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Brand new Avatars and GK 700RB dissappointment....help please!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by banksb, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. banksb


    Apr 22, 2004
    Hey everyone,

    I needed a bass cabinet for gigs and rehersal. I own a Gallien Krueger 700RB head, it delivers 380W into 4 Ohms, and an American Fender Jazz bass.

    I ordered 2 Avatar B112 cabinets at 8 Ohms each. While waiting, I made two 4' Speakon-to-Speakon cables (12 gauge wire, soldered into the sockets, polarity is right, i checked, resistance is 0 Ohms. Also the polarity of the cabs are correct(same)) Last night, I had my first rehersal and after much anticipation, my setup really left me flat...

    It wasn't loud enough and it was farty.

    The details: I basically had the woofer volume all the way up and the boost down (as i like it) and the main volume all the way up, just to get some decent volume. I couldn't get the rig to compete with the drums. When I played softly, the sound of the rig was good and deep, but when i had to push it when songs got loud, it really started farting, not the smooth sound I was looking for or expecting.

    The Avatars look nice and seem like high quality units. I love the portability of the 2 50lbs cabs. I'm expecting that the problem lies in my head, I guess I need a new head that delivers more power??? Is this a correct conclusion? I would HATE to buy a new head and then realize that I need new cabs as well. Can anyone recommend a good head?

  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Based on that statement alone, I'd say there is something seriously wrong with your setup. One or more of the components in your rig is faulty.

  3. I don't know...but I used to have a 400RB-IV 210 combo and even when plugged into an 8ohm 2x10 extension cab I wouldn't EVER get a nice bassy sound from it...maybe the sound of the head just isn't for you :) I know it wasn't the cabs in my case because they sounded phenominal w/ other heads. Who knows....
  4. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Can you borrow another head from someone to see if that's the problem? Have you ever used the head with other speakers? Does your bass have active electronics and a bad battery?
  5. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    I have one Avatar CB112 4 ohm cab for my 700RB...using a Speakon cable wired +1/-1.

    It's really loud and full.

    You can't get good results with the settings you used for gain. The boost has to be on at least to 9 o'clock to get adequate volume. Using the volume past noon is likely to cause distortion...I bet your clip light was going on a lot.

    Start with the Volume, Boost and Gain all at noon...straight up. Set all the EQ knobs flat, the Contour to about 9 o'clock, the presence all the way down to flat. Try a regular 1/4" speaker cable instead of a Speakon, just to rule out that you're using the wrong kind.

    Turn your Jazz bass volumes up all the way...maybe back off the bridge pickup a tiny bit. Leave the tone full on.

    I'm willing to bet that you'll have a loud, punch, deep sound. If not, something's not right...perhaps a problem with the soldering of the pots on the preamp.
  6. banksb


    Apr 22, 2004
    Yeah, i'm thinking the GK growl just isn't for me anymore. But I don't remember having such bad sound when I had my hartke 4.5XL. I never turned the 700RB's volume past 12 o clock with that thing and it was loud and never farty.

    I don't think it is my cables.

    I'm really in a pinch and I think I'm just going to have to go ahead and plunk down the $700 for Carvin's b1500, get the job done right. I've got 2 gigs next weekend.

  7. Mike A

    Mike A

    Oct 3, 2002
    You need more juice. Aren't those Avatars rated pretty highly? I tried a my 700rb through my trace 410 (300W rated, most individuals recommend up to 600W) a few times, and if you need much volume at all, it just doesn't cut it. The same 700rb sounds great through an Ampeg 410he or even my Bergantino 610, but the bottom line is...
    If you need big volume using a 700rb (I), you'll need efficient cabs, preferably two of them.

    Granted, my main head is a 1001rb, so the 700rb naturally feels a little wimpy in comparison.

    I'd recommend checking out a new (or lightly used) 1001rb II if you like the GK tone. Plenty of clean power.
  8. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    i also think it's your gain settings- i have a 1001rb/210 combo which puts out around 380W @ 8 ohms (cab's impedence) and it rocks and is loud as a mother, TONS of low end- i tried it at a jam before i bought it and afterwards there was no way i was giving it back. i think the boost being down is hindering you. set everything flat and try re-eqing and setting your volumes for the new cabs before you go buying a new head. gk amps are loud for what they're rated at, and the preamp can be confusing with all the volume options, but i wouldn't sell mine for twice what i paid for it. maybe daniel elliott will chime in- he's a wealth of gk info. :bassist:
  9. banksb


    Apr 22, 2004
    maybe my mistake was turning the boost down adn then turning the two volume knobs up. then when i got nothing, i turned the boost up and then ended up with a crappy farty sound because the volume and masters were cranked. I"m going to turn them down, and then push the boost up and go from there. I held off from buying a new carvin b1500....for now!

