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

Mesa Walkabout Bergie HT/EX 112 Underpowered?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GRoberts, Jul 18, 2005.


  1. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I did an outdoor gig this weekend at a local College Pub. Seating for maybe 150 people, so it's not a 'huge' Outdoor arena or anything like that. I used my Mesa Walkabout head (300W @ 4 ohms) with my Bergantino HT/EX112 Mini-stack and my F Bass BN5. Normally I bring my Bergantino HT322/Ashdown ABM500 EVO rig. I've been loving the smaller, lighter Mini-Bergie 112's so much. I use them at every indoor gig lately.

    (Note: My Ashdown ABM500 EVO head is the rackmount version housed a large rack with Tuner and power strip, so it doesn't make sense to bring it with the Mini-Bergies.)

    With the Mesa Walkabout/Mini-Bergies, I noticed a loss of 'fullness' and even what sounded like a bit of break-up at higher volumes. Not "loud or stupid loud" at all. Just outdoor band volume to keep up with drums and one guitarist. I could be heard easily, but I just couldn't quite nail deep, full sound with both Pickups. The Bridge Pick up on my F Bass cut well enough and we got through the gig. When I tried to dial-in some onboard bass EQ (20%) or blend both pickups to add more fullness to my sound, it started to choke just a little. just didn't sound 'clean'. The input gain and Master Volume on the Mesa Walkabout were set to no more than 12 o'clock straight up. The EQ was set flat for the most part. with slight mid boost (1 o'clock) and slight bass boost (1 o'clock)

    Is The Mesa Walkabout too underpowered to play more loudly while sounded big and full with the Mini-Bergie's outdoors? Is it possible that the Mini-Bergie 112's hit the limit of their depth and fullness for an outdoor gig?

    The only way to be sure is to try my more powerful Ashdown ABM500 amp with the mini-Bergies to see it they sound bigger. The Ashdown ABM500 Drives the Bergie HT322 very elegantly to incredible volume with punch when needed. My Ashdown ABM500 EVO has proven itself for the past couple of years that is has plenty of power (575W @ 4 ohms) with my Bergie HT322. (yes, I can always bring that rig for the outdoor gigs. I'm just trying to spare my back a little)

    Gary
     
  2. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Hi:

    Your problem is that the Walkabout is only
    giving you about 175 watts at 8 ohms, and
    your cabinet wants twice that to "open up".
    That's why they load a Walkabout Scout with
    a 4 ohm neo Delta speaker, to get the full 300 watts.

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ
     
  3. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Oopps, sorry didn't read the two cabinets, of course it's 4 ohms. It is a power issuse. I have an Epi T212 and it will easily suck up all of one channel of my QSC PLX2402 (700 watts) and want more. In fact, my Epi T112 get better
    as more power is added (not a great low power cabinet, really opens up with watts.) You need headroom for volume, or better yet more speakers

    He needs a bigger amp, or more efficient speakers (ie., JBL/EV)

    Phil
     
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yup, it's the Walkabout. I really love the sound of my Walkabout with either my HT112/EX112 or T-112/T-110UL at lower volumes, but with both rigs, when I try to push it to moderately loud stage volume levels, it does run out of steam a bit. I see this as a headroom issue (and the limits of what 300 solid state watts can do), moreso than an issue specific to the Walkabout.

    [Edit: I should add that with more efficient speakers, like two EA Wizzy's - I know, a 2 ohm load - or my Dr. Bass 2x10/1x15, my Walkabout can get truly loud and still remain tight down low.]

    Tom.
     
  5. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I recently played an outdoor gig with two HT-112s powered by an Eden WT-400. I played my F-Bass BN5 in a Latin jazz group with keys, sax, vocals, percussionist and a hard-hitting drummer. I stacked the cabs, turning the bottom one 90 degrees to face the percussionist and drummer, the other one went straight ahead. It was the best live sound I've ever gotten, and it was very loud (they took me out of the PA) with the master volume around 2.5.

