G-K Cab Decisions, maybe amp decisions
I've pretty much decided that my next amp is gonna be an MB Fusion 500, but I haven't decided on a cab yet. This is going to replace my Acoustic B200 combo. I like how the Acoustic sounds well enough, but the poor thing can just barely compete with a Dual Showman through an Ampeg 4X12 cab, a Twin, a keyboard through a P.A., and a drummer that everyone tells me hits very hard. The features of the MBF 500 can't seem to be beat at its price point. Since I'm splurging on the amp (nicest I had before this amp was an ancient Peavey Bass head, as old as I am), I figure I might as well get the cab that was designed for it.
Sweetwater seems to have the best selection of G-K cabs ATM, and from what they have, I'm currently considering:
MBE 410 400W @ 8 ohms. 59lbs according to Sweetwater, 44lbs according to G-K - 103db - $399 - I am pretty sure this is the model with ceramic speakers. I'm inclined to believe the heavier weight unless someone has some first hand experience with it. Still, it's lighter than my combo, even carrying a bass and a MBF.
MBE 410 800W @ 4 ohms. 47-44lbs depending on who you listen to - 103db - $599 - neodymium model
MBE 212 600W @ 4 ohms. 34lbs or so, - 100db - $499
I'm currently leaning toward the 400W 410. I'm not sure I want to get the flatter response of the NEO speakers, I do want a bit of a classic sound. If it gives you any idea of what I want as a sound, I run the Acoustic with the horn off, gain dimed, mildly boosted bass, flat mids, a little bit of treble roll-off, and the notch filter at its highest frequency. On top of the fact that I think the ceramics have the tone I'm probably after, it's cheaper than the others, and I'm a cheapskate. If I feel the need to get all 500W, and really push air, I can get another 8 ohm cab.
What scares me away from it: I'm worried that 350W through 4x10, even at 103db efficiency won't be enough against that horde. This is exacerbated by a couple of reports I've seen on here of the cab breaking up well below it's rated wattage. I know not to believe everything I read on the internet, but knowing what to believe is sometimes difficult. Anyone have any experience with this cab at this wattage and/or know if the G-K rated wattage is trustworthy? I have a feeling I'm going to push it a bit, so that leads us to...
The G-K 410MBE with the neodymium speakers is tempting. The reports of it being tuned bassier than the 212 actually tempt me more than drive me away. I don't think I'll ever push this cab, every show we have had that's bigger than a tea room (and some no bigger than) has had some sort of P.A.. The Acoustic really almost handles everything we've done so far, but only almost. Even when it is able to handle it, master and gain are on 10.
The Cons: Pricier than the rest. I might not like the tone. However, if I do have to ship it back, it's lighter than the ceramic model. At 8 ohms, I can't add another cab later w/o getting 2 new cabs, but then again, I could just get one of the MBP powered cabs instead. Mmmm, 1000 wattssssssss.
The 212 MBE is tempting because it's in the sweet spot of light, priced between the two, get full watts at 4 ohms, and I've heard people rave about their 12" cabs in the G-K club thread.
It's the last choice because: I'm unsure about the neodymium's tone, can't add a second one, not as much speaker area as the 4x10's, and not rated as efficient as them, either. After all, I'm doing this mostly for volume. If I didn't get asked to turn up when it wasn't a possibility, I wouldn't be looking for a new amp. I think I'm more likely to miss the 3db efficiency compared to the 4x10s than I'm going to miss the 150W difference between the neo and the ceramic 4x10 cabinets. I'm not doing any math to arrive at this conclusion, though. If you know better than I do, tell me.
Other info that might help in the advice: My primary thing to do with the bass is play in a Surf-Punk band focusing on originals. You can even try to talk me out of the MBF 500, I've been eyeing the YBA300 in the for sale forum, and the Acoustic 370. I haven't snapped up the YBA300 because I'm not sure 300W will give me enough oomph without going for a refrigerator cabinet of some sort. With a hatcback WRX, that's not really a viable setup right now. I haven't grabbed the 370 because I haven't figured out my cab combo to get me down to 1.6 ohms yet :) .
