Got the new Mesa TC-50 Triple Crown, but why no 16 ohm selector?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by icipher, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. icipher

    icipher SS.org Regular

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    got the amp, love it through my mesa 2x12 at 8 ohms.

    I am concerned that there is no 16 ohm selection switch. I have Marshall 4x12's which are 16 ohm cabs. I've read many times that going from 8 ohm amp to 16 ohm cab, while safe, will result in less volume and punch which is unacceptable to me especially being in a metal band.

    Every amp I've owned, which has been over a dozen, has had an option for 4,8, or 16. Why did mesa cheap out on this? Should I consider returning the amp because I am not willing to part with my 16 ohm Marshall cabs?

    PS. As a disclaimer, I realize it was my lack of research that led to me buying the amp before realizing this. As I mentioned, every amp I've ever owned has had a 16 ohm selection on back, so I didn't even think to wonder about this on an $1,800 amp.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    You can do all the reading in the world, but does it *sound* like you're lacking punch when you play the amp this way? It's not worth throwing out any gear cause someone on the internet said this isn't the optimal setup. Use your ears. Does it sound fine? Then it's fine.

    None of the Mesa amps I've used recently (I own a Mark IV and a V:25) have a 16ohm option, but they sound just fine through a 16ohm cab using the 8ohm plug. The manual for the V:25 suggests that these amps are designed to work just fine with mismatches as long as it's not extreme. In my experience, the difference in sound between each impedance setting is so minute that it's barely worth mentioning. It's not like using a 16ohm cab is going to suddenly put you in a spot where the amp can't keep up with the volume of a drummer or something. I've borrowed cabs at shows that were 16ohm and still gotten compliments on my amp sound despite the mismatch.

    :2c:
     
  3. JD27

    JD27 ESP Cult Member

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    The majority of Mesa Heads only have 8 and 4ohm outs (Some of the Rectifiers have 16ohm) and the Cabs are almost always 8ohm as well. None of my 4 Mesa heads have 16ohm outs and I run some of them through my 16ohm Orange 2x12 on occasion. Sounds just fine to me. No reason to part with your Marshall Cab (or new amp) if you are happy with the way it sounds through the TC-50. If you aren't happy, then that is a different story.

    And this is from the TC-50 manual with regards to connecting 16 ohm cabs...

    "A 16 Ohm 4x12 or 2x12 Cabinet should be used in the 8 Ohm setting and will see a slight reduction in maximum power, thought it will likely be unnoticeable with the additional coverage four or even two speakers provides."
     
  4. icipher

    icipher SS.org Regular

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    Guess I should have read the manual. This is helpful, thank you.
     
  5. Yodel

    Yodel Banned

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    You know what two 4x12s with 16ohms wired in parallel give you resistance-wise, right?
     
  6. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    You have a number of options to avoid a mismatch, assuming your Marshall cabs have the normal two inputs and stereo/mono selector switch.

    1. Use both speaker outputs at 8 ohms into two of the Marshall cabs

    2. Use one 4 ohm output into the 4 ohm input of one of the cabs

    3. Set one cab to stereo and use both speaker outputs at 4 ohms into each side of said cab
     
  7. icipher

    icipher SS.org Regular

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    Their the infamous mode 4 cabs with vintage 30's. Only one 16 ohm jack.
     
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ I don't know specific details about those cabs, but I'd assume any 4x12 that can be wired as 16ohm could be re-wired as 4ohm. Correct me if I'm wrong though.
     
  9. macgruber

    macgruber cat enthusiast

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    ^^ correct.
     
  10. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    Question is why does Marshall make 16-ohm 4x12s
     
  11. Daeniel

    Daeniel 7string n00b!

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    Actually in my experience every time I have hooked up a 8Ohm out from any amp to my Orange 2x12" I got increased higher mids and treble. Therefore I got more punch. And volume wise - even live with a Mesa I have never used the Master volume higher than 5.
    I a few words - no worries ;)
     
  12. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Because at 16 ohms you using are all the windings (both primary and secondary) of the output transformer. In lay terms, you are getting full output from your amp, which gives a brighter, more cutting tone. At 8 ohms your amp is seeing a reduced load and your are not running at full output power, which gives a darker, warmer, more bass heavy tone. Which personally I do not like. Mesa needs to start adding 16 ohm outs to their amps.
     
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Would this not depend very heavily on the rest of the design of the amp, and the specific transformer being used? I assume that not all transformers are exactly the same.
     
  14. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    No. Class AB push-pull power amps all share a similar OT design. Mesa likes its amps to have that dark, bassy, low-mid flavored tone. Part of which comes from running at 8 ohms.
     
  15. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    If a watt is the unit of measure for power, is it not true that tube amps put out the same power (measured in watts) regardless of impedence?

    I think that what you are saying is that running 16-ohms is light wearing tighty whiteys. It doesnt actually change the size of your package (output power) but makes it look more defined.

    Seriously, I've never heard of that though! So if you run two of these Marshall 16-ohm cabs simultaneously, resulting in an 8-ohm load- then the TONE (frequencies, etc) will change? I dont mean to be argumentive or anything, just curious because this is different from my current understanding.
     
  16. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    I'm sorry, but there is so much wrong with this statement, that it hurts my face.

    Tranformers primary and secondary windings don't work that way. Both sides of a tranformer are needed to "transform" anything....

    The tranformers are designed to operate with a certain resistance applied (4,8,16 ohms). If too small of a load is applied to the tranformer, it will run too hot and melt windings.

    This is why using a cab with higher ohms and amp setting with low is ok, but the opposite might melt your amp down.
     
  17. JumpingInFire

    JumpingInFire SS.org Regular

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    If this were true, then amplifiers would not be rated differently at specific impedance loads.
    This can impact your headroom and tone but I doubt you would notice in this application.

    http://www.transcendentsound.com/Amplifier_Output_Impedance.html
     
  18. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    That applies to solid state designs (where lower impedance increases the output) but not tube.
     
  19. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    mesa is relying on safe mismatches when it comes to cab/half power etc switching. there is no 16ohm output because it's completely safe to plug 16ohm cab to 8ohm output on the amp
     
  20. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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