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1x12 wattage ratings

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VifferMike, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm wanting to obtain a 1x12 cabinet for rehearsals (since lugging around my 95-lb 4x10 isn't really feasable, ya know), but I'm having a hard time figuring out a couple of things.

    For instance: I have a Genz-Benz GBE600 head (425 watts at 4 ohms, 275 watts at 8 ohms) that could potentially clip and damage the majority of 8-ohm cabs that I'm interested in, since most are rated at 300 watts RMS and above. Adding to the problem is that the two 1x12 cabs that are available in 4-ohm versions (Avatar SB112, Schroeder Mini 12) are rated at 500 watts RMS, making them ALSO susceptible to clip damage with the GBE600.

    One 1x12 cab - the Eden D112XLT - is rated below the amp's 8-ohm power output (250 watts). Am I stuck having to pick up the Eden if I don't want to risk frying voice coils, or do I have other options? Or am I just worrying too much?
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Just be careful with your volume knob, maybe.
  3. if gbe600 is 275 watts at 8 ohms i fail to see a problem running with an 8 ohm cab that can handle 300+.
    i think youre looking at this backwards.
    the cab rating is a consertaive number of what the cab can handle, so a 8ohm cab that can handle 300 watts would take the 275, at 8 ohms, of the gbe fine...
  4. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I'm sure forum members are getting tired of hearing this by now, but what do I care. I ran a bridged PLX3002 into a single 112XLT for over a year with no problem. It also worked well into an Avatar 1x12. The moral of the story is this: You can run a 10,000 watt amplifier into a 300 watt cabinet if you use a little common sense. Most amp heads and power amps have knobs on the front, that's what they are for. ;)
  5. I don't see the problem using ANY of those cabs with that head. Pick whatever you like best.
  6. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    ... yeah, maybe I'm being a little obsessive here. But I don't want to damage my gear if I end up having to turn things up enough during rehearsals to flirt with clip-damaging an 8-ohm cab.

    I've read an account of someone with an EA CXL112 that developed a fried voice coil because the amp powering it was clipping at times. Then again, I want to power a cab with enough juice to drive it properly. Furthermore, I'm hesitant to buy a 4-ohm 1x12 because the resale value (based on demand) on one is probably quite a bit lower than an 8-ohm version of the same cab.

    I'm asking for options, fellow TBers, not criticism. Yes, I'll keep an eye on the volume knob ... but 275 watts ain't a ton of juice when trying to cut through a rock drummer and guitarist in a brick-lined, 15-by-20-foot basement.
  7. I'm sorry, but you have this completely wrong. You are NOT at more risk of clipping and damaging a speaker if it's rated higher. That's a misunderstanding. What determines whether you clip or not has NOTHING to do with the cab's rating. It has to do with how much power the amp has available, the cab's efficiency, how loud you want to play, and what kind of tone you're going for. Headroom is NOT determined by the ratio of the amp's power to the cab's power handling, it's determined by the ratio of the amp's max power to the percentage of that power you actually need to use to get the volume and tone you want.

    The fact that the Eden has a lower power rating confers absolutely no protection, in and of itself, against either clipping or speaker damage. It's irrelevant to clipping. And in fact, generally speaking, if two cabs have equivalent efficiency and frequency response, the one with the lower rating is MORE likely to get damaged, not less.

    This isn't criticism, but you can't make the right decision if you're working from incorrect assumptions.
  8. VifferMike

    VifferMike Registered Four Banger Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Dallas, Texas

    I understand your points, and they make me feel more comfortable. That's why I like this forum: so that electronically stunted folks like I can be nudged in the proper direction. Forums such as this contain loads of good info, but they also contain misinformation, too. That's what I am trying to purge: amy misinformation I may have concerning my search for a good and proper 1x12 cab to augment the flexibility of my rig.

    The EA CXL story (as well as a couple other similar ones) concerned me, since it went against what I previously understood in terms of amp power, cabinet power handling, loudness/efficiency, etc.
  9. That's cool. I'd recommend you do a search on clipping, and look particularly for posts by Mark Reccord and Bob Lee. Suffice it to say that clipping, per se, is not the problem, exactly. The shape of the wave, in and of itself, is likely not what killed that CXL.
  10. bassplayin


    Dec 5, 2005
    For rehearsals and small to med. room gigs, I run my Ashdown AMB500 (576 watts) into an Avatar NEO112 (300 watts rms) cab and have yet to hear the speaker fart out running the Ashdown at about 60% power. It's loud and thick- no problems hearing myself against a fairly loud drummer and two guitar players with super reverbs. BTW and FYI, I'm lovin' the Avatar NEO112 cab- super light weight and big tone.

    I'd say go for a 4ohm cab and don't sweat it.
  11. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Your only danger is going to be trying to push a single 12 to do more than it can do. An extra cab will give you more protection. If you hear your 12 starting to distort badly, turn down and watch you don't use too much bass boost.
  12. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
    My rule of thumb is: If the speaker sounds clean you're not likely to damage it. I so far had 2 problems with speakers, the one was a blown EV 15L pro that I think was a friend who borrowed it for a gig, the other one was a CXL112 that turned out was a faulty voice coil from Eminence.

    So far in my 20+ years of bass playing I yet have to blow a speaker due to my own fault.

    I have hooked up 400W amps to 200 W speakers, 100 W amps to 300 W speakers, 50 W amps to 300 W speakers, 800 W amps to 300 W speakers ........

    It all depends how you use it.

    BTW, 1x12" in a rock band is challenging, even with a CXL 112 (sometimes 2 CXL112 are pushing it, and the CXL 112 is probably the loudest 12" cab out there).

    In your situation I would get a 2x12" or a 15+2x10 setup, I have used my 15" + 2x10 for many years with a 400 W amp and NEVER had a power problem (15" EVL pro line + 2x10" Trace Elliot 2103X) .
  13. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    So, is leaving you gear setup an option? I always liked having several rigs, and just don't move them around. You can buy a huge old Peavey 18x20 or a 2x15 and just leave it parked if that will work in your space. There are plenty of good (but huge and heavy) cabs you can get used for cheap.
  14. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
  15. Giraffe

    Giraffe Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    San Diego, California
    That link is good stuff. I'm not sure how often most of us will encounter the "carefully monitored" category, but the other two categories give bright red lines to new bassists venturing into loud, live situations. All metal players should take the time to check out category three. I will be taking the time to bring it up with a lot of guitar players I know. Thanks, Wolf.
  16. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Unless we are talking about a manufacturers defect, you WILL hear your amp clip before you damage your speaker, if you are listening to what you are playing.

    It will be ugly.

    At that point, turn down, no matter what the rating of the speaker.

    (Yeah, if it's a 1,000,000w speaker with 300w clipping into it, it probably won't hurt it but better safe than sorry! Besides, a solid state amp clipping is ugly sounding.)


  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Lots of us at least think we do, actually.:cool: This has been discussed tons on Talkbass, by the way. There are some different takes even from JBL elsewhere on their site if you poke around enough too.

    I blew maybe a dozen speakers over the years until I starting mostly using the "double the RMS rating" rule for amp power. Since then? Goose egg! Could be coincidental, but I don't think that's entirely so. I don't make a religion out of following any rule at this point though. I'm just not real interested in playing all that loud most of the time anymore in any case.