Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fluffybrick, Oct 20, 2000.

  1. fluffybrick


    Jul 22, 2000
    ok, im not that smart as far as amp wise. Can you play just speakers or do you have to have a head, or can you play a head by itself. any help would be great.
  2. a common question to newb's... cabinets need to be powered and heads need speakers to power...

  3. Combos have both the amplifier and the speakers in one box.

  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Let's cover this in a little more detail. The signal that leaves your bass is very weak, usually about .1 volt to 1 volt. It's WAY too weak to drive a speaker. (A cabinet, or "cab" is a box with one or more speakers in it.) So you can't just plug your bass into the cab, because the low output voltage won't cause the speakers to vibrate enough to be heard. So you need a device to amplify the wimpy little signal. This is the amplifier, commonly called a "head". The head juices up the signal to tens or hundreds of volts, which is usually sufficient to drive the speakers to the point that they are audible. Sometimes, if the amp is too powerful, it can blow up the speakers or your ear drums. Underpowered systems also can damage speakers.

    So yes, you need both a head and a cab (or earphones) to play audibly. As throb said, if both of these are in the same box, it's called a combo.