Speaker wattage? Can a 400w cab handle a 600w head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. I've got a Carvin RC210 bass combo. It has a 600w bass head and an attached 210 cab. The cab is rated at 400w - which seems strange, since the head is 600w. Is this 400w the program wattage, peak wattage, or what? Can this cab handle the 600w or should I be looking to replace the 10" speakers with higher wattage speakers? I really like how it sounds, I'm just concerned about damaging the speakers.
  2. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Just because the head is rated at 600 doean't mean you're using 600. The cab is only going to take what it needs. Your cab is probably rated a 8ohm, and your head will only make 600 when the load is down to 4ohms (two 8ohm cabs make a 4ohm load). So you'll have to have another 8ohm extension cabinet to get the head working at 600w.
  3. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    99% of the time, this makes perfect sense, but not here. Unfortunately, the speaker section of that combo includes two 10" 8-ohm drivers in parallel, so it's already 4 ohms.

    The good news: you won't damage either the speakers or the head unless you drive it into (audible) distortion.
  4. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Is there an Extension Speaker jack on the amp? If there is, that would indicate that the head probably produces 300w at X ohms, X being the impedence of the 210. If you want the full 600w you'd have to attach another cabinet of equal impedence to the aforementioned Extension Speaker jack.
  5. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Let me clarify.

    That speaker section in his combo has a total impedance of 4 ohms.

    The head in that combo has biamp capability. But in bridged mode, it can put out the 600W into 4 ohms.

    If you add an extension cab, and try to run it bridged, you will present a total impedance of less than 4 ohms to the head, and will likely burn it up. Do not do this.

    To use two cabs, you have to switch to the Biamp mode, and send 300W to the internal cab, and 300W to the extension.
  6. hmmm, I would imagin your fine, I mean, It is headroom right? And if it was built with 600 watts of power into a 400 watt cab, why be concerened? Carvin knows what they are doing.
  7. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    No problem. I ran a GK that put out 750 watts at 8 ohms into a 400 watt rated 8 ohm cabinet. The speaker never failed and I pushed it pretty hard at times. It got unpleasantly loud in smaller rooms.

    If the speaker sounds distorted, back off on the volume, or add another cabinet to handle the extra power.

    Don't use too much bass boost at higher volumes though, as that will quickly overload your speaker.
  8. Wow! Thanks for all of the quick responses! I should clarify. The amp is actually two 300w amps that can be bridged into 600w. I do have an extension 115 cab that I can use, but when I'm playing for the Junior High youth group at my church I don't have room on stage. Because of noise, we don't use the main speakers and monitors - we just use monitors, so I'm using the RC210 by itself as not only monitor but bass sound. I bridge the amps so that the 4 ohm 210 is getting all of the sound. I did find that with the volume at 5 out of 10 and bass boosted up the speakers tended to fart out on the B-string. When I reduced the bass the problem was solved and I still got plenty of bass. It's a tilt-back cabinet and the breeze coming out of the front slot ports felt like a fan!

    I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to damage the speakers and thought it was funny that they'd put 200w speakers into a 210 when it was likely that there would be 600w being pumped into them. However, I'm really not expecting to turn the volume beyond 5 - if I need more volume than that I'd better just add the 115 and go biamp.

    Really nice sounding amp, by the way!

    Thanks for the information!
  9. I still think I might eventually swap the 10's out for some Eminence Kappa Pro 10's. That would have the cab rated at 1000w which should be plenty to take all that 600w amp can throw at them!
  10. It's really too bad that carvin doesn't have a 212 in the Red Eye series to match up with the RC210 - that would be massive. The 115 does sound nice matched up with the 210, though.
  11. By the way, you're right that I shouldn't bridge to lower than 4ohms, but I can biamp to lower. The attached pic is part of the manual and says that in biamp mode it can put out 300w/300w into 2ohms! Does this mean I could have one internal amp running the attached 4ohm 210 and another daisychained 4ohm 410, while the other internal amp is running the 4ohm 115 and another daisychained 212?
  12. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    To my understanding of that head, yep, theoretically that could be done.

    But what a weird rig that would be..... and you'd need a step van to haul all that stuff...... :eek:
  13. Yeah, but it would sound truly massive! :bassist:

    I'm actually pretty happy with the 210/115 combo - I think it'll be all I need since I'm just a hobbiest at heart.
  14. I have used this same Carvin setup (RC210) for a number of years with no issues (unless you count the on-going battle with the 342 different switches, sliders & knobs ;) ). As explained by others above, the difference in 'power ratings' of the amp and cab shouldn't be an issue under normal operating conditions..
  15. Cool! I might just leave the speakers as is. I haven't found the controls to be an issue, but then I'm using a Zoom B2 to add amp sound. I pretty much leave the settings on the amp alone.