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Needing help with information about high class, high power amplicifation for metal!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Insomnatic, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Hi folks, this is my very first post on TB... I have some technical questions reguarding "high powered amplification" and any information and/or experience any of you might have or could give would be helpful! ;)

    It seams to me as though "high powered" amps now a days do not excede the power handling (RMS) of the cabinet(s)... Stupid question but is this so that the amp won't blow up the cabinet? And also, it seams as though a lot of cabinets are 4ohms now too. I know that using multiple (more than 1) 4ohm cabinets "daisy chaining" cuts the ohms in half making multi 4ohm cabs into a 2ohm load (using 2 at a time), and adds the RMS power handling per cab together for the power amp to cover, if it can. Some power amps won't handle a 2ohm load and those that do aren't that high powered enough to cover RMS wattage of multi cabs together. Also, high "powered" power amps that are "bi amp" capable only have arround 500w to 600w per side. Is this normal? I am under the impression that cabs rated to handle more power than the amp can deliver will "over load" it, which is bad... And, too much amp power to the cabinet(s) will blow up the speakers, which is also bad... Is this not true???

    This is my current rig: A GK2000RB power amp and 3 EDEN cabinets: One is a 210XLT and the other is a 410XLT and I have a 212XLT as a back up or in addition to either. I do not use all 3 cabinets at the same time but I do use at least 2 together. All my cabinets are 4ohm cabs. (And, I play 3 different Warwick basses, 2 Thumbs and a Streamer.) My GK power amp can handle a min load of 4ohms per side (500w per side)for a total output of 1000w and my cabs are 700w RMS for the 410XLT and 350w RMS fot the 210XLT and my 212XLT is 400w RMS. Running 2 cabs in bi-amp mode because of the min 4ohm load per side on the amp means that I have to crank it up for it to be loud enough for my application.

    What I'm trying to do is simplify my gear for portability and touring ease of transport as I am my own road crew for now :D Hauling arround 2 cabs, 1 rack box and 3 basses in casses is a pain and a hassle to say the least. Because most of the gigs I play don't have a house PA :scowl:, I need to have a high powered and more over, a LOUD rig to be heard in the mix! I'm looking into upgrading to a single cabinet (probably a 610 or an 810 cab) instead of multiple cabinets and changing brands of power amp to "match" with the cabinet instead of my mixed and matched rig I currently have. I need to have a "high powered rig" since I currently play in a metal band where I'm battling to be heard in the mix with 2 drop C tuned guitarists and their half stack rigs along with a double bassing drummer and blast beats... I need to be heard in the mix!

    I've been looking into the following manufactures as possible replacements for my current rig:
    1. Aguilar DB751 amp and the DB810 cab.
    2. David EDEN WT800 amp and the 610XLT cab.
    3. Genz Benz GBE 1200 amp and the UB810 cab.

    Have any of you had any experience with these rigs or set-ups?

    How about a rack mount pre-amp, like EDEN's Navigator pre-amp and a straight power amp like a QSC? Do any of you have information or experience in that kind of a set-up?

    Some of you may have noticed that I didn't include some manufacturers, namely AMPEG. Because of their commonality in the metal world, I would like something more unique/exotic that can better transition between music styles with different sounds for playing styles as I often times am asked to play a country gig from time to time where an overdriven tube growl wouldn't be needed. I've had Ampeg stuff before, it's nice but not for me... Same for SWR, MESA, MarkBass and Fender.

    I've been playing bass for over 20yrs and I currently have nice gear but the whole amp to ohms, power handling and cabinet rating thing is a bit confusing... I'm not much of a gear junky either and there are a lot of choices to make as far as brands and power needs to consider. I like the whole "plug and play" idea. A lot of "pre-amping" on todays amps says "time consuming" all over it to get ones "sound" to me IMO ;). Basically, I baught really nice stuff a long time ago, and it still works great for what I do, but my stuff is starting to show it's age and I think I'm due for an upgrade ;) If I'm going to upgrade, I want and I like simplicity and I'm not looking for a lot of stuff to be hauling arround either! If I can get away with only having 1 rack box (that isn't too heavy), 1 cabinet (that isn't too small) and a bass or 2 for gigs, with enough power I won't have to worry about being heard in a mix, I'll be happy!
  2. Just buy an Ampeg you will be happy and all issues will be fixed forever.
  3. Also, I forgot to ask about DI boxes... If the amp has a DI and/or a XLR out, is carrying a separate DI box really necessary? What are the bonus's to having a separate DI box and which brands are the best? I've always used the XLR out on my GK head and never had an issue with sound quality in all the gigs I've played using the house PA.

    Again, any information would be appreciated!
  4. I've had Ampeg stuff before... Not a fan. It's nice stuff but I don't like it, plus, I'd like to have an American made product, not an American based Chinese made product.
  5. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    The basic thing to bear in mind, which cuts out a lot of the stuff you are asking about, is that watts have no relationship to tone or volume, in the case of heads or cabs. So ignore them. Get a head you like the sound of, find a cab you like the sound of, add more of those cabs until loud enough. With two guitarists wanting to be bassists, you need to sneak around their invasion of your territory and occupy theirs, by having loads of mids, sounds ugly alone but you cut through the mix. Mids don't worry about power too much, so non issue, jsut need some decent EQ, which basically means nothing with the bass middle treble valve powered tone stack (which typically only cuts mids, its the standard Fender one). If you are pretty confident with eq, parametric mids are your friends, since you can dial in the right frequency bump, but tends to sound horrible on its own even more.
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  7. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i liked the genz personally if you are opposed to mesas, however when i switched to g&l basses for my more aggro projects i cut through mix pretty easily
  8. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Maybe he likes articulation....? :ninja:
  9. Apperently you didn't actually read what I wrote did you? :scowl:

  10. I actually run a lot of mids as is and always have. I've been forced to doing this for many years from being in multiple metal bands where my guitarists are drop tuned and in my tonal range thus "invading my territory" (I like that btw lol!)