On top of all that, it'd be nice to have 2 gain stages, a tube pre, 500W tiny watts, a warranty (I have 2 guitar amps older than my wife, she has one too!) and a chance to sound a little like David Wm. Sims all in one package.
What do you think Scabpicker should do? Where is he horribly stupid and wrong?
Unless you are going with a GK 412 or 810, you should be looking at 8 Ohm cabs.
Loudest option should be the 410, then 212. For me I would pair the MB500 with two Neo 115's.
Yeah, but I can't really budget two neo115s. Even two MBE115s are really out of my budget. The MBE 4x10 with neo speakers is really about the top of my budget.
If I'm going 8 ohm, I'm probably going with the ceramic 4x10.
I believe the love for GK 2x12's is the Neo not the MBE model. That one is rated at 600 Watts so would be a reasonably good match with your MBF500.
There was a good thread yesterday where someone had blown a 10" ampeg speaker in a 4x10. One poster had the explanation of mechanical & thermal limits on speakers which you may want to read to understand why you could still blow a speaker running a 500 W amp into say a 600 W cab.
You may want to run down to a store and try this gear, assuming it's in stock, and judge for yourself. Running off of CL400Peavey's advice - try the Neo 4x10 (800 W), first then the Neo 2x12 and check to see if it's the sound you want. If you find out the band plays at higher volume, get another matched cab (and have them beg for mercy!).
I just saw your reply to CL400Peavey. My advice was for $500+ budget. You may want to see if there's anything in your used market to get more bang for your buck. If you believe the MBE may have a tough time keeping up - it could get expensive.
Thankya, I have been scouring the used ads a bit looking for cab options, but haven't found anything yet. I also can't seem to find anyone in DFW that stocks G-K cabs, so I'm going to have to order from somewhere with a lenient return policy if I go with them.
I have considered just buying the MBF500 alone, and trying it with the available cabs in the area until I find something I know like and can afford. I'm pretty sold on the amp, though. I've even found clips of steel guitar players using it, and it sounds great.
And I see the Ampeg BA-108 speaker thread, that's probably exactly what I'm looking for in regard to my power handling questions. Thanks again, guys.
ETA: Hmm, that thread didn't really seem to answer my questions about rated power handling. I'll keep looking.
ETA2: I think I found it:http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/wh...w-out-1015453/
Personally; I'd say: save up.
For me, the diff between 8 ohm and 4 ohm performance in the GK heads is substantive.
They break up earlier at 8 ohms, they break up later at 4 ohms, and I feel they sound better at 4 ohms.
So: I'd vote for two 8 ohm Neo 112's.
Not what you asked about, but, that's what I'd recommend.
Well, Chef, I have the money. There's no need to save up. However, I don't really want to spend it ATM. It's a little of an artificial budget, but I don't drive a 911, either.
I understand why you like the dual 1x12 setup, I've seen you talk about it in the GK club thread, and it makes sense. From what I can gather, you're playing upright or jazz normally. You want clean headroom, and want your rig to sing.
I wouldn't be adverse to distortion coming on early in mine. Like I said, the Acoustic's gain lives on 10 all of the time as it is. So 8 ohms meaning earlier breakup sounds appealing. It seems like your objection to the NEO 410 cab was it is was tuned to be bassier. From looking at the specs on the MBE cabs, they all have a response range closer to the NEO 112, even the 410MBE with neo drivers, probably due to the cab being 2.5" more shallow than the NEO version. Any reason you (or anyone else) doesn't seem recommend the MBE cabs?
I'm currently using two of the ceramic mbe410 cabs. They sound good, but they are much closer to Sweetwater's weight and they have no side handles or castors. Though lighter than most other 410 cabs, they are still bulky and awkward to move.
Hmm, does it at least have holes for casters?
ETA: ehh, NM, the Ernie Ball ones are less than $30.
But what amp are you using to power them?
