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Curious about how well my rig is matched

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ladoo, May 23, 2018.


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  1. Ladoo

    Ladoo Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    I'm running an Aguilar Tonehammer 500 into an Aguilar GS212 rated at 600 watts and 8ohms. Sounds pretty good until I get the gain and main around noon. I'm being pretty picky here but it starts to get a bit "saturated". I'm wondering, is it because I'm only getting around 250 watts out of the head at 8 ohms so I'm pushing the head a bit too hard to push these speakers and it is altering the signal?
     
  2. joel406

    joel406

    Dec 27, 2013
    Florida
    Probably running the speaker a little hard.

    Reaching the breakup point of you amp as well.

    If you need more volume you need more speakers.
     
  3. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    It’s a 2x12 rated for 600 Watts. Even at max volume, with an amp pushing 250 Watts, is that pushing speakers hard? Seems the speakers would still have a couple hundred watts of clean output left.

    I personally can’t believe the amp is pushing the speakers too hard, but I’m not an engineer.

    What’s the drive setting at? Is it possible everything is functioning as designed, but at higher volumes the drive is more apparent?
     
    armyadarkness and HolmeBass like this.
  4. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    Looking at the Tonehammer 500 manual, seems there is saturation when pushing the gain. I’ll look for more info on how the Gain/Drive work with each other.

    But if you want more clean headroom, I’d back off the Gain, and push up the Master. That’s probably what you’re looking for.

    Unless a speaker is cracked (I doubt this)
     
  5. joel406

    joel406

    Dec 27, 2013
    Florida
    Destortion (unbridled distortion) will
    kill “most” speakers. That’s why we have pedals. My rule of thumb is “more is better.

    800 watt head gets 800 watt cabs.

    Personally I use a 400 watt 210 cab that’s 8 ohms. My head is capable of putting 400 Watts into it. I’ll never do it but it can.

    When I need more volume I move to either one of my 800 watt 8 ohm 410 cabs.

    If I still need more I add the second 410 800 watt 8 ohm cab. Then I’ll put 400 Watts into either cab. Or 100 Watts to each driver.

    My head will do better than 800 watts but I’ll never need it.

    If your running your amp hard. Your probably driving your speakers hard. Regardless of their rating. Voice coils get warm when a lot of heavily pushed wattage goes into them.

    Always use your ears for signs of speaker distress.
     
  6. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    Try running the master at full volume and using the gain to adjust for total volume with the drive off. That should give you a cleaner less distorted sound.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  7. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    I guess we’ll agree to disagree on the point that he’s driving the speakers hard. I just don’t see how a 250watt amp is pushing a 600 watt cab hard, especially with the Master and Gain at noon, even if its distorting (slightly).

    But where I will agree with you. Adding a second 8ohm cab would allow the OP to use his amp at the full 500watts. And would give the OP more clean headroom than he has with his current setup.

    But, truthfully, the OP just needs to spend a little more time with his amp and understand it’s built in functionality, to get the sound he desires. No need to purchase new equipment.
     
    HolmeBass and MDBass like this.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    @agedhorse can school you on the whys and wherefores about cab watts vs. speaker watts, bottom line, they measure different "Watts" and "matching" them gives you no protection from anything or information you can use.
     
  9. Ladoo

    Ladoo Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    Drive is off. I don't really use that. I go for a clean sound.
     
    BassAndReeds likes this.
  10. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    I understand. Aged horse is always very helpful. And I’m sure he’d cite speaker RMS vs Peak Power, among other things. But I’m pretty sure the question is a little below his pay grade.

    The OP has his gain knob set at noon. The Tonehammer 500s functionality is set to add saturation when the Gain is raised. If the OP wants more clean signal, he needs to lower the Gain, thus reducing the saturation. And boost the Master to compensate for the loss in volume.
     
