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Powering A Larger Cabinet With A Low Power Tube Head?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by castpolymer, May 6, 2013.

  1. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2008
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    I have a Vox Nightrain 15 that I would like to try with a 2 or 4 speaker cabinet. I have never done this before and was wondering if the amp would sound " thin " due to the low wattage. Anyone with experience please feel free to chime in!

    I posted this video just because I like the song.
     
  2. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    Just be sure its the right impedance cabinet.
    Many around here have used their Champs thru larger cabs with good results.
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  3. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England
    Works fine. Kicks ass.

    TDPRI member Alex W has a whole litter of little ankle biters he sometimes plays through a Marshall 4x12". You heard right, 5 watts through 4x12".

    Unfortunately everyone else in the neighborhood hears it note for note, too. It gets loud.

    If your goal is to get as much stage volume as you can from a low wattage amp that's the eay to do it.
     
    Chunkocaster likes this.
  4. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2011
    Turdcaster, WA
    Weber Z matcher is a handy little item...then you could do 2 4x12 :eek:
     
  5. buckfuzzard

    buckfuzzard Tele-Meister

    137
    Nov 13, 2008
    se Pa
    I sometimes power a Marshall 2X12 cabinet with either a Vox ac4tv8 4 watt amp
    or a Blackheart Killer Ant head less than 1 watt.
    Sounds Great either way..
    Not what I'd call thin, could be miked to house system if I needed to..

    Note: make sure your using the proper Ohmic value of the speaker that the amp needs or you will damage amp. My Vox needs 16 ohm speaker and the Blackheart has output choices of 4, 8 or 16 Ohm.
    My Marshall cabinet can be run as 8 Ohm or 16 Ohm..
     
  6. Just-Jim

    Just-Jim Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2008
    SoCal
    I pretty much only have 5 & 15 watt amps and play them through an extension cabinet. I would not say they sound "thin" at all, actually quite the opposite.
     
  7. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Holic

    986
    Mar 3, 2011
    St Petersburg,FL
    I run a Fender Greta into one of my Hartke 4x10 cabs and it sounds very good. I also have a couple of 1x12 Marshall cabs and a 1x12 sounds pretty good too. I run a Hartke 4x10 full stack (2 cabs) with a Blackheart 15w head and it sounds really good...just had to align the speakers up (it was worth the trouble). I most often play that Blackheart with the 2 Marshall cabs just for the transport ease though.
     
  8. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    There's no electrical reason that would stress the amp or make it sound "thin" so long as your output transformer has the proper taps for the impedance of your cabinet. For instance, if you have a combo that usually uses a single eight-ohm speaker, and you plug it into a 2x12 that's a pair of 16 ohm speakers in parallel, then it's an eight-ohm load on an eight-ohm tap and you should be fine.

    Remember the difference is not always dramatic. You might get better off-axis volume to hear yourself onstage -- or you might not. One extra speaker should add about 3 dB of sound pressure level, IRRC. A 4 x 12 half-stack is not 'four times as loud' as a 1x12 combo.

    Some amps with large enough output transformers can handle it if you break the rules a little on the impedance, but a lunchbox head will probably have a toy transformer in it so you shouldn't try doing it with a mismatch.
     
  9. harleysr

    harleysr Former Member

    997
    Jul 4, 2012
    nearby
    This will rip your face off

    Two of these pushing two pairs of Vintage 30s (stereo) is a wonderful thing. A single head into the cab is nothing to sneeze at, either.
     

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  10. dporto

    dporto Tele-Meister

    137
    Dec 4, 2012
    hampton bays ny
    "the proper Ohmic value" Aka impedance...;-)
     
  11. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

    When I was thinking about buying an Orange Micro Terror, I tried it at the store through the 8" cab they sell to go with it. Sounded OK. Then I tried a 1 x 12. Sounded pretty darned good. Then I plugged it into a Hughes & Kettner 4 x 12. Yowzah! I bought the MT. Now I just need to get a 4 x 12 cab to play it through...
     
  12. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2012
    Rocky Mount, NC
    When I didn't own a stereo back in the late '60s I ran my little transistor radio through my Bassman cab with 2 15"s. It probably put out 1/4 watt.

