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Need more volume

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cirrus, Dec 27, 2001.


  1. Cirrus

    Cirrus Guest

    Apr 30, 2000
    Las Vegas, NV
    My current setup is a SWR Bass 350 amp playing through a Workingman's 4x10 and a Workingman's 2x10. What I really need is more volume without fear of my amp bursting into flames... If I stepped up to a Bass 750 would that make a huge difference? Getting a guitarist and drummer to turn down is impossible, so I'm going to have to turn up. What's my best bet?

    Peter
     
  2. EString

    EString

    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    Upgrading to the 750 would not be a huge difference, but it would make a difference. The question is whether your cab can handle it.
     
  3. How do you have your 350 Eq'd? If you are boosting your highs, cutting your mids and boosting you lows you'll be fighting to be heard. Start with your amp flat. Add some boost around 120 Hz and around 800 Hz and use that enhance knob sparingly. More midrange may be the answer.
     
  4. The easiest would be change your 210 for another 410.This would be a bigger volume booster than more power.Doubling your power will only add 3db(350w to 700w) if your speakers can handle it.Changing your 210 for a 215 might also work cause I think the Bass350 will handle 2.6ohms,but you really need more power and speakers.When an amp gets driven close to it's max it tends to lose control of the speaker cones.Low freqencies move the cones a long ways in and out,you can see this when you hit your E or B string and on slaps and pops.It takes a lot of power to move the cone this far and keep it under control.More power will sound deeper and tighter and make your speakers less prone to blowing.So what you really need is more power to keep your speakers under control at higher volumes and more speakers to add volume.
     
  5. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I'm not a technical geek (I mean "geek" in the nicest of ways :D ), but in my practical experience, going from the 350 to the 750 would definitely be a huge difference. I assume the Workingman's cabs are rated at 8 ohms each. For maximum volume, you need to run these in series (output of power amp into input of 2x10, output of 2x10 into input of 4x10) so that the ohm rating is now 4 ohms.

    In my experience, as a general rule, you need at least 600 watts of solid state power, or 300 watts of all tube power to handle most gigs (up to large clubs). Remember that most power amps, if they are spec'd at 750 watts, that's at a 4 ohm load. If you're running only an 8 ohm load, you only get half the power. It's far better to have too much power than not enough. Go for the 750, then eventually upgrade your speaker cabs to the pro series as your budget allows.
     
  6. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Should have done this before posting. I went to the SWR website. Here are the specs for the 350 and 750:

    Bass 350
    450 watts @ 2 ohms
    350 watts @ 4 ohms
    240 watts @ 8 ohms

    Bass 750
    850 watts @ 2.6 ohms (8 ohm cab + 4 ohm cab)
    750 watts @ 4 ohms
    450 watts @ 8 ohms

    And I was wrong :oops: about 8 ohm load giving you half the power of 4 ohm load (more like 60-70%).
     
  7. Craigs right about most of what he said.You'll need more power no matter what, so that would be your first step.Then you can play louder without worrying about blowing your speakers cause of your amp clipping.Just don't expect to be twice as loud,it doesn't work that way.Also, it doesn't matter if you run your speaker cables both from the back of your head or daisy chain them speaker to speaker,they will be in parellel both ways and two 8ohm speakers would total out to 4ohms either way.To run in series you would have to make a special cord and in series two 8ohm cabs would be 16 0hms.
     
  8. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    :oops: sometimes I get the techno-speak terms mixed up...series/parallel...whatever :D . Anyway...mo'powa, mo'powa, mo'powa.
     
  9. arfur

    arfur

    Nov 26, 2001
    London, UK
    I know every bassist needs more power but have you thought of thinking laterally on this one. If the problem is mostly you needing to hear yourself then try bringing the cabs closer to your ears. That way the same amount of power goes an awful lot furthur, and you are not contributing to the whole everybody louder than everybody else thing (which guitarists will probably win).
    I have a heavy duty keyboard stand that I will trust to hold my cab and rack and don't have any problems hearing myself over two guitarists and loud drummer. All because the stand brings my 2x10 up to chest height.
     
  10. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I'm all for the low stage volume thing, but unless you're going through the mains and you've got someone at the board that you trust, you're best off with the option of pushing more to the house on your own. After all, what the audience hears is more important than what you hear on stage. If you hear yourself well but the crowd doesn't even realize there's a bass player up there...not good. In small clubs we're completely at the mercy of drummers and g*itar players, who pretty much determine stage volume. In those situations your gear's gotta be able to hang.
     
  11. There is no doubt that headroom is good but I see too many bands with bassists who don't know how to EQ or setup their rigs to use them to their fullest potential.