    Even though it was 90+ degrees outside the fan (AFAIK) never came on, and even when I dug in hard the power amp never clipped. When using the same amp with a single HT112 in this group and a jazz-funk project, I definitely push it to its limits (fan runs constantly, power amp limiter activates when I play hard or use lots of FX). The amp sounds like it's working hard (in a good way), not straining.

    I also have a GK-400RB (130/200 watts @ 8/4 ohms) and an EA iAmp 800 (500/800) watts. The GK definitely doesn't have enough juice to do the Bergs justice but it sounds good at low volumes, especially with upright. The iAmp has ample power/headroom but it takes a lot of EQ to get it to sound like the Eden run flat--warm, round and punchy.

    What I'm saying is that for my situations (where I go for what I consider a fat, clear tone with minimal EQ at non-deafening volumes) 235 watts into 1 HT-112 and 400 into 2 is adequate. More would be nice, any less would probably be disappointing. Like I said I use as little power-eating EQ as possible, mostly to account for venue acoustics. I was afraid before getting the Bergs that they would sound like crap without megawatts, but this has not been my experience.
     
  6. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Thanks Guys. You are correct, I am running TWO Bergie 112's (HT and EX 112's) which present a 4 ohm load to the amp. I was getting the full 300W's from the Walkabout which may still not be enough. (I'm fairly certain it doesn't have enough headroom for louder outdoor gigs. (Again I am not playing at stupid/deafening loud volumes, but certainly louder than my typical needs require at the indoor clubs.

    So I too think the Mesa Walkabout was running out of headroom. The little Bergies are GREAT sounding speakers and can take LOADS more power, so I'll try to use a different head with them. I LOVE the sound of those Bergie speakers and their size/performance is simply unbeatable.

    For what it's worth, I still LOVE the Walkabout. It has way MORE headroom than I need at 90% of the clubs that I play.

    Gary
     
  7. notrt

    notrt

    Jun 29, 2004
    ...that more grunt (read that more headroom) is required on the power amp. I had the same problem the first time I took the Bergie mini stack ( HT/EX 112 ) out with my 300 watt Tech 21 Landmark...the rig was big 'n' burly except when pushed; than it sounded like it wanted to start cracking a bit...

    Spoke to Jim about it---emailed him, actually---he said more power was needed, plain and simple. I solved the problem for the moment with the compressors and limiters on my DC-24...meanwhile, I'm looking into options for more headroom...anyone have a Landmark 600 they want to unload?

    He told me to get a Crest...

    later

    RC a/k/a "notrt"
     
  8. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    I'm going to try my Ashdown ABM500 EVO with the HT/EX 112 Bergie mini-stack. Jim B also recommends a beefy power amp with his infamous HT322 (which I also own). But since it sounds INCREDIBLE (Freaking amazing actually) with my Ashdown ABM500 EVO head, I'm guessing it will work equally great with the little baby Bergs. The guys at Bass NW in Seattle recently told me they think the Ashdown ABM500 with Bergie Speakers is an incredible combination. My ABM500 is the rack mount variant, so it's housed in a rack that doesn't make sense to bring with the Baby Bergies. If my rackmount Ashdown amp sounds good with the Bergie mini-stack, maybe I'll score a stand alone ABM500 EVO head so I can still schlep a fairly small rig with a big punch.

    I tried the Thunderfunk 550 and it had PLENTY of power, but I am one of the few who just didn't love the tone of the Thunderfunk amp. I wanted to, and I respect what it does. But it wasn't for me. At the risk of being blasphemous, compared with both my other amps that have a tube in the pre-section, the TF amp sounded solid state to me. It was warm and tube-"like", but not as sparkly as a tube amp. But that conversation is for another thread. I still think the Ashdown ABM500 heads are one of the best sounding plug-&- play amps on the market. Gary
     
  9. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    With the bergs you really need more wattage. I would recommend a minimum of 800 watts for the two 112s and at least the same for the HT322... 1200-1400 would probably be ideal.

    I've tried my bergs with less and it just doesn't have the fullness.
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm with you on both counts, Gary!
     
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Let me know how that works out. I'm guessing that it will sound really excellent.
     
  12. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Gary, did you ever get a chance to try the Bergie stack w/ the ABM500?

