School me on Solid State bass amps

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by Heady Jam Fan, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    I don't know much about bass gear.

    The bass player in my band is upgrading his gear and isn't a gear junky.

    He is upgrading piece by piece and has a Peavy 200w Solid State head. He just sold his Ampeg cab for an 800w Peavey 410. He says it sounds a lot better, but I thought speaker power handling for a solid state amp works differently than a tube amp: is his amp going to distort / or could he damage the speakers?
     
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    I don't know who told you that. It will be fine.
     
  3. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    I was surprised, but that came up a couple times on a brief Google search. Good to know, thank you!
     
  4. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    You need to pay attention to impedance.
     
  5. Belmont

    Belmont Member

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    apologies if this isn't what you're implying...
    unlike a tube amp, you can't hurt a solid state amp with an impedance mismatch.
    the impedance will only matter in terms of what kind of power you can draw from the amp.
     
  6. Dave M

    Dave M Supporting Member

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    It's very possible he could. It's also very possible he won't. I'm making broad general statements, here. There are some real, and wide, variables that can and will determine his outcome.

    Maybe, but not always and no guarantee.

    Not true. You definitely CAN hurt a SS amp/poweramp with a mismatch. Run too low of a load for what the amp can handle and you will fry it.
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    so in other words "bass amps"? :)

    as long as the cab or stack of cabs isn't lower impedance than what the head can handle (pretty much always 4Ω, sometimes 2Ω) the head will be fine.

    as long as the head doesn't (or can't) get turned up to where it puts out more watts than the cab can handle, the cab will be fine.

    the rest is just personal taste and dBs/dollar.
     
  8. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    200 watt Peavey bass amp> 800 watt Peavey bass cab= fine, as long as the impedance is alright. Barring forcing the amp into massive clipping.
     
  9. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Thanks!

    Sounds like he should be fine - the cab is 8ohm and the amp, IIRC, is 4ohm per output (I think it has 4 outputs).

    So basically as long as the amp isn't cranked high enough to distort, he is cool. I think he will probably replace the amp with something more in the 400w range eventually.
     
  10. amphog

    amphog Silver Supporting Member

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    A 200w@4ohm solid state amp, into a 8 ohm load=100watts.
     
  11. georgestrings

    georgestrings Senior Member

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    I don't think it works that way - just a guess, but it would probably be closer to 120 watts into an 8 ohm load...

    As an example, my Streamliner 900 is 900 watts into 4 ohms, 500 watts into 8 ohms - my Shuttlemax 12.0 is 600 watts into 4 ohms, 375 into 8 ohms...


    - georgestrings
     
  12. royd

    royd Member

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    to the answers you've gotten... sort of. Here's more info than you asked for :eeks

    1st, there is no solid standard as to how wattage is measured across the industry and a cab may say 1000 watts (check out the Bugera cabs) but that cab would fry at much lower power than that from most companies' amps. As a general rule, if you start to hear distortion, TURN DOWN. And turn down your bass tone control which is where the highest amount of energy comes from. Still, in general, your guy should be fine as long as he doesn't dime the amp.

    For example, I use a single 4 ohm Acme B2... rated at 350 watts by the manufacturer... but the manufacturer recommends using 400-500 with that cab because of headroom issues. My head, a Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0, puts out 900 watts into that single 4 ohm cab. Could the head blow the cab? Yes. Will it? Not if I pay attention to things and don't push it beyond what it can do.

    As for ohmage, yes, it does not matter as long as you don't go below what the amp can push. As was said, a 2 ohm load on an amp that can't go below 4 will fry it. If I added a second 4 ohm cab to my head, it would fry it. Most current solid state and class D amps are rated to 4 ohms and cannot do 2. The Peavey 410 cab is likely 4 or 8 ohm so it will be fine as long as another cab is not added. If it is an 8 ohm cab, he would be safe adding an additional 8 ohm or 16 ohm cab. Adding a 4 ohm cab would take him to about 2.6 ohms if it is 8 ohms and 2 ohms if it is 4... and fry the head.

    As you may know, wattage does not equal volume. Speaker efficiency is much more important in volume. Even under identical conditions, doubling the wattage will only give you about 3db more volume. You need 10X the wattage to double the volume. So going from a 93 db speaker to one that is 99 - 6 db volume increase - is like 4X the power. Likewise doubling speaker area increases volume about 3 db but if you go from 8 ohm to 4ohm at the same time you may as much as double the power so you'll get somewhere between 4 and 6 db more. So imagine that ampeg head... is likely putting out about 120 watts into 8 ohms. Add another identical cab and you increase to 200 watts and double speaker area for about 5 db increase.

    What wattage does give though is more headroom which is very important on bass. Also, the amp power ratings on bass amps are also not as standard as we'd hope so 2 500 watt amps may be putting out significantly different amounts of power. Then too, the taper on the volume control could be very different so one gets almost 100% of the power at 12:00 while another amp is only giving about 50% at the same place.

    As a general rule... the bass player wants about 10X's the wattage of the guitar player so if the guitar player has a 50 watt amp, the bass player should be thinking 500.

    more than what you asked but perhaps helpful...
     

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