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Do I need a second speaker cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Sep 26, 2005.


  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I just recently put together my first medium sized rig - a Trace Elliot AH250 and an Eden D210XLT. (8 ohm) I figured that this will give me room to grow, as I can always add an 8 ohm 115 to get the full wattage out of my amp and another speaker - but I couldn't justify it for "at home" use. Well, I finally got a chance to play with a band on Saturday, and I loved my rig - it sounded great. I had a great time with these guys, and I was asked to come back. So, it looks like I'm joining the band. I think that my rig is probably adequate for playing with these guys, but they are pretty loud. In the rehearsal space I got my master volume up to 7 1/2 and was told that I sounded pretty good, but I could have turned up more. (so next time I will) They plan to gig as soon as I get their set list down. So, if I'm thinking that if we'll be playing out, and I'm practicing with my master volume at about 8 - I might need the additional head room to gig with these guys. Does this sound like a legitimate need, or just another case of GAS?
     
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Sorry for the long post - short version: Practicing with volume at 75% - Do I need more power (head room?) to go play a gig? This is my first band, working towards my first gig so this is s real question. All opinions appreciated. Thanks.
     
  3. jacostilllives

    jacostilllives

    May 4, 2004
    what i was always told was if you are turning the master past 50% you need more watts. Adding another cab will make you seem louder. Is your gain turned up? How many watts is your amp? We need more info.
     
  4. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Id buy another cab. Either a 210, 115 or even a 410. Itll be louder, project better, raise the 210 higher of the floor and put less strain on your amp.

    Is that me talking or the GAS? :)
     
  5. Fawkes007

    Fawkes007

    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    I was in the same predicamet as you. Once I added the second cab, my world changed for the better. Do eet. You won't regret a thing. You'll wonder why you didn't think of this sooner.
     
  6. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    You can never have too many speakers!

    I'll be adding a 2x10 or 4x10 to go with my 215 soonish so I can get more clean headroom
     
  7. Definately. Get yourself either another 2x10 or if you want to think forward a bit, sell your 2x10 and get a 4x10. That would make a huge difference, and give you the ability to add a cab down the road if you feel the need.
     
  8. too true, a 215 with a 410 ontop is very nice, trust me ;)
     
  9. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    Just the thought of having a tower that large makes me grin ear to ear.

    I'm just waiting for Avatar to do their cabs in tolex pretty much as the chance of me finding a Sunn 4x10 is pretty much slim to none.
     
  10. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    With most of the amps that I have used the difference between 75% and 100% is minimal. I think for most intents and purposes, 75% is max. With SS power and a few bass/low mid boosts its easy to clip at that level.

    An extra cab will increase your volume noticably.

    As for GAS, start small- perhaps a 1x15. Then invest in the other sound options- maybe a 2x10 to give you more punch. Once you have gone that far, taking the leap to a your first 4x10 will not seem that bad. You can also try different brands and cabinet combinations.
     
  11. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks for the replies -

    Yes, I had my gain cranked almost all the way up (about 9.5) and both pick ups & the tone knob on my bass wide open, master volume at 7 1/2 and they said later that I could have turned up more (these guys are loud)
    I'm not exactly sure about the specs on my amp - I haven't been able to come up with an owners manual for it - it's a Trace Eliot from the 80's. I was told that it's 250 at 8 ohms and 350 at 4 ohms, but I'm not sure. At any rate, it's going to make more watts if I add another 8 ohm cab to my existing 8 ohm 210 cab.
     
  12. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    :meh: That's what I was afraid of.


    I think you two just sold me on picking up an 8 ohm bottom cab. When my wife asks, I'm blaming you two. :D
     
  13. chaosMK

    chaosMK

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I've got your back. :bag:
     
  14. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Cool. An excellent 'at home' rig.



    Matt, your amp, I believe, only puts out 250w at 4ohms. You are in desperate need of more power. The D210XLT can take up to 350w. It is an awesome cab (I have one) that only sounds better with more power.

    At 8 ohms maybe you are putting out 150-175w. If you doubled that you would be twice as loud.

    If I were you I would look into getting more power first. You have an awesome cab, use it. Power can be relatively cheap if you go the pre/power route.

    :D

    Joe.
     
  15. Old wives tail about where the master knob is.

    No relationship between master knob level and how close you are to maxing out the power amp.

