Q: Need Help with Bass Amp and Cab advice, suggestions, and recommendations

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sergius Durante, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    Weird Title, sorry

    But after finally gigging with my band again, and having the most embarrassing returning gig... I needed to post

    My amp is a SWR Headlite 400w (pretty rare little buggers) which operates at 400 watts at 4 ohms and half that at 8 ohms, and my cab is a Gallien Kruger MBX 4x10 that is at 8 ohms

    I am running a 4 ohm head into an 8 ohm cab, which is not loud enough at all for what I need it to do. It worked perfectly for practice, but at the gig, thats when things went south when I hoped it would have been enough but I could barely here myself just enough to know I was at least playing something. I had literally everything up, but had to turn up my limiter/compressor knob so I don't keep power clipping when I meet the threshold and risk damaging my amp

    Before anyone mentions it, no, I don't want to get a 4 ohm cab. Already tried local listings and have come up empty handed, and even then if I did, I would have an 8ohm cab lying around and honestly, with the barren wasteland I live in of Southern California, there isn't a lot for me to try unless I can plan a day trip to LA for the guitar center and other music shops, and see what I can try without some guy playing the same c major slap scale (which Im fine with but there were too many last time I went there) and hogging the cables.

    I tried searching SPECIFICALLY for 8 ohm (insert wattage) bass heads but only ever get things related to cabs. I have a few options such as a Harke LH1000... but IM not an amp guy, I just know more about instruments, pickups, setups, and so forth form teaching myself and learning online and wondering what are some options.

    Are there any bass amps you all know of in 8ohms?
    - My tone is for punk like Black Flag, Minor Threat, Crossover like suicidal tendencies, and maybe some metal such as Metallica, Megadeth, stoner like Kyuss and some weird alt (whatver genre) Queens of the Stone Age is (sorry Josh Homme lol), Anthrax, fast punchy bass tone.
    What are my options/what can I do?
    If I had to put a budget maybe under $1000, Im a broke college student :c, but Im not giving up my dream of playing gigs until it kills me (try me death), or I get hurt real bad and can't play.

    If the head thing is something not worth trying to fix, and it be better to get a cab in 4 ohms, then Ill hopefully try to sell the cab and find a 4ohm one somewhere.
    Here is my head SWR HEADLITE OWNER'S MANUAL Pdf Download.

    Here is my cab https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/410MBX--gallien-krueger-410mbx-4-by-10-inch

    Recommendations, suggestions, helpful info, criticizing of my method of cooking macaroni and cheese, and so forth would be helpful from all of you more experienced, and grounded in the biome of amps and cab pairing
  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    Add a second cab exactly like you have now.

    Or at least another 8 ohm 410. Your amp is not "4 ohm"

    Your amp is MINIMUM 4 ohm. Two 8 ohm cabs show your amp 4 ohms.

    Matching cabs is reliable; the two will not fight each other. You will also be doubling the power and surface area of moving cone. That's how to get louder.
    AstroSonic, jimb213, Balog and 15 others like this.
  3. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    hmm okay, wow Im glad I posted first
    The problem though is the cab i already have cannot be connected to other cabs, it allows for either standard jack or speakOn, but this cab has no output. And the head only has one speaker output, so I could see if I can find another cab that could be connected in parallel and have the 4x10 be the last in the chain
  4. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    matching cabs... yea none of the 115-12's will work, as they can only be the last in the chain (as well as meant to be alone) I could look around for 2x10's, hopefully Ill find something cheap and maybe a days trip away
  5. Lowend65

    Lowend65 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    I looked up your amp, honestly not great for what you want to do. It’s a single output, multiple cabs isn’t really a option. 400 watts for metal ain’t much.

    The cab moves more than enough air for what you want to do.

    My suggestion would be another, more suited head. The Mesa 800-D is amazing for $800.

    If all else fails. I do have a 4 ohm Avatar 12” cab I’ve been thinking about selling. PM me and we’ll talk.
    But I’d get another head and buy some headroom
    MCF, ObsessiveArcher and Jim Carr like this.
  6. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    Yea, I figured. It does me well for home and doing funk (where my guitarist decides be humble and bot crank everything). Sounds nice for just about everything, but I will consider that mesa boogie
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Tell that to an SVT owner :D

