower volume?




"Upgrading the big 3, will also add to this problem, since you are creating a better electrical environment for the audio system..."

YOU TOTALLY CONFUSED ME ON THIS ONE! Why does making a better electrical evironment make the problem worse???
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:56 AM
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Chrisx3 said something about a multimeter, what is a multimeter? Does it let you measure the watts coming out of the amp? Because if it does that would be VERY HANDY. Where would I pick one of these up? Ace Hardware? Fleet Farm? Radio Shack?
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:32 PM
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Think of the gain as something to match the input voltage going to the amp. The higher the input voltage, the lower you set the gain. This is a good thing! If you upgrade the electrical system, you might be sending more voltage to the amp (if your electrical system wasn't sufficient before). If you don't lower the gains with a higher voltage going to the amp, it will clip earlier.

Hope that helps!
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lspade69
Chrisx3 said something about a multimeter, what is a multimeter? Does it let you measure the watts coming out of the amp? Because if it does that would be VERY HANDY. Where would I pick one of these up? Ace Hardware? Fleet Farm? Radio Shack?
You can get a multimeter at radio shack or canadian tire, read this from another forum, this is the way I set my gains on my amp.

http://www.caraudio.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63933

JL audio also has an example of how to set the gains

http://mobile.jlaudio.com/support_pages.php?page_id=143
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 75grandam
Think of the gain as something to match the input voltage going to the amp. The higher the input voltage, the lower you set the gain. This is a good thing! If you upgrade the electrical system, you might be sending more voltage to the amp (if your electrical system wasn't sufficient before). If you don't lower the gains with a higher voltage going to the amp, it will clip earlier.

Hope that helps!
Wow, that helped a lot. I always thought that when I turned the gain up it would send more watts through and turning it down would decrease the watt flow, or in otherwords I was treating it like a volume ***.

So when you said, "If you upgrade the electrical system, you might be sending more voltage to the amp (if your electrical system wasn't sufficient before). If you don't lower the gains with a higher voltage going to the amp, it will clip earlier." do you mean that I could use the full 1300 watts (or close to it) if the gain matched the input voltage but the gain wasn't turned all the way up?
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:59 PM
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I have a different take on this. If your amp is struggling to get power, it is going to struggle to produce power. If the amp was clipping at vol 20 before and all you have done is replace the battery and now it clips at 30, this has absolutely nothing to do with gain setting. The gain setting matches the output voltage of the rca line of the headunit to the rca input line of the amplifier. It has zero to do with how your amp makes power.

If you have a bad battery, you have power issues. If you have bad ground, you have power issues. If you have too small of power or ground wires, you have power issues. If you have too small a alternator, you have power issues. Making your amp work properly is simple. The bigger the amp, the bigger the need for proper power and ground wire. The higher you turn the stereo, the bigger the drain on the electrical system. Your need for power is greater than the capability of the alternator to produce it. The battery dumps what power it can into the line as it is needed. With your old battery, it might not have had much to give whereas the new battery had more. End result though is that you will need to do the Big 3 or 4 and more than likely a HO alternator. Read my link on grounding.

http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp?TID=49445&PN=1

Read David's link on the Big 3.

http://www.the12volt.com/installbay/forum_posts.asp?TID=73496&PN=1

I also think that you have misunderstood the purpose of the gain setting on the amp and are just now starting to realize what is all about. An amp makes the same amount of power regardless of where the gain is set. All a gain does is level match. For lack of better words, you need to find where the redline of your amplifier is. This is the point of clipping. With a higher output voltage on the cd player, the gain setting may be relatively low, with a lower output voltage on the cd player, it may be relatively high. It is going to be different for all amplifiers matched to all cd players. It is also going to change depending on the music that you choose to set the gain with. If you are going to use music to set the gain, play the same song over and over and over.

Last edited by MR2NR; 04-18-2006 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:41 PM
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Wow, that cleared up so many questions that I had. I just have two more... How do I set the gain properly in my next installation? Does it harm my amp if the gain is not set properly? Because I love this amp, I hope I didn't harm it and when I get my new car the amp and battery are the only thing I am keeping and I am going to be putting in a pure infinity/stinger system (to bad infinity doesn't make head units).
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