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HELP! i have a big fullstack rig and i dont know how to use its full potential...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sylex's Bassist, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Sylex's Bassist

    Sylex's Bassist

    Nov 28, 2008
    Morro Bay
    ok, so im a very young musician. and i know barely anything about amps. but dont get me wrong, im not a noob when it comes to bass. im a recording artist and ive got a nice fullstack rig......problem is, other than connecting the cables in the right jacks and hitting the power button, i dont have a clue how to use it to its full potential.

    do you think you could help me out?

    ive got a Behringer 450 watt solid state head going into a swr goliath II junior 2 x 10

    its also hooked up to a traynor cab with a peavey 18"black widow."

    my problem is that the traynor cab is old and the labels for ohms and wattage is rubbed off. and i bought the swr used and it doesnt have all the information regarding wattage or ohms on the back.

    so my question for you is this a good setup? because it seems like the traynor cab uses a lot more power, because im clipping out on my amp at about 7 with a passive bass. should i get a more powerful head? or maybe hook up another cab to split the ohm down to 2?

    any help is appreciated. thank you for taking the time to help me out.

    ---Sylex's Bassit
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Goliath II Jr is 8 ohms, and the Traynor cab is more than likely 8 ohms as well. If you know someone handy with an ohm meter, you can have them measure it to make sure, but I think it's a fairly safe bet it's 8 ohms. You definitely don't want to add another cab. Hooking up both of them makes a 4 ohm load, and I'm almost positive your head won't do anything lower than 4 ohms. Wattage-wise, you're probably close to the maximum these cabs can handle already, so don't bother getting more wattage. You may want to look into upgrading your head in the near future, but don't add much wattage unless you also get cabs that can take more power.

    Is it a good rig? If you like it, it's the greatest rig ever made, bro!
  3. Yep, the Behringer is minimum 4 ohms... do not add another cab! I am also certain that the Black Widow is an 8 ohm driver. Because, if it were 4 ohms, I think your head would be quite dead right now!
  4. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi Sylex's Bassist.

    Those SWR Goliath Junior cabs are currently available in 4 ohm and 8 ohm versions. You could remove one of the cab's speakers and see what its impedance is (this information should be inked or stamped on the back of the driver near its terminals).

    If the speaker is 16 ohms, then your SWR cab will 8 ohms. (16 ohms + 16 ohms in parallel = 8 ohms)

    If the speaker is 8 ohms, then your SWR is the 4 ohm version. (8 ohms + 8 ohms in parallel = 4 ohms)

    BTW. If you download and examine the manuals for both versions of your SWR cab, you may find a model # in one of them which corresponds to whatever may be written on your 2x10" cabinet.


    To my knowledge Traynor never loaded their cabs with Peavey speakers. You can pull the 18" Black Widow from the Traynor cab to see what its impedance is as per the above instructions.

    CAUTION: Avoid putting holes in your speaker's cones by CAREFULLY guiding the screwdriver's tip with the fingers & thumb of one hand in order to control the tip in case the screwdriver slips while loosening the speaker's mounting screws (which will likely be in quite tight).


    An alternate method of measuring your two cabinets' impedance using a multimeter set to measure resistance:

    With the cabinets unplugged from your amp, plug one end of a speaker cable into a cab and then touch the jack on the other end with one of the multimeter's two probes contacting the jack's tip, and the other probe contacting the jack's sleeve.

    Take a reading for each cab and post it in this thread so that someone who has actually done this (I haven't) can interpret the readings for you.


    EDIT: What's the model # of your Behringer amp? Have you downloaded and examined its manual?
  5. Sylex's Bassist

    Sylex's Bassist

    Nov 28, 2008
    Morro Bay
    thanks for the advice! the behringer is the standard BXT4500 head....i hate it. anyway, not the point. im pretty sure the peavey speaker is rated at 8 ohms because its the 1808-8 model.

    so with my active bass, i have to turn up almost all the way and with the gain at about five or six. keep in mind, my guitarist uses a JCM900 and a gibson 61 reissue SG, so he plays LOUD. if i want to upgrade my head to have a little more headroom volume wise, i should look for a head that can handle maybe a higher wattage at 4 ohms, or look for a head thats about as powerful at 2 ohms?

    thanks again for taking the time to explain this to me...
  6. Sylex's Bassist

    Sylex's Bassist

    Nov 28, 2008
    Morro Bay
    well, its sounds great with my fender 70's j bass, and i dont have to turn up as much to compete with a guitarist using a JCM900 rig.

    however, i like using my Ibanez btb because its a 5 string. that bass is active, and plugged in as active, i have to turn up more to get the same volume as the passive j bass. but turned up that much, its gets a little distorted and starts to clip.

    oh, and btw you were right on about the goliath and the traynor cab
  7. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    You're welcome SB. :)

    I've never seen nor used Behringer gear although I would say that in general, effective rock bass amps are about having cabs which move LOTS of air in addition to heads which have plenty of wattage.

