first head and cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jacob Bartfield, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. I have a little brother who also plays the bass, and is interested in getting an amp with a seperate speaker cabinet. He's looking at a price range of about $500-$1000 total. Right now, he's liking the idea of getting an Aguilar GS 112, but is unsure of the amp head. The problem seems to be that there aren't too many heads that are 8 ohms. Most are 4. I'm actually wondering about that myself, because I know that a lot of people are starting to use 112s as stand-alone cabinets, and they are all rated to take 8 ohms. Anyway, I've given him some suggestions but he'dlike some more feedback. Any thoughts?
  2. Any solid state bass head rated for 4ohms will take an 8ohm load with no troubles.
  3. Acutually, that hasn't really been my experience. I own an Ampeg SVT II Pro (4 ohms), and an SWR Son of Bertha (8 ohms), and on a number of gigs. My amp has just cut out on me without any warning at all. I turned my amp off, then back on, and it was back to normal. I emailed the guy at Ampeg, and he said that the reason my amp was messing up was that it wanted to "see" 4 ohms and it was getting only 8. He said that an additional 8 ohm cabinet would help stabalize my amp.
  4. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    that's bs... i'm gonna have to agree with mudbass
  5. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Not BS - the Ampeg is a TUBE amp. But in that case it should have an 8-ohm tap which you can use with an 8-ohm speaker. If it *doesn't*, then I would think you should still be able to use an 8-ohm load without it cutting out - you just won't get the most power.

    (edit) Looking at the web page at, I see it's not rated at 8 Ohms! What kind of crap is that? Seems a bit limiting. Oh well. I guess the answer is you do infact need another 8-ohm cab for that head.

    (edit edit) Having said that, the truth still is: almost all the heads on the market, certainly solid-state ones, are just fine with an 8-ohm load.
  6. My amp can go to either 2 or 4 ohms. 8 isn't an option. Oh well. I guess this will give me an excuse to buy something else. By the way, my brother is starting to bug me, so I would greatly appreciate it if someone could respond to my initial question. :) Thanks again. (geshel, thanks for that bit of information).
  7. With tube amps you have to use the ohm ratings the amp was designed for. Tube amps have a matching transformer on the output stage which matches speaker impedance to the amp. Plugging in an impedance rating the amp isn't designed for can cause problems.

    Solid state amps have no matching transformer and can work with any impedance load provided it isn't lower than the manufacturer's recommendation. There may be some solid state amps for which this doesn't apply, but I've never seen one. It must be noted however, that the higher the impedance of the speaker load, the less power the amp will produce. An amp rated at 200 watts @ 4ohms, for example, typically puts out only 130 watts at 8ohms.
  8. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I may be wrong but I think that the Aguilar GS112 is rated 300watts @ 8ohms. To get the most out of this single cab, you will probably want to look into an amp that puts guessed it: 300watts @8ohms. That means that this "amp" wil probably be rated for 400-500watts at 4ohms and marketed as such. This would do good for multiple cabs also.

    Do pay attention to the impedance ratings and the RMS ratings on the amp. I hate Peavey for one reason: they market an amp that's rated at like 600-700 watts and in fine print it says that the 700watts is when there is a 2ohm load! At least market the amp for 4ohm load power ratings! Their cabs are the same way, 350watt cab but in fine print, 175wattsRMS (350 peak)! That's BS! Be sure that the amp you choose is rated for the power you want at the impedance load you will be using it for.

    I would think the SWR Bass 350 would do Okay since it puts out 260 watts @ 8ohms. My Hughes & Kettner BassBase 400 puts out 260 watts @ 8ohms into my 8ohm H&K BC410 (600watt RMS) and sounds good ( it has some built-in limiter/compressor that flattens the signal spikes and lets the amp drive up to 390watts@8ohms). i never have the gain & master over 4 (of 10) so I don't know if that extra drive is there or not. Gallien Kruegger has some amps in the 300/8 range. Ampeg has some. Eden, ETC.

    Try going to and window shopping there. You mention you play also so you can probably add a few more. For $500-$1000, a new aguilar 1x12 will take up about $400 so that leaves around $100-$600 for a head. I would figure you are going to spend the higher amount. If you buy a used head, then you should be able to pick up a nice head for $600. Good luck finding a used aguilar cab after they won the Bass Player magazine Ten-Cab-1x12-Shootout. High demand! You could also look into the preamp/poweramp rack option. Find a good used preamp and a Carvin poweramp. That should keep you within budget. But it will be tight!

    Ultimately, it really depends on what kind of sound and tone your little brother is looking for. (and who's paying for it!!!)
  9. Thankyou very much. I'll have him read that as soon as I see him.