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Dumb question! HD500x louder through 120w combo than through 500w PA speaker?

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Hi all, as the title says, dumb question. I'm running a JTV-69 into a HD500x into an Alesis Alpha 112 powered speaker ("500w continuous, 1000w peak").

 

After a while I wondered how much clean headroom I really had and ran the right 1/4" out from the HD500 into my old Drive G120 (120 watt) combo amp.

 

So at that point,

HD500 left 1/4" out into passive DOD A/B box, into Alesis,

and

HD500 right 1/4" into A/B box, into Drive combo amp.

 

A/B'ing the Alesis vs. the Drive combo, it seems like the combo amp has a ton more headroom than the Alesis.

 

Obviously I'm not much of a gearhead. Any opinions?

 

Notes:

-I don't have any complaints about the HD500x into the Alesis, other than that the Alesis is hissy and I'm going to return it and get an Alto or JBL etc instead. Normally I run the HD500x XLR out into the Alesis XLR in.

 

-I had the Alesis a few days before I saw on the interwebs that the Alesis XLR/line input volume knob is misleading in that it's intended to only go up to "5" for line input before risk of blown speaker, but the XLR volume can go up to 10 theoretically.

In my trials with the HD500x into the Alesis I am watching the clip light and clipping is not a factor for either the Alesis or the Drive.

 

$_86.JPG

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My only helpful thought is that most, if not all active PA's rely a line level signal usually as its primary source. The inputs on

guitar combo's (or any other guitar amp) are the much more sensitive stomp type levels and easily over-driven with a line

signal. So I think for the most part, your volume differences are due to the differing input types you're comparing with.

A better comparison would be going straight into the FX return of your combo from the POD's 1/4 outputs. You also have

the different output mode settings in the POD which need to be set according to the input you'll be jacking into.

Anyways, its no surprise to me that the combo seems to have more headroom than the PA, its input is more sensitive.

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just an approximation...

240 watts would give you about +3 db of headroom over 120 watts

480 watts would give you about +3 db of headroom over 120 watts

 

so, you have about +6 db of additional headroom...

 

if you use the POD XLRs you would need to set the speaker to MIC as the XLR outs are fixed running at MIC level.

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