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Power handling versus power output?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by um... yeah, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. I'm confused. Is there a hard and fast rule for power amp wattage versus cab rating? Is there a point where it becomes overkill? Below are two options I'm considering (two identical cabs, one per channel)

    For instance:

    A) AT 4 OHMS
    is it okay (or even preferable) to use a poweramp capable of 750 watts per channel at for a 4 ohm cabinet that's rated at 450-500 watts?


    B) 8 OHMS
    Where the same amp is putting out 400 watts per channel into an 8 ohm cabinet rated at 450-500 watts?

    What, in your opinion, are the advantages of each? And which would you chose?
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Both scenarios are OK. What will determine the output is the respective speaker frequency responses and sensitivities. Wattage alone reveals next to nothing about potential output. The 4 ohm scenario seems better until you realize that if the 4 ohm box is 3dB less sensitive then the power advantage is negated.