1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Good rig for low AND high volume use?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ChrisB2, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Still trying to decide on a rig (more info on my search here)

    Anyway, I need to zero-in on a head or preamp/power amp to drive an Avatar 212, and also the 212 with a 210 or 410. Would like the amp to have some tube involvment.

    My concern is having enough wattage to properly drive the 212+410s for loud outdoor use, and also sound good with just one of the cabs at lower volumes indoors.

    More specifically, will a high-powered rack rig with these Avatar cabs have limited tone options at lower volumes?

    Your thoughts?
  2. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    n e body???

  3. bchamorro


    Nov 13, 2007
    Miami, Florida
    im also waiting
  4. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    ChrisB2 and bchomorro: fill out your profiles.

    What kind of music are you guys playing? You say you want some tube involvement. You want to drive a 212 and also a 210 or 410 in conjunction. To me this screams pre/power setup, but I am biased because this is what I use. The nice thing I find about power amps is you have two channels, so you can adjust the volume for each speaker cab individually. If you are using two 4x10s, this isn't really necessary, but for a 2x12/2x10 setup it's great.

    What is your price range?
    Willing to buy second hand?
    Anything you've heard and liked?
    Are you wanting to spring for a tube power section, or would you be satisfied with only a tube preamp?

    I use a solid-state power amp and a tube preamp. edit: reading your previous post...

  5. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    ChrisB2: It sounds like you are on a budget. Tube preamps get pretty spendy. The Sansamp RBI and Sansamp RPM are extremely warm tube like solid-state pre's that can be had new for $300 and obviously less on the used market. Very prevalent and easy to get ahold of. I would pair that with maybe a Carvin power amp, or maybe something nicer (QSC, Crest) from the TB classifieds or craigslist. Carvin DCM1000 is a great power amp, however. I'd have to look the price up, as I don't know what they cost off the top of my head. Probably around $400.

    I use a BBE Bmax-T tube preamp. They retail for $600, but can be found for much less if you look. Typically run $300-400 on the used market. This is a great warm and fat tube pre which can be had on a budget.
  6. Quiet crowd today, huh? Here's what I'd say: if you play with a clean sound, get as many watts as you need/want for your biggest gigs and turn it down for the smaller ones. If your sound depends on running the amp near or into distortion it would be much trickier. It would then be nearly impossible to turn the amp to "the sweet spot" for both large outdoor gigs and small rooms. I use an Eden WT400 into an Epifani UL410 for electric. I think the 410 "sings" a little more when it's turned up further, but I've never felt I couldn't get a good sound at any volume. I aim for clean and thick sound, but I suppose I could crank the preamp gain for a little dirt. It wouldn't be quite the same as running the power amp ragin' full on though. Obviously this is all general, nothing brand specific. Is it any help?
    Never mind. I think Amos is providing more useful info than I am.
  7. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Amos, Jim, thanks for your replies, yes very helpful.

    I'm trying to get some input since there is a rig for sale on TB now that I'm interested in, but it would be my first so I am hesitant...

    It's an Ampeg SVP-Pro with a Crest CC2800 power amp...

    This stereo power amp is rated at 595watts/channel @ 8 ohms, 965watts/channel @ 4 ohms, or 2800watts @ 4 ohms bridged.

    Are stereo amps isolated side-to-side, i.e. two independent channels that don't get combined, ohms-wise? In other words, could I run, say, an Avatar 212 500w 8ohm cab on one channel, and a 410 1000w 4ohm on the other...?

    I know this won't draw all the power available, but I'm *guessing* that running a single 212@8ohm would let me overdrive the amp a little even at lower volumes, yet still have the ability to get close to full power output by adding the 410@4ohm...? Could I, as you say Jim, overdrive the gain on the preamp to get some growl with the power amp turned down?

    Thanks again for all your help... -Chris
  8. amos


    Oct 23, 2003
    SE Portland Oregon
    This would be a great first "pro rig".


    You wouldn't turn the power amp down, you would turn the master volume on the pre down and the input gain on the pre up to get some overdrive goin'. The SVP-Pro I've heard does this fabulously. To answer your question, yes this would work just fine.

