Went to band practice yesterday and our bassist, something of a hoarder, has recently bought an Epiphone tube amp, the little 5watt combo. I tried it out (not too bad) and then he put it through an Orange 2x12 (I believe there's a pair of Celestion 75W drivers in there). Sounded great.

Whilst having a beer last night with a mate who used to tech for bands 20-odd years ago he mentioned that this may lead to the speakers being damaged as the output wattage of the amplifier is too low and the speakers may heat up as they are running at a certain level and the sound/sine isn't peaking enough.

Is this true? Will it screw the speakers or have things "improved" and there's really little to worry about?
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
I'm no tech by any means, but that doesn't seem like it makes any sense. Speakers run more efficiently at low wattages, so if nothing else, shouldn't they technically be running safer than at 50 watts (not that theres any real danger there either). I thought speakers overheat by being pushed by too many watts into clipping. Theres no way they could clip at 5 watts.
Last edited by Charley2715 at May 22, 2011,
I don't see why there'd be a problem.

I've seen, for example, the VHT Special 6 Ultra, which typically ships with a 2x12 cabinet. It's only 6 watts.
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
It was something to do with the sine wave not peaking at the capacity of the speaker thereby having a squred top whilst the speakers "expect" the incoming signal to reach it's peak capacity. The resulting difference being the point where the speakers are running excessive current and burning out.

Does that even make sense?

He was trying to explain it to me over a jug of beer after a few jugs of beer at around 10pm last night. It seemed logical then, but now...??
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
well think about all the people that run 100-150 watt tube amps into vader cabinets, which are rated at 480 watts. It wouldn't do them any good to have all that handling if it was damaging their cabs.
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.

τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
I doubt it, to be honest. If you watch Rob Chapman, and Andertons Music on youtube, they run a Blackstar HT1 1 watt amp through a Marshall 4x12 cabinet. If there would be any speaker damage, it would happen then.
Now let me get this straight - running LESS power is going to cause MORE heat?? The amp just sees the speaker as a big inductor, why would it clip the signal if the inductor isn't saturated by too great a signal?
People have been running Champs into 2x12's and 4x12's for time immemorial.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100

Cathbard Amplification
My band
I run my Mesa power amp into 2 separate 240w cabs.. its 90w output on each side.. I'm pretty sure that's ridiculous that they would heat up lol.
Thank you all - this is what I was thinking and it didn't seem to make sense.

Beer talk...

I've personally never tried it before - or heads and cabs I've played through have been matched. That or I use combos and rarely have I needed to run them through a larger speaker. Seriously - my AC30 and Orange TH30C have been more than sufficient at filling a club or bar - anything louder required and I speak to the nice chap at the mixer and he points a mic in my direction.

I'll let our bassist know to carry on as he was.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
Sounds like your mate is mixing up SS audio amps and guitar amps, and still getting confused. Your fiiiine.

Charvel USA San Dimas | Jackson Matt Tuck Rhoads | Jackson DK2M Dinky | Epiphone Les Paul Custom Midnight | Fender MIM Sunburst Tele

Jet City JCA100HDM | Framus CS 2x12