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Can I run my Mesa D-180 into a 16 ohm cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by phishaholik, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I've never truly dug the preamp on my D-180 for bass, but it sounds great for guitar, especially with the cascading dual gain channels. I found a really good deal on a Marshall 4x12 locally, but its an older one without the switch to change impedence. My D-180 only has 4 ohm and 8 ohm outputs. Can I safely run this head into a 16 ohm cab?

  2. I am far from being expert here but I was under the impession that the danger in mismatching was when you go too low on the cab- for instance, using a pair of 4 ohm cabs(2 ohm total imp)w/a amp not rated for 2 ohms. Again- although I have a D-180, I just use the 8 ohm 1x15 that came w/it.
    +a bazillion on *good for guitar* :bassist:
  3. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks man. I know next to nothing about electrical issues. I'd really like to pick up this cab if it will work. Is it just me or does the D-180 have a very scooped tone? I max the mid knob and then usually bump the mids with the graphic eq to make it sound more mid present with bass. I was thinking about maybe running an alembic preamp and just using the D-180 as a power amp.

  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Two problems I see. #1, the D180 is a tube amp, so it doesn't matter if the cabs are too low or too high in impedence, they MUST match. Otherwise, the output transformer will be very unhappy, and eventually fry. And, #2, that Marshall cab is a GUITAR cab, so unless you're playing at very low volume, you'll blow the speakers out with a bass. Between the 2, I think you need to get yourself an 8 or 4 ohm BASS cab, and all will be well.
  5. Tube amp basics. Your load has to match the impedance selected on the amp. No 16Ω tap then no 16Ω cabinet should be connected to it.

    There's a thread on tube amp do's and don'ts. Do a search a read it.

  6. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Western NY
    You should be able to rewire it to be a 4 ohm cab.
  7. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Don't run that Boogie with any 16 ohm cab. With tube powered amps its important to follow the recommended ohm connections. It would be safer for the amp to mismatch to a numerically lower-ohm cab load, (like 2-ohm) than one thats higher like that 16 ohm cab.

    Vic's right, Most 16 ohm 4x12 cabs can be fairly easly rewired (all 16-ohm speakers wired in parallel) to become a true 4 ohm cab.

    If that older Marshall 4x12 has any variants of the GT-75 watt Celestion's, It'll probably survive a bit longer for bass duity than the lower rated vintage-30's or Greenbacks would, but your probably not going to get a whole lot of deep bass tone out of that enclosure either way. (I sure didnt with my GT-75/Marshall JCM-800 4x12 cab and my Mesa D-180 anyway)
  8. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    The OP is saying that he likes the D-180 as a guitar amp, not that he likes playing his bass through this rig.

  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Missed that, but it is a bass forum, so sometimes I forget we can play "other" instruments.
  10. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    As mentioned, it could work if rewired for 4 Ohm operation. It would be best to check the cab's wattage capability before buying. Like many tube guitar amps, the D180 sounds best when it's loud. The unique preamp operation does give you flexibility and allow you to get distortion at low volumes, but it's pretty lousy distortion at the lowest volumes, getting better as it gets louder.

    I love the sound it gets with the Master on 9 or slightly higher, preamp volumes around 3-4, but that's quite loud. I wouldn't be surprised if the amp's output was around 200 watts at that point. I know it was enough to blow my 300 watt 2X12, though to be fair one of the speakers was 10 years old (but had shown no signs of illness).

    I am speaking of using it as a guitar amp, with guitar cabinets and an actual (gasp) guitar. The thing sounds awesome but it's really painfully loud.

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