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! :)

what does "program handling" mean???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I am about to buy a cab that says 200 watts rms / 300 watts program handling. so what does program handling mean?

  2. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
  3. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Don't pay any attention to program ratings. RMS is all you need to worry about. Some marketing guru somewhere decided that the bets way to give amps more watts is the change the way you quote it. All it did was confuse people.
  4. spidersbass


    Nov 29, 2004
    Downtown L.A.
    confuse people and possibly later piss them off real bad
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    so from what i gather from the above link program handling is the max of continuous playing your bass cab etc can handle while rms is the safe vol. of playing cab can handle
  6. It is pure marketing bullsh*t.

    The power handling capability of a driver is two-fold:

    1) Maximum before excursion (Xmax) exceeded
    2) Maximum before voice coil melts

    Very few drivers will accept full power without exceeding Xmax within the bass operating range. Exceptions are some JBL, Selenium, Beyma drivers, but only a few.

    The power handling rating is further bullsh*t because it does not account for power compression. This is the reduced power acceptance that happens when the voice coil gets hot, and the resistance increases (power goes down).

    Most of these clowns quote power handling at some useless frequency, i.e. 1000 Hz, to inflate their numbers even worse.
  7. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    This is right on--absolutely true. The buying public, many times kids and musicians who do not have the knowledge to understand what the specs mean, would not be served by better specs anyway, and just want to know "how many watts does the cab have?" and are convinced that 4-ohm cabs are louder because their amp "puts out all its watts into 4 ohms." This is BS too.

    But, there are plenty of knowledgable and honest people working in the business of making and marketing equipment too, and who advocate within their organization for honest and useful information concerning their products. They don't win often, but sometimes they do mitigate the BS in specs. The problem is that meaningful specs are often not understood at all by the buying public. And, the press does not do or publish meaningful testing to call these manufacturers on their BS. So, if you put out real information, no-one understands it. The sensitivity charts available at the Eminence site, for example. Good, useful specs. Makes people's eyes glaze.
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i generally only go by the rms rating, although with some good cabinets I'll take the peak power rating into account, especially if i'm using a good deal more power than the RMS rating of the cabinet.

    Bass guitar in particular has a very dynamic signal, and the RMS rating lets you paly it safe. There is a good chance that you will be giving it a near "continuous" signal at 42 Hz, not a sine wave, but droning on an open E with the bass boosted will put some strain on any cabinet.
  9. Program handling power is "HYPE"
    Only pay attention to R.M.S. as it is the true handling power.
    It was meant to deceive the public and came out in the late 1960's. It did just that for a period until we wised up.
  10. Like everyone says RMS is what is important and programme power should be seen as none relevant. It should also be noted that a cabs ability to to handle a specific power is dependant on the sound required from it, clearly a dub sound will put more weight on the speaker(s) than a thin sort of chris squire sound.
  11. redistributer


    Sep 17, 2009
    Just wanted to bring this post back for anyone who stumbles on it searching for this crap. Why are you all rating your amps by watts anyway, that just power. What your concerned about is your pressure decibel level when buying for sound. You can have a 100 watt power rated amp that has a 192db rating or you can buy a cheap 300 watt amp that has a 24db rating, these are your pressure zones and distance that the sound will travel. This would be your most important factor when buying amps that are used for live sound.
  12. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Whatever the lowest number is, consider that the "wattage rating". Then consider it inflated by 50-100%. That's how much it can handle consistently before it starts on fire, not how much it can handle before it farts out.
  13. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I've noticed that Program Power / 2 = RMS.
  14. pgk


    Aug 19, 2007
    what does "program handling" mean???

    not a Damn thing
  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Please stay away from scissors, live electric outlets near water, firearms, and the wheel of an automobile.

    But the good news is you have been nominated as Owner of the most mangled first post ever.
  16. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    If that.
  17. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I think it's B&C who state in their datasheet that quoting program power as twice the RMS rating is part of the ISO rating standard. There is no separate test method for program power. So, knowing these two numbers is like knowing the radius and diameter of a circle.