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Music Man HD-130 stack conundrum

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Bruuucie, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Bruuucie

    Bruuucie

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    Hi everyone,

    Pleasure to talk to you all for the first time!

    Wonder if I could pick your brains on something I'm mulling.

    A few years ago I picked up a Music Man HD-130 head with a matching MM 1x15 75W cab for a very good price. I love it. If the chance ever arose, I thought I would pick up another cab to make a stack. Like in the brochures. Maybe worth more?

    Music Man cabs are very rare in the UK and can go for silly money (I saw one go on eBay last year for £250/$390), so I jumped at the chance when some guy was selling a faulty HH Bass Machine 250W head with two MM cabs -- a 1x15 and a 2x12, all for £150.

    So now I have the stack plus an extra cab: (Two x 1x15 cabs rated 65W and 75W, plus a 212 cab). The head is in great condition, the 1x15s are ok, and the 2x12 is very tatty but works fine.

    Anyway, to the crux of the matter:

    1. Is it worth keeping all three cabs? Feels nice having the versatility but in some ways I wonder if I ever sell it, the three cabs might actually make it less attractive! Plus there's the issue of space...
    2. Also, was wondering about the merits of perhaps getting the two 115s a bit of a cosmetic once-over, getting the stack really nice-looking; new tolex & meshes etc. But I always have this (perhaps unfounded) nagging feeling you should avoid restorations if unless stuff is really damaged?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Keep them all and spruce up the cabs one at a time. So long as you are not changing materials the value can only be better. They are not like a classic vehicle.
  3. jungleheat

    jungleheat

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    Sell the 2x12 off to a guitar player who will actually get some use out of it. Doubt it will be very useable for bass. I would sell it as is, because it's unlikely that whatever money you put into fixing it up cosmetically will return 100% in your resale price. Although considering how cheaply you got it for, you may still do alright. What is the HH head? Is that worth anything? You could sell that too.

    Why are the 2 15" cabs rated differently? Are they the same cab just with different drivers, or 2 totally different cabs that are both 1x15s but otherwise dissimilar? How best to proceed will really depend on a lot on what those answers are.
  4. Bruuucie

    Bruuucie

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    Thanks for the tips.

    Weirdly enough, the 2x12 was marketed by Music Man as a bass cab and was sold with the HD-130. See page 16 in the brochure, if you're interested!

    The 250W HH Bass Machine is one of these . Looks like someone tried to bypass the fuse... :rollno: so I won't even touch it without a technician. Maybe worth salvaging. Still, though these early-80s curios are great fun, might not be economical to repair as they aren't worth a great deal.

    Yes, the two 115 cabs are visually identical, but have slightly different drivers. The 75W came a couple of years later than the 65W, probably sold with the 100-RP or the HD-150.
  5. dmac1961

    dmac1961 Supporting Member

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    Wow, my first new amp was a model 65 and the single 15 back 1980 or 81. Very cool amp. I would use the 2 15 stack for shows and just keep the 212 for your rehearsal space. I'm not familiar with the HH head. Looks cool though, maybe have it serviced and use it for rehearsal an backup.
  6. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    Weird.
    Back when I was playing that stuff, I had both two 115RH, and, one 212RH.
    I remember them being rated at more like 400 watts; and having good EV speakers in them, like what Mesa was using at that time as well.

    Maybe I'm wrong, this was long ago now, but those ratings seem like guitar cabs.
  7. banikek

    banikek Supporting Member

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    I use to play thru the 130 head and the 212RH cab. I thought they sounded great. It would have been great to have a second 212 cab but at the time I could never find one. They were relatively easy to move around.

    I say keep all three and look for another 212. Then you would have two great stacks. You could then decide which one you like best.
  8. jungleheat

    jungleheat

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    All of those amps were basically useable for guitar or bass. Just because a 2x12 from 30+ years ago was "marketed" as a bass cab, doesn't make it so. If the 15 cabs are truly rated that low, I can't imagine the 2x12 actually being able to handle much power, and being big enough to sound good with bass.

    So I still say sell the 2x12 to a guitarist who will get more use out of it as is, instead of having to pour a bunch of money in for new modern drivers.

    On the other hand, that HH seems kind of cool. Does yours have the phaser and everything? If it's a solid 250w, it would probably get cray loud with 2 15s. Might be worth fixing up if you're interested (theoretically could even turn out better than the 130).

