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New Laney B1... 1500 watts: too much?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tom Dorau, May 5, 2002.


  1. Yesterday I tried the new Laney B1 head. It sounds great and looks superb! I isn't too expensive (950 euro) and I am still looking to buy a second hybrid or SS-amplifier for 'clean' sounds and more headroom (I allready have a V4b all tube head). The only problem is: the B1 is rated at 1500 ( :confused: ) watt RMS @ 4 ohms. First of all: why would I need so much power? And second: I want to use the second amp mostly with my Ampeg SVT 210HE cab (rated at 250w RMS @ 8 ohms and 500w program, whatever that means...). Wouldn't I be a complete fool using such a monster amp with just two ten inch speakers + horn? I'll also blow my speakers, isn't it? Or am I wrong here? (I hope so :D )

    I also have a Ampeg SVT-115E cab, but the idea is having a second 'rig' for my new second band. I also want it to be 'transportable' (I don't want to break my back anymore, you know...).

    I could use some advice on this one...
     
  2. 1500 watts is not too much. If you keep it down, you shouldn't blow your speaker.

    You'll get super clean power because you won't be pushing the amp. It's all about headroom.

    It's fine, just keep in mind you theoretically could blow the speaker.

    Blowing a speaker by overpowering it is not nearly as easy as blowing it other ways (eg impedance, clipping)

    You're actually less likely to blow it by overpowering it, because there's no way you're going to clip the amp, which messes up the speaker worse.

    Also, you won't get 1500 watts with an 8 ohm cab; you'll get maybe around 1200 give or take a little.
     
  3. fleetwood

    fleetwood

    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    I had a Laney Richter 800 head plus 210 and 115 cabs out on trial. I was a bit disappointed with the output from the 300 watt head. I would love to try the B3. I have no idea of the dimensions or weight though.
     
  4. fleetwood,

    there's very little information about the B-series by Laney. There's even nothing about them on their website. They should do something about that...
    The only information I had came from a magazine. They reported about the all new Laney B1 head, the B2 and B3 combos and the new cabinets, but that was basically it.
    I was surprised when I yesterday found one in a local music shop here. I was able to test it with the enormous Laney 8x10 + horn cabinet. Heavy! (both fysicaly and soundwise)

    Before I bought my Ampeg rig, I had a Laney DB 400c, which I liked a lot. It was a combo though, with four 10 inch speakers, and it weighed about 65 kilos (ca. 160 lbs.). It was simply too heavy. I always needed a second person to help me carrying it.
    But I loved the sound...

    The new B1 is basically the same amp, it only has a bit different pre-ampdesign and even more power. And the look is different too: the B1 just looks awesome... shiny aluminium frontpanel with blue indicator-leds, even on the graphic eq!
    I haven't seen the B2 or B3 yet, not even on photo.
    The price of the B-series is IMO amazing.

    BTW, thanks Davy0.
    I knew that I won't get the full 1500 watts. But still, ca. 1200 watts is way more than 250 watts. But what if I buy the B1? What should be the maximum setting of the mastervolume then? How will I know when I reach the limits of my speakers powerwise? Do they start to sound distorted? I hope you're right about not being easy to blow speakers by overpowering them...
     
  5. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I've never seen or played the B1 but by chance I found some info on the Laney website. It's 'hidden' in the news section (NAMM 2001....)
    Laney B-series

    Matthias
     
  6. Thanks Matthias! :)
     
  7. flacko

    flacko

    Dec 6, 2001
    Surrey , UK
    FWIW, there was a review of the B1 in last December issue of Bass Player magazine. Gets a good write up. I've been trying to find a dealer here in UK who has one in stock so that I can demo it but with no luck. I've been told they're mostly going for export at the moment - seems like they're heading toward Belgium. ;)

    The article also has a short explanation of Class T amplifier design (a B1 is Class T) and how they compare with class D amplifiers. I can't say I fully understood it but it would appear to be a new technology (certainly in bass amp construction). This worries me slightly with regard to long term reliability.

    At UK prices this amp would seem to be a pretty good buy, certainly terms of price and portability. It weighs only 34lbs and it goes for less than 600 sterling.
     
  8. There is no such thing as too many watts for a bass amp.
     
  9. Well, flacko, the B1 I found was in very small shop in small town. It's the only one I've seen yet, so...
    I don't know where Laney is exporting those other amps to (to the moon would be my guess ;) )
    It's a shame, i'm really interested in the B series...

    allan,

    maybe there's no such thing as too many watts for a bass amp... but there is such a thing as too many watts for bass speakers...
     
