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Bass Amp Wattage vs Cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kaillou, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Kaillou


    Jul 23, 2019
    Should an amp have the same wattage as the cab? Or more or less? Obviously there are many threads on this topic but there are conflicting answers. Some say they have more powerful heads running into cabs with less watts, while others say this will damage your speakers. Which is true and why? Would it be safe for me to buy a 500 watt 4 ohm head to run into a 500 watt 8 ohm cabinet?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  2. If you are looking for a simple, pat answer, there isn’t one. At least, there isn’t one from people who know what they’re doing. Others will say it’s OK to do anything that you like with no consequences. Any working amp tech will vouch that they’re wrong.

    A broad strokes rule is that your speaker cab should be rated at least as high as your amplifier’s rated output. A 500 watt-rated amp plugged into a 500 watt-rated speaker is generally good but if you crank the amp you will still risk damage, more often to the speaker than to the amp. A 500 watt-rated amp plugged into a 300 watt-rated speaker is generally a not-good proposition. It can be done safely with understanding and good judgement but as an electrical engineer I will advise that you DO NOT DO THAT! Visit this sticky thread and read, read, read.

    “Would it be safe for me to buy a 500 watt 4 ohm cab to run into a 500 watt 8 ohm cabinet?”
    Neither you nor I understand what you’ve written here. Again, the thread I linked above is valuable.
    seamonkey likes this.
  3. Kaillou


    Jul 23, 2019
    Haha that was a type o. I fixed it tho
  4. OK that combination should be good to go unless the manufacturer of the head tells you otherwise in the owner manual. It’ll be less than 500 watts maximum output but I defy you to discern a difference in performance.
    Kaillou likes this.
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    To be safe, buy the cab and head from the same manufacturer and follow their recommendations.

    "Some" heads don't handle 8-ohm loads.
    Read the manual, talk to the manufacturer especially if you plan to add another cab in the future.
    Kaillou likes this.
  6. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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