1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

can any bass cabinet, and head go together

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by adam_hutton, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. adam_hutton


    Jan 8, 2015
    I broke the head of my Ashdown stack. The cabinets are fine, so do I need to buy the same amp head. Or can I just buy any

    Apologies for the Noob question
  2. If you have a 1000 watt head going into a cabinet rated at 250 watts, they will come to a violent end.

    If you put a head rated at 8 ohms into two four ohm cabs, it will come to a violent end.

    There are many others ways to bring your rig to a violent end. I would do some research. Start with the FAQ of this forum.
    Winoman and Fenris wolf like this.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I better tell that to one of my rig then. 3000 watts going into a 700w cab.

    Volume knobs.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Buy any head you want, but be sure you have enough power to take full advantage of your cabinets. For example, a (hypothetical) 100 watt head will sound fine though two fEARful 15/6/1 cabs, but it can't use the power handling and thus potential volume of the speaker cabinets—which can handle ~10 times the power.
    iualum likes this.
  5. Sorry if me helping a guy out who is clearly inexperienced and has already broken a head by telling him the safe way to run a rig rubbed you the wrong way...
  6. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    The cabs are fine. You can buy any amp within the spec'd power rating & impedance output.
    You can even replace the speakers for heavier duty
    if you want to use a more powerful amp head.
  7. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Maybe it fell and broke! :)
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    No reason to be offended, I'm not.

    What you said is a very common misconception that I was clearing up.
  9. I am going to assume your Ashdown cabs are two 8ohm cabs. If that's the case you can use just about any head in the whole wide world. Just use it wisely. If you get an amp with ridiculous power ratings make sure you don't turn it up so loud you blow the cabs. If you get an amp with lower power ratings make sure you don't crank it so much it smokes the amp.

    BTW, how did you break your amp? Did it involve an ex girlfriend and alcohol or was it simpler? Are you sure it isn't salvageable; are you sure that you aren't going to do the same thing with your next head?
  10. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Lol @ "volume knobs."

    Op- after verifying watt+ohm matching, sound test any heads that you're considering. I have a amp that sounds beautiful with its intended cab, and I have another cab that is watts+ohms appropriate that sounded amazing with the custom head they had at the shop, but together amp 1 and cab 2 don't sound all that fantastic.
  11. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    There is no statement, no matter how innocuous, that someone won't argue with. I gave up trying to nuance my posts. No matter how careful you are with your wording, someone will always think up the exception just to be able to tell you that you are wrong. Telling a noob that you can run a 1000 watt head into a 250 watt cabinet may be right, but it's probably not a good idea.
    agedhorse, Zoa, topcat2069 and 8 others like this.
  12. This often serves no real benefit.
    agedhorse, rodl2005 and mbelue like this.
  13. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    I pulled the stock 15" fart tone driver out of my Univox UB-250 cab and installed an Altec Lansing white frame 15"
    Handled my SVT fine for rehearsal and lazy gigs.

    Depends on what you're putting into the cab for an amp.
  14. No........you just got lucky.

    Cabs are more then "speakers in a box", and require proper engineering to perform well. Many times, just throwing new speakers in a box results in worse performance, and can even damage the drivers.
    mbelue and CL400Peavey like this.
  15. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2013
    Whitby Ontario
    Well, just because you can, doesn't always mean you should....overpowered cabs can blow up, and even if the power handling is fine, really should try it to see if it gives you the sound you are looking for.
  16. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    I was taking it easy on that little 15" practice cab. It was fine for the intended purpose.

    What's the power handling on the Ashdown cab, anyway?

    Something cool you can do is patch in the speaker leads off of a Fender Twin into your bass
    cab and tah dah, Bassman 100 with reverb and tremolo.
  17. strictlybass_ic

    strictlybass_ic Mediocrity is a journey

    Jan 9, 2014
    Northern Indiana
    Long answer "yes with an IF", equally long answer "NO with a but".

    In very general terms yes, the things to watch out for are impedance and wattage ratings. Impedance is pretty hard and fast rule, wattage more of a guideline. And as always, use your ears and that grey stuff between them. If it sounds bad, it likely is bad.

    If you can post the model of your cab specifically we can highlight the details you need to look for in your shopping trip.
    DavC and buldog5151bass like this.
  18. OP had a complete bass stack which now has a fried head. He's asking if he has to replace everything or if he can just buy another head. Stay focused here guys. ;)

    OP - yes, most likely you can use almost any head with your cabs. Knowing the specs of your cabs would help with any recommendations for a head to "match".

    Generally a bass amp (head) will have an output power rating and a minimum ohm requirement. Tube amps get very particular with the ohm requirement. Solid state (which most bass amps are, especially in the more affordable price ranges) typically only have a minimum requirement which is typically 4 ohms. So if your two cabs are both 8 ohms, you shouldn't have a problem (4 ohm together).

    Wattage is something people will argue about till they are blue in the face. If your head has more output power than your cabs can handle, then you can use the head but can't fully crank it. And even turning the volume up half way doesn't mean you are only getting half the wattage, so you gotta be careful.

    Typically you'd want the amp's power to match closely to the cab's. "closely" is subjective though as some people like the cab to handle twice the wattage that the head puts out. Others don't mind running a cab that can't fully take all the power and just keep an ear out for any complaints from the cab before a speaker is blown.
    defB, MattZilla and lfmn16 like this.
  19. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    You can replace the head with something different. It does not have to be exactly the same thing. BUT...

    #1. Make sure the head doesn't overpower the cabs. If the cabs are rated at say a combined 500 watts, don't try driving it with a 1K watt head.
    #2. Impedance is important. Don't go under, or over with your total impedance. Say your head is a solid state head rated at 4 ohms, but your cabs are 4 ohms each, you can only run one cab, and you are back to the wattage thing again... Look up the sticky thread on cabs and ohms in the amps section. I understand it, but don't know how to explain it...
  20. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    figure out the wattage and impedance (ohm rating) of your cabs, add the wattage together and divide the impedance by how many cabs you have:
    Two 250w 8ohm cabs means you want a head rated at 500w at 4ohms.

    if you plan to get bigger cabs in the future, you can get a head with a higher watt rating now, just make sure the impedance is right (4ohms in the example above) and watch the volume knob (a head rated for more power than your speakers can handle has the potential to blow them if you crank it).
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.