All other things being equal, how much difference in volume is there between a 4 ohm cab and an 8 ohm cab and a 16 ohm cab?
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While it's more risky running a tube amp into a higher than normal impedence than lower, with most tube amps you're generally safe one impedence step up or down. However, in a mismatched situation you may actually notice more loss in clean headroom than volume per se. Also, with a one step impedence mismatch, while it's doubtful that you'll hurt a modern tube amp, the output tubes may not last as long as in a matched situation. Tubes are inherently current limited so the danger of pulling too much current through other componants (output transformer) is practically nil....but the flyback voltage generated from too high impedence load can be a transformer and/or tube socket killer.Originally posted by GasMask
Thanks for the replies!
If I intentionally mismatch with a tube amp- say use the 8 ohm output into a 16 ohm cab, I understand there will be a power loss. Is this an acceptable way of reducing volume? If I do this for many years, will there be any additional wear on the components of the amp?
Usually what kills an output transformer is an unusually high impedence load or no load on the amp. This can generate a high flyback voltage that can arc between the transformers windings and its case, which breaks down the insulation....causing a funny smell & smoke!.Originally posted by jaimz
Does the same apply in reverse order as well? as far as damaging the tubes or transformer that is.
I recently noticed (by accident) that if I have my marshall amp switched to 16ohm running into an 8ohm cab that It seemed to have a richer, meatier tone. Is that possible or was I imagining it. I called a local music store and asked about it, and he said running that way all of the time was a very bad idea, that It would destroy my OT.
While it's more risky running a tube amp into a higher than normal impedence load, most tube amps will be fine with one impedence step up or down. So, even though you would be stressing the output tubes a bit and you will loose output power, an 8 ohm amp into a 4 or 16 ohm cab will be ok. However, a 4 ohm tube amp into a 16 ohm cab would make me nervous at gigging volume.Originally posted by soupbone
So it would be ok to run my Traynor 8Ohm output into my Germino 2x12 cab 16Ohm?
Sure..but....I have a SF bassman whose output inpedance is the odd 4 ohms (why 4 Leo????). I have a perfectly great 8 ohm Marshall 4x10 that I have been using with this head for years. No problems because the old Fenders trannies were overbuilt and can easily handle a one step up or down mismatch from what I have come to learn. The amp through this cab is punchy and LOUD!!! I don't think there would be any noticeable increase in volume running through a matched cab but the headroom would probably increase slightly but who would want that? Its already loud enough on 4 to play outdoor gigs.THe safest way to reduce volume without smushing your tone too much is with a high quality attentuator, OR get a master volume amp . . .