do i need more watts or speakers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by disfiguredmetal, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. disfiguredmetal


    Sep 23, 2006
    Ok guys here's another question for you, I aways like others opinions. so i run a Tech 21 Sansamp RBI through an Ampeg SVT 3 Pro all into an Ampeg 410HLF classic. I feel like i'm begining to run into head room problems w/ it for live applications. when i crank the RBI to just about 2 o'clock on the level knob it starts to sound a little harsh. i mean i am going for a slightly natural overdriven tone but not to the point where it ruins my tone. i used this same setup w/ an SWR 610 cab (sorry don't remember the series) and it didn't give me that problem and it sounded way better, i'm assuming b/c I didn't have to crank it as high. So thats my question should i get a more powerful power amp (like something in the 1000 watt range) or should i just upgrade to a 610 cab. The 410 hlf is already a beast to move around so how much harder could it be to add another two speakers. Any suggestions are welcome.
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    You could also just get a more efficient 4x10, which could give you greater loudness in the same size of box. Schroeder for example.

    Another thought--did you have the tweeter on the SWR cab turned up/on, and do you have the tweeter on your 410HLF turned up/on? Because tweeters are mostly where you hear harshness from overdriven tones.
  3. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Unless you're talking about an enormous power increase (more than doubling your power) AND you have speakers that can handle it, more speakers is a better option than more watts. Plus you've already proven that it'll work.
  4. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    I'd tend to agree with Bongo, more efficient speakers will go farther.

    The 410HLF goes really low for 410 by using essentially subwoofer speakers. It has no real midrange coverage from 900hz to its crossover frequency so it won't cut very well at all, and is beaming from that frequency to its crossover as well so what little is there is only on-axis.

    The cab is also not very sensitive compared to a modern 4x10, but it does go super low so if you like that, great!

    However, for live applications with a loud band where you're carrying the house you're going to want both more wattage and more speakers. That rig will not be loud enough to carry an outdoor show without PA support or even a large indoor venue.

    I would suggest trading your SVT-3 pro in for a quality power amp like a QSC PLX series - or selling it and buying one. Carvin's DCM1540L is a good option as well for bridging into an 8 ohm cab or running two 4 ohm cabs.

    Then run pre -> power -> speakers.

    My suggestion for a rig that will match the low end of the 410HLF while being more sensitive would be a pair of 3cf boxes with Kappalite 3015s and XD125 horns xover'd around 2000hz. LDS can do that for you. :)

    If you want a commercial rig, a Bergantino 4x12 is what I'd get, but you'd need to present a budget for us to give serious recommendations either way.
  5. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    Why not both?
  6. disfiguredmetal


    Sep 23, 2006
    ya sorry i didn't incluce a price tag on how much i'm willing to spend. i figured i could sell my cab for at least $400 and the 3 pro for maybe $450, they are both a little worn from the road. so i gues if i could match that i'd like to find some good used equipment for something around $1600 or so. ya a 4x12 huh? how do those sound? at one time i had an Eden 2x12 combo w/ a coaxial speaker on top, but never 4x12's. i prefer a thick tight and slightly overdriven tone that can really push some mids.
  7. In general, if you don't have enough volume/bass, you probably need more speakers. If you are getting distortion before you want it, you need more watts.

    In general. There are exceptions, of course.