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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LesPlaycool, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. LesPlaycool


    Mar 14, 2004
    hey everyone...
    i'm sorta new to this whole "having an amp deal" being that i just got one (Duh)
    any wayz i got this amazing deal from friend on his hartke4000 and a hartke 410 cab (only $350 in total!) and i've used it a couple times to practice with my band. theres a problem though. my guitarist just recently got a new 120 watt amp (Crate) and he's so much louder than me...
    and it's not like he has his volume full blast. he keeps it at around 6.
    i, on the other hand, try to play with my Eqs to make my bass as loud as possible without it clipping. I can put my volume to around 6.5 and be heard but it clips if i slap just a little hard or if i play slightly agressive.
    Is there something wrong??? my hartke is 400Watts and the crate is only 120.
    Is there something i can do to make it louder without it clipping?
    Is clipping really harmful to my amp or cab? what does "clip" actually mean?

    i know its alot, but i have a gig in 2 weeks and i dont want to not be heard.
    thanx in advance :)
  2. Tell the guitar player to turn down.

    I'm serious. Save your ears, the rest of the band's ears, and the audience's ears. You don't need 120 guitar watts cranked to full volume. Lower volumes equals better sound as a band.
  3. i have a 400 watt swr and i cut through 2 guitarists one with a 2x12 75 watt amp and the other with a 140 or something watts 2x12 and a drummer with some room to spare, i think you might want another cab. i use 2 1x15s
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Unless the cab is 4 ohms, I would try getting a second cab. However, nashvillebill is right, if you cannot be heard with 300W or so over the guitar, I hope you are wearing earplugs!
  5. You are fighting the classic battle that has been raging in bands for the past 40 years. The guitar player who has to be the loudest thing in the band. He has the attitude that since his amp can play at such a high volume it is up to everybody else to come up to his level of loudness. The problem is not your amp, it's your guitar player.
  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    First of all, if you have an 8 ohm cab your amp is only putting out 200 watts, not 400. Add another 8 ohm cab for the full 400 watts.

    I have the same amp.

    Secondly, if you have a 4 ohm cab (or two 8 ohm cabs for a total of 4 ohms) and you are putting out the full 400 watts...do you have an active bass? If so, make sure you are plugging your bass into the Input no. 2 jack. If you put it in the Input no. 1 and crank the volume on your bass, you will clip the signal with an active bass.

    If it is a passive bass, it should not matter. But Input 1 is for passive basses and Input 2 is for active basses. It won't matter which one you use if you don't crank the volume on your bass. But I know cranking the volume on an active bass while plugged into Input 1, will clip your signal even with the amp volume off!!!
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The problem here is that overall volume isn't a function of wattage alone. You also have to factor in the frequency and speaker sensitivity. What I'm saying is that the low frequencies require a lot more watts than high frequecies to produce the same volume. Guitar amps and speakers aren't dealing with anywhere near as much low frequencies as bass amps, which is why 120w guitar amps through efficient speakers can produce ear-splitting volume. That's just the laws of physics at work ( if you want more detail, you can research Fletcher-Munson Curves). As Greybeard points out, guitarists are generally too stupid to acknowledge this and most play way too loud.

    I use 400watts as well, but I use 2 efficient speaker cabs so it can get pretty darn loud. On the rare occasion that rig can't keep up, and if the guitarists won't turn down, I refuse to work with that band in future - Simple. I've only got one set of ear drums and once they break, you can't fix em................
  8. LesPlaycool


    Mar 14, 2004
    thanx for the replies guys...
    yeah i was looking at the amp and in the back it said 400watts@4ohms but 290watts@8ohms...
    and i'm not sure as to how many ohms my cab has since i bought it used from a friend... but i did research and i couldn't find my cab (i'm sure its discontinued), but none of the latest 410 cabs from hartke are 4ohms, they are all 8 ohms.thus i've come to the conclusion that my cab only outputs 290watts ...which isn't too bad but its not the 400watts i had imagined. And i cant afford another cab so i'm stuck with it.

    as for my guitarist, he's pretty understanding and humble so he'll lower down, but as for clipping... how damaging could it be??? will it destroy my amp or blow my cab or something??? what does it really mean? becuase as i've mentioned before i found a setting that makes my bass loud enough to be heard, and its sounds good but it clips slightly if i mistakenly slap or pop to hard, or hit the low notes on my B string to hard. And i'd like to keep this setting for the show i have coming up.

    Thanx in advance :bassist:

    oh and my bass is passive, not active... and yes i do plug it into the passive input
  9. Your only option: Kill the Guitar player!

  10. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes get him to turn down. It's ok for the clip light to come on once in awhile but if it stays on you will hurt your gear. Clip means that the amp has run out of headroom and is sending a potentially damaging signal to your cab.
  11. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I agree. clipping has the potential to fry your speakers, specifically the voice coil.

    Your amp ideally should output an electrical signal that looks like a standard wavey line. When you clip, the amp it chops off the top of the wave (clipps it) so that instead of having smooth rounded shape, the top of the ways begins to take on the shape of a square. This translates to an increase in electrical energy. The end result is an amp that's putting out more watts than it is rated for, and dirty watts at that. Bad clipping sounds like really cheap distortion.

    The danger is that your 290 watt amp under sever clipping can be putting out up to 580 watts of dirty signal. If you speaker is rated at more than 580 watts, it should survive but it will sound horrible. If your speaker is rated at closer to 290w (as is commonly the case), it may not survive regular jolts of power in excess of that.

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