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Is there really a correlation between watts and bass response.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Two-Spirit, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Can an amp produce more bass than you can use?
  2. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ? Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Good question

  3. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Poor listing of parameters.
    Given the fact that an amp can blow out a speaker if it feeds it enough power, the answer is yes.

    Given that HPF is a common tool to reign in bass frequencies, I'd say you can also have too much low end in scenarios where you don't blow a speaker.

    So far, yes...

    As for the different question in the title than the OP text, yes, there is a correlation in that producing low frequencies requires more watts than higher frequencies.
    Two-Spirit likes this.
  4. Loudness is not measured in watts.
  5. What was the question?
    noeinstein and ZenG like this.
  6. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    No, but a correlation exists...
    A sensitivity rating tells you how effectively a speaker converts power (watts) into volume (decibels). The higher the rating, the louder your speakers will play with a given amount of amplifier power. Sensitivity is often measured by driving a speaker with one watt and measuring the loudness in decibels at one meter.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
    Youngspanion and Two-Spirit like this.
  7. Bass response is a measurement of signal level at the frequency of interest as it is compared to a reference frequency.
    "This amplifier's bass response at 50 Hz is 2db below the 1000 Hz reference frequency."

    Watts are not a factor of the frequency response of an electronic component or system.
    If you are asking if you need more power at some lower bass frequency compared to a higher reference frequency so the low frequency sounds as loud as the high, then, yes. But that has little to do with the equipment and much to do wiith those flappy things on the sides of your head and the stuff sitting between them.
    bolophonic likes this.
  8. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I respectfully disagree. This reads like you are crossing up the equal loudness curves with the frequency roll off that happens at the speaker cabinet. Equal loudness is a listener perception issue. There is also a low end roll off which is part of the mechanical nature of a cabinet converting electricity to sound. Acme cabs are notoriously inefficient, and need lots of watts to get loud, because their design/voicing aim is to produce particularly deep lows.

    A watt can only do so much work, and there's a tradeoff between deep lows and high decibels.
  9. Yes! As you are limiting the discussion to cabs alone, I can agree.
    Please note that I used phrases such as "little to do with" and "much to do with" and did not say it has everything to do with or nothing to do with. Interpret "little" and "much" how you will, but please recognize that I did not speak of these matters in absolute terms.
    bolophonic and monsterthompson like this.
  10. sstillwell


    Nov 20, 2008
    How about we look at this: there are primarily two ways you can blow speakers - by exceeding mechanical limits, and by exceeding electrical/thermal limits. If you're feeding too much low end into a speaker, it's far easier to exceed mechanical limits, destroying the cone, surround, or voice coil. You can fix that by not pushing quite so much low-end content into the speaker...using a high-pass filter to avoid feeding frequencies below the box's cutoff is a lifesaver.

    Now, once you've brought cone excursion under control, you start approaching the other limit - you can only run so much current through the voice coil before heat starts building up faster than it can be dissipated, and sooner or later either the voice coil becomes unbonded from the former, or in some cases the wire actually melts through and gives an open circuit.

    An amp really can't produce "too much bass"...but it can send a signal that's more powerful than your cabinet can handle. Depends on the speaker and the amp and how extreme you are with EQ settings, though.
    Old Garage-Bander and Munjibunga like this.
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Yes. Next!
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The limiting factors are speakers (which includes cabinet tuning, power handling, and a host if other factors), and your ears/brain.

    The amp itself can produce more "bass" than a cab can handle (whether or not it is designed that way).

    And an amp/cab combination can produce more "bass" than is useful to the human ear/brain. Then we delve into harmonics and the whole "hear vs feel" debate.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Came in to say exactly this.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  14. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Would it be appropriate at this point to ask the op: Why do you ask? ;)
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Sound intensity is though.
  16. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Seems like some low power practice amps have very weak bass response. I think some of them deliberately roll off the lows so that the small amount of watts will go further in making the little amp sound loud enough.
  17. Next.
  18. domonic


    Aug 22, 2014
    The really low stuff is not only mechanically more challenging to reproduce , but remember our ears also have a ""blind spot" down there as well ... The real question in my mind is: considering how many folks run into venues with crappola acoustics and end up singing the praises of HPF ( high pass filters) at what frequency should we Probably stop giving a dammm??????????????


    We are supposed to making pleasing" musical noises" not trying to match Hollywood special effects and disaster related peril ..... I've seen people get physically ill when the sub bass is outrageous...


    lowplaces likes this.
  19. Don't tell Behringer!
    LT131, Passinwind and monsterthompson like this.
  20. somebrains


    Feb 7, 2017
    SVT CL won't care what your impedence is.
    Spread chained 4x10's 180deg facing the audience.
    Stand behind a backline of 8x10's next to each other.

    So what's loud to whom?