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Amps Cabs Power and all the usual crap

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by theshadow2001, May 5, 2005.

  1. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Hey everyone.

    I want to upgrade to a new rig and i want a good loud amp (with a great sound) However due to transport difficulties(and for the lack of money)I want to get a head and a 4x10 cab and further down the road, if my band get a van and i get some more money into my pocket i would like to stick another 15 incher underneath it all

    My little peavey head is slowly killing my little peavey 2x10 cab from driving it way too much and I don't want to end up destroying my new cabs.(Im waiting for that cab to blow in a blaze of glory at one of my gigs :rolleyes: ) Also when i bought that setup i was lead to believe by the sales guy that i could add more speakers WRONG the impedance of the cab meant i couldnt add any more. This time i want to do everything right

    Now it seems to me that most heads are designed to be used with two cabinets and somtimes the RMS wattage is too large for any single cab and cabs are rated to low for the head and im a bit confused about the whole thing so maybe you guys could shed some light on the situation.

    Ok so here are some of the products im thinking of buying
    All watts are RMS values

    Gallien Kruger 1001RB-II

    The 1001RB-II is rated at 460 watts at 8 Ohms the nearest 4x10 cab that suit best would be the 410 SBX thats rated at 400 watts and 8 ohms impedance.

    The amp would be slightly over powering the cab but i think that it would be ok.

    The 1001RB is then rated 700 watts at 4 ohms. The 15" speaker: 115SBX is rated 400 watts and has an impedance of 8 ohms. If i were to use that with the 4x10 that would give a total cab wattage of 800 watts. Which would mean the amp is underpowering the cabs slightly.

    The next rig i was thinking of is:

    Ampeg SVT3 or SVT4 pro

    The SVT3 is rated at 275 watts at 8 Ohms now the closest 8 Ohm 4x10 cabinet to that would be the BSE-410HS this is rated at 400 watts so the head is way underpowering the speakers.

    The nearest suitable 15" cab is the BSE-115 or the SVT-115E both rated at 200 watts. The two cabs combined would give a total 600 watts but the SVT 3 is only rated at 475 watts @ 4ohms. Again this is underpowering the cabs alot

    The SVT4 is rated 300x2 watts or 900 monobrided @ 8 ohms
    Now I dont even know what that means. Does 300x2 watts mean that I would have 300 watts going to each cab (if there were two cabs hooked up) and 900 watts in total if the SVT4 is wired up someother way.Also would i only get 300 watts if i used only one cab. I dont even know what speaker arrangement would work for this amp. Most likely about 200 8x10's (give or take).

    The next amp would be the:

    Mesa Boogie M pulse 600 or the M pulse 360

    Now the M pulse 600 is rated at 600 watts (supprise supprise) it doesn't say but Im assuming that this is RMS at 4 ohms but i wouldnt be supprised if it was actually peak power. They don't say on their internet site.

    Anyways Mesa Boogie's cabs all seem to be rated at 600 watts and at 8ohm impedance. Im sure if plugged only one 8 ohm cab in to M pulse that the power would drop significantly and i would be under powering the speakers alot. If I plugged two cabs in I would still be underpowering the speakers. Giving 1200 watts of cabinets wired to a 600 watt head.

    SWR SM500

    SWR give recommended speaker enclosures using both 1 and two speaker enclosures so Im assuming the manufacturers aren't going to print something thats not going to work for their amps.

    So what do you think? Am I over thinking the situation a little or are most heads designed to go with two cabs. Does it even matter that there is a difference in wattages between the speakers and heads. Im really not 100% on the matter.

