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Help a frustrated idiot out

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RR9900, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. RR9900


    Nov 17, 2012

    Ive been hacking around in bands for awhile now, but about 4 years ago I started taking it alittle more seriously. Unfortunately, im terrible with the technical aspects of the business. I dont understand why I keep blowing cabs...

    I got a Goldline bass head with a small cab at first, all the specs are below. The cab blew in about a year and a half or so. I was told that it would work even though the wattage was less.

    I then got the goldline 4x10. That blew in about a year and a half. Played with it a bit for practice, I used the direct out for shows anyways. 3 different people at guitar center said it should have worked(even with the different Oms...this now seems ridiculous I know) and that they've used the same set up fine...a guy I contacted at the GK headquarters said they shouldnt have been mixed.

    Then I got a fender rumble, and that blew in less than 3 months.

    I take care of my stuff, and never overworked anything, what the heck is going on? The one im questioning the most is the fender...it seems like it should have been perfect. Can it be something with the head? Im sick of spending money on cabs. All the specs are below...

    Goldline Bass Head
    500W of toroidal power at 4 ohms

    Gallien-Krueger 210BLX-II
    2 - 10" woofers
    200W handling
    1/4" input.

    Goldline 410GLX
    Power (RMS): 400W
    Power (Program): 800W
    Impedance: 8 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 100dB
    Max SPL: 126dB
    Frequency Response: 30Hz to 7kHz

    Fender Rumble 410
    1000W program handling, 500W continuous
    4 ohms
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    You need your cab to be continuous rated at about twice what the head is rated. So either a 4 ohm 1000w continuous cab or an 8 ohm 600w continuous cab. This is a general rule-of-thumb and there are (rare) exceptions.
  3. hodgy


    May 5, 2004
    Bothell, WA
    Tech Support- Ampeg/ Mackie
    It absolutely could be an issue with the head. Possibly there is DC on the output- that will tear through speakers. I'm not at all familiar with the GK, but having worked on other solid state amps, that would be the first thing I check. Meaning, that unless you are savvy with the electronics, it might be time for a tech.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Your first head and cabs were a bad power mismatch - the cabs were bound to fail if you pushed the cab at all. If anyone told you differently, they were wrong.

    If the Rumble failed, I suspect you're boosting the bass frequencies too much. That can blow speakers even when they're within their operating power.
  5. RR9900


    Nov 17, 2012
    Yeah, eventually Im going to take the head to a tech, lurking these boards for a while I figured id see what people had to say here first.

    Im really leaning towards just getting a combo amp next and not even worrying about it.
  6. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    You're blowing up 4x10's and you think a combo is going to be enough for you?
  7. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Any videos of you playing? The reason I'm asking is that it's harder to describe how you play than it is for someone to see something that may matter WRT the reason you keep blowing up equipment.

    I was thinking about this last week and it seems likely that most people who launch speakers need a subsonic filter because they're sending frequencies to their speakers that the speakers can't handle. Playing a lot of double-stops or a bass with a low B string will cause this very easily. Sub-harmonics can be created and with the low B having a fundamental frequency of about 32 Hz, one octave lower is 16 Hz, which is clearly lower than A) useable, B) lower than the speaker can handle and C) probably lower than the amp wants to see. Also, double-stops at high power levels can cause high amounts of inter-modulation distortion and this usually manifests itself by producing a sum & difference frequency- if a low E and the low B are played, the sum is about 73 Hz, which isn't a problem but the difference frequency is about 10 Hz, clearly not what the equipment is capable of, especially at high power levels.

    If you have a subsonic filter and haven't used it, use it. If the amp calls it a high pass filter, it means the same thing.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I would also invest in a [sfx] Sounds microthumpinator
  9. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    The GK BLX and Goldline cabinets aren't nearly as robust as the RBH or newer neo GK cabs. They might do OK with careful EQ - slightly boosted low and mid mids (200-600 hz, give or take), and the bass knob cut to 10:30 or 11:00 O'clock. Usually, you will be heard more clearly, even if you have better cabs that can handle more bass.

    If you like GK, consider a 700rbII and some better cabs, although your goldline head might be fine, they just don't get talked about much around here...........
  10. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
  11. ThisBass


    Aug 29, 2012
  12. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Are you using an equalizer? How do you set the controls- post a typical setup.
  13. RR9900


    Nov 17, 2012
    I never crank anything too much, I guess the bass would be a bit over the 11 oclock or so someone mentioned...rarely use a low b string...the head even has a -10 db switch that I almost always have on, so again not really pushing the envelope much at all...
  14. 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
    Well, yes you are, somewhere along the chain of gain stages. Bass cabinets are not capable of infinite volume - you can't just keep turning them up when it's not loud enough. They have physical limits. The -10dB switch is irrelevant.

    Your gain stages start at the bass. The most obvious is the volume knob. Less obvious are the EQ knobs. Every time you turn up an EQ knob, you are adding gain to the circuit. When the signal gets to the amp, it enters the preamp. The preamp adds gain to send to the power amp section. Just as on your bass, every EQ knob on the front of your amp can add gain to the signal. Your amp has both a gain and master knob, so it has those two gain stages plus four EQ gain stages. It also has boost and countour, both of which add gain when turned up at all.

    So you have to manage every gain stage in your circuit. I run my GK MB800 (500 watts at 8 ohms) into my Bergantino AE210 (400 watts, 8 ohms) all the time. I've never driven it into farting, but the first thing I'd do if it farted is turn it down. Uh oh! But now not enough volume for the gig? I screwed up - I guess I'm just not going to be heard as well tonight. I'll bring a bigger rig next time.

    That's the other part of it. You have to be able to recognize the sound of a cab being overdriven, and have the discipline to turn it down and live with the sonic consequences. Listen to your cab. It will tell you when it doesn't like what you're doing to it.
  15. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    What's set to 11 O'Clock- the bass control, treble, volume, gain, drive...? As Munji posted, every control increases the level of the signal and the effect is cumulative. What may not seem "too much" to you may be way beyond the limits to an electronic circuit that gives no visual representation of how clean/distorted it is. The amp doesn't care if you need more volume- it has limits to what it can do and this starts at the power supply but extends to the output stage. Also, when the output transistors are running hard & hot, they have a couple of options, by design- they either experience "thermal runaway" (really, really bad) or they limit the current flowing through themselves (MOS-FET), as a means of protection. Some amps have other protection circuits that handle this and none of them allows unlimited output.

    This is from the GK site-
  16. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Are you quite sure you have the right sort of speaker rig for your amp, if you like a bit of distortion you might not be hearing when the cab is getting quite uncomfortable.
    This is a rather nice little combo:
    as in combination of the right size speakers for the job in hand.
  17. I would think that if yoiu had a pair of 8 ohm 2x12's or 4x10's you would likely stop blowing cabinets. It seems you are jsut asking for more then your cab setup can deliver, be it absolute volume or volume of your lowend.
  18. RR9900


    Nov 17, 2012
    It's definitely not a volume issue. I haven't even played out since I got
    The fender. Volume never went over 20-25%
  19. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    That;s what they're trying to explain. Unless you actually measured the amps output with a meter, there's no way to know how much power it's producing. Knob positions mean nothing. Amps have gain stage after gain stage, and every knob has the potential to up that gain. The ONLY way to fry so many spkr cabs is by overpowering them, unless your amp has problems, in which case an amp tech is the only remedy.
  20. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    What effects do you have between the bass and the amp? How many can add gain and how do you have the controls set?