#1
I was scouting out a couple 120W high-gain amps on YouTube, and I saw that the cabs they were using were Mesa/Orange V30 2x12. Is it "bad" for the amplifier to have strictly as many watts "available" on a 1:1 basis with the cab?

I apologize in advance for the rather noobish question - just trying to potentially save myself some future heartbreak!
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#2
Quote by TehGainiac
I was scouting out a couple 120W high-gain amps on YouTube, and I saw that the cabs they were using were Mesa/Orange V30 2x12. Is it "bad" for the amplifier to have strictly as many watts "available" on a 1:1 basis with the cab?

I apologize in advance for the rather noobish question - just trying to potentially save myself some future heartbreak!

Yep. A cab should have a bit more wattage
withstandtion(Don't know if that's a word )
than a head should have watts. If the head is tube, then the cab should have even more
wattage withstandtion( )
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#3
No, any competent manufacturer will rate their cabs conservatively (more specifically, speaker manufacturers will do so) and since music isn't a constant level signal, even a similarly sized amp head will only put out rated or more than rated wattage a small percentage of the time.

The thought that a cab must have a higher rating than the head is a "belt and suspenders" approach, but isn't necessary for all practical purposes.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#4
What Arby said.
Name's Luca.

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#5
Quote by Fryderyczek
Yep. A cab should have a bit more wattage
withstandtion(Don't know if that's a word )
than a head should have watts. If the head is tube, then the cab should have even more
wattage withstandtion( )


i disagree.

it is fairly common practice for modern tones to use 'overrated' speaker cabs. some will even claim that the speaker cab should be rated for twice the power handling of the amp. what this provides is a speaker cabinet that will react more linearly to the volume ranges of the amp and will also provide a setup wherein the speakers do not distort.

while that is popular opinion now, this is not the only way to think about the problem.

first off, a speaker's power handling (wattage) rating is similar to a car tire's speed rating. if a tire is rated for 100 mph, then chances are it's not going to blow as soon as you pass it's rating. most likely the tire will perform adequately at 105 mph, but you may decrease the life of the tire and it may not perform as well at higher speeds.

this is the same situation with a speaker, a speaker run around it's rated capacity can also provide a particular sound that is desired by some people. back in the hey days of rock a 'rounded' speaker sound was desired, and sure they blew out a bunch of speakers back then, but now we get into another issue.

i read a sound engineering book that had something interesting takes on the subject:

A 30 watt speaker can, however, safely be driven even by a 500 watt amplifier
providing that sensible precautions are taken with respect to how hard the
amplifier is driven. Occasional peaks of more than 30 watts will be quite happily
tolerated; it is sustained high-level drive which will damage a speaker. It is perfectly
all right to drive a high power speaker with a low-power amplifier, but care
must be taken that the latter is not overdriven otherwise the harsh distortion
products can easily damage high-frequency horns and tweeters even though the
speaker system may have quoted power handling well in excess of the amplifier.
The golden rule is to listen carefully. If the sound is clean and unstressed, all will
be well.


mind you, the authors are talking about this subject more in the hi-fi/studio monitoring realm so this is not specific to guitar amps so much, but it is another interesting way to look at it. later in the book they even recommend running speakers with a lower rating than the amp, as amp's tend to cost more than a speaker replacement. the idea is that you won't run the amp as hard if the speakers sound bad at higher levels, and this saves wear on the amp.

as modern tones usually don't prefer power amp distortion, this concept can also be used. you can reason that you won't even want to run the amp near it's operational limitations because it will sound bad, so using the above reasoning, what is the need for using speakers rated far in excess of the amplifier if you never plan on running it that hard to begin with?

i don't necessarily advocate that approach, but it does give some different perspective.

i think a 120 watt rated cabinet with a 120 rated amplifier will perform just fine for anyone's purposes, unless you really want a bunch of power amp distortion and no speaker distortion (or vice versa).
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#7
Quote by gumbilicious
i disagree.

