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Too stupid???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jon R, May 8, 2002.

  1. OK... this might be too stupid to need asking, but here goes.

    Is a 300 watt amp driving a 300 watt speaker cab any louder than a 100 watt amp driving a 100 watt speaker cab? Let's assume all else is equal... same speaker size, same number of speakers, same sensitivity etc. etc.

    I've been doing this a long time so this is plenty embarrasing to ask! :oops:
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Yes. It is louder. Not significantly, as there are deminishing returns when increasing the power.

    Probably what would be more noticable with the 300 watter would be the increased clarity and dynamic response accross the whole frequency range at approximently the same volume levels. That is, the headroom.

    But with both amps jacked wide open, the 300 would be louder.

    Three times louder? Not even close.

  3. Yes it is!
  4. Why?
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    The general rule for wattage to double volume is x10. A 300w amp compared to a 100w amp is going to be significantly louder. But speaker and cab efficiency etc come into the mix.

    As Chas stated the 300w amp will be more comfortable at the 'safe max volume' of the 100w set up.

    The whole 100w/300w thing has been done before her. The main factor is how loud your band play at and the factors there are the drummer and guitarist. I have managed to avoid overpowered guitarists but my current drummers playing encouraged me to ditch the 140w combo for a 220w head and 4x10. Its not twice as loud but it keeps up with Mr Muscle.
  6. Let me further explain the "Why?"

    Seems to me that you'd only move so much air with a specific size and sensitivety speaker... if that speaker was at it's peak at 300 watts or 100 watts it shouldn't matter, right?

    Kind of like a 64 hp car that weighs 825 lbs being equal to a 2800 lb car with a 217 hp engine...
  7. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Hemel Hempstead, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    i see what your saying
    for example to the others, the more powerful car, although having a bigger engine, weighs more and so techniaclly will only be as fast as the other car.
    This is not the same with amps, this is becuase the speakers in the 300w cab will have been designed to take more then the 100w speakers, and so you would get a little more out of them.

    hope this makes sense
  8. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    You wouldn't necessarily get more out of them. It all depends on the drivers, the cabinet design, and crossover (if used).
  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    Assuming the 100 watt cab and the 300 watt cab have the same efficiency and other stuff, the only factor in the volume difference would be how much power you push them with. If you push the 300 watt cab with 100 watts it will have the same volume as the 100 watt cab being pushed with 100 watts. If you try to push the 100 watt cab with 300 watts you will most likely blow out the drivers, but the 300 watt cab will be able to handle the 300 watt amp.
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    If you drive it with 300 watts continuous power, yes, you'll blow the drivers. But with music, you need amp power to handle peaks without clipping; the average power is way below the maximum.

    So if you've got occasional peaks hitting 300 watts, the average power is probably down around 25 to 50 watts, maybe 75 if you've got siginificant compression going on.
  11. Louder is more about SPL then Watts. 2 compareable speakers / amps in the scenrio you described would result in the 300 watt one being louder. But a cheap 300 watt speaker vs. maybe a bag end or something else with a high SPL will almost always be louder.

    Not a stupid question by any means, but here is one for you

    Why does a 100 watt guitar amp seem 20 times louder then a 100 watt bass amp?

    I have a book that answers this question but it was a lot of reading on physics, and the human brain.
  12. tim4003


    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    It takes more wattage to produce the lower frequencies of a bass.
  13. jobu3

    jobu3 It ain’t ideal but I deal Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    imagine throwing a softball at a target 30 feet away. now imagine doing it with a bowling ball. you'll get it out there but not quite as far or with the the same ease. this is an example of headroom and "loudness" it takes quite a bit of effort to throw one as opposed to the other. much like that of guitar vs. bass.

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