SWR Big Ben 18 cab -- wattage to move it?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by e_mann, Dec 26, 2012.


  1. e_mann

    e_mann

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Someone is selling one of these bad boys for 150 bucks on craigslist. I've heard good things, but I've also heard that they need some serious wattage to get going.

    I've got a sunn beta head, which is only 100 watts ("only" 100--I know Sunn's are always louder than their wattage implies) at 4ohms. The Goliath is 8ohms. Think it will be enough to move it? Maybe run in parallel with a second 8 ohm cab for sound diversity?
  2. Standalone

    Standalone

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    New Haven
    It's a snappy, quick, sensitive speaker, in my limited (in store) experience. $150 is a great deal.

    Your Sunn will sound great through the bag end 18.
  3. e_mann

    e_mann

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Awesome. I'm running a second beta bass really dirty through an 810, so pairing with this should give me some really nice cleaner lows in addition to the punch. Thanks!
  4. Standalone

    Standalone

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    New Haven
    Don't think of it as a sub so much-- I found it to be a clean full range speaker. So much so that I go to thinking of the word "standalone" as it applied to bass cabs. And I changed my TB screen name!
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  6. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
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    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Sadowsky, Bag End, Visual Sound, Pedaltrain, George L
    I had a Big Ben for a long time. I had it paired with a Goliath 3 and a SM900 head and later a MiniMo Pre and Crown K1.

    The above post about full range is correct. When I first got the Sm900/Goliath/Big Ben rig I called SWR and asked them about the crossover. The rig sounded better full range tha biamped. They told me they designed it to run full range and that the cross over and biamp features on the 900 where cheap to included and "added value" to the amp.

    Keep in mind you are really under powering the cab. Also not that your amp is 100 watts at 4 ohms. You'll loose some of that if you run at 8 ohms. Maybe as much as half. If you start hearing distortion in the head be extremely careful. You can damage the speaker and it will be A LOT more than $150 to replace.

    If it has a grey grill that's a OLD one, from when Steve Rabe still owned the company.
  7. David Jayne

    David Jayne

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    Brookfield, CT
    Why do you say this? No way he'll hurt Ben with that little amp. It's fine.
  8. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

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    Dec 5, 2012
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    Disclosures:
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    Bass speakers don't like the type of clipping that comes from a solid state power amp. It's harsh and can damage the voice coil.

    When tube amps overdrive they have a natural compression. Solid state doesn't do this.

    If you don't believe me that's fine. Knock yourself out and run it wide open. Not my money.
  9. David Jayne

    David Jayne

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    Urban myth. Simply not true. This can damage tweeters, but not woofers.
  10. Got2SadowskyNYC

    Got2SadowskyNYC

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
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    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Artist: Sadowsky, Bag End, Visual Sound, Pedaltrain, George L
    I've seen it happen. But hey, not my money.
  11. e_mann

    e_mann

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    The big ben is rated at 400 watts at 8 ohms, so I didn't want to throw my orange terror at it, which can do 500 watts at 8 ohms. Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing with my equipment.
  12. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    To answer the question, it should get pretty loud with that head. Not death metal loud, but decent. If it's not loud enough, you need a bigger head. I used to run mine with a GK800RB- plenty loud for most any situation.
  13. David Jayne

    David Jayne

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    Jan 16, 2006
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    No reason not to use the Terror with it -- just use common sense.
  14. MuthaFunk

    MuthaFunk

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    May 8, 2007
    Location:
    GTA Ontario Canada
    I often ran my Big Ben under my Baby Blue II 110 combo. The BBII is only 160W at 4 ohms so the Big Ben was seeing about 80W. It's a marvelous cab for small power as the surface area of that 18" speaker really capitalizes on what power you give it.

    I think you'll be very happy with it and @ $150 you can't go wrong.
  15. LiquidMidnight

    LiquidMidnight Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2000
    Threads like this is why I miss BillF.
  16. dincz

    dincz

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    You've seen a speaker fail. No-one will argue with that. Your inference about the cause is way off the mark.

    The important difference between a sine wave and a square wave of the same amplitude is that the square wave will supply twice as much power to the load. A bass signal is not a sine wave and a clipped signal only approaches square, but the same principle applies.

    Too much power damages speakers either through overheating or over-excursion - tweeters included. Speakers don't give a damn about the shape of the waveform.

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