Genz Benz Streamliner 600 – Peak Light and Volume!
I know that this has been discussed here before but I would appreciate some advice specific to my circumstances.
I have recently acquired a GB STM 600 and purchased a few weeks ago 2 of the Focus 112 cabinets as a good quality portable rig for band rehearsals and gigs. After playing in practice sessions with the band (3 piece blues) I have some concerns over volume when playing with the amp without having the peak LED on all the time. The peak LED was starting to get very active with the gain boost OFF, the pre-amp gain at 1 o’clock, pre-amp volume at 2 o’clock and master volume at 3 o’clock. Last night I was only just about loud enough with an un-mic’d drum kit.
Your view on the following would be much appreciated:
1) I use a Musicman Stingray 4. Is there any chance the signal from the Bass is too hot for the pre-amp to handle comfortably without the peak light coming on. Should I look at a set up on the bass with a view to lowering the pickups? (never had an issue with the bass with my old solid state set up)
2) The Cabs are rated at 200W a piece but I would have thought they were very capable of taking the STM600 output and i prsume that cab choice wouldn’t effect the peak light anyway would it?
3) Would matching 2 x Focus 210 cabs (or a 4 x10) result in noticably more volume at the same amp settings?
4) Is there anything you could recommend (pedal or other separate pre-amp) that I could use to moderate any peak frequecy's from the bass which could allow me to get more volume out of the amp without the peak LED coming into play.
I love the GBSTM tone but having invested a sizable bag of loot on this setup I was not expecting to struggle for volume!
This phrase caught my attention: without having the peak LED on all the time."
Might be a good idea to read the manual. I know that in the Shuttle series, it's not only OK but often desirable to push the preamp hard and light up the preamp lights most of the time. I don't own the Streamliner, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's just fine to have that peak LED on all the time.
Hmmmmm....I pulled up the manual and it says:
• The AMBER “PEAK” LED indicates that the power amp is near its maximum power. Under high output conditions
it is normal for this LED to light with the strongest pulses of the signal. Driving hard beyond this point will cause the
amplifier to gradually begin to clip which may become audible. If using a very mid focused bass tone and while
driving the amp hard, it may be possible to hear some distortion before the PEAK LED is lit. This is normal and is a
result of the harmonics generated by the preamp tubes during the overdrive process being more audible since the
ear is more sensitive to upper midrange frequencies.
Note phrase: "Under high output conditions it is normal for this LED to light with the strongest pulses of the signal."
However - the cab choice certainly can have an impact on when that peak LED lights. The more efficient the cab, the greater the volume created with the same power input. If you have highly efficient cabs, it takes less power to drive them to a given volume. Your cabs are rated 97dB, which is pretty sensitive. I'm wondering if it's something else in the settings that's causing failure to sound off.
For that matter, how loud is this 3-piece band? I play in a 4-piece classic rock and blues band, and I seldom need more than 25% of the master gain.
Another question is this...the Streamliner is rated 375 Watts @ 8 ohms and 600 Watts @ 4 ohms. It seems a bit questionable to buy cabs rated for only 200W to use with that head. That seems like not enough cab for the amp, even at 8 ohms. I have a Shuttle 6.0 which has the same power rating, and it came docked on a Shuttle 12T cab rated for 300W...still less than the peak rating, but much closer.
Of course, that amp should be driving those cabs HARD if you have it turned up, so that doesn't explain lack of volume. I suspect something in the amp settings.
Lots going on here.
First, two small 112's (even very good ones) are not going to push a tone of air if you are playing very loud. Are you using two of the first generation Shuttle 112's? If so, you are pushing those cabs most likely into thermal compression, and making the amp work overly hard for very little extra outcome. So, a larger cab with some decent efficiency would take care of much of the issue. (Edit: Just saw it... Two Focus 112's... even worse IMO.. nice little cabs, but 'little cabs' without a ton of low end or SPL capability, so my comments below stand).
Second, the 'clip light' of the Streamliner just says you are into the power management system, which sounds quite good. If it stays on constantly for most of the night, you probably need dfferent cabs. Those gain settings with a Music Man and the master setting suggest you are pushing that amp hard, and not really getting the benefit from those little cabs.
