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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Luigi, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. Luigi


    Dec 3, 2003
    I've been reading here a lot lately about cab efficiency, but I'm not really clear what you guys mean when you say a cab is efficient or not. Can someone explain?

  2. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Just what he said! Basically, when you read the specs on a cab and it says the sensitivity is 98db@1w and all things being equal, it will give more volume than one rated at 97db and lower ratings and vice versus.
  3. Luigi


    Dec 3, 2003
    Ok. I now get the concept of how efficiency is measured but following Kelly Lee's example, if I have a cab rated 97db@1w, would this mean that I will need more power (wattage) to drive this cabinet in order to make it sound at the same level of the other one rated at 98db? Does this mean that a more "efficient" cab will need less power?
  4. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    The difference between a 97db and 98db rating is so small you wouldn't hear the difference. Now 89db compared to say...105db, you would need to turn the amp up considerably more to have the same volume as the 105db cab. So yes, you might. It all depends on your setup. If your limited on watts, a more efficient cab will provide you with more volume.
  5. pedroferreira


    Feb 10, 2003
    +3 dB is twice the Sound Pressure Level.

    So, to get the same SPL with a 99dB and a 96dB sensitivity cab, you have to double the power to the second cab.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Agreed, but the less efficient speaker generally goes lower.

    It's basically a case of "Efficiency, Low End response, Small size - pick any 2".
  7. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I picked efficiency and low end response :-/
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've actually found in practice that the least efficient cabs sound best and the most efficient cabs sound horrible - boxy and cardboard-like - although loud!! :meh:

    Nowadays, my view would be to go for the least efficient, but best-sounding cab and just use more power...simple!!
  9. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003

    So true.

    I've been waiting for someone to validate my experiences.

    With Cabinets: Tone comes first, forget SPL's.

    If you need more volume, get more watts.
  10. josh_m


    May 5, 2004
    Davie, Fl
    I have a cab that sounds great and is loud but is also half of my car. I have to take the backseat out for it to fit and the backseat in my car isnt meant to come out. :eek:

    On the other hand, I power it with 350w and get plenty of volume, and it sounds amazing, exactly the tone that I wanted.