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How much cab do I need

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cchorney, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    Hi folks,

    I've been reviewing and searching on this forum (and others) on this topic, and the best I've found is "it depends". I'm hoping I can get at least a baseline (pun intended) on what the minimum in weight and price is that I can get away with.

    I'll explain.

    I play in a rock band and have 2 rigs –

    One is a SWR WorkingmanÂ’s 15 combo which barely keeps up volume wise. At my last gig (a bar) I had it at max vol and about 4 on the gain to be heard at all over the drums and guitar, any more gain and it got distorted, but I needed it a little louder still.

    My other rig is a GK 800-RB head which I play thru a Kustom 2x15. The amp is awesome but the Kustom cab weighs a TON.

    My thought is, I want to sell the SWR and buy a cab for my GK head without breaking the bank - or my back. I often can play thru the PA but not always, so I need to be able to produce sound in a club or bar setting that is sufficient to be heard thru the sound of the drummer, guitar player, etc.

    The GK 800-RB, for those not familiar, has a 300 watt 4 ohm low end amp and a 100 watt 8 ohm high end amp, all in the same box.

    Looking at the current offerings on the market these days, it seems like manufacturers are offering less cabs with 15s and more with 12s and 10s. I thought bass cabs only had 15s, and here people are running 10s for a bass - man I must be old (so where's my jet pack?!)

    Ok, so for you folks that are or have been in rock bands playing with acoustic drums and enthusiastic tube amped guitarists, what sort of cab arrangement (or just cab singular) can I get that will allow me to cut thru the sound without breaking my bank or my back? Is there a single cab smaller than a 2x15 that will realistically keep up with the band if I use it on the 4 ohm, 300 watt side? Coming out of the 4 ohm side I know my Kustom 2x15 does (tho it does sound a bit dull) but I am not sure if a 2x12 or a 4x10 is up to the task.

    I know most cabs seem to be 8 ohms these days, so obviously a solution that looks toward growing my rig would be to find a way to run 8 ohm cabs, but if I run an 8 ohm cab thru my 4 ohm output I will be cutting my 300 watts down to about 200 watts. Is there an inexpensive device to run in series with an 8 ohm cab that will simulate a second 8 ohm cab so I can just run 1 8 ohm cab over my 4 ohm side at full power (or is it sitting next to my jet pack)?

    I know neo magnets are lighter and more expensive than the ceramic equivalent. I tried a Genz Benz 210 and it sounded pretty full but I couldn't try it at "band volume".

    Ideally, I would like to get an answer like "you need a cab with a minimum of this many of that size speakers to cut thru the mix, and here is the specific of what I run".

    Suggestions, advice, your 1 cab solution, please?
  2. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I have a 4x10 Ampeg SVT410HLF that pumps out more lows than any other cab Ive had (which includes 2x12's 15's, etc). However it is heavy and 4 ohms. Not a problem usually for me but it is not light. And it can be more than I need for some gigs in small bars/clubs. So, I bought an Ampeg 2x10 at 8ohms and I plan on buying another one so I can stack them vertically. This way, when I need the volume, I can bring both (which are only 26lbs a piece) and just take one when I need something smaller. I use my Markbass LMII and even with just one 2x10, I can get enough volume to keep up.
  3. safeshow


    Aug 31, 2010
    you can add an external cabinet to your combo to put out more watt...
  4. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I use an Avatar 410 cab and that's it. I always have sufficient PA support, except for at practice :p. Even at full volume rehearsals though, that cab with my SVT keep up very easily with two half stacks (Peavey 5150 and a Mesa/Boogie).
  5. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Not what the OP is looking for. The wattage increase as well won't buy you much volume - but the additional speaker area would. If I were in your exact shoes, playing in my band and such, I'd ditch the combo and 2x15 and look for a 4x10 :). But, you might not like it for some reason, so as usual, just get to a local shop and try everything you can. If you can try it with your own band, all the better.
  6. jackcheez


    Sep 13, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    You would be amazed at what a good 2 X 12 cab can do now days. :cool:
  7. Maybe look into a GK Neo 4x10/2x10/2x12/etc...

    They would allow you to get the most out of your 800rb's bi-amping abilities... at least, that's what i would think...

