Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

I'm at the Crossroads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Masher88, Jun 30, 2005.


  1. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    So, I think that I've been fooling myself with thinking I like a tube sound. I don't like when I turn up and it gets over driven. I constantly try to get a cleaner sound from my Mesa 400+...one that matches the sound of my practice amp...a Groove Tubes pre-amp and a Solid State power amp. Plus, I always seem to run out or get close to running out of power when I play live. I'm always (even at practice) up around 7 with the master volume and the gain knobs. What I want to ask you all is I was thinking of getting a QSC PLX 3402 (I think that's the biggest) amp and mating it with the GT pre-amp for live shows. I believe it's rated at 3400 watts into 4 ohms bridged. I have a 4x10 avatar (4 ohm). I want to be mind numbing loud and clean...very clean. What do you guys think? I'll probably hold onto the Mesa for a while...just in case i don't like the outcome. Would the QSC be my ticket to cleanliness and loudliness?
     
  2. Wow, what's the power rating on the Avatar? If it won't handle around 1500-1700 W by itself, its possible to overpower it. But only if you get REALLY freaking loud. By the time you get that loud, your ears are essentially distorting, and you may not be able to tell when the cab is breaking up, so you may not get much warning before disaster.

    Easier to find a couple of high power 8 ohm cabs to handle that much mojo.

    Cleanliness is next to Bass Godliness, and 3400 watts is a LOTSA WATTSA! You rock.

    Randy
     
  3. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Supposedly the Avatar can handle 1400 RMS Watts. I don't want to have to USE all the 3400 watts...I just want a ****load of headroom to be safe. I only want to turn up the amp to the 9 o'clock position.
     
  4. Wow, surprised it can take that much power. But that's within reasonable limits, depending on whose guidelines you believe, but not by much. You're definitely on the high side of the bell curve there. It can probably handle transients at least 4 times the 1400RMS.

    Hate to mention this, got in a vicious argument about it in another thread.... But needs to be said. Don't think that because your power amp is set to 9 o'clock it somehow cannot produce the full 3400 watts anymore.... it just requires a hotter signal from the preamp, or harder plucks on the bass to do it.

    Randy
     
  5. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    so would I be better off getting a lower wattage amp...maybe the next step down in the ratings?
     
  6. Not necessarily, you're at the fringe, but still ok... Have to be careful to turn down in case of distortion, maybe compress the signal a little when playing really loud.

    If you're playing in a loud band where you can't hear if the cab starts breaking up, then I'd drop the watts as a precaution.

    I've played a 1500W amp into 1000W of speakers for years with no problems. I wouldn't worry much if you were twice the amp watts vs spkr wattage. You're barely above twice the wattage. So you're ok. I wouldn't go below 2100W for a 1400W spkr.

    Randy
     
  7. You're probably on the edge of pushing your luck, but there's a wide range of opinions on exactly what is too much.

    And if you don't play loud, you're absolutely safe. If you're playing quiet like a coffeeshop gig, the amp may only be putting out 100W. It doen't work like an oven, set to 3400W all the time.
    Louder=more watts.

    Randy
     
  8. thedoctor

    thedoctor

    Jun 20, 2005
    I think Steve probly hit one the cheapest single thing you can do to make your bass sound happy. A good, soft-knee compressor that is active at 30hz (careful, some quit at 110hz) would make the apparent "sound level" much higher and cleaner. Here should be about 1000 IMHOs.
     
  9. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    hmm... you sound close... but I think 3400 is just a little too much for the Avatar410. No, you probably wouldnt blow anything up if your careful... but....

    Well, here's my suggestion. Pick up the PLX3402... but run it stereo into your 410. If 1100Watts isnt enough for you, then you should simply purchase more speaker surface to increase your volume while maintaining the clean tone. So in essence, if you needed to, you could purchase another Avatar 410 and run it on the other channel of your PLX, and have 1100Watts into EACH cab. If you even have to come CLOSE to cranking that, then you need to clean your damn ears out or something :p
     
  10. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    My GT Pre-amp has a limiter in it...it's not frequency adjustable...but it's pretty smooth and not "pumpy". I'm trying to not get into more speakers. I own an Ampeg 8x10...which sounds greta, but it's just too big. I can't fit it into my Buick! I have an Avatar 2x10" (4 ohm), but when I used that it seemed like the 2x10 was getting louder and distorting way before the 4x10...like it was getting more power or something. I couldn't really hear the 4x10 working unless I put my head right down by it. Weird. I think I'm gonna go for the PLX amp. Oh...my band plys pretty damn loud...plus none of the clubs around here believe in monitors for the bands...Stage volume is the only way I can hear myself!
     
