Can I run a 150 watt head through a 1x12?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by dk_ace, May 14, 2006.


  1. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    Well, can I? I need a small cab for gigs where I will be micing the head and/or don't need the 4x12. How many watts will the speaker need to be (I've read and heard some conflicting reports on this). I don't have much cash around (nice combo amp out of the question), and I like my tones with the head. I just need to be more portable for some gigs. The head is the mesa triple rectifier. I run the master around 11 (power tubes just breaking up). This amp is pretty sterile below 11, so the cab would have to be able to handle that kind of punishment. I don't play any metal, I spend a lot of time lately on the clean channel and the vintage channel (channel 3 rarely sees action). I use EL34's. My 412 has mesa v30's. Any speaker recommendations (hopefully not drastically different than the V30's)?

    Thanks for any help you can give me,
    Dustin
     
  2. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Yes, but to run it full blast, I would guess you need a speaker that can handle 50 watts. If you don't run it too hard, I'd think you can go with something smaller. I think something like a Lead 80 would be good. Or maybe a G12H30 which I think is a 60 watter.
     
  3. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    I was thinking I would need at least a 150 watt speaker since the head is 150 watts. Is that not the case? If not, I could pretty well use just about any speaker I wanted at 50+ watts I guess. If I'm on the wrong track here let me know.
    D
     
  4. Dave C

    Dave C Gold Supporting Member

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    Hi Dustin.....If you're running your amp at 150w you will need a speaker capable of handling that much power, actually I like to have 1.5 times the amp output in speaker power handling capability. I'd suggest an EVM-12L or equivalent to handle anywhere near the max output of your amp. An attenuator and a lesser speaker might be an alternative as well. Hope this helps.
    Dave C
     
  5. PFCG

    PFCG Member

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    get a used EVM 12 L or a blackshadow from mesa? or an eminence rated at 120-150 watts
     
  6. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    Thanks for the help guys! I thought someone would mention an attenuator. I will eventually get a good one, but funds are low right now. I have looked over some different speakers and I'm leaning towards an eminence texas heat at the moment (at $60 I'm getting out a lot cheaper than I expected if I pull the trigger on it). The next question is what will I put it in? I have a crazy idea for that, but I'll give it it's own thread as it's really a different subject entirely. Thanks again!
    D
     
  7. Rich

    Rich Silver Supporting Member

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    Im going to second (or third actually) the EVM12L. Heavy sucker but it'll take the heat.

    They are frequently on ebay used. Look for them as a Boogie cab. Sometimes appear alone too.
     
  8. plowkraut

    plowkraut Member

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    If you want to buy new, I'd suggest a Weber Michigan (non-aluminum dust cap). They run pretty cheap for the ceramic model ($95) and can handle alot of power (100 watts). Shoot Ted Weber (www.webervst.com) an e-mail to see if it can handle your amp.
     
  9. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    If you're planning on micing, why need 150 watts? How about a THD hot plate and a single 60 watt Vintage 30. Attenuate the output from the amp with the Hot Plate so you can still drive the tubes hard, but at a 50 watt output. Just my $.02
     
  10. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    If you're planning on micing, why need 150 watts? How about a THD hot plate and a single 60 watt Vintage 30. Attenuate the output from the amp with the Hot Plate so you can still drive the tubes hard, but at a 50 watt output. Just my $.02

    I need 150 watts because that's the amp's output power. Volume isn't a problem (It's more dependant on the speakers sensitivity than the power output anyway), I just don't want to destroy the speaker. The hotplate is also expensive (considering my budget right now). I can load and build a cab for < $100 (EMI texas heat is $59 + $40 or so for cab materials that I don't already have).
    D
     
  11. danieldroukas

    danieldroukas Member

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    whoah now kids... here's the thing... many amp makers list the output of their amps at max clean power and don't take into consideration the output at full saturation (this especially the case in Fenders ... but I can't say for certain for Mesa). Besides... running your amp through 1 speaker won't make it seem that much quieter. Sure, you're pushing less air but you're still outputing the same wattage. You really need something to absorb and dissipate some of that extra power ... like a power soak/attenuator. To be ENTIRELY safe I don't run an amp into a load that can't handle atleast 2 times the rated output on the amp.