    To bottom line it I don't want my new rig to go the way of my peavey because of mismatching something or other :help:
  2. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    You might be thinking too hard....the cabinets are rated at the maximum that they will handle, the amps rated at the max they put out. usually you will not be driving either at max.
    any amp rated at 4 ohms when connected to a cabinet rated at 8 ohms will deliver approx half of its max assuming it is solid state.
    for ex. the 700 watt GK amp will have 350 watts available for the 8 ohm cabinet rated at 400 watts.
    that is fine ...it is a reasonable match.
    decide on the sound you like and the budget you can afford and the transport you have available and then allow for adding more cabinets if you decide you need them, you may not need/want the additional cabinets. If you pick a high power amp at 4 ohms and buy an 8 ohm cabinet and you can safely add another 8 ohm cabinet later.
  3. I would also consider this:


    I own the head, and it's very good. That particular cab is too big for me (I'm a middle-aged guy in a walk-up apartment with skinny stairs who never plays really loud). However, it's a good cab IMO--I tested it out in CA last week. And the combo price is really pretty good. plus you can easily add another cab.

    And just remember, there is NO such thing as underpowering speakers. See the numerous threads on the topic. What you need to be concerned with is (1) having an amp with more than enough power to get the volume and tone you want and (2) having speakers that can handle *at least* the amount of power you're likely to throw at them on anything like a continuous basis. Additional power handling on the part of the cab is never a bad thing in itself. Any power-related problem you might have with a 475 W amp into a 600 W cab would be *worse* with the same amp into a 300 W cab of equal efficiency.
  4. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    If you use the SVT-4PRO in "monobridge" mode, you get 1200W @4 ohms, 900W @8 ohms, or probably around 500W @16.

    No difference regardless of how many speakers are required to get whichever impedance you choose, it is the total impedance that matters.

    The isn't a lot of point to using the SVT-4PRO with one speaker on one channel. Might as well use it in mono bridge, unless it is a very low-power speaker.

    BTW, it works nicely with 1 standard 8-10 cab..no need for 200 of them.....

    Ther "sort of" is such a thing as "underpowering" speakers. That is where you have insufficient power to get them to reach their characteristic sound....which is often a case of distortion of some more musical sort caused by higher power input and more cone movement.

    Often described as getting the speakers to "open up", or "come alive", etc.

    Doesn't hurt the speakers to "underpower" this way, but you don't get what you may be expecting.
  5. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all your input I do appreciate it.

    Richard I'd love to try out that carvin stuff but I live in Ireland which means not only do you get ripped off when you buy equipment but you've got absoloutley no selection to choose from. In fact its probably best to get a cheap flight over to England to go and try out equipment. Unfortunatley im to busy for the kind of thing.Anyways thats all beside the point.

    What you're saying about no underpowering of speakers makes sense but Im just going to stick a quote in from the SWR site in terms of underpowering cabs just to see what you guys make of it

    Q: I have been told that it is better to overpower rather than underpower my speaker enclosure(s). Is there any truth to this?

    A: Although this idea has been steadily gaining in popularity, we do not recommend applying more power to your speaker system than it is designed to accept. Exceeding the power handling capacity of your speaker enclosure is considered misuse and can render your warranty null and void in the event any damage occurs to your loudspeakers.

    That said, underpowering your speaker system by too great a margin can be dangerous as well. Constant clipping of the power section of even a 100 watt amplifier (in the quest for greater apparent volume than the amplifier can effectively produce) can damage speakers rated to handle much greater wattage. "Clipping" is the distorted signal generated by an amplifier that is being operated over its capabilities and describes the actual "cutting off" of signal peaks of an electrical signal at the amplifier's power limit. This is the sound often heard when a system is played too loud and the sound starts to "break up." Clipping distortion is the most common source of speaker damage, due to the near DC content present in a clipped waveform. Those unaware of this fact may assume that they can turn their volume control up to maximum because their speaker system is rated to handle significantly greater wattage than their amplifier is rated to deliver. As explained above, this is simply not the case and should be avoided.

    The best overall solution is to assemble a system of components that are equally or closely matched in terms of power rating/handling. For example, an amplifier with a power output of 500 Watts RMS at 4 ohms connected to two 8 ohm speaker enclosures with a power handling capacity of 250 Watts RMS each would be considered a well matched and recommended system.

