Speaker Dilemma


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Posted by Rich Laird on January 16, 2001 at 11:45:08:

Ok…somebody out there must have some answers to my little problem. I’m probably making this more complicated than it is, so if you feel like slapping me around – I don’t blame you. But since you can’t do that over the internet anyway…here goes:

It’s time to buy a speaker cabinet but I’m not sure what to get. My amplifier – a Peavey Century - isn’t really that powerful (says “100 watts” on the back)…but I want to get something fairly good and well-matched….and have confidence that I’m not going to overpower my new speakers and blow them out (very depressing….brings back too many memories of cheesy garage blues bands). But I also know that if I get a cabinet that’s too big, my amp will just wimp out.

I always thought that if an amp is rated 100watts RMS, then you probably want speakers rated for about 200 watts. But I checked out a 200 watt cabinet (2x10 with a tweeter) at a music store the other day and plugged a 50 watt Fender Bassman into it to see what it sounded like. Am I crazy? The sound was breaking up on low Es, even with the amp set at about half volume. So now, I’m beginning to think that I really need to get something rated for like 300-400 watts. Would that be a reasonable match for my 100 watt amp?

If that’s true, then what I need is probably a 4x10 – maybe with a horn or tweeter in it – those usually seem to be rated about 300-400. That’s sort of what I was thinking in the first place…maybe it comes down to going with your instincts and what actually sounds good and forgetting about watts, and RMS ratings and all that. Any thoughts?

Also, it says “4 ohms” on my amp. Does that mean that I absolutely have to get a 4 ohm cab? Would an 8 ohm cab also work? Is there any advantage of one over the other? Low-impedance usually means lower noise…does any of this ohm crap really matter?

One more thing while I’m indulging in this over-neurosis (I always get this way when spending money is involved): It also says on the back of my amp that “outputs are parallelized”. There’s two speaker outputs….does that mean that if I plugged each one into a separate cabinet that I would be getting 200 watts? Is that why the amp says “Century 200” on it?





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