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Can You Damage A Cab By Underpowering It: The Poll!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by agreatheight, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Maybe

  4. Carrot Power

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  1. No, discussion please. Just vote! :D
  2. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Where's the "use the search function as this has been explained a bizillion times" button. That's what I'd like to vote for personally.
  3. chaotick


    Aug 15, 2006
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    I voted "No" only because you can't vote for

  4. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I voted no, but if you drive an amp into clipping then it can generate huge peaks that can be several times what the normal wattage of the amp is rated, overpowering the cab. And amps with lower power clip at a lower volume, so in that sense you can damage an amp by underpowering it.
  5. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Absolutely yes....it was really cool when I blew, all at once...a 15" pa speaker (1000w peak) with 250 watts, and at the same time cooked both sub drivers in a dual 12" sub, rated at 600rms...and I did it with 175 watts. Fun stuff I tell ya.... Not hard to do when you're pushing low power amps into basically continous clipping. Lesson learned the hard way.
  6. No, discussion please. Just vote.
  7. CentralCoastBass

    CentralCoastBass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    isn't this TALKbass???
  8. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    You realize that without discussion this poll will be buried and gone fairly quickly right?
  9. voted "yes" meant no


    if ur amp is clipping ur overpowering ur amp, not ur speakers. ud blow less powerfull speakers with a clipped amp even if the power matching was identical
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I like how we're handed a subject so inherently debatable and asked to give a non-qualified yes or no. Are stubborn oxes with one answer fixed in their brain inhibited from voting? No? Even if they don't really know anything other than what they read in a forum, or at best what they think happened to them one time?
  11. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    carrots folks.... carrots.
  12. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I understand your emotion but it wasn't under-powering that blew the drivers; rather it was trying to get more performance from the power available than it was capable of delivering.

    Leaving the dog in the house doesn't make it poop there, but trying to get more mileage out of your dog's ability to hold it can cause problems which can be paying attention to performance parameters; ie. not going beyond it's limits and letting it out daily.

    Likewise, powering speakers with less power than they're rated for simply requires the same attention you'd give the same speakers if they had more power going to them than they were rated for; don't drive beyond clipping levels.

    Just say "No". ;)
  13. There is absolutely no debate on this topic when it is properly defined and discussed, as it has been before. Vote all you want but without any meaningfull, well-defined discussion (of which there has been plenty that went largely ignored) it won't reach any end.
  14. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Definitely the most "carroty" (carrotish?) poll I've participated in here at TB.
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I can more-or-less agree with this statement given the qualifier "properly defined". But I have read every thread on this subject that I have noticed over the last year, and there has been plenty of debate on all sides, including from several people with impressive qualifications. So the subject is observably debatable. Now, if you choose a set of definitions, and everyone agrees with those definitions, and you are able to use the scientific method to prove a conclusion, then great. That is one un-debatable scientifically proven mofo. But if Joe Basschvitzer buys a rig without having an EE degree, and he comes onto TB to find the answer, he will find plenty of debate.

    Anyway, I feel that I have gathered a lot of useful information by reading all of those previous threads, and they have given me the impression that the factors are so specific to the actual gear being used and the actual way in which it is used, that a yes or no answer is not feasible.
  16. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    Its should be "no", but
    Voted "YES" - because
    underpowered amp played too loud WILL CLIP and at the very least fry your tweeter (first one to go to the great gig in the sky). More cabs/speakers get fried from underpowered amps than from overpowered amps.

    So, in theory - NO, in practice - YES

    Edit: @ agreatheight - no discussion ????, like it or not, let's discuss it or let's at the very least qualify our reponse.
  17. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I agree totally with Oldog, with the rider that clipping is FAR more dangerous with a transistor amp than a valve one.
  18. Thats good ol hard clippling vs soft clipping again.

    And no, you cant underpower a cab, been discussed to death already.
  19. dregen77


    Oct 19, 2005
    Barcelona, Spain
    I am still amazed at how this subject comes up again and again and people still don't agree!! I cannot vote because I come here in search of knowledge and the votes between "Yes" and "No" are practically 50-50%!! Amazing.

    I think best idea would be to do a public test so everyone could see if it happens or not and then we all agree on this. Kinda like a public execution for the speakers... or maybe not, of course.
  20. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    The only problem with the foregone assumption of clipping is that it presumes a given sound level.

    If we remove any presumption of how loud the rig will be played and it is assumed the player will not turn up any further than can be done cleanly, the answer has to be no.

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