    I really dont trust myself not to push my amp to the last. I've done it enough times already. In fact its that quote that got me on to the whole topic of matching power. I reckon the guys at SWR must no one or two things about amps
  6. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Without any info other than this, I am guessing that your 210 is the problem. Not efficient enough, and not enough cone surface to move air. Before the head, since you cite money challenges, I'd concentrate on getting an efficient 8ohm cab, either 410 or 212. Drive it with the Peavey and see if it does the trick. Then, if the PV needs enhancement, go for more wattage.

    Like they said, there is no such thing as "RMS wattage is too large for any single cab and cabs are rated to low for the head." The SWR QandA do address "applying more power to your speaker system than it is designed to accept" which is a behavioral issue, and constant clipping, even under the maximum power handling, which is also a behavioral issue. No amount of matching specs will keep a bass player from being an idiot. Keep in mind that SWR wants to sell you the maximum equipment you can afford, and like any good business will not advocate actions not consistent with this goal.
  7. Don't think I'm brushing you off, but this has been discussed a great deal on this forum. If you want to follow it up, you might search on "underpower " clip," and similar terms. Look particularly for posts by Mark Reccord and Bob Lee, who have provided very clear explanations of this stuff.

    I'd say that not everything the SWR site said was exactly correct. Overdriving a relatively small amp simply is not this monster thing that kills speakers *all by itself*. It can, under some conditions, but not all. You can overdrive the crap out of a 100 W amp, and it's not gonna do anything to a 1000 W subwoofer (though it certainly might fry a 75 W tweeter). Yes, it's possible to damage a 150 W cab by overdriving a 100 W amp into it, but if you were pushing that amp hard enough to damage that cab, imagine how much *more* damage you'd be doing if the cab had even *less* power handling capacity, like 75 or 100 W. And if you're *not* overdriving your amp and have ample power in reserve, how can having extra power handling in the cab be harmful?
  8. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Agreed on the whole "overthinking it too much" comment. The power need not be so SUPER matched to the cabinet. Yeah, it's great when it matches, and it's not that bad to underpower a cab to a certain degree, but great things can be had by feeding a cab a bit more than what it is rated for! Just ask most anyone with a QSC PLX-anything.

    Your initial comment on your little peavey amp slowly killing your little peavey 2x10 is interesting. First, I really doubt that would happen. If the peavey amp is as little as you say it is, I'd probably guess it would have to be serving 500w or higher at full blast and you digging in real hard for it to blow up. And 500w+ ain't no little amp, IMO. I just think you are getting the most out of your current rig and have outgrown it volume-wise if you are maxxing it out.

    Second, I take it then that your Peavey 2x10 is 4 ohms? Which Peavey amp exactly do you have, if you don't mind me asking? If the cab is 4ohms and the amp doesn't do 2 ohms, that sucks that the sales-guy told you that. But all crooks aside, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for one second and wonder why he said that. Specs of your Peavey rig please! :)

    I guess I'm inquiring because maybe you can do a bit more with your Peavey rig in the meantime while you decide on an amp.

    Oh, and btw, that Mesa mPulse 600 is a VERY loud 600 watts. And I've fed that SVT-4pro's 1200w @ 4ohms into a 300w 2x10 Ampeg cab among other things, and it was ALL good :D . Oh, and I recently tried a GK and was very pleasantly surprised how much I dug it. Though it would sound the most different from the Mesa and Ampeg.

    Best of luck...
  9. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Ok this is becoming overwhelmingly obvious that i cant under power a speaker. Thanks to everyone though because it means one less thing to worry about.

    7 flat 5 your right about the speaker cab being too small. Thats definite I've thought about just getting some new speakers for the thing but I just don't think the sound of the amp is great. Especially since my band has one guitarist.

