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Question about Speaker replacement.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ericmknight1906, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Currently I own an SWR working pro 12 bass combo amp. I believe that it has a max of 200-250 watts.

    Problem: I can't get anywhere near its max parameters because the amp will start "clipping." Especially when I slap the B string. Even though I believe that SWR's are great amps, I also believe that the actual speaker is inferior. I usually have my volume about 3/4 of the way and my gain about 1/2 way up. I turn the bass knob down to avoid clipping but then I have an empty sounding bass tone with mediocre volume not sufficient enough to cut through the mix. :rollno:

    My question is this: Can I replace the speaker with a higher quality speaker with a higher RMS value say about 400 watts?

    I don't want a speaker that's so big that it will lose its tightness because of a weaker amp. i.e. 200 watt amp head pushing a 400 watt speaker.

    But I do want a speaker that can handle the amp head at 95% without clipping. Any suggestions? I'm trying to find a better cleaner louder sound without actually buying a whole nother amp. I believe that a speaker replacement might help.

    for your info,
    I have a fender jazz with aftermarket 1/4 pounder pups which are very hot.

    thanks for any suggestions.
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive Suspended

    Yes you can but the result may be worse than it is now. A speaker has to be mounted in a suitable enclosure to work at its best. Almost invariably the cabinet of a combo tend to be on the small size. What you may need is an extension cabinet - if the amp section will take it. This will give you more cone area and a louder amp.

  3. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    +1. IMO you won't get much from a speaker replacement and might even get less volume if the replacement isn't as sensitive as the original (i.e., doesn't produce as many decibels per watt of input). Because the manufacturer doesn't publish the original speaker's sensitivity (to my knowledge), any replacement would be a gamble. As Paul said, what you need is more speaker area--the loudest, most efficient 8-ohm speaker cabinet you can find, and hook it up to the speaker out jack on the WP12.
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    A speaker with a higher RMS rating means NOTHING when trying to determine when it will fart out. That spec is only for the thermal limit on the voice coil melting.

    You need a speaker with a high Xmax and Xlim spec, as well as other T/S parameters that match it to your cabinet.
  5. thanks guys. I guess I need to learn more about speaker cabinets in order to appreciate what you are saying. I really don't know what you mean by "suitable enclosure." Are you just talking about the size of the cabinet, the type of wood, the thickness? Sorry for so many Idiot questions but this SWR is a $600 amp and I'm kinda questioning what exactly did I pay for. :meh:
  6. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive Suspended

    Many people think that a bass combo can have its EQ section and volumes cranked and it will take everything you can throw at it. None of them can. You must also remember that a SS amp section will deliver more power into a 4Ω load than it will into 8Ω. Some combos are built with a 4Ω speaker and can't gig any more power. If the speaker is 8Ω then the cam will only give maybe 60% of the power it's capable of. Adding a second 8Ω speaker cabinet will allow the amp to give the most output.

    Enclosure IS the cabinet. It has to be sized and tuned to suit the driver that's mounted in it.

  7. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    EricMc, the specs of the speaker drive the exact dimensions and porting of the cabinet. This is calculated with programs, e.g. WinISD, which will predict loudness, frequency response, even how many watts when it'll fart. As Eric Moesle said, the max watts the speaker will handle won't mean a thing, because it'll almost always fart out earlier.

    If you just put a speaker into a random cabinet, it's generally a recipe for disappointment.

    Thickness of the wood is unimportant, as long as it doesn't flex. Many manufacturers use 3/4" plywood because it's stiff and they don't have to do bracing. A properly-braced cab can be made from 1/2" ply and be much lighter, but it takes expensive labor. They don't have to carry the cabinet around, so they avoid the labor cost and make you sweat.
  8. I'm surprised this has not been mentioned yet...............

    If your amp is clipping - it has nothing to do with the speaker loaded in the cab (unless it is also farting out when you are reaching clipping). If your speaker was screaming long before your output was maxed - then you would need a stronger speaker, but your case seems the other way around.

    Changing to a higher sensitivity driver (as long as it works for the cabinets specs) would give you a little more apparent volume, but it does not change the fact that the amp is clipping because you have it maxed out.

    Also..............what exactly do you mean by clipping ?

    Is it the preamp clip light, or the power amp limiter lights flashing ?
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There's two ways of getting high output. One is with a high excursion woofer and enough power to push it. You don't have enough. The other is with moderate power and at least two drivers, which gives high enough sensitivity to get high levels without high power. If you want to keep your amp get another speaker to use with it for adequate output. If you want to stay with a small package get a high excursion woofer loaded cab and a micro amp that can deliver at least 350 watts into 8 ohms.
  10. Initially, the preamp light was clipping but I was able to eliminate that by turning down the gain volume a bit. The amp limiter light and the farting starts when when i slap the B or E string. For that , I thought the reason was because my pups were too hot so i Lowered them....still no joy. :help:

    so i just turned everything down and backed off the bass knob. There is no clipping Now but I have no good sustain or growl and the volume is too low to cut through the drums and keys with authority.

    Which is why I was thinking that this amp just has a crappy speaker or just not enough power. I figured that a 200 watt amp was enough for a small gig. But maybe I figured wrong). I'm going to attach my amp specs to give you guys a better idea of what I'm working with.
  11. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    I didn't realize SWR changed the internal speaker to 4 ohms--the old Workingman 12's like mine had 8 ohm internal speakers and an extension speaker jack so you could add another 8 ohm cabinet. With yours, you'll need to unplug the internal speaker to use an extension cabinet, ideally two loud 8-ohm cabinets.
  12. bobcruz, understanding what I have learned so far in this thread, could this speaker possibly be the solution to my problem?

    I will get the 4ohm version of course. And I figure that the unusually large xmax will help prevent the clipping and give me more headroom and sustain. I'm not overly concerned about the wattage as long as its atleast 300. what do you think?
  13. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    That speaker is a designed for use in a subwoofer, it will go no higher than 200 hz, you need more surface area, not more power handling. BassmanPaul said it best.............
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Read my post again, this time with feeling. You don't have enough power to gain anything from a long excursion driver. And with the low sensitivity of the Ciare you'll have considerably less output than you do now.
  15. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The point, (which has already been made), is that your problem is not the specific speaker in your combo, but rather that there's only ONE speaker. Any real volume requires more than one spkr, in this case, your best solution would be to find a good 2x12 cab, unplug the combo's internal spkr, and plug that amp into the 2x12. BAM, problem solved.
  16. LZBass


    Jul 24, 2009

    OK... I read a lot about speaker "farting." I've even heard "farting" from my SWR LA15. My question is: What causes a speaker to "fart?" -- And be nice !! --

    Is it clipping, over driving, mismatched parameters, ...? Thanks for helping a newbie out!
  17. Got it! And my little 200 @ 4ohms amp should be okay for that?
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