head room?

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bobblehat
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head room?

Post by bobblehat » February 16th, 2010, 11:33 am

What is Head Room exactly?
And where can I buy some? :D

Cheers

Bob.
My Band: http://www.myspace.com/thelanterns2010
playing whilst drunk is only permitted if all band members are in a similar state!

gnease
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Re: head room?

Post by gnease » February 16th, 2010, 3:02 pm

simplest answer is how much more volume or loudness or amplitude or power a system can handle above the max signal it to which it is currently expected to experience. the term "handle" is user-defined, usually as a distortion level, or acceptable listening experience or …

recording example: watch the peak signal meters on the mixer as the music plays. the difference between the highest level you observe and the max the mixer can handle (say the beginning of the the red zone) is the headroom for the mixer. note that each stage in any sound processing (incl amplification and recording) has its own headroom, that is defined roughly by the dB difference (or power ratio) between its peak signal handling capability and how much peak signal is expected to be driven into that stage from the previous in real operation.

if all that makes sense, it should be pretty straightforward to understand that to some extent, the component within a chain of signal processing blocks (effects, amps, speaker) that has the least headroom will substantially define the headroom for the entire setup. it's important to remember the when analyzing headroom, that gain before a stage degrades overall headroom.
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bobblehat
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Re: head room?

Post by bobblehat » February 17th, 2010, 5:52 am

Cheers Gnease,
The reason for the question is I am currently looking for a new amp.
I Have narrowed it down to an Orange Tiny Terror Head (15w)or a Laney VC30 combo (30w).
I have read that the Tiny Terror suffers from a lack of "head room".I know the Tiny terror has enough volume but wasn't sure whether this supposed lack of head room is something I should be concerned about.
I have always thought of head room as something you experience rather than a technical thing .eg Fender amps always seem to have a clean volume that you sort of feel as much as hear.(hope that makes sense!)

Chers

Bob
My Band: http://www.myspace.com/thelanterns2010
playing whilst drunk is only permitted if all band members are in a similar state!

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cnev
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Re: head room?

Post by cnev » February 17th, 2010, 5:57 am

Try that Tiny Terror out before you buy it, it's kind of a one trick pony. For a small amp it really kicks but it really only does distortion there's no real clean channel on it.
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gnease
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Re: head room?

Post by gnease » February 17th, 2010, 9:33 am

bobblehat wrote:Cheers Gnease,
The reason for the question is I am currently looking for a new amp.
I Have narrowed it down to an Orange Tiny Terror Head (15w)or a Laney VC30 combo (30w).
I have read that the Tiny Terror suffers from a lack of "head room".I know the Tiny terror has enough volume but wasn't sure whether this supposed lack of head room is something I should be concerned about.
I have always thought of head room as something you experience rather than a technical thing .eg Fender amps always seem to have a clean volume that you sort of feel as much as hear.(hope that makes sense!)

Chers

Bob
ah well, that probably means it does not gracefully changeover from clean to saturated as one plays it harder, but tends to start breaking up on peaks (e.g., during accented strums or picking) in a less-than-audibly-desireable way. some might say is lack good "touch dynamics".

headroom can be specified in a technical manner or by-feel. the techie definition may or may not relate to real playing situations, but is an objective, repeatable measurement. by-feel (or by-sound) is more real world, but not everyone will perceive the by-feel headroom the same way.
-=tension & release=-

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