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How fragile is the Fender 200 combo if I add an extension cab rated at 4 ohms instead of 8?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rockdoc11, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. rockdoc11


    Sep 2, 2000
    I just picked up a Fender 200 combo (v3), and love the tone. However, just for fun (and to hear what it sounds like!) I was thinking of adding my 410 cab via the extension speaker output on the back.

    However, that output clearly states that it requires an 8 ohm speaker. My 410 cab is 4 ohms.

    How likely am I to damage the amp section by running the 4 ohm extension cab? Might it be okay at low volumes but a problem at higher volumes?

    Thanks for any thoughts.
  2. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    well, specs is specs and it's rarely a great idea to push an amp lower than its rated ohms.

    now, that being said, you may be ok at low volumes/low stress on the amp, but if you push a 4ohm rated amp at 2ohms you are begging for the magic smoke to appear and a trip to the repair tech may be your next stop.

    good luck
  3. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    It's not a matter of fragility. It's a matter of impedence. You will burn up the amp.
  4. This is your amp with a load lower than the minimum:

  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
  6. rockdoc11


    Sep 2, 2000
    I'm not Austin Powers! No magic smoke release for me.

    Thanks for the suggestions not to do this.
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Not a good idea at all.
  8. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    The Fender amps don't have any kind of protection circuit? Weird. You'd think the engineers would have foreseen that someone, somewhere would accidentally plug in a 4 ohm cab.

    Makes me appreciate my Quilter and Acoustic Image amps even more. Quality engineering for the win! ;)
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    Frank77 likes this.
  9. I have a Rumble 200 and would love a matching cab.
    I’d negotiate a deal on one with a defective amp.
    Call me.
    agedhorse likes this.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Who said that?

    Like seat belts and air bags, protection circuits are not foolproof. It's never a good idea to intentionally abuse something and hope the protection is going to save your butt.
  11. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    I wouldn't use a 4ohm cab. What does the manufacturer say. Probably don't go lower then 4ohms total (internal speaker and external speaker total). Dropping below the 4ohm rating is not recommended.
  12. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    It was implied by 3 different posters above you that smoke will come out of a Fender Rumble combo if the OP connects a 4 ohm cabinet. In your experience, do you think that is accurate? The amp will literally self-combust?
  13. OMG... You want to mix a 15 with a 4x10!!
    Problem with that... it’s the number cause of thread derailment. :D
  14. Maybe more inferred than implied? ;)

    “Letting the smoke out” is technese for a failure.
    It rarely, literally, ever involves real smoke being released.

    Consider it more of a warning to not try this, along the lines of “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  15. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    That amp is rated 200 watts @ 4 ohms. If you can disable the internal speaker, you can run the external cab exclusively without blowing anything up.

    I have a GK combo with a button to disable, I assume you could have a button (switch) put in there. Beyond my skill set to do correctly.
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  16. Your amp will not like it. It will not break immediately, and you might even be able to play it for a while especially if at low volume... but it's not a good idea. The amp likely has a protection circuit that will kick in and switch the amp off before damage is done, but I would not like to rely on it or push my luck.

    Why do you want to try it? If you like the result it's not like you can safely continue to use it... so what's the point?
    Find an 8ohm cab to use as extension, or plug in the 4ohm cab but disconnect the existing internal speaker, but don't just simply add the additional cab.

    edit: I once connected two 4ohm cabs (BF Two10) to a MarkBass LMIII. I have a little connector box to allow me to hook up two cabs in series, but I forgot about that little detail. Fortunately this was just at home, so I was not pushing the amp much, and I played like that for around 20 minutes before I realised my mistake and switched it off. The amp survived and is still making the right noises. I consider myself lucky. I only add this in case someone tries and sees no smoke coming out or anything obvious. Most amps will not be killed instantly, but there's a good reason their designers clearly say not to use it with less than a 4ohm load.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  17. I did exactly this with a practice amp.
    I installed a switching 1/4” jack on a Fender Frontman B.
    Without a plug installed the Frontman amp is connected to the internal speaker.
    With a plug installed, the internal speaker is disconnected from the amp.
    This would allow for connecting a different external 8 Ohm cab to the Frontman amp.
    Ryan6491 likes this.
  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I didn't say this, but it's MUCH more likely that damage might occur by abusing an amp by not following the manufacturer's warnings than using the amp within the manufacturer's stated limitations. It's also good common sense.
  19. Oh! Well if you insist on common sense, then that just takes the fun out of it. :smug:
    rockdoc11, OldFunBass and wave rider like this.
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Yeah, but you don't lose an eye either ;)
    Aqualung60, HolmeBass, fhm555 and 3 others like this.

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