HOW to KNOW when CLIPPING begins?? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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HOW to KNOW when CLIPPING begins??

5.1.4 Dolby Atmos setup with ceiling speakers. Second such setup, the receiver software set the four ceiling speakers trim to -5.0 dB. Problem is the overhead effects feel weaker in actual Atmos content compared to my last setup.I also have an SPL Meter, I verified that I am getting about 75dB at MLP 0 with all speakers at the LP with the set trims. However Atmos effects in content feel on the weaker side.Searching Google suggested that I should increase ceiling speakers level and keep other speakers same.

HERE is the question - if I manually apply gain and change the trim of ceiling speakers from -5.0 to say -3.0 or all the way to 0 (say), HOW do I know how much higher I can keep going from -5.0 until clipping occurs and I start to lose detail in overhead effects in actual content? If I'm applying gain on ceiling speakers from the set -5.0, where do I need to stop and how do I know the limit to which I can raise them before any sort of clipping would start to occur in content?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry1975 View Post
5.1.4 Dolby Atmos setup with ceiling speakers. Second such setup, the receiver software set the four ceiling speakers trim to -5.0 dB. Problem is the overhead effects feel weaker in actual Atmos content compared to my last setup.I also have an SPL Meter, I verified that I am getting about 75dB at MLP 0 with all speakers at the LP with the set trims. However Atmos effects in content feel on the weaker side.Searching Google suggested that I should increase ceiling speakers level and keep other speakers same.

HERE is the question - if I manually apply gain and change the trim of ceiling speakers from -5.0 to say -3.0 or all the way to 0 (say), HOW do I know how much higher I can keep going from -5.0 until clipping occurs and I start to lose detail in overhead effects in actual content? If I'm applying gain on ceiling speakers from the set -5.0, where do I need to stop and how do I know the limit to which I can raise them before any sort of clipping would start to occur in content?
Your speakers will sound very distorted like their gasping for air. Clipping will occur when your AVR reaches it's limits which would require a fair bit of SPL. Try playing a different movie that has lots of atmos content. You can run your speakers a little hotter like +3/4dbs, but you don't want your setup out of balance either.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry1975 View Post
5.1.4 Dolby Atmos setup with ceiling speakers. Second such setup, the receiver software set the four ceiling speakers trim to -5.0 dB. Problem is the overhead effects feel weaker in actual Atmos content compared to my last setup.I also have an SPL Meter, I verified that I am getting about 75dB at MLP 0 with all speakers at the LP with the set trims. However Atmos effects in content feel on the weaker side.Searching Google suggested that I should increase ceiling speakers level and keep other speakers same.

HERE is the question - if I manually apply gain and change the trim of ceiling speakers from -5.0 to say -3.0 or all the way to 0 (say), HOW do I know how much higher I can keep going from -5.0 until clipping occurs and I start to lose detail in overhead effects in actual content? If I'm applying gain on ceiling speakers from the set -5.0, where do I need to stop and how do I know the limit to which I can raise them before any sort of clipping would start to occur in content?
I doubt that you receiver will "clip" and speakers don't "clip" they distort when too much is asked of them which I doubt as they are only trying to play effects from 80hz on up (or wherever you set the crossover).

What are the make and model number of your in ceiling speakers?

If they are from a solid company you should be fine.

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 05:46 PM
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A little more info about your setup would be very useful, but as GajCA and Pase22 said, you’ll hear it.

Also if you’ve run the AutoEQ, it should have calibrated all speakers to play the same level at the MLP when given the same input. Of course, I highly doubt that Atmos content is the same loudness as the mains. So this could be the obvious reason. If you’d like some more sparkle with your Atmos effects, definitely turn them up. I’m sure your receiver has headroom even above 0, as long as your speakers aren’t super inefficient.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-14-2019, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
I doubt that you receiver will "clip" and speakers don't "clip" they distort when too much is asked of them which I doubt as they are only trying to play effects from 80hz on up (or wherever you set the crossover).

What are the make and model number of your in ceiling speakers?

If they are from a solid company you should be fine.

Exactly. Amplifiers clip, speakers manifest that clipping by playing the distorted sound.
FWIW I wouldn't worry about clipping as long as you're not trying to drive every speaker in the setup full range. The nice thing about setting the crossovers to 80-100hz is it takes the load off the AVR and shunts it over to the subs. As long as your subs are up to snuff it's all good and you'll hear the full range of sound, un-distorted.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-17-2019, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
A little more info about your setup would be very useful, but as GajCA and Pase22 said, you’ll hear it.

Also if you’ve run the AutoEQ, it should have calibrated all speakers to play the same level at the MLP when given the same input. Of course, I highly doubt that Atmos content is the same loudness as the mains. So this could be the obvious reason. If you’d like some more sparkle with your Atmos effects, definitely turn them up. I’m sure your receiver has headroom even above 0, as long as your speakers aren’t super inefficient.
Hi I did mean Amp clipping, don't know why I wrote speaker clipping, im setting the trim levels in the receiver, the receiver software set the front at -3.5 dB, the ceiling speakers at -5, the four ceiling speakers are an older paradigm model I bought at the time when studio series was supported, my fronts are bowers and Wilkins. With the current trim levels , the overhead 3D audio effects are sounding thin, my question is if I manually go and raise the level of the ceiling speakers up from -5, is there a limit until I can raise that level , how higher can I go from there before I know some details in the encoded overhead Atmos effects won't start getting lost? That was my question.
Some more information the receiver is RZ 3100 (Onkyo) and on the relative volume level I use on the receiver's display that tells the volume in dB, I don't push the master volume more than -15 in Atmos movies.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-17-2019, 05:27 AM
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A lot of folks run their atmos speakers between 1db and 5dbs hot, so you should experiment to see what sounds good to you. I like to play the opening scene from Expendables 3 and adjust my heights until the helicopter scenes sound impactful and detailed but not out of balance with the rest of the movie, which is around 3db usually for me. In other movies, like Oblivion, there are voice pans from center to overhead, and if you are running your atmos speakers too hot, this is when you would notice it, so you want to test with lots of content and find a good balance.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-17-2019, 09:43 AM
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I run the subs, surrounds, and Atmos a few dB hot. I imagine that's pretty common. Those few extra dBs won't tax your receiver, especially for Atmos, since there's generally limited bandwidth and and content.

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-17-2019, 09:56 AM
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I use an SMD DD-1 to set up a gain structure. It is a very simple tool but works well.
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