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Anyone else here running a pair of Bag End S15-Ds? Power question...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HeavyDuty, Apr 20, 2003.

  1. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'm trying to get a handle on how much power I really need to drive my pair of S15-Ds. They're rated at 200W RMS and 400W peak, but have a rep for taking whatever you throw at them. They’re high efficiency, published at 103 dB.

    My current Carvin DCM1000 does the job well at 1000W bridged, which I've always been led to believe is a bit overrated - more like 750W from other manufacturers.

    I've been considering finding an iAMP-800 to demo, but am wondering if I could get by with an iAMP-350, a WT-400, or something like a WalkAbout. I don't slap, so my headroom needs are reasonable. I'm basically a glorified basement player, so my power needs are minimal. However, I want enough to effectively and efficiently drive my beloved Bags. I know each of these heads have a distinctly different sound, but I’m going into this with no preconceived notions - I want my ears to decide.

    Maybe I'm just getting caught up in the chase (and advertising), but I find EA's claim that their iAMP-350 will do 350W all day long and 1200W peak to be quite intriguing. Wretched excess is fun, but if I can save money and weight by going with a smaller head, I'll be happy.

    I’m going to try running my Bags off of one side of my Carvin for awhile, which will be 350W. However, I’d like to hear what others have to say.

    The reason for all this? I'm sick of fiddlefarting with three separate gain controls on my current pre and poweramp rig! I want the simplicity of *one* master gain control. I really like the tone of my RBI, and have been considering a Landmark 600 or the new Landmark 300, but want to look at other lightweight heads, too.
  2. call bag end and ask. i think i remember them recommending not to use over 250 watts per speaker.
  3. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I'm kinda in the same boat- trying to decide if I sould shed my rack and get a more portable head. I think an important factor to consider is if you play a bass with a low B string. This is where I always seem to run into headroom problems.
    I can get by with one cab (EA Cxl 112) for most gigs with my current amp- aggie db659 and stewart world 1.2. I'm just worried that I won't have enough headroom for the super low notes with a smaller head and just that one cab. Let us know what you decide on.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I ran an AMP BH-260 thru a S12 on a S15 and between club's in NYC and hick bars in north west NJ to biker BBQ's I never wanted for more. I was almost always 'upfront' and heard.

    I never had to compete with more the a blues playin' 100 watt tube 1/2 stack, mic'ed kick drum and a keyboardist running a 300 watt stage monitor... the head got real hot a few times, but always cut through the mix.
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Hmmm. Good input, everyone!

    DHC, the guys at the factory I've talked to suggest 350-400W per cab is just about a perfect maximum - much more and I stand a chance of toasting something.

    basss - no fivers here. I'm an old-fashioned fingerstyle four geezer. But, who knows what the future will bring? :D

    Josh said "FWIW, I think the cubes sound best with mad wattage pushing them. YMMV...". Yeah, I agree - but to be honest, I saw more of an improvement in tone when I added the second cab than when I upgraded the power of my rig. Then again, I haven't been pushing my rig too hard - maybe I'd see more of a change at higher SPLs.

    speddling, I'm not familiar with the head you mentioned. Was/is it 260W as the model designation would lead you to believe?
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The Amplified Music Products BH-260 is ~260w at 4ohms IIRC. I've used my BH-420 (420w @ 4ohms with various BE configs and used it with my main rig, an S15-D and a Nahas 1-12 for the last few months with excellent results. I haven't needed to push the head very hard to get very good results. I still haven't had to run my amp past 4 even with a loud drummer and a horn section. It cranks surprisingly well. I've also tried it with the the S15-D and the coax version and have run a D10BX-D as a standalone. I haven't found the need for more power, mine coast through gigs.

    BTW I just got a Nahas 1-15 that's very similar to my S15-D, it's deeper and is loaded with an Eminence Delta Pro cast frame 15. Now my rig is even more efficient... I get a pretty amazing amount of sound out of relatively small cabs and a medium power head... and the tone kills.
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I believe it was 260 @ 4 ohms... so I had 130 per cabinet. If I have my history right it was the Post Acoustic / Pre SWR company from Steve Rabe... all I know is it was clear and articulate, very hifi

    FYI I was pushing a Carvin 5 string thru it mostly
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    AMP amps are "the" bargain amp IMO. The trick is finding one (I have two). You should hear mine with any of my basses, it's ridiculously nice.

    You're right, it's a post-Acoustic, pre-SWR product, Russ Alee also played a major part in its development.

    I probably have a dozen friends with at least one BH-420, most have (or want) two.

