Acme cabs and power opinion (last question)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by incubus2432, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Well I had my gig on Saturday night (about 200 energetic people.........great show) with my new pair of Acme Low B-2 cabinets. They sounded great after some eq tweaking and messing with the attenuators. They cut through the mix great and the lows sounded as good from my cabinets as they did through the PA.
    The only thing is even though my volume was fine........I was at the edge of my amps power (500 watts each at 4 ohms) and if I got aggressive on the lows I'd "just" clip my amp.........not bad BUT obviously not good!
    Any opinions on if I used an amp with 700 watts a channel if this would help my situation????? I know that you have to double your power for another 3 db's but I'm not really looking for more volume.....just more headroom........does this make any sense???????
    Please no "I told you the Acme cabs wouldn't work for a metal band"........I've gotten enough emails on that:p .........these cabinets are by far the best I have heard and sound great in the mix........I want to keep them and if another few hundred watts will help, I can afford that and it would be worth it. If I'm screwed, I'll cut my losses on shipping and return the Acme's and settle for something else:eek: :eek:
    Thanks in advance for your opinions..........
  2. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I ran my two Acmes with a Crown PT3 - 760 watts/side into 4 ohms. I didn't have a clipping problem, but I still ditched them because of volume and cut issues. I would maybe borrow a bigger power amp and try it, but I wouldn't recommend buying one until you're sure.
    Good Luck.
  3. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Going from 500 watts per speaker to 700 is an increase of about 1.5 dB - barely noticeable. I wouldn't bother.

    A little occasional clipping probably won't hurt anything, so you may not even have anything to worry about.

    If you insist on worrying, or on spending money ;), I suggest a compressor or limiter to hold down the peaks, but keep the average level up. Use a light touch on the compressor and you'll be OK.

    For the record, I'm driving a pair of Low B-2s with about 600 W each. I don't see any point in adding more power; Acmes are power hungry, but you can only throw so much power at a speaker before you destroy it. If I need more volume, I'll add speakers instead.
  4. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Thanks for the opinions.........
    Yeah 2 more Low B-2's would be great and probably give me the volume/headroom I want but then I need another 1000 watt head plus the cabinets is about $1500. I just figured the additional 200 watts might solve the clipping problem since my volume itself is okay....just the transient "bursts" are giving me issues.
    I did use my compressor the other day and it just seemed to kill the "dynamics" of the cabinets (for lack of better terms). The way the Acme's reproduce the contrasts betwwen the lows and highs is excellent and the compressor just evened it out and muddied it a little.
    I have ALOT of tweaking to do I guess if I am going to keep them:eek:
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Here's a way you can get some more coverage for significantly less than $1500. Pick up a *used* B-4 (cheaper than two B-2s--probably $450-500) and power it with either a QSC RMX, bridged (now available for crazy prices in some places), or a Carvin DCM, bridged (I suggest bridged into 8 ohms). You should be able to do that for about $1000 at most.
  6. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Maybe all you need is to try different settings on your compressor, or a different compressor. All you're looking to do is squash the very highest peaks.

    My preamp has a built-in one-knob compressor, and I also have an RNC for outboard use. They sound totally different. The RNC has lots of knobs and actually takes thought to use. :oops: The built-in compressor sounds like crap if I overuse it, but I hardly even hear it if I set it to just trim the peaks.

    I still wouldn't sweat an occasional flash of the clip lights. Worry if it's more than occasional. Don't ask me to define "occasional" though!

    As for upgrades, will your amp drive a 2 ohm load? If so, you can get away with just one extra cab - and no new amps. I like Richard's (hi Richard!) idea of a single Low B-4 to supplement the B-2s. Every time you double the number of drivers (speaker cones), the efficiency improves by 3 dB. So adding speakers without increasing power may work very well -- IF your amp can handle the low load impedance.

    That's why I bought a 2 ohm capable amp (RMX 1850HD) to drive my Acmes. I proved to myself at a party a few weeks ago that this amp can drive both 4 ohm B-2s on a single channel (900 W rated power @ 2 ohms). If I ever need more cabs, I'll just drive them with the other channel.

    (And BTW, an AccuGroove Whappo Jr. sounds great by itself, but it sounds even better with a pair of Low B-2s adding extra low end support! :cool: )
  7. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    Take note of his post....he didn't say that he wanted more VOLUME, he said he wanted more HEADROOM. His amp is barely clipping at the level he has it set now, but if he increased his wattage, theoretically he could get the same volume WITHOUT clipping his amp.

    If at all possible, borrow a higher powered power amp and see how much it changes.
  8. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    What power amp are you using?
    All power amps are not created equally, despite similar numbers.
    Pro-sound guys love Crown K2s for their sub woofers.
    They sound very deep and controlled, with lots of headroom. They're great for bass too, especially if you're looking for a tight and beefy sound.
    FWIW, the K2 is conservatively rated at 800 watts into 4 ohms per channel.
    See if you can borrow or rent a K2.
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    There's no difference. The peaks that are causing the clipping could very well be 5-10dB above the typical signal level.

