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Will this be a better bet...smaller with less ohms or bigger with more

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by werbo1, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. I have a hartke HA2000 Head...I like it's tone.
    I have a hartke VX1508 Cab - I am unhappy with its volume

    200 watts is a fair amount for me...Herein lies the question

    Would it be louder to be running through my 8 ohm system at 120 watts - a 15, two 8s and a high freq. horn all in the VX1508...or

    would it be louder to buy a 4 ohm cab, such as a 2x12 at 200 watts - which would also be easier on the back?

    Thank you.
  2. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    What about a second 8 ohm cab? More power and surface area. Plus then you have options, you can use either cab, or both, depending on the situation.
  3. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    It's impossible to answer your question without knowing the sensitivity of each cab.
  4. I thought the ohms were the sensitivity?
    The VX1508 - is 8 ohms at a 15, and two 8s

    Possible buys would be a 2x12 at 4 ohm or maybe a 4x10

    I would consider another 8 ohm cab, but its really just not worth it for me to have two cabs. If i were to have two, I would want two smaller ones.

    Another question: Is it safe to mix a 4 ohm cab and an 8 ohm cab as long as both can handle the power of the amp?
  5. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    No, the impedance, measured in ohms, is an indication of how much resistance to the flow of electricity the cabinet has.

    Sensitivity is normally expressed as '96db at 1w/m' or similar. That would be 1 watt of power, produces 96db of sound, when measured at 1 meter. That's still a little deciving unless you are told at what frequency they measure. Still, you can tell the difference between a 96db cab and a 103db cab.
  6. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    It won't hurt the cabinets. It might hurt the amp. Solid state amps are designed to drive a minimum load; if your load is lower than that, it could damage the power section. If your amp can safely drive a 2 ohm load you could mix a 4 and 8 ohm cab together on the same channel.
  7. okay so let me try to get this straight

    If an amps sensitivty is 96db at 1w/m, that is louder than one with 50 db at 1 w/m?
  8. You say you're unhappy with your volume, yet you think 200 W is enough for you. Something may not be computing correctly there. Have you thought of getting a bigger amp? I'm not saying a more efficient cab couldn't help (it could), but more watts is a good thing.
  9. Richard, 200 watts is enough, th eonly problem is righ tno wi'm only getting 120 out of it with an 8 ohm cab right now. So i'd rather go to a single 4 ohm cab.
  10. No offense, but how do you know it's enough if, as you say, you're not getting enough volume? What makes you sure that getting a 4 ohm cab will fix that? There isn't a big volume difference between 120 W and 200 W.

    I'm not busting on you, I'd just hate to see you spend money and time on something that may not solve the problem you're experiencing.

    Also, consider this: you say you like the tone of the amp. But you're only hearing that tone *through the cab you're using*. Different cabs sound different. So if you get a different cab, your tone will change. That could be either a good or a bad thing from your perspective, but you want to be aware of it.
  11. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Watts are meaningless. They don't measure sound pressure levels, they only determine how much power usage the electric company is charging you for. Even if you double your wattage draw with a speaker of the same sensitivity you'll only gain 3dB additional SPL, a barely audible difference. A more sensitive speaker easily can give you as much as 6dB additional SPL with no change in your wattage draw. The problem is that speaker manufacturers don't provide useful sensitivity ratings of their speakers. Your best option is to take your entire rig to a music store and directly compare your current speaker to others to find one that gives you what you're looking for.
  12. Richard, none taken. You raise a good point that i forgot to consider. All this amp business is quite confusing. So i guess that power form an amp doesn't mean a whole lot, its all in the cab? And certain cabs are more expensive because of their sensitivity which ultimately determines how loud they are?

    Bill, good advice. I was thinking about bringing my head to music stores and testing different cabs
  13. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Rig 1:My PV BAM head into my 8ohm SWR Goliath= 200 watts.
    Rig 2: My Ampeg B2 into Ampeg 4x8 and 1x15 cabs= 350 watts.
    Rig 2 has more cabs, more speakers, more watts, but the PV/SWR rig blows it away in terms of volume. Not all amps or cabs are created equally.
  14. It's not all in the cab, but a lot is.

    Sensitivity is important, but it's not the sole factor governing price or quality, or even necessarily the most important one. More sensitive cabs are not necessarily better.
  15. ghindman


    Feb 10, 2006
    At a certain point, unless you're running a huge number of cabs, wattage is about having the headroom to really push those low frequencies cleanly. In my opinion, and this is just my opinion from experience, the sweetspot for an average medium sized cab arrangment - basic 4x10, 2x15, 2x2x10, etc. - is in the 300-500watt@4ohm range.

    If you have an adequately powered amp, moving from running an 8ohm load and a 4ohm load is not going to result in a huge change in volume. To add more volume, you need to move more air - to steal a phrase from car lingo, there's no replacement for displacment. A second 8ohm cab will move more air, and give you more volume, but will give you more gear to move. A more sensitive 4ohm cab will also be louder, give you more headroom, and will be smaller.

    However, a 1x15, 2x8, horn cabinet should be moving a lot of air, unless you're playing with ridiculously loud bandmates. What do you mean when you say it doesn't have enough volume? When you play by yourself, it seems inadequate, or when you're playing with others you can't hear yourself? If the latter, you may need to spend some time futzing with your eq, and maybe invest in a good compressor pedal, if you don't have one. The unfortunate truth is that the killer tone you can get by yourself in your basement rarely carries through on stage.
  16. What i mean when i say it doesn't have enough volume is exactly that - i'm usually upa round 7 or 8 at the volume for a reasonable volume, and even then turning up to 10 isn't tha tmuch differnt
  17. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    What Bill Fitzmaurice said is good advice. Until you gain some experience playing gear live you won't know what to buy. Going by what maufacturers advertise is useless. They want to sell gear nad will say anything to sell it. They're not as bad as pharmaceutical companies though.

    And you can't trust a saleman in a store for good advice either. He may be able to slap a few impressive licks but that doesn't mean he knows what he's selling. There are a very few knowlegable saleman who play professionaly, but they're rare.

    You can get good equipment at a decent price but you have to get past the advertising hype.You don't need to buy "boutique" equipment. Also, don't take at face value what writers in gear magazines say. The whole purpose of those magazines is to sell magazines and to sell advertising space to gear manufacturers. The same thing goes on in every type of magazine-woodworking mags, bicycle mags, etc.