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PA Speaker or Bass Cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zirc, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    The V152: http://www.cerwin-vega.com/products/professional/v152.html
    The Hartke2000: http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=18&brandID=3
    Ampeg BSE410H: http://www.ampeg.com/products.htm?product=104&catid=22

    As some of you know, right now I play a MIM Fender Jazz through a Zoom 506 (C4) into a Hartke2000 through two Cerwin Vega V152s.

    Lately, I've been playing through just one of the speakers to practice (they're huge, so I live one at home and one at college, hauling them is a pain). While practicing at home, I start to turn the volume up a little. With the volume at about 2.5, I notice I'm clipping the (remember, only playing out of 1 right now) speaker a little. The Hartke2000 head is rated at 120W @ 8ohms (V152 is an 8ohm speak) and the V152 speaker can handle up to 300W program. Some reason I'm not understanding what is going on here.

    Are PA speakers different than bass cabinets? If so, what makes them different? Do I need to replace the V152s with two Ampeg BSE410Hs? (http://www.ampeg.com/products.htm?product=104&catid=22) I wish I could compare the two, but I don't know of a store that would let me crank the volume the highest I could.

    It's confusing to me, because on paper, the V152s blow the Ampeg Cab out of the water. For example:
    V152: 40hz-20khz
    BSE410: 55hz-18khz
    The V152s say they can handle more wattage, sensitivity, etc.

    I just don't want to replace my V152s if the Ampegs will be worse.

    So what should I do? Are the bass cabs made better for bass? Is the V152 better just as it is on paper? Should I just lug both V152s around?

    I'm lost :( Hopefully someone can help with my volume woes. Also, I apologize in advance if I left anything out. I'll be checking this thread often (seeing how it's a crushing dilemma :p), so if you have any questions, please feel free.
  2. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    THe CV cab specs say:

    Frequency Response:
    40 Hz - 20 kHz

    (but what is this? 10db down?

    Sensitivity: (1 watt/1 meter)
    103 dB

    and measured at what frequency?

    Max. SPL @ rated input: (1 meter)
    128 dB

    thats LOUD!!

    I would suggest that these PA cabs are designed to be quite loud, but not very low. The frequency response doesn't mention enough information to really know what it means.

    I would suggest that very likely the woofer is exceeding Xmax and so you hear distortion. You don't usually see low and loud in the same box, and this one is quite loud.

    As for power, the CV is rated at 300 "program power" which is not the same as the Ampeg would be rated at.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The specs are a bit vague. Program power is *usually* twice RMS. So the V152 is *probably* 150W. Notice the Ampeg is 400W program. Still shouldn't be a problem.

    Do you have your EQ cranked? Especially at low frequencies, high boosts can cause clipping. If not, someone with more knowledge of the amp will have to respond.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I use some PA speakers while I'm at home, for practice. They do okay (not spectactular) on the E-G strings, but completely wimp out on the B string. Anemic is the word that comes to mind. If you've got a 4 string, I say go for it.

    5 string, or detune more than a step, get a dedicated bass cab or subwoofer.
  5. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    The EQ isn't cranked. 30Hz and 64hz are boosted a little (+5 out of 15) but the rest of it is flat.

    I guess I'm really wondering if there's a difference between PA speakers and Bass cabinet speakers. From what I'm hearing I guess bass cabinet speakers can handle bass better.

    I'll go try out some 4x10s and see how they sound pretty soon. Thanks for all the help guys. More suggestions / technical talk are welcome.
  6. Gianni


    Jul 4, 2001
    Palermo - Italia
    A 5 db boost at 30 hertz is not little!!!!

  7. Whoa, hold on there...speakers don't clip, the amp does. I really don't think that you are farting out the speakers with 120w. It sounds to me like you are running out of power. Using an 8 ohm bass cab instead of your pa cab won't keep the amp from clipping. What you need is to either run a 4 ohm load off of your current amp in order to get the most headroom out of it, or get an amp that puts out more power...like several times as much power.
  8. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    It's probably partially the amp and partially the speaker. I've got a pair of Cerwin-Vega V15B's (an older version of the V152) that I currently use for PA. I used to use them for my bass rig as well. They don't do well with anything below ~80Hz; a 5 string is definitely more low end than those speakers are built for. I've always used them in a biamp system, sending the lows to a pair of 18's. They do fine in this kind of setup, and yeah, they'll get REAL loud.

    Also, 120 watts is not a lot of power, and pumping up your lows with that much EQ will eat it up very quickly. You're better off keeping your EQ as close to flat as possible. For example, let's say you're setting bass at +5, mids at 0, and highs at +3; instead, try setting bass at +2, mids at -3, and highs at 0. You keep the same overall EQ curve, but you keep your overall gain closer to 0.
  9. I played my bass through a PA cabinet (using a bass amp head though) for several years...sometimes I also used a keyboard amp to practice on. When I finally did buy a bass cabinet, it changed my bass playing radically. I can appreciate tone better now. I say it's all in the construction of the cabinet, and the right kind of porting helps too.
    Also, the speakers in bass cabs have stronger magnets. I was afraid to play too loud on my PA cabs cos I saw lots of speaker movement and was really conscious about it. Now I don't have to worry anymore.
  10. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles

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