Head - Cab Watt Compatibility

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by alexssandro, May 15, 2001.

  1. I was looking at the specs on some speakers and I came across this:

    Continuous Sine Wave Power Handling 800 W
    Peak Music Program Power Handling 1600 W

    My question is, how many watts should the head be? Would 500 watts be enough? The cabs say 800W countinuous and 1600 W peak.

  2. Just to smooth out my question and be more specific, if a speaker says 800 W, is it better to use an 800 W amp? I know the speaker can handle 500 W, but is there any reason that the wattage should be the same? Do strong speakers "prefer" strong amps?
  3. Do strong speakers "prefer" strong amps? No.

    How many watts should the head be? 10, if it'll be loud enough! 3,500 if you don't crank it!

    Would 500 watts be enough? Yes, if it'll be loud enough for you!

    Just make sure the amp doesn't clip and you'll be absolutely fine!
  4. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Joris speaketh the truth. I would also advise caution if one's amp is capable of more than (say) twice the continuous wattage than the speaker is rated to handle. Even if not driven into clipping, such an amp could damage the speaker if cranked fairly high for a long time. So the guideline I use is: don't grossly exceed the power handling of the speaker and, by all means, avoid clipping your amp.
    - Mike
  5. pbassfreak


    May 2, 2001
    long beach
    what does clipping an amp mean ????
  6. Clipping means going over the maximum of a amp's power capability. It causes the amp to start "farting", and sound glitchy. With a cab without tweeter or midrange speakers, this is hard to determine.

    Technically, it means, the output of the amp can't supply the higher voltage you're demanding. It just stops at its maximum at each back-and-forth movement, distorting the signal. Solid state amps sound horrible in these situations, but tube amps reveal their "warm" charateristics when overdriven.

    There a whole lot more to it, but this is the (if you will) layman's explanation.

  7. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
  8. I think he's describing a 4x10, which would add up to 800 watts RMS, if each driver can take 200.

    I am recently doing a project with a single 800 W rms speaker. It's a professional 18" subwoofer, weighing about 30 lbs. They exist, you know :D:D