    You can misadjust the input gain too low to where you need to run the master wide open and still not drive the amp to full power. Have something in the effects loop (compressor?), if it has more than unity gain, you could end up having to turn the master DOWN below 30% to keep the amp from delivering full power. Play light fingerstyle, master at 50%, maybe you're way under full power. Switch to slap/pop, and suddenly you're getting peaks at full power, master still at 50%.

    The knobs all control GAIN, not POWER OUTPUT. Power output depends on total gain and how much signal input there is.

    If you hear distortion, check your stuff. If the amp has way more watts available than the cab handles, probably need more cab. If the speaker handles many more watts than the amp puts out, you need more watts more than you need more cabs. In either case, you may ultimately need more of BOTH, cab and amp. In your case, your weak link is power, since your cab can handle way more power than the amp is capable of putting out.

    If your amp is 250W@ 8 ohms, its liable to be only around 160-175 watts @ 8 ohms. That's not a lot of watts if you guys are loud. The speaker handles 350W@ 8 ohms, so shoot for an amp that puts out around 700W@8 ohms, so you have power plus some headroom. Then if you still need more volume, you can add another 8 ohm 350W cab, the amp will put out around 1000W@ 4 ohms, or 500w per cab, so you'll still have some headroom when you're running 2 cabs. Going from 175W to 700W gives you about 6dB more volume. Alternately, getting another speaker now instead of an amp nets you around a 6dB increase also, between a bit more power from 4 ohmm load and the extra cab providing more speaker area. So its a tossup which way you go first. Ultimately you will probably want to get both, more power and the 2nd speaker. Which you get first is up to you. I like more power, easier to carry than an extra cab.

    Doubling your power adds 3dB to the output, which does NOT sound twice as loud. Far from it. That's why people end up with ridiculously large amps for bass. It requires crazy increases in power to double apparent volume. 10dB increase (10 times the power) sounds twice as loud. Its ultimately a losing battle beyond a certain point.



    Randy
     
  16. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Nope, if you doubled it youd be VERY slightly louder. If you times it by ten (1500W) then youll be twice as loud.

    EDIT - Randy beat me to it. :)
     
  17. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Thanks. I agree, more power would get me more volume, and the little Eden cab could take it, but I'm running at 8 ohms right now, and my thinking is that a second cab will get me down to 4 ohms and will let the Trace make more power, at which point I think I'll have sufficient power. (and the addition of a 15" speaker) I am loving the sound of the Trace through the Eden and I don't want to change my sound, I just want to get more volume. Maybe a bit more bottom. Maybe I just want to justify my GAS for an Eden D115XLT. I'm thinking that my next move is to add that 15" bottom cab and then, if later if I run into a need for even more head room, then I'll go to a bigger head or pre/power set up. So if I run my AH250 into the D210XLT and a D115XLT, I'll be putting a healthy 250 Watts (by all accounts) into cabs that can handle 350 and 400 watts, but I see that as just having a very low potential for damaging my speakers. That's kind of where I want to go, unless there's something about this plan that just doesn't make sense. I think that the AH250 powering the Eden 115 and 210 will have enough power to shake down buildings and will sound sexy as hell. Unless there's a reason not to, I think I need to just find a good 115 cab (hopefully a D115XLT) and go from there.
     
  18. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Mmm....are you sure?

    I thought you had to double the wattage to double the volume as far as power goes but it looks like you have to quadruple it.

    Here's some interesting reading.

    Click here.


    :D

    Joe.
     
  19. Check the efficiency rating of the cab, if the 210Eden cab is more efficient than the 15, you'd be better off getting a 2nd 210.

    The 210 is rated at 103, where the 115 is rated at 100. That means it would take 200W in the 115 to be as loud as the 210 would be with 100W.

    You are likely short of watts here, so make the most of the watts you have. I'd go for another 210. Actually I'm a fan of more power in your situation, but if you get another cab when you're short on watts, get the most efficient cab you can. It may help you survive until you get more watts. 210 fits your situation better if you don't want to upgrade the amp now. And the 210 has lots of extra capacity, so you can upgrade the amp significantly later without requiring you to toss out your current speakers to get something that will handle lots more power. They will work fine in the future.

    Randy
     
  20. He's right, 3dB is barely distinguishable, and equals doubling the power.

    Randy