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How Much Is Too Much?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by masaru, Sep 10, 2001.


  1. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    Is 1200 watts into a 4 ohm load consisting of a 400 watt 4x10 cabinet and 150 watt 1x15 cabinet too much? I'm just not real good with how the whole power thing works. Does the cab just suck up what it needs or do the two cabs split the load?
    You'd think after 25 years I'd have this down by now!!!
     
  2. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Thats a lot of Power for those Cabs, but I dont think you could drive them too hard anyway.

    What Amp is the one you are describing?
    Some ratings are pretty conservative.
    But the Power Handling of the 1x15" you mention is too low I think.
    The 4x10" is fine.
     
  3. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    It's a bridged Mackie 1200 power amp. See, problem is I've always bought the old matching head/cabinet or combo but I wanted to try something different. I'm planning on replacing my current 1x15 Transporter with the 300 watt 115 BXL. Then we're talking 1200 watts handled by 700 watts of cabinet vice 550 watts. Any of this make sense?
     
  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Well, you could run it stereo if there is too much power, until you buy the other cab.
    That would be around 300 watts per channel at 8 ohms, Im not too sure about the Mackie´s specs. but it does boast the RMS, it is serious asskicker.
     
  5. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    It actually only puts out 225 watts into 8 ohms. Isn't that seriously underpowering the 4x10 (400 W)?
     
  6. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I believe there is no such thing as truly underpowering it.
    It all depends on the efficiency of the cabinet.
    After all,most tests are conducted with just 1 watt.

    But, the thing is not having to clip the amp.
    I think you should have no problems for now with that setup.
     
  7. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    The amp clips pretty bad in stereo hence the bridging inquiry. So, stereo or bridged?
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Luis, you're right about not having the amp clip... that's where underpowering comes into play. There is such a thing and it's killed more rigs than more wattage.
     
  9. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    So, how would you run it, Brad? I need to know!!!

    And didn't you get traded to Tampa Bay??
     
  10. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I know that, and it still isnt about Underpowering!
    If you clip a 100 Watt head on a 100 Watt Cab, it will still be destroyed.
    Its not Underpowering it is just that the amp is porducing sharp waves that will create a Back and forth excursion effect.

    Underpowering would mean that its too little power for a Cab.
    There isnt such thing as that.
    You can put 3 watts on a 150 Watt Cab and if its clean power, then NO PROBLEM at all.
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I'd probably run each cab off it's own channel (and adjust the gains accordingly), running the same mono signal to both sides. I also would expect any miracles from the Transporter... it is what it is;)
     
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I'll try this again;)

    What if it isn't clean power... NO PROBLEM?

    An amp can be underpowered for a particular load and efficiency rating.

    If I have a 200w amp and use it it with, say, an Eden D210XLT cab, which is pretty efficient, it's possible to get fairly loud with it (relatively speaking) without overdriving the amp.

    If I take the same amp and try to drive an Acme Low B2 to the same volume levels as the D210XLT it is quite possible that it will not have enough power to do it. It could be pushed past it's usable capabilities and still not have sufficient power to run that cab. It's inadequate to push that inefficient cab. I call that underpowered...

    How about you?;)
     
  13. masaru

    masaru

    Aug 8, 2001
    Okinawa, Japan
    Thanks guys. Appreciate the help!
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    No problem. Good luck and if the Transporter sounds like it's stressed... back off on the volume. No point in blowing it up:D
     
  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Im Ok, with the way you see it. Althought I wouldnt call it Underpowering.
    You said "Not have sufficient power to run that cab" , I would say "AS LOUD" as the EDEN, but IT would be producing what the cab can do with the power it is getting.

    Then again, it goes back to the efficiency thing, that is where all this volume vs Power stuff is.

    Im not in disagree of what you say. And maybe its me that wont accept a term called underpowering.

    Then, if you have 3 Watts of Square Waves on a 1000 Watt Power handling speaker, it may fry too.

    If I take a 100 Watt Amp with a 100 Watt enclosure, and get around 115 dB´s for example , then I take the same 100 Watt Amp with a 1000 watt enclosure and get the same 115dB´s or more (Efficiency = Its equal) then...
    Was I underpowering ?

    I think I will just shut up instead of beggining to talk nonsense stuff.
    :D
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
     
  17. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Well, here's my $0.02 cents on the underpowering thing. (You guys aren't disagreeing essentially, I think.)

    You can't underpower a cab. It's a meaningless concept.

    You CAN be underpowered *for a playing setting*, if you don't have enough power to get the volume you need for the playing situation you're in.

    If you're underpowered *for your gig*, you will likely make your amp clip in an attempt to get the needed volume, and when you do, you may well damage your cab.

    Example: I have an Eden WT400 and an Acme Low B-2. When I play in a jazz duo at a restaurant, I keep the volume low, and the rig sounds terrific. No clipping, great tone. When I play outdoors without a PA, I have to turn up louder, to the point where the amp occasionally clips. Now in the second scenario, I'm feeding much more power into the cab than in the first scenario. Yet in the first scenario I'm never underpowered--I have all I need and more in reserve. In the second scenario, when I'm actually pumping more watts into the cab, I *am* underpowered, because I don't have quite enough watts for the particular situation I'm in. In other words, I'm not underpowering the *cab*, because I'm actually putting *more* power into it--I'm underpowered *for my gig*.

    Clear?
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Yep... it's situational
     
  19. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    This is exactly what I mean.
     
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    I didn't want to pick a nit but you can indeed underpower a cab... for a situation;)

    Even if it doesn't blow up. Insufficient volume is still insufficient.

    Maybe this is harder than I think:D

    Anyway, if you're using a speaker, it's usually for a reason... to be heard.