1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The Myth Lives On!! (Underpowering)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PlungerModerno, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
  2. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    DC voltage etc
  3. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Lol... Alesis...
  4. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    Well what about these "digital" power amps from Gallien-Krueger?

    They even make sure on the same page to let you know that they are different from their other amps that have an analog power amp.

  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Strange . . . I always figured they were all using analog signals, except the ones that kind of use digital amplification with known distortion . . . like the class D heads and combos! (and powered cabs!).

    Where is the inconsistency in the labelling or info? Oh. They don't describe the RB series heads power amp type . . . http://www.gallien-krueger.com/products/rb-heads/

    In manuals:

    I can't find exact descriptions of their power sections
  6. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    To the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as a digital amplifier. "Digital amplifier" is mistakenly what people call class D amps. I think we just need another name for class D amps. The name seems negative so it just needs to be rebranded because digital amplifier is just not accurate.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I think the "digital" thing is just a result of everything digital being cool. I remember when CD players first hit the market but were still too expensive for most people, hi-fi makers started labeling speakers, and even cables, as "digital ready."
  8. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    True, it is just kind of shocking that a company that is known as a quality brand feels they need to stoop to using terminology that they know to be incorrect.
  9. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Fair enough. I've read that they don't really use DAC or ADC systems so they can't be called digital in a strict (i.e. correct) sense. The reason for using 'digital' may stem from an analogy with the microprocessing that is part of some preamps and other things like effects - the power amp may be bundled in by mistake in the terminology.

    I don't know terribly well about it.
  10. This is a classic case (that we see in these threads constantly) of a little knowledge being dangerous.

    In amplifying drums with a full range system (two way monitor with tweeter), it is well known that driving a power amp/speaker combination hard that is not up to the task can take out a tweeter quite easily (especially with the massive transients and upper treble level energy generated by drums), doing the 'permanent damage' that they quote. I realize this is technically not 'underpowering', but IMO the overall point is valid.

    Similarly, all the smug comments about companies using the shorthand 'digital' label to describe amps with SMPS power supplies is harmless IMO. Most who are not in the 'amateur EE' club realize that 'digital' is just a shorthand description of, typically, a class D amp with an SMPS power supply. What is the issue?

  11. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Seems about right. These myths are going to stick around for the foreseeable future.
  12. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    I am much more shocked that they assume 20 kHz to be the lowest frequency that humans are capable to hear... on the other hand... I now feel a bit special :)
  13. Not related to amps, but a similar headscratch, I've seen camera filters which are "for dSLR" or "HD".
  14. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    LOL I remember stuff being labeled like that, even better was when cassette tapes were still around.
    Certain ones were much much more expensive with a pretty label and were defiantly " Digital Ready" because thats what it said on the package...right

    likewise with the drum monitor stuff...it would be really really horrible if you managed to underpower a 6.5 inch speaker...ohhh know!!! the humanity of it all. :scowl:.....;)
  15. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    I thought it was still relevant that too little power could fry the voice coil in a tweeter (square waves, etc.). Am I ill-informed? :confused:
  16. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yes. It's only too much power that will do harm. The misconception stems from lower powered amps being driven well past clipping to gain volume, (and any amp can generate double it's rated power when pushed), which then frys tweeters. But, it's nothing to do with "not enough power", just the opposite.
  17. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    They are usually talking about the rated power of the amp when speaking of
    underpowered speakers, eg, 100W amp / 200W cabinet.

    Not actual output.

    "Underpowered" is not the best term for it, but it is common and usually
    understood as referring to rated power.
  18. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    The source that inspired this thread said:

    "If you already have an external amplifier and want to save some money, this may be a great option. Just be sure you provide the correct power range to the monitor. It's obvious that too much power can fry a monitor, but too little power can also cause permanent damage."

    I interpret this as pretty unambiguously stating that too much or too little power can fry a monitor. Which is wrong. The tweeter can be blown easier than the woofer and mid (if there is one) but it's not blown by too little power - if that was the case muting an amp would cause the attached cabs to blow.
  19. JHAz


    Jun 29, 2011
    True but think of the power of the opposite, incorrect, attitude: "sorry mr bar owner, I can't turn down or I'll blow my speakers."
  20. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    I agree completely as far as actual output power is concerned.
    If taken literally in technical terms, it would indeed imply that
    running an amp at low level would blow the speaker.

    But in that case, it's not only wrong, it's ridiculous. In fact, it's
    so ridiculous that I wouldn't expect anyone to interpret it that
    way. The only interpretation that makes sense is that the amp's
    rated power should not be significantly lower than the cab's rated