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Competing with Mesa Boogie & Marshall Amps...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dubstyle, May 13, 2011.


  1. My two guitarists are gear-whores. One owns a Marshall JVM and the other has a Mesa Boogie Tripple Rectifier. This is extremely annoying.
    The Marshall is a 100 watt head.
    The Mesa is running at 150 watts.
    They are both played through 4 x 12", 300 watt cabs.
    They crank them up way too loud and drown out the vocals and bass. But I intend to fight fire with fire...

    I have recently upgraded from a Hartke 100 watt combo (A100), which just wasn't cutting it in practice, to an Ampeg Portaflex (PF-500) head. As a high school student, I'm on a tight budget and was stoked I could even afford an Ampeg.
    I now need a cab to utilise the amp's full potential. The logical thing to do would be to purchase the matching Portaflex cab (PF-210HE). I could even utilise the fliptop function. But a reliable source suggested that the matching cab wouldn't cut it, as the 2 x 10" speakers wouldn't give me all that much volume. And at $720 here in Australia, the price is a little steep. I'd be willing to pay that much but I need to know if I'm getting my money's worth (they retail at $400 in the US, but shipping costs are insane - more than the cab itself!) The reason I was drawn to the Portaflex series in the first place was for their affordability and portability, the latter also being important as I am carting gear around in the boot of the car every weekend.

    What should I do?

    The Ampeg's RMS output is 500 watts at 4 ohms. It need a compatible cab that will cater to my needs, i.e. lots of volume. Should I stick with getting the matching Portaflex cab? Or should I search for something else?

    Any advice on this matter would be much appreciated.
     
  2. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    You won't begin to touch those high wattage half stacks with a portaflex cab. Look for a used 4x10, or possibly even an 8x10, although the 8x10 will be a problem to transport. If your guitarists are playing to loud to hear drums and vocals, they are completely ruining any chance your band has of sounding good. I gig almost every weekend, and my guitarist usually runs a 20 watt amp through 1/12 inch speaker.
     
  3. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Wear ear protection. ;)
     
  4. haha I do, it's not like I have much choice in that matter :meh:
     
  5. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Find guitarists who can practice a little bit of volume discipline.
     
  6. My other band has that sort of sensibility. When I gig with them I never have any problems.

    The 4 x 10 may be the way to go... any suggestions for a decent, well priced 4 ohm cab?
     
  7. VS

    VS

    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    +1! It means everything. Guitarists have it so easy when it comes to volume. Bassists usually struggle. When guitarists play loud, the drummer has to increase his volume as well making it even harder to be heard on bass. Tell them to bring it down!

    I'd go with two 8 ohm 4x10"s or two 8 ohm 2x12"s if you want to cut through in this situation. -Luke
     
  8. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I used to have to deal with that stuff and kept upgrading my gear bigger and bigger. Ultimately I got an Acoustic 370 with an 18" folder horn. Didn't matter what the other guys did after that.
    Since you've got two guitarist with that kind of wattage you may need two folded horns. But the good news is that you won't have to put a fan on stage to cool off - those things move a lot of air. ;)
     
  9. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    P.S.
    Guitarists that are prone to crazy volume in my experience will never "bring it down". Play with other guys.
     
  10. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    An 810 or 412, powered by at least 500W (non-tube). You need more speaker surface area, not necessarily more watts.

    Pumping an SVT through a 210 still wouldn't get you close to what you need to be heard and you'd fry the cab along the way.

    Also, at least they have taste. They could be playing Crate. Or Boss. :facepalm:

    Another big thing against two dense guitars is EQ. Cutting everything above 300hz like most "heavy" or "metal" bass n--bs do contribute to this, and it's just sludge. Boost some 500-900hz and taper off the uber low end. Sitting your bedroom it may not sound "optimal" but unless you're playing in this gig solo, this will help you get heard.
     
  11. I use a beat to hell Ampeg 610hlf with the PF500. I got it used for $350 delivered. Check the classifieds. It's perfect for playing with my guitarist who uses a Marshall & 412, who also plays louder than necessary. I've moved plenty of 410 boxes & the 610 is easier to move with the casters & towel bar handle. Or look for an SWR Henry 8x8, I hear alot of good things about those. I would stick to the used market if your on a budget, alot of sellers will sell the bigger cabinets locally only.
     
  12. seungkoo

    seungkoo Banned

    Nov 20, 2003
    MD
    +1 as a band they needs to consider everyone else's volume
     
  13. evilt70

    evilt70

    Feb 6, 2011
    Pekin, Il
    I used to play with 2 guitarists with almsot identical rigs. I went with a mesa diesal 2x15 cab and a pre-poweramp setup to push 1450 watts. Before I was running 500 watts into 6x10 and still was having problems keeping up. For kicks I'll set it real loud before sound check to "give them a taste of their own medicine" for kicks and giggles. They eventually decided they needed to turn down a little.
     
  14. seungkoo

    seungkoo Banned

    Nov 20, 2003
    MD
    I tried the 410hlf with the pf500...monster combo! those cabs are just meant to kill overly loud guitarists!
     
  15. Tell them it's no point in playing with them when you can't hear yourself and leave.
     
  16. NWB

    NWB

    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    You know, if the guitarists are playing so loud that they drown out the rest of the band, then maybe they don't need a band at all.:meh:

    My general opinion is that if the guitarist(s) play so loud that the bass can't be heard clearly, then my presence and contribution to the band are not appreciated and I'll leave.
     
  17. seungkoo

    seungkoo Banned

    Nov 20, 2003
    MD
    +1 if they keep drowning out the bass + the lead vocal (a big no no) Music without lyrics is fail...(in some aspects)
    You need to find a new band with real musicians.
     
  18. jj4001

    jj4001

    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    + 1!

    Hell yes. I got an Acoustic 320 I run into either a 402 or a 301 cab. Has no problems keeping up with a heavy hitting drummer with the volume set at 1. Running both cabs together at 2 Ohms would just be unfair to everyone else.

    The thing sounds like magic.
     
  19. The logical thing to do is find a new band. But then I re-read it and realized you're in high school and I've never been to Australia (except the airport) so I don't know how easy finding a new band would be.

    You may want to consider going online, finding one of the lighter/more powerful amps out there and get a 4 Ohm 6X10 cabinet that can fit in the boot of your car.
     
  20. NWB

    NWB

    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    Consider, in a volume war situation you lose:

    1) Your hearing.

    2) Loads of money buying amps/cabs trying to "keep up".

    3) Gigs. Lots of places don't want the super-loud band at their venue.:(

    4) A decent quality band sound.
     

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