For starters, a number of players (and engineers) in the know are adamant that there is no inherent difference in tone between ceramic drivers and Neo drivers. Differences in tone, if any, can generally be attributed to differences in cab design - not to the speakers themselves.
For another, while I can appreciate your "cheapskatery", the old saw "you get what you pay for" has a certain degree of truth in the realm of bass gear. While there are certainly some pieces that are way overpriced and others that are an incredible deal, you can cheap out only so far before quality begins to suffer. GK's MBE line, while adequate and functional, is not generally regarded as pro quality, and certainly not up to the same standard as the GK Neo line. For only a modest increase in budget, you could get into a whole new level of cab that would hold up much better for the long haul, and would prove to be a much better investment overall. Word to the wise. :eyebrow:
Another thing: It is indeed a wise thing to not give too much heed to the thermal rating of the cab(s) you may have in mind, as most will crap out well before you even get close to delivering that amount of actual power to them. A good rule of thumb is divide the RMS number in half - then expect to apply no more power to the cab than that. Any more and you are very likely to get into problems of power compression and distortion. While you may very well enjoy running your amp at high gain in order to obtain harmonic distortion from the amp, any distortion that may come from the speakers is really not comparable in any way, and really should be avoided, IMO.
One other thing: I'm detecting what seems to be mixed messages about the complete extent of your volume & power needs. Maybe it's just me, but on the one hand you have praised the output of your little Acoustic combo as being nearly enough; while on the other hand you've expressed concern at being completely overwhelmed by the volume of your bandmates. To me, those two expressions don't seem consistent with one another. :confused:
Be that as it may, I suspect that you may be underestimating your need for clean, abundant headroom. If so, you wouldn't be the first. It's a very common miscalculation that occurs here on a regular basis - chiefly among 1) very young & inexperienced players who are still learning how bass amplification works, 2) converted guitarists for whom a 100-watt rig represents enormous power, and 3) old-school bassists who came up during the era of 100-watt Fender Bassman rigs - and never updated. :hmm:
The GK MB Fusion amp is a great choice. But I think you may be selling yourself short when it comes to cab choices - which may turn out to be the weak link in your entire signal chain.
My suggestion would be to either revise your expectations - or preferably, to increase your budget. :hmm:
Trust me on my volume needs. I've never had a G-K amp to play around with, but I've had other heads/cabs in the past. The B200 is very loud for a 200 Watt 1X15 combo, and amazingly reliable for where I push it. It's nearly enough, pushed to its absolute limit on gain and master. It lives almost its entire life flat-out. If I were more adventurous with the EQ, or ran any effects other than a short delay for a quiet part of one song in our set, it'd probably die.
I did do some calculations in my head, and I've decided the Fusion will certainly be able to deliver enough watts at peak to overpower the ceramic 4x10's rated watts, so it's out, even before I go to other methods of estimating its ability to handle it.
As far as buying "pro" quality gear: I appreciate the heartfelt advice, but for my needs, pffft. I'm not going on tour, I merely want adequate volume, reliability and tone from the cab I buy. If I find myself in need of a more durable bass cab, I'll skip the NEOs and grab a 410RBH. Heck, if I was going to increase my budget at all, I'd grab one. If anything is a sin on the NEO line, it's that you can't switch between 4/8 ohm at the flick of a switch on the 4X10.
Plus "You get what you pay for" really doesn't apply much in music or musical instruments. The best sounding guitar amp I've ever heard is my Silvertone 1485. No one would ever call one "Pro" quality gear, but it sounds completely incredible. It's made of particle board, built in 1965, and still going strong. It cost me $125 20 years ago. Conversely, I could put down a hell of a lot of money then or now, and sound like hell at the end of the day.
Well, first of all, thanks to all that replied. The advice on power handing and finding applicable threads was indispensable, and every post made me think about my problem more clearly.
I ended up buying a used MBF500 for a little savings from the for sale forum, and it should get shipped today. Now I'm in such a good mood that I really am considering the RBH 410. But 100Lbs is making my shy away from my grand claims and think about the NEO 410 now. The included casters and better handles really make it no real question about the $100 difference with the MBE neodymium cabinets and the NEO ones, especially when you consider the weight difference is only 10lbs. If there's anything I hate about the Silvertone, it's moving it anywhere by its awful strap handle. Even going across the room is a pain.
