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I let out the smoke, should I rethink my rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jondog, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Warning long post!

    Last night's gig was rough. My SUV's engine lite came on yesterday, my usual biamp rig would not fit in gf's back seat. For a medium sized club, I took my Bag End 1x15. I got lost, even though I've played there 3x, so I was late = stressed and rushed. Was short an xlr cable during setup, so skipped DI to PA. Bridged the amp, but forgot to push in the little bridge button, so it worked, but would cut out now and then. I figured this out during the 1st song, so the rest of the first set was relatively normal, started to relax, crank it up! Turn up 2 notches for 2nd set (loud rock band), amp flashes red and smells bad, hot but no smoke/fire, dead. Singer and guitarist do a duo song while I ask drummist for backup xlr cable to run my DI, he gives me a bad one. It takes me 2 different configurations to figure out it's a bad cable. Aigh!!! As the song ends I my plug backup 1/4" cable (I'm usually wireless) straight into the PA and crank it up in mains and monitors, sounds good, go! This is how I finished the set, and it would've been ok except that my backup cable is only 10' long so I had to stand directly in front of the drummer.

    I'm about to go out to the garage to figure out if the amp, Soundtech PS 800, still works at all. I'm posting here to get opinions on whether I should start my amp rig over. I know a lot of guys don't like bi-amping, but for the last 7 years I've been happy w/ a 1x18 + 1x15 stack. Here's my basic questions . . .

    Will I be happier with a more traditional setup? What makes you so happy about gigging with your combo or head+cab that the rack guys, and especially the biamp rack guys like me, just aren't getting? I'm especially interested in hearing from former biampers on why they switched. Thanks!
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It's what you just experienced. :D

    To me, an elaborate rig seems like a fair weather friend. It does sound wonderful, and setup is usually OK, but then you get one of those gigs where your car breaks down, and traffic is backed up, there is no parking, load-in is up 7 flights of stairs, and the stage is 4 square feet.
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes I agree, but I don't think the elaborateness of the rig hurt me this time, the half I brought was just not up to delivering the volume I was asking of it, and that can happen with any rig depending on the size of the room.

    I'm back from the garage, the amp is fine, it went into protect mode last night, those were the red lights. The Bag End woofer is toast, it's a coax and the tweeter still works. Basically I was putting 800W into a 250W cab, oops. I've never blown a speaker in 20 years of gigging so I guess that's a good record. So at minimum I'll be looking to repair or replace the top half of my rig, but I guess I'd still consider simplifying to a combo or head/cab rig.
  4. i myself would look into getting 2 15's for a nice rounded tone, but im partial to my new setup so YMMV. i really dont see the benefit of biamping. even moreso, biamping into a 118 and 115, even if is a bag end 15. i think the highs of a bigger cab and lows of a smaller cab contribute to a good sound that you simply wont achieve with a biamped rig. full range is where it's at! (IMO)

    ideally, i would prefer a stereo amp with a stereo EQ and adjust accordingly to each box, you could maybe slightly cut/boost low/high range for a fuller sound, biamping just gives a cab a specific cut-off that could be withholding wanted tone when you may not even realize it.
  5. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    My xover point is very low, 40 hz, so my bag end coax has always gotten full range. The 1x18 is a Carvin 4 ohm 800W cab, all it does is go boom, I've never felt the need to eq it. I usually am playing with a PA that has no subs.

    I've got other cab options easily available. I've got a big Ampeg v4b 2x15 cab that needs new speakers, I could repair that instead of the BE, but I would lose modularity. Some gigs were great with the 1x15 alone, last night just wasn't one of them!
  6. id try the 2x15 route. like you said, you lose portability convenience, but sometimes you just need a change sonically that may have been missed or forgotten in the past.
  7. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    I used to biamp a lot a few years ago, but then gas started going through the roof, and the bands I was playing with were not making enough to drive a big van with a trailer, so we downsized to just the van, and I could not take 2 cabinets anymore. I seem to have found a good tour rig in my trusty Trace Elliot AH-350X head and Schroeder 412 cab. The Schroeder is very efficient, and fills the room with the tasty sound of the the Trace.

    I do still use the rack stuff sometimes, depending on how much power I need, but the Trace head seems to give me what I want on it's own most of the time.
  8. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    In case you were wondering, my bad weekend got worse . . . the SUV repair is over $1000, I got stood up for a date, another date cancelled, and I am learning that I made a very poor real estate decision . . .

    So, I'm not up for putting any money into this right now. I'm going to throw a 15" PV BW I have out in the garage into the Bag End cab and listen to what happens. Even if it sounds good I've still lost my tweeter, but for now I'll just have to deal. w00t.
  9. rovito


    Jun 26, 2005
    Hope things look better soon.
  10. Groovin


    May 25, 2006
    Wash, D.C.
    I biamped for a couple years. Sold that rig and upgraded to a nice single cab and never looked back. IMO, it is not worth the extra space/ hassle of multiple cabs, cables, biamping, etc. Go buy a NV215 since it sounds like you're not into 10's and throw as many clean watts as you can afford at it. You will be stunned by the difference.
  11. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Thanks man.

    The NV215 sounds like a good idea, since my budget is empty right now I've got a lot of time to consider options . . .
  12. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Well, it sounds like you made a decision with insufficient data. If it makes you feel any better, I read something the other day that said something like "ALL decisions are made with insufficient data. If you had all the data, the decision would make itself."

    Tomorrow is another day...
  13. MooseLumps


    Nov 4, 2007
    I run an SWR SM400S into one Avatar 2x10 and one Avatar 2X12. I switch back and forth between bi-amp and dual mono setups. Basically, if I want to compete with drums and a guitar, I Bi-amp and run heavy signal to the 2x12. When I'm doing solo stuff (coffee house gigs or what have you) I run dual mono and point the 2x10 in another direction relative to the 2x12. (typically towards my head and the other half of the audience) and let the natural tendancies of the two cabs complement eachother. My only beef with the bi-amp rig is that on my amp, it removes the effect loop totally because it's part of the bi-amp circut. This gives me the flexibility to assign low frequencies to whichever cab I choose, however, it really does not make up for it. Hope this helps.
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