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Amps that perform nicely with a low B on a 5 string.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rad fish, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. rad fish

    rad fish

    Jan 28, 2014
    I'm thinking about getting a 5 string bass, and a buddy of mine advised that I ask around for amps that can handle it, because he said some amps simply don't create the sound very well. Anyone know of a decent amp(s) that work well with a low B string? Something not more than $400 would be best.
  2. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    A used SVT3.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've found very few modern bass amps that don't do well with a 5. Some have less low end than others, but I always hear the low B in all of them.
  4. wcmackin


    Dec 29, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Jimmy is absolutely right. Your choice of speaker cabinet will determine how well the B is represented.
  5. The key to low B is first the instrument and then the cabs. Highpassing the signal helps a lot. Getting loud below 60hz takes strong cabs and powerful amplifier, not happening for $400.
  6. Heed JimmyM's words
  7. andrklet

    andrklet Guest

    To further explore OP´s query. What to look for in a cab? Low E is 41 Hz B is 31 Hz or thereabouts. I´m looking at a cab with the following:
    Frequency Response (-3dB): 58Hz-5kHz
    Usable Low Frequency (-10dB): 40Hz

    I only play a 4 string, but sometimes tune down to C. Is it possible to predict how a cab will handle the lows from those numbers?
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You need to worry more about the cab than the amp. Most amps will produce 30 Hz just fine. Not the same can be said for cabs.
  9. Certainly it will not make useful low fundamental tones. Few cabs do.

    Having good sensitivity at 58hz is a positive for a good low C 2nd harmonic. But sensitivity doesn't predict power handling or loudness.

    We don't know anything of the tuning. Garden variety ported cabs fart out even on E, unless you go easy with the low end EQ.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Andrklet, sounds like the Ampeg 810e you're looking at. I've played one many times with a 5 tuned down as low as A or an octaver going down low and never wanted for good response from the low notes. True, there's not a lot of fundamental there on the low B, and you can get cabs with more of it, but there's enough to let you know you're playing a low note.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As Munji pointed out, a decent cab is paramount. The first thing that comes to mind is an Acme B something-or-another...that's what the "B" stands for. Now that I've mentioned that, we will now proceed to list every cab known to mankind. Just about any power amp fed buy your preamp of choice will be more than adequate.

    For the record, both my enclosures (Acme & LDS) are ported and do not do well with high-pass filtering above 30 hz. Sealed cabs are a whole 'nother story. Keep in mind that clean reproduction of bass frequencies requires power, more so than one might think. This is why we're schlepping around 500 watt bass rigs to go toe-to-toe with the guitarist's 50 watt Mesa Boogie.

  12. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    It's important to remember that the bass is quite unusual in that it's first harmonic is usually a lot stronger than the fundamental. So a clean 30 hz isn't necessary but 60hz is.
  13. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Get an amp with at least 1 - 15" (or even 18") speaker. The bigger speakers handle the lower frequencies better.
  14. andrklet

    andrklet Guest

    Hihi, well spotted, but not quite. Didn't realize, but exact same specs as the tiny brother, 210av which I´m after. (Whit a second cab if needed.)

    Not quite sure on the terms here, but can I from those numbers assume that those cabs sound proportionally equal? Volume, obviously, set aside.
  15. the cab tuning thing is all preference, i like higher tuned sealed cabs mainly the ampeg 810e and 410he and i go a bit lower than B. i personally do not like low tuned cabs at gigs. They are great in the bedroom and at practice without bass in a pa. But low tuned cabs combined with good powerful PA subs are a nightmare onstage IMO which is probably one the reasons the ampeg 810 is so popular among low tuned rock bassist in big time bands. I don't have to worry about the fundamental frequencies because i run an xlr to foh and the xlr signal is full range and goes lower than any cab anyone currently makes. Most of the PAs we've played through along with most studios I've recorded at have the lows rounded off somewhere between 40-100hz anyways. It sucks up a lot of the amps power to produce frequencies below 40h which may be why higher tuned cabs sound louder. But they could also seem louder because of clarity
  16. Do you guys really think you need a cab that goes that low to hear the low B? Ok I´ll explain myself. My monitoring system goes down to 25hz +/- 2,5db (that´s pretty accurate) and when I hit the low B I hear the octave (1st hormonic) way louder than the fundamental. Also when I plug the bass into a simple 8 inch active stage monitor I hear the B string pretty well (and believe me this 8 inch stage monitor don´t go lower than 70hz)

    Just a thought :)
  17. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    My used Ampeg SVT 7Pro kills on the lower notes of the B string.
  18. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    At lowish volumes pretty much anything decent will do. To fill a bar with rump below 80Hz, as stated above, requires ample power and a cab engineered to do it. I don't know of any good solutions for $400, but a GB Uber 15 cab can be found on eBay for about $550 while you're saving for the head.
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sorry, but no. Any well-designed box will handle the low-end irrespective of driver size...5", 8" (like my LDS), 10" (like my Acme), 12", 15", and so forth. There's a lot available and I'd hate to see the OP limit himself to 15" or 18" drivers...

    ...but that wasn't the original thrust, was it? He was asking about amplifiers initially.

  20. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    when i turn up my rig and want the roots to show on the low B, C and D on my fiver,
    it moves so much air that the smaller one of the guitarists is flying through the room.

    To get the low notes sounding, you don't need to have a cab that's especially tuned for low B, any decent bass cab will do. If your bass offers a good low b for the amp to work with, you will be fine.