#1
Hi

I currently have a crappy 100 watt combo amp which isn't really getting a very good sound when i play live and i'm thinking of moving on to a head and cab. There's alot of stuff that confuses me with buying one though!

Heads
- What does the wattage mean on a head? As obviously they don't have speakers and can't emit sound
- What do the ohms signify? I know this was something to do with the head and cab ohm power matching but i can't remember exactly
- Is there anything i should look for when buying a head, as i don't have much money and am considering buying one second hand.

Cabs
- What does the wattage mean on a cab? Is this the wattage the speakers can put out? I noticed some say "up to ... watts". Does this mean this is the max output the head can put into it? For example would a 200 watt head work with a 100 watt max cab
- How do the ohms relate to the head
- Is there anything to look out for when buying one? I head celestion speakers are the best, but i'm not sure which models are going to produce a good sound
- Will a 2x12 cab be loud enough to play live shows? I've never really been to look at any so i have no idea how big they are. I don't want a 4x12 as i think they may be a pain in the ass to carry around

Apologies for any 'noobishness' or unclarity, and thanks in advance for any help!

Cheers,
James
#2
-Wattage on a head is how much sonic power it can put out. The head produces the watts, the cab merely "handles" them; this means that a 100 watt head through a 400000 watt cab will put out 100 watts. The head is the engine, the cab merely the wheels that transfer the power to the road. Your tires have to be able to handle the power the engine is putting out.

-Ohms are a unit of impedance; basically, the tubes and transformer in a tube amp need to be matched electrically with the cab. It doesn't have much to do with power, unless you mismatch them. Don't mismatch them.

-Make a new thread with this information about a new head. We'll be happy to help.

-The wattage on the cab, as I said earlier, is merely how many watts it can receive from the head. Usually it's a good idea to give yourself some headroom - you can use a 100 watt cab with a 100 watt head, but it's a good idea to use a cab with more wattage handling to be on the safe side.

-Cabs are of a certain ohm load. It will say on the cab. You need to match the head ohms with the cab. That means you need to either buy a cab and head that have the same ohm rating, or get an amp with an ohm selector switch.

-The size of the cab is mostly irrelevant to volume. Anything 1x12 or bigger is fine for gigging as long as the amp has enough wattage to make sound.
#3
colin nailed it

only thing i'd add is that most tube amps put out more than their rated wattage when cranked up, so some extra wattage on the cab rarely hurts (e.g. 200 watt cab with 100 watt head). Though some speakers are rated more conservatively than others, too, so it's not just so black and white... one brand's 50 watt-rated speaker might be fine with a 50 watt valve amp (even if that valve amp is putting out 80 watts), while another's might not.
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#4
Thanks guys i really appreciate your help. I understand it all alot better now! I'll start a new thread with that information and see what i get back!

Thanks again

James