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Which to upgrade first, amp or cab?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by AllenLee, Jan 25, 2013.


  1. AllenLee

    AllenLee

    Jan 6, 2013
    Texas, USA
    Right now I have an Acoustic B200H head sitting on top of an Ampeg BSE410H cab. The cab is 8ohm and rated at 200W continuous meaning the head is pushing ~120W through it. It sounds good but when I want more volume, which way should I go?

    If I get a new head I will be limited by the 200W rating of the cabinet. If I get a more efficient cabinet, I will be limited by the head. I have entertained the thought of buying a second used BSE410H for a full stack.. haha.

    Opinions are welcome. :)
     
  2. EagleMoon

    EagleMoon

    Jul 13, 2007
    Wexford, PA
    That's tough. You're probably going to have to get both at some point, so it doesn't matter which you get first.
     
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  4. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Mind, I'm still waiting for my first bass to show up...

    If, in fact, you get a more efficient cabinet, it will make more loud with the 120 watts you have been using, and even more loud with the full 200.

    Now, if you just get one that's 4 ohms, but not actually more efficient (SPL out for watts in) that's different. Or you can get another 8 ohm and run them in parallel, but if the new one is actually more efficient then it will always be louder unless you have two channels with different levels.
     
  5. AllenLee

    AllenLee

    Jan 6, 2013
    Texas, USA
    I expect to get a better rig at some point. I found these items used and figured it was a great way to get into the head/cab way of things. They really do sound great together.
     
  6. EagleMoon

    EagleMoon

    Jul 13, 2007
    Wexford, PA
    Personally I'd probably keep an eye out for both things in the classifieds and if I found one I wanted for a good price, I'd snap it up.
     
  7. If the sound is working for you then I'd look at a matching cab, that's always your best way to increase volume.

    8-10s and 200 watts (assuming both cabs are 8 ohms and that's what your amp puts out at 4 ohms) is a really loud rig.
     
  8. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    That's excellent, then.

    If/when you do upgrade one & then the other, I'd do cab 1st, no question. Whether you go new cab or used cab, look for a 112/212 or 115/215 employing the Eminence 3012HO, 3015, or 3015LF, or the Faital Pro 12PR300, 12PR310, 12FH510, 15PR400, or 15FH510. All super drivers.
     
  9. This makes sense too, but will be a pricier route, those are all top notch drivers :bassist:
     
  10. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    Not free of course. Nor even cheap for that matter. Then again, as you mention, these are apex predator speakers, better than anything in the commercial mass market. But not necessarily an arm/leg either, especially used. If the OP keeps an eye on the TB classifieds, he'd likely find something in a 2-3 weeks (at the outside) & for reasonable coin.
     
  11. AllenLee

    AllenLee

    Jan 6, 2013
    Texas, USA
    This particular Ampeg cab is no longer being made, so I'd have to find a used one. The only downside I see of this route is portability.. thanks for your input.




    Agreed. It'll give me a little time to save up more funds, too.
     
  12. MIMJAZZ

    MIMJAZZ

    Dec 13, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Cab. I had an old Eden highwayman 500 and got rid of it because it sounded like crap. That was a while ago and since then I got a mesa 410 and had to borrow the same Eden head for a gig. I'm still broken about it.
     
  13. AllenLee

    AllenLee

    Jan 6, 2013
    Texas, USA
    I LOVE the idea of a 4x12 rig (2 8ohm 2x12) so I will keep these drivers in mind. This is definitely pricey, though, so it'll be a while before I can afford a whole new setup like that.
     
  14. LOL, that's a great description of them :D

    True, if the OP is now thinking of a 4-12 rig with one of the above listed 12s going used and via two 2-12s, one at a time, would be pretty cost effective.

    Then there's the DIY cab route, my favorite ;)
     
  15. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

    Baby steps? Get a more efficient cab to add to what you have now. You will get more out of what you have and be ready to step up on an amp head later.
     
  16. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    Yep. Very good point.

    There are also kits available with these drivers, too.
     
  17. iualum

    iualum

    Apr 9, 2004
    60453
    Yeah, well, understand. Point taken.

    There was an LDS 212 (3012HOs) that just sold in the classifieds for $500 shipped. Super deal. Deals like this don't come along every day, but they do pop up now & then. Just gotta be on the lookout & have a smidge of good luck.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f127/fs-only-lds-212-a-951885/
     
  18. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    DC
    Best course of action is almost always to get a better cab, as it is in this particular situation.

    If you get a higher powered amp first (say the 300-500w you would need to hold you over until doomsday), you won't be able to get much more out of your current cab than you do with your current amp, so the excess power would be wasted. PLUS, you'd have a higher chance of blowing the speakers in your current cab.

    But if you go the other way and get higher rated and more sensitive cab, you will get all the possible headroom out of your current head, and more volume from the increased sensitivity as well.
     
  19. AllenLee

    AllenLee

    Jan 6, 2013
    Texas, USA
    Thanks for all of the suggestions, everyone. It seems the general consensus favors the cabinet upgrade over amplifier.
     



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