    I think when theres only one guitar in a band the bass sound has to be alot better than what you can get away with when there is a rythm guitar helping out the back line. The people are going to notice the bass alot more. You really just need a big sound (I dont just mean loud when i say big)

    So I decided to go with a new rig completley.

    I use a peavey 210TVX and a Peavey max 160 and just looking at the specs there the 2x10 cab is rated at 175 watts RMS whilst the amp is 160 and I still managed to screw it up. (it makes a distorted sound on low frequencies at a relativley low volume) Although I have done gigs over the years with the limter light on for most of it which willl probably do the job.

    Oh and the sales man just wanted that peavey to get out of the shop so im sure he'd tell me anything i wanted to hear. It was a floor model. I got a bit of discount on it which was sound enough but when I went in a while later after i bought it they had a newer and bigger peavey in there. So he probably just wanted to get rid of that before bringing out the better stuff.

    I guess the moral of the story is don't clip your amp and everything will be alright. And yes this probably has been all discussed before but i needed a bit more of an active discussion plus Im spending about 2000 to 2500 euros on this new rig so i really want to be really really sure of everything before I let go of this sort of money(no really i do). I hope you understand
  10. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sorry about the dying Peavey rig. At least you weren't digging it anymore anyway and wanted to move up and "bigger".

    I'm not too good on the whole Euro conversion tip, but isn't that like US$2,500-$3,200?! WOW, you're gonna have such a nice rig it's gonna make me :crying:

    Good for you! Umm, then again, I know how prices are different in different countries so yeah, I think I know why that large chunk of change has been set aside.

    Well, my vote goes for either the GK-1001 or the Mesa m-Pulse 600, out of the heads you selected. The SVT-4pro is also a great rock amp. I don't think you would be unhappy with any of those. Just depends on the preferred sound. Dont have much experience with the SWR. I say play those amps if you can and see which ones make you smile the most. It's a very technical test... :D

  11. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Yes, and if you have already decided to spend a pile of the Continental Currency on new stuff, that's OK. But, a BIG SOUND is not gonna come out of that 210 no matter what you drive it with. A very efficient 410 or 212 will make a big sound even if driven by 160 (unclipped :) )watts. Borrow something. Try it before you spend 1000 Euros for a head you might not need until you get the second cab you are planning for. I know a few very particular people who think very highly of the Peavey amps, even the smaller ones. It's the same preamp that is in the Firebass--do a search. You don't know how that amp sounds until you get rid of your poor downtrodden 210 and replace it with a big efficient cab with serious bass capability. That's all I am encouraging you to consider.
  12. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    You may very well be right 7flat5 but my drummer has story where the bass player from his old band used to pick up a cheap this and a great that then play with it for a while sell it off and then try something else and sell that off and he was always switching gear. The drummer said "Paul if you buy the best your not going to buy again" Thats what he did (ironically he ended up with a big old peavey but we wont mind that)

    Im also tending to agree with him if I buy the best now I wont have to buy again. Don't get me wrong peaveys are great amps and yes im most likley not getting the best sound from the amp but I think there are better sounds out there than the one I have with the peavey.I've heard other guys use SWRs and Ampegs and Trace Elliots and thought man thats a great sound (better than mine) One of the best sounds I've heard came from an Ampeg(unfortunatley i dont know what model all i remember was: my god thats sweet) and a modified vintage precision bass

    Also the bassist who bought that peavey rig heard a GK rig and said it was the best Bass sound he'd heard! You see what I mean? He'd probably love to own a GK rig after hearing one.

    So I want to go about this methodically unlike the last time I bought and made a rush decision. I want to go out hear and these amps. Then compare and think about what I like about them. Then buy the one in my opinion thats the best. When it comes to upgrading it will only mean ill have to buy another speaker cab and not have to go through all the crap of researching comparing and whatever because I know i have the best sound available to me

    Oh and by the way transverz 2500 euros will only get you a musicman sterling in Ireland! But i saved 800 euros by buying mine in Northern Ireland. Which is where im hoping to buy my new rig too.

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