Big Newb Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by incognito89x, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    OK. Since I started coming here i've learned about 5X as much as I knew about basses before. I think I should learn a little bit about amps now.

    Can Someone explain what each amp does for what?

    I know Combo's (of course, simple) but the rest I haven't learned much about.

    From what I think I know, you need a Head and a Cab. What exactly does each do? Is there any limits on one that limits what you should get for the other? Any good combiniations of wattage? Should one have a higher watt output than the other?

    Sorry for being such a newb
    :rolleyes: But I think it'd probably be worthwile to know this stuff before I make any rash descisions. :p

    Thanks, and sorry if this has been posted somewhere.
  2. LowEndRider

    LowEndRider Guest

    Mar 4, 2002
    Always good to have a Cab with higher rating than the amp to avoid UNWANTED distortion.
    If you can swing it a 800W Cab with a 400W-600W head will be enough to shut the guitarists up.
    Depending on your ears you can opt for 4 x 10", 2 x 15" or CW 2 x 18" you must be insane cabs.
    Make a note of the Impedance of the amp and cab.
    200W at 8 ohms is not the same as 200W at
    4 ohms. (the lower the resistance the louder the sound).

    For small gigs a 200W Cab with 100W Mosfet amp will be enough to upset the manager.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The function of an amplifier head is to power the cabinet. The head consists of two main components, the pre-amp, and the power amp. The pre-amp increases the gain(or level of the signal), and has all of the tone controls(bass, middle, treble, etc.), as well as a few effects depending on the amp(compressor/limiter). The power amp amplifies the signal, increasing the power from several, to several hundred watts(depending on the head of course).
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Get an amp that has more power than the speakers are rated.
  5. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Just dont push it at full power into those speakers!

    Its good to have a more powerful head since you will experience major distortion once you turn it up past half way.

    As long as the cab can handle about 75% the total power of the head and you dont crank the head, you are cool.

  6. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Thanks. I know about not blasting the amp to full volume and how to keep from blowing out the speakers. Just trying to get some info for the future about what I should do for a Cab/Head when I get the money. (My 100 Watt combo is plenty for now at my house)

    Thanks again for the help so far :)
  7. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    It's always good to have a powerful head, but the "12 o'clock rule" does not apply to all amps. For example, my Hartke combo will start to clip with a typical bass signal before 1/2 volume, but with my Carvin head it still doesn't distort at 100% volume (I assume if the EQ was boosted it would clip eventually) If someone was to try my amp out using the halfway rule he wouldn't think my amp was powerful at all, but it's really because it doesn't have as much gain in the post-preamp stage as most amps.
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I agree.

    I made a generalization with that statement.

    My Hertke head starts to distort before being turned up half way, but I get alot of volume out of it anyways, and my Nemesis combo doenst distort much even when cranked, but it usually needs to be turned up alot before I get a decent signal.

    They both serve me well considering the overall volume to distortion ratio, despite the difference in how high I turn the knob.