  10. Tom said...

    maybe there's no such thing as too many watts for a bass amp... but there is such a thing as too many watts for bass speakers...

    Then we need more speakers!

    I was kinda kidding in the earlier message, Tom - I don't always use smilies :D
     
  11. flacko

    flacko

    Dec 6, 2001
    Surrey , UK
    One of my favourite small towns that I have had the pleasure to visit has got to be Bruges. If Laney have a B1 in stock in a shop near The Bruges Beer Restaurant, near that large square ?? I am in heaven. I may even buy some Euros.:)

    I'm really interested in this amp. What were your impressions of it? Is it all power and nothing else? I have heard some bad reports about Laney reliability though.

    I'm currently building an 8 ohm cab that should take 350W and wanted an amp with some headroom : the B1 looks ideal at 1000W @ 8 ohms!

    Just need to strap the Precision on my back and get the Jetfoil over to Belgium I guess.

    See ya.
     
  12. Well Allan, I felt you were kidding, so I answered smiling... also without the 'smily'. My mistake. No offence I hope, because none was taken. :)

    Flacko, I'm afraid that the small town I meant was not Bruges, but 'Maaseik'. It's a town by the river 'Maas', which is the borderline between Belgium and Holland. It's about two ours drivingdistance from Bruges. But I think I know the beer-restaurant you mentioned...:D

    So you're telling me that in even in London you can't find the new Laneys ('classic Brittish amplification' I believe is their motto...)? :confused:

    Well IMO the B1 sounded a bit the same like the DB 400 (1997-98), only with even more headroom.
    The pre-amp desigh is almost the same, exept you can mix the tube and solid state gainstages now.
    I think it sounds great and like I already wrote: it looks great too.
    Before I bought my ampeg, I had a Laney DB400c (400 w, 4 x 10 + horn... in one backbreaking combo. I believe it weighed almost 70 kilos... that's why I sold it.) I never had any problems with it and I always heard that Laney amps are reliable. I believe that's true.

    You are building your own cab? Is it difficult? Is it much cheaper than buying a cab?
    Your cab is rated at 350 watts @ 8 ohms you say. Are the 1000 watts @ 8 ohms from the B1 not too much power then? :confused:

    During the week I live and work in Antwerp, so indeed strap your Precision on your back and come over some time. But it's probably easier and faster to take the Eurostar in Waterloo Station, it goes right up to Antwerp. (BTW, does the jetfoil-line Dover-Ostend still exist?)

    Cheers!
     
  13. ScJaxx

    ScJaxx Guest

    Mar 15, 2002
    VA
    well you could always get a avatar 4x10
    they are rated at 1200 watts at 4 ohms:D
    you could put the avatarspeakers 115 under it which is rated 800 watts

    im sure you would get ALOT of good clean sound out of it.
     
  14. flacko

    flacko

    Dec 6, 2001
    Surrey , UK
    You are building your own cab? Is it difficult? Is it much cheaper than buying a cab? Your cab is rated at 350 watts @ 8 ohms you say. Are the 1000 watts @ 8 ohms from the B1 not too much power then?

    Well ... I've yet to start. I've read-up as much as my brain can take in on the subject (yep it's full), and taken note of what the cab building experts on this site have to say. I now have the 2 drivers (15" and 10") and the crossover from the US. I've ordered the void-free Birch plywood and intend to get a local wood-working shop to cut the panels square and cut the holes for the drivers. This work requires fairly specialist equipment to get right as it seems best to rebate the driver cut-outs as well.

    I'm basically doing this out of interest. There are warnings from the US cab builders on this site about the amount of time and effort it takes to build cabs and often they will advise to go for off the shelf cabs. Eden and Acme are names that come up a lot but these are pricey in the UK : Eden far more so than in the US from what I can tell . Acmes may well be nice but you have to ship them in from the US before you can demo them, with all the shipping charges/Import Tax and hassle this involves. Aguilar look good but there ain't currently a dealer in the UK (although they're soon to be available I am told by the company), Helvos not available in UK, Ampeg available but pricey.

    What I am trying to say is that IMO, with a bit of research, there is a good possibility of building a high quality cab for less than an off-the-shelf equivalent in the UK. And I like mucking around with wood. And of course you can build the cab like a brick s**t-house so it'll probably outlast me (guess my son can inherit it!). And I'm finding the whole cab design thing is quite interesting when you get into it.

    I'll give you an update when I get started.

    Is the 1000 Watts overkill? I don't really know. Just that there is not an awful lot of choice under the price of the B1. If I end up melting the drivers in my new cab through overloading it I'll be as sick as a dog - you'll probably hear me in Antwerp :)