    First off, in case you don't have a copy, here's the manual for your amp: http://www.behringerdownload.de/BX4500H/BX4500H_ENG_Rev_C.pdf

    Secondly, in the spirit of trying to get the most out of one's bass and rig before spending money on more gear, how do you have your bass set up? And how's your amp's gain structure & EQ?


    Here's some scribbling I did for another young player with amp EQ issues a couple of days ago. Some of this may apply to your situation:

    A lot of players set up their bass and amp EQ as follows:

    1) Make sure the bass is properly set up so that it:

    - plays well (neck relief and string height at its bridge & nut)

    - plays in tune on every note (intonation adjustment at the bass' bridge)

    - and so that its pickups are adjusted parallel with the pick-guard (this helps insure that all the strings will be amplified to the same volume) and close enough to the strings for a good string capture/strong electrical output, yet far enough away to avoid excess magnet damping of the string's vibrations (leading to a loss of sustain and weird out-of-tune harmonics).

    Having one's bass professionally set up is a shortcut to achieving the above.

    2) Set the instrument's EQ flat (if it's an active bass, if it's a passive bass turn its tone control up full).

    3) Set the amp's EQ flat (turn off any compressors & limiters and any mid-scoop or treble/bass-boost buttons which may be labeled something like 'contour')

    4) *With the bass' on-board volume turned up full (passive bass), and with the amplifier's MASTER volume turned up a tiny amount, plug into the regular input on the amp and adjust the amp's GAIN control so that it feeds the amp a good strong signal from the bass without distorting, even when the bass' strings are plucked vigorously.

    *Please note: For active basses, modify the the plug in procedure by plugging into the amp's input marked 'pad', or 'padded', or - 6 dB etc and realize that the on-board pre-amps on some active basses are so powerful that they'll overload even the padded input on some amps. If this occurs, one will have to turn the instrument's volume knob down a little to avoid clipping/distorting the amplifier's pre-amp stage.

    4) Turn up the rig loud enough to blend with the drummer, and then tweak the amp's EQ slightly to compensate for adverse room acoustics and/or competition from other instruments.

    5) If one's band is playing so LOUD that one's bass amp is close to clipping/distorting, then turn on any clipping limiter the rig may have which is designed to limit the pre-amp signal being fed to the power amp in order to prevent often speaker-killing power amp clipping.

    6) If one's band is so LOUD that after :bassist: one's ears are ringing :eek:, then turn down or get hearing protection! Seriously!

    If the above steps are followed then one will enjoy a bass and amp combination which sounds & feels satisfyingly full, punchy, tony, and largely balanced (no bass is perfect) throughout its entire register.

    It will also sit well in the mix--a mix which will sound good for years, and years, and years 'cause you'll still have your ears! :D


    I could have sworn I saw a 'Behringer Club' of some sort on TalkBass a while ago. The folks there could be more helpful.

    I tried Googling 'Behringer, Amps, Users, Fans, Club, TalkBass' but couldn't find it. :eyebrow:

    Hopefully someone will chime in and point the way...


    EDIT: I just read post #6. Make sure your Ibanez' battery is good.


    EDIT again: Club Behringer? hey hey hey
  8. Sylex's Bassist

    Sylex's Bassist

    Nov 28, 2008
    Morro Bay
    ok cool. so i tried this all, and it sounded a little better, less clipping. but my active bass' preamp i think is actually very weak. it has a midrange boost and mid. frequency controls, which i normally leave at flat. anyway, with the basses both on full volume and the amp set at the same vlume on both tries, my active bass is alot quieter than my passive bass. is this because of the preamp? or maybe less powerful pickups? the passive bass hase seymour duncans j style on it and the active has bartolini soapbar style.

  9. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    You've got good pickups in both of your basses. Are the SD J's Quarter Pounders? If so, they're likely pretty hot.

    Your active bass may have a trim pot inside of its control cavity (these are used to reduce the output of on-board pre-amps which are sometimes too hot for some amp inputs, and will usually look like a small nylon disk with a slot in its center for a screwdriver blade).

    Please visit your active bass' manufacturer's web site and see if there's a manual.
  10. musicelectronix


    Jul 8, 2007
    Hüstın, TX
    Lead Designer, Zeibek Boutique Pedals
    I am pretty sure the pickups are Duncan Designed JB-101 (based on SJB-1), they come stock in vintage modified Squiers 70's. On the contrary, they have very low output :)

    To the op: Just plug your Ibanez to the passive input. Rule of thumb is always use the passive input if it doesn't clip your input stage. Active input is nothing but a -10 dB pad.
  11. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi Sylex's Bassist.

    Please read the bottom of post #7.
  12. Sylex's Bassist

    Sylex's Bassist

    Nov 28, 2008
    Morro Bay
    i did. brand new batts. but i tried waht musicelectronix said and it sounded alot better.

    wow, and thats all it took :p
  13. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Good! :bassist: :)

    Just out of curiosity, how many 9 volt batteries does your active bass' pre-amp use?
  14. Sylex's Bassist

    Sylex's Bassist

    Nov 28, 2008
    Morro Bay
    two. its an 18 volt source
  15. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    ps that's still a half stack. ;-)

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