Mesa 8 Ohm head, 16 Ohm cabinet. Yay or nay?


The head is a Mesa Maverick short head, and the outputs are 4, 4, and 8 Ohm. My cabinet is an Orange 2x12 with a pair of 8 Ohm Celestions wired in series for 16 Ohm. The Mesa docs say that you can run mismatched, but going too low will accelerate doesn't say anything about going going UP.

To further confound things, I have a Mesa Maverick 4x10" combo. This amp is the long version, which has a slightly different chassis configuration. The labeling on its outputs are 4, 4, and 8/16 Ohm. I'm surprised one is designed for 16 Ohm while the other isn't. Just a labeling thing, or is there really a design difference between the two versions of the same amp?

So am I ok, and what (if any) effect will there be on tone, etc.?

Thanks so much.

John Phillips

The Mesa will be fine driving a 16-ohm load. I doubt there is any difference between the two versions. Mesas are not very sensitive to mismatches in either direction, they are designed to handle them.

If you don't have any other use for the cab that requires 16 ohms, I would rewire it for 4 ohms though. A match is always better for reliability and usually for tone.

FWIW, with most tube amps it's safer to drive an 8-ohm load with a 16-ohm amp than the other way round.


dude! you should just re-wire the cab so that it's running two 8ohm speakers in parallel. This will give you a 4 ohm cab. The best way to do things is to match ohms!

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