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Not enough power? What up?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nirvana1410, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. nirvana1410


    Jun 29, 2012

    Here's my rig, I've got a 450 watt Ampeg B2RE and an Ampeg SVT810EN cabinet.

    I tried out both the amp and cabinet at practice for the first time yesterday and I was a little bummed, because I couldn't get the volume I needed. It gets pretty loud in that garage but still, 450 watts? I had plenty of room on the controls to go, but the peak light was on all the time, and I'm terrified of blowing one of my speakers.

    I'm fairly new to the bass world and don't know much about the equipment. and I dont really want to hear that my head sucks either. I'm aware many don't like the B2RE.

    But anyways.... help me out?
  2. samurai1993


    Jun 6, 2010
    My 2 cents:
    -Talk with your buds when you play with other people, if you all are going too high, it will be bad for your ears. Find a good practice volume

    -Use a compressor/limiter, those peaks are because of the way we attack the strings, certain frequencies sound "louder" than others; for example, if you are using your string low and a strong attack on the string, you will get a lot of clank, and that clank may sound more than your actual notes. If you use a compressor, it takes your signal and makes it more even, so the "louder" things don't sound as loud, and the quieter ones don't sound as quiet. That way you can get an overall louder sound when turning up the volume knob in your amp, without worrying about blowing your speaker.

    Hope this helps you!

    p.s: my explanation is not 100% accurate, but as you said that you're new to the bass world, I tried to give you a simple approach rather than cover you with overcomplicated explanations

    p.s 2: as stated below me, a little EQ may also help :hyper:
  3. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    What are your EQ settings on your amp?

    It might be that you can make adjustments to the EQ and get where you want. Please tell us more about your settings.
  4. You won't blow anything. Forget the peak light & use your ears instead. If you hear distortion, then back off the input gain or output-whichever it's coming from.
    Ampeg are well known for peak lights that flash & we've learned not to worry.
    I''ve seen major acts use that amp with peak light on 90% of the time.
    Not a problem.
  5. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Yeah, there's plenty of help around- if you give up the info someone'll help you get where you want to be.

    Often it's an eq issue. For instance there was a similar discussion a year or so ago on the SWR SM-400. There were inherent issues with that model amp that some people here had workarounds for, solving or at least helping alleviate the problem.

    Some freq's will suck up your power, some others will hit you upside the head... knowing what to cut and boost can often fix an 'apparent volume' problem.
  6. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Once again I'm too slow... good luck!
  7. nirvana1410


    Jun 29, 2012
    Makes sense. I never thought about that. I have noticed my lower end notes on the B string tend to make it come on more than others.

    My EQ on the the 3 band on the head is usually 12 o' clock on the bass and treble, and about 10 on the mids.

    and on the graphic, I make like a 'wide V' shape. If that makes any sense. haha
  8. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    One thing you might check is which jack you're plugged into on the cab.

    As I understand it, the B2RE head runs at 450 watts at 4 ohms and only 250 watts at 8 ohms. And I might be mistaken on this, but I think that cabinet has options for stereo or mono operation.

    So if you're accidentally using one channel of the stereo input, rather than a mono input, then the cab might be "presenting" 8 ohms to the amp, meaning that the head will only give 250 watts. If one of the jacks is labeled "mono" use that jack. If there's no label, try all the jacks and see if you hear a difference in apparent volume.

    Other than that, if you're new to bass you might also need to develop your touch to keep from peaking. Getting a nice "even" sound, with a lot of peaks from accidentally hitting the string to hard, is tough. Try plugging straight into a computer and recording in a program like Audacity or GarageBand. Play eight notes and look at the waveforms. You'll instantly be able to see how even your playing is!
  9. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Pad switch disengaged unless you have a REALLY loud bass, but, as always YMMV.

  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    There is your problem, you have your mids scooped. That eq sounds great when playing by yourself but it gets lost in a mix.

    Try keeping your bass and treble flat, and bumping the mids to about 2 o' clock.

    On your parametric, set it to look like a frown face, with the sliders on either end in the center position.
  11. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    These are all great suggestions. I went through the same thing about 4 years back. I was up against a 100 watt guitar tube half stack and a drum kit. My SWR Mo' bass head, (900 watts bridged), into a Ampeg 8x10 wasn't cutting it!
    I "unscooped" the mids a bit and relocated the rig to a corner of our practice room and I instantly gained enough db's to hear myself and not clip the shcnike out the SWR's preamp.
  12. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    Since you mentioned being new, let me bring up two points you may not be aware of.

