#1
If I had a low wattage head, about 50w and solid state, going into high wattage cab, say around 100w, would the volume be like having a 50w combo or a 100w combo? Like will the cab be quiet since it has a lower wattage head?
#2
Yeah a cabs rating is based on what it can handle whereas an amp is rated for what it can dish out. Your cab doesn't make any power, only the amp does
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#3
If you have a 50W head going into a cabinet that will handle 800W, it will still only sound like the 50W head.
#4
You will be louder based on the bigger speaker, but marginally. I dunno, my Micro Terror is certainly gigable through my 4X12, but these days i've been using my old Crate G212 to make sure I have enough headroom over the keyboard player in the band i'm in.
Cry yourself to ash
#5
So a 50w head will sound quieter going through a 100w cab than a 100w head will?

Different account
#6
Yea. I mean everything being equal 50W isn't than much more quiet than a 100W.

But there is a difference
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#7
Quote by codkillz3
So a 50w head will sound quieter going through a 100w cab than a 100w head will?

Different account


What do you mean 'different account'?


I think the question should be, does a 50 watt amp sound quieter through a 50 watt cab than a 100 watt cab? The answer is no. A 100 watt cab will not make an amp more loud than a 50 watt cab (everything else being equal). As dementiacaptain pointed out - a speaker cabinet does not create any power. Or is it me that is confused
#8
I sometimes play my 2W amp through a Marshall 4x12. It is louder that way than through a 1x12 but of course it's no where near my 100W head.
#9
Quote by SpiderM
I sometimes play my 2W amp through a Marshall 4x12. It is louder that way than through a 1x12 but of course it's no where near my 100W head.


That answered my question nicely.
I said different account because I created the post on a different account but replied on this because I have 2 accounts (1 on mobile).
#10
Quote by codkillz3
That answered my question nicely.
I said different account because I created the post on a different account but replied on this because I have 2 accounts (1 on mobile).


well yeah but it's not the wattage rating of the cab that makes louder it's the increased area of the speakers that is dispersing the sound over a wider area. The cab could be rated for 2W with 4 12" speakers and it would still be louder than playing through an equivalent 112. The point being: Cab wattage is a power handling rating, it ain't got shit to do with how loud something is. The sensitivity rating has something more to do with volume than the wattage does, but that's a different can of worms.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#11
Quote by codkillz3
So a 50w head will sound quieter going through a 100w cab than a 100w head will?



Generally, all else equal, it should be about 3 dB quieter if both are being run at maximum.
#12
Quote by dementiacaptain
well yeah but it's not the wattage rating of the cab that makes louder it's the increased area of the speakers that is dispersing the sound over a wider area. The cab could be rated for 2W with 4 12" speakers and it would still be louder than playing through an equivalent 112. The point being: Cab wattage is a power handling rating, it ain't got shit to do with how loud something is. The sensitivity rating has something more to do with volume than the wattage does, but that's a different can of worms.


This is an area of misunderstanding. "Increased area of speakers" does not mean that it is "dispersing the sound over a wider area."

Fact is, the larger the speaker cone area (and a 4x12 acts like one big speaker), the narrower the dispersion of sound above a given frequency. A single speaker will generally have better dispersion than a square 2x2 array of four of them.

Neither does more cone area guarantee louder sound, even if there's no difference in sensitivity. At some point, you run out of power (watts) to run four speakers. Remember that we're talking about "volume" of sound, here, which equates to the total *volume* of air moved and there are two components: speaker cone area and Xmax, or cone excursion (the amount the speaker moves back and forth).
#13
Quote by dspellman

Neither does more cone area guarantee louder sound, even if there's no difference in sensitivity. At some point, you run out of power (watts) to run four speakers. Remember that we're talking about "volume" of sound, here, which equates to the total *volume* of air moved and there are two components: speaker cone area and Xmax, or cone excursion (the amount the speaker moves back and forth).


Taken to an extreme (input power insufficient to generate cone excursion) that may well be true but it's a pretty pedantic point since for all practical purposes increased cone area does absolutely equal increased spl for the same input wattage. (assuming equal sensitivity)
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#14
The cabinet used for any particular amp makes very little difference. A 100 watt cabinet with a 50 watt amp will still produce the same volume level. If you swap from a single speaker, such as in a combo amp, to a 4x12, it might be a tiny bit louder, you probably won't notice it. You might get better bass response, since it is pushing around a lot more air with more speakers. My Fender Champ is no louder through my Kustom 2x12 cabinet than it is with the built in 8 inch speaker, but gets better bass since it's pushing two 12" speakers. Both are 4 ohm speakers.

