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Need more volume!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by moosemoosemoose, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. moosemoosemoose


    Apr 29, 2005
    Hi all
    As you may be able to guess from my following question I’m not too up on the technical side of things.
    Basically my amp is nowhere near loud enough for live use. I bought it 2 years ago for my 18th from my local shop, at the time not having the faintest idea about prices or wattage etc. The amp and cab I have are:
    Peavey deltabass - 160 watts @ 4 ohms
    Peavey 115 BVX –
    • 400 watts (rms) continuous
    • 800 watts program
    • Plywood construction
    • 15 inch Black Widow® 1502-4 speaker
    • Specially ported enclosure
    • Frequency response: 30 Hz to 3.5 kHz
    • One 1/4 inch phone jack input connection http://www.peavey.com/products/brow.../00490160/cat/14/begin/1/115BVX?+BW+4+ohm.cfm

    My main complaint is volume, obviously through a PA this is fine, but it lacks any kind of punch and everything is I do to the sound is lost in a live venue. I find myself playing with the EQ settings (that I so finely tuned) just to get the loudest sound.
    The reason I can see for this is that the amp is telling me with its red light not to play so loud, and this is with the volume at less than half, if I turn in up any louder the green light turns to red…BAD!
    My question therefore is what should I be doing to make it louder???!!
    Any suggestions that I should be getting instead of, or to accompany my system would be very much appreciated.
    Oh and another question……..This head hasn’t got enough EQ settings for me to play with, any budget suggestions as to an addition?
    Please bear in mind when replying that technical words maybe lost on me!!
    Thanks for reading
  2. I think you need to add some 10" or 12" speakers to the rig. I've found that with 15" speakers, you lose a lot of the punch that you would expect. I added a 10" combo amp to the line-out of my 1x15 and it seemed to double the volume I got out of it.

    Your head & cab are both 4 ohms so you don't have a lot of room to work there. I don't think that head can take a 2 ohm load, so you can't just add another cabinet to it.

    Depending on how much you have to spend, and how loud you want to go, you'll need to buy a head that can handle 2 ohms and one more cabinet (2x12 or 2x10 should work), or buy a whole new rig. If it were me, I'd buy a new, louder setup to use live and keep the rig you have now for a backup/practice amp.
  3. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I know you don't want to hear this, but 160 watts at 4 ohms is not very much power for bass guitar. What kind of band do you play in? A jazz trio or something like that may get away with 160 watts. I'm just comfortable with 3000 watts (QSC PLX 3002) at 4 ohms into an 8x10" ampeg cabinet. I play in a very loud band with 2 marshall half stack amps on either side of me, so I need alot of juice, but you can see the wattage difference...3000 compared to 160. Seems like most people in most bands get away with 500 or more watts. (those are solid state amp watts not tube amp). Sometimes I pull out my Mesa tube amp...it's 300 watts, all tube...it's loud enough for anything also. One way to squeeze more volume out of that amp is to get a very high sensitivity cabinet...such as an Eden or a Schoeder. Sorry for the bad news, but looks like to get louder you will have to buy something new...be it a new cabinet (which is just putting a band aid on it) or a louder amp (which I recommend)
  4. moosemoosemoose


    Apr 29, 2005
    Ok first of all thanks for the responses, they were nothing i wasnt expecting, I thought it maybe be sufficient for small venues but really that wasnt true either.
    I think i accepted the fact about a totally new rig long ago, i havent been happy with its performance since its 1st live outing.
    I saw the suggestion about keeping this for backup or practice amp, only problem is this thing is quite big so would it be better so sell it?
    The follow-on question now would be...What should i get??
    I'm going to be getting a geddy lee sometime soon and i also play upright so an all round sound with punch would be the best methinks.
    So what should it be???
    Thanks :meh:
  5. moosemoosemoose


    Apr 29, 2005
    And one more thing if i may......
    What is the actual problem with my combo?
    Is it that the amp is not loud enough or the cab wont go that loud?
    And why does it clip when the knob is turned only halfwayish
  6. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    How do you get away with running 3000 watts into an 8x10"? :eyebrow: Sounds like about twice the power it can handle.
  7. You've got a couple of problems.The Peavey 15s are very good speakers but don't cut through without serious Eq tweeking and lots of power.Boosting your midrange and backing off on your bass control will help you cut through with the band.It won't sound too great on it's own but with the band it will sound better.The bottom end is what uses the most power so if you knock some bass off you won't have that red light come on so much.