    Not sure I agree with the statement of "sounds ugly alone"... I know "tone" and one's "sound" is as varied and individual as someones own opinion, so I'll cut you some slack ;)

    My basses IMO sound amazing alone and even better amplified. I realize it isn't a sound that everyone likes but it is sound and a tone that I've become familiar with and have come to love and look forward to... Luckily my Warwicks not only are beautiful to look at but they have an excellent onboard EQ and naturally have really "growly" mids in their tone, so not much EQing necessary there... It wouldn't necessarily matter what rig I played through, I'm confident that I would be able to get my "sound/tone" from vertually any amp.

    I've got a really good set up AS IS that works wonderfully for what I do. I just have a lot of gear that sucks to carry arround and keep track of all the time. I'm just looking to minimize without minimizing... If that makes any sense?

    I appreciate your help but basically, I'm a step a head of you... Thanks though ;)

    I probably should have re-titled the thread as "Choosing a rig from the following" or "Anybody have experience with these?" or something like that...

    I pretty much know what I want, I would just like to see if anybody else has had experience with the set-ups I'm interested in before I make a decision and purchase ;)
  11. Lol, in fact I do! Thank you for pointing that out ;)
    I don't use picks so "articulation" is necessary and, I like to be heard too :bassist:
  12. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay

    Excellent advice.
  13. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Ignoring the fact that it doesn't mean much anyway, a cab's power rating is (supposed to be) the maximum it can handle - rather like maximum speed ratings on tires.

    If your car can only do 100mph (or your amp can only deliver 100 watts), it doesn't matter if your tires are rated for 150mph or 250mph (or if your cabs are rated for 150 watts or 250 watts).

    This is a simplification and there are situations where abusing the car (or the amp) will destroy the tires (or the cab), but that's it in principle.

    Amp rating = power output
    Cab rating = power handling
  14. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you want American made, that leaves just the Aguilar rig out of the three you listed (or Mesa and a handful of others).

    I personally play an Aguilar DB750 (predecessor to the DB751) through a Bergantino NV610 and it sounds like a hammer of God. I highly recommend that combo (and I'm sure the Aguilar DB810 would crush just as well)- Its only downside is that it is infamously limited tonally. If you like its fat low end combined with wooly thick low midrange punch and a slightly rolled off high midrange, then I find it actually seems to fit really well in many mixes depite a lack of knobs- it just doesn't offer a lot of tweakability if you aren't happy with the starting tone. The DB750/751 punches harder than any other solid state amp I've tried yet due (as I am led to understand) to its hefty power transformer that allows huge dynamic transients and doesn't cause the same compression in the low end that you get with many other amps when pushed (including most of the big wattage bass amps I've tried or owned). Its voicing and dynamic power also make it feel louder without breaking a sweat to me than any other amp I've ever owned, including amps rated at more than twice the wattage! My other amp recommendation would probably be a Mesa Carbine M9- it is also a punchy dynamic hammer, but with a much more high midrange focused voice that cuts through any mix with ease. The Aguilar is more on the fat/tubey side of the spectrum and the Mesa on the aggressive modern/extended range side of the spectrum (it has deeper lows and more extended highs than most amps), but both could be suitable for your band depending on your tonal preferences.

    As others have said, cabinet wattage ratings and even to a degree amp wattage ratings are only a small part of the picture when you are trying to create a nice rig match. Pairing a 4ohm 2x10 with a 4ohm 4x10 means each speaker in the 2x10 is seeing twice the power as the speakers in the 4x10- if you traded out the 2x10 with an 8ohm 2x10 or another 4 ohm 4x10 then the speakers would all be seeing the same power. In my experience (a couple years running an Ampeg SVT-4 biamped through a 1x15/2x10 setup and a couple years long ago doing the same with another amp with 4x10/2x10), biamping also doesn't tend to get the most of speakers power-wise either as both the cabs you are using are designed for full-range use, but you will generally crossover right in the frequency range that they are the most sensitive and powerful at in the midrange, so they will both suffer in performance as a result. There is no problem running speakers with a high wattage rating with an amp with a lower wattage rating- in fact most cabs are rated very liberally and aren't capable of handling a bass-heavy signal anywhere near as powerful as their rating suggests for long periods of time without fatigue. I think for a high volume rig, you are right in checking out large single cab solutions that can handle all of the power into 4 ohms that your amp can put out- I would guess that you'll find yourself plenty capable of being TOO loud with any decent single cab like the 3 options you listed paired with the amp you currently have or a number of other available high powered heads as long as you understand how to EQ the rig to your benefit (certainly louder than any drummer will be able to play!). You just need to find out what tonal space you need to fill and which rigs might be best to fill it...

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