Then you have the efficiency of the speakers. A more efficient speaker will be louder with the same 50 watts, than a less efficient speaker. But not much louder.

More speakers moving more air will probably not result in more volume, just better bass response. A 50 watt amp produces 50 watts, no matter what speaker it gets plugged into, and will never be as loud as a 100 watt amp. Plug it into a speaker cabinet capable of handling 100 watts, you'll still have a 50 watt amp, it just won't produce enough power to fry the speakers. The only way it will be any louder is if the speakers are more efficient. and even then it will still not be as loud as the 100 watt amp. Just slightly louder than the less efficient speakers.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#15
Quote by Arby911
Taken to an extreme (input power insufficient to generate cone excursion) that may well be true but it's a pretty pedantic point since for all practical purposes increased cone area does absolutely equal increased spl for the same input wattage. (assuming equal sensitivity)


Oooooh, no. For the same position on the volume dial, you'll maybe have more volume. But if you have more speakers, you ARE using more output wattage. This is where a lot of folks go off the rails.

Remember that setting a volume position on the head doesn't mean anything; you may be using little wattage at that setting, you may be using a lot *on the same amp* and with the same speakers. You may move more air, but you're using more power (the definition of watt is a unit of power) just as you would horsepower in an engine. In fact, a speaker is a type of electrically-powered engine.

What's happening is that you're feeding the same amount of power to each of four engines rather than to just one. They're doing more work (producing more volume, moving more air) because they're using four times the power. There isn't any free work done simply by adding more speakers.

This isn't theory; you can actually measure the power output change on any amplifier as you add speakers.

Same thing happens when you increase cone excursion on a single speaker -- you're using more power to move more air to produce more volume.

This also points to why a marshall 100 stack, for example, loses bottom end when you start getting the mids up around gigging volume. There's no power left to produce that bottom end (it takes LOTS more power to produce bottom end, and the marshall stack has simply run out).
#16
Quote by dspellman
Oooooh, no. For the same position on the volume dial, you'll maybe have more volume. But if you have more speakers, you ARE using more output wattage. This is where a lot of folks go off the rails.

Remember that setting a volume position on the head doesn't mean anything; you may be using little wattage at that setting, you may be using a lot *on the same amp* and with the same speakers. You may move more air, but you're using more power (the definition of watt is a unit of power) just as you would horsepower in an engine. In fact, a speaker is a type of electrically-powered engine.

What's happening is that you're feeding the same amount of power to each of four engines rather than to just one. They're doing more work (producing more volume, moving more air) because they're using four times the power. There isn't any free work done simply by adding more speakers.

This isn't theory; you can actually measure the power output change on any amplifier as you add speakers.

Same thing happens when you increase cone excursion on a single speaker -- you're using more power to move more air to produce more volume.

This also points to why a marshall 100 stack, for example, loses bottom end when you start getting the mids up around gigging volume. There's no power left to produce that bottom end (it takes LOTS more power to produce bottom end, and the marshall stack has simply run out).


Sorry, but that's false. Every time you double the speaker cone area you increase spl by 6db. Every time you double the number of speakers, you halve the power available to each, which decreases the spl by 3 db.

This creates a net increase of 3 db for each doubling of speaker cone area (assuming you've done it by adding equivalent speakers, the most common method...)

Your input power can remain exactly the same but your spl will still increase. That's pretty basic audio math and I don't think you'll find any audio or electrical engineer on the planet that will dispute it.

I can link you to audio/engineering websites for the actual formulas if it will help?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at May 20, 2016,
#17
Quote by dspellman
Oooooh, no. For the same position on the volume dial, you'll maybe have more volume. But if you have more speakers, you ARE using more output wattage. This is where a lot of folks go off the rails.
If the array of speakers is wired to present the same impedance as a single speaker (which it typically is), then I am wondering how you are calculating that the amp is producing more power? Or are you just "off the rails" on this?
#18
BTW - with my comment, I said 'everything else being equal' just for this reason. So I was not factoring extra cone area, speakers, etc.

A 50 watt amp will be just as loud through a 50 watt cab as a 100 watt cab if everything else is equal. Correct?
#19
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
BTW - with my comment, I said 'everything else being equal' just for this reason. So I was not factoring extra cone area, speakers, etc.

A 50 watt amp will be just as loud through a 50 watt cab as a 100 watt cab if everything else is equal. Correct?


Yes. As long as you have the same number of speakers (or more technically, the same speaker cone area) and the same speaker sensitivity 50w in is 50w in. Power handling capability (heat dissipation ability) has no direct effect on volume.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin