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how to maximise the power of my rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mrWr0ng, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. ok, i'm having some volume problems with my rig and I really don't want to blow anything, so I'm kind of curious, maybe I can get some advice on what I can do to maximise the power of my rig for effective volume? (especially at practice, guitarist and drummer claim to have problems hearing me at all times)

    my setup is thus:

    bass -> eden WT400 ->(effects loop:) effects processor -> DOD EQ -> Behringer compressor (left channel) -> WT400 (effects in)

    I use one WT400 amp out to go to an Eden D115 (8 ohms, rated at 200 watts)

    the direct out on the eden goes to the right channel on the compressor, which then feeds to a Mackie 2600FR power amp (this is so that I can use the power amp, and still have an XLR output from the compressor free for direct in when playing shows)

    the mackie 2600FR goes to an Eden 410XLT (8 ohms, rated at 700 watts), which I just use one channel one

    the 410XLT powered by the mackie is barely louder than when it's being powered by the WT400, and I'm guessing it's because I'm only using one channel on the mackie?

    I'd like to use the other channel on the mackie, but the D115 is only rated for 200 watts, and I don't want to overload it from the Mackie, btu I find my WT400 poweramp clipping a lot at a distinguishing volume for the 115, and I'm afraid I will eventually blow it that way.

    Can anyone give me some decent recommendations? I was thinking of trying to replace my D115 with a 118XLT rated at 500 watts or so, then powering both through the mackie, but I'm kind of curious... if I got 2 cabs that were both rated at 4 ohms, would they be louder than the 8 ohm cabs? I know the mackie can deliver more wattage to them that way, but is that just because there's more resistance, therefore the actual volume would remain the same? Or would my best bet for more volume to be to switch to 4 or even 2 ohm cabs? (Mackie can deliver 1000+ watts per side to 2 ohm cabs, so the instructions say, without any problems)

    thanks a lot for any help. i've been kinda just bandaiding this a lot, but I want to be able to get the tone I want at the volume I want.
  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Your rig sounds unecessarily complicated to me. If I had your stuff, I would daisy chain the cabs for a 4 ohm load. I would use 1 side of the Mackie to power 'em and just use the Eden as a preamp. Your 15 does seem underpowered compared to the other stuff, but it's probably 400W peak so you should be able to give it more juice. IMHO
  3. the mackie can push 1700 watts at 8 ohms bridged, or about 850 watts at 4 ohms... so you're saying it would be a better idea to run the 2 cabinets daisy chained and deliver (hopefully) ~ 400 watts to each cab?

    although that number may change, cos i think the mackie puts out less power per side when only one side is used.
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I use a MAckie 1400, 1 side, into 4 0hms (2 8 ohm 200 watt cabs) and have no volume troubles. The amp can put out more but I don't need it. Yes, you could bridge it for even more power, but you might put your 15 at risk.

    Are you getting a proper input level into the mackie? Does the clip light light occassionally when you dig in? If not, your volume issue might be from feeding your power amp a weaker signal than it wants.
  5. i usually have the mackie channel 1 turned up to like... 3 o clock... no clipping whatsoever. i'm not sure how i can feed it more signal, i removed all the pedal effects from my effects loop save for the wah pedal which has bypass, and an ernie ball volume pedal... everything else i have is rackmount.

    i'm not sure how else i can preen a cleaner signal out of the setup.
  6. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I'm talking about power amp input clipping. What are your preamp settings? Do you have the gain or master out maxed? You may need to feed the mackie w/ a di box (or your comp) if the eden isn't putting out a hot enough signal. My Mackie wants a pretty hot signal, so yours probably does too. Your goal is to get the Mackie lights to light up and the clip light to blink once in awhile on peaks. That's when you know it's working at max power.
  7. i've got the gain up a little over 12 o'clock with the internal compressor off, but i have a behringer compressor in the effects loop, which could be turning down the signal a lot. so I suppose I could up the volume on the compressor a bit to send a hotter signal to the mackie if both cabs are daisy chained to it, since I won't have to worry about peaking on my eden's power amp too early. i could probably turn the gain up a little higher, too, to maybe overdrive my sound just a tad.
  8. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes, I think you're on the right track now. Get a hot signal into the mackie and it should be plenty loud. Get the lights to blink, and don't bridge it unless you don't care about your 15. :) :bassist:
  9. Not to be a wise-@&&, but that's alot of rig to be getting low volume complaints about. Have you thought about telling the guitarist to turn down a bit? I know you know this, but it's not necessary to have your ears bleed every time you play.

