Mesa D800+ Limit Light on more than it should.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by leonvdb, May 13, 2018.

  1. leonvdb


    Jul 19, 2013
    Hey guys, sorry if this topic has been asked before. I own a Mesa D800+ head going through a Barefaced Big Twin II (1600W at 4ohm Barefaced Bass - Big Twin 2) and I’m getting the yellow limit light come on all the time when playing loud when not going through the PA and wondering if I have a fault somewhere either due to the head or the cab. My understanding was the cab could handle the head no problem and that the head was quite powerful. Any help or guidance guys would be helpful. I’ve attached a pic of my amp settings too, as you can see it’s not at full input or master volume. I’ve read about the limit LED in the manual but I’m still unsure and I’m worried about breaking something. The settings shown create a tone I’m really happy with so I’d be gutted if I have to change them to avoid this issue. Agedhorse can you or anyone else please help?

    My bass is a Passive Fender Jazz.
    The head is set to the 4/8ohm setting.
    I’m not using any compression or limiter pedal/effect etc but interestingly when I engage an overdrive pedal the limit light doesn’t come on but the volume coming from the cab is actually louder.

    Attached Files:

  2. I don't own that amp though I have gas for the 800+. Most of the Amps I've experienced are near their max output when the input/gain and master are at 2/3rds.

    You have an efficient cab. That is a lot of stage volume for in door gigs. No bar owner complaints?

    You didn't mention which drive pedal. Many add harmonic content in the mids and cut low frequencies. That can make a signal sound louder.

    I'm in for the experts responses.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  3. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    As Freightshaker stated, the overdrive pedal is most likely rolling off the low end even further and the extra harmonic content is adding to the overall Volume. Perhaps a compressor on the Jazz bass would help keep the peaks in check. I truly think you reached the limits of the head.
  4. svlilioukalani

    svlilioukalani Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Seattle, Wa
    When I am using similar volume settings the yellow light is on a bunch. However I think that it's OK to run it this way. Agedhorse (my hero) will be able to help with this. I was also wondering the same thing though; so I'm glad you posted this question.
    leonvdb likes this.
  5. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    Judging by your settings you must be controlling you volume from your bass. Like it do. And yes I have used a D-800+ for the last year.

    Bring your input dial back a bit to around 11 o’clock.

    I always engaged both the low and high boost switches. Most eq settings around the noon position and HPF around 10 or 11. Master at about 2.

    Running through a 410 and none of my lights ever came on. Limiter or overdrive.

    If your fighting loud band mates the only way you’ll avoid overdrive at that point is an additional 410 cab. More speakers more volume.

    It’s not the fact you have a 4 ohm cab and can get all 800 Watts from your head. It’s your still not moving as much air as 2 of your cabs can. So you crank your head harder.

    I single 410 has always moved plenty of air for me and I never throw on any lights. When I needed more volume I use 2 410s.
    drlndrve, InhumanResource and kpc like this.
  6. ^^ like Joel406 said, dial input gain back, turn master up a wee bit.
  7. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I'd give the HPF a bit more of a nudge. have you tried that ?
  8. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Interesting. When using the overdrive pedal, it is in fact functioning as a limiter before the amp as well as rolling off some low end, so what you are seeing is not surprising.

    This must be pretty loud, but let's take everything in context here. Your cabinet is efficient, but the claims might be leading to some unrealistic expectations as they are not as far beyond some other popular cabinets here as it might appear.

    What I might try is to increase the input gain until you are hitting the input O/D Let a bit, back off a bit on the master volume until the limit led stops flashing and then roll the HPF up a bit. At this point, that's about all you can do short of adding a compressor.

    You might also tip your cabinet up a bit so that you hear the mid/highs a little better.

    Try this and see how it works.
    mcnach, Marley's Ghost and Burwabit like this.
  9. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    You’re amp should be pretty loud at those settings and I’m not surprised the limit light comes on. Only thing I’d add is that you have the voicing knob up fairly high so you are removing a lot of midrange content, and there is a lot of energy there. I think you will get a good bit more perceived volume and cut in he mix if you drop it back to around 10 o’clock.
    Jeffrey Wash, Al Kraft and Burwabit like this.
  10. leonvdb


    Jul 19, 2013
    Thanks guys, I’ll try the suggestions. I was just worried the amp was faulty that’s all as thought it was more powerful than that.
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Good point, I didn't notice that when I looked at the picture.
    JGR likes this.
  12. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    It's plenty powerful, which is why I brought up realistic expectations. I've seen this sort of thing enough to know that it happens more often than it seems.
    leonvdb likes this.
  13. tzohn


    Apr 26, 2015
    Have you tried these amp settings with another bass? Maybe low bass output?
  14. I was actually going the other direction in my thoughts.
    That being that the input is too hot.
    I don't know the specifics of this amp, but to me, in general, limiting indicators are more about what's happening related to the front end gains than it us about the output stages.
  15. tzohn


    Apr 26, 2015
    I don't own this amp but I thought that this limit led refers to the output stage because there is also an O/D led. I could be very wrong though.
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Without knowing your specific gigging situation, I have feeling that this is a combination of unrealistic expectations and not enough input signal.

    First, as agedhorse said, dial in more input until the OD light starts to engage. If you want a bit of nice tubey OD, dial in a little more. But once the input starts to flash you at least know you have a strong input signal.

    I also honestly think that you may be expecting too much out of a single 2x12 cabinet. The dead giveaway is you said 'when you play very loud with no PA support' this outdoors by chance? Yes these are fantastic cabs, but physics still applies.
    mcnach, Element Zero and agedhorse like this.
  17. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    You can run it without seeing the light simply by putting the master up 3/4 and use the gain as the volume. Turn the gain down all the way and run the master up 3/4. Kinda like a PA.....YVMV
  18. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The overdrive and limiting management is more comprehensive than this.
  19. Please elaborate.
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The overdrive management on the input gain stages includes some compression and limiting, in addition to what is happening on the output. Under high drive conditions, these two effects compliment each other.
    ThisBass likes this.
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