    1) Your hearing is more sensitive in ranges outside the low frequency range. Here's a diagram that shows perceived volume compared with actual volume. From 800 hz down, it's harder to hear, and at 200 hz, it's takes twice as much volume(i.e. 10db) to sound the same as 800 hz. Below that it gets worse.


    SO.. don't expect to hear that bottom easily. 8x10s are loud, but they aren't subwoofers. Mids are where you can cut through. Currently you're removing the mids. Practice to find what each graphic slider sounds like, then at practice you can grab the one you feel is missing and boost it.

    2) Low frequencies don't travel like high frequencies. High frequencies are directional, they go straight out of the speaker cones. The lower the frequency, the wider the dispersion, until somewhere just above 100hz it becomes omnidirectional. That means the lows emanate in every direction, like ripples in a pond.

    The long and short of it is the ripples can bounce off walls and ceilings and cancel/enhance each other. Your best bet is to put your speakers next to a wall. Anyway, take a long cord and walk ten feet or more away from your cabinet and see if the bass is louder. Usually it is, because the ceiling is causing cancellations when it's 8 foot or less from the speakers.

    Once I played in a tiny rehearsal room, and no one was impressed with my set-up, even though it usually kicks people in the chest. Anyhow, end of the night, the other corner of the room was covered in ceiling tile dust, which had never happened before. Cancellations made it sound weak in the rest of the room.
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    PEQ should not be in a V for starters. Set them flat and maybe bump the mids. Same with the tone controls on the amp. Boost the mids, don't cut them. Might be that 450 watts isn't enough. Damn sure isn't for me I can tell you that.
  14. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    450 watts should be plenty, but at a point it'll depend on how you use it (eq), and what your speaker system is- ohms, efficiency of drivers and design of cabinet... BUT I'll stop there. No need to start in on one of those unhappy conversations!

    Need more watts? Go get 'em!! But I don't bet the OP needs them.
  15. TNcaveman


    Feb 1, 2012
    Active bass with a low battery? The pad switch is another good one (been there - done that) Always start with the tone and EQ at 0 or in the middle. Adjust from there. I never really understood why that amp had both tone controls and EQ??? And the location of the cabinet in the room has some bearing on its sound and loudness.

    Good luck and don't forget the ear protection!

  16. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Maybe. Different strokes and all that.
  17. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    450 watts into an 810 should be pretty loud, and I like it loud. The trick is being smart with your eq.

    Absolutely you should NOT be scooping your mids, if anything boost the low mids a little bit. If you boost the lows, only do it a little (like 2:00 or 3:00, not higher). Don't try for a sub-bass thing. A nice even tone will translate better and sound plenty bassy in the mix. You might even think about pulling the 40Hz slider down just a bit, you'll get more headroom that way.

    Don't forget about the tone controls on your bass. Don't scoop or add lots of bass there either. On a Pbass, don't roll the tone off all the way. On a Jbass, try not having both pickups full on, favor one or the other at least a little bit to get some of the mids back in your sound.

    These suggestions might give you a tone that is less pleasing soloed, but it should sound as good or better in the mix once you learn how to dial it in.

    There's some great information here, it tells you exactly what tradeoffs there are in getting loud clean bass sound (and there are ALWAYS tradeoffs):
  18. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    450 watts may well be enough. I agree that proper EQ and getting the volume levels even is the first step, BUT.......

    My rig is 1000 watts, I know how to EQ and there are times when I wish I had an SVT4 Pro ( old 1600 watt version). If the OP has a loud band and no PA support, I can see 450 watts being pretty anemic.
  19. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I can see 450 watts not being enough. But keep in mind that 1000 watts is only about 3dB louder than 500 watts. Noticeable but not night and day. To get twice as loud as 450, you need 4500 watts.

    So no matter what, you need to get smart with eq. Or add speakers. I shudder at the thought of moving them, but 2 810s would be a pretty killer rig if your amp can handle the impedence.
  20. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    I agree with this totally. I also wouldn't hesitate for a second to drag two 8x10s around with me. :D

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