    The only drawback I've ever seen is it can get hot pushing inefficient cabs hard. I didn't like running mine hot.
  9. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    For 98% of my electric gigs I use my Bag End S15D with my Eden WT-500 bridged at 500 watts. That does the trick for even the largest clubs/pubs I play.
    Every once in awhile I'll want to move BIG AIR. I add my S12D and run it and the S15D in stereo mode. That would be about 175 watts per side into each 8 ohm cabinet. That 175 per side drives those little Bag Ends louder than I could ever use. It makes a pretty impressive, but still, lightweight stack.
  10. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Love them BAGENDS!!!

    Just ran another gig with the S15B-D and D10B-D stacked stereo through the QSC 2450.

    Mind blowing how smooth the sound was.

    I'm gigging a pretty small bar tomorrow and haven't decided to bring the 15 or the 210. It's going to be one or the other though.
  11. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    OK well I guess I'll chime in here since I'm a part time Bag End user. My Ampeg B4R puts 500 watts per cab if I bridge it and 200 watts per cab if I run it stereo. 200 watts per cab seems to get the job done all the time for me. So I guess I need to ask, is it just the Carvin amp you're not happy with sound wise or do you need more volume? that Carvin should give you plenty of volume. BTW I used that same set up for a couple of gigs before I returmed the Carvin and bought the ampeg, so I know the Carvin is capable of making some noise :D
  12. TheCreature


    May 22, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    I use a BE S15 and an Aggie 12 powered with a Stewart 1.2. Last weekend as I was packing up I picked up the BE with one hand in the port. It was like 40 degrees warmer inside the cab than out. Kind of spooky what happens when you whack that cab with 600W all night long.
  13. lowfreqguy


    Oct 18, 2000
    Baltimore, MD
    Me? Oh I use a DCP 1000 bridged mono into two BE S15 coaxials. Never have had a problem with over -powering things but I like having the ability to not use the PA for bass if necessary. I also like the fact that Brad Johnson has to shake his head ruefully when I tell him that I use 1000 watts onstage.
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    DaveB - your comments about having more than enough volume with 175W per cab are encouraging. However, I'm wondering if it'll cut it with rock - I see you're a jazzer.

    Chris: that's the whole thing - I have more volume and power than I need right now! The main reason I went with the DCM1000 over a DCM600 was tone and headroom. Now I'm wondering if I really *need* all that excess headroom, given that I don't slap and only play fours.

    It sounds as if a iAMP-350 may do it, but I have to wonder if I'd be happier with an iAMP-800. Dunno. I think it may come down to how conservatively the iAMP-350 is rated - 350W continuous and 1200W peak should do it if they're not fudging the numbers.

    Early tests with running both cabs on one side of the Carvin are encouraging.
  15. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    OK I forgot and thought that you were using a Carvin R1000 bass amp. You're using a Carvin power amp with the sans amp which actually should sound better. So if you run one cab on each side of the power amp that's 200 watts per cab. still too much? Running both on one side will give you 175watts per cab. Not really that much of a difference. If that's still too loud you always have the option of using just one cab.


    Of course if you bought 2 more Bag End 15's you could run all 4 of them with your set up and have the option of going from small to massive :D
  16. My rig:

    Eden WT-400

    Bag End S-15X-D
    Bag End S-15D

    Our church had it's Easter service at the local high school auditorium for space reasons (1000 seats) and I ran the Eden flat, input gain at 1:00 and at 3-4 on the master and the sound guys said they didn't have to put hardly any into the PA to hear it well in back.

    I love this rig. Light and loud enough for a big room and very....smooth.
  17. I use an SWR sm400s 500 watts bridged to the 4ohm load an S-15D & S-12D present. Played some good sized rooms (with & without P.A support) plenty of volume, bottom,and cut. I often use an ampeg B2r (only 350 watts @ 4 ohms) with great results.
    To me the efficiency of the bags is one of their many great features. As has been reported here, these cabs sound great with medium to large amounts power. I say if your intent is to lighten your load a bit , You shouldn't be sacrificing too much by going with a smaller head IMO.
    IMO the eden wt400 on a pair of bags would be one sweet sounding compact rig.
  18. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    OK, the plot thickens.

    I stopped by the store by work last night - he's an Eden dealer in a small way. I doinked around for awhile on a WT-400 and Eden 2x10 + 1x15, and was really blown away! Volume and headroom seemed more than sufficient, and the tone was luscious.

    I reacted so strongly to the tone that I wonder if an EA would make me happy. I need to drag my Bags up there for a test drive!
  19. I have a S15-C and a S12-D and I used to run them with an early iAMP 500. Always worked great till I played an outdoor benefit picnic gig with no wall behind the elevated stage.

    With the rear ports and nothing to reflect the sound, I was seriously short of power, even though the amp was rated for 500w at 4 ohms.


  20. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    This is interesting because I and several other people who own rear ported cabs have experienced the same thing. But I have seen long threads here and elsewhere by "experts " with their facts and figures saying there is no way anyone can hear the difference between front and rear ported bass speakers because bass frequencies are not directional. Funny how people with real life experience can tell the difference. :bassist:

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