    I'm assuming your Mesa has a master volume (my roommate's Dual Rect. has one). If you're unhappy with the sound of the on-board master volume, then definately try out a power soak/attenuator. I would recommend Weber's since it uses an actual speaker motor and not a resistive load. Makes tone happy.

    EDIT: just read that your run your MASTER around 11. in which case, to be safe, a 100 watt speaker should be fine AS LONG AS YOU DON'T PUSH THE AMP TOO HARD. There's a method through which you can calculate how many watts your amp is pushing at any given volume on the amp... I'll update when I can recall.
     
  12. 98FlySupreme

    98FlySupreme Member

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    Isn't it possible to wire in some type of dummy load resistors or something to run a high wattage head with a lower wattage speaker? I think I read another post one time where a TGP member did this with one of Ted's products.
     
  13. Guitar Dave T

    Guitar Dave T Member

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    Two potential problems:
    1. A speaker capable of handling 150 watts (actually needs to be capable of handling at least 225 if you drive at full distortion via cascading preamp circuits or using an overdrive device) is going to be damn near as loud as 4 speakers capable of sharing the load.
    2. This is just personal opinion based on my own taste and experience, but there are very few speakers in that power range that sound half as good as a good 25 - 60 watter.
    Ultimately, your best bet is to use some kind of speaker load emulator like the HotPlate. Just be sure it can handle 225 watts if you expect to dime that 150 watt head.

    If cashflow is an issue, maybe you can find something to sell on Ebay.

    Or better yet, sell the 150 watt head buy something you can crank without causing a cerbral hemorrhage.
     
  14. hans-jürgen

    hans-jürgen Member

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    If you decide on a cab, building a Thiele cab is a good idea to compensate for the lesser air (= bass) that a 4x12 moves. I have one with an EV12L for my Mark IIB 60w head, and it's actually at least as loud as my old Marshall cab, so you should not assume it would be softer. An open back cab probably will be even louder with less bass.
     
  15. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    I thought I had made this clear, but I guess not. I am not concerned with volume! I will be micing at almost all of the gigs it will travel to. Although I like attenuators, a small cab will be more useful for me right now. I will add an attenuator (actually a good load box is more likely) to my rig eventually, but it is not the best thing for my situation right now. I don't like the Hotplate either, it doesn't feel natural to me and I notice a considerable tone difference when it is used. I will be micing this cab yes, but it will probably be isolated in a room elsewhere than the stage to keep the stage volume down. A lot of the gigs around here are like that. I don't mind it necessarily, but I hate carrying a huge 4x12 for nothing. I want a 1x12 because I can use it with a small practice head (like the epi valve jr) at home for practice. Thanks for all your help guys! I just received the eminence texas heat today (After some experimentation I decided I don't like the EVM12L, it's just too HI-FI for me). I have the lumber for the cab, and I'm designing it right now. Thanks again for answering my questions.
    Dustin
     
  16. aortizjr

    aortizjr Member

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    SInce you aren't worried about volume, you can probably get away with a less powerful speaker. I would probably still stick to a 60W or higher one. Ie. NO G12H30, Greenback, etc. But YES to Vintage 30, CL80, or many of the Eminence offerings.

    Personally I like your idea of the Texas Heat. I had one in an EarCandy 1x12 and it would give full stacks a run for their money. Nowdays I use a Swamp Thang since the Texas Heat cut "too much."

    The Texas Heats and Swamp Thangs both handle 150Watts and are pretty inexpensive. The Tonker I think also handles a lot of power. Then you can crank in case you "need it" and you can worry less.

    I would also consider a Lil'Texas or Tonkerlite. Knock off a few pounds and they are reasonably priced as well. Save your back some :)
     
  17. aortizjr

    aortizjr Member

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    Oh and another thing I have noticed...

    Both Eminence and Celestion tend of underrate their speakers. Basically rating them for matching with the wattage of the amp. So even though say an amp puts out 225 Watts distorted, but is rated at say 100 clean. A 100 watt Cele or Emi speaker will be fine. Those speakers can really take a beating and can probably really handle 250 - 300 Watts.

    Interestingly, often in the bass and PA world, I learned that it was better for the speakers to overpower them some. Ie. 400 watt PA for 300-350 watt speakers. Also you can damage speakers by using too low of wattage PA. That is because SS distortion from a PA will destroy speakers.
     

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