    If the 1.5dB afforded by the 700w amp would give him enough "headroom" that the peaks didn't clip, he could also solve the problem by turning down the 500w amp by 1.5dB. This 1.5dB would hardly be noticeable (probably hard to get that precise with the volume knob, too). But, like I said before, I doubt that would be enough.
  10. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    The power amp I am using is an Ashley FET-2000M. It is about 10 years old. Eventhough I don't hear much about the Ashly brand when I do it is quite positive. The amp has never been a problem and when matched against some other PA amps with matching specs....mine has sounded as good or better.
    Interesting posts regarding my situation. You guys gave me a good perspective. The way I'm looking at it now my best bet would be to get a few more cabinets and another 1000 watt amp. Regrettably my best option may be to return the Acme's and "settle" for something else.....I have a few more days to make up my mind.........

    Thanks again
  11. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    That's the essential problem with inefficient speakers, they're maximum volume is less than more efficient speakers. They just can't play as loud.
    The woofer has to work harder to produce the same volume level. When the voice coil is moving its maximum excursion, you're done. More power won't produce more volume. All you get is a nasty buzz from the voice coil banging against the back plate.
    The Acmes eat up a lot of power, but there's no amount of power that will make them play as loud as a more efficient cab, such as an Eden. Sure you can sacrifice efficiency for more bottom extension (and that's cool), but you pay the price with less max volume.

  12. That's strange. My colleagues and I thought they were among some of the worst amplifiers we'd ever seen. They're pretty gutless compared to the Macrotech series and they overheat and shut down if you drive them hard at all. The cooling system is just bad. They've also had reliability problems. I certainly wouldn't reccommend them. In my mind a Macrotech or a QSC PLX series amp would be better choices. The Ashly 2000 M is a great sounding amp but not real powerful and very heavy! I wouldn't worry too much about the odd clip light but if it's constantly going red, then you have a problem.
  13. Ken Nahora

    Ken Nahora

    Jun 1, 2001
    The early K2s had some problems, but Crown insists they've been rectified. I've had good luck with mine.
    Compared to a MacroTech 2402, I think the new K2 has a bit stronger bass, but I agree the MacroTech is a bit higher fidelity. I've found their power to be similar (I have both).
    Try a newer K2, you may be surprised by the improvement.
    The K2 has no cooling system. That means no fan noise and no dirty amps to clean.
    I think those are good things for a bass rig.
    The K2 weighs less than a 2402.
    (I've experienced no overheating problems.)
  14. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I like my Acmes, but they're clearly not the right speakers for everyone. Just don't smoke 'em before the 30 day trial is up!
  15. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    I didn't want to go here because I could see you didn't want to hear it at the beginning of this thread. I also love my Acmes. But I use them with my wedding band when I don't need to push - they sound great. If you're sold on the Acme sound, I think you're right about more cabs (for your type of music). But if you returned them and got a couple of 410XLT's, you'd be turning down all night to keep from burying the rest of the band instead of struggling.
  16. Also check out Euphonic Audio cabs. The CXL-112 is 10db more efficient than the B-2. That means you could get the same volume with 1/10 the power. That would probably give you all the headroom you need. I haven't heard any Euphonic cabs myself, but most people say that they give a natural, hi-fi sound similar to Acme.
  17. The new EA CXL 112 cab is amazing. The same accurate EA sound but in a very efficient cab. Two if these would easily beat most 410's.
  18. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    relax guy. you just need a little more power but more than 700 watts.

    4 tens worth of acme need about 1kw to breath right. You don't need to scrap your whole rig and buy all new stuff.

    I'm taking a B4 to an outdoor gig in about an hour. It'll get driven by a PLX 2404 so thats about....a legit 1400w. It'll be plenty loud to cover the job without pa support.

  19. EXACTLY!!! Everyone talks about the tone and bottom of the ACME's, and I agree. However, while they put out a huge amount of bottom for their size, they never seemed to get lound enough or really fill the room. No amount of wattage is going to push huge low end DB's out of a small box in a large room. I had two Low B 2's for a while, pushing them with a WW Ultra (1200watts). Again, they sounded good and had plenty of bottom (actually too much bottom in some ways), but just didn't punch through like a 'more efficient' cab. I found the same thing with the original EA stuff... with wonderful near-field lows... but the sound kind of disappeared 20 feet offstage.
  20. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Ok, time to jump in here.

    If you're looking for more "headroom" - more power in reserve for some of those transient peaks - 200 watts should do exactly the trick to give you the extra oomph you need.

    Don't forget, Acme's are by nature a flat box. Yes, they are less efficient, but if properly EQ'ed, you should be able to cut through a lot more without just being "louder."

    No need to ditch your speakers, your amp, etc. to find something new. I think you just may be happier moving into a bigger power amp with some more juice in reserve. I use a Stewart 2.1 with my B2s (4 ohm, in stereo) and have never had a single problem clipping. Your speakers with thank you too. PM me if you have more questions.