how far can I turn up?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ajak, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    I will play my first metal gig in january. :bassist: :hyper:

    As a backline I will bring my Ashdown MAG 600H head and my MAG 410t deep cab. The amp is 575 Watts at 4 Ohms (1000 Watts peak), the cab is rated 450 Watts (8 Ohms).

    How far can I turn up my amp without blowing my cab? I'm not sure how loud it will have to be, but I want to be sure that I'm not asking too much out of my cab.

  2. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    If you are in the FOH mix, you shouldn't have to push it to the limit.
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    The best thing to do is set it up at home and play through it and test the volume settings and go as high as you can before you start to hear the speakers farting out. Do this with whatever EQing you may want (especially if you are boosting any lows).

    Then either mark or label the max volume and when at the gig DO NOT exceed that mark no matter how tempted you might be to do so. DO NOT exceed the low end settings either.

    The reason I say to check this at home alone first is that attempting to hear speaker fartout in the midst of a full band barrage of noise, you may not hear it until it's too late.
  4. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    11? hehe
  5. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Seriously since you're running an 8 ohm cab you should be ok. Just use your ears and don't max out the bass EQ.
  6. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I hate to get all Get Off My Lawn on you're approaching this the wrong way. This gig isn't an opportunity to drive your rig as loud as you possibly can. If you (or worse, your guitar players) are thinking like this you could have serious problems.

    First, you're going to make your band sound bad. One of the biggest challenges to the engineers running the mixing desk is dealing with all the junk noise bleeding off the stage. The less of it there is, the better he can do his job. Therefore, turn your amps up to the minimum volume required for you all to hear yourselves and no more. (That could still be fairly loud, especially if you have a loud drummer and/or its a big stage.)

    Second, you're damaging your hearing. Turn down. And wear ear protection.

    Third, you're right: you run a real risk of damaging your gear. Basically you need to watch two things. Any warning indicators on your amp that its up too high (flashing lights, it suddenly stopping making any noise for a minute...) And also distorted sounds coming from your speakers. Hearing this means you're damaging them and may have already blown one or more of them. (Problem is, if you guys are really loud you may not notice until it's far too late.)

    Now that I've killed your buzz, harshed your mellow and otherwise crushed your dreams...congrats on the gig! I honestly hope it's super awesome. :)
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Isn't that pretty much the whole point of playing metal? :cool:
  8. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Heh. Okay. Flatulent sounds coming from your speakers. :)
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I am Passinwind, and some of you are not!
  10. Does the amp have a rating for 8 ohms? (I looked at Ashdown's site and didn't see one, but maybe they have more complete specs in the paper manual.) If it's 575W at 4 ohms, I would sort of expect that at 8 ohms it's probably below the 450W for which the cab is rated, but if you can't confirm that, definitely don't bet the speakers' lives on it...

    The "find the minimum fart level and stay below it" method should be safe. Maybe best to give yourself some extra headroom, on the theory that you might dig in harder than you expect with a full band making noise at you.

    Or you could use the Calvin & Hobbes methodology:

  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I wouldn't put any stock in that. Those ratings aren't the same thing as the mechanical limits they'll reach much sooner.

    Probably true.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.

    If you are in danger of blowing speakers rated at 450 watts then you will damage your hearing. You can buy more speakers, but you can't buy new ears.

    When a band plays that loud I walk out.
  13. ^ This is how you do it.

    Scott is right too, I hope you don't need to max out your rig because that will be blowing away any vocal PA I've played with.

    Also, you would have to be playing a concert venue before you wouldn't be interfering with full house PA system. 99/100 at a club you would be turned off in the PA and your crappy dispersion 4x10 sound terrible for a big chunk of the audience.
  14. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Definitely do the fart test while playing hard. Mark the settings. Wear earplugs. When you get to the gig, use a DI and let the soundman work his magic. Don't turn up louder than your bandmates need it to hear you, and do not go past your test settings.
  15. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    The only thing you should test is this. How loud do you need to turn up to achieve your desired tone? Not volume; tone: the one you like in your bedroom or rehearsal space. Ashdown's are great and warm for metal. I wouldn't envision you would need more than 25% on the front end, 40-50% on the master depending on your bass and the room size.

    A common misconception with metal gigs is that you need to move air from your amp in order to keep up with a mic'd drumkit. You dont. Lots of people push their gear to 11 because they can and it makes your band sound poor. It really does separate the boys from the men at the metal gig.

    The only exception to this rule is if for some reason you're not running through the desk. If you're not being sent through the desk (or at least being cab mic'd) don't take it in your stride; ask why and do everything you can to have a DI line out. If it's impossible then, and only then should you be pushing your amp a bit harder. I've only had to do this once in a decade, and let me tell you; if the venue doesn't have a way of sending a bass signal to the desk, you're going to all sound terrible regardless.

    Your amps combined might have 6-700w of output (assuming your guitarist(s) have Marshall/Mesa equivalent heads). A medium size venue PA will probably have 1000s of very responsive watts. I'd rather be audible from the FOH speakers any day of the week because it's the loudest piece of equipment in the room by a long way. If your stage volume is too loud the engineer will have to take you out of the PA to try and compensate and it will end up sounding like mudd.

    Turning down allows the engineer (as has already been noted) to use all their available headroom for eq. This is a good thing and a good engineer will make you sound like a great live band.

    If your guitarists insist on turning themselves up in contest with the drummer, get new guitarists. If your engineer can't turn low stage volume inputs into ballsy FOH sound get a new engineer.

    And whatever you do never pump your volume mid set; you'll bugger everything completely. If you cant hear yourself tell your engineer.

    EDIT: Query though. What is it about this gig that makes you think that you're going to need to have more volume than in your rehearsal space?
  16. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Thanks Charlie, you cheered up my entire evening! :D
  17. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    For metal I cut the lows or at least run them flat. On your MAG boost the low mids. Then raise your Master a few notches higher. The more you cut that low bass, the more you can push the master which gets the rest of your actual tone out. Unless your cab doesnt like mids that is how you get max output without risking blowing it from boom frequencies. I used a MAG 300 at one point. When my guitarists were complaining that I was too loud and I believe them, I'd turn down just a dash. That would be the right volume level.
  18. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    True ^^
  19. Bass Unique

    Bass Unique

    Nov 3, 2011
    Just a few thoughts:

    I used to have this combination using an 8 ohm MAG410 and I found that I had to have the master volume on the MAG600H way higher than I had on the MAG300H - something about input sensitivity but it certainly had more headroom.

    If you run lots of low end you will fart out quickly, especially with the blue line speakers - in fact about 40W each at the worst frequency in this cab so 160W for the cab... which is about half what the amp can deliver in to 8 ohms.

    If you really need output and want low end then either get a second MAG410 cab to run it 4 ohms which will probably be fine, especially as it would be much more efficient due to increased cone area, or get a different setup if you need something compact.

    Seems from the above threads people are assuming you have an engineer and FOH PA backup. You may be playing in pubs and need the output from the rig - in which case 2 x 410's also look better :)
  20. wednesdayagain


    Sep 28, 2012
    11th heaven