it is fairly common practice for modern tones to use 'overrated' speaker cabs. some will even claim that the speaker cab should be rated for twice the power handling of the amp. what this provides is a speaker cabinet that will react more linearly to the volume ranges of the amp and will also provide a setup wherein the speakers do not distort.

while that is popular opinion now, this is not the only way to think about the problem.

first off, a speaker's power handling (wattage) rating is similar to a car tire's speed rating. if a tire is rated for 100 mph, then chances are it's not going to blow as soon as you pass it's rating. most likely the tire will perform adequately at 105 mph, but you may decrease the life of the tire and it may not perform as well at higher speeds.

this is the same situation with a speaker, a speaker run around it's rated capacity can also provide a particular sound that is desired by some people. back in the hey days of rock a 'rounded' speaker sound was desired, and sure they blew out a bunch of speakers back then, but now we get into another issue.

i read a sound engineering book that had something interesting takes on the subject:


mind you, the authors are talking about this subject more in the hi-fi/studio monitoring realm so this is not specific to guitar amps so much, but it is another interesting way to look at it. later in the book they even recommend running speakers with a lower rating than the amp, as amp's tend to cost more than a speaker replacement. the idea is that you won't run the amp as hard if the speakers sound bad at higher levels, and this saves wear on the amp.

as modern tones usually don't prefer power amp distortion, this concept can also be used. you can reason that you won't even want to run the amp near it's operational limitations because it will sound bad, so using the above reasoning, what is the need for using speakers rated far in excess of the amplifier if you never plan on running it that hard to begin with?

i don't necessarily advocate that approach, but it does give some different perspective.

i think a 120 watt rated cabinet with a 120 rated amplifier will perform just fine for anyone's purposes, unless you really want a bunch of power amp distortion and no speaker distortion (or vice versa).

I understand that it might be desired at some point. But for people like me, who have one god-damn 2x12 cab and don't want to break it, I prefer to be safe and have at least 20-30 watts headroom. Hell, I might buy a second cab like the one I have(Laney Ironheart cab) and get a 300watt version of the amp I have.
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
#8
Quote by gumbilicious
some will even claim that the speaker cab should be rated for twice the power handling of the amp.
To dig more into the subject, guitar power amps' rating are made up for the most part, so you don't need to be that careful 'cause speakers aren't rated as generously.

Furthermore, the RMS power output from a guitar amp will be far lower than its rated output, unless you're playing exaggeratedly high gain stuff all the time.
A 30 watt speaker can, however, safely be driven even by a 500 watt amplifier
providing that sensible precautions are taken with respect to how hard the
amplifier is driven. Occasional peaks of more than 30 watts will be quite happily
tolerated.
This needs a clarification though - if a speaker is rated at 30w RMS and you make it reproduce material that's outputted by the power amp at 30w RMS with some 60w or even some 120w peaks your speaker's gonna be fine if it's rated safely enough, but it's not like it's safe to do the same thing with 300w peaks, else you're very likely to **** the speaker's suspensions.
Quote by gumbilicious
later in the book they even recommend running speakers with a lower rating than the amp, as amp's tend to cost more than a speaker replacement. the idea is that you won't run the amp as hard if the speakers sound bad at higher levels, and this saves wear on the amp.
I would find myself another book - the first idea (running speakers hard) is assuming your equipment is good quality and rated generously, while this one assumes your speakers will be good enough and rated generously but your amp was bad.

Amps of that kind don't sound worse at higher volumes until they distort the material they're amplifying, nor they wear unless you abuse them, and turning up the volume too much isn't enough.

To each his own though
Quote by Fryderyczek
I understand that it might be desired at some point. But for people like me, who have one god-damn 2x12 cab and don't want to break it, I prefer to be safe and have at least 20-30 watts headroom.
Headroom is another thing, and it doesn't really apply here - as long as your speakers aren't rated generously, you can run a guitar amp of the same rated power through them without a care in the world.

