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Which is better: Amp head with more wattage or the cabinet?

Discussion in 'Bass Amps & Cabinets' started by IncX, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. IncX

    IncX

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    i am planning to buy a harke 410xl cabinet and its rated somewhere in the 300 watt range at 4 ohms ... and i am planning to buy a warwick xtreme 5.1 head (which is rated in 500 watts) ...

    is this a good idea?

    id love to get a matching warwick cabinet, but currently, shipping those to the philippines is $500 expensive
     
  2. Mr Bassman Sax

    Mr Bassman Sax

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    If it was 8ohms I'd say no problem but at 4 Ohms I myself wouldn't risk it.
     
  3. IncX

    IncX

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    oh, i meant it was 400 watts at 8ohms...
     
  4. Rieno

    Rieno

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    No problem...it's always recommended to have more wattage in the head than the speaker is made for, so you don't drive the head to its max :)

    Just use your ears..if you hear any distortion that's not supposed to be there, turn the volume down a bit.

    Edit: and if the cab can handle 400 watts @ 8 ohms there's no problem at all, 'cause then the Xtreme 5.1 can deliver about what..350 watts or so.

    Just don't run the head at max volume, then there shouldn't be any problems.
     
  5. JanVanHove

    JanVanHove Artist

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    If it's 400 watts at 8 ohms, then no problem whatsowever...
     
  6. IncX

    IncX

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    thanks for the help... i wish i could test it, but there are no warwick anything (xep for rockbasses) here in the phils.

    again, its a gamble... and im only doing it cause i trust in warwick... and well, the reviews from you guys :)
     
  7. Eberbachl

    Eberbachl

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    Be very careful about this statement. It's one of the common myths in the bass amp industry. Having a cab rated at less than your head doesnt do anything to prevent you from driving the head into clipping.

    You are right on one hand - it's very important that you buy a head with enough wattage so you can get the volume you need without driving the head into clipping, but having more wattage in the head than the cab doesn't help at all.

    The wattage rating of the cab is simply the amount of clean RMS power the cab can handle happily.

    Two rules apply:

    1: You should have enough power in your head so you don't push it too far and run it into clipping.

    2: You should not hit your cab with more RMS wattage than it's rated for.

    That's it. Very simple.

    Of course you can damage a cab with clipping regardless of whether it's rated for higher or lower wattage than your amp produces if your solid state amp is clipping all the time.

    Additionally, if you have a 500 watt head and always run it under halfway you'll be fine with a 300 or 400 watt cab, but that doesn't mean a 600 or even 1000watt cab won't work equally as well - of course it will. It's just that the latter cab can take more clean power - that's all.

    ;)
     
  8. IncX

    IncX

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    thanx for the tip!

    ill keep those in mind ... head more power than cabinet BUT not too much :)
     
  9. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    As it was already answered, it is ok to use a 500W head with a 300W cabinet, rated at 4 ohms, tot a problem. All you have to do is to set the level where the cab sounds clean without distortion. You can easily feel when the cab is getting too much, it is more difficult to hear when you are clipping the amp.
     
  10. NeonVomit

    NeonVomit

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    Yes, if you underpower a cab you can get square wave distortion which will fry your drivers.

    Believe me. I know.
     
  11. Rieno

    Rieno

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    But that's not underpowering your cabs though ;) That's clipping your amp..which in turn does fry about anything connected to it, including itself.

    What it does do, in terms of positive thinking, is give a nice lightshow.
     
  12. Andrew O

    Andrew O

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    i run a 60 watt head into a 3000 watt cab. i'm old school ampage with new school bass!
     
  13. Eberbachl

    Eberbachl

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    This is NOT underpowering the cab.

    It has nothing at all to do with underpowering the cab, and can occur with any cab regardless of it's rated capacity. The cab's capacity has nothing to do with it.

    It is simply a case of running the head too hot and letting it clip constantly.
     
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