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Need a new setup

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jim Beaver, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    Hey everyone. Hopefully this hasn’t been beaten to death here but I’m in the market for a new amp/cab. I just got back into playing after about a 15 year layoff so my knowledge of what’s out there is lacking. I’ve done a good amount of research but stores don’t have a lot of equipment on the floor so I can’t really test too much out.

    I’m looking to join a band and my current amp (a 20 year old hartke kickback 12” 120 watts) is buzzing real bad and cutting in and out until I physically hit it. I know that more speakers makes for a bigger louder sound as opposed to just number of watts, but realistically what is a solid happy medium for small gigs? Bars, parties, small venues, nothing too big. And if sent to a PA system, does it really matter that much?

    I thought I had my mind made up on the combo package ampeg pf-500 with the ampeg pf-210he cabinet (rates at 450w rms power at 8ohms) but I’m seeing some reviews that are making me question the capability of the cab at higher volumes. I’m also looking at an ampeg svt112 (single 12” cab) rated at 300w at 8 ohms.

    Has anyone used the pf 210-he for gigs that could offer any feedback on its performance, power and consistency? I love the idea of being able to just flip the top of the cab over and having the amp attached, very convenient and portable. But if it’s going to crap out on me I’d rather not bother and get something more reliable.

    Is 300w @ 8 ohms enough juice for gigs? The band I might be joining said they have a good PA system but I haven’t played with it yet. I’m also looking at a used ampeg 2x12 cabinet.

    I also love the Aguilar sound and am torturing myself between Ampeg and Aguilar but the ampeg price points are a little safer for me at this point.

    Sorry for the length of the post, I’ve been reading and watching YouTube for a couple weeks now and can’t make up my mind.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome back to bass!

    I would go modular. What has become very popular lately is the vertical 410 stack. In other words, two 210 cabs stacked vertically on top of each other creating a taller, narrower stack.

    So, if you're an Ampeg fan, you might check out a couple of 210 AV cabs and the PF-500. That way, you tuck your head into the pocket of your bass gig bag thrown over your shoulder, and grab a 210 in each hand and walk into the gig. You are correct in that more speaker surface area will yield more volume than more watts will. The taller stack will help you hear your rig better while still taking up a smaller footprint. Plus, if you play a smaller venue with good PA support, you can just rock one 210 and be done with it.

    Here's a thread with some cool rig pics covering this very subject.
    Show Your Vertical Stacks
    /\/\3phist0, Jim Beaver and Haroldo like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Here's a pic from our own @mapleglo showing what I'm talking about.
  4. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    Thanks! Any opinion helps out. What about wattage tho? The 210’s look to be 200w @ 8 ohms if I found the same ones in your picture. the 1x12’s are 300w @ 8ohms.

    What’s the wattage of the head you have there? Has it worked out for you consistently in your gigs?
  5. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I also really enjoy a rig that includes a pair of 2x10 cabs. This gives me the flexibility to use a small rig with only one cab, I can use both cabs and stack them like a 4x10, set them up in a taller vertical stack, or even point one into the room and the other more across the stage to help my drummer hear me (depending on the setting and PA layout). I originally started using this layout when I no longer had access to a van - my car couldn't carry my 4x10.

    Lately I've been using a patchwork of gear. My old head was a Traynor DB-800 that could run 800 watts right down to 2 ohms if necessary. My cabs are an SWR Goliath Jr. and an Acme Low B2 - both rated at 350 watts and 8 ohms. Not ideal, but they've worked together fine.

    That Traynor head is pretty neat, but it weighs up around 30 lbs. I decided to lighten up in that department, so I picked up a GK MB-500. Only one little gig with this head so far and I only had my Acme 2x10 (small backyard gig), but it ran great. Outdoors with only a single 2x10 cab (only vocals through the little PA setup), but that wee bass rig did an admirable job of holding its own.

    My next step might be to get a couple of GK 2x10 cabs to give me a more ideal pairing, but my gig schedule has dropped off to pretty much zero like everybody else. I wasn't sure whether I should be considering the MB-800 instead of this 500 when I decided to buy it, but so far I'm really adoring it.