What? Oh, I prefer my crow chicken fried, please. With lots of salt and pepper. :)
However, since I'm getting the amp in a separate purchase, I'm going to test it out first. I live about 2 miles from a GC, and there's someone local who's selling a NEO 212. I'm going to try to test it out at 8 and 4 ohms, and through cabs with varying bass response to see if I need/want it to be clean that loud, or that thumpy. My instinct tells me that I'm gonna want it a bit broken up and thumpy, but you guys didn't reply for your health. If I don't find a cab I want to take behind the junior high and get pregnant, I'll go ahead and order the NEO 410 and probably live with the results. At least I now know that if I took home the Ampeg SVT-410HLF (500W @ 4 ohms) that I liked when I tried an Orange Terrorbass 500 out, it would have probably ended in tears. Again, I thank you all.
If you like distortion/od, be sure to keep the horn turned down, or, off.
horns suck at od...IMO
For GK you owe it to yourself to get quotes from RMC Audio. They beat everyone else by a large margin. Even if you don't order from them, ask Sweetwater to price match. They came down $80 on an MB Fusion 500 for me in response to RMC's quote.
And thanks for the hint on RMC Audio, liam_g. I'll hit them up if I finally decide to go with a G-K cab.
Clearly it is possible to find good-quality gear that is under-rated - and under-priced...just as it is possible to find mediocre-quality gear that is over-rated - and over-priced. But this is generally the exception - not the rule. For a whole host of reasons (i.e. cost of raw materials, cost of skilled labor, various other forms of overhead, etc.) it is possible for a manufacturer to scrimp on these factors only so far in order to achieve a low price point, before quality begins to suffer - and often, to suffer badly.
Some things simply are true - no matter how stubbornly one resists believing them... :eyebrow:
Geez, scabpicker, you work fast! I thought you'd be mulling all this over for a few weeks and we'd never hear the results.
I would love to try the MBF500 to compare to my MB500. Good purchase!
Good luck with your cab testing and eventual purchase.
That may be very good advice, but without a DB meter reading the only answer I have is that I need my amp to reach "Louder Than a B200 can do" SPL. Furthermore, I don't think that I've been looking for clean headroom. Absolute volume with pleasing overdriven tones, yes, clean headroom, no.
Further, if you can't decide whether having cabinets that are rated to handle the amount of watts the head can output is necessary or not, why pay attention to the numbers at all? I came into this problem believing that overdriving the speakers is a very bad thing, and I haven't seen anything that would contradict that. If I'm running the B200 at it's max, and it's not quite keeping up, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that the MBF500 and whatever cab I get is going to be earning its keep, and getting an underpowered cab would be a bad idea?
I have no idea how this basic principle of wiring a cabinet could involve hucksterism. If you have an explanation of that, it'd be informative.
1. Selecting a solution from the available options.
2. Explaining why the solutions presented would not meet their needs, and suggesting alternatives that might both meet their needs and fulfill them.
3. Explaining why reaching a solution to their problem within the given budget is either theoretically or practically impossible.
Telling them essentially, "I think you haven't defined your needs well, and without mentioning anything specific, I think you need to spend more money to meet my undefined needs", Isn't a very good answer. You don't know my needs beyond saying you didn't really think I understood them, and didn't ask further before saying I needed the more heavy duty cab. At least Chef understood he wasn't really answering the question by sugggesting 2 NEO112s and left it at that. You're acting like there's one "correct" answer to the problem, and its to spend more. I don't feel like discussing the truism "You get what you pay for" any further, thanks.
If the "switch" you're referring to is some sort of 4 ohm/8 ohm thing, it's not that simple. Each spkr in the cab would need two different voice coils. It's not just how the cab is wired, since no 8 ohm cab can be "re-wired" to make a 4 ohm cab, and vice versa.
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:12 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.