    Enquiring minds want to know! :)
     
  13. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Hey CaptWally. I've been crazy busy with 4 weekly gigs on top of my daytime career. I'll try to get to it this weekend and let you know what I think.

    I have been temporarily distracted by replacing my Home Theater Preamp Surround Processor and 5 channel Power amp that got zapped by lightning during a monsoon storm here in Tucson recently. Sigh. But Home owners Insurance looks like they will take care of things.

    I am very tempted to score the 'head version' (non rackmount) Ashdown ABM500 EVO II to pair with my 112 HT/EX Bergie's. Thanks for the reminder. I will post as soon as I check it out. Gary
     
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That would be another one of my expensive hobbies! :p Send me a PM if you want to bounce ideas off anybody! :D
     
  15. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Cool, thanks!

    Sorry about your theater. I don't know if you noticed, but the pricing on Ashdown went down recently to the point where it really is a bargain.
     
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I used to use the ABM500 head with my Berg mini stack. It was an unbelievable pairing. So much so that I'm thinking of picking up an Ashdown amp again.
     
  17. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Gary,
    Based on my experience with the walkabout, if you run the input gain closer to 9-10 o'clock and the master around 3 o'clock you'll get a much cleaner sound. I typically don't run my input gain higher than that unless I want a bit of grit. Of course that might differ slightly with your basses depending on the gain of your on-board pre's but I suspect it would still clean things up.
     
  18. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Tahnks Jome. I'll check it out. I have been using the Input gain at exactly 9-10 o'clock. But when I got outside, I dialed both Input and Master to about 12 o'clock and I did get some grit ..which is cool unless you're going for a clean slap tone and such. Will keep you posted. Still LOVE the Walkabout for my indoor and smaller venues. Gary
     
  19. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Howdy Capt Wally. Finally did the Ashdown ABM500 EVO comparison to the Mesa Walkabout with my Bergie HT/EX 112 mini stack. In short, the Ashdown wins. Big time! Where it wins is in overall clean power and headroom, plus a much more authoritative low-end response on the B string. The Walkabout sounds great and has a rich Midrange that has more bite and growl. The Walkabout may cut a litte better in a band mix, but I was able to EQ plenty of midrange in the Ashdown. The Lows on the Ashdown are a bit fuller, deeper and more rich, but without being bloated.

    I did a couple gigs with both amps side-by-side this week. One quiet gig and one louder. The quiet gigs, the Walkabout was almost a bit more articulate with a more focused midrange. But when it came time to nail a low B string note (low D, C or open B) the Walkabout runs out of gas. The Ashdown on the other hand has power and headroom to spare.

    Also, I noticed when I solo, I hear more high end detail and better response from the Ashdown ABM500 EVO. I am sold. I think if the Walkabout had more power, it would be a major contender. But for now, the Ashdown is only slightly larger physically, but still very manageable. The Ashdown also offers a few more features the Walkabout does not have; The octave divider (Sub harmonizer), Mute Switch, Input signal VU Meter etc.

    I am going to use the Ashdown again at a gig tonight with my Mini Bergi HT/EX 112 stack. I normally used the Walkabout for this gig . Since it is outdoors and tonight a big party is expected, I fully expect to use the extra headroom the Ashdown offers.

    Lastly, the short time I had the Thunderfunk TF550, I too realized it had HUGE power reserves. As was noted by another poster, These Mini-bergies are such great speakers, they would probably sound great with most any head having sufficient headroom to drive them.

    Bottom line ..as has already been noted, Bergies with Ashdown amplification is an excellent match. I would still like to try a GK 1001 RB. (It never ends does it?)

    Gary
     
  20. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Gary, I just recently tried a GK 1001RBII with one of my Berg 112's. I tried REALLY hard to get a sound I liked. It didn't happen.

    I'm curious, do you use your Ashdown with the built in eq curve on or off (flat)? If you turn the eq curve off than the mids are much stronger and you'll be able to cut through better. I just got back from doing a duo gig with a songwriter who plays piano. I ended up using the eq on the amp pretty much flat. It sounded unreal, and with only one 112.

    You should really check out the 500EVOII. It has even more options and sounds than the ABM series amps did.