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More Watts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sidecar666, May 1, 2005.


  1. Sidecar666

    Sidecar666

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ever get the feeling that you need way more wattage than is available to you? For example, I have a Mesa 400+ and an Avatar 4x10 (4 ohm). Theoretically, this should be enough wattage to rock the house down. At least according to what I've read and heard on this forum. I also have a G&L L-2000 ...which has the loudest pickups I've ever played. It just seems that I'm always up at 7 or 8 on my gain and master knobs (both of em) to get up the juice to compete with the Marshalls. The only time I felt I had enough power at my disposal was when I used my 8x10 ampeg...but that's so damn big...too big to lug to clubs and stuff. I also tried putting an Avatar 2x10 (4 ohm) on top of the 4x10 and run the amp at 2 ohms. The amp actually sounded quieter than with just the 4x10. Am I missing something here? Maybe my head needs work or something? Is it just that the ampeg had more speakers pushing more air...and that's what I'd need to rock? Not some small 4x10 even with that many watts? Help! :bawl:
     
  2. Make sure your amp will handle a 2 ohm load.

    No way 2 cabs should be quieter than 1.

    If you actually do get less bass with 2 cabs, they're likely out of phase. Hook up a 9v battery to the terminals and see which way the speakers go, in or out. They should both do the same thing.

    If they're out of phase, you'll have to reverse the jack connection on one cab.

    Randy
     
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    You're definitely missing something. That 400+ should be plenty loud. My band isn't as loud as yours, but at full stage volume I have my pre's both set around 3-4.5 and my main power not above 5, and I'm turned down at my bass. There's no way it should be quieter with 2 cabs either. It is good down to 2 ohms, are you using the 2 ohm outs rather than the 4 ohm outs? Also, what's your EQ looking like?
     
  4. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I think BurningSkies is on the right track, are you boosting the really low stuff? That could eat up all your power.
     
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yeah, I was thinking that with the tone set up on the 400+ it would be easy to boost lows and scoop the mids even more. It would eat up any headroom and also remove all the 'listenable' tone on stage.

    I also run both pre's at once on mine, no matter what the situation.
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I would also think about checking your power tubes. Are they a matched/balanced set? Are they all working? Are some running hotter than others? While you've opened the hood of that thing, check those preamp tubes too! That amp will run short of tubes, but you'll see reduced wattage.
     
  7. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i'm +1ing the "possibly your cabs are out of phase" and the "check your eq" (i.e., stop boosting lows and cutting mids - that amp should be plenty loud)
     
  8. Sidecar666

    Sidecar666

    Mar 27, 2004
    Thanks for the advise...I actually boost more mids in my sound on the graphic EQ. I'll check out my cabs...they are both spanking new Avatars, but that's not to say that maybe the cables I'm using aren't wired out of phase. As for the tubes being shot, I'll have to have a buddy check those out...I'm a dufus when it comes to that stuff! Ooo Family Guy is on...gotta go!
     
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    On your main EQ on the 400+...Flat is:

    Bass=0
    Mid = 10
    Treble=0 or just above.

    If you set it up like a 'regular' amp they you're already in a mid-scoop tone hole... In other words, the mid knob only works as a 'cut' attenuating the mids. The Treble and the Bass knobs are all boost.

    I'd start with the amp all 'flat' with the graphic EQ off then work from there. I would only use the graphic to 'tweak' your sound slightly for the room you're playing rather than using it as your main control. I tend to run with the pull shifts out too, which brings the lows up to the low mids and gives you some punch.

    If you're getting no satisfaction from any of the tone tweaks, and you really aren't getting eep loads of volume, then you've probably got something else going on.
     
  10. BS, I'm getiing one of these mutha's. When you say eq flat you mean in the midpoint of the sliders, right? You don't mean pullin' 'em all the way to the bottom like in the - minus range, right? Excuse me if I sound dense, I am.
     
