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Trying to Understand Amp Power

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikarre, Nov 19, 2003.


  1. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Um, that's exactly what I addressed in that post. ;)
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Original question:
    "Would a 250 watt per side amp be as loud as a 500 watt amp, or only as loud as a 250 watt amp?"

    Two seperate cabs running at the same time at 250 watts each will sound louder than one cab pushing 500 watts.

    I have no lengthy technical articles to refer you to, I have no physics degree to justify my statement, I do not work for any amplifier/speaker company to add credibility to my claim, I can not even explain to you why. But, I don't think you want to know why, you just want to know. So, how do I know this then? I just tried it in my garage. It sounds louder, which is all that is being asked. The rest of you can continue to debate if it really is.

    -Mike
     
  3. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    But it also ultimately depends on how much power you're actually putting into the cabinets. Let's face it, a 250-watt amp, for example, rarely puts out 250 watts--usually only on occasional peaks.

    If the speakers are equal, a 250-watt amp putting out an average of 100 watts will be slightly louder (3 dB) than a 500-watt amp putting out 50 watts.
     
  4. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Heh heh....okay, this is the closest yet to answering my question. We're getting warmer though. :D

    MJ5150 said "Two seperate cabs running at the same time at 250 watts each will sound louder than one cab pushing 500 watts." But, what I am wondering is, will two seperate cabs running at the same time at 250 watts each sound louder than one 500 watt amp pushing TWO cabs. Please disregard ohms and cabinets and all that, just consider that all things are equal...equal power, but in one case it's being provided by a 500 watt amp, and in the other it's being provided by 2x250 watt amps.

    With a single MONO 500 watt amp, both cabinets will be powered by one 500 watt amp. But with dual 250 watt amps, each cabinet will be powered by one 250 watt amp. So what's the difference?

    I really appreciate all of this guys. The real thing I am tring to figure out is if I should keep my Hartke 5000 or not. :D
     
  5. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Okay, I'm kinda understanding, but you lost me on the last paragraph. You seem to be implyiing that 500 total watts stereo (2x250) is the same as 500 watts mono, and the only differences would be how I adjusted my volumes, gain, and such. Am I reading you correct?
     
  6. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Yes, that's the way I would see it as well.

    In theory, every thing else being equal...

    A mono 500watt RMS (at 4ohms) amp pushing 2 8ohm cabinets (wired in parallel) should be equivalant to a stereo amp w/ 250watts RMS per side (at 4ohms), each side pushing a single 4ohm cabinet.

    The major difference (or advantage) of a stereo amp is that you can send a different signal to each side (or speaker in this case), which you couldn't do with the mono amp. Also as Bob mentioned, you could control the volume of each cabinet if you wanted by using a stereo amp.

    - Frank.
     
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    The question is....."what I am wondering is, will two seperate cabs running at the same time at 250 watts each sound louder than one 500 watt amp pushing TWO cabs."

    Neither will sound louder than the other. They will sound the same. Keep the Hartke 5000, there is nothing wrong with that amp.

    -Mike
     
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    This has gotten far more complicated than it needs to be. :meh:
     
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I agree....

    -Mike
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    That's because there are too many unknown variables to make the answer simple. ;)
     
  11. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Probaly also b/c I could've found a clearer way to ask the question if I thought about it for a minute. Sorry, but thank's for all the help you guys!
     
  12. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    It's okay, I know it's not easy to communicate on a topic that you maybe don't know a lot about or are fairly new to. And it's not the sort of thing you can just go to an encyclopedia and look up. ;)

    But that's why when you ask questions, we often reply with more questions. ;)
     
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 11, 2021

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