Heads & Cabs with Active 18v basses

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Clark O'Neill, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Clark O'Neill

    Clark O'Neill

    Jan 19, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    I've recently had a Musicman Bongo 5 arrive. She's running beautifully, but seeing as she's an 18v compared to my previous 9v basses, she was pushing my head and cabinet at practice on Sunday and was clipping pretty regularly even with the -15 Db cut on in my head activated.

    I'm currently using a Gallien Kruker 700rb-II head (480w, 4ohm) through a Hartke 410XL (400w, 8ohm) cab. This has been the first time I've had to look into the tech side of the electronics of bass gear som I'm a bit unfamiliar with the best course of action and the full ins and outs.

    Any advice on whether it be new gear or tuning in the head, whatever, would be very much appreciated :)
  2. Thrillhouse


    Jan 21, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I was under the impression that an 18v preamp adds more clean headroom and not necessarily more output volume. Either way, you could just back off your pickups a bit to lower the volume of your bass or dial back the boost on whatever onboard EQ you've got.
  3. Makatak


    Apr 13, 2002
    New Zealand
    I presume you set your pre-gain before your master ? Might pay to set it to only just clipping. My Bongo doesn't honk much more than my JB-2
    Clark O'Neill likes this.
  4. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Shouldn't be that hot. 18V preamps are for dynamic range not driving a power amp directly. You should find an output level trimmer on the onboard preamp.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    there's no correlation between 18V preamps and a bass being louder.
    B-string likes this.
  6. Clark O'Neill

    Clark O'Neill

    Jan 19, 2015
    Thanks for the advice guys, fairly new to looking into the technical side of electronics. I appreciate it :)
  7. Clark O'Neill

    Clark O'Neill

    Jan 19, 2015
    I did have some of the Pre Amp EQ pumped pretty high as I'm used to be being able to do that with my 9v. I think that might be exactly the problem. Thanks man :)
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    The three basses that get most use have 18V electronics. They are no louder at the output jacks than my 9V bass.
  9. Wow... I never considered this. YOU CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Thank You.
    B-string likes this.
  10. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Boosting too much on a 18 volt system will surely clip the input section faster than you can blink. Keep the boosts in small amounts and you should be ok.
  11. My Bongo runs just a touch on the hot side. I looked in the cavity and did not see an adjustable pot. There are 3 boards in there, no pots. Suggestions?

    On a side note: My 9v. ESHs did have them.
  12. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    A touch hot is nothing to worry over and the gain is set by component choice. Option there is only to lower the pickups away from the strings. Excessive gain without an adjustment would IME mean a miss-build or defective component. An in bass preamp that is so hot as to overload most amp inputs shouldn't be by design, exception being overuse of tone controls.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    like i said,
    9V ibanez soundgear pres will boost the crap out of the signal when you crank the bass knob, EMG pres at 18V are still sort of under control even with the bass knob dimed.

    battery voltage has nothing to do with it.
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