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Acme Low B-2 - Just How Power Hungry?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jim C, Apr 11, 2009.


  1. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Jeffonator on this board has an Acme Low B-2 (4 ohm) for sale and has mentioned that it likes a lot of power.

    Question is, will an SVT or SVT 3Pro have enough guts to do this cab justice?

    Also, not looking to do super low freq response with this unit (although I know it can); just looking for a decent, smallish bass cab with a mid range.

    As a comparison, usually use a 1x15 style cab w/ mid range, J bass, with flats; not looking for super bright or hi-fi tones.
     
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Per the manual: you'll need at least 300 watts for comfortable operation. I'd say go for ~500 so you have some extra headroom. I'm running well over 1K watts with my B-4's.

    BTW, the high and mid attenuators work nicely.

    Riis
     
  3. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Bedroom player? Jazz gigger? Metal gigger with two stack-equipped guitarists? Really, it's all relative and situational. Plenty of threads on this particular cab and subject by the way. Anyway. No cab requires a particular minimum amount of wattage to work well. But it will have limits of how many it can handle (and assuming the user actually has gain structure optimized to actually use the full potential of any given power amp).
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Gotta split hairs with you there, around the definition of "work well". There are many cabs, Acme notable among them, where users report that the sound/tone is "blah" until you give it a certain amount of juice, at which point it "opens up" and sounds awesome. Naturally there's a lot of subjectivity and non-scientific comparison against other cabs in that perception, but when you hear it about one brand over and over again you have to at least consider that it might be true. Also Basson cabs (whatever you may think of them) insist that they need a minimum amount of wattage to sound good.
     
  5. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I, on the other hand, disagree. The rating of the B2 is 350W RMS. That's what I give mine. I gig with a pair and have never wanted for more volume. I would only use one in a really small venue. I am, however, very careful with my equipment and, as two stacked vertically, have the same footprint as one I choose the pair. I auditioned my first B2 with a 100W Yamaha amp and I was so blown away by them that I bought three more.

    Paul
     
  6. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Pretty much true of anything that's subject to the ear's lack of sensitivity at many frequencies, and its preference for louder sources to compensate ; }

    [​IMG]

    As a design that's partly about LF extension, the Acme is no exemption in this regard.

    ...Entirely separate is the issue of driving speakers into more obvious distortion, especially favored with older school rigs with relatively tiny voice coils.
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    ...Which does not in any way account for the fact that the same claim is not made for a majority of other cabs of similar format.
     
  8. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Frankly you can't find too many "similar" cabs in the bass player sector. LF extension, true three-way design, hmmmm.

    Still, I find it more indicative of the "reviewers" than anything when they say stuff like that, since pretty much anything tends to "open up" and "sound better" when it's driven louder, until it actually starts hitting its limits (or beyond, if you like breakup, and possibly driver replacing).
     
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    As a former Acme user (I had two 8ohm B2's), I think you guys are all saying the same thing. The key is, (to the OP), the Acme cabs are quite different from most bass cabs, and depending on the tone you want and the type of playing you do, that can be a good or bad thing.

    Per the power discussion, I assume the reason the Acme's seem to 'need' more power to reach the volume of other 210's, 410's, etc. is those really high xmax woofers, and if I have this right, a cab tuning that results in the impedance being much lower below 40 or 50hz than the vast majority of cabs out there. So, again if I have this right, more power is 'directed' toward the deep low end, which means that it takes a bit more power in general to get 'general overall perceived volume' out of them' (to both Bongo's and Greenboys point).

    IME, to the OP, if you are playing relatively soft volume gigs, a single 4ohm B2 will sound super fat, super full, a bit organic and to my ears 'old school' (i.e., that deep bass tends to become a bit unbalanced with the upper mids and treble in a mix to my ear). This is the perfect mini-cab to those who like the deep, natural voicing of an old school 2x15 cab, and who don't need the volume of that big cab.

    That being said, either an SVT or a IIIpro and an Acme just don't seem to be the best match to me, and it doesn't have to do with power. I've never heard that combination though, so just guessing.
     
