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How should I run my SM-400S?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cantstandsya, Feb 3, 2002.


  1. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    I currently have a Triad(4ohms) And a Goliath Jr.(8 ohms).I am running stereo with 250 watts on one side and 200 watts on the other side.I'm thinking about selling the Triad and getting either a Goliath 4-10(8 ohms or a Big Ben 1-18 (8 ohms).This way I could run my 400S in bridged mode with the Goliath Jr. and either the Goliath or big Ben and get the full 550watts out of it.Which one of these would sound better or should I just keep what I have? I'm afraid if I get the Goliath that i'll miss having a Subwoofer.I've never played without a 15 in my setup.Would six tens do the job or would two tens and the 18 give me the big low end I crave?
     
  2. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Come on, someone must have an opinion on this.
     
  3. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Let's try to break down your question. Are you concerned about cabs or about whether bridged or stereo mode would be better?

    I don't use my 400s much lately, but I run it either left channel or bridged into a Carvin 2x10 (4 ohms). Or the 2x10 plus a 4 ohm 15 in stereo (250 watts each). Good mix n match, depending on what's needed. I'm wondering about using two 2x10 cabs, too...one per side in stereo.

    Dan
     
  4. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA


    Both...............
     
  5. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Okay...

    Well, 200 vs 250 watts is really not noticeable (but I think the 8 ohm output is 175 watts, isn't it?). So I'm not sure that changing the impedence of your cabs would make that much difference considering what else you can do with your current rig.

    I'd say that bridging pays off best when all the juice goes into one big cab. When you have two cabs, it's splitting the power between the two, and you might as well stay in stereo mode. That allows adjusting the balance between the two cabs, too.

    Unless your band is really loud, I'd imagine that you could even bridge into the Triad and do fine, despite its power rating of 400 watts vs the 500 of bridged output. For bigger gigs, you could add the Jr. and use stereo mode. Because the Triad's 15" gets only the frequencies below 100 hz, it's effectively a subwoofer already. The Jr. would mainly be filling in the mids and highs that the Triad's one 10" might strain to handle.

    For smaller gigs, you could bridge into the Jr., which handles 350 watts...you'd be running 400 watts...close enough.

    When it comes down to it, you're probably putting your sound into the PA at really loud gigs, so that this gear is mainly a monitoring system anyhow. My take is that you can do fine with your current gear unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket. The 400S is a versatile enough amp to make your cabs work several different ways.

    Dan
     
  6. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    50 watts isn't audible to the human ear, when you're getting that loud. I wouldn't worry about it, if you're happy with your tone.
     
  7. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    Thanks for the advice.I was mainly just wondering how different either the Goliath Jr.+Big Ben or the Goliath Jr+Goliath combination would sound compared to what i'm using now.I think the main problem is that when bridging the 400S into either of my cabs the tone is really happening, but using both cabs in stereo mode just doesn't sound the same.I think i'm really underpowering my cabs in stereo mode.Any suggestions on a good (cheap) poweramp?
     
  8. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    I think what might be happening is that each cab is putting out such a different signal, that they conflict with each other. I run my SM400 bridged into a 4 ohm Aguilar 410. Occasionally, I'll need more volume so I'll run the Aggie off one side and my H&K (8ohm) off the other. Not ideal but certainly usable and loud as all heck. But if I pair up a 210 with a 410 each on a side the sound goes to pot because the cabs put out such different levels.

    Keep in mind also, if you run 2 cabs off the bridge each will receive half the power (250W each) assuming equal impedance, so in essense it is almost identical to running each one off a side, the wattage difference will be inaudible.

    Why do you think you're underpowering the cabs?
     
  9. Cantstandsya

    Cantstandsya

    Jul 27, 2001
    Fontana, CA
    IMO 450 watts(stereo w/8ohm+4ohm cabs) into 750 watts worth of speakers is underpowered.The speakers just respond better when being pushed to their full capacity.I actually prefer the sound when overpowering a cab by 100 to 200 watts.I know a lot of guys who run double the power that their speakers are rated at .
     
  10. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Doubling the suggested rated wattage is called speaker clipping. If you're going for the speaker fart, you'll be reconing (if you're lucky) every year, or so.


    Underpowering isn't a problem, and should offer tighter bass, if anything. Underpowering only becomes a problem when you need to push your amp harder to get where you need to be. Then you're simply clipping the poweramp.