    The problem is that with an 8 ohm cab, his 400w head is only putting out in the neighborhood of 200-225w. The manual doesn't say exactly, but that's usually how hybrids and SS heads reduce power at 8 ohms. So the cheapest solution will be exactly what basscooker says...get a second MBX 410. It won't be a lot of fun to lift but it should work. And you most certainly can daisy chain two MBX 410's together into the Headlite's single speaker out. The speakon and 1/4" jacks on the back of those cabs function both as inputs and outputs. Just buy the appropriate cable and chain the second cab to the first. Easy peasy.
    AstroSonic, Balog, DJ Bebop and 11 others like this.
  8. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    So, lets be devil's advocate and look at this a different way. You have a rig that puts out enough volume to be ear damaging - they all do - and you are playing in a band, which could be defined as a bunch of people getting together to play music together. When you got to the gig the rest of the band turned their gear up to a level where the sound balance of the band suffered, and your ability to play suffered, and somehow this is your fault? Its an argument we never make, but if the rest of the band want you to be louder on stage perhaps they should be buying the gear. And if they don't, well, maybe they could back it off a bit? Was your audience complaining that the band wasn't loud enough? After all the only people who win volume wars are the hearing aid salesmen in twenty years time. I tell you mate, the constant singing in the ears ain't musical...
  9. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    It might be hard to find another 410mbx cab. I'll bet you could find an Ampeg 810 pretty cheap. I'd love to see one with an SWR Headlight on top of it. If it's still not enough, or just looks too rediculous, find an old GK 800RB, maybe 700RBII. And yes, wear earplugs.
  10. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    That will work just fine.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  11. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Good advice. OP, if you're going to insist on playing that loudly then get some earplugs especially designed for musicians. If you don't you will someday wish you had.
  12. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    It seems like people are almost giving them away these days.

    Or the OP could look for a different 410 cab that's 4 ohms and has a better efficiency rating
    AstroSonic and DJ Bebop like this.
  13. Lowend65

    Lowend65 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    I really can’t disagree with Jim. Most bands play entirely too loud. I think it’s a good hunk of what killed live music and brought the DJs In.
    People do not want to be deafened at a live show. All of that: if 'it’s too loud you’re too old' BS was over a long time ago.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Cacio e pepe? Try this: Cacio e Pepe Recipe

    Amps are typically power-rated at 4 ohms. That doesn't mean they can't operate with an 8 ohm load. For many amps, 4 ohms is (often) the minimum.

    Get a more powerful amp. Your cabinet is fine. 1000 watts is only twice the theoretical volume (loudness) of 100 watts. You need at least 350 or 400 watts at 8 ohms. Simple trick: when you see an amp rated "X watts rms @ 4 ohms," simply divide X by 2 to get a pretty good idea of the amp's rms rating @ 8 ohms. In effect, 8 ohm output is about 50% of 4 ohm output. All approximate. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  15. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Easiest solution is to buy another 8ohm cab preferably the same type. Go from the amp into the first cab, then from the first cab to the second cab. You'll have to buy a SpeakOn to 1/4" cable to connect to the second cab.

    Or as mentioned above.......buy another amp with more power at 8ohms.
    DJ Bebop and Omega Monkey like this.
  16. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Well that too, but my main point was intended to be that if you are a band you should be working together to produce the best possible combined sound, and not just be a bunch of self serving egotists only concerned about what each sounds like as an individual. But I admit that can be a hard concept to get over to some lead guitar players...
  17. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    The audience wasn't complaining about me being too quiet, more so any complaints were partially my guitar player and one or two watchers, but the sound guy of the place is known for being not very good, heck he even started adding too much bass to the kick drum (both bands complained about this) and has weird ways of having "balance".

    And yes i suppose/wish my bandmates cared to turn down a bit, and some... seething came my way despite me getting what I can doing the best and playing my heart out, while my guitarist flaunts his $1000 head and guitar (his cab being a B52 stealth cab I was given from my older cousin who didn't want to carry a big rig anymore), my drummer doing okay, and me struggling.
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    If there is FOH provided, there should be no reason the stage is so damn loud y'all can't hear each other. I get (assuming) rock is a loud genre but where does it end?
    AstroSonic, DJ Bebop and gitfiddl like this.
  19. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    LoL, yea I would love to that tiny head on it (sounds good too for slapping and clean bass playing)

    I'd have to look around, I got lucky with my 4x10 on craiglist, and so far haven't seen anything equal to that in a while. In fact I haven't even seen any cabs in my local area or the next, I got lucky getting this mbx for $150
  20. Sergius Durante

    Sergius Durante

    May 21, 2019
    Yea, especially when we play something between metal and punk, the next band though had a better balance than us (they play thrash metal and had an: Ampeg Svt and 4x10, Marshall Jvm 800 w/ 4x10 matching, and EVH 5150 with marshall cab). They barely graduated highschool most of them and have gear capable of easily playing most if not all types of venues before needing mics

    I suppose the problem is when a lot of people still think just playing as loud as you can to the beat as opposed to playing literally together as band, because then at that point you are just a garage band hoping everything louder will make you sound better. I try explaining that to my band... and while they understand... they also kinda don't and assume the sound we make in the little cramped room we play will work everywhere else (which it doesn't)

    Younger player here, but I imagine this be the same for a quarter of a century now.