Author Topic: How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?  (Read 1701 times)

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Offline jdfarrell81

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How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?
« on: February 04, 2009, 09:41:28 am »
I know this is a rudimentary question, but I've never really been clear on this. If, say, I have a 300 watt bass head, is there an ideal (or at least suggested) power rating for the cabs I use with that head. I've heard all sorts of theories (e.g. - the cab should be rated at least twice what the head is, etc.), but I'm not sure if there's really any "golden rule" on the matter.

Thanks in adavance, folks!

Offline bigobassman

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Re: How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2009, 10:31:27 pm »
Some speaker guys will tell you to match the head.  My personal experience is that at a minimum, that is true.  But more is good and sometimes gives a fatter or thicker sound IMO.  Also my experience has been that every time I think I've got it figured, I'll try some other combination and say, 'well damn if that don't sound good too.'  Most recently i plopped a Sunn Coliseum 300 watt head on top of my rolled and pleated '68 Kustom bass with 2-15 CTS, probably a 100 watt or so cab.  But that 300 Sunn sounded surprisingly wonderful with it, both on the trebly flavored EQ and the botomdweller EQ.  Just never know what's gonna work for sure.   8-)
"You can't have too much bass."

Offline EdBass

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Re: How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2009, 05:19:17 pm »
but I'm not sure if there's really any "golden rule" on the matter.

+1
I also frequently run way more power than a speaker(s) is rated for without problems. Use your ears to tell you when to back off.  :wink:

Offline Humbuzz

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Re: How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2009, 08:57:43 am »
If you're going for a clean punchy sound, I usually shoot for more head than cabinet.  Beware if the cabinet goes into distortion; speakers bottoming out all night will overheat and eventually fail.  A lot of it just depend on the cabinet combination.  I could easily distort my 118SH with my Coliseum Bass head.  That's theoretically 220 watts into a 300 watt cabinet.  However, adding my 215SH with Altec 421A's gave a sound that never distorted at very high levels.  That would be 320 watts into at least 500 watt capacity.

Offline pickinatit

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Re: How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 07:51:03 am »
If you're going for a clean punchy sound, I usually shoot for more head than cabinet.  Beware if the cabinet goes into distortion; speakers bottoming out all night will overheat and eventually fail.  A lot of it just depend on the cabinet combination.  I could easily distort my 118SH with my Coliseum Bass head.  That's theoretically 220 watts into a 300 watt cabinet.  However, adding my 215SH with Altec 421A's gave a sound that never distorted at very high levels.  That would be 320 watts into at least 500 watt capacity.

You start out calling for more head then cab for a clean, punchy sound.
Then your examples seem to contradict that,  or am I missing something ?

Offline basiklybass

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Re: How powerful should a cab be in relation to its head?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 09:07:34 am »
I believe the point is; Try it and see.

One never knows until ones ears tell them. there is no hard and fast rule, there are no experts who can tell you what sound you are hearing and whether it sounds good to you.

If you burn them, they can be fixed.

If the sounds sucks, don't use it.

If you like it....good.