Ohms, Watts, Amp, and 2 Cabs... Oh, my!

Afternoon, fellow bass fiends.
(I promise I’ll make my way to the ‘Introduce Yourself’ thread sooner than later! Haha)

I have a setup I need some advice on… And some simple clarification when it comes to compatible watts to ohms to cabs and bass heads. I appreciate any advice!
Here’s what I have…

Purchased a Hartke 2x10 cab (500 watts @ 8 Ohms)…
An Orange 1x12 cab (400 @ 8 Ohms)…
Finally an Orange Bass Terror 500 (500 watts @ 4 OR 8 Ohms).

Combining all the gear above, my thought was to switch the head to 4 vs 8 Ohms plug it all in (2x10 to 1x12) and flip on the power. Am I missing anything? Will I blow up my cabs?
I have plenty of experience with the 2x10 during gigs, and rehearsals. But with this upgrade/ cab expansion I just want to be sure I know, I know what I am doing. Haha.

Thanks again.

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Hello Evan,

From my experience using tube heads (mainly Mesa) you can either use 1 x 4ohm or 2 x 8ohm. Trying to drive 2 x 4ohm would possibly damage the head.


This is straight from the manual:


Make sure the correct speaker load is connected at all times during operation in one of the following configurations:
• 1 x 8 Ohm cabinet** – Use either speaker output (rear panel).
• 2 x 8 Ohm cabinets** – Use both speaker outputs (rear panel).
• 1 x 4 Ohm cabinet** – Use either speaker output (rear panel).

Speaker Impedance Switch:
Make sure this switch matches your speakers impedance.

So from what I am reading, with that head, only connect the 8 ohm cabs in parallel (never series) and make sure the switch matches your cab rating.

Additional be careful in overdriving the 400w cab with a 500w head and dont forget to turn the head on in standby and let it sit for 2 minutes from a cold start to prolong the life of the head.

Hope that helps.


Your plan is solid. :+1:

The Bass Terror 500 is 500 watts at 4 ohms and 250 watts at 8 ohms.
When you set it for 4 ohm and connect two 8 ohm cabs each will get 250 watts.

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Awesome! Thank you all for the clarification.

The Orange 1x12 arrives today with some DiMarzio Model J pups as well.
Should make for a great weekend.

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Now for another question. Does the 12 go on top or the 210?

If you experiment with that, let us know what you choose.

I seem to always see the 10s on top, kinda makes sense as they should be able to produce higher end a bit better. I would love a 210 on top of my 112, but I (and my family, and perhaps a neighbor or two) would end up having to learn sign language.


I had always thought the same thing but I started reading on TalkBass.com and there were quite a few people who recommended putting 10’s on the bottom. I’ve never had a chance to test it, though.

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Sooo… Funny thing you ask/ mention that.
My Hartke 2x10 is pretty light weight, throw it on top of my shoulder and hold it there with one hand on the handle in front. A little tough on door ways, but doable.
The Orange 1x12 is almost half the weight on the Hartke!!! Haha.

Last night I ended up putting the 2x10 on the bottom as it longer AND wider (just enough) to set the 12 on top, with Terror 500 making up the tip on the pyramid. I thought it was a very backwards way of doing things with my little research on ‘stacking order’. But…
The two pair well!
I had to knock the volume down a notch or two from my usual apartment-life level, but it was boomy, articulate, and now, has a solid bottom end.
Very happy camper… Can’t wait to try the rig at gig level volume!

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Sounds pretty bas ass. :smiling_imp:

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