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Acoustic B200 Combo Volume? - Long Post

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ross6860, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Ross6860


    Dec 10, 2011
    I'm a complete bass neophyte. So please bear with my stupid questions.

    I have benn playing guitar for a few years, so I do know at last a couple things;), but I'm just venturing into bass territory.

    I have an older Carvin B4 with active pickups as my one and only bass guitar. Usual Carvin quality.

    I picked up a used Acoustic B200 combo off Craigs list. I have read nothing but good reviews about this combo. $ for $ a good amp for small gigs, more than plenty good enough for practice, etc.

    When I played it at the guys house I checked it to make sure everything worked. All the controls and switches function. I did not crank the volume or gain controls, just maked sure they worked.

    Anyhow, I got home and started playing around with it. I'm really surprised at what I percieve as pretty low volume output. Maybe it's just me. I'm looking for a sanity check.

    At what volume and gain settings would you normally play live with a drummer and a guitar or two?

    I'm playing with the volume and gain both up 1/2 way and I'm not shaking the windows or anything. I don't even consider it loud at these settings. OK for practice, but no way it will compete with a lead guitar let alone a loud drummer.

    From the reviews, they say this is a loud amp. Maybe there's something wrong with this one?

    I play my Fender Deluxe Reverb with the volume on 2 (22 watts, 6V6 tubes). Same with my Peavey Delta Blues (30 watts EL84 tubes). They are plenty loud.

    Help me out here guys. Should I try and get my money back? Since it is solid state, I would think it either works, or it doesn't.

    Thanks for listening, and for any help you folks can offer this newbie.
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    A combo amp with a single speaker will only get you so far. To make matters worse, it's not a good amp to add an ext spkr to, because the jacks are wired in series, dropping the wattage when you add the spkr. A basic rule of thumb for a "gigging" bass rig is a head with 300-500 watts, paired with a good 4x10, or 2x12, (or more), as a minimum. Some folks will say a 100 watt 1x15 combo is plenty, but they play low volume gigs, and/or have steady PA support. For the rest of us, the 500 watt 4x10 rig is as little as will work.
  3. The physical position of the volume control has no relevance to the output. If it's not loud enough turn it up! As long as you use your ears and listen to any signs of complaint from the speaker you should be fine. With a comparatively low power amp keep the bass flat and drop the other EQ controls to get the sound you are looking for.
  4. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    The easiest thing to check is to see if the B200 has different input jacks for "Active" and "Passive." The one you should use depends on what bass you have, or more importantly, what electronics you have in your bass.

    "Passive" pickups are simple magnet wire wrapped around a magnet or groups of magnets. Some passive pickups can be quite powerful, but many are geared for a "vintage" sound or "good tone" without necessarily focusing on power.

    "Active" pickups feature a circuit that either boosts or cuts the output. Many basses have active EQ controls that feature a boost/cut of certain frequency bands rather than just a high-end rolloff (which is what many passive tone controls are).

    To recap: "Passive" = is what it is. "Active" = more electronics to broaden shape or make more power.

    The "Active" input on bass amps features a circuit to reduce the signal from the bass before sending it to the circuitry that makes your sound audible. In some cases, the signal from the bass can be reduced by 50%.

    Check this first and make sure you're in the right input jack. Hope this helps.
  5. falconspatriots

    falconspatriots Oh Word

    May 3, 2011
    The B200 will keep up with a drummer pretty well. I've played a few small bars with it and we have a extremely loud drummer!!! If you plan on playing something a little larger 300-500w is a must. I still use my B200 as my practice/backup/dont feel like lugging around a half stack amp since getting a GK rig.
  6. Ross6860


    Dec 10, 2011
    Thanks, guys.

    My bass guitar has active pickups, and I have tried using both inputs on the amp. The active input sare a little lower volume, but nothing drastic.

    I'll try cranking the snot out of this thing and see what happens. For $200 maybe it's worth keeping as a practice amp.

    I know the knob position is "irrelevant", but it does give you an indication of where you are, or what you have left in reserve. In tube amps you won't get power tube saturation at 10% volume (power tube saturation, or distortion, is a good thing in a guitar amp, maybe not so much with a bass).

    Would a "better" (more efficient) speaker make much difference?

    It's just amazing how much power it takes to produce bass frequencies. I'm still at the bottom of the learning curve when it comes to this thumpin' thing:D

    50 tube watts in a regular guitar amp is freakin' loud! 20 to 30 watts is plenty to gig with until you need a PA.
  7. Bman454


    Aug 6, 2011
    Current b200 owner here. Don't know if you are aware of the EQ section. It is an active eq setup. Meaning that with the knobs at noon it is flat or zero boost/cut. Past noon is boost and below noon is cut. So if your knobs are before noon your cutting and you output will be low. Also you can go to :: Acoustic - the pro's tone since 1967 :: you can download the manual there.

  8. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I play a B200 at one of the churches that I play at. We have a drummer who's behind a plastic shield, and he is fairly quiet as far as drummers go. I use a passive P-bass and have the amp's eq set fairly flat, except a slight cut to the lows. Gain at 40% and volume at about 50%. It's plenty loud. Where are you standing? If close, move about 10 feet away. Bass frequencies are a lot different than a guitars, they often sound louder the farther away that you are (up to a point).

    As far as an extension speaker--even if the wattage does get cut, another speaker may still add some volume. It did when I added one to my Roland CB100...even the the wattage went down a little, the cab added quite a bit of volume. It's a 4ohm cab though.

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