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 would be your minimum wattage amp for running 2 4x10 cabs??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JVbass, May 18, 2012.

  1. JVbass


    Feb 15, 2009
    Cleveland OH
    Just got a 2nd 4x10 cab and was wondering what type of power you guys are running for 2 4x10's for rock music and a jazz bass. Thanks!
  2. Depends on how big the gig is. 200 watts up to 1000 watts.
  3. Depends on the gig. 250w has always been plenty for me.

    Other guys with full PA can make plenty enough with a little 30w tube amp.

    Other guys take a full kilowatt, horses for courses.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    1200 watts at 4 ohms. A Crest CA6 will handle it.

  5. I run 400watts and I play in a VERY LOUD band with Full Stacks

    I have no problem keeping up in volume
  6. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Heck, I could get through band practice (rock) with my Fender Bassman 100T set at 25 watt with 2 410's. I use 2 15's.
    For gig volume with no PA I would have to flip it to 100 watt and turn down.
  7. 800 watts. That is enough that you can maintain control of the cones when you really want to turn it up. Unless you are running tubes, more power is always better than under powered. That "farting" that is mentioned on here is clipping of solid state output devices and the quickest way to speaker damage. Tubes, however, saturate differently and have a natural compression allowing them to operate at saturation without the clipped square wave like solid state. That being said, in a vented enclosure that low wattage tube amp at high volumes will not have the control of the higher powered amp and may over work the suspension of the speaker at lower frequencies causing damage. If you want to play loudly and make your gear last it is actually beneficial to have more power.
  8. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    A 200W Reeves, Sadowsky, Ampeg, Fender, Traynor, or Sunn all-tube head would probably thrill you.

    OTOH, an Ampeg 7Pro, Genz Benz Streamliner900, or Carvin B1500 are great solid-state alternatives.
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Argh, no. This is an old wives' tale, and we spend a part of every day here trying to bury it, but it keeps rising from the dead. There is no such thing as "underpowering", and solid state clipping does not damage speakers--until and unless there is actually MORE power going to the cones than they can handle.
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Only as much power as necessary to achieve desired volume.
  12. Cool here is my Stage Rig.
  13. But not so much your speakers burn or flap.
  14. If solid state clipping doesn't damage speakers, ie potentially over heating the voice coil, then where did the myth come from? I know that tubes do compress naturally. They distort, however, it is harmonic, not a clipped signal. The solid state clipped signal looks like a square wave, and as amplitude is increased, becomes even more geometric. There has to be a loss of motor control or something. I also guarantee that a farting speaker playing low B for extended periods is due for short life. I also know for a fact the transistors clipping won't like it much either.
  15. Comes from a couple things.

    1. Tweeters getting toasted. Clipped signals contain more high frequency content, meaning tweeters will be seeing a lot more power than they're supposed to. This fries them, obviously.

    2. Clipped signals carry significantly higher wattage, or significantly enough, anyway, than clean signals. Say your cab is rated for 300 watts. Your head puts out 250. Normally you're fine, right? Well, when clipping, that 250 watt head may be putting out 350, 400, maybe even 500 watts. That driver is going to be toast. It's not because the wave form is clipped, but because due to being clipped, it's quite a bit more power.

    Just the fact that signal is clipping doesn't really affect the speakers. If you have a 30 watt amp, it's going to be difficult for you to blow an 800 watt cab with it, even if the signal is clipped.
  16. Found the answer. So, then low powered solid state just sounds like crap.

    So, then the answer is to get enough power than you can play loud enough to not sound like crap. Considering that most guitar 4x12's are about as sensitive as your 2 4x10's you need at least twice the power of your lowest wattage half stack in your group, usually 100 watts. Since you are twice as sensitive to guitar freq range than bass freq range, we will double that again for good measure. So 400 watts would probably be a good starting point. To avoid the fart and give yourself 3db of head room, double that again, so 800 watts is a good estimate for full bore clean volume against a half stack.

    Edit: this of course depends on the power handling of your cabs, and how well your guitarists volume knobs work, and if they know how to use them.
  17. ChrisAlan


    Dec 27, 2009
    That would have to sound freakin terrible.

    So would you think this to be this be a phenomenon especially specific to the "turn everything to 10" type of dorks?

  18. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    for 2 4x10 cabinets or 8x10

    need exactly 78.8 watts
  19. What is that Bogey, the output of an Ampeg V4, ha ha.
  20. The last is the most important bit.

    I play a 180 watt head through a 2x15 cab. No problems being heard.