    You could also try changing your EQ so that you'd cut through a bit more... you wouldn't have more volume, but you'd be able to be heard through the mix a bit better.
  10. Jon R - i'm seriously not getting much more volume out of the rig than when I was just playing with the 410XLT, so i'm just trying to figure that out. once I can get a decent amount of volume, then I can turn it down, I just want to be loud enough that the guitarist and drummer can both hear me clearly, which at this point, both of them claim they can't.
  11. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Can you give us more information on the DOD EQ (such as how many bands and channels as well as EQ positions)?

    Can you give us the settings that you are using on your Eden WT400?
  12. [​IMG]

    this is my Eden EQ at the top, and my DOD EQ at the bottom. on the bass (ibanez soundgear), it's got bartolini pickups and preamp, the low is turned all the way up, mid is turned halfway up, high is turned 1/4 of the way up (i.e. half of half, 25% of as far as it will go), and the balance is right in the middle.

    http://www.eden-electronics.com/images/WT400lar.jpg is an upclose picture of a WT400 so you can see what the corresponding frequencies for the parametric EQ are. i didn't know them off the top of my head.
  13. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    You may be clipping the internal amp with the EQ (or maybe the compressor).

    Here are a couple of setups you could try:
    bass -> eden WT400 ->(effects loop effects processor -> Behringer compressor (left channel) -> WT400 (effects in)
    WT400 amp out -> Eden D115
    WT400 direct out -> DOD EQ -> Behringer compressor (right channel) -> mackie 2600FR -> Eden 410XLT

    bass -> eden WT400 ->(effects loop effects processor -> Behringer compressor (left channel) ->
    mackie 2600FR (left channel) -> Eden D115
    WT400 direct out -> DOD EQ -> Behringer compressor (right channel) -> mackie 2600FR (right channel) -> Eden 410XLT

    Note that in the 2nd example the effect loop send is used as an additional "direct out".
  14. if i use the effects loop as an additional out, then won't i be negating all of my effects?

    also, i'm reluctant to plug the D115 directly into the mackie because it will pump roughly 500 watts to it (it's rated at 200), i want to replace it with an 18 that's rated for the power, but money issues are currently complicating that. would it be safe to power the D115 directly from the mackie? If I do that, I could use the mackie's built in filter to filter out the highs and have an effective crossover, so the 410 only does the highs and the 115 only does the lows, which would definitely help clear up my sound a lot, but as i said before, i'm worried about blowing the 115.

    also, would replacing both cabs with say 4 ohm cabs be better? Or is there no negligible difference between 8 and 4 except the wattage they can handle? If there's not gonna be a volume difference then I won't worry about it, but I DO want to replace the 115 as soon as I can, so if it would be better to switch to a lower impedance, then I'll take that into consideration during my search.
  15. Wow that's too much EQ! It looks to me like you are overlapping some frequencies between the WT400 and that DOD EQ. Here's what I'd do:

    Set the EQ on the bass flat. Ditch that DOD EQ. Set the WT400 EQ flat (and do not use the enhance knob, that just scoops mids and increases mud). Daisy chain the 4x10 and 1x15. Use the WT400 as a preamp and bridge that Mackie into the two cabs. Then I'd use the WT400's EQ to adjust my tone until I was happy but remember a little goes a long way with the WT series EQ. Your cabs should handle the power no problem and you'll have all the headroom you'll ever need.

    My $.02!
  16. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    A compressor is not an effect; it doesn't go in the effects loop.

    You need to run your compressor first in line. Not in the effects loop, not after the preamp. What you want to achieve with a compressor is to smooth out the spikes in your signal so that everything else in your rig can run an overall higher level without the peaks causing clipping. So do this........

    bass > compressor > everything else...........

    As it is, your really not getting much benefit from your compressor. You're hitting the preamp with a straight signal, THEN compressing, so you aren't able to get as much gain from your preamp because the transient spikes of the straight signal are clipping the preamp.

    Smooth the signal first; THEN boost it.
  17. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    It also appears that, in your current set up, your actually compressing your signal twice before it hits the Mackie..............

    Your aim in all this appears to be that you want to use the Eden's power section and drive an additional power amp for your 4x10 while preserving a direct out for pa/recording...........I would do this..........

    bass > compressor > WT400 (effects loop send > effects unit > graphic eq > effects loop return)

    WT400 Speaker Out > 1x15

    WT400 Headphone Out > Power Amp > 4x10
  18. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Also, that Mackie has a low-cut filter you could use to trim some lows from the 4x10, giving you a quasi-biamped rig......your 1x15 will still be full-range, but if you cut some lows out of the signal and bridge the mackie, you should be able to push some SERIOUS volume from that 4x10.........

    Driving one channel only, you're only getting 500 watts from the Mackie; bridged at 8 ohms, you'll get 1700. A bit much for a cabinet rated at 700w RMS, so I wouldn't run it wide open, but you can get pretty close. The standard limit is amp power double the RMS of the cab, so that's pretty close..........

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