I usually leave my amps powered on over night, and few nights ago, I heard clipping in the middle of the night (no input otherwise). Would it be possible for a power surge to cause clipping? I've been searching through the internet and no one has asked this question before. The input to the amp is from the DAC, which is connected to the computer through USB.
You heard a clipping sound, like the on/off switch being thrown very quickly?
You have some device that says "I clipped X number of timed in the last number of hours".
Don't you have to be playing something to clip? The signal is going beyond and breaks the wave forum "Clipping" the Tops and Bottoms off the mountains and valleys. Paper tears, stuff breaks, smoke comes out of voice coils..
If there was an audible sound heard from the speakers as a result of a power surge it’s very possible the amp clipped while making it. If it did it could damage the speakers. Check everything out. Hopefully sounds same as prior and everything works.
You don’t need clipping for a power surge to cause damage to gear but it’s possible and perhaps even likely clipping occurred as a result if you heard a sound from the speakers as a result of a power surge.
The issue is the power surge. Avoid those in any way possible like turning off and even unplugging gear during thunder storms.
thanks for the responses. there was no input to the amp when the clipping sound was made by the speakers. My guess is perhaps the grid had a surge, or the lighting was close enough to me that the magnetic field directly induced some current in the analogue cables going from the DAC to the amp. The amplitude was so large such that it clipped. The troubling thing is that I heard it more than once. Again a day later, during the day. My area was going through a heat wave and the strain on the grid could be leading to problems with power surges. Just wondering if a surge alone (without lighting) can cause clipping.
No, power surges do not cause clipping. What it might cause is your DAC to output a signal (noise) that is so high amplitude it overdrives the amp. Either way the sound you heard is not clipping. Whatever it is we can guess but of that we can be sure.
For a surge to come into a home it would have to come from the pole or a lightning strike, right? So isn’t that the reason for the bonding between pole and the ground rod at the main, over current coming in.
I’d make darn sure there wasn’t a problem there first..
That is the reason for a fast acting surge protector and voltage maintainer. The higher the joule the faster the reaction time.
We use to have brown outs, just a power supply killer. Then blackouts. Coming back on was the second problem (surge) after the couple of hours at 100-120. Thus a maintainer and surge protector..
No problems sense the late 80. They went from 8K to 20k lines in our residential area. First upgrade sense before WWII they said.. Copper line to aluminum. They said it was a better material.. LOL I kept my 50 year old copper at the time.. I had an upgrade option.. Either or. It stopped all the power outages and I never lost another PS on a computer. Tandy, Atari, Commodore 64 and Clone 8086 and 88s.. 5 meg hard drives were super expensive and you had to flip a 360 floppy to get both sides at 160 bytes per side..
That sure was a long time ago.. Been here a long time.. 1982.
A power surge can potentially damage an amplifier. The first thing you want to do is check the fuse(s) inside. Technically, fuses in audio gear (specifically) can last forever, but when accepting any kind of interference, they may take the "hit" to protect other internal components.
Also take a look at the capacitors and the ends of soldering joints from cables inside the amp. If you see any red (mercury) or corrosion (brown) that is a bad sign.
If the problem persists, fixing it would involve what I explained above. Advanced stages of failure could include the amp shutting off by itself or making sounds while powering up.
thanks again for all the inputs. will def open up the amp and have a visual inspection. the 5A 250V fuse is still functional at the moment.
Some folks have said it wasn’t clipping that I heard. The amp I have is McIntosh MC7100, and it has a built in anti-clipping circuit called Power Guard. When the speakers were making the "clipping sounds", it sounded like as if you manually accidentally touched the RCA inputs to the amp, and it gives off a static like cracking sound. This would then trigger the Power Guard (it has LED indicator lights).
I believe the next step would be to email a repair specialist in your area. Calling them first and explaining the problem will get them interested in working for your benefit.
In the follow up email, include a high resolution picture of the internals. This way, they are able to zoom-in and take note of anything that appears to be unusual.
In rare cases, bad capacitors do not show any signs of damage (same with fuses). The static crackling sound is usually a sign of this or a power transformer that is failing. If not that, the mainboard or part of the motherboard responsible for input/output switching may require some looking in to.
In order to correctly determine the cause/solution, a repair person would need to test your amp with various tools - including a multimeter. Along with this, a schematic would enable them to fully repair the unit if it requires servicing.