acme B2 vs GK 115MB, Question:

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Count Bassie, Jan 11, 2014.


  1. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    It's one of those... but I gotta!

    I have an 8 ohm Acme Low B2, and in front of it goes an SWR SM 400s as power amp to an Aguilar Tone-Hammer. Tone Hammer goes in to the Return of the SWR.

    The SWR is said to give up about 500w at 8 ohms- but I know the Acme has issues as a standalone cab.

    Would I perhaps be better served presence-wise with a GK 115MB combo?

    I'm gigging mostly small-med size rooms or small outdoor venues, with pop combos and a reggae band.
  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    IMO, I don't think so. Stick with what you have.
  3. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    Thanks for chiming in. Tell you this, I really love what I'm getting out of this rig, tone-wise anyway. With the Tone Hammer I feel I'm also getting more presence out of the Acme- but I'm afraid of blowing it out. Should I not worry about that the way I'm running it?
  4. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Andy (from Acme) states 500 watts is best for that cab! I don't think the 200 watt 115 combo will fill your needs the same way. Those B2's are pretty even and low even if their power requirements are higher.
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  6. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    It does seem to give a complete tonal picture, and I've been working with it and I'm a little more convinced than I was! Thanks again for the thoughts, B-string.
  7. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    My pleasure :)
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    Here I go again, an Acme thread!! :)

    IMO the best cabinet to pair with an Acme B2 is a second identical B2 to stack on top of it.

    I don't feel that an Acme cabinet pairs well with any other manufacturers products.
  9. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    I had no plans to do this actually. It seems a unique animal, and fooling with mixing cabs in this regard seems unlikely. But thanks for heading that off at the pass anyway!
  10. bgavin

    bgavin Supporting Member

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    +1 to that.
    One does not find Acme cabs on the used market very often.

    Q: do you know if an 8-ohm B2 is a pair of 16-ohm in parallel?
  11. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    I never did look into this- I will though! Now I want another identical cab more than ever. I've recently begun to 'get' this cab, and I can only describe the sound as 'awake'... I don't know if it's enough to do a loud rock band with, but man, the sound...

    Now a question: I have a Bag End 18 loaded with a JBL E-155-4 ohm driver. If I ran 2 separate amps, and sent all the lows up to around 150Hz to the Bag End/JBL, and everything else to the B210, would I be doing something useless?
  12. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    I never did look into this- I will though! Now I want another identical cab more than ever: I've recently begun to 'get' this cab, and I can only describe the sound as 'awake'... I don't know if it's enough to do a loud rock band with, but man, the sound...

    Now a question concerning bi-amping, as I wonder if I've got enough stuff here to cobble together a 'big rig' that can be heard without PA support in a reasonably large room: I have a Bag End 18 loaded with a JBL E-155 4 ohm driver. If I ran 2 separate amps, and sent all the lows up to around 150Hz to the Bag End/JBL, and everything else to the B210, would I be doing something useless?

    Just trying to 'see' what I can do with what I got.
  13. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Well, you'd be wasting much of the potential of the Acme cab, for one thing. Since the Acmes are specifically designed to function as (very) full-range cabs, almost by definition they don't function well as components in a bi-amp or tri-amp system.

    The bottom line is that by trying to combine an Acme with just about any other kind of cab, in just about any kind of way, you're going to have a mismatch on your hands. :eyebrow:

    MM
  14. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    Yeah I got all that by now, but I appreciate the sensible info! I just recently got my Bag End S-15Ds back, so I'm never minding bi-amping at this point. Also the Acme seems to be without a functioning mid driver, so I have to fix that now.

    But, the drama is over. :)
  15. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    I lent the Acme out as a potential swap thing (for a Mesa Diesel 410), and we discovered the mid and hi not working. Put in a new bulb and the mid still not working, I'm told. We shall see. After all this mess I'll just keep it I think. The Baggies made me forget the Mesa...
  16. bgavin

    bgavin Supporting Member

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    FWIW, if I was going to buy a cab, it would be the Acme B2-III in 8-ohms.
    Maybe a D210-XST if I tripped over a great deal. Not at all likely. IMO, they are far over priced.
    I normally bi-amp and roll my own cabs, but it would be nice to have a B2 for my 700RB-II.

    However, used B2-III rarely show up on the resale market.
    The very few that do, command a resale price so close to new, that I won't consider them.
    Paying a few $$ more for a new cab guaranteed to be free of abuse, is well worth the extra $$.

    There is a school of players who have no use for the Acme model at all. YMMV.
    I understand that Reggae is concentrated in the 70 Hz and higher range.
    There are more sensitive choices than the Acme for 70 Hz and up.

    In my current band, I play 80% keys/synths, 15% 5-string bass, and 5% "other", hence the need for full range.
    The synth pianos and horns produce the C1 fundamental at full strength, and I want my cabs to produce this.
    A pair of 8-ohm Acme B2-III would be my only choice in a commercial cab for this use.
  17. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    A little more time with this Acme may bring me around to a similar conclusion. Apparently it hasn't been fully functioning since I got it in a trade deal, which below-par performance may be reason for my semi-balk at it. I'll get it set aright, even if I have to buy a mid driver for it, and we'll see what kind of place it finds in my life here.

    Thanks for posting your asessment there, bgavin.
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    That is a less than optimal head/cab combination. The old SM400 has virtually NO hi passing, so it is pumping massive sub bass into that cab. The super low sensitivity of that cab is due to its ability to actually reproduce that sub-bass. The result would be a glorious tonality at low volumes, and a flubby, low frequency mess IMO and IME as you turn it up (and even worse if your mid driver isn't working).

    To your original post, the GK combo would be massively louder than your current rig, and of course, much more mid present with much less deep bass (i.e., not very reggae friendly).

    An amp like the GKMB800 and two 8ohm B210's would totally fix your issue and still give you that super bass extended, fat, even, smooth Acme tone. One way or the other, that head has to go with that particular cab (or at least you need an external Hi Pass Filter like the FDECK III to eliminate that under 30hz nastiness coming out of that head.

    IMO and a lot of IME on this one:)
  19. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    Ok this is addressing something meaningful.

    I have been running an SM 400s into a Bag End 18 cab loaded with a JBL E-155. That has made the reggae band very happy, and it's also been an interesting and (for me) acceptable cab for a country-rock gig. That cab seems to not mind the sub-bass you mention. I'll be building a more proper cab for the JBL, but that's a "project" and not particularly imminent, so not of immediate interest here...

    Today I picked up a GK 400RB-III and set it atop a pair of Bag End S-15Ds. Great. Not necessarily reggae, but big, full and loud anyway. The Bag Ends are noted for being very efficient.

    I'm off to retrieve my Acme, and will take all you've mentioned into consideration over the next little while here. First I'll get it fixed, see how I like it, and maybe I'll have a revelation!

    Thanks for all the chiming in so far, everybody. :cool:
  20. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Place a call to Andy. The B1, B2 and B4 are all still in production, so he's bound to have access to all the replacement five-inch mid drivers you might need. :meh:

    MM
  21. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

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    That's in the plan, yep. Thanks MM!

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