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first head/cab rig...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by slapfish, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    ...and I actually have a pretty good idea of what I want to get. I'm looking at an SWR Son of Bertha cab; need the 15 for my 5-string, but I was leaning towards the Workingman's model until I saw that it only handles 200 watts. Since I'm planning on pairing it with a G-K 400RB, I need to step up to the higher model. Does this sound like a decent plan? I've seen a lot of good things about the G-K head, and I figure that 240 watts should be enough for a rock band (2 guitars) playing small-to-mid size venues. I haven't, however, seen a lot about using the Son of Bertha as a stand-alone cab...I can't really afford a 2x10 or anything on top of it right now. Any advice on any aspect of what I'm planning on doing?
  2. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    The Workingman 15" handles 200watts RMS (continous) and up to 400watts peak. The GK 400rb puts up 120 watts at 8 ohms and 240 (I think) at 4 ohms. So, the Workingman can more than handle the 400rb. Also, think about getting a 410 instead of a 115. The 410 provides tightness, punchiness and can handle your 5-string very well. I'd give a look to Peavey, SWR Workingmans, Nemesis and go look at www.avatarspeakers.com, you'll be blown away by the low low prices. They use the best quality speakers and components, but cost less than half the price of others.

    Hope this helped..
  3. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    thanks for the help...definitely some food for thought. I wasn't aware of the 8/4-ohm distinction, since I have little experience in this area; how do I determine if I'm going to run at 8 or 4 ohms, to ensure that I have enough power? Also, it sounds like I have a little more to learn than I thought before I actually make a purchase...is there any literature on-line that serves as a comprehensive guide to shopping for an amp? Thanks for the help.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I hope you're not operating under the fallacious assumption that a 115 cabinet will give you better bottom end than a 410. A 115 is an absolute, tone-sucking muff master. Here's the specs for SWR:

    Son of Bertha 115: 102 dB SPL @ 1W1M (-3dB @ 45Hz and 15KHz)

    Goliath 410: 105 dB SPL @ 1W1M (-3dB @ 40Hz and 15KHz)

    As any fool can plainly see, the 410 is louder and has better low end. Wise up. Fifteens are tone suckers for those who love mush.

    Also, while you've got me going, 240 watts would be a good practice amp. You need at least 300 watts for a rock band with two guitars in small to medium venues. At 300 watts, you won't have much headroom, but you can get by if you go through the PA. For what you're doing, 600 would be better, 800 better yet.

    I know this sounds harsh, but it's for your own good. The smart ones around here will back me up one thousand percent.
  5. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Depending on the cab, it can be 8ohms or 4ohms. When you plug one 8ohm cab to an amp, it will put out it's power rating (watts) at 8ohms. If you plug two 8ohm cabs (combined they equal 4ohms) or one 4 ohm cab, the amp will put out it's specified power rating for 4ohms. Check which amp you're looking for, and in the specs, it has to say how much power it supplies at 8ohms,4ohms and some amps can even put out power at 2ohms.

  6. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001
    what's your budget? buy as much power as you can afford. maybe go for an avatar 4x10 and a more powerful head. heck, maybe a sansamp rbi preamp and a carvin poweramp.
  7. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    thanks for all the advice, everyone...apparently I need to do a lot more legwork on this than I thought. I thought I could get what I needed for under $1000, but apparently that's not going to be too practical. It's been tough to find an amp that puts out 300W @ 8 ohms and is priced reasonably; however, the guy at Sam Ash today suggested I go with a 2-cab setup of a 1x15 and a 2x10, combined with a bi-amp head (250+250), all Hartkes. Of course, he's a salesman, and gave me his usual "I've been playing for eleventy billion years so you should listen to me" kind of spiel, so I'm a little skeptical. However, going at 500 watts will give me a lot of headroom, and is reasonable price-wise, but I live in a studio apartment...where am I going to keep all this stuff??

    So as a follow-up to the comment above about 1x15's being inferior to a 4x10, does that still hold true if the 1x15 is used in this kind of a bi-amp setup? And should I even dare to venture into splitting up the amp into preamp and power amp components? I'm lost as it is, without going down that road...:confused:
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hartke's OK.
  9. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    hee hee, Munju said "tone sucking muff master"....

    :D :p
  10. BassMann2112


    Jun 21, 2002
    I would recomend the 15" for a bottom cab with at least a 2-10" on top, perferably a 4-10 both w/t a tweeter. and no I'm not stupid, IMO you need a 15" to carry your crisp 10"s out into the crowd. If your playing a 5 or 6 string I would even try adding an 18" for killer bottom end.

    Stupid or not. I have the tone I'm looking for and I know I wasn't getting it until I added the 15" to the 4-10" I planned on using with my rig...
    Trace Elliot AH300SMX, Trace Elliot V4. they rule when it comes to tone.... IMO
    Good Luck
  11. BassMann2112


    Jun 21, 2002
    Let your ears decide on that... Fool. A 15" cab is deeper with more bottom end for your tone.

    Why then would you use a 18" for a pa sound system... I think they call it a sub woofer?

    Who's the fool?

    And personally I have never had any problems with 300 watts RMS on stage to be heard. And I don't have to really push the amp much past 2 1/2 to 3 out put, with my input at 6 or 7. Plenty loud enough here.

    Loud enough after I added the 15" for some real bottom end. No mud here tone deafy Munjibunga.

    Sorry to be harsh :D
  12. TRU


    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Some 15's go deeper than some 4x10's, while some don't. :) Munji gave the specs for SWR. Can you argue with those?

    18" PA subwoofer may go lower because it is designed as a subwoofer. ;) Subs produce only the low range that might be something like 50Hz-250Hz. Most PA subs don't go really low (because they actually don't have to) but on their frequency range they are LOUD!

    15" bass cabs are not subwoofers. They produce most of the freq range of bass guitars, often something like 60Hz-5kHz. 15's often lack the punch and definition of 4x10's that many people like.
  13. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    How about this:

    Hartke 5000 - $549 (probably less used)
    Avatar B115 - $199
    Avatar B210 - $199
    Total $947 plus shipping for the Avatars.
    For an extra 50 you could get the 410 instead of the 210.

    Make sure you REQUEST 4 ohm Avatars to get the full 250 watts per chan from the Hartke :D

    I have the 5000 with SWR WM 1X15 and 2X10 8 ohm cabs and have never had to push the vol above 4 :D
  14. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    You can get a very nice rig together for $1000

    I always buy used to save $. Check the classifieds here and at harmonycentral.com It's a little better to buy used from a store because you can try it first and most places have a 30 day warranty.

    300 watts is plenty of headroom for most bands. I use a Mackie 1400i.

    Lots of people here praise Avatar speakers, I haven't heard them. Sounds like they fit your budget. I run 2 8 ohm cabs for a 4 ohm load. 2 cabs are good because you can leave one at home for small gigs etc. What to put in each of those cabs is a subjective decision - I use 1x15 + 2x10 right now, it's got bottom and punch.

    You can get a used preamp for under $200. Many people recommend the Yamaha PB-1 (I think, the model # may be wrong). I use a Tubeworks blue tube.

    Happy Shopping!
  15. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    thanks for the advice, everyone...I think I'm going to look into those Avatars, but my only concern is not being able to try them out before they're shipped. I wouldn't be trying them out at all, most likely, if it weren't for the glowing reviews I've seen here. I was shooting to have something for this weekend to prevent playing direct through the PA again (you can imagine how frustrating/embarassing it is to not have an amp to use), but I think long-term it'll be a better idea to pursue all my options. Everyone here has given me a lot to think about, so thanks for that.

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