    EDIT: or maybe even sell everything and look into one of the newer light weight combos... GK MB210 or MB212 would be a great choice, and they're suuuuuper light weight.
  8. IME a decent 4x10 and 300 watts will cover most gigs unless the band is really loud.
    Good luck! :D
  9. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    4ohm 4x10. I'd go for a GK neo 410 personally. Under 7lbs and the 4 ohm version will allow you to get all 300 watts out of your 800rb
  10. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    This is the problem.

    To get lighter AND Better..Money is usually the drawback.

    I am going to get 2 GK neo 210s to replace my current 410.

    I think theyre about $450+ a piece.(thats the drawback when you got no $)

    I have HEARD good things about the GK neo 112s too..(just havent tried them myself)
    So, maybe a coupla those could work for ya...?..

  11. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    wow, thanks for all the quick replies. It sounds like the early consensus is that a 4x10 neo at 4 ohms is a good way to go.

    Sadly, I can't use the GK Neo series - my amp is 1/4 inch jack only. This may push me to an Avatar 410 Neo (can't test ride them) or a Genz Benz non-neo 410 or a neo 212.

    What is the difference in sound between a 212 and a 410? I checked the product manual and for the GK Neo cabs, the 410 goes from 30 Hz to 19 kHz while the 212 only goes from 53 Hz to 19 kHz. So - deeper bass sound using the same amp?
  12. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    I am starting to think that the 2x210 setup is just about the ideal for flexibility, portability, and volume if needed. You're covered from small to pretty large gigs and rehearsals, and if you need any more, there's almost guaranteed PA.
  13. You can buy cables with 1/4 on one side and speakon on the other you know.
  14. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2010
    Meriden, CT
    I did not know that, so thanks - that opens up a lot of options for me!
  15. You can also buy these and convert your existing 1/4" cable to a 1/4 to speakon. No soldering required.
  16. Fufubear


    Dec 13, 2008
    I play in a Hardcore band, and we get real loud... My set up is an SWR 4x10 and SWR 1x15 with a head that only gets 250 watts with that 4 ohm load. But i drown them all out if i turn my volume to 2, so it is PLENTY loud. I would highly recomend you get an SWR 1x15 (mine is like 60 ppounds or so.) and one of their 2x10's also. That should be plenty loud for you and it will keep you with a 1x15 which you are used to. And if its too heavy they make a Golight series which is considerably lighter. Buy two 8 ohm cabs an you will get your full 300 watts out of it too.
  17. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    If you've been using a 215 cabinet you'll need a 410 or maybe a 212 to get the volume you need , a 210 would be too small . Avatars are good cabinets and you can get them in 4 ohms . A 4 ohm 410 neo would get you about the same volume as the 215 cab you have now and it has a very good low end and still stays pretty tight through the mids . I had one a few years ago and it worked very well on some big outdoor gigs by itself , very nice cab !
  18. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    I'm running two, 8 ohm, Avatar 210 Neo cabinets as a vertical 410, I was driving them with a old G.K. 800 head...sounded GREAT!
    Recently, I retired the 800 and went to a G.K. MB-500 head into the same cabs. (The 800 is parked at the rehearsal space.)
    I'm with a loud, 6 pcs., country/rock group...no problem cutting through with the G.K./Avatar combination.
    CC, don't be afraid of Avatar, there great cabinets.
    Their well built and they use the same speakers and horns that the brand name bass cabinet manufacturers use...They just cost half as much as the brand name cabinets.
  19. alck


    Jul 2, 2006
    If you're committed to keeping the head and want to have a 2 cab setup, you could start with a 410 4 ohm or a 2-12 4 ohm. Avatar neo 2-12's are often less than $300 used and weigh less than 60 lbs. (410s are slightly more lbs. and $$, both handle 500 wts.). When you get more $$ you can add a 2nd cab for the biamp side (again, Avatar 210s, 112's Carvin 210s, or one of the many 112's are inexpensive).

    Frankly I'm not "getting" biamp setups...another option is sell the head and look for one that supports 2 ohm operation...lots of heads out there in the 300 wt@ 4ohm or 450 wt@2 ohm range. SWR, Ampeg, Genz... Then get two 4 ohm cabs...a little one for indoor gigs, two cabs for outdoors or big places.

    Buy your stuff used...craigslist for cabs if you're in a metro area...ebay for heads.

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