    But I'd say your first order of business is to open up the 15 cabs and check out the speakers and see what you're working with. If the power handling is really that low (I've never heard of a 15 from that era being rated so low), you are going to new(er) drivers in there. Otherwise you are not going to get the kind of volume you are looking for without being right on the edge of speaker death at any moment. Nobody is going to carry around a 150-200 pound rig to get "loud basement" levels (at least not for very long). Some old EVMs or JBLs would probably be killer in those cabs. And in the 300-400w range for each speaker, you would have enough headroom to get the most out of either the 130 or the HH 250.
  9. dmac1961

    dmac1961 Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure the 212 is a folded horn cab just like the single 15. Although it was market as a dual purpose cab, I'm pretty sure it would sound better for bass than guitar. I think the wattage ratings were pretty conservative too (unlike most of today's manufacturers). I say run 'em up and see if they work for you. Cheers.
  10. wcriley

    wcriley

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    Neither cab was a folded horn.
    The ports were somewhat horn-shaped, but didn't function as horns.
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    ^^^Yup.
  12. jungleheat

    jungleheat

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    Ah. I missed that link the first time around.

    Probably better for bass than a typical guitar 2x12, but seems to only be rated at 130w, which means you still wouldn't get much low end out of the stock drivers. But with modern ones it could make a pretty decent cab.

    Might even be able to do a nice dual purpose cab with some EV 12Ls or something like that.

    Personally, I would probably still keep the stock drivers and use it primarily for guitar and maybe some vintage keyboard stuff (Rhodes, etc...).
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

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    My question is: are you a bass player or a collector?

    If the latter, then keep all the cabinets and enjoy them for what they are.

    If the former, sell the lot for the "silly" money that they go for and use it to buy a really usable bass rig.
  14. dmac1961

    dmac1961 Supporting Member

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    Looks like a folded horn to me.
    Regardless, the point is, it is more suitable for bass.

    Attached Files:

  15. wcriley

    wcriley

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    I had a 212RH for a while in the late 70s or early 80s. It worked well as an extension cab with a Musicman 130 212 combo amp for skinny-string guitar.

    I'm sure someone like Bill Fitzmaurice (if he still hung out here) could explain it, but my understanding is that a design like Musicman called "reflex horn" functions pretty much like a shelf port.
  16. dmac1961

    dmac1961 Supporting Member

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    I suppose they are all ports in one way or another. It's a smaller version of what we used to call "sugar scoops" back in the day, used for LF in PA systems. Usually sitting under a Perkins cab mid-range, and HF horn.
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

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    Again, it's been a while since I had that setup, but, I don't recall them being voiced very deeply. The "deep switch" on the head was a good thing.
  18. Bruuucie

    Bruuucie

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    Chef, you're quite correct in your memory they aren't voiced very deeply. But certainly effective in other senses...

    But the 1977 MM brochure makes interesting reading. The marketing spiel has a nice line about trusting your ears rather than the specs, and goes on at length about how well its Alcino V voice coils operate at low temperatures (and therefore low wattages) compared to contemporary "bigger" wattage ceramic/ferrous voice coils of the time that require a lot more power as they heat up. Now, they probably would that, but then again, may explain why they are conspicuously weak-rated, even for the time. In any case, sounds like MM were pretty self conscious about the impression left by a 65W badge on a 15" speaker!

    In any case, I've used the HD-130 with the lone 65W cab, cranked up pretty high, with no sign of woofiness, so suspect the wattages are pretty conservative, as dmac1961 suggests.

    Junglecat, will crack open the cabs in the next day or two to confirm the exact speaker types. The HH is just like the one linked to, phaser, compressor and all. Nutty.

    BassmanPaul, in some ways probably both player and collector. In terms of usability as a bass rig... I'm happy with it, as by the looks of it have been a fee people who've had something similar in the past.

    Granted, it's not really got much in the way of subs, so would never use this for reggae out R&B. But having tried many more powerful and modern rigs, haven't find a great deal that cuts thorough a busy room so well for melodic lines!
  19. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    That is funny! LMAO Alnico V and ceramic are the magnet material not the voice coils! :)
  20. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

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    I run the RD100 for bass and it get's rather loud through my 2x15 custom build. Sounds nice as well. Deep switch IN most definately. The MM 115RH cabs are mid forward but I found a decent blues tones in it. I sold mine through TB, think it might have gone to Chef but that was ages ago...

    reflex horn and folded horn designs have little in common other than that they both mention the word 'horn' in the name... Basically the MM box was implementing a very long shelf port in a fairly shallow cab... Sunn did something similar in one of the 2 x15 designs. Forget which model number though... Look to the Acoustic 301 cab as a classic folded horn.

    As far as the ratings go... Those ratings applied to the wattage output by the head as opposed to the capacity of the driver in the cab is my guess. They did do a 65 watt head...

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