  11. I'd back off on the 3400 watts then, get the next smaller one. Closer to 2000W or so would be safer. You may not hear the cab breaking up, and if you clip at 3400 without hearing it break up you could be in trouble.... You'll still have lots of headroom, just not enough headroom to melt the voice coils.... :D

    And the compressor would be a very good idea to use if you're always pushing the volume...

    That pretty much lets you wring all the volume possible out of the 410 with decent headroom, without needing to get a 2nd cab. I figure why carry a 2nd cab around unless you're maxing out the first one...

    Randy
     
  12. illidian

    illidian

    Jul 2, 2004
    You may also be better off with a more effecient cabinet (sounds like you like your Mesa 400+ until you crank it). Maybe a good 6x10 or 8x8 cab would be a happy medium? More speaker area and more effeciency should allow you to turn down your amp.

    But the 3402 is also not a bad idea, except that's a lot of watts to put into an Avatar cab. As the Chariot mentioned, run it off one side for only 1,100 watts and you should be safe and have plenty of volume.
     
  13. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I suggest changing your cabinet and/or getting your Mesa looked at first.

    The Avatar isn't going to go to numbing levels and stay clean with thousands of watts put into it. If you don't have stage moniters and you rely and stage volume alot. Looking at getting a Schroeder. They're very efficient cabs, and the way they are designed many players use them without PA in most gig situations. I'm sure a big box or even the 310212 will be up your alley.

    Second.. It seems strange to me to be putting the Mesa up to those levels and not having enough volume. Perhaps you should get it checked out? The power tubes may be running out of life, or you could even benefit from a different set of 6l6's that have better clean headroom.
     
  14. TheChariot

    TheChariot

    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I agree on the Mesa situation. Could be something wrong, because that's crap if a 300W Tube head cant give you enough volume.

    Also... back to the PLX stereo idea I through out there.... if you think your 210 cant take the heat, then what you do is plug them into separate channels, like I suggested, and just turn the 410 up a little bit more than the 210. I did the same thing when I had a 115 and 410. The 115 was just there for some extra ooph, really... not something I wanted to lead the way with my tone or anything. But on separate channels, it was all good. The 410 got more juice than the 115, but the 115 still moved extra air.

    So since you have both cabs, try them out together, I guess, and see if it works out.
     
  15. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    I bridge a QSC 2402 More power than you'll ever need. It will probably do the trick for u

    Rob
     
  16. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I just had my Mesa re-tubed about 3 weeks ago. Sovteks for the power tubes and electro-harmonics for the pre's. I seems to be working fine...I just think I don't like the "overdrive" sound when I turn up to live band levels. If I hook up the 2x10" to the Mesa...there's no level adjustment for individual cabinets. It's just a mono amp. It seems that most peoples idea of "plenty of watts" doesn't apply to me. I've tried out a bunch of heads (GK, SWR, etc.) and most are listed with like 500 or more watts and they never seem to get loud enough even through my 8x10". Is this just a manufacturer making false claims on wattage or is the rest of the world not rocking out very loud??? :smug: I like those Schreoder cabs, but they are kinda expensive, no?
     
  17. popinfresh

    popinfresh

    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Actually, Schroeders are fairly cheap, compared to other high end gear. Depends how much your willing to spend, I suppose.

    Just one question, when you got it re-tubed, did you realise that the Mesa is set biased? Have you had it modded to change the bias to use the Sovtek's? Or did you get matched tubes specifically for the Mesa?
     
  18. Man...before you do any of the rest of this stuff, please invest in something of this ilk:

    [​IMG]

    There are plenty of great ones made especially for musicians which enable you to hear just fine but block out the harmful frequencies and volume. It'll be the best thing you can do for yourself.

    Then, start shopping yourself to oblivion for your 10,000 watt superamp. :p
     
  19. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Couple of things to consider... Are you looking for more power or more volume? Are you cutting thru the mix. Is there enough "bottom" with the mix? Can you bandmates hear you? A 210 sounds like it wouldn't cut it in the band. The 3402 is not a bad idea. I would think that a Mesa 400+ would be more than enough power through an 810. I would recommend trying to add another speaker cab 1st. I play with a DB680/728 and I can be heard and felt in most medium to large clubs without a problem with one 410. If you are playing that loud, the band needs to bring the stage volume down dramatically. Also if the band is playing that loud stage monitors wouldn't make much of a difference.

    In regards to the 400+. I would have it checked and/or rebiased. If you used Mesa tubes, you shouldn't have to rebias. I use tube and solid state amps and volume my volume is can be dramatically different depending on what cab I use. As others have mentioned speaker sensitivity can make a difference. Since tube amps are "low powered" in comparison to solid state amps. Speaker sensitivity can be really affect your volume. I have berg cabs which sound great but don't work well with tube amps because of their efficiency.

    Anyway, you can never have too much power...
     
  20. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    The Sovteks were matched bias for the Mesa amp. Tube Depot knew exactly which amp I had and were a really big help. Hats off to them!