    In the big picture, I'd say you're in a rather good position. Lots of wonderful gear around for use to work with these days. Try not to agonize too much over making the one best decision. For what you want to do, there may be a dozen different "bests" to make it happen.
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  6. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    Lots to unpack there. Thanks for your reply. This is how my brain works tho, I try to find a happy medium with everything and do too much research. Not being able to go try out different options in store isn’t helping me... but I think I’m going to write everything down and do a pros/cons and price everything out. Then work up the bravery to present it to my wife. She seems pretty open but you never know.

    If anyone else has actually played with the pf-210he cab tho I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  7. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    Not always about wattage it's about efficiency and amount of speakers.
    Within reason wattage of course helps.
    But a 4x10 is going to outperform a single 12"

    Anyhoo the norm these days is a 2x12
    And powerful ClassD amps.
    Not my cup of tea.
    But I'd look at a 2x12

    And if your trying to get away with just a combo amp with just a single speaker. I'd shoot for a 15" since the effciency is higher.

    Otherwise as suggested. Look at head and cab. It allows expanding the speaker cabs. Most amps are limited to 4 ohms
    So start with 8 ohm cab and add another later.

    Or start with typical standards with multiple speakers like 4x10 or 2x12

    Used market is amazing these days. You can score nice heads cabs or even combos rather cheap.
    Bassdirty and Jim Beaver like this.
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Make sure you play through some of the Mesa amps. With the new TT there are a ton of like-new used D800 or D800+ out there. You can get a really powerful rig with just a couple 12".
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  9. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    Thanks, I’ll check them out!
  10. Your volume requirements with a well equipped band PA can be all over the place.

    Ideally you would only need one 210 on a small riser as your monitor and a big PA playing to a big room, and any old amp you like to drive your cab.

    I believe 2F is well versed in that ideal situation.

    A less optimal situation would be a big PA and a smaller room and say 410 worth of speakers and 300w going hard so you can hear yourself over a smashing drummer, and the PA trying to add MOAR. The room gets mud.

    The 2nd situation is better for the vertical 10 rig carrying the room and just put vocals and a doof from the kick drum in the PA.
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  11. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    210he is an awesome cab. I run it with a pf800 though. Not a 500. Never had a 500. But, with the one cab and the amp, I can be the loudest in the room. Over my guitarist (50w tube 212 fender combo + PA, drummer (acoustic), keyboard player (full PA), and vocalist (full PA). Without plugging into the board.

    Its tight, clean, clear and loud. I’ve never "had" to bring my second cab. Although, it sounds much better with two of them. 20200709_173347.jpg
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  12. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    Awesome, thank you for replying!

    I guess this is where my understanding of the bigger rig setups is lacking. The pf800 puts out 800w at 4 ohms. The pf210he is listed as being able to handle 450 watts at 8 ohms. I never would’ve thought that to be safe on the cans you would NEED to run two of them on the pf800 so they could handle the power.

    But I’m glad to hear that you like the cab and say you can crank it without issue. Thanks you, much appreciated.
  13. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    * I would’ve thought that to be safe with the cabs that you would have to run two of them since the 800 puts out so much power.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Playing with a band, I would advise an amp of 30) Watts @ + ohms/[email protected] 4.
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  15. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    300w @ 8ohms / 500w @ 4 ohms?
  16. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Yeah no, the power ratings are actually matched perfectly. 450w @ 8ohm. Now, you can blow a cab with anything, but Ive never even heard it fart. And I crank it.
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  17. Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver

    May 22, 2020
    Great. Thanks!
  18. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Many class D heads out there showing 500 Watts put out 500 on with a 4 ohm load.
    Bassdirty likes this.
  19. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Hi Jim - good luck on your journey! While I love Ampeg’s tube amps and cabs, I vastly prefer Aguilar when it comes to solid state. It’s expensive, but if you can swing it, that stuff sounds great and will last forever. My main Aguilar rig is a DB751 and SL210/115 cabs, but I also have a Tonehammer 700. I have also tried similar offerings from Mesa and Genzler - all great stuff.
    Jim Beaver likes this.
  20. Tall-Fir

    Tall-Fir Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2016
    I’m not affiliated with this at all as I live in Los Angeles, but there is a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0-12T on Denver’s Craigslist. It’s priced right too. That’s a class D amp with a lightweight Neo speaker. That would be a great start for you.
    wave rider and Jim Beaver like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 18, 2021

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