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Initial thoughts on my new Avatar B410 Pro

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AndrewShirley, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. A little background first: I live in Canada, so I ordered from Steamco in Manitoba. Brent is a fantastic guy to talk to, really seems to know his stuff.

    I ordered on October 24th and received the cabinet today, Nov 4th. Steamco orders from Avatar in the States and then ships to Canadian customers. Steamco received the cab on Nov 2 - and got it to me in under 48 hours! How's that for shipping?

    Anyway, the cab came wrapped in a cardboard box with plenty of bracing. Being a 95 lb box, I also ordered the castors, which came wrapped seperately but in the same box. Unfortunately the castor box opened and spilled most of the castors. Luckily though the cabinet itself is also wrapped in a thick plastic bag, so the castors did no damage.

    I run a MM Sterling into a Yorkie XS400H. Let me tell you, this box if FREAKING LOUD! I didn't mean to, but I had my ears ringing within seconds... don't tell my wife :) This was with the master on 7 and barely pushing the pre. I'm looking forward to opening this baby up next time I play at church.

    I found that the cab is fairly flat across the frequency range with a slight mid-boost, which really brings out the growl in my Sterling. For some, the boost in the mid-range will sound like its missing some bottom-end. You may need to EQ out the midrange or boost the bottom if this is your boat. I found that adding some bottom end, this cab lacks nothing down there.

    It basically took everything I threw at it and asked for more.

    Keep in mind that these are my initial thoughts. I have not gigged this box, only played it for a couple of minutes in my bedroom studio.

    Now for the pet peaves:

    A) I opted for the removable "pole insertion" type castors. The box does not come pre-drilled or even with the castor base preinstalled.

    B) A piece of the air-vent bracing had broken off and was sliding around the bottom of the cab. Easily retrieved and glued back into place. This probably happened during shipping since I noticed it before even plugging the amp in.

    C) She's quite front-heavy. When you pick this puppy up, you had better make sure the speakers are towards your chest because its diving. The handles could have been a little closer to the front of the box.

    D) The speakers appear to be held in place with drywall or self-tapping screws. Please do NOT quote me on this since I have not taken it apart to verify. I may just go purchase some locking-nut machine screws and replace their screws.

    E) The tweeter sounds good but not great. There is a thread here on TB about replacing the stock X-over. I already have the parts here and will likely get to it tomorrow. Apparently this mod makes this cab sound killer! It sounds to me like the tweeter is producing a little too much low-end (relatively speaking). I'm really looking forward to the new Xover mod.

    F) There doesn't appear to be any caulking around the joints, which may allow air to escape, changing the tuning of the box. I may add some myself.

    In spite of these minor qripes, I am very pleased with the cabinet. It has a WICKED amount of output, looks great, sounds great (and will sound even better tomorrow :) and the price is crazy low! I honestly don't know how they do it.

    All in all the best deal going! Once I gig with it, I'll report back.

    - Andrew
  2. I haven't gigged with it yet, but now that I have had a chance to look at its inards (eewwww...) I thought I would share my thoughts:

    A) The previous single-capacitor X-over has been replaced with a full-blown 2-pole, 2-way piece. The construction of the X-over is top-notch, all parts glued to keep them from coming loose. The solder joints are done profesionally with no sign of cold-solder joints.

    B) Yesterday I glued a piece of the vent-bracing back in place. While inspecting this
    piece of plywood I noticed that it was a low-grade piece, filled with voids. This worried me a little since I was assuming that the whole cabinet was made of the same wood, and these little vent bracing pieces were left-over from the construction of the cabinet. After inspecting the cabinet where the back-cover comes off, I am happy to report that the cabinet is indeed NOT the same plywood as the vent bracing. It appears to be top-notch, void free (as their website specifies) plywood.

    C) While I had the back-cover off, I had a chance to look around inside. These Kappa Pro 10" speakers a magnificant! The magnet on these things are enormous! My particular model uses 4 16ohm speakers for a net impedance of 4 ohms. I also confirmed that self-tapping screws were used to hold the drivers in place. I don't know if this is good or bad, but when I get the time I will likely use a locking nut set-up.

    D) I found a rather large x-brace between the front and back of the cabinet, another quality touch.

    The more I inspect the cabinet, the happier I am with its construction. It appears to be a top-notch unit.

