Speaker choice/power rating

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by roirat, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. roirat

    roirat Guest

    Here's what I got so far:

    The most important thing is not to let the amp start clipping, because then you get all this extra high-frequency energy which is really destructive to voice coils and so forth. Much more important than the max power rating, since an amp rarely gets turned up all the way anyway...

    So here's my question: What about guitar cabs? guitarists often output a signal that is clipped to some degree, right? distortion, overdrive, crunch, whatever, this tranlates into a somewhat squared-off waveform with lots of extra high order harmonics. How does one factor this into choosing a speaker for a guitar cab?

    I am looking at low power (<5 watts) studio guitar amp heads, and am not too sure how to go about choosing a speaker, if I end up building my own cab, which sounds like a fun project.

    I'm thinking right now that I'll just get a speaker that's rated two to five times higher than the amp, since those are easy to find, but I don't know if sensitivity is a concern, like will it be really quiet if I drive a fifteen watt speaker with only one or two watts?

    Who makes nice guitar-appropriate speakers rated at five watts or less?

  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Don't re-invent the wheel at your first attempt.

    Look to some of the small Guitar Amp designs already out there and see what choices they made for speakers.

    Often output stages are NOT clipped in the same way as a large solid state PA amp.

    note :
    most guitar amps are tubes and output transformers ... The character they bring is not as simple as your statement above.
    I think you will find that just as much of the tone is developed at the front end as well.

    Even in very small Guitar amp we usually find the most popular and well know speakers being used. Many of them are not below 30 watts anyway. These are very efficient and so your little 5watter will be loud.

    just one of hundreds of projects on the net
  3. roirat

    roirat Guest

    I guess it's true that most of the clipping in a guitar amp happens at the preamp stage, don't know how much of a difference this makes in terms of the high frequency energy at the final output.

    I'll do some more research into what is already used in low wattage combos and go from there...


  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Also the higher frequency stuff doesn't get into the cone speaker as the inductance of the coil begins to kick in at the higher frequencies and the impedance of the speaker continues to rise
    ... so reducing the current flow at the higher frequencies.

    Oscillations in the amp may be more of an issue.
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