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Ampeg Watts RMS Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Slpbass81, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Slpbass81


    Dec 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Endorsing: GHS Strings
    Hey Guys,

    I am about to pull the trigger on on of the cab choices below to go with my Ampeg SVT Classic Amp:

    1. two 210av cabs (combined it will be 4ohms @ 400 watts rms)

    2. one 212av cab (4ohms @ 600 watts rms)

    Here is my question. The svt classic puts out 300 watts rms but with tubes you can push them louder. Will the two 210av cabs be able to handle the SVT amp pumping hard? Would I get a better sound and be able to go louder with the 212av? I know four 10 inch speakers push more air than two 12s but can the two 12s handle more power?

    Hope this all makes sense. Thanks for any help.
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Two of the 212's would handle the "pushed" SVT. Otherwise, just remember, ANY amp is capable of blowing ANY cab. Use common sense, that amp can kick hard. That's why it's usually paired with an 810, or two.
  3. I wouldn't push a 300w tube amp into 2 of the 210AV's no how. Being careful with your eq & volume and it'd be cool. But no way I'd run the CL hard into 2. 4 x 210AV's yes.
  4. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    A 300w amp can put out 300w period. Watts are an electrical measurement unrelated to the amp producing---tube or solid-state.

    A tube amp may sound louder due to distortion, but that's sound, not wattage.

  5. He said louder.

    You said louder.

    I'm not sure what you are "correcting." :eyebrow:

    Also, the SVT specs 300 watts minimum continuous @<3% THD. How does one make it distort more if it isn't by pushing more than that 300w. Hmmmmm?
  6. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Absolutely and obviously not true.
  7. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    The rated power is measured at a specific level of distortion. If you can tolerate more distortion, you can get more than that - and that applies to both tube and solid state amps. Theoretically, the output power could approach double the rating.
  8. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles

    This is wrong. All of it. You don't understand the term RMS.
  9. To be fair "Watts are an electrical measurement unrelated to the amp producing---tube or solid-state" was actually correct. It's all the rest of it that was F'd up. :p
  10. Although I am enjoying the idea of trying to blow my 4x12 with my headphone amp. :D

    (this thread has a really unusually high percentage of disinformation)
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Here's the real poop...no, two 210av's will not handle a pushed SVT. Pushed V4B? Yes. SVT? No way.

    The 210av MAY handle a little bit of pushing, but I'd be wary of it and probably wouldn't do it.
  12. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Yeeeeeesh, tough crowd! :spit: ;):)

    Actually there's some truth here in this post, let's relax a bit and maybe we can all consider what is being said here about about watts. :)

    A watt is indeed a watt. Solid state or tube.

    A watt is indeed a measurement of power that is often not in direct correlation with volume (300 hundred watts into a 210 probably won't be louder than 200 watts into a 810 for example).

    A distorted signal DOES more often than not SEEM louder than a clean signal ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL. This is because a distorted signal contains more harmonics (LOTS more) and this can be perceived as a fuller sound. Consider that this distortion COULD be created by a pedal in front of the amplifier as opposed to increasing the power output of the amp and this statement becomes very plausible.

    I believe this post was an attempt to correct a potential "tube watt being more than solid state watt" assumption, and nothing wrong with that.

    However, as was also kinda sorta pointed out, the reason tube amps seem louder than equivalently rated solid state amps is because those wattage ratings are typically given at distortion free levels (however those levels can vary depending on the scrupulousness -there's a five dollar word- of the manufacturer, so buyer beware, apples and oranges and stuff, okay?)

    So yeah, turn up a tube amp past it's nominally rated wattage and it is often still musically pleasant and useful, but is often indeed putting out significantly more wattage than the sticker on the back says.

    Anyway JimmyM gave a good answer to the OP and so that's that. :bassist:
  13. teemuk


    Mar 1, 2011
    The rated power is often quoted at very low total harmonic distortion in signal. The only way to measure that distortion accurately is with a sinusoidal signal.

    Here's a little interactive representation: Draw a sinusoidal wave on paper and color the area inside the halfwaves. This colored area represents power produced by that sine wave. Waveform tops indicate magnitude of peak power but in average the power of that sinusoidal wave is exactly half of that peak power. This is the "RMS" rating, calculated from root mean square of voltage affecting across a known load.

    Now think of clipping. Draw a next but higher in amplitude sinusoidal wave on top of the other, but now simply draw everything flat at the point where the previous waveform peaked. Color the wave. See how the colored area has enlarged? That's an increase in power, however, do note that those flat portions you drawed at the top are distortion in signal and likely the low THD ratings used in quoting output power would have been already exceed at such level of distortion. But power increased. Now draw a square wave on top of everything and color it. That's the most extreme clipping distortion. Colored area, the power, has increased tremendously, in fact average power is now equal to peak power. Distortion is massive.

    About every amplifier will operate this way because they follow laws of basic waveform physics. When amplifier distorts by clipping (which is the most usual distortion method we encounter when amplifiers are operated at their extremes) the peak of the waveform is chopped off. In one extreme you have super clean sine wave with zero % of distortion, in another extreme a perfect square wave. Therefore you can roughly estimate that every amplifier is capable of outputting at least almost twice their rated power, at extremely overdriven settings. In practice, in such condition many amps sag so much in voltage that they land a little bit below that value while some rare ones may actually produce even a bit more power. But that was just a rough demonstration how these figures are derived.

    Tube? SS? At best that touches up the tiny little portion where clipping distortion begins. Hard clipping is sort of analogous to drawing a straight line at the top of the waveform where clipping occurs. In softer clipping you round that "knee" just a little bit. Usually the effect is barely audible in comparison to many other effects the amplifier may introduce to color the sound. In cases of musical instrument amplification, often deliberately.
  14. Slpbass81


    Dec 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Endorsing: GHS Strings
    Thanks for all the responses.

    So do you guys think it is a better idea to go with the 2x12 @600 watts rms that will give me more head room even though it is less speakers?
  15. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    I strongly disagree - it's not unusual at all :)
  16. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'd get 2 of the 2x12's myself. Of course, verify that matchup with JimmyM. When it comes to all things Ampeg, the man knows what he's talking about. This is not sarcasm.
  17. StraightSix


    Nov 23, 2011
    Go for one now and pick up another later to create a righteous monster ;)
  18. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Headphone amps aside, it is possible to blow spkrs in a cab rated higher than the amp pushing it. And, with excessive use of low eq, distortion pedals, and so forth, even more so.
    Any amp is capable of blowing Any cab.
  19. Empirical info: I use my SVT-CL with my SVT-410-HLF. The cab is rated for 500 watts. Although I have never turned both the gain and the master ALL the way up, I can say that the cab takes everything the amp can dish out. I'd say, assuming Ampeg rated the 212 the same way, it'd be fine. Why don't you just get a 4x10 anyway?
    Skinhorse likes this.
  20. Slpbass81


    Dec 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Endorsing: GHS Strings
    Weight is the main factor. But I just noticed a few sites have different weights listed for the 410-HLF. I thought it was 110lbs but it's show at 76lbs on one site and 88lbs on another. I wanted the 2x12 for the weight and portability.