noob(ish) question: volume/headroom with 4x12 cabinet

Airplane

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what happens to the loudness of a ~20w amp, let’s say Deluxe Reverb, when connected to a 4x12 cabinet? i found one in a thrift shop that i‘m going to pick up next week. it most likely has four 60s celestion greenbacks in it.
would this combination increase loudness and/or clean headroom?
 

KStopper65

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You don't play clean with a 4x12!!
I'm kidding, and yes headroom should increase, as the speakers are being pushed less
 

ErictheRed

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It depends on the type of distortion/compression. If you have an efficient and high power handling speaker (two different things), then you probably aren't getting any compression or breakup from your speaker currently anyway. Therefore having more speakers (assuming of the same type) won't give you as much of an increase in headroom as you might expect. If your compression and distortion is currently coming from the power section, more speakers won't add more headroom there.

However, running four of the same speaker will increase your efficiency by perhaps 3-6 dB or so, and hence you will get more overall output volume which can be possibly be as headroom, if that makes sense. Depending on where you're being limited by headroom in the amp, the extra volume from the more efficient speakers isn't necessarily clean volume.
 

Big John

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Who cares? Just tell us where this thrift shop is so we can get 60's Celestions cheap.
 

Cjsinla

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Most 4x12 Marshall cabs are wired as a 16 ohm load and your Deluxe only has an 8 ohm out.
 

grumphh

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Nothing happens unless YOU TURN UP THE VOLUME ON YOUR AMP!!!! Oh sorry, turning back down right away...

Hint: There is this nifty little control (usually called "volume") that lets you determine how much output your amp delivers to the connected speaker.
:yesway:


All that can really be said beforehand is that the different number of speakers combined with a presumably different speaker model will probably alter the tone and it will most probably sound different from an open back cab/combo...


As for "clean headroom" - unless you had a really low rated speaker which furthermore was so bad that it audibly distorts BEFORE your amp starts distorting, nothing will change.

20 W is 20 W*, and the amps point of breakup is not going to change because of the speakers, regardless of how many speakers you disperse those watts over.



* In the volume equation speaker sensitivity plays a major role though, but once again, there is no predicting whether your amp through your new cab will sound louder at the same volume setting or not.


TLDR: Try it and see what happens, worst case scenario: It sounds like crap.
 

Airplane

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Who cares? Just tell us where this thrift shop is so we can get 60's Celestions cheap.
I‘m located in switzerland :noway:

Most 4x12 Marshall cabs are wired as a 16 ohm load and your Deluxe only has an 8 ohm out.
I though about that but the majority of people in the thousands of threads i‘ve read through claims that this combination works without problems. more ohm amp into lower ohm cab seems to be a no no.
 

Airplane

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Nothing happens unless YOU TURN UP THE VOLUME ON YOUR AMP!!!! Oh sorry, turning back down right away...

Hint: There is this nifty little control (usually called "volume") that lets you determine how much output your amp delivers to the connected speaker.
:yesway:


All that can really be said beforehand is that the different number of speakers combined with a presumably different speaker model will probably alter the tone and it will most probably sound different from an open back cab/combo...


As for "clean headroom" - unless you had a really low rated speaker which furthermore was so bad that it audibly distorts BEFORE your amp starts distorting, nothing will change.

20 W is 20 W*, and the amps point of breakup is not going to change because of the speakers, regardless of how many speakers you disperse those watts over.



* In the volume equation speaker sensitivity plays a major role though, but once again, there is no predicting whether your amp through your new cab will sound louder at the same volume setting or not.


TLDR: Try it and see what happens, worst case scenario: It sounds like crap.
I currently use a 66 Ampeg Gemini 1 with a 50w Weber. Love the the cranked tone but i want to play clean 75% of the time. I‘m thinking about going back to a DRRI because i LOVE the cleans. Maybe i‘ll keep the Weber and put it in there..

So you say my amp breaks up at 5 it will still breaks up at 5 with the cab (probably 4 30w or 50w speakers)? Surprising but kinda makes sense.. The question is, is it louder with the 412 at volume 5? Or just different and less compressed?
 

grumphh

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So you say my amp breaks up at 5 it will still breaks up at 5 with the cab (probably 4 30w or 50w speakers)? Surprising but kinda makes sense.. The question is, is it louder with the 412 at volume 5? Or just different and less compressed?
If you have a 50W speaker for a lower rated amp i think it is unlikely that the speaker breaks up.
Since it is also unlikely that your amp is going to make the 4x12 break up i'd assume that the break up happens in the amp. So at the same place on the dial.

Tone is probably different going from open combo to closed cab, but breakup/compression should not be.

As for volume, this is still individual, depending on speaker sensitivity, i.e. how many dbSpl a speaker produces with 1W of power. That number is something you can find in the tech specs.
In a nutshell, more speaker units do not automatically make your amp louder, speaker construction and higher amp power make you louder.

Usually 12" guitar speakers put out between 96 and 103 dbSpl / 1W....

So you could actually have a single sensitive speaker (e.g. 102 db/1w) that would be louder in dbSpl than a 4x12 cab with 4 low sensitivity speakers (e.g. 96dbSpl/1w) at the same amp power output
- so once again, unless you look at the specs of your current speaker and the speakers in the prospective cab you can't tell beforehand.
 

Cjsinla

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I‘m located in switzerland :noway:



I though about that but the majority of people in the thousands of threads i‘ve read through claims that this combination works without problems. more ohm amp into lower ohm cab seems to be a no no.
You’re probably right and I’ve done it, an 8ohm Fender into a 16ohm Marshall cab. It just may not work as well as it could, or as it was designed.
 

crosstownblues

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Keep in mind that the 16 ohm load will sound quieter than an 8 ohm load would, due to the impedance mismatch. Any gain in volume/headroom coming from more efficient speakers at 16 ohms would likely be offset by the mismatch in output impedance
 


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