    HolmeBass and TrevorOfDoom like this.
  11. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    What are all the other settings at?
     
    five7 likes this.
  12. Ladoo

    Ladoo Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    You may be right but I'm looking for just a tad more available volume before the "saturation" occurs and I will probably end up with the main at 3 o'clock and the gain at noon and still ending up with the same problem. Again, it's not horrible and most folks wouldn't think anything of it. I'm just being picky.
     
    BassAndReeds likes this.
  13. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    This^^^.
    +1 to studying your amp's manual.

    Running the gain and main at noon and then asking why you hear distortion means you need more information about why and how these things work.

    I also suggest studying the HPF LPF mega thread on how to clean up your tone at volume.
     
  14. Ladoo

    Ladoo Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    bass at noon (flat), treble cut to about 9 o'clock, and the mids usually flat (at noon). However, when I push the volume I have to cut the mids a bit and there goes my volume so I have to push the main and gain up again.
     
  15. Ladoo

    Ladoo Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2018
    Thanks, I'll read that link!
     
  16. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Good question...

    In the OP's case, I think it's most likely that he is simply running out of power for his desired volume and clipping or severely limiting the amp (which will sound distorted and might sound very much like the speakers themselves overdriving).

    The most important part of understanding how well amps and speakers might go together is to understand the units that the rating numbers are based on. For example, if the amplifier is rated based on "RMS" units, then the speakers should be chosen based on the same units.

    With speakers, there are 3 commonly used rating methods/units:

    "RMS" (or continuous average, or thermal) power, which is most generally the power handling that the speaker can sustain with a specified crest factor (usually 3dB) and a must survive time period of 2 hours with "minimal damage". In practice, this 2 hour test period results in an overstatement of power handling by between 20 and 35% compared with the 200 hour test time period. If you plan on driving your speakers hard and want them to last, pay attention to this derating.

    "Program power: which is defined as 2x the "RMS" power, this number comes from the 6dB crest factor commonly used in the "RMS" test (3dB for sine wave and 3dB for dynamics, which is where the program comes from)

    "Peak power": which is defined as 4x the "RMS" power and 2x the "program power". Since program power has been so heavily marketed (mostly in pro audio), taking the peak value of the program power's voltage (1.414x) represents exactly 2x the program's power. This is 2 different power numbers used to represent exactly the same thing... BUT marketing folks seem to prefer larger numbers which is the driving force behind peak power.

    My recommendation is to size speaker power handling based on rated "RMS" power, matching the two is a good balance between performance and safety/longevity. This accounts for many of the additional variables that come up pretty well to be a reasonable choice.

    The thing to be aware of is that some manufacturers are more conservative than others when publishing specifications, so even with the above recommendations, if the speaker manufacturer overstates the power handling spec. it's still possible to damage the speaker. Remember, it all comes down to how long you would like your speaker to last.
     
  17. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    I had a TH500, its is voiced to be an old-school sounding amp, there will be saturation similar to tube breakup, I believe it is built to do that.
     
  18. Begin your settings at a reasonable volume - say put the master at 10:00... move the gain and the tone controls until you get the sound you want- NOT THE VOLUME. Then raise the master until you get the volume you need. Your cab should do fine with that head as far as it goes but if you begin to get distortion, then it is either coming from your power amp section or your cab. At least you’ll know it is not the pre-amp. If you can’t get as loud as you need/want, you need to add more speaker area, ie another cab, or your head simply doesn’t have enough power for your needs.
     
  19. BadExample

    BadExample

    Jan 21, 2016
    Injiana
    Doesn't sound like you are beating on it with too much deep bass. I would go ahead and back off the gain to about 9:00, then bring the master up to see if you can get loud enough and keep the tone clean. Master position means nothing on it's own, and noon may be close to full depending on the taper. Just go by sound, and if it's not loud enough, you might be needing a second cab.
     
    HolmeBass likes this.
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Actually, I deal with this topic quite a bit and IMO it's very important is a player having a good long term experience with any brand of gear they choose to play.

    There is enough mis-statement of specifications, and enough confusion (intentional as well as unintentional) that it deserves discussion.
     

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