How do you maximize headroom with lower wattage cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ArturoOsito, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. ArturoOsito


    Aug 21, 2012
    I have this thread going already but realize that I mis-titled it...I've got a 600w 4ohm 4x10. The impedance limits me, I realize, but it was a great price on a new cab. SO: how can I maximize my headroom without running too many watts?

    I recently played a Carvin bx500 through a Carvin 4ohm 4x10 and the low notes on my 5-string were distorting. So what the heck do I do?

    I'm looking at a little mark 3, hoping that will be muscular enough to keep the low notes clear...

    Thank you!
  2. The amp has nothing or very little to do with the lows you are going to get. Its all about the cab. That said, I would look into a HPF to preserve the headroom you have on your cab.
  3. If the Carvin was one of the Redline (RL) series, or the current "BR" series, I would not base my opinions on that since they are both weak cabs. - Much better stuff out there, including the Avatar.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    HPF - High Pass Filter - these babies can remove low end below a certain point to save your speakers.

    A simple way to maximize headroom; reduce the low end content on your amp. Between the 30hz and 80hz zone especially. Your bass knob can go to the left! :D If you have EQ sliders, even better. Going as high as 150hz to start reducing is not a bad idea either. The resulting tone may not be the greatest to your ears, but you will be able to maximize the headroom of your setup. Don't use bass boost controls off of your bass guitar and watch how you set the controls on your amp. Read the manual and figure out how to reduce the amount of low end you are using.
  5. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    ^^^^^ good advice. As mentioned, cheap version: cut lows, boost mids. You won't get the pantsflapping feeling, but they'll hear you alright.
  6. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    +1 to backing off the bass and possibly increasing mids. Listen carefully for signs of the cab struggling.
  7. ArturoOsito


    Aug 21, 2012
    Dang, I was hoping there would be a solution that wouldn't involve turning down the bass...oh well, maybe I just get a BX1500 and eventually a second cab...

    And for the record, the Carvin cab I tried was a BRX 10.4 at the factory just last week...
  8. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    Buying a second cab would by my first priority if a BX500 farted my cab already. More power is useless unless the cab can take it.
  9. Rick James

    Rick James Inactive

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    Get a better cab. And it's not about watts, it's about speaker volume displacement. AFAIK only one company even mentions displacement, even though it's the most important factor where the lows are concerned, and that's Barefaced.
  10. Taken from your other thread:
    x-max on those is 4mm. So not a huge amount of displacement.

    When you say low F# are you in standard tuning, or something else? (There are some people that tune almost an octave below standard tuning.)