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Help me build my next rig...

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by neddyrow, Feb 4, 2014.


  1. neddyrow

    neddyrow

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Cortland, NY
    So I've been doing lots of research and am trying to put together my "dream bass rig" but I need help putting the pieces together.

    Here's what I want to do:

    I'd like to get a flex preamp to plug my bass pickup and mic into. I'd rather the preamp over an AI amp because I'd like to have the preamp mounted on a stand nearby.

    I'd like to use an EA 210 as a speaker cabinet - love the sound!

    The problem is I can't find a head that I like that has the power to handle the 8ohms and give me enough watts to feel comfortable playing the different shows I play.

    I was thinking that since I don't really need a bass head, I could use a regular power amp like Carvin, Crown or QSC and let the flex do all the EQing I need.

    My questions are:

    Will that work? Meaning - will the flex give me all the tone shaping I need?

    What size power amp should I get to power the 210 cabinet? 1000w? 1500w? I'm not sure with the bridged mono option how many watts I'll get at 8 ohms and more importantly, what will be enough.

    What brand of power amp should I get? I have a Crown for my PA and it's super light and powerful but I hear that Carvin makes a very light and powerful one too that has very low noise.
    What else will I need to make this work? (Eq, power conditioning, etc.?)


    Any help will be appreciated. Especially if this is a bad idea.

    Thanks
     
  2. Phil Redman

    Phil Redman

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I think your plan works in theory. Just find a PA head that matches up with the power requirements of the EA cab and you should be good to go. I used to carry around a QSC PLX head and it had tons of clean power but was not fun to carry with me on every gig. Also I have some experience with having rig control mounted on the mic stand and while it is convenient it can be distracting; it's hard to focus on your playing and on sound issues simultaneously. Hope you find a solution that works for you. By the way I was using a Fishman preamp with the PLX and it worked fine although I didn't love the sound of the preamp.
     
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Olivette, Missouri
    I've had great success with the Headway EDB-2 and a QSC K8, but that's for small trio gigs. I think that the Flex in combination with the Demeter Minnie 800 would be a great rig, combined with your EA 210. The catch is that the Minnie is a little under a grand.

    Ric
     
  4. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    I know from Bob's personal experience that the Genz-Benz 900 heads (Streamliner in Bob's case, but they made a few others in that power range) powers the EA 210 VERY effectively. Jacques from RMI (Basswitch) strongly touted the "transparency" of the power amp modules used in the Genz heads - so, if you can find one on clearance/on the used market, that might be a very good way to go - you could patch in through the effects loop, bypassing the front end of the amp and using just the power amp section. Might be a good, and reasonable, option - if you can find one...
     
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  6. neddyrow

    neddyrow

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Cortland, NY
    Interesting. I was looking at the Carvin BX 1500 and thinking I could do the same thing where I could bypass the eq by running into the effects or it looks like the amp has a bypass. It's only a little more than a normal power amp and maybe if I decide to pick up an electric bass after all these years, it could work for that too.
     
  7. neddyrow

    neddyrow

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Cortland, NY
    So I got the cabinet on the BG side this week (EA NL 210) and now I'm back looking for a suitable head. This seems to be the tough part. The cab is rated at 500w at 8ohms. I am having trouble finding a head that has the right juice. Most heads that are above 500w (EA and Genz Benz for example) are only pushing about 300+ at 8ohms. After that, I see that the big heads around 1500w are pushing 700+. I'd like to just get the head that does 500w at 8ohms but there seems to be no middle man. I don't want to be stuck buying something without enough power and I don't want to blow the speakers either. Anything out there that I'm missing. Please let me know.

    Thanks
     
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Olivette, Missouri
    Euphonic Audio cabinets have a low frequency response that's a good deal lower than other manufactures. To reproduce those fundamentals your amp has to have more headroom.


    I've had the same problem, and that's ultimately why I repaired my Walter Woods Ultra (600 watts at 8 Ohms) as there aren't many amps that produce 500 watts at 8 ohms anymore. There was a sea change about 5 years ago when 4 ohm heads and cabinets became the most common configuration. When everything is matched like that amplifiers can be lower powered.

