#1
Hi all,

I found an ad (http://www.finn.no/finn/torget/annonse;jsessionid=5A54695F11CD4D00BA2803EF82CE734C?finnkode=60894921) for a 22-watt ’65 Deluxe Reverb head. In the ad the head run a 4x12 cabinet. This is where I get confused: I thought that a 22 watt head wouldn't have enough power to power a 4x12 of that size. From the picture it looks like it a 4x12 cabinet with 10'' or 12'' elements, perhaps being able to output 100 watts or something.

So, my question is basically this: Will the output volume of this rig be 22 watts, or 100-ish watts?


Greetings,
Kenneth
#2
22 watts.

The speakers are rated for the maximum wattage you can put through them, in this case the maximum you could run through that cab would be 100 watts.
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#3
Quote by Eppicurt
22 watts.

The speakers are rated for the maximum wattage you can put through them, in this case the maximum you could run through that cab would be 100 watts.


That makes sense. Thanks!
#5
I have a 20watt head I run through a 380watt 4x12 with no issues and it is plenty loud.
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#6
Quote by kenneho

So, my question is basically this: Will the output volume of this rig be 22 watts, or 100-ish watts?


It'll still be 22 watts.
Worth noting, however, that as you increase the volume, your bottom end will disappear; there's just not enough power in that head to produce bottom end. A speaker needs to move four TIMES the amount of air to produce a note an octave down at the same volume, and that requires a lot more power to move that air.
#7
1w is plenty of power to drive a 4x12 to 100db which is pretty loud. Spellman misses the mark a bit here. There is plenty of bass if the cab is designed to reproduce it. As power increases from 1w to 22w you will hear a noticeable increase in bass output. Test it yourself with an SPL meter or RTA. 22w will be about 115db at full power and 100w will be about 120db at full power so a noticeable difference but both are full rock concert loud.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jun 25, 2015,
#8
Quote by Cajundaddy
1w is plenty of power to drive a 4x12 to 100db which is pretty loud. Spellman misses the mark a bit here. There is plenty of bass if the cab is designed to reproduce it. As power increases from 1w to 22w you will hear a noticeable increase in bass output. Test it yourself with an SPL meter or RTA. 22w will be about 115db at full power and 100w will be about 120db at full power so a noticeable difference but both are full rock concert loud.


In my experience sensitivity ratings can be expressed at a specific frequency (say, 1000Hz) or over a range of frequencies. Generally, guitar speakers' sensitivity ratings are at around 1000Hz, which means that if you have a sensitivity of 100, you get about 100 dB at 1W, read at 1M (meter) from the cabinet.

That sensitivity (and sound output) will change as you change frequencies. When I read the sound output with an RTA, each halving of the frequency (1000Hz ->500Hz ->250Hz ->125Hz) drops the volume significantly unless you have more watts to call upon. The rule of thumb is that the speaker needs to move four times as much air for each octave drop to maintain the same volume. 125Hz thus needs to move, give or take, 64 times as much air to maintain the same volume as 1000Hz. 125Hz isn't all that bassy; it's about the 7th fret on your low E string on a standard tuned guitar.

This is why you see bass players routinely playing with 500 - 1500W power amps and guitar players with 50W amps. Neither is using all of that power all of the time, but it illustrates how much more power is necessary to produce bass compared to mids.

Here's another clue: I have a pair of KRK Rokit 8 recording monitors, which are fairly typical of the type. The Rokit is an active speaker cabinet with a biamped system, meaning that there are actually two separate amplifiers in the box with one handling bass, the other handling treble. The treble amp puts out about 20W total, while the bass amp is rated at 80W. A subwoofer (handling just bottom end) that balances well with these speakers puts out around 225 W.

And yet another clue. Steve Lukather uses 100W heads coupled with a 4x12 cabinet for his playing, but since he needs better bottom end (and since 100W isn't sufficient to produce bottom end for the volumes at which he plays), he's designed, with ISP Technologies, the Vector SL. This is a ported cabinet that fits under his 4x12 that contains a single 15" subwoofer and a 600W power amplifier. We're still talking guitar frequencies here (he plays a 7-string, so he can go down to a B below the low E), rather than bass frequencies. The Vector SL has electronics that take the 100W output of the tube head, strip out the lows and feed the rest into his 4x12. The lows are then redirected to the Vector SL. The photo makes the cabinet look a bit small. It's actually 30” W X 20” H X 18.5” D
and the weight is about 95 lbs. For reference, most 4x12s are 30" x 30" x 14" deep.



ISP Technologies puts out another cabinet that includes a pair of standard Celestion speakers to handle the output from a tube amp head, and the same kind of electronics and a 15" speaker in its own enclosure WITHIN a 4x12 size box (with an additional 400W amplifier just for the lows).

Last edited by dspellman at Jun 25, 2015,
#9
But all that aside, my 18W'ers have more bass through a 4x12 than a 1x12, they just do.
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#10
Quote by Cathbard
But all that aside, my 18W'ers have more bass through a 4x12 than a 1x12, they just do.


Yep. A 4x12 is moving more air and you get a LF compounding effect with more speaker surface area. 2 speakers generate more effective LF than 1. It's a physics thing. That is how Altec used to generate tons of LF energy with little dinky 25w amps back in the theater sound days. Lots of cone surface area and well designed tuned baffles. You can get lots of LF with high wattage, but you don't have to.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jun 25, 2015,
#11
I've run my 6 watt Fender Champ through a Kustom 2x12 cabinet many times, I'd run it through a 4x12 if I had one. It still doesn't sound like a bigger amp even though it does sound good, but it does get better bass response for the reason Cajun said. More speaker area moving more air. But it still only puts out 6 watts...I'm not sure what the 2x12 cabinet can handle, I ran it with a Peavey MX 130 watt head for 15 years, it still works perfect right now. And I've run it loud enough to play clean leads with a rhythm guitar player using a maxed out 100 watt marshall stack...The Champ won't do that of course, but it will push the same 2x12 cabinet just fine. As already noted, even a 1 watt amp would push the 4x12 cabinet.

If you think about it, the cabinet would have to be able to work at low wattage, what do you think is happening when you run the volume of a 100 watt amp barely loud enough to hear it? I run my 45 watt Super Reverb at bedroom practice volume all the time, it's probably only using 2 or 3 watts of all that power, the speakers still work fine. (the Super Reverb is a 4x10 combo)
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