1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Markbass 121p + Ext Cab, Why Not Much Louder?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by john nam, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. I don't have much experience with extension cabs, but when I add my Avatar SB112 neo to my Markbass 121p, which takes it from 300 watts to 500 watts (both cabs are 8 ohms) it doesn't get much louder at all, it only sounds a little thicker. Granted, the 121p alone is LOUD, so I'm not expecting the volume to double or anything, but there's hardly a difference, only a slight difference in the overall tone. Is this normal?

    Next question: If I get a louder ext cab, like a 210 or 410, wouldn't the 12 in my combo, which can supposedly handle 400 watts, start farting out before the ext cab (let's say
    400+ watts) can reach full volume?
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    If the speaker in the Markbass is significantly more sensitive than that in the Avatar, this could be the result, possibly. Do you know the sensitivities of those drivers?
  3. Perhaps the markbass with the extension cab will not be much louder at the same volume (eg 9 o clock on the gain and master controls) than without the cab, but with the cab, can take more volume and hence, will have much more potential volume with it. I.e, combo + extension cab @ 25% power = not much louder than combo alone @ 25% power. But combo + extension cab @ 50% power = much louder than combo alone at 50% power. Just an idea. No idea whether it would be true in practice. Just try pushing the rig a bit more. I know that my CMD121P gets to pretty much the limit of it's volume with gain and master set at 1' o clock. Perhaps your rig could be pushed further.
  4. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    That's weird. I agree that it probably has something do to with cab sensitivity. Also, the cmd is voiced to accentuate low-mids and therefore is perceived to be louder.

    When I added my UL112 to my cmd121 combo it got signifcantly louder and much thicker.

    It was day and night.

    Sounded great too.
  5. I've tried maxing out the volume on my 121p with and without the ext cab (Avatar SB 112 neo) and it's pretty much the same volume, with the gain and master around 12-1 o'clock. Is there a reasonably priced portable 8 ohm cab that will significantly increase the volume of my 121p? I know KJung likes the Schroeder 115L, but I'm not willing to spend that much since I'll only be using an ext cab every now and then. I was looking at the GK 112 neo, I wonder if that will be any louder than my Avatar.
  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles

    +1....all of it.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You may have problems with phasing. Are you setting your cabs up side by side or stacked on top of each other? Side by side is not a good way to go for a small rig. Or maybe your two cabs don't play well together. Non-matching cabs can interact destructively sometimes.

    I don't know...I think you should get a pretty good boost from a second 112. Hard for anyone to diagnose you without being there, but those are a couple ideas that I thought I'd throw out there.
  8. The phase theory sounds like it can be true because I'm sort of into home audio and it does sound like a phase problem because when the both speakers are connected, it sounds like they're cancelling each other out. It's weird. If that's true, is the phasing problem caused by the design of the Avatar cab or the type of speaker in the cab? The plot thickens.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    All of the above, and it could also be caused by a cab that's wired out of phase. Might want to check the wiring on your cabs. It's possible one could be wired backwards.
  10. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Not withstanding the phase issue, my suggestion for a lower cost, but excellent 112 cab, is the epifani ps112.

    I used that cab with the cmd combo and I can tell you without hesitation, that it was truly beautiful to hear. The extra lows of the ps112 really filled out the tonal spectrum.

    The Epifani ps112 is about $400 brand new. I can't say enough good things about that combination. Certainly worth demo'ing if you can.
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    +1. Check the wiring of the Avatar cab, and easy test is to put a 9V battery across the speaker terminals and see which way the speaker moves. Normally, the cone should move out. Make sure the amp is NOT connected when you do this! :eek:
  12. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Check the combo too!


    P.S. The battery on the tip of the speaker cable should make the cone move away from the magnet structure as Jeff says. If the combo speaker plugs in with a 1/4" phone plug it can be checked the same way.

    Consider though that in order for your amp to be twice as loud you have to increase your power by TEN times. Going from 300W to 500W may not be such a huge thing.

  13. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    I found that my MB 121P combo sounded better on it's own than with other cabs. I think the internal 12 sounded great when pushed a little using most of the internal power on it's own.

    FWIW, adding Eden, Aguilar, and Accugroove 112's (not all at the same time mind you) didn't make it as loud as I thought it would have either and phasing was not an issue.

    I wanted to add a MB 112 cab to see if that made a difference but I sold it before I came across one used. :meh:
  14. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Another thing re; the 9V battery. This may be obvious to most but....................

    + connection on the battery to the tip of the plug or Red/positive/+ terminal of the speaker, the - connection to the sleeve of the plug or other terminal on the speaker.
  15. Thanks for all of your input. I tested my Avatar 112 cab by hooking only that cab up to my Mark Bass head and unhooking my in-cab 12 and it worked fine; the Avatar 112 got pretty loud, so I don't think there's anything wrong with the wiring.

    I think Big Joe is right, adding any kind of 112 8 ohm cab to my 121p will not make too much of a difference in volume. I think the only way to increase my volume substantially is to unhook my in-cab 12 and hook the head up to a single 4 ohm 500+ watt 4x10 or 8x10 or something. Would you guys agree?
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That'll definitely increase volume ;)

    But your Avatar cab could still be wired out of phase despite it sounding like it's not by itself. It'll still put out volume by itself and won't always be noticeable unless you use a cab that's wired opposite. I think Big Joe may be right, but you should at least be able to have a noticeable increase. I know when I use my B-15 stack as opposed to only one cab, the stack is significantly louder.

    Markbass does make a 112 identical to the cab in the CMD 121P which would probably be your best bet for adding an extension cab. But I have no idea if it would work any better for you than the Avatar. If you want a serious volume boost, though, yeah, bigger cabs with more drivers is the way to go.
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    While you test would not uncover a phase issue if it was there, I don't think that's the issue. If you cabs were wired out of phase, the rig would sound much thinner and softer than with only one cab. You would lose a singificant amount of deep bass.

    I would highly recomment getting that stack on a gig before you throw money at the problem. Even if the Avatar is lower SPL, you should still get a noticable increase in low end and absolute volume capability. You might not really notice it much in a small room, but out on a gig, while it won't be 'twice as loud', it should be a lot fuller, a lot less compressed, and again, noticably louder.

    It is usually better to use an identical extension cab, since you won't run into the SPL issue (i.e., your extension cab being significantly louder or softer than your original cab), but that stack should work fine, and it should be quite full and loud.

    Given how much sound that MB112 puts out, it would not surprise me if the Avater is lower SPL and is reducing the impact of adding the cab just a touch.

  18. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    300 watts to 500 watts is a 2 dB increase. Cab sensitivity (efficiency) in important. I've tried the 121dmd with a 121H ext cab with very good results, as well as with a D112XLT. Both got a little louder (quite noticable, but not mind blowing), but also got MUCH fuller and richer.
  19. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 Per your comment, thinking about power increase in terms of DB's really understates the impact, especially in the 'moderately powered' heads, where sometimes you are increasing from 'not quite enough power' to 'a little more than enough power' in terms of headroom and non-compressed tone (i.e., not hitting power safety limiting, etc.).

    Also, remember that on top of those couple of DB's with the increase in power, depending on SPL, you get a couple or few more DB's from the second cab, etc.
  20. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Again I used the cmd121p with a UL112 for quite a few gigs and it was very loud and full sounding. On one gig I played in a very large banquet hall with a loud drummer, 4 singers (two backup ladies) and two distorted guitars. PA support only for vocals.

    I could hear myself loud and clear and the tone was rich and full.... albeit not quite as full as my UL112 stack.

    In my experience a MB head with two 112s is bloody loud.

Share This Page