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Head for a 600W 4x10 Cab: To under or overpower?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by frankthetank727, Jun 15, 2012.


  1. frankthetank727

    frankthetank727

    Jul 7, 2011
    I've got a mesa boogie 4x10 cab that is 600W. I've currently got a 500W head on it but I always feel like I gotta crank it to get it to the volume I want it at. I have started looking at new heads but I was wondering, is it better to have a head that is slightly less in wattage than the cab or vice versa? I had been looking at the Orange Terror series and they make amp heads that are 500W and 1000W and I can't decide which one would be a better option. Any advice on the technicalities of this would be awesome. Thanks!
     
  2. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    Do you not like the sound coming out of the cabinet with your current head?

    As long as it sounds good don't worry if you have to crank it.

    What is your current head?

    Orange Terror are some cool heads but they are probably not what you want if you are looking for clean power.
     
  3. frankthetank727

    frankthetank727

    Jul 7, 2011
    I've got this head:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/bugera-bvp5500-550w-valve-bass-amplifier-head

    It's decent in my opinion. I spent alot of money on the cab at the time so I was forced to buy a cheaper head. It claims its 550 watts but it really never feels like it, especially since I feel I can't push the preamp hard at all without it sounding awful. I play in metal band so I just don't really feel like I'm getting appropriate power and the tone isn't spectacular to me
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You can use less or more power than the cab can take, but what you have to have a good supply of is common sense in either scenario. If your cab sounds like it's going to explode, it likely will. Just bear that in mind and you're cool.

    BUT...if you have to crank your cab hard to get the volume where you want it, adding more wattage is so not the answer. Twice as much wattage as you have now will only increase the output slightly. A second identical 410 will increase the volume significantly.

    BTW, good call on buying the more expensive cab instead of a more expensive head. Cheap basses and amps through a great cab will sound great. Expensive basses and amps through a cheap cab always sound like crap.
     
  5. +1

    You can use a 2,000 watt amp with a cab rated for 200 watts, just be smart with your volume knob.

    to better address your question on a amp, what is your budget?
     
  6. frankthetank727

    frankthetank727

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I actually just tried researching even more about this head and it looks like 550 watts is the peak and its about 350watts rms (kind of weird that this information was hard to find if you ask me) so I really think I'm not getting enough power for that cab right now. Do you know of any amps that are in general just really loud but also have good tone or should I consider that 500W Terror Bass amp/other amps in the 500-600W range?
     
  7. frankthetank727

    frankthetank727

    Jul 7, 2011
    Budget right now isn't huge, however, if you suggest that something that is worth it, I could spend the time saving up for it. I just want to know what some good suggestions would be nonetheless. So maybe suggesting a few things across a few price ranges would be helpful too.
     
  8. It's interesting...that head seems to be directly descended from an Ampeg SVT3Pro (based on the specs and front and rear panels.)

    On the question... The lower output head would be a better choice. Less chance of an "oopsie" taking out your drivers. Beyond that, even at double the wattage, you'd only get 3 dB louder... Though, if you think you might add another cab at some not too distant point in the future, the more powerful head will be advantageous.
     
  9. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Also, assuming the Mesa cab is an 8 ohm cab, the amp is likely putting out LESS power than you think.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That is one of the many reasons Behringer will never see a dime of my money. To quote peak wattages and make the consumer dig for the RMS numbers just to inflate them is pathetic.

    But OTOH, the difference between 350w and 500w is miniscule when it comes to volume. All you end up doing is increasing headroom so you can have a little cleaner sound at the same volume. I know it's not the solution you want to hear, but if you REALLY want to be louder, get a second 410.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If the word "descended" means "stolen," then I would agree. All they did was steal the design, use the cheapest parts from Behringer's vast warehouse of cheap parts to build it, and change the look a little. And as a tube snob, I highly resent that they call it a tube head. It is NOT a tube head. It is a hybrid with a tube preamp and driver section and a MOSFET power amp.
     
  12. From Ampeg I would look at:

    PF-350
    PF-500
    SVT-7pro
    SVT-CL/VR

    From GK:

    MB500
    MB500 Fusion
    MB800
    700RB
    1001RB

    Markbass:

    They get lots of love, not my tone but I would check any of them out.

    Mesa Boogie:

    They have some amps that I would be very interested in trying, their availability isnt great where I am.

    Peavey:

    I would look at some of their used heads, I really dig both of mine.



    Hope this helps, it will really come down to what tone you prefer.
     
  13. (For move volume (SPL)) If your current Mesa 410 cab is 8 ohms, add another identical cab - problem solved!!!
     
  14. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    I heard a band using that same Bugera one time and I thought it actually sounded pretty good (now how long it will last and build quality are a whole other thing).

    Perhaps it has something to do with how you have it set. Any info on the settings would be useful.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well sure...if you're going to steal, steal from the best ;) I'm sure it sounds lovely since it's a cheap version of the 3 Pro.
     
  16. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    By no means was I making an assertion that it was an ethical design, only that it sounded pretty good.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I knew that! I just don't usually pass up a chance to take a shot at Behringer.
     
  18. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    As far as quality inexpensive alternatives go you could always look at the Hartke LH series. Even the 500 watt is an honest 500 watts, I have plenty of volume from my 200 watt Hartke as a matter of fact.

    The Peavey stuff is good and inexpensive.

    The Carvin stuff.

    GK

    and of course Ampeg, the PF series sounds great and is fairly affordable.
     
  19. +1

    I totally missed out on mentioning hartke and carvin. I Gas for a b2000 to pair with my 1515/66 sometimes...
     
  20. Tractorr

    Tractorr

    Aug 23, 2011
    Philadelphia
    Understandable, I remember mixing on a Behringer mixer and thinking that the knobs on a Fischer Price toy felt more connected to something.
     

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