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rms vs. peak vs. program

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jpark369, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. ok so i get rms is steady amount of watts pumping, and peak is a loud burst, but program?

    so, what does it mean when the description of a bass cab says:

    1600 watts program power handling?
    3200 watts peak?
    nothing about rms?

    does that mean the cab can do 1600 rms? or what? damn manufacturers and their confusing jargon!
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    IMHO peak and program are marketing numbers that sound good but are meaningless. RMS is the only number you should trust. If a manufacturer won't give RMS, then don't trust them.
  3. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    rms would be 800?
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Who is the maker?
  5. peavey. its the tour neo 4x10 cab i have. i have 2 of em and i love em, but i have no idea how much power i can trust pushing at them.
  6. IIRC Program is the amount they can handle for longish periods of time (ie gigs)

    But im not too sure.
  7. if that true my peavey can take 1600 watts program. meaning it does 1600 watts rms?
  8. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    personally, I would not give it more than 1000 watts, if you want it to last. EQ will have a large bearing on what it will take also. And honestly, if you need more than 1000 w, you should be thru the FOH anyway. I run 2- 500rms cabs, and never give them ea. more than 200w and run my DI to a channel on the mixer. I want my quality gear to last. ( and also my hearing)
  9. right, i hear that.
    i have 2 peavey tour neo 4x10s and an svt 4pro. i was thinking of trying to run the amp in mono and just push all the power into that 4x10 sometimes, an other times pumping them both.
    i just wanted to check. somebody, anybody, peavey, let me know the deal!!!! is it 1600 rms or what?
  10. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    but then again, RMS doesn't mean anything unless you know how the mfg. derives that figure.

    What are they feeding into the amp?
    What do they deem are acceptable distortion figures?
    At what frequency response?
    What are the burst rating capabilities?

    It is just as easy to get duped at one rating then at the other. RMS is easier then some.
  11. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    You know that you're never going to overpower a cabinet, right? What is the wattage coming out of your amp 99.99% of the time? It's a fraction of rated power. What WILL blow your speakers is underpowering them. In order to get the volume that you want you'll keep turning up the volume on your amp until it runs out of headroom and pushes into clipping (distortion). That DC at the top and bottom of the wave is what melts your voicecoil.
  12. There is NO SUCH THING as underpowering a cab, what you are referring to is simply CLIPPING YOUR AMP (more specifically the power section)!

    Also, it isnt DC, its a square edged waveform (hard clipping) with solid state amps.

    Basically, as long as the cab is sounding ok, you should be fine, if it starts farting out or making other not too nice noises, be careful!
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Those are voice coil thermal ratings and are not terribly useful. What counts is displacement limited power, which is on average around 20-50% of the RMS rating, beyond which the cab will distort severely. In common parlance, the cab will usually fart out long before the drivers are in danger of cooking. Ignore the sound of the fart at your own peril. :bawl:

    Absolutely positively untrue. Read this:
  14. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    +1 million

    If it sounds bad......tis bad. I've also seen cone damage from extreme excursion before terminal heating of the coil.
  15. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Forget it. I posted a response but I don't care what you do to your speakers.
  16. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    hey, I'd never read that piece of yours before. Great piece!
  17. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Oh? But you forgot the third way to damage a speaker. You can take the grill off of the cab, kick the cone as hard as you can, and spray beer into the voice coil. Didn't think of that one, did you? :smug:

    Seriously though, great write-up! I think that this explanation of speaker damage will be understood by even the non-EE guys. Great job!
  18. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    AHAHAHAH, wow, that's rich. Too much WATTAGE melts voicecoils - that's why they're given a thermal wattage rating. DC can also melt voice coils, but DC doesn't occur unless there is something going seriously wrong with the components in the output section. But, if you honestly think you can't overpower a cab, go run a Crown Macrotech bridged into a 1x10. Turn volume knobs all the way up, take the grill off, and aim the cab at your ex-wife. Hit an open E and see what happens. Ten points extra if the flying cone hits her in the face.
  19. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    LOL! I almost spit beer all over myself. You and I should start a thread on ways to destroy a speaker. :ninja:
  20. The third most common reason for speaker failure: Guitarists

    Thats all you needed to say :p

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