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Polytone Sidekick Speakers

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by kwd, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    I'm using a Realist with a Polytone Mini-Brute amp. I'm keenly aware of all of the shortcomings of this set up and I've learned to work with it. I've recently made myself available as a bass player at church and I'm concerned that my equipment will be unsatisfactory. The ensembles usually consist of 3 to 6 musicians in a room of 500 people. I think the least expensive alternative for me is to spring for the Polytone Sidekick speaker but I'm loathe to do so because I'm not too crazy about the Polytone to begin with. Does anyone have experience with the Polytone Sidekicks?
  2. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Any speaker cabinet which matches the impedence of your combo (my old Mini-Brute is 4 ohms) should about double the output of the amp. If you're "not too crazy about the Polytone to begin with", you could get a different cabinet for an extension and use it in the future as part of a new rig.

    I like the Mini-Brute for Fender bass, but it can't quite get the sound I want for Double Bass. Too much coloration.
  3. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Thank you for the reply. I'll take a look at the impedence specs for my amp.
  4. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    You can only use a 8 ohm speaker or Polytone's extension cab which is 3 ohms(yes 3, not 4). Anything else will damage your amp.
  5. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    An 8 ohm extention speaker will create a 2.7 ohm load; Safe, but less efficient than using a 4 ohm extention.

    Look in the user manual.


    Proper Use #6 states: "Minimum exterior speaker impedance is 4 ohms." (Yes 4, not 3).

    A 4 ohm cabinet plugged into the external speaker output of your MiniBrute will create a 2 ohm load. Polytone amps are designed to operate safely and efficiently with a 2 ohm load. Plugging a 3 ohm cabinet into the amp will put the load at 1.6 ohms and create a potentially hazardous condition.

    If you still have questions, call Polytone. The number is in the manual. They may suggest that you buy their product, but I'm sure they will be happy to give you guidelines for safe and proper
    use of the amp.

    Good luck.
  6. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    The older Polytones were 8 or 3 ohm only. Since he doesn't state how old the amp is I guess we're both right. I learned this lesson well when I ran a 4 ohm cab with my Mini Brute III and blew the output transistors.
  7. I've been wanting to clear this up for some time. I have an older Polytone 15" extension cab, that came with the foam covering the front. Are you saying that this has an impedance of 3 ohms? Or 8?

  8. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I found my manual for the old foam front Polytones. I hope this helps. They list Sidekick Cabinets and Monitor Cabinets. Sidekicks are powered speakers that plug into the main (preamp) output. Monitor cabinets are speakers only.

    from the manual:

    Teeny-Brute: 60 watts RMS into 4 ohms
    one 10" speaker
    Mini-Brute I&II: 80 watts RMS into 4 ohms
    one 12" speaker
    Mini-Brute III&IV: 100 watts RMS into 3 ohms
    one 15" speaker
    Mini-Brute V: 110 watts RMS into 2 ohms
    two 10" speakers


    Sidekick cabinets are compatible with each of the above models and do not have to be matched with a similar model.


    TB10: 10" speaker - 4 ohms
    MB12: 12" speaker - 4 ohms
    MB15: 15" speaker - 4 ohms

    It seems odd that they don't list an 8 ohm ext. speaker to go with the 3 ohm amps.


    If you have a Mini-Brute I or II, a 4 ohm ext. cabinet will give you a safe 2 ohm load. If you have a Mini-Brute III or IV, an 8 ohm ext. cabinet will keep you safely just above 2 ohms.
    If you have a Mini-Brute V it is already running at 2 ohms so you can only add ext. speakers using a series circuit or plug a powered speaker into the main output. You can also use this output to
    send to the house sound system.
  9. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley

    I really appreciate all of the replies. It's been very helpful. I have a Mini-Brute II so I'll need a 4 ohm ext cab.

    I'd be interested to know if any of you have found magic settings for Treble/Midrange/Bass pots.

  10. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    No magic there for me. With any rig I start flat and turn the volume down and up, comparing the acoustic sound to the amplified sound as I make adjusments. Depends on the bass, type of pickup or mic, and the room. Trial and error, and hopefully some measure of success.
  11. Dear CTX,
    This is more of a guitar response.
    I recently got an older Mini-Brute III as a second small gig amp.
    My ES 335 has very live pickups, and I was having trouble with some muddiness in the low end. After experimenting with several
    variations I settled on:

    Amp "0" Bass, "0" mid, full treble, dark tone setting on selector switch, volume 5-6

    Guitar 3-4 on tone controls, volume as needed from neck to bridge pickups.

    This for Jazz style.

    I plan to add an Alesis microverb, and an older polytone extension speaker.

    For Bass on the smaller gigs , I have the Bass @ 4-5, "0" mids,
    treble 2-3, selector switch in the middle.

    None of this may be relevant, or of any help, but it is my 1st post, so I hope there was something helpful

    Guitarnut :bassist:
  12. fixingahole2


    Feb 12, 2006
    I read here that Polytone cabinets has 3 ohms.
    I have two polytone cabinets ( and more polytone combos).

    All Polytone speaker cabinets I have are rated at 8ohm.

    (I plugged in the multimeter, to an instrument cable, connected to the cabinet).

    I have acoustic image clarus (series 3), and I am about to try this combination ( w/ polytone 12" + polytone 15").

    Not the traditional set up, but I tried couple of different bass cabinet, such as aguilar & ampeg, and so far, I like the polytone better (the ampeg 210 was distortioning a lot, and the aguilar 112 wasn't as loud as the polytone, and lacked the mids and bottoms).
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Why not get a 4-ohm cab you like? AI Contra-EX would fit the bill and you could always use it with another head or whatever else later on.

  14. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I looked at the Polytone website and didn't even see the Sidekick's on their price list. Are you sure that they still make them? Personally, I think Steve has the right idea. You could even pickup a GK MB112 for $339.00.

  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    A used Contra-EX typically goes for under $300. I think I paid $250 for mine and it's just _way_ handy to have an extension speaker that's as good for such little money, IMO.


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