  10. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    That amp has crazy power. It should be enough for you. I agree that your setting is wrong (I personally like a little dirt, so I crank the master and boost to 3 o'clock, and start with my woofer on 0 and go up from there. Backing the boost to 12 oclock will clean it up if it's too dirty for you. The high preamp gain and drive is what really gets that amp going. Its a night and day difference. I have never needed more than 3 on the volume, with or without my extension cab.
    If that doesn't fix your problem, then I suggest you investigate the cables and cabinates again. Go down to one cab, and see how it sounds. Better? If so, then hook the other one back in. Worse? I would say they are out of phase. A great test would be to take a AA or 9V battery and touch it to the bare wire of a dismantled speakon connector. Touch what you think is the + to the + of the battery, and the - to the -. They speaker should pull into the box. Don't leave it there for long. Now, do it with the other cable and cab. It should pull in also. If not, out of phase. It is much easier to see what the speakers are doing with the battery test.
    I hope this gets you in the right direction.
  11. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I run my Mesa M-Pulse 600 though 2 Avatar SB-112's and they sound great. Very comparable to my SWR cabinets. It certainly shouldn't be the speakers. I'd definetly experiment with different main/gain settings before you panic. I'd also try some conventional 1/4" speaker cables to just to eliminate the Speakons that you fabricated. I suspect that the answer lies in a combination of your amp settings and the headroom of the amp. I owned an 800RB and 400RB years ago and although the 800RB had plently of power, the 400RB lacked the headroom to produce clean sound at high volumes (particuarly with highly boosted lows).
    Good luck!
  12. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    The B112 has been out of production a few months; it had an Eminence Kappa 12 in a box that was about an 18" cube. Is that the model you have or the current production SB112 with a Delta 12LF or Kappa 12? If you have the new one, which speaker did you choose? The Delta 12LF has more low end, and the Kappa is louder.

    The old model B112 was a very nice cab for portability or the high end of a biamp rig, but not much for lows.

    I don't think power is really your problem; perhaps EQ however. I am not familiar with that head, but you mentioned something about having the "woofer volume" on full, which could easily cause problems with headroom, as well as speaker excursion.
  13. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Actually the model recently replaced with the new SB-112 was the CB-112. The std. speaker for both cabinets was and is the Delta 12 LF. There are no options for different model speakers for the SB-112. The cabinet size was modified only very slightly and not for better low tuning but only to facilitate stacking the 112 with other model Avatar cabinets. There should be no noticable difference in the sound of either model.
    I purchased the first pair of SB-112's from Avatar and Dave provided a thorough summary of the evolution from the CB-112 to the SB-112. There may have been a B-112 model prior to the recently discontinued CB-112 but Dave did not mention it.
  14. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    My mistake; it was the 212 that was offered with Kappa or Delta LF drivers as an option.
  15. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Whenever someone makes their own cables, then complains about lack of volume, I'm always immediately suspicious. It's all too easy to accidentally wire them up out of phase - everyone has done it, myself included.

    I agree with Wes. Time to do the 9V battery test.
  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    He's gonna need three hands to do that with Speakons!
  17. As suggested, start with trying a different cable just to be sure. Check for phasing and all that. Regarding your settings. If you have the Volume knob all the way up, you are likely overdriving the preamp. Set the Woofer/Master at 3 oclock, the Volume at 12 oclock and then gradually increase the boost until you get the volume level you need.

    BTW the clip light only measures the input level. It does not measure the gain (volume) level. If you have the pad in, take it out and see if the clip led lights up, if not, run without the pad. That'll give you plenty of extra volume.

    I've been thinking about asking Bob to change the boost circuit so that when you turn it up, it automatically reduces the volume. The advantage of that is you can get the Valve Effect without having to adjust the Master. The drawback is if you don't have enough signal passing through it, you may not hear a big difference with it on.
  18. Wes Whitmore

    Wes Whitmore

    Mar 10, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Dont touch the boost. It allows me to set it up the way I want it now!
  19. The 4.5XL is really efficient and deep. I had one and pushed it with a 250 watt amp and never needed anything more. I think you just need more power. jmho
  20. Try running the cabs in series instead of parallel... to do this, make one of your speaker cables into a 1/4" to 1/4". Then, plug your speakon to 1/4 into the first cab and the amp, and then plug the 1/4 - 1/4 into the second jack on the first cab into the first jack on your second cab.

    This makes the resistance load (in essence 1 cab) 4 ohms instead of 8 per cab.