Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by product 14, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. 125-200 watts

    1 vote(s)
  2. 200-350 watts

    3 vote(s)
  3. 350-500 watts

    7 vote(s)
  4. greater than 500 watts

    36 vote(s)
  1. How much power is too much for an ampeg 4-10 classic.
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
  3. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    It doesn't matter... you can run a 1000W amp through a speaker rated for 50W if you watch your volume. You can tell if you're pushing your speakers by watching their motion.
  4. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    You can overpower your cabinet within reason, but this statement is ridiculous.
  5. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Whats the cab rated at?

    You plan on going with a seperate pre/power?

    How much can you spend on power?

  6. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    Actually, it's not... if you keep your volume within bedroom levels, you'd probably not even be pushing 50. I was trying to make the point that the power rating of an amp is a measure of POTENTIAL, not a constant.

    Overpowering is what happens when you ask for too much volume from your speakers.
    By definition, having a higher power rated amp than your cab(s) is not "overpowering," but it is definitely possible to overpower your speakers in that situation.
  7. There isn't any 100% correct answer to this. Get as much power as you can afford within reason. A rule of thumb in pro audio is to have an amp that can put out 1.5-2x the RMS(continuous average is the right term, actually;)) rated power of the cab. This basically factors in the dynamics of music, brief peaks of more power than the cab is rated for won't hurt anything. Even under hard use with music, amplifiers only put out a fraction of their full power when it's averaged out over time.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    You are better off using an amp with more wattage than the cab can handle. I am pushing 600 watts into my Ampeg 210. You just have to watch the volume. With more power, you are less likely to clip your power amp, and damage the speakers.
  9. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    I use a 50w early 70's Fender Bassman top for the bulk of my work.
    It's a great deal louder than my SWR Workingman's 12, which rates 100w.
    I have used 400+ watts heads that seem less loud than any of the aforementioned.

    As others have stated, the power ratio is only a number, especially when comparing solid state and valve amps.
  10. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    The 1.5-2x rule for amps to speakers only applies to solid state amps doesn't it? I believe the rule of thumb for a tube amp is just the opposite, that you want speakers that will handle twice the rated power of the tube amp. I think this is because your tube amp is still actually useful when it is overdriven, and a tube amp is generally capable of producing up to twice its rated output when overdriven.
  11. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I have a 100W Fender BXR from the 90s, and it is far louder than my 350W SWR 350x. The Fender doesn't sound all that great, but its still loud. I'm beginning to think the Fender could give my SVT a run for its money. . . well, maybe not. . .


    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Headroom is good for bass. Better to be over powered than underpowered.
  13. I run my Hartke 4.5XL with a DCM1000. I use to run it with a 250 watt EV Dynacord. The added power seems to make the low B and other really low notes sound better. Is this overkill? Not really. The cab is rated at 400 watts and the amp is rated at 600 watts into 8 ohms. If it were a 1000 watts, that really isn't all that much more. Now if you were using a Macrotech 5002 to power a 2x10 cab, that would be ridiculous.


    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Why do you ask? Are you buying the cab, or an amp, or wha?
    -are you asking what would be a good amp for that cab?
    -did you blow your 4x10 classic up and your trying to figure out why?
    -is it 8ohm or 4ohm?
    -are you using any other speaker with it? sub? X-over?
  15. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    In terms of solid state, the safest way to go is to get an amp rated at or below the rating of your cabinet, and make sure that you never clip the amp.

    The most efficient use of your cabinet involves getting an amp rated at 1.5-2x the rating of your cabinet, but you have to be very careful that you don't turn up the volume too far and overpower your cabinet. This requires you to be able to hear your speakers complaining that they are being overpowered.

    In terms of a tube amp, the recommendation is for your cabinet to be rated at TWICE the wattage of your tube amp. A tube amp is still useful when overdriven, as opposed to a solid state amp, and the overdriven tube amp has the potential of producing up to twice the rated output of the amp, and you want your cabinets to be able to handle this.
  16. Actually, the "safest" thing to do would be to get a cabinet rated for way more power than your amp can put out (or say at least 2x). In this way, you wouldn't blow anything no matter how much you clipped the amp. The amp could produce a maximum of 2x clean output power, so if you had a cab that could take that amount of power there'd be no worries.
    It's moot anyway, because that kind of distortion from a solid state amp sounds awful and nobody in their right mind would do it.
    Also, people tend to ignore dynamics. Thermal damage is a long term thing, based on the average power dissipated in the voice coil. Music, being dynamic, has lots of peaks and dips in output level. So an amp, even with the clip lights flashing every once in a while, is still only averaging a fraction of its output power. Look at some specs. Almost all manufacturers spec AC current draw at 1/8 power. The criteria is generally that with music as an input that's about the amount of average power the amp will put out with the clip lights flashing a bit (Correct me if I'm wrong Bob Lee ;))
    This is why you can get away with using an amp 1.5 - 2x more powerful than the rating on the cab. You'd actually really have to try hard to get that amp to put out even it's rated power on average with a dynamic input.

    I'd agree with this.
  17. In terms of this discussion, how does a hybrid amp fit in,i.e., one that has a tube preamp and a SS power amp? Do you use the tube amp rule of thumb that the cab should be 2x the RMS rating rating of the amp, or do you use the SS amp rule of thumb that the cab be 1/2 the RMS rating of the amp? I would assume you use the power amp characteristics?:confused:
  18. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    Power amp. No matter what the pre-amp signal, there is still no use for the overdriven/clipped range of a solid state poweramp.
  19. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Saying "you wouldn't blow anything no matter how much you clipped the amp" is absolutely wrong. Clipping is what blows speakers! :rolleyes:
  20. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    Get a 1-watt Smokey Amp and plug it into your bass cab, you could clip it until it's a square-wave and you're not gonna blow your speakers.