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Karen Smith

500 watt head with 600 watt and 400 watt cabs

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Hi! Just bought a Markbass 151p Traveller, rated at 400 watts, 8ohms  

My existing rig is an Orange OBC1-500 amp, rated 4ohms minimum load, with an Orange 212 cab, also rated 8 ohms  

Can anyone advise whether these cabs should be run in parallel or series? There are two speakon outputs on the back of the amp. 

Also, if I run them in series, should I hook the lower wattage cab up to the amp first, or the higher one? I’m totally new to adding extension cabs, so any advice will be hugely appreciated. Thanks. 

36325685-D0C3-42FA-B8D2-6489F3D9044A.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Parallel is correct.  It's perhaps unintuitive, but both the following wirings are equivalent (both are parallel).

I.e. this:

  • cable #1 from head to Orange 212
  • cable #2 from head to 151P Traveller

is the same wiring as:

  • cable #1 from head to Orange 212
  • cable #2 from Orange 212 to 151P Traveller

The first has a slight redundancy advantage in that if one speaker/cable/output developed a fault, the other would continue to work.

It's rare to want to wire speakers in series; if you really wanted to do that, you'd need some extra hardware between the amp and cabs.

Edited by jrixn1
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Thank you very much for this reply! When I bought the cab, the advice was “it’s normal to link one cab to the other”, which seems to be the opposite of what you’ve told me. The guy didn’t seem to know too much about it  

Thanks - I’ll give this a go. Much appreciated. 

Just out of interest, what’s the extra hardware that would be needed to wire the cabs in series?

Edited by Karen Smith

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Our very own @obbm makes a special little box full of magic and wizardry which does the job. Or you’d need a special weird Y-cable... :)

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Order some custom made ones. Much better than all those "factory made" ones. I noticed that companies never complete their heads with appropriate wattage cabs. It's almost always that small cabs ex. 2x10 or 2x12 are 300-400w but heads are 500 and more. You must buy 4x10 or bigger to have headroom for amp wattage. It's strange. Thats why I order Handbox gear. 
https://www.facebook.com/HandBoxAudio/videos/1288382281171974/

Edited by jb90

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2 hours ago, Karen Smith said:

 

Thank you very much for this reply! When I bought the cab, the advice was “it’s normal to link one cab to the other”, which seems to be the opposite of what you’ve told me. The guy didn’t seem to know too much about it  

Thanks - I’ll give this a go. Much appreciated. 

Just out of interest, what’s the extra hardware that would be needed to wire the cabs in series?

It's normal to link one cab to the other if you only have one speaker output. Then you have no choice, but having 2 Speakon outs, a cable to each cab is the sensible way to go. As @jrixn1 says, it gives you the extra security of redundancy if one speaker/cable/output developed a fault, the other would continue to work.

I wouldn't even consider wiring in series. Apart from the cable problem if any wire goes down, you're goosed, you are presenting the amp with a load of 16 Ohms, severely lowering the output.

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You have 2 8 ohm cabs. The amp requires a minimum of 4 ohms and that is exactly what it gets with these cabs.

You don't need special cables, rewiring or to do anything. Just get 2 speaker cables and plug the cabs in, either both into the amp or daisy chain the cabs, one from the other. Either way is fine.

Edited by chris_b

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3 hours ago, Karen Smith said:

 

Thank you very much for this reply! When I bought the cab, the advice was “it’s normal to link one cab to the other”, which seems to be the opposite of what you’ve told me. The guy didn’t seem to know too much about it  

Thanks - I’ll give this a go. Much appreciated. 

Just out of interest, what’s the extra hardware that would be needed to wire the cabs in series?

There is no advantage at all to going series ..... at all. It would give you less volume due to the higher load.

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10 hours ago, jb90 said:

I noticed that companies never complete their heads with appropriate wattage cabs. It's almost always that small cabs ex. 2x10 or 2x12 are 300-400w but heads are 500 and more. You must buy 4x10 or bigger to have headroom for amp wattage. It's strange.

Not really. A typical 500W head will only output 250-350W into 8 Ohms, so your typical 2x10 is fine.

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Just to reiterate what others have said. Although it looks like the cabs are in series, daisy chaining (linking one cab to the next) will put the cabs in parallel. The reason being that the twin connectors on the first cab are in set up so that you get a parallel connection between cabs. So the amp will see a 4 ohm load. Job done.

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