  10. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Forgot to mention that the application would be for rehearsal and possibly smaller rock / funk gigs (100 seat); 2 guitars, bass drums, keyboards, not quiet but not stupid loud either.

    Sorry, completely forgot to search, should have know that this had been covered :eek:
     
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    IMO, a single 210 of any brand won't really cover that dense mix, and the Acme's voicing would not be optimum for that context unless you had two of them and a bit of wattage... IMO and IME.
     
  12. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Now I'll come at this from another angle. If one is comparing a cab with an average sensitivity of 93 dB 1w/1m to one with an average sensitivity of 96 dB, they'll require an amplifier that can deliver twice the average power to attain similar levels. In the case of the Acme they will achieve in return, a broader-bandwidth acoustic output compared to that similar-sized cab with a 96 dB average sensitivity...
     
  13. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Many many times, but still not fully understood perhaps ; }
     
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Funny you mention that. The majority of Acme users I know tend to use pre / power amp configs as opposed to the conventional integrated heads. In my case, it was "okay, let's deal with the power demands of two Acme B-4's, then we'll worry about the preamp / tonal aspects". You can cook up a killer 1K+ watt rig for $600-900 if you look around and buy used. Watts is cheap, relatively speaking.

    Riis
     
  15. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I agree with Riis, power is cheap nowadays. When I got my B2s I looked around for a power amp that would put out about 3-400W/CH into a 4Ω cabinet. having just bought a Carvin bass I looked at their DCM series and chose the DCM1000. I have never regretted that choice and to my ears it sounds better with my Acmes than its more powerful brother the DCM1500 or my Mackie 1400s.

    I do indeed use the Pre/Power solution however I've used the same solution since the late Sixties. I simply dislike the tonal compromises involved with the majority of bass "heads".

    Paul
     
  16. Kindness

    Kindness

    Oct 1, 2003
    Chicago
    If you are ever in Chicago, stop by and give my Acmes a run with my SVT. I think it is pretty ideal. :cool:
     
  17. Lobaw

    Lobaw

    May 14, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I use to run an Acme Low B 2 (4 ohm) with one side of an Eden WT800. That seemed to work very well and was my main gigging set-up for several years. I have since sold the Eden and, before getting a separate power amp, used my trusty old Trace AH200 which puts out 200 watts at 4 ohms. Although that amp worked well with just about any other cabinet (and get loud), it couldn't seem to push the Acme to any reasonable level and simply didn't sound good. Just some more fodder regarding the Acme. As an aside, I still have the B2 cab and since got 2 B1's. The B1's work a lot better with the Trace.
     
  18. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I'm sure it sounds fine, but an 85 pound amp putting 150 watts or so into each B2 would not be my idea of a good time nor an 'optimal match-up' of an amp to that particular cab:cool:
     
  19. Kindness

    Kindness

    Oct 1, 2003
    Chicago
    The weight of the amp is a concern no matter what. :p

    Since you had said you didn't expect the pairing of these to be the best match and it wasn't because of power I expected you meant it was because of the voicings of each. That's what I consider to be the ideal matchup. I don't gig this combination because it is overkill in the volume department and I don't schlep around extra volume just for the heck of it. I am interested to see how the SVT will do with the next generation of Acmes, particularly the 2x12 neo. :help:
     
  20. jweiss

    jweiss Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    Park City, Utah
    I have 2 4 ohm Low B-2s. For gigs I use 1 for the funk/jazz stuff and two for the rock stuff. I drive them with an Acoustic Image Focus 1, series III.

    One Low B-2 (4 ohms) with the Focus (rated at 800 watts @ 4 ohms) - can get the volume knob to about 3 oclock and it will still stay clean. Maybe 600 watts?

    Two Low B-2s (2 ohms) will happily take all of the Focus' power (1000 watts), although I've never encountered a situation where I needed it all.

    Two of them just kills for the rock gigs. I play with two loud guitarists, each with 4x12s, and I have no problem keeping up with them. The low end is incredible.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
     

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