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Ok so I'm going to sound incredo-noob but...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 0scar, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    I can't seem to hook up my amp to my cab, well at least correctly. I have no experience with anything outside combos whatsoever so this is all completely new to me. I bought that ashdown/avatar cab deal at avatarspeakers.com, and it didn't come with any wires or anything to hook them both together (not that I was expecting it, but I'm just clearing that up). Well, obviously once I realized I had nothing to hook them up wtih, I got a guitar cable and hooked up the back of the amp (one of the two outputs) to the back of the cab (one of the two outputs). I turned it on and all I heard was a very faint high pitch buzz, i tried plugging my bass in but it sounded weak and the gauge thing on the amp wasnt moving when i was playing (obviously it wasn't working).

    So after you finish laughing at all this, can you please tell me what I need and what I need to do to get this all working? :D thanks in advance, haha.
  2. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    You can't use a guitar cable to connect your speaker cab. You need a speaker cable. Same size jacks, but speaker cable is a lot more heavy duty. Somebody will be along shortly with more technical information, but long story short - wrong cable.
  3. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    Yeah that's what I figured :cool:
    Dammit, this means I have to order some online then wait like another week for it to get here :(
  4. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Wo. No guitar cables, and also, make sure you plug the SPEAKER cable into the right sockets for matching impedence etc.
  5. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    That won't matter on the Ashdown he got... At least not on the Ashdowns I've played. That is something more akin to tube amps typically.

    But yes, you definitely need to use a speaker cable or the amp reads it as having too little impedance (or Ohms, I believe it's a minimum of 4 Ohms on your amp) and can wreck the whole darn thing.

    With that whole Ohms/impedance thing, if the amp has a minimum impedance of 4 it means you can normally hook up one 4 Ohm cab or two 8 Ohm cabs. Once you're at the minimum, you can't add more speakers safely or you go below it and run the risk of overheating the amp and worse. The higher the impedance, say 8 vs. 4, the less wattage you are getting form your amp... At least with SS amps.

    Go to a local guitar store (or even a radio shack to get by until you can get a decent one) and pick yourself up a speaker cable that has 1/4" to 1/4" plugs and you'll be OK. Make sure it's a speaker cable and not a microphone or instrument cable. Don't let them tell you there is no difference either. I hope your amp and cab are allright and you get it all worked out!
  6. mksolid


    Jan 4, 2005

    That's not particular to certain amps, Big Joe. That's called Ohm's Law, and it applies to everything electronics.
  7. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    what point are you argueing....because what I'm trying to connect your statement with....just doesn't make sense.
  8. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    or are you reinforcing his point in a very snobbish way...

    I can't tell
  9. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Radioshack like someone suggested, or go to a hardware store that has light fixture supplies. Get a few feet of 'zip cord' which is used for lamp cords, and solder on a couple of TS 1/4" plugs
  10. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Really?! That's fantastic! I never figured they would have made it into a law and then gone and named it after the Ohm thingy because that's what it already says on the back of amps and cabs... Pretty handy if you ask me. :rolleyes:

    What I said was that Ashdown amps (and most SS amps in general for that matter) tend only have two parallel speaker outputs (or sometimes four if there are two Speakons and two 1/4") capable of a certain minimum impedance as a whole unit unlike tube amps that generally have separate outputs dedicated for each impedance or a switch to change it up. Or didn't you know that? :eyebrow:

    He didn't know you couldn't use instrument cable as speaker cable. I told him why he couldn't and didn't want to confuse him anymore than necessary with the whole impedance thing. What did you contribute to this thread? :spit:
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Actually, only tube amps have the impedence matching thing going on, with separate outputs that are impedence specific. Transistor amps will put out different power levels given the total load, but there is no 'matching' involved. I believe that's what Joe was talking about.
  12. Ok.. I have no experience with this particular amp and I might be missing something here, but:

    Even if the head is connected to the cab with an instrument cable, when you turn it on, the bass should not "sound weak" and the "gauge thing on the amp" should be moving. The 'instrument cable vs. speaker cable' argument aside (do a search to get up-to-date on the debate... :eyebrow: ), you still should get some significant noise from the amp.


    you probably need to read up on the head operation. It probably has a 'pre gain' as well as a 'master gain' (or similar) knob, both of which you need to turn up to get the head working properly. My guess is that you only had one of these turned up (hence the weak signal and non-movement of the UV gauge).

    Anyway.. my NZ$0.02
  13. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    If the UV gauge isn't working, it suggests theres something more wrong than with just the cable. I'd give Dave a call.
  14. Oscar,

    Quick question.

    Did you read the manual that came with the Ashdown head?

    I have an Ashdown Mag300 head, and the manual that came with mine was pretty handy ;)

    Having said that, the posts above are correct. You need a 1/4->1/4 SPEAKER cable, rather than an instrument cable to fire up the cabinet.

    And as far as the VU meter is concerned, you may not get much movement on it, depending on the output of your bass. Is you bass passive, or active? If it's passive it may simply have a low output, and short of changing PUPs or adding a pre-amp there's not much you can do. If active, you may need to check the battery.

    To get the VU level correct, plug in your bass and set your pre-gain (labeled INPUT on the Mag300) so that most of your playing only moves the needle a small amount, and on sections where you play the most heavy the VU meter just pops close, or just into the red. What you're aiming for is for the AVERAGE playing that you do to produce 0 VU on the VU meter. If you can't get the VU level where you want it to be, it may be the output of your bass.

    *NOTE: If you have an active bass, plug it into the input labeled LOW. If you have a passive bass, plug it into the input labeled HIGH.

    Once you have the VU level right via the pre-gain knob, use the master control (labeled OUTPUT on the Mag3000) for your volume.


    Good luck. (And if you haven't done so - go and read the manual)

  15. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    It also depends on how hard the power section is working. If the input is up and the master is down, it will go into the red a lot. If the master is up and the input down, then it won't move much.
  16. MikeM


    Apr 21, 2004
    The Guitar cable is not your problem. In a pinch you can gig using a guitar cable as a speaker cable ( your amp will just feel a little sluggish ) Make sure you are plugged into the right output and read the manual.
  17. Depends on how much power you're pushing. My CA9 would treat a guitar cord like a fuse. ;)