    What I'd like to know is:

    Is he having trouble hearing himself on stage, in the rehearsal space or both?

    At gigs is he going through the front end or is he relying on his rig to fill the mix?

    How big are the rooms in question?

    Some rooms are nightmares. They just don't have good acoustics. What works in one place might not work somewhere else. Playing with cab placement can be a big help here as well.

    What are the walls made of?

    Concrete or brick walls reflect sound like crazy. Plus with everyone competing for audability the noise levels get out of hand and the room just roars. Everyone should just turn down.

    Is the floor solid or is there space underneath such as a basement?

    Lots of bottom end can be lost right out of bottom of your rig and into the floor. You feel the bass more than you hear it. Raising the amp off the floor makes a huge difference in clarity plus getting the speakers closer to your ears is always nice. Sitting the cab on a solid concrete floor will reflect the sound so try standing at least 15 feet away from your amp to hear it.

    How does he EQ the amp?

    In my experience the smiley face EQ curve sounds great when you stand right in front of the amp. Get about 20 feet away and it's sludge. Mids are a bassists friend. You want your tone to cut, add midrange and turn down the lows a bit.
     
  12. Cirrus

    Cirrus Guest

    Apr 30, 2000
    Las Vegas, NV
    Whoah.. Lot of replies so far, thanks for all the info.

    Zoomboy:
    Just a bit of background. I just moved out here (Vegas) from Oklahoma where I gigged quite a bit and practiced in a soundproofed room. I never had any trouble keeping up with the guitar and drums in those situations. Lately I've been jamming with some friends, particularly a drummer who has an insanely loud set. I can hear myself fine when we jam because I'm right next to the cab, but seem to be getting drowned out just a few feet from it. I think more than anything it's the acoustics of the room we're playing in. Both of my cabinets are raised up because the 4x10 always stays on casters. The floor is carpeted and solid, but the walls are just.. whatever they make house walls out of... sheetrock I guess. All in all, its something of a new situation for me.
    I'd like to be able to tell him to turn down, but getting a drummer to turn down is like cutting off his arms. As far as I can tell the amp is EQ'd pretty well. Bass and mids are about the same with the treble turned down. Almost an upside down smiley with a smirk on the bass side. :)
    Really, upgrading my amp is about the last thing I want to do as I am really happy with the way my setup is right now. But if I was to get a decent trade in on a 750 and I had a pretty good idea it would make a usable difference, then I wouldn't be totally averse to it.

    Peter
     
  13. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Just goes to illustrate my point, Cirrus. What we all strive for is great tone . So many factors go into producing great tone, not the least of which being technique (your hands). But if you can't be heard, great tone is rendered moot. You can't have too much power, but you sure as heck can have too little.

    I use an amp that has 600 watts of solid state power, and I never set the output gain above 3 1/2 or 4 (4 is most often too loud !) High power at low volumes generally produces better tone than lower power at high volume.
     
  14. Hi Peter,

    Just for the record I wasn't implying that you don't know what you are doing I just wanted some more info. Sorry bro.

    Yeah, I've dealt with my share of loud drummers and small practice rooms especially if the drummer loves to use every cymbal he owns in every song (what's up with that?). It's tough when everyone is dime-ing their amps just to be heard. It becomes a vicious circle: The drums are loud so you turn up. The drummer notices that he isn't hearing himself as much so he hits harder. You can't hear yourself so up goes the volume knob..... I bet once you get your rig into a larger room it would do fine but it isn't cutting it at practice.

    Can the guitarist hear you? Just wondering. Maybe it's time for a chat with everyone about the volume levels. Buy some earplugs if you get a chance. Sounds to me like you could be damaging your ears.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Cirrus

    Cirrus Guest

    Apr 30, 2000
    Las Vegas, NV
    Oh, no problem, I didn't take it like that, believe me. And if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be posting here. lol... I was just trying to say that I've done a bunch of playing in lots of different areas and this is the first time I've ever run into something like this, so I'm kinda confused.

    We did find something interesting the other day when I was jamming with the drummer. If he wears his earmuffs he uses when he goes shooting, he can hear me much better.

    As for hearing loss, I wouldn't be surprised. I haven't had my hearing tested in the past few years, but I have had a persistent ringing in my ears since my senior year of highschool. At that time my hearing was still 100% on both sides, but who knows where it is now.

    Peter
     
  16. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    :eek:


    Holy hearing-aid Peter! Get thee to a physician pronto!! I'm no doctor, but a persistant ringing in your ears is a sign of tinitis (sic?), a potentially serious condition. I believe Pete Townsend suffers from this. Anyway, I don't mean to scare you, but your ears are absolutely your most valuable asset as a musician. Please get it checked out.