Power amp to cabinet

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Bukkar, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Bukkar

    Bukkar SS.org Regular

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    Hi!

    I'm new to this forum my name is Jonnie. I just have a noob question because my paranoia is getting the best of me.

    If I use a 300w power amp with a cabinet that is rated at 320w will it damage anything? Or will it just simply distort if I crank it unnecessarily loud?

    Thankyou in advance, I know it can be seen as a stupid question but I'm new when it comes to actual amps and cabinets. :hbang:
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Probably not, but it depends - is one of those wattages peak and the other is rms? Are you extremely unlikely to crank the amp? Is that 300watts from a tube amp or solid state?

    Disclaimer: I don't really know what I'm talking about, but my understanding/guess has always been like this-

    If you've got a 300w solid state, class D kind of a thing, then then I would guess it's safe. My understanding is that solid state amps will, if you crank them, put out as much power as they can, then that's it. They'll distort and sound horrible after that point, but won't break anything. I've mismatched some bass amps and cabs before and the result was smoke coming out of the cab. It was a terrible cab though, so maybe it was already fried. I dunno.

    A tube amp on the other hand, I think is capable of putting out a higher wattage than it's rated for. A "'20w tube amp" might actually be putting out 25w peaks, and given that tube amps are made to be pushed and sound good when you do so, then this is a more likely scenario.

    There's also the question of what the rating on the cab really means. Can it only handle 320 peaks? Or is that 320 sustained rms, and it can handle higher peaks than that? Who knows.

    I'd say if this is a solid state bass amp and you're likely to crank it, then maybe don't do that. If this is a tube guitar head (300w?!?! probably not) you're never going to crank it that loud, so go for it. I use a ~100w-ish mesa head into a "90w" speaker and it's perfectly fine. The amp master volume never goes higher than 2, and I seriously doubt I'm actually putting out 100w into the cab at any given time.

    More detail about what specific gear your talking about might help answer your question.
     
  3. Bukkar

    Bukkar SS.org Regular

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    Hi,

    Yes it's a solid state (rocktron velocity 300) I would have thought the 320w on the cab means it can handle up to 320w so ramps up as you crank the volume...I could be wrong. I have matched the impedence so that isn't an issue it's just the watts that is confusing me now. The only other choice is one of those matrix power amps which in bridged mode could go up to 1000w however when it isn't in bridge mode at 8 ohm it can dish out 325w RMS. To be fair writing this has made me think it will be a better option. Any opinions on this?

    Thankyou for your reply
     
  4. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    you'll be fine, i wouldn't worry at all with that setup. Like you say even bridged at 8 ohms that's 300w max, and often manufacturers recommend you power a speaker with MORE wattage than the speaker is rated for. This is more common in the PA/pro audio world, but same concept applies for solid state power.

    here's something from Crown...

    and more telling...

     
  5. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ I guess the takeaway is that if you have to crank everything, maybe it's something to be concerned about, but just don't abuse your gear and you'll be fine.
     
  6. Bukkar

    Bukkar SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the replies I really appreciate it, Those quotes were helpful as well so thankyou for that!
     
  7. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    Yup, agreed. I think even with the 1.6 to 2.5x recommendation, they are assuming you have the sense to turn it down if your speaker starts farting out or catches fire....:lol:

    With solid state headroom is always good to have, for better tone and equipment life. Anytime i've ever had to crank a solid state device much past halfway, it's never resulted in anything good!
     

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