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CA9 + Acme B4 - vs- LMII + UL410 comparison

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by g4string, Apr 12, 2009.


  1. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I KNOW THIS IS APPLES AND ORANGES..........but I am going to do it anyway. it seems like a good number of guys/girls have ditched their big/heavy rigs for a micro head and an ultra-light or compact cab. Here is an honest comparison of the two

    Band setting: Hard-Rock, very loud band

    My first rehearsal with these guys I brought my CA9/Demeter VTBP-201S rig with my Acme B4. All I can say is this rig has tone for days. Despite the loud volume of the guitar players, and loud drummer, I could always hear myself. Not only hear myself, but hear the definition of my tone. This rig had very deep, fat, tight, punchy lows - very nice smooth mids- and glassy highs. I never ran out of headroom. And despite my old strings, I thought I still had a decent tone (I like the new string sound). The rig was quick and punchy......the kind you feel in your gut. This is rig is like a black V8 Cadillac.....power meets luxury. But as we all know......very heavy.

    Yesterday we got together again, this time I brought my LMII and UL410 (due to the PITA the CA9 + B4 rig is to haul). This has been my mobile practice rig and gig rig for the last year or so. I could not get a good sound out of this rig.......I think this was because I was comparing it to the CA9 Acme rig all night:eek:. Dont get wrong, this has served me well and is a GREAT rig. However, in this setting - it was the wrong rig to bring. I feel I lost all of the gut pounding punch from the last rehearsal. NTM, the low was not as tight and quick as the CA9 Acme rig. The highs were duller and less glassy too. I think if I had newer strings, this rig would have sounded better. Also, I could not hear myself all night......this rig ran out of headroom real quick next to the loud guitars and drummer.

    Were I am going with this........for 75% of the stuff I do, the LMII and UL410 will be perfect.......However, the other 25% I need the lead-sled. There is NO comparison to the type of power, quickness, response, and authority the lead sled brings to table. All I am saying is one day you might need your sled...........so dont be so quick to sell em'. I am glad mine didn't sell. I would have regretted selling it. Lat night was a good lesson that the LMII and UL410 cant do everything. :bassist:
     
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    While the LMII/410UL(4ohm) is one of my favorite rigs for pop/funk/jazz playing, it would not be the rig I would choose for the context you describe. My guess is, since the 410UL/LMII is loved by slappers who love a very present upper treble zing to their tone (i.e, that rig is anything but dull sounding up top), your 'dull' comment was probably a result of pushing the moderately powered LMII into power amp limiting, which would compress the tone a bit, especially up top. The cool thing is, the new dual band power amp safety compression on the LMIII and the other new LM heads is designed to reduce this bit of clamping up top when really pushed. I've never run that rig hard enough to notice this, but others have, especially running at 8ohms.

    I bet that CA9/Demeter/Acme rig is killer for what you are doing. I'd just go with a lighter power amp and be happy! If you get an SMPS/class D power amp with the same wattage as the CA9, and gain match correctly, you should be a happy camper!!!! If the B4 is too heavy for you, the AE410 would be a much more appropriately voiced cab for your tone goal than the 410UL IMO and IME.
     
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Yea exactly just get a beefy PLX if you don't want to haul the CA.
     
  4. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Two radically different enclosures and you think you can actually draw any conclusion about the amps? That's plain nuts.
     
  5. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I have to second that!

    Alex
     
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    I've A/B'd the LMII against my tube pre + power rack head on the same gig with the same enclosure and found it to not be quite so one-sided. (In other words, the LMII gave the rack a real run for the money!) But that was with a comparatively efficient 2x12 and the headroom ceiling was never approached for any component.

    I love the LMII, it's my favorite amp ever. But I can say with absolute certainty: it will never drive an Acme B-4 to even half it's capacity in a loud dense mix. Those two would be a good match only if you wanted to thoroughly explore the LMII's limiting and/or clipping characteristics. :p

    You could maybe try the led sled with the UL cab, though. Just for comparison. See how much the lead does (or doesn't) help with an efficient neo cab.
     
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    He was actually comparing total rigs, not just heads. While I agree it's a little bit of a strange comparison, he indicated that in his post. They are the two rigs he owns, so it makes some sense to me.
     
  8. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Probably this text confused the issue. Might have been more accurate to say, don't sell your amp that has more power because sometime you might need it.

    So I'm keeping my PLX ; }
     
  9. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    But the conclusions drawn are regarding the choice of amp not the choice of cab:

    "There is NO comparison to the type of power, quickness, response, and authority the lead sled brings to table."

    I would argue that 90% of the difference in tone is due to the differences between the cabs, not the amps.

    Alex
     
  10. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    And that too! Not 'lead-sled' vs lightweight - high power vs lower power.

    Last night I was using my PLX 3002 bridged in my Barefaced Big One. Incredible tone and volume. 2000W+ of pure clean power - AND low weight.

    Alex
     
  11. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    BTW, I used to run a PLX2402......it is not the same as a CA9. It does not have the slam that the CA9 does.



    I would disagree.........I would agree with KJ on that I was pushing the LMII into compression mode. Because of that, I think the main difference in what I experienced is the amp. I think if I used the CA9 I would have been happy just as if I used the B4




    To all others.........relax. I am just making an unfair observation between the two rigs. No reason to get excited:bassist:
     
  12. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Why not just try the CA9 with the UL410 and find out then?! ;) I certainly agree that when an amp that's running out of power will sound very different to one that isn't - but with high quality power amps differences are very marginal when they're running clean.

    I still cannot believe a CA9 could have more of anything good sonically than my U5/PLX3002/BarefacedBigOne rig. The sound and feel defies belief!

    Alex
     
  13. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Thanks for the interesting review!

    Some good points by all.

    g4string, were you using one side of the C9 or was it in bridge mode?

    Also, were both cabs 4 ohm?
     
  14. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    bridged mono......both cabs are 4ohms
     
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    C9 bridged: Cone creasing power right there!
     
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I've got both sitting right here. They sound identical when set to the same gain (which is not the same as setting the attenuators the same). The Crest has a lot more gain.

    Two "identical" cabinets (meaning same model, same manufacturer, sequential serial numbers) sound way more different than a CA vs a PLX, and a 20' instrument cable vs 12' is even more difference than that. At least in my blind gain matched A/B tests.
     
  17. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX

    No offense........but I do not want to turn this into, yet another, PLX -vs- CA9 thread........everytime a CA9 gets mentioned in a thread a PLX comment is soon to follow.....then the whole thing derails as it becomes this PLX-CA9 gain match p***ing contest.

    All I wanted to do was post a simple observation about my two rigs strengths and weaknesses.

    I am closing this thread before its ugly.......I can see this going nowhere fast. :(
     
  18. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Mods........I cant close this guy......can you guys close it. Thanks!!!
     
  19. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    No worries, I'm out ... just trying to suggest something that would be light weight and closer to what you have than the LMII.
     
  20. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yeah, we could have all said Carvin DCM series or whatever ; } - PLX is just one of the amps I currently own, but plenty of others in the same power class have served just as well.
     

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