Soft Clippers versus expectations. They're not magic.
Update: Please see Sreten's informative post (#6) as soon as possible.
If I understood that post correctly, the layman's (my) expectations of a soft clipper is that which provides tube amp like softer clipping and headroom benefits; but, unfortunately, that isn't what typical soft clipper circuits do. Actually, except for being quieter hard clippers, real typical soft clipper circuits are not a desirable audio effect.
Therefore, please bear in mind that the goal of this thread is Non-Typical soft clipper circuits that are actually on-demand halfbreed compressors (for attempting some tube amp features and headroom). Thanks AndrewT, for mentioning Bob Cordell's Klever Klipper at post #3. As Mr. Cordell's creative spelling indicates (engineer humor there), Klever Klipper does compress-before-clip, which is prettier than a regular soft clipper.
I have hopes that multiple slightly ineffective aka non-clipping, elementary soft clipper circuits can be stacked to do compress-before-clip (a Klever Klip) without op-amps or optocouplers.
See also Esperado's post #30.
More information at post #34.
The soft clipper is faster and costs less than a typical compressor; however there's a treble difference if the two are compared.
Some examples. . .
Here's Elvee's 4N25 Soft clip + Limiter for Circlophone. (a protector, not an audio effect)
What is shown is a protector with soft clip pattern; however, the detector shown on the far right is generally applicable, can use zeners as low as 5.6v and could be re-deployed to drive a compressor (not shown).
Here (below) is my diode based ltp soft clip (partially a compressor), inspired by Ken.
The feedback resistor, R17 is unaltered
The feedback-shunt resistor, R16 is replaced with a voltage divider or trimmer
The soft clip (partially a compressor) is connected from in- to in+ of an ltp
The circuit also fluctuates compensations thereby altering harmonics.
A trimmer at R16a, R16b can be dialed in so that compressor occurs while the amp is beginning to clip; but, if you push it harder, soft clip occurs.
Here (below) is my overload stopper. No matter if that is called a hard or soft clip, that protector is quite useless as an audio effect. However, it shows that a voltage detector at input of power amp, doesn't remove headroom (in normal conditions).
Reduces the big loud bang of awaking the computer from standby power saver.
Maybe that circuit can be modified in order to answer this question:
Variable resistor settings, lowest current on left side, higher current on right side.
1N34A, ECG109, SK3090, 1N60, BAT86, BAT85, 1N5711, fast/soft silicon diodes, and LED.
Tested: 1N34A, BAT86, LED's aren't as harsh as regular diodes.
I understand why we can use a clipper to protect an amp.
But why to use a "soft"-one ?
If it used to reduce disagreeable distortions effects during high levels's party's, why not to use a limiter, instead, with less distortion when after the limit ? Because of the less complicated and expensive circuit ?
I don't have a limiter.
I suspect most listeners don't have a limiter.
A bit difficult to add a limiter and set it up when we don't have any.
I tell a lie, I do have a DCX 24/96 and it has limiters of some type inside.
Could Baker Clamps be termed a soft clipper?
Cordell shows a soft clipper, he called it Klever Klipper.
I believed Becker Clamps was for fast switching ?
In fact, i am in need for a perfect limiter, for a protection circuit. Witch add no noise nor distortion before it clips...
A thread that starts with a load of misinformation about "palatable clipping"
and ignores the general principles of the way dynamic range management
is usually done in subs, AV kit and PC speakers is somewhat doomed.
(Also the way its done for film, TV and radio, as well as music mastering).
Assuming circuits are a fix to a problem and describing them in those terms
doesn't cover what they really do and don't do, and thus will mislead a lot.
About what kind of peaks we can limit without we can notice the loss of "ease" to increase a subjective level in a CD ? It would take hundred of thread's pages and should be untitled with "limiter or compressor" in the subject.
So i believe the first poster limit its goal to speaker reproduction, and that its attempt is, not touching the gain curve, to reduce the subjective effects of rare clipping when playing a program at the limit of amp's headroom ?
While my own interest is just clipping without signal deterioration under the limit.
Right now I'll go attempt a re-edit to something less picturesque, but if that won't do, simply tell me something that will do. :)
A clip (of short duration) happens more often than expected at normal playback volume. References:
-Sound Impairment Monitor (SIM) - Is This The Answer?
-ESP SIM (Sound Impairment Monitor)
I'm trying to say that you don't want to activate a hard clipper several times per minute during normal volume playback.
If signal encounters a hard clipper, the result is always increased noise; however, a soft clipper is less noisy.
A visual indicator could explain more than anything I could type.
". . . without signal deterioration under the limit." probably favors a soft clipper instead of a hard clipper. You can use both simultaneously, if the hard clipper is set to a higher switch-on voltage, to allow the soft clipper room to work. For example a standard overload blocker (hard clipper) installed on an amplifier that is also equipped with Bob Cordell's Klever Klipper (soft clipper).
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