# More Watts vs More Speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by insomniac2295, Apr 8, 2009.

1. ### insomniac2295

Dec 12, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
I am currently using an Avatar 410 and putting 700 watts into it at 2 ohms. If I add a 210, I'll have to wire it back for 8 ohms and get an 8 ohm 210 so I'll only be able to put 475 watts into it with a 4 ohm load. Which is going to do the most to increase my volume? Add more speakers, or add more watts?

2. ### Son of Bovril

more speakers

3. ### bwv1013

Mar 20, 2008
southern cal
generally speaking, more speakers equals more volume, but that is provided that you have enough power to drive them. i think you are better off standing pat, i would stick with 700 watts going into one cab as opposed to sharing 475 between 2 cabs. i don't think 2 more speakers is going to make a huge increase in volume.

4. ### dannster

Aug 20, 2000
Seattle,WA
The more speaker surface area you have the better. You can cram all the watts you want into a 410. But add another 410 or 210 and you are going to be louder.

5. ### insomniac2295

Dec 12, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
So far it's 1 for watts and 2 for speakers.

I just did the math and I came to realize that the difference between 2 and 4 ohms is only 225 watts..

6. ### Son of Bovril

adding another two speakers gives another 1/2 the speaker surface area plus coupling...

IME 410 with more watts < 410 + 210 with less watts

7. ### eshears

Jul 30, 2001
Spokane, WA
Something to else to consider is that this config may sound a bit unbalanced. If the 4x10 and the 2x10 are both 8-ohms, each speaker in the 2x10 will be getting more watts than each speaker in the 4x10.

For example, your amp puts out 475 watts at 4-ohms...so that's 237.5 watts per cabinet. Each speaker in the 2x10 will get ~119 watts, while each speaker in the 4x10 will only get ~60 watts.

I'm not saying if this will sound good or bad, but something to think about...

8. ### insomniac2295

Dec 12, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
hmmm I hadn't even considered that. I don't really know how that would effect me/my tone or what have you. Would anyone like to chime in?

9. ### Son of Bovril

I personally don't think you'll hear the difference and I don't think it will be an issue either, but be aware of the fact so that if you are driving the rig to it's max, keep an ear out for the 210 to start distorting first... so maybe put it on the top so it's closer to your ears

another 410 of the same make would be preferable (power distribution wise) but many people run the exact rig you are discussing with absolutely no problems

10. ### insomniac2295

Dec 12, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
yeah. only reason i'm swinging for the 210 is transportation. 410s are big and bulky

11. ### Jaco who?

May 20, 2008
Ahh yes, the pesky Peavey Firebass/Max 700 speaker selection quandry. Been there, done that. Sell the 4x10 and get a pair of 4 ohm Avatar 2x12's. You can't really take full advantage of the 4x10's with "only" 350 watts powering each one anyway, and 4 ohm 2x10's (and 1x12"s) aren't big enough for use by themselves anyway. That's what I would do.

Mar 18, 2000
I did it for one gig. It was not a problem but the 2x10 was louder than the 4x10. There was no balance control as my amp was mono. It was noticeably louder than the 4x10. The sound was unbalanced. One cab is coasting and the other is working. I never did it again. I would use two 4x10s or use just one rather then do that again.

13. ### shoot-r

May 26, 2007
Illinois
Take your 2 ohm 4x10, set it next to a, (let's say), a 4 ohm Ampeg SVT 8x10.
Play through the 4x10 only. You're getting 700 watts into the 4x10.
Now plug your head into the 8x10. Your now getting 475 watts, but I think you'll find your sound will be louder and fuller with more speakers even though your getting less power.
I'd suggest with that head to get the most from it, two 4 ohm cabinets.
I ran a G.K. 800, (300 watts into 4 ohms), into a 4 ohm Ampeg SVT 8x10 for many years....never had a problem with volume.
The secret is to have enough speakers running for the power you have to work with.

14. ### Resko One

Mar 12, 2009
Wisconsin
Odin greets us at the gates of Valhalla. But if not given godspeed by the Valkryies, It's not our place or time. Till Ragnorak!

15. ### RickenBoogie

Jul 22, 2007
Dallas, TX
+1 for dumping the 410 in favor of 2 4 ohm cabs. 2 212's would seriously rock, 700 watts through those 4 spkrs will win the battle. That's what I'd do, anyway.

16. ### jtc_hunter

Feb 16, 2007
I cant imagine why you would need more than that. I hope you are using good earplugs. FWIW, I saw Skylark, the bass player for the Doobie Bros. Playing , only thru a 410 at a local concert. There is a wonderful little device you should learn about. Its called a D.I. to the FOH. You can see the specs of my rig. I could play anywhere with anybody w/ that rig and its less watts and speaker area than yours. Tremendous stage volume is a bad bad bad thing . Nothing positive can come from it and it will lead to permanent hearing loss and possibly global warming.

17. ### hrgiger

Jan 11, 2009
I was kind of talking about this in one of my threads a while back. I remember being at the fair one summer years ago, when I could hear and feel a low, pulsing bassline, coming from somewhere. Finally after walking all over the fairgrounds, I found the source (which turned out to be clear across from where I had initially heard it.) A chevy silverado with 12-12" subwoofers, with the volume turned down so low that I stuck my head inside the truck and visualized the 12 subs, and I thought to myself that it wasn't even as loud as one would have it when driving. There is a such thing as IMPACT vs. loudness. When people talk about usable excursion from drivers, it is always at a much lower wattage than the speaker can handle. To get impact at lower volumes, you need enough watts and more drivers. Think of big concerts, often they aren't really that loud, but tons of drivers, operating at optimum excursion, equals big impact.

18. ### insomniac2295

Dec 12, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
Main reason I play at these volumes is because a few of the venues my band plays frequently don't have adequate pa systems. Most of the time they're just used for vocals and occasionally to mic the kick drum. Generally, these aren't large venues by any respect but, they still soak up my bass.

19. ### johnk_10vintage bass nutSupporting MemberCommercial User

Feb 16, 2008
Thousand Oaks, CA
John K Custom Basses
ok. then my advice is more speakers and more watts.

......................................and a good set of earplugs!

20. ### Joey3313

Nov 28, 2003
I found out at my first gig that more speakers>more watts when it comes to volume.

The other guy had an SVT450 450W at 4 ohms, and an 810.

I had my Hartke through a 210, so 500W at 4 ohms.

I was barely audible once everything got going, he was drowning everyone out. I think I'm gonna run through the PA next time...

Speakers definitely.