Bass Cab Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Coin Return, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. alright, so i have two cabs; a 4 x 10 and a 1 x 15. when i turn way the hell up for practice and shows, they seem to not give the power i'm looking for without bottoming out or sounding ****ty when i pop a string. what speaker cones should i replace them with?

    i have a Carvin 4 x 10 (600w @ 8ohms)
    a Carvin 1 x 15 (600w @ 4ohms)
    and a Gallien-Krueger 800rb which is bi-ampable (Low-300W @ 4ohm, 200W @ 8ohm, 1kHz, High-100W @ 8ohm, 1kHz)

    that's all information from the offical sites. if anybody can help me out and let me know what to get, i'd be a happy boy.
  2. You're under powered. This causes the amp to clip resulting in the afformentioned "***ty" sound. If you want your cabs to sound good at higher volumes you're going to need more power. There are EQ tricks that will help you get the most out of what you've got but alas the sollution lies in a larger amp.

    If you're a die-hard Carvin fan pick up one of their DCM 2500 amps (combine it with the pre-amp of your choice) and run one cab out of each side. You won't need to have the volume as high on your 4ohm cab. Just my $0.02 for what it's worth. Hope this helps.
  3. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Are you Biamping?

    If so, what is the crossover point?

    Biamping works well to get more volume out of individual drivers if those drivers are producing only frequencies that they are designed and optimized for.

    Lets say you have a 4x10 cab that has frequency response down to 65Hz (-3db). I would use a crossover point higher than that but not more than double - somewhere between 75hz and 120hz.
    Since the ultra lows are being filtered out, the volume to the cab can be increased higher without distorting.

    The same goes for the cabinet running the lows. By filtering out the Mids and Highs, you get a tighter bottom end.

    It takes more power to produce low frequencies than high frequencies, so the lower the crossover point, the better it is on the speaker running the lows (smaller frequency range for the driver to produce).
  4. i have a Carvin 4 x 10 (600w @ 8ohms)
    a Carvin 1 x 15 (600w @ 4ohms)
    and a Gallien-Krueger 800rb which is bi-ampable (Low-300W @ 4ohm, 200W @ 8ohm, 1kHz, High-100W @ 8ohm, 1kHz)

    You're under powered

    I don't get it!!! I've been talking about my son's 800RB and been getting advice to get Avatars. The 1-15 is rated at 600 watts and the 2-10 is rated at 700 watts. How is the 800 RB NOT under powered for me but it is for Coin Return?
  5. Because there isn't really any such thing. There's no minimum amount of power you need to have to power a certain speaker. The power ratings on speakers are the maximum amounts of power they can take without risking failure, not a required amount of power.
    If the 800rb into those cabs is loud enough to serve your purposes without distortion, everything
    is fine.
    Coin Return's problem (barring something wrong with the amp) is that his setup isn't loud enough for his purposes without overdriving the amp. This doesn't have anything to do with the power ratings on the cabs. He needs either a more powerful amp or more sensitive(efficient) cabinets.

    Does that help?
  6. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Just my opinion:

    1) Carvin speaker cabs are not very efficient. You can go a long way to get more effecient cabs. Putting different speakers inside the Carvin cabs isn't going to help you a whole lot, as those cabs are tuned to the spec's of the speakers inside them already.

    2) A GK 800RB SHOULD give you enough power if you have efficient cabs. I used one for years with a loud rock band. Yeah, there are setups with more power, but if your not clipping, it has enough power for you.

    3) If the problem is only when you slap and pop, consider trying a compressor/limiter to keep it from peaking your power section.

    4) Before you chuck down a wad of money on either new cabs or a new head, BORROW someone else's efficient cabs and try it with your head first. Also consider borrowing someone else's head and trying it with your Carvins. It will become apparent where your problem lies with YOUR unique situation and needs.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Don't jump the gun just yet.

    Without knowing how you have the EQ set, it's impossible to say.

    Your EQ should be set so that your rig sounds good, balanced, and cutting through with your band at live performance levels.

    Too many bassists think that they should be able to EQ their system to where it sounds best in a small room wherever they practice alone and that's the best setting period. NOT!

    Tweak your settings between songs either at a gig or a loud practice (if possible). If you have a buddy that plays bass, get him to tweak while you play or play while you tweak.

    Do you play a BEADG 5 string bass?

    What notes are breaking up when you play?

    You also may have to cut the volume while slapping/popping until you get your playing to the point where the loudness level is the same between that and your regular playing style.
  8. alright, my bass head is fine. that's not the issue
    -the only time clipping occurs is when i use the 1 x 15 by itself at a loud volume, but that's because it's too much high end freq. for the 1 x 15.
    -i do bi-amp the head, and the crossover point is about 1:00
    -my EQ's are as follows, Hi-12:00 or 1:00, Hi Mid-12:00, Low Mid- 2:00 to 3:00, Low 12:00 to 1:00. so it's not even so much an EQ problem.
    -i don't use a 5 string
    -when i say turn way the hell up, i mean having the gain at about 3:00 and master volume at 12:00, so it's not even anywhere close to the amp's limits to make it distort. so i'm almost 100% sure its just my cabs being put through a lot of use over the years
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Sounds like you're probably right.

    One thing you might try is crank the master up to about 3:00 and back off the gain some (also if you're not already doing it, crank your bass guitar's volume up all the way, if it's active maybe just most of the way up).

    I'm not at all familiar with the 800RB so the above is just a shot in the dark.

