how much wattage?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by aod bass, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. aod bass

    aod bass

    Mar 5, 2003
    Southern NJ
    i'm not very technically versed when it comes to bass equipment, and i just recently purchased an ampeg PR-1528HE cab, and i am now shopping for a head... what is the minimum wattage that the head should be? cabinet specs are as follows:

    impedance: 4 ohms
    RMS power handling: 400 watts
    program power handling: 800 watts

    avg power handling
    high/mid: 200 watts
    low: 300 watts

    what does this all mean? do i need an amp that is 400W minimum? i was thinking of getting an ampeg B2R head to start... will this be enough?
  2. The B2R's 350 watts RMS should match the PR-1528HE's 400 watts RMS just fine.

    However, the SVT-3 Pro would be a much better match.

    Stick with the RMS numbers.
  3. aod bass

    aod bass

    Mar 5, 2003
    Southern NJ
    so the RMS number on the amp shouldn't exceed the cabinet? someone had mentioned to me that i shouldn't "under-power" the cabinet too much... would a 200W amp, be too weak?
  4. The amp RMS wattage output should match or exceed the cabinets rating.

    Speaker damage usually occurs when underpowered amps are pushed to clipping.

    I like to have my amp and cabinet ratings sorta' match. i.e.; 500 watt amp into a 450 watt cabinet.
  5. ninefoldbass

    ninefoldbass Guest

    Feb 26, 2003
    hmm.. i have my B-2R running into a hartke 410BX rated at 240 watts at 8.. and my head has 200 at 8.. but i cant turn the head up past half or my speakers really bounce when i just tap a string.. but if i turn down the bass.. i loose a lot of low end..
  6. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Make that slightly underpowered amps.

    For example, an amp rated at 300 watts (continuous power) and driven into severe clipping will at times put out a lot more than 300 watts, and could therefore toast a speaker rated at 400 watts (continuous).

    But you could put a 100-watt amp driven into severe clipping into the same speaker and it won't destroy it--but with that much clipping it'll sure sound like crap.
  7. Just get a head rated at 400 watts RMS that has a built in clip limiter and you should be safe. The clip limiter senses when the amp is going into distortion and automatically turns it down for you. Kinda like a governer on a tractor. It is OK to use amps with higher RMS ratings than the cab as long as you know not to get too crazy with the volume. My cab is rated at 400 watts into 8 ohms and I run it with a QSC PLX1202 that is about 700 watts RMS into 8 ohms. It is also OK to use amps with lower RMS ratings as well. I've ran that same cab with a 250 watt RMS EV Dynacord power amp. Both survived for years. I prefer the sound I get with bigger power but I doubt if anybody else even notices the difference. Really, common sense is all it takes.
  8. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    You may want to consider how much power the guitarist(s) that you play with use.
    A Bass player typically needs 3 to 4 times the power that a guitarist has to be heard (if that guitarist cranks the volume).
    If you are playing with a guitarist with a 50 watt combo, you may look at getting something in the 200 watt range.
    If you are playing with 2 guitarists each with 100 watt Marshall stacks you're basically screwed with a single cabinet.
    If you play with a loud drummer, you may want addtional power also.
    You might want to test an amp in a full band situation before purchasing to see if you get the volume that you need.
    More power gives you more headroom and more options down the road.