    Here's the simulation I ran using WinISD:


    This graph may explain why one user was worried about his apparant lack of bass. These 10" speakers appear to love their mid-range. However, adding a simulated 6dB bump at 70hz with a Q of 1.0 seems to straighten everything out. How it sounds is another story :)

    I'm building the X-over mod today and will report back.

    - Andrew
  3. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Thanks for the review and info Andrew. I'm currently weighing my cabinet options to go with my new Yorkville XS800H. Avatar was/is in the running (though I was thinking of an 8 ohm B212 to start, and then adding a 115, a 210 or another 212 depending on what was "lacking"). I'm especially interested in your comments about the construction of the boxes. While I expect to do a setup on a new bass, I don't expect to have to build a new crossover for a cabinet!

    Maybe It's time to wander over to L&M and rent the Yorkville XC808.

    Anyway, thanks again and keep the information coming.
  4. I somewhat like the XS808 - it has some major kahoonas, but I found it suffers from some major driver compression, even at low volumes. In the one I had bought (and subsequently returned) the tweeter was barely audible - which in some people's eyes is a good thing :) Its a little heavy for me at 115 lbs, but the B410 is 95 lbs, so...

    I have mixed viewpoints on a rig. Trying to get that elusive sound is very nearly pointless since your bass rig will only be used to monitor in most situations. It will likely be going DI through a PA. In smaller shows where your rig is not plugged into the pa, the audience will then be reliant on your rig, although the highs from the cab will likely not spread around - so they're hearing something a little different then you.

    That being said, I play better when I'm in love with my sound :bassist:

    For the Avatar cabs, you definately do not need to build a crossover. The one that they are using now is doing the trick quite nicely. Its kind of like buying a Mustang, then porting the heads. I'm one of those guys that can't leave Well-enough alone.

    - Andrew
  5. Okay, the new X-over is installed, what can I say? Sounds great! I'm definately happy with the results; but again I thought the stock x-over sounded fine other then it sounded a little like it was trying to produce outside of its range a little. It almost sounded like the treble was above the rest of the sound, not part of it. Now everything flows seemlessly.

    Again, this cabinet is stupid loud. If you can't hear yourself on stage with this thing then you're probably already deaf ;) Now that the speakers are starting to break-in a little, the sound seems to be mellowing a little, able to produce warm bass in the nether-regions. I just gave this cabinet everything I had (all 400 watts) and it spat out perfect sound. I didn't notice any major driver compression, the tweeter did NOT break up. It sounded the same LOUD as it did QUIET - just louder!

    Like I said in my first post, I'll gig with it at the end of this month and report back ("gig" is a strong word, I'll be playing in my worship band :) - but we're playing some DC Talk! ).

    - Andrew
  6. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    very interesting!! keep it on, I will rehearse today!! I am the user regarding the lack of low end.
  7. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    hey andrew, how to find the total SPL of the cab with this software?
  8. Hi David, yes - you are the one I was thinking of when I wrote that ;)

    Here's a link to WinISD Pro: http://www.linearteam.dk/default.aspx?pageid=forums
    It has different graphs to show you the various aspects of the box. One of those graphs is "Maximum SPL" which shows a maximum of about 135dB @ 875Hz. There is another maximum at about 41Hz of 124 dB - which I assume is from the tuning of the box. The characteristics of the Kappa appear to favour the mids and up, although the tuning of the box to 41Hz (or so) (Low E) helps give it some bottom end. Now keep in mind that I'm really just guessing at the tuning of the box using the size of the vent (actually, WinISD is guessing for me). As far as I can tell the box is designed quite well for those drivers.

    I'm going to experiment a little with a 2/3 Octave EQ later today to see how much I can change the characteristics of this cab. The EQ controls on my Amp are a little too restrictive for experimenting.

    As a side note: I ran the B410 Pro with my 1X15....now there's a killer combo.

    Also, I wanted to mention that the B410 Pro is extremely articulate. I can hear my fingers tapping the strings (even at high volumes), chords are extremely well defined and all the nuances of your playing are easily heard.

    On a side note, I was playing some recorded music through my rig and I was surprised at how well vocals came across on it. I think these Kappa pros would also be really great in a PA system.