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    The 400+ has 2 sets of tone controls. It has a main compliment of 3 knobs...Bass,Middle,Treble. Then it also has the graphic EQ which is switchable. I've found my best sound with it has come without using the graphic eq, but I did use it for a while when I first got it. That was because I had been using an old Hartke 3500 and was pretty heavily dependant on the graphic eq to get a tone I liked. The nice thing about the 400+ is that it's easy to plug and play without too many tweaks, thus me suggesting to use the graphic eq to do small adustments to match your playing environment. The amp sounds very good across the range of tones, which is a big difference for me, since I now have smooth useable mid/highs.

    If you do a search here keywording the 400+ and tone stack, you'll find a few interesting threads on the topic (Hurley000 set me up with the tip, as well as selling me the head). The tone controls of the 400 & 400+ are based upon the Fender Bassman head set up...as previously mentioned, this means if you roll the bass and treble knobs all the way counter clockwise then crank the Middle knob all the way clockwise, then you're set flat.

    There are also a few more adjustments...both the Bass and Treble knobs have 'pull shifts' which move the frequency that the knob adjusts. they both move the effected bands 'toward the center", in the case of the bass, it moves from low to mid-low, and the treble moves down to mid-high. Each of the pre-volumes have pull bright switches too.
     
  12. Sidecar666

    Sidecar666

    Mar 27, 2004
    Holy ****, Mr. Burningskies! I think you just changed my whole world around!!!! I had no idea about the way the 400+'s EQ knobs actually work. That's crazy! I've had this amp for about 5 years and I never realized that the knobs work like how you explained. Whoa...i think I need a drink....I seriously had no idea. Now, it's like I have a whole new amp to play with!!! I just figured that the knobs were either more or less of a certain set frequency. That mid knob being a scoop mid is whacky! And the shift pulls... I thought that they were just a boosting of a certain frequency...I didn't know that the whole setting got "shifted" to a different freq. and then you can boost or cut from there. Damn...I've got a new lease out of an old amp! i was seriously considering getting a new amp cuz I wasn't liking what was coming out anymore. Now I can start over with a new toy!!!! :hyper:
     
  13. It could also be as you first suspected and you just don't have enough power. Even an SVT has its hands full keeping up with a 100 watt Marshall stack wielded by a merciless guitar player.
     
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    True, this. But knowing how your amp works is always a good thing.
     
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Cool! Glad I could pass on some of the knowledge that I've learned here from other generous people. Keep in mind, that even shifted, the bass/treble knobs can ONLY boost they'll never cut, you could cut by the graphic EQ I guess (I don't know that part from experience). The mid on the otherhand you can ONLY cut on the main tone controls. I hope this helps some of your problems, but otherwise, I'd check the other suggestions in this thread.
     
  16. easy

    easy

    Mar 16, 2005
    seattle
    yes, and extremely frustrating when you don't know how it works.

    I've been getting better and better with mine, dialing in different sounds to fit different songs (when chaning my finger style isn't enough...). I have no problem drowning out the guitar in my band, so now it's a matter of finding the perfect balance. The truth is, people like to listen to the guitar, so I have to find ways to accentuate what the guitar does, without drowning him out. makes it all good fun.
     
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I don't have that pesky guitar problem. I play in a reggae band. :)

    So I'm the lead instrument.

    My biggest fight is with soundguys who want to mix us as a rock band.

    I never was one for trading amps in...I buy one then hold on to it for a long time, so while the learning curve may be steep and long, I like to figure out as much as I can. It can really pay off for your live sound when you take the time to work through things, show after show.
     
  18. easy

    easy

    Mar 16, 2005
    seattle
    yeah, it really rocked my world when I figured out what the two mid knobs do on my 350x (one for boost/cut, the other for frequency selection)
     
  19. easy

    easy

    Mar 16, 2005
    seattle
    heh, fortunately I am among those that like to hear his guitar :)
     
  20. Sidecar666

    Sidecar666

    Mar 27, 2004
    it would be easier if the knobs weren't just labeled "Bass, Middle, Treble" and they actually dialed what they say. like if the mid was labeled whatever Hz it was...then had "-10 db to Flat" on the markings. then it's obvious what that knob does to that frequency. And maybe if the treble and Bass said the Hz and then listed "Flat to +10db". Maybe Mesa will give me a job as the "average joe dufus bass player" who helps with ergonomics of amps! :D