Finally, careful with the Music Man bass control It is classic to come into a gig with not quite enough speaker/cab, and push the cabs into power compression which results in you losing low end, and then cranking the bass control which results in a hotter signal from the amp, causing the amp to work harder, pushing the cabs into even MORE compression, and around and around.
So, the simple answer is to not worry too much about the clip light coming on a bit, since it doesn't mean the same thing as other brands' clip indicators. However, every bone in my body says you have plenty of power, and have a combination of EQ and 'too little speaker area' issues.
IMO and IME!
Agreed. The problem seems very likely to be not enough spkr for the job. You are pushing the amp pretty hard, and those 2 little 12's can only go so far. The harder you push them, the more likely you either burn them up, or blow them out. 2 12's can be fine for some, but if you play LOUD, I think you need bigger spkr cabs. A 4x10 would not be a big step up from the 2 12's. Think 6x10, maybe 2x15, and be sure they're quality cabs.
Thanks for the considered responses guys.
The band are not that loud although its amazing how much volume comes out of a 15W guitar amp and a rampant drummer.
I think bigger cabs are ultimately going to be the answer here. The rehersals space i use is run by a bass player and he has a 4 x 10 ampeg cab that i plan on borrowing during the next session. This will help inform next steps.
The frustration is i talked myself out of 2 x 210 cabs in favour of the 2 x 112 speaker solution. Guess you live and learn.
Final question - is it fair to assume that two seperate 210 cabs will provide the same overall volume as a single 410? I woud still like the portabilityalthough i appreciate you'll pay more.
The bit about struggling to keep up with unmic'd drummer is a bit scary. I think KJung hit the nail on the head with EQ. I haven't even seen the cabs in person but I would think anything Genz put their name on should be a decent enough cab and two of them ought to be fine in your situation with a 15W guitar amp. I play with one of them driving 2x12 and drums and my 2x10 is fine with 250W amp.
Turning to EQ, the classic response to not enough volume is to reduce low end in faovour of low mids. The lows take up a lot of power and most cabs don't make much bass with it. The bass knob on the stingray needs to be flat or cut back a nudge.
You need to be a bit careful about pushing too hard with that sort of EQ as the amp has so much more power than the speakers can handle.
2 of 2x10 is a superior rig to one 4x10. In your UK pub gigs you will never have PA support. A 2x10 tower gives best distribution of bass to you and the audience.
You also might try raising your 112s up so the top of the upper cab is at about or just below your shoulder height. I gig often with two Aguilar GS112s and raising them up so that the top cab is just below shoulder height has made one of the most significant improvements in my onstage sound - period. Doing so has allowed me to lower my onstage volume, hear everything from my bass with greater clarity, and I find that the low-end response has in no way been compromised. In fact, with the cabs higher, I can back up to them and get that good old "SVT" thump into my back that wasn't possible when the cabs were sitting lower on the stage. :bassist:
The 2 x210 vertical stack seems the logical way to go. Now the search starts for a cost effective pair of cabs.
I'm sorted (i hope). I am picking up the first of 2 GB Focus 210 cabs on Monday. This will give me chance to A/B a Focus 210 against the 112 before grabbing the second 210 later next week.
I'll pop a post up with the results after my next band rehearsal. Fingers crossed.
So I also vote "not enough cabinets for the job". I also agree with KJung that I'd bet dollar to donuts you're driving those poor 112's into thermal compression. Back off the bass EQ on your bass and amp, as counter-intuitive as that may seem, and you may get a bit more out of the lower mids and mids.
Ultimate solution: get a nice 212, like a Genz Benz Uber 212T. A perfect match for your head, and not to bad to get around.
Sounds like you have a preference to GB cabs but there are a ton of other cabs that are better in that size range. I vote for the Uber 212T as well if you want GB - it moves a ton of air
Here lies the biggest challenge with new rigs. How do you know what's going to work before you buy it!
No doubt the GB Über 212T would be a great cab but its the same configuration as my 'problem' set up.
I like the sound of the GB Focus stuff and its a reasonable price point so I'm happy. Adding more speaker coverage seems the logical next step.
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