Can i use a low power amp with a much higher rated cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sir Bassington, Oct 31, 2015.


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  1. Hello this is a noob question, but i am a noob.

    There is a Hartke 4x10 hydrive 1000w at 8ohms for sale near me for a great price and i intend to buy it. I will also need to buy a head, the biggest i can afford is the Hartke HA2500 which is 250w at 4 ohm and 175w at 8 ohm, the cab is 8 ohm. Will it be ok to use this relatively small amp with such a beast of a cabinet or will the amp not supply enough output for the speakers to work properly? probably wont be using all of the volume for what i will use it for maybe volume 2,3,4/10. i have read multiple posts around on the web and they all contradict so im looking for a tech guru to give me the definitive answer

    Any help is greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Ah, the old under powering speakers fallacy that refuses to die. You'll be fine.
     
  3. Thanks for your help, looks like new rig for me :D
     
  4. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Yah - I have to buy a new 'fridge every time I rehearse with my 30w Ashdown CTM-30 (NOT ;) !)
     
  5. The Regulator

    The Regulator

    Aug 10, 2005
    For a few more bucks you can double your wattage with a Hartke LH500.
     
    spaz21387, leonard and jmbjandfam like this.
  6. Tech here! Guru? Eh!
    Philonius, nailed the answer. I second it.
    Think about it like this...
    Lets say you have a combo amp.
    Clearly the amp is matched to the speaker.
    The amp's volume knob goes from zero to 10.
    When you turn the amp up from zero to say around 1/2, halfway up to 1, you are essentially underpowering the speaker significantly. But it works just fine. Right?
    800 watt speaker cab and a 10 watt amp... No problem.
    The spec's for speaker wattage are max watts you should use.
    200 watt speaker cab... 100 watt amp... No problem.
    50 watt speaker... 100 watt amp... BE CAREFULL... Don't turn the amp up very much and do not assume a volume level of 5 is 50 watts on a 100 watt amp.
    Hopefully this dispels the old myth.
     
    dalahorse and BassGreaser like this.
  7. It is only £25 more and i would get twice the power :laugh: but it doesn't have all the bells and whistles such as the 10 band EQ ,compression, low and high pass and pre amp types. Guess i have to chose between Powerful and simple or meh power and loads of functions?
     
  8. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    No worries about the power ratings. Hartke seems to have gone sketchy on specs so no way of knowing the sensitivity of the cab. You may have enough power to reach the volume levels you need. Without the sensitivity specs, no way to know before trying if the cab uses the input power "wisely" or "wastefully". Fortunately these days output power is cheap and amp heads are a lot less expensive to ship than speaker cabs.
     
  9. Welcome to Talkbass.
    That was not so bad, was it? :smug:
    No question is to stupid, so do not be shy to ask if you cannot find the answer. Better then blowing something up.
    Stick around and have some fun. We need pictures of the rig when you get it.
     
    Alik and pie_man_25 like this.
  10. dincz

    dincz

    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Ah, an optimist!
     
    Bob Lee (QSC), MVE, SirMjac28 and 2 others like this.
  11. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    the LH500 has less features, but it has really great tone. on the other hand, it weighs a bunch due to the tube in the preamp.
     
  12. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    OP, I second the welcome but would add that you should fill out you location. This helps us to offer more accurate advice as some of the stuff available to us here in the Americas may not be so in the UK.

    OP designates either Original Post/Poster. :)
     
    SirMjac28, pie_man_25 and B-string like this.
  13. No problems using that amp with that cabinet. It will work great.
     
    SunnBass likes this.
  14. Honestly, other than the low and high pass I don't think I'd use many of those features. In-amp compressors are rarely very good AFAIK, and graphic eqs - while easy to use- tend to not give that much flexibility. The only time I use them is to cut the treble at 15khz, and bass at 40hz, when I work on any sort of PA system.
     
  15. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!

    I use an Ashdown LB30 with a really strong EA cab all the time.
     
  16. PeteBass51

    PeteBass51

    Nov 3, 2013
    ROCKFORD MI
    I've done plenty of gigs with an Ampeg 410 and a Silvertone 150. Sounds really good!
     
  17. The Regulator

    The Regulator

    Aug 10, 2005
    If that is what you prefer then go for it. For some folks like myself simpler is better.

    It's only 3.5 lbs heavier than the HA2500.
     
    spaz21387 likes this.
  18. Of course you can use it!

    Welcome to TB land.
     
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I do it every day. 18 watt tube amp into a 400 watt 8 Ohm cabinet. I also run a 200 watt SS amp to the same cabinet, but that equates to about 140 watts, since the cabinet is 8 Ohms.
     
  20. Artobass

    Artobass

    Jan 21, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    Welcome to Talkbass. I run a 100 watt amp into either a 600 watt or 1000 watt cab all the time with excellent results. You'll be fine.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

     
    Jun 17, 2021

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