    I'd look at the Minnie 800D combined with the pre amp of your choice. It's not a cheap system, but it should have plenty of power.
     
  9. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    I run an AI Focus (>800 W @ 4 ohms) through either an EA Wizzy 10 (250 W @4 ohms) or a Wizzy 12M (250 W @4 ohms). With both speakers connected, the amp is rated at >1000 W at 2 ohms.

    With judicious use of the volume knob, no problems have occurred. You'll hear when it's time to back off.
     
  10. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    You can have a cabinet that handles more power than your head puts out, just not the other way around. One measure of how much power you need is the sensitivity of the cabinet. Another consideration is how much volume do you need? What kind of venues are you playing? If you are playing large venues, are you fully dependent on your amp?
     
  11. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    asheville, nc
    +1 for the AI Focus. I'm running an ACME Low B1 + an ACME Flatwound cab, both at 8 ohms and the Focus has tons of low end and power with those two. It sends small children running in fear for miles around, but I don't feel like I'm back in 1983 loading in for a heavy metal band before and after every gig......

    j.
    www.condino.com
     
  12. neddyrow

    neddyrow

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Cortland, NY
    I have an ampeg micro VR and I love the sound. I didn't think I would being that it's a BG amp. It works great for practice but when we play bar gigs and outdoor stages, it doesn't have enough juice. I have to fully crank the volume and gain to hear myself and drive the bluegrass band. The tone starts to get compromised at those levels. I only use one 2x10 cab and so I'm only getting 150w. I was thinking of getting a second 2x10 cabinet to get the full 200w that it can supply but I don't think it'll be enough.

    This is why I got the NL 210. I need a little more so I can get the volume I need and not sacrifice the tone I want. I'm between getting a Flexx preamp and going into a plain power amp or a 2-channel acoustic image amp. I'd like to have the 2 channels so I can have one from my pickup and the second channel for either a contact pickup/mic under my fretboard or mic to pickup the click of my slap.

    I'm going to research the Minnie. I think I looked before and it was a little beyond what I wanted to spend. But I got lucky on the cabinet deal, maybe I'll get lucky again.
     
  13. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    I'm sorry to dispute your post, but that's not correct. It's actually, in most cases, good (or better) to have more power available from the amp than the speaker is rated for... especially since most speakers are rated at "constant" power, and can handle peaks that are often twice their designated power rating, without damage.

    As long as you don't get stupid and turn all the knobs to 11, having -- within reason -- excess wattage (headroom) is a good thing, especially for bass. Running out of wattage and hitting the hard "fart" wall with an underpowered solid-state amp, is a very bad thing - unless loosing the "magic smoke" from your voice coils is your desired effect.
     
  14. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    Ha! Mark used loosing correctly. :hyper:
     
  15. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    I was wondering if anyone might pick up on that... ;-)
     
  16. rickwolff

    rickwolff Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Location:
    Apex NC (outside of Raleigh)
    Thanks for the verification Michael. I thought that was Mark's intention also, but as either 'loosing' or 'losing' would fit and spell check wouldn't help it did leave me wondering a little.
     
  17. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 both of my amplifiers have more power than any of the cabinets, I pair with them. I originally had a Walter Woods MI-100-8 and frankly it never sounded as good as the MI-400-8 I purchased to replace it. The pre amps on those two heads were identical.


    Last night I had to use my Walter Woods Ultra with a EA VL 108 because the room where I was playing was small and crowded. It sounded great, and had plenty of available volume.

    Ric
     
  18. neddyrow

    neddyrow

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Cortland, NY
    I got an Acoustic Image Focus SA on the BG side. It's only 350 watts at 8 ohms but I think it'll be plenty of juice for the majority of the gigs I play.

    I will say that the EA NL 210 cabinet is awesome!! I played a gig this past week and used my Ampeg micro VR as the head and it sounded great!! I could hear it much more clearer than when I use the 210 AV cabinet. Can't wait to hear what it will sound like when the focus is on there.
     
    Julian Reid likes this.

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