    I would setup the power amp how you proposed; run dual mono (often mistakenly referred to as "stereo") and put the 4ohm 410 on the other channel, then adjust power amp gains to taste, meaning match the volumes of the two cabs as the 410 will be inherently louder. If running less power from the amp as opposed to bridged, you want to run the power amp gains as hot as possible and use your preamp master as overall volume control for size of room, etc. I have had the best luck with my setup doing it this way, as opposed to bridged and worrying about blowing speakers. Headroom is a combination of preamp and power gain (and combined speaker power handling too!), not just power amp gain.

    The exception to this rule would be if your poweramp is really noisy, which is doubtful if it's a crest.

    I vote yes for the SVP-Pro/Crest setup.
  9. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    This is pretty open ended and undefined, but...

    A good approach is a solid head, 2 - 1x12's, and a 4x10 or 6x10 for heavy lifting. That mix will cover almost anything.

    For small versatile heads, the LMII and GB 6.0 seem to be cat's meow right now. On a budget? Get a used GK 400RB.

    For 12's there are a slew of them; GB, Epi, Agg etc. etc. Used Aggs may not be the best, but they probably are right up there in bang for the buck.

    There are several choices in 4x10's depending again on budget. I see the older SWR's from time to time under $200 on the used market and then there are the 1K$ Epi's and Berg's etc. You get the idea. Only thing to look for there is to get a 4 ohm version.

    It seems the 6x10 of choice is the Bergie NV; but there are others as well.

    "Good luck, do your homework, listen, have fun etc etc." (Sounds like Dad-talk, but IME that's the wisdom)

    Edit: I should probably add that I bought a used Nemesis NC-410 for about $400 a while back; and that all-in-one box seems to do just about anything, and weighs in at just over 60 pounds. That is hands down the most practical box I've yet used. Not the best, but most practical.
  10. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    IMO, whatever type of "overdrive" tone you're looking for should NOT come from driving a solid state power amp into distortion. You're fuzz should be introduced into you're sound early in the signal chain, usually with an effects unit or the preamp itself(some preamps even have built-in effects). What others have said about just making sure the rig is loud enough for the big gigs and simply turning down or mixing and matching different cabs for smaller gigs is good advise. While some cabs have a "sweet spot" and can sound bigger and more open when you hit them with the watts they will sound great at ANY volume as long as their not being underpowered. It's possible with the rig you are describing that bridging into the 4x10 may give you more usable volume than running both cabs together, but, volume isn't always everything. You may also find that having more speakers running at a slightly lower volume may give you advantages, especially outside. Either way any big outdoor gig should be equipped with ample PA support so a rig like you're describing should be plenty.
    One nice thing about having two different cabs is that you really end-up with three different rigs, being able to take cabinet A, B or both A and B. Another advantage is that you can build a rig over time without having to sell off smaller cabs for a bigger one. If you're into fuzz you may give some thought to running in "dual-mode", that is running one cab clean through one half the amp and running the other half with fuzz through the other cab. Sometimes as bass players our sound can get "soft" as we introduce distortion and the solid fundamental is lost which can make it difficult to drive the band.
  11. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Thanks everyone for your insight, it's a big help. :hyper:

    This really highlights my last concern, whether this setup will have all of (or at least most of) the tone possibilities at low volume that it does at higher levels... I'm hearing that it probably will...? (concerned that the Avatar cabs need to be pushed to sound right... have I read that somewhere? Then when combined with the rack.....:confused:)

    My wife keeps saying "just do it." Probably should listen to her more. :D

    Thanks again for your time and help... -Chris
  12. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Underpowering is a myth. Get a rig that goes loud enough to cover the loudest situations you will be in, then turn the volume down for quieter environments. Unless you're using an all-tube head into vintage cabs any dirt will come from the preamp and pedals and the power amp and speakers will just make that louder. Don't worry about 'sweetspots'.

  13. A-freakin'-men. Buy power, turn it down for quiet. No rocket surgery required. ;)
  14. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    Well, I went for the Ampeg preamp/Crest poweramp rig described above. Picked up this deal from TBer David Meissner (thanks Dave!), and it is a killer rig. Haven't had much time to play around with it yet, just got it today, but all indications are it is exactly what I wanted. And freaky loud!

    Anyway, thanks to everyone who helped me make an informed decision, and understand it all a little better, in this and my original thread. All I gotta do now is enjoy my GAS relief (how long does that last?) :p

    p.s. David's great to deal with, very pleasant transaction.
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    No, assuming you have a good pre-amp. But then, all rigs have "limited tone options." Having power does not limit your tone is any way. If anything, it deepens your trick bag. :cool:

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.