    Next thing if that doesn't work is maybe get a more efficient cab for your lows (think someone already suggested that). Bag End makes some efficient 1x15s.
  11. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Gain at 3:00.... That's a hell of a lot of gain for a SS amp. Dude you are definitely clipping that amp by running it too hard.

    Try this as a neat little trick to get some more headroom. Back the gain right down to Zero so there's not sound at all. Now turn your master up full blast. There should still be no sound because the gain should still be at zero.

    Now start playing and bring the gain up gradually until you're getting a nice dose of volume. I know it sounds back to front, especially to you tube users, but it works on SS amps............
  12. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Try turning the Crossover frequency to the farmost left so that the frequency is at 100hz.
    This should help the 15 more by cutting out some of the low-mids that tend to distort.
    The biggest problem I see when people biamp is that they set the crossover frequency too high.
    Ask a guy that runs a PA at a local club where he crosses his subs over at - it will most likely be somewhere between 50hz and 200hz.

    Sometimes a blown speaker will distort if certain frequencies are boosted - it tends to be low frequencies. You might try running the 4x10 on the low channel (instead of the 15) at the same volume to see if the 4x10 distorts.

    Since the 15 is a 4ohm cab, you can not run it on the high channel (the amp is only designed to run 8ohms on the high).

    You might look into using a compressor to control your dynamics.
  13. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    whoa I didn't notice that. Use it with a 8 ohm cab and that's a 2.67 Ohm load.

    Is that amp designed to handle 2 Ohms?
  15. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
  16. Thanks Pete. I knew it was up there because there wasn't much coming out of the 10's.
  17. i made a mistake, (i was in a hurry to post a reply before i had to go to work) i don't put my gain at 3:00, i know that's way to much, i have it set around 9:00.

    all this talk about the crossover freq. is ringing a bell in my head, i have the crossover set at about 2:00. i think i'll put it at about 12 or 11 and add in some treble to compensate

    also, nickelseye is absolutely right, 100 watts into a 4x10 isn't a lot at all. in fact, that's pretty ****ty. i never thought about it until now.

    dammit. i guess this is what i get for spending $400 on each cab and the head
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    ahhhh I see what's happening here....

    The bi amp function on that head wasn't designed to be used in the traditional way. It was designed to be used with GK cabs and require a special cable. The idea was to run 100w to the horn only.

    Given that you don't have a GK cab, suggest you run the cabs at full range. Link the cabs in parallel and eq them as if they were one speaker.
  19. Yeah BUT the 1-15 that Coin Return has is a 4 ohm cabinet. Therefore in order for him to use both cabs right now, the 10's have to be on the 100 watt section. Makes me still NOT understand why Dave at Avater suggested that my son run it like that! This is how the emails went: (Talking about a 800RB btw)

    HI Bob...our 210 is very efficient...if the 100 watts was all you had for the hole rig that would be a little underpowered...but since you have more power pushing the 15s, then 100 watts for the top part of the whole rig should be fine in the big picture...........Please let me know if you need anything...THANKS.....dave 208.762.5251

    OK Dave,
    It seems like we're leaning your way. What is your recommendation for a 16 yr. old with an Ibanez SR1200 bass with a GK 800RB head? It seems as though 1-15 with 2-10's is popular around these parts. If we go that route would you suggest a 4 ohm 15" cab for the 300 watt section and a 8ohm 2-10 cab for the 100 watt section OR 2 8ohm cabs both on the 300 watt section? Also do you think those 2 cabs are better than 2 single 15" cabs?

    HI Bob...I think a 210 on the top part of the amp and a 115 on the bigger bottom part of the amp for low end would be fantastic.....and you'd want to get the cabs to match the lowest ohm that the amps will do...which is probably 4 ohm each cab...but check the owners manual or back of the amp to find that out....that would be a great rig.........Please let me know if you need anything...THANKS....dave 208.762.5251

    Somewhere else he also recommended NOT going bi-amp. Run the amp full range. I've since decided (this is for my 16 yr. old son) to have 2-8ohm cabs on the 300 watt section. At a later date I would like to see my son get a VERY efficient 2-10 for the 100 watt section. We're going to check out my friends Ampeg svt 4-10 (8ohm)cab for the next week. Will probaly buy that from him and look to add a 1-15 8ohm cab in the very near future. Sorry to make this sooooooo long.
    :oops: :oops: :oops:
  20. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    100 watts for Highs into an efficient 2x10 should be plenty (if lows are filtered out by a crossover or even EQ).

    Take a look at what typical guitarists run - a 100 watt marshall head into an extremely efficient 4x12 cabinet.
    Does it produce good deep lows? - No but it doesn't need to (82Hz = guitar low E).
    Is it loud enough? - usually loud enough if cranked to drown out the rest of the band.

    The key to getting more clean volume out of a limited amount of power is by cutting frequencies.
    The same is true for combo amps.
    If the Bass is fully boosted on an amp, how far can you turn the master before clipping/distortion occurs?
    If the Bass is fully cut and the Mids and Highs are boosted instead, how loud can it be increased?
    Which will sound louder at the point where no limiting or distortion is occuring?
    You could also try this on your home stereo if is has an EQ - can you get louder without distortion if you cut the lows?

    A crossover is cutting frequencies to each channel. Its like having 2 sets of EQs where the lows are cut on one and the highs on the other.

    High frequencies don't require as much power to produce as Low frequencies. Cone movement is less on higher frequencies as well.