    - Andrew

    Disclaimer: All of my subjective listening tests are extremely coloured by the size of my room. Any "technical" talk is from a simulated cabinet, built-up in WinISD Pro which may or may not be accurate!
  9. Update: Last night I played this cab live and I was absolutely blown away! This thing is top-notch.

    My largest complaint with other cabs (including Schroeders) is the driver compression as you increase volume. The worst candidate for this was the Yorkville XC808 (although It sounded pretty good otherwise). At low volumes they sound fine, but the tone changes as volume increases, becomes less bassy. "Throaty" is the word that comes to mind.

    I am happy to report that the Avatar B410 Kappa Pro does NOT exhibit any noticable driver compression at the levels I was at. I was using a Yorkville AP2020 (600 Watts) into a 4-ohm cab (fed from the Pre on my Yorkville XS400H). I had the amp near its limit at times.

    The tone I was getting from that cab was absolutely KILLER. The slap tone could knock someone's head off - with the Xover mod, slaps and plucks came across clear and warm (although I did not test the new stock x-over in this environment so it may also be fine). The fingertone was both full and clear at the same time. Picking was full of all the harmonic goodness that picking is all about and came across beautifully in this cab.

    The only complaint I have about my cab is this: This cab is so clear, even at high volumes, you may not notice how loud it actually is. The drummer was complaining that he couldn't hear himself - how cool is that? :bassist: His exact words were "Andrew, you're dominatingly loud". Excellent. Not really a complaint I guess :)

    The guitarist had previously come with me to Clubbass where I was trying the Markbass and Bergs. He liked the sound of the Markbass, and to less extent, the Bergs. Hated the EA. At a different store, he hated the sound of the Yorkie XC808, although he couldn't tell me why. Last night was his first chance to hear my "mail-order" cab... He was blown away by the sound of this cab. He was quite skeptical when I told him about it, but when I produced the goods he was floored by the sound quality, volume and tone.

    There you go, a real-world review from an objective perspective.

    - Andrew

    BTW: After playing this cab in a different room and having a chance to play with my 2/3 Octave EQ, I'm pretty sure that the above response graphs are accurate.
  10. Andrew? Didn't you get the 4x10 cab with Avatar's newer crossover? Reading your initial post led me to think that you got one of the older 6db units. I believe they made alot of improvements with the newer unit.

  11. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    jaaaaaaaa yeah kicking a drummer! yeah!
  12. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    I will change my preamp!! I am considering a SVP-CL or the BBE BMAX-t. The SVP-BSP is no giving the low end I want
    will see!!
  13. Yes indeed I got the newer cross-over, the 12db unit. I already had the parts sent to me before I received the cab and it wasn't worth it to send the parts back over the border so I went ahead with the mod anyway.

    - Andrew

  14. I think if you bump your 150Hz and down you'll get plenty 'O bass - more than you'll ever need... Did *I* just say that??

    I can use the bass knob on my Sterling to get the correct amount of bass, should be the same on your SR5 since they share electronics. Not sure about the SR4 though.

    I'm actually using a 2/3 Octave EQ to bump the nether-region to taste. I believe that even the mighty Tuba-24 needs a bump to straighten things out.

    - Andrew

  15. David Vega

    David Vega

    Aug 28, 2002
    Puerto Rico
    I just test the SVP-CL thru a Ampeg B5R power amp section and a Ampeg BXT410. The sound was very smooth, round and at the same time that midrange, not a lot growl but enough, and for room to increase it, that I love that tone. will see.
  16. Just had my first practise with this amp in my church's auditorium last night. The cab sounded absolutely amazing! I removed the rear casters and kept the front in to angle the cab towards me. I've been playing in this auditorium for a couple of years and this is honestly the first time that I had no problem hearing myself. I thought at first the natural slope-off from 200Hz and down would require a little correcting in the nether region, but I have my trusty EQ in my rack. I set my guitar flat and added the required correction to the EQ. So, playing all night long I was getting compliments from the other members of the band on my tone. I was really enjoying myself for the first time in that room! The tone was deep, warm and articulate. It was nice coupling to the stage.

    At the end of the night the leader said to me "ok, lets see what this thing can do..." so I reached over to the "nether region knobs" on my EQ with the intention of taking his head off - then I realized that my EQ was OFF all night long! What I was hearing all night long was the cab's "natural" sound - and I couldn't be happier.

    BTW: I did turn on the EQ and shook him good :)

    - Andrew