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need help amp / speaker problem

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by P bass guy, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Hello Talkbass. I haven't been on this forum for years, had to re-register to post as I know the users here can give me the advise I need. I'm having a big problem, I dont know what's going on. I need help.

    Short version. I'm getting a nasty sound at very high volume mostly on low notes.

    More details. I have a solid state, strong 250 watt 4 ohm head. 80's model Trace Elliot AH250. I own a David Eden D210 xlt 8 ohm (with horn) and a D115xl also 8 ohm (no horn). I have used both cabs sperately and daisy chained together without issues plenty in the past.

    Recently I'm playing with a dear friend who unfortunately insists on playing as loud as humanly possible. Great guy, love the music, known him for years - no way to get him to turn down. I just use ear protection and don't bother trying.

    I've been using just the 210. EQ pretty flat. Very mid range focused sound. This entire post is in regards to the 210. Haven't tried the 115 yet.

    The problem seems to have appeared as our volume levels have gotten even louder. At first I thought it sounded like clipping, maybe a problem with the basses pre amp, but nothing should have been clipping. I put away my old active p bass lyte because it seemed worse if I used any low or mid eq on the bass. The next week I brought my old passive hwy 1 p bass upgraded with bass lines pickups. Volume was probably even louder this week. The amps volume is still not at max, but far higher than I've ever had it. Sounds like blown speakers at high volume and the sound just can't get any louder. Speaker cones look like they're bouncing off the grills they're moving so much. I turned down a bit to make it a bit better, but still had to be heard over the insanely loud Marshal, so I just played it because I didn't know what else to do.

    Is this the cab "farting out"? I've never been sure what was meant by that. If I turned down it was cleaner. Unfortunately I couldn't turn down enough to be truly clean.

    Have I damage to the cab playing it this way? I can't really test at home as I live in an apartment and the problem appears at insane volumes.

    For now I'm planning to bring both cabs next time and praying that I haven't seriously damaged the top cab. Will the second cab help? Do you think I've done damage? I'm really worried because of unfortunate life circumstances, i can't even afford to replace drivers in the Eden cab right now. Will adding the 115 help me get clean and loud?

    Is it maybe something else at play here? It's worse on low notes, happens at high volume.

    Sorry for the long post. Wanted to be thorough and I'm really worried. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Pull the 40hz eq slider right down, see if that helps. 2x10 isn't much for being loud.
  3. Problem #1: the guitarist

    Problem #2: 150 watts

    Problem #3 two 10's
  4. I can try the 40 slider. Thanks.

    I agree that if the guitarist would turn down I wouldn't have to get so loud, but that has proven impossible. I like the guy and want to play with this band, so I'm trying to get loud.

    The amp isn't 150 watts, it's 250 and generally believed to be conservatively rated. Pre gain is at 6/10 (I can use 9 without clipping) and post at 6/10 so I don't think the amp is out of head room.

    It seems like a cab thing.

    Is this what is meant by cab "farting out" and should I worry I've damaged the speakers?

    I already plan to bring out my 1 x 15" to add to the 2 x 10" - can I reasonably expect more clean volume with the added cab?
  5. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Added cab will give more volume, but adding a different cab means a sound change. More ideal is another cab the same as you have, means same but louder. Since you have it already, try it.Also stack them on end, so its a tall narrow stack, clover you your ears that way.
    maestrovert likes this.
  6. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Until you can/need to upgrade, use both cabs, cut some bass, and boost some mids. (On the amp) Don't try to shake the walls. If it sounds bad, don't do it.
  7. Thanks guys. Definitely will try the second cab. Could this be related to under powering? I've never really understood why that's a problem, but each of these cabs is rated for a lot of power. Also, would increasing my pre gain help? I've heard to run pre as high as you can without clipping, but I'm well below that as it seems to make the sound thicker at lower volume. Should I increase pre gain?

    I have been running EQ pretty flat. My "low mid" EQ bump is +3 @ 60 hz, +5 @ 100 hz, +3 @ 180 hz. With a similar high mid bump at 2.6 kHz to 10 kHz. I can flatten all that out and even try cutting at 40 hz.

    I just hope I haven't blown up the 210 cab.
  8. chienmort


    Aug 15, 2012
    Does sound like fart out. You could also try an HPF like the one from Fdeck.

    It ain't how low you can go but what you do when you get there!
  9. mrmills


    Jun 22, 2009
    Kent, UK
    It sounds like you are reaching the limit of what the 210 can do volume wise. I don't think you have broken the cab, just pushed it hard.

    The 40Hz cut will help the cab to be loud by sacrificing fundamental frequency response, which are the hardest frequencies for the amp to drive the cab to produce.

    Just take a pair of 810s next time ;)
  10. One last thought. It almost sounds like something is rattling. I think I'll check the cab for any loose screws.
  11. If it sounds clean at moderate volume you haven't hurt anything (yet). But yes, it's either farting out or the amp is clipping.
  12. All good advice above, but they left out the most important part: slap the guitar player severely about the head and shoulders until he turns his volume down. If that fails, find another jamming partner. :cool:
  13. mrmills


    Jun 22, 2009
    Kent, UK
    Agreed, guitarist really needs to turn down!
  14. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    This is really the root of the problem. Try elevating the cab to ear level, and point it right at him.
  15. Oh, I know. That's why I tried to cover that right up front. Everybody knows he needs to turn down, but I've known him for many years and I know he won't. He likes to be able to feel his guitar sound on certain amp settings (yes he uses a lot of bass, I go mid rangy to cut and it works) he likes to be able to easily get feedback on other settings, and he feels that if we're paying good money for rehearsal space so that we can play loud rock music, let's play loud!

    My only other choice would be to leave the band, and I really like the guy and really like the band. I choose to use ear protection and stay.

    It is fun to ask him to turn down though. He'll stammer and give a made up BS reason about why he can't (see above) or even try to convince you that it's really not that loud, it's just a tone or frequency thing that fools you into thinking it is.

    When begged to turn down, he'll go over to his amp, touch a random knob, turn it down two clicks, then right back up two clicks maybe three and say "there, that should be better".

    No, I've been down this road. This leopard will not change his spots. I just need to wear ear plugs and join the volume wars. Our hard hitting drummer only occasionally complains that he can't hear his cymbals.

    I can still hear the drums so seriously, I guess we're not THAT loud.
  16. I agree with thoughts above - too much low end will make the speaker fart earlier than if you reduce low end. Adding a cab will help.

    Long term, if you're dedicated to playing with this guy, 500W(+) and a 4x10 or something similar will be needed.
  17. Thanks for the David. I'm going to check the cab out somemore, make sure it is clean at moderate volumes, and stop asking so much from a lone 210.
  18. will33


    May 22, 2006
    "Cones nearly slapping the grills" says you may have already blown one speaker and it's just flopping around in sympathy with the one that's still working, which you will also blow very soon.

    You can test this by touching a battery to the tip and sleeve of the speaker cable plug and watch which cones jump and which don't.

    You're going to need both cabs to run that loud but this one's already shot.

    The correct answer is to just turn the hell down before you blow any more gear. That stuff ain't cheap.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Also, the position of the volume knob is no indication of how much power you're using. Amplifier just multiplies whatever voltage it's fed by X amount. With a strong input signal it could be at full power with the knob less than half way up. Setting the volume at say 5 out of 10 in no way means you're only sending the speaker half the power the amplifier is capable of. This holds true for any amp, it's not a brand specific or design specific thing. Some amps use a different taper in their volume pots than others.
  20. Thanks for the info. What type of battery for the battery test?

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