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Audio Setup- Clipping?

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Post time 2017-6-26 09:48:00 | Show all posts |Read mode
Hi All
Apologize if this isn't posted in the right place, new here.
Recently bought an Onkyo A910B Integrated Amplifier and hooked up two brand new Klipsch RB 61 II bookshelf speakers in my garage.
I'm streaming google chromecast to the amplifier.  Sounds fine at 50% volume or less, but on most songs, if and when I feel the need to crank it up a bit above 50% volume, things sound very unpleasant to my ears.
Muddy, somewhat distorted, harsh sounding- is that clipping?
What am I doing wrong with this set-up and any suggestions?  I assumed that the amplifier would have plenty of room to drive these 8 Ohm speakers
Thanks!
               
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Post time 2017-6-26 11:13:00 | Show all posts

                       
                        First off, I don't find an Onkyo A910, but rather an A9010; is that right?
https://www.onkyousa.com/Products/mo...lass=Amplifier
Next, how are you getting the Chromecast signal into the amp?
Any time a signal is transferred form one device to another, you want to match voltage level and impedance. The A-9010 has an input sensitivity of 150mV with a 100k Ohm impedance, what's called a "line level" input common in consumer audio equipment.
- You'd ideally like the Chromecast signal to peak near, but never over 150mV. You'd notice this by changing volume at the Chromecast and hearing distortion come and go as you cross the input limit.
- You'd like an impedance match, too. This is the problem with headphone jacks; headphones are much lower impedance, so frequency response issues occur with internal RC filters.
Next, do you have the bass cranked up on the amp, or in your program (i.e. EDM, Dub-step)?
Bass frequencies take a lot of power, and will cause clipping at higher frequencies. It's real easy to forget the tone control can add 10dB at 100Hz, sucking 90% of the power into the low end. That's why we love subwoofers; they make speakers sound better louder. If you've cranked up the bass, 90% of your power will be delivered below ~200Hz, leaving only 4W available for the upper octaves.
Finally, are you a Klipsch fan?
I find some horn speakers become harsh at higher volumes. This is a matter of personal taste, and hearing sensitivities. Some attributes, like harmonic distortion, become more audible as sound level rises. It could be the speakers, or another distortion source that's just becoming audible at higher levels.
I will note that I find 95dB plenty loud, and the RB61's only need 1W to do that at 1 meter. Assuming a typical size garage, you might need 10W to sustain that level, moving around. If you actually want 105dB, you'd like amplifier power closer to the speaker's 400W peak rating, to insure no clipping, and a sensitive ear for power compression (power heats voice coil wire, increasing its resistance which reduces power delivered).
I hope this helps,
Frank
               
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 Author| Post time 2017-6-26 15:13:00 | Show all posts

                       
                        Thanks Frank
Yes A-9010, typo... sorry
I've got the chromecast piped in via Digital (D2 Optical) input in the back of the receiver, Ipad running the controls thru spotify.
I have no idea how to measure the chromecast signal, but I'll mess around to see what I can find out.
I do NOT have the bass cranked up, in fact, I've been wondering if I need to add a sub into the mix- not sure how with NO traditional sub "line in",but read somewhere that with these types of speaker mounts you can tether wires into the speakers with the right type of powered sub???  If so, would that help perhaps?
Been playing around with Onkyo's "direct mode" only... minimal processing of signal.
First time I've ever bought Klipsch speakers and I'm NOT sure if I am a fan.  They are bright sounding, but I don think that's the issue- this sounds like distortion to me and I don't want to wreck the amp or the speakers- that's the biggest issues for me right now.  
That's why I'm wondering if something is under or over powered in this set-up.  Thanks so much for giving me some ideas!
               
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 Author| Post time 2017-6-26 15:48:00 | Show all posts

                       
                        Is the audio stream highly compressed?  Such as MP3 format..
MP3 streams specifically lower bit-rate ones can/will sound horrible through a high quality audio playback system @ high volume levels....
Either step up to an uncompressed stream or lower the volume..
Just my $0.02...  

               
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 Author| Post time 2017-6-26 19:13:00 | Show all posts

                       
                        Thanks M Code
You piqued my curiosity to see if the signal was compressed... according to chromecast, when optical is used, software defaults to the highest quality signal- not sure what that is, but google claims HIFI audio levels.
So based on the couple of responses so far, it seems like the amplifier is plenty powerful for the speakers and vice versa- correct?
I wonder if the garage acoustics is what is throwing the sound off for my ears... concrete floors and bare drywall etc.?
Thanks folks
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