And guitar speakers aren't rated that generously.
Name's Luca.

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Last edited by Spambot_2 at Jan 13, 2015,
#9
Quote by Spambot_2
To dig more into the subject, guitar power amps' rating are made up for the most part, so you don't need to be that careful 'cause speakers aren't rated as generously.

Furthermore, the RMS power output from a guitar amp will be far lower than its rated output, unless you're playing exaggeratedly high gain stuff all the time.
This needs a clarification though - if a speaker is rated at 30w RMS and you make it reproduce material that's outputted by the power amp at 30w RMS with some 60w or even some 120w peaks your speaker's gonna be fine if it's rated safely enough, but it's not like it's safe to do the same thing with 300w peaks, else you're very likely to **** the speaker's suspensions.
I would find myself another book - the first idea (running speakers hard) is assuming your equipment is good quality and rated generously, while this one assumes your speakers will be good enough and rated generously but your amp was bad.

Amps of that kind don't sound worse at higher volumes until they distort the material they're amplifying, nor they wear unless you abuse them, and turning up the volume too much isn't enough.

To each his own though

Headroom is another thing, and it doesn't really apply here - as long as your speakers aren't rated generously, you can run a guitar amp of the same rated power through them without a care in the world.

And guitar speakers aren't rated that generously.

So amp and speaker makers are lying cunts?
Well, you can call me crazy
You can call me wrong, 'cause
See I was born a liar, albatross
Fly on, fly on
Last edited by Fryderyczek at Jan 14, 2015,
#10
Quote by Fryderyczek
So amp and cab makers are lying cunts?
Amp makers?
For the vast majority yes, because of marketing, and not only about amps' power.

Cab makers?
Usually they are the same ones that make amps.

Speaker makers?
Not nearly as much as with amps and it really depends who you're talking about.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
Quote by Cajundaddy
Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
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#11
Quote by Fryderyczek
So amp and cab makers are lying cunts?


Well, to some degree, yes...

Amp power ratings are moderately useful as a comparison tool, but have limited veracity as an actual indication of output power. That's not to say they aren't somewhat fact-based, it's just that the methods of determining the "facts" aren't always equal and are often interpreted in creative fashion in order to meet the perceived market need.

Speaker power handling capabilities are in many ways similar, but not to the same degree, likely due to liability concerns. If the "100 Watt" amp you purchased only puts out 89, with peaks to 137, how will you ever know?

But if the "100 watt power handling" speaker is connected to that self-same amp and it fails, you're going to want the manufacturer to make it right!

Amp marketers have a vested interest in overstating things a bit, speaker manufacturers in understating.

It really is just that simple.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#12
Regardless of all the numbers, wattages, power ratings, etc, it comes down to common sense & real world experience. I run my 100W SLO into either a 60W 2X12 Tone Tubby or a 60W Mojave 2X12 all the time with no issues. The amp is putting out 100 watts only at full power. I can turn up the SLO to some serious volume, & it's realistically probably pushing 40-50 watts (which is loud enough to make your arm hairs move if you're close to the cab ), but has no negative effect on the cab. Just don't dime a high-powered amp through a smaller rated cab. Be smart.
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#13
Quote by riffhog
Regardless of all the numbers, wattages, power ratings, etc, it comes down to common sense & real world experience. I run my 100W SLO into either a 60W 2X12 Tone Tubby or a 60W Mojave 2X12 all the time with no issues. The amp is putting out 100 watts only at full power. I can turn up the SLO to some serious volume, & it's realistically probably pushing 40-50 watts (which is loud enough to make your arm hairs move if you're close to the cab ), but has no negative effect on the cab. Just don't dime a high-powered amp through a smaller rated cab. Be smart.

I run the SLO 100 to a 212 with EVM-12Ls (2X200W) and it sounds better (to me) than the Legends in the Soldano cab.