Can loudspeakers damage an amplifier

Clipping: When the amplifier doesn't fit the speakers

Amplifiers and loudspeakers have to get along with each other - that much is known. The impedance of the two components is also decisive for this. In the worst case scenario, if the resistors do not match, a defect can occur. But clipping can also cause problems for the system.

How power amplifiers react to overload

Clipping occurs when an amplifier has to produce more power than it actually can. In other words: the amplifier is overdriven. If the maximum supply voltage of the amplifier is reached, it can send the input signal no longer true to form output. This means that the signal arrives at the loudspeakers amplified, but is distorted in the process.

In technical terms, the sine output signal becomes a square wave signal. The lowest and highest deflections of the curve are cut off. The English term “clipping” is derived from this - it means “to cut” or “to cut”.

When the audio signal becomes distorted, it's not just the sound that suffers. Also the Clipping can damage the system. It is easy to understand that the electronics of the output stage do not always survive an overload unscathed. But clipping can also cause a defect in the loudspeakers being controlled. In fact, that's the more likely scenario.

That goes together: home theater systems from Teufel

How clipping can be dangerous to speakers

A set-up with powerful speakers and a weak amplifier with low wattage is particularly prone to clipping. If the loudspeakers receive too little power from the amplifier, they automatically “demand” more than the amplifier can actually do: clipping occurs. This can cause the speakers to overheat and be damaged. Tweeters are particularly at risk.

The reason for this is the type of signal distortion that occurs. The clipping requires that the amplifier disproportionately many high-frequency tones outputs and these are routed from the crossover to the tweeter. In the worst case scenario, overloading will cause the speaker's voice coil to burn out.

It is reassuring that it usually involves clipping only at high levels comes. You have to turn the system very loudly until it starts to “clip”. This also applies if you operate comparatively strong speakers with a power amplifier with a low wattage output. If the loudspeaker only clips slightly, the electronics are only at minor risk. In addition, the effects on the sound are often barely audible. However, we recommend an amplifier that has sufficient power reserves compared to the loudspeakers. Then the loudspeakers are supplied with a clean, undistorted sine signal even at high levels.

In the blog post How does a loudspeaker work? you will find out what function the voice coil fulfills.

This is how you can avoid clipping

You can prevent clipping by carefully coordinating the individual components of your system - or rather Combine suitable components with one another. It's very easy with a complete system like the one you can find in the Teufel online shop. Everything fits together perfectly here, nothing stands in the way of an undisturbed sound experience.

However, if you're looking to buy new speakers for an existing amplifier, for example, you'll need to compare the performance of the two. The decisive factor is the wattage or the RMS value (Root Mean Suqare). Sound problems or even the damage described can occur if you connect a much too powerful amplifier with a high output to a weak speaker with a low wattage - or vice versa. You will find the relevant information on the housing or in the operating instructions.

In the following you will find an overview of which stereo amplifiers go with which Teufel speakers.

Teufel receivers and speakers are made for each other

  • ▶ KOMBO 500: The KB 62 CR CD receiver (200 watts) drives the floorstanding loudspeakers to maximum sound output. The 3-way system of the THEATER 500 loudspeakers creates a stereo sound that couldn't be clearer and more differentiated. In addition, thanks to DAB +, Bluetooth and USB interface, the receiver is open to all sound sources.
  • ▶ ULTIMA 20 combo: amplifier and stereo loudspeakers form an optimally coordinated unit in the ULTIMA 20 combo. With a maximum load capacity of 80 watts, the compact 2-way loudspeakers create a differentiated and powerful sound from the high to the low frequency range.

Stereo speakers from Teufel

Conclusion: Don't overwhelm the amplifier

  • When clipping, the amplified signal is output distorted compared to the input signal.
  • In the case of distortion, the highest and lowest deflections of the sinusoidal signal are cut off.
  • Clipping can occur in amplifiers when the available power is insufficient to drive the loudspeakers (usually at high levels).
  • Above all, the distorted signal can destroy the tweeter or its voice coil by overloading it.
  • A disproportionately large number of high-frequency tones are passed from the amplifier to the tweeters.