    Sounded much bigger
     
  13. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2009
    The city
    "Proper ohmic value". I love it!!! Sounds like something Michael Caine would say if he were playing the part of a burnt out old British rocker

    With your kind permission I will now use that term and only in quotes, properly siting you as the source, in proper MLA bibliography form.
     
  14. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    I ran a SF Champ into a Crate 4-10 cab (4 ohm) at one time, it sounded pretty amazing, not thin by any means!
     
  15. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    a lot of people use much more speaker than the amp can deliver. pete townsend runs a 60 watt amp but his 3 x 10 and 2 x 12 jbl e110's and e 120's are capable of 1500 watts rms. and like I said he's only pushing 60 watts.

    which is the equal of running 15 watts through 13 celestion G12H speakers. I also only use the G12H's because that is what was original to the original marshalls..

    a hiwatt dr103 custom 100 has 800 watts worth of rms in the speakers and only 100 watts rms. so that's 8 to 1. people used to blow the old celestion G12h all the time in their marshalls. but you never used to hear of anyone ever blowing the speakers in a hiwatt

    the celestions barely covered the double wattage recommended for a 100 watt amp. which the minimum is 200 watts. 8 x 12 G12h's are only 240 watts rms.

    again the hiwatt has 800 watts of speakers.

    15 watts would be equal to running a 4 x 12 cabinet with G12h celestions with 15 watts.

    and if you used a more efficient speaker it would be even louder. but at 100db that's pretty good. and to me all around the best sounding speaker are around 100-101db sensitivity. but over all I like the JBL E120.

    a 15 watt amp with 4 x 12 jbl e120's would be the equal of a 45 watt rms amp with speakers that have 97db sensitivity. an e 120 is 6db more sensitive.

    a vintage 30. is 100db. 103db is noticeably louder than 100 db. a 2.2db increase is basically equal to doubling power output.

    to make it simple. if you are pushing 125db at full output and running 100 watts rms. to increase it to 127.2db you would have to increase power to 200 watts rms. to increase it again to 129.4db you would have to increase it to 400 watts rms.

    the speakers can have a HUGE effect on volume. Im a big fan of using much more speaker than amp.
     
  16. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 14, 2004
    New England
    They used to blow 'em because Marshall insisted on wiring the cabinets for 16 ohms. First time I saw a JTM45 I said,

    "That's dumb."

    I wired it for 4 ohms, re-inserted the jumper on the back of the head in the 4 ohm slot and off we went!

    Near as I can tell that amp is still goin' strong exactly like it was last time I saw it.
     
  17. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 24, 2010
    Canada
    Actually doubling the power is 3dB not 2.2dB. Measured it myself.
     
  18. MadJack

    MadJack Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    I run my Li'l Night Train (2 watts) through my 2 X 12 cab with a WGS Reaper (99 dbl) and a Retro 30 (100 dbl) loud and strong. It will leave your ears ringing in minutes playing too loud in my bedroom, so I don't use it too often. I can leave the C19 (Bright Cap) in the circuit when using my Agile (LP). I switch C19 out when using the bridge p'ups on my single coil guitars. I'm not running the stock tubes in mine either, but an EH 12AT7 in V1, a NOS JAN-Philips 12AT7WA in V2 and a JJ ECC802S in V3. You V1 and V2 will respond similarly, but you output tubes will be different and respond differently. I don't recall the designation on your bright cap (C19?) and it isn't as extreme difference as on the NT2H, but it is similar. The C19 mod isn't as big of a deal on the NT15H, because it isn't as overly bright/Ice Pick-y as the NT2H.
     
  19. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

    500
    Sep 8, 2009
    Duncan, B.C.
    I used to have a 66 Vibrochamp that I tried running through my 68 Dual Showman cabinet. I thought it sucked..... Just sounded like a nasty little practice amp through big speakers.
     
    Klon_warz likes this.
  20. adkima00

    adkima00 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 27, 2012
    I run my Jet City 20 watt head through a Marshall 2x12. Sounds great to me, and plenty of volume.

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI
     
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