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50 watt Marshall into Mesa 4x10...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lefty_400, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. lefty_400


    May 18, 2005
    I have a 50 watt Marshall (loaded with 6550s). What are the issues of running this amp into my Mesa 4x10? I realize that headroom will be low, etc.

    Tonal issues aside, is there any chance this will damage my speakers, particularly if I dime the amp, distorting the sound? That being said, how about at lower to mid-level volumes?

    I have read about the issues of using lower powered solidstate amps and the dangers of 'underpowering' speaker cabs (clipping and so forth). Does this apply to lower powered tube amps as well?

    I definitely don't want to go speaker shopping this weekend!

  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    There will be pretty much no risk of damaging the cab at all; the only thing i'd worry about is the tweeter. I'd just turn the tweeter off, and crank that sucker!

    Oh, and there's no such thing as "underpowering!"
  3. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I gigged a Marshall JMP-50 (mod 1987) with a SWR big ben, (18" cab) in a medium volume rock band with very good results.

    My master-volume amp seemed to work best with conservitive bass and volume knob settings, and all others dimed.
    The bass guitar seemed to make my amp break-up much sooner, and boosting lows ate up to much headroom.

    I sometimes used a 4x10 bass cab, and had no problems with any of my speakers.

    I liked this rig so much that I modded my big tube amp to have a 50w setting, Sometimes a 50w tube bass amp is the perfect size.

    If your band plays loud, you might think about elevating your cab.
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I use a 60 watt sunn head which breaks up somewhat early, but I find that the more you turn up, the more you need to turn your bass down, unless you're going for a fart tone.
  5. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Actually there is. It's called "clipping." This is how you blow speakers. If you max out that amp you will clip, you will send very hot signals to the cab and you will possibly damage it. That being said, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

    Have a nice day.
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    That is total B.S. Clipping amps does not kill speakers. I clip my amps all the time, and have not blown any speakers (except for these CTS Square magnet speakers, but they were crap anyways). You can't blow a 600 or so watt cab with a 50 watt amp.
  7. lefty_400


    May 18, 2005
    I was generally under the impression that tube clipping going to the speakers was ok, while solidstate clipping was damaging to speakers...Just not sure enough to put my speakers on the line without consulting here first...:D

    Can someone clear this matter up? The technical explanations behind all this would be interesting as well...
  8. I should start an organization called Speaker Blowers Anonymous. I have blown literally dozens of speakers. There was a time when nobody in the bay area would loan me a bass amp or speaker for fear of the damage I would inflict. It got bad after a while because I couldnt afford to keep myself in speakers so I had to use outlandish things like Yamaha PA speakers and a Peavey PA head to play!
    I finally went to audio engineering school and graduated in about 92, just to find out how not to keep blowing speakers.

    Oh, and there's no such thing as "underpowering!"

    When you are using a power amp beyond its limts it will not be able to reproduce the signal that is fed to it. It will clip the top of the signal off. On a solid state amp this produces an almost perfectly square wave form, because the solid state ouput is so precise, even under duress. A tube amps output because of several factors such as the transformer on the output will round the edges of the clipped output. So it is not a perfectly square wave but a more slope shouldered version of a square wave.
    Why is this important? Because when a speaker is presented with a square wave it is basically being asked to go from positive excursion to negative excursion(incursion?) instantly. When this happens with a bass waveform you will see the speaker kick or pop. Normal woofer behavior is to vibrate, not "kick". When you see this happen you are abusing your amp, and starting to burn your voice coil. With a tube amp you are pretty much not able to drive it in to square wave distortion in such a way as to produce this effect. The more you drive it the more harmonics it will produce and the more sloped the wave will get until you have pretty much white noise (or brown or pink...). I stopped blowing speakers when I switched to tube amps. And I like the extra harmonics!
    So short answer yes, especially with the Marshall. They used to make a great amp called the super bass or whatever that basically had a bigger tranny and no reverb. It is coveted by guitarists (and some bassists to this day).

    Also if its good enough for Rob Wright of Nomeansno, who are we to question? Crank it up!
  9. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I'll let somebody else with more experience & knowledge than me refute this. :p

    Mark Reccord? Jerrold? :help:

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