    Second,like the other guys said,160 watts doesn't go very far for bass guitar.300 watts would get you closer to what you need,400-500 would be better.I would change your head before the cabinet.Try changing your tone controls like I said,that will help you in the short term till you can afford something better.Also,in general,10"or 12" speakers seem to cut through in a band better also.Some 15s are voiced for more midrange like Bag Ends but I've had that same Black Widow 15 you have and it isn't one of them.
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    You can fix your problem by adding a midrange cabinet. I'd use a pair of Eminence Alpha 8MRs, vertically aligned in a small box that sits atop your present amp head. They have sealed backs so you don't even need to have a sealed box. 2 drivers will give you a 4 ohm load for maximum output, and mounting them above your present cab will get them up closer to ear level where they should be. You'll also need a crossover to keep the lows in the 15 and the mids in the eights and to maintain a proper impedance load. If you're interested I can get you the part numbers at Parts Express for the crossover parts.
  9. Billfitz's advice is the best you can do with the current amp wihtout major changes. You probably can't add another cab without a crossover, as that will drop the load impedance too far. As others have stated, 160 watts isn't a lot, so you have to stretch it as far as it will go with an efficient set of cabs. The smaller drivers Bill suggested will increase the punch/definition, help you cut through, should be more efficient than the big 15".

    If that doesn't work, still not loud enough, if you like the amp you have, you can try adding a power amp to get more watts, stereo if you want to bi-amp instead of using a passive xover like Bill suggests. Shoot for 600-800 watts per channel @ 4 ohms to minimize risk of blowing the 15 while maximizing the potential output. Try to shoot for 1.5 to 2x the RMS rating of the speakers. If the speakers aren't same RMS wattage rating, go for between 2x the lower rated speaker and 1.5 times the higher rated speaker. Hopefully there's actually some overlap in that range. Make sure you can disconnect the internal power amp signal in the current head, its probably not good to feed it signal, run it to full blast without a load.

    Or if you have an effects loop, you could use that for a xover, feed highs or lows back to the current head power amp, and the other freq to another power amp for the other cab. Nice biamp rig without totally scrapping the existing amp.

  10. Wow, that sounds really extreme. How loud do your guys turn it up??? 5 is generally the loudest you would really need on those before causing discomfort to the crowd in a normal sized venue, anything larger you'd use a PA..... we played a show on 7 once and half the audience had their hands over their ears and they shut the PA off for guitars since we were so loud.
  11. what you want to do is get a peavey firebass head, sell the delta bass, and put some extra cash in and get the firebass, more controls, same sound and a hell of alot louder, ive never found mine with my peavey 4x10 to be too quiet :)
  12. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    It's not a constant 3000 watts...just like any amplifier. That's just it's rating at 4 ohms. I'm not sure what wattage it is producing at each frequency at any given peak. I'll tell you this...it's loud as heck but it doesn't distort or fart out...nice and clean, baby!
  13. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Generally, the guitars are at about 3 or 4 I believe (depending on the club) for live and about 2 at practice...but 2 is insane in a 14'x10' basement on a 100 watt marshall!!! I'm looking into a Scheoder cabinet cuz the 8x10 is just too big. Especially for my Buick!
  14. This is a really good idea not only for your current setup but for thee future too. You would be able to get a nice balanced tone this way and your EQ controls will be more responsive.

    I had the Deltabass a few years ago and I can't figure out what situation it is designed for. Definately not loud rock. It clipped on me at band practice with all the controls set flat. If I remember right there is a contour knob in the EQ section. Turn it all the way left then right and see which way cuts through better. I don't remember which way is which but it one way will cut out the mids which will rob you of volume and cutting ability. Make sure that you adjust the EQ with the band and not solo.