Severly underpowering my cabs... looking to get a new head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by matt_chew, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Heres my situation. I have a GK 700 RB(old one) and an avatar B210H and avatar B115. Both are 8 ohms. The GK puts out 350 watts at 4 ohms. The B115 is rated for 600 watts rms and the B210 is rated for 350 watts per speaker. Unfortunately, when i bought the two, i didnt know anything about speakers and amps and how underpowering a speaker can be bad.

    Basically, now with my band, i have to really crank up the volume to be heard over the two guitarists. Im losing all of my headroom and my bass is sounding like crap because im clipping my amp. Not to mention, my GK seems to be having that solder problem that everyone keeps talking about where the volume cuts out and sound gets distorted. So im looking for a new head.

    My budget is around 800-900 dollars and i know i wont be able to power my cabs correctly with any head in that price range but id like to get something that would power my cabs better and with less need to crank the volume to be heard. Im up to try anything, SS preamp or tube amp, im just looking for ideas at this point. thanks!
  2. mobax

    mobax Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    New Baltimore, MI
    Try an Ampeg B-4R. 1,000 watts @ 4 ohms. I think street price is around $999. I played through a B-2R last weekend. The B-2R is a lower power version of the B-4R. I liked the sound of the B-2R; just not enough power. The B-4R should have plenty of power.
  3. GeddyisGod

    GeddyisGod Four on the floor and nothing more!

    Feb 4, 2004
    Moberly, MO
    What is it that's so bad about underpowering cabinets? I have an Avatar 212 and I only hit it with 150 watts. It sounds fine. Perhaps not as loud as I would like sometimes, but ok for what I need. I'm even thinking of adding a 210 cab, which would enable me to use the full power of my head (220 watts).
  4. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Watch the Gear For Sale here - or use Ebay. I put together a Crown CE-1000 and ART Tube Channel preamp in an SKB for just under $500. 900 into 8, 1100 into 4. That will make your Avatar's jump... You should be able to do similar. I got a good deal on the amp, overpaid on the pre ...

    If the ART isn't your piece of cake, then there is always the Tech 21 RBI, one of the Ampegs - or your Gallien. You could always throw a power amp into the rack and use the DI or the Eff Send to power up the amp. If you like the GK tone, that is pretty much in the pre. Just give it a little horsepower boost ...
  5. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I think the problem is not really that matt_chew is underpowering his cabs, but that he is forcing the amp into clipping and that is bad. If you can get the volume from your cab without going into clipping, then you do not need a more powerful head.
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    You can pick up a brand new Crown XLS series power amp for under $300 that would provide PLENTY of power for those two cabs. Invest in a good quality pre-amp and you'll be set. You'd even have money left over to buy strings!

    If you aren't into the power/pre rigs, check out a bigger GK. You like the tone from the one you have, right? SWR makes some loud amps also.


  7. Thanks for the help guys :D

    Yeah my problem is not that i am underpowering my cabs. Theres nothing wrong with underpowering cabs if you dont have to crank up the volume knob on your head to be heard over others, but if you do and it causes your amp to clip, like mine, there is a problem.

    BTW anyone interested in my GK 700 RB?

  8. Now that BBE, is that like the sonic maximizers where u put it in with a preamp/poweramp or is this an actual preamp for use with a poweramp?
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    matt..........The BBE BMax is a pre-amp. A very nice one at that.

    Fine suggestions from guy, but you can save a bundle on that set-up if you don't mind used.

  10. It's an actual bass pre-amp designed to be used with an external power amplifier (such as the QSC I mentioned). It has the BBE Sonic Maximizer technology built into it (as a function) as well as various EQ options, etc... You can go and check it out for yourself. The other one I listed is there as well. Both get really decent reviews.

  11. I seriously can not believe this. It is actually laugh out loud funny. I made a post before and the replys were saying that a clipping amp is not a problem. I then replied to that saying, what are you talking about, everyone on talkbass says it is bad. After saying that, I got a reply back by a person who thought i was crazy for saying that about people on talkbass... but here i am reading some more about how clipping is so terrible.
  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Could the effect send of the GK be sent directly to a power amp? This would quickly solve the problem, and the preamp could be purchased later.

  13. Lots of people on internet forums don't really know anything about amp/speaker behaviour or know just enough to be dangerous...

    In some situations amp clipping can is bad for speakers, in some situations it isn't. Depends on the type of amp, the amp power:cab rating ratio, the frequencies being clipped and the cab design.

    You can clip a 50W amp into a 500W cab all day without damaging the speakers. It'll sure sound pretty bad though...
    But you can damage that 500W cab by clipping a 400W amp into it. Once your amp is rated for more than about half of the cab's power rating, you may damage the cab by severly clipping the amp. It should be noted that the damage is actually still caused by overpowering because amps produce more than their rated power when clipped.
    So there, clear as mud right? :D
  14. im really liking the ideas you gave me... im really looking into this.

    Is there any disadvantages to running the power amp bridged at 4 ohms compared to stereo?
  15. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    one is that you wont be able to control the output each cab recieves individually
  16. The only concern I can see from running in stereo is that the amp would only be pushing 280 watts into each cab (8 ohms), hence leaving you in close to the same situation as you are in currently. Bridging the amp will give you the most power to supply your current cabinets. If you're dead set on running stereo (which isn't a "bad" thing as it is more flexible) you might want to look for an amp that produces more power at 8 ohms per channel such as this-
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You can probably pick up a used iAMP 800 for that price (I did), and that would be my highest recommendation.

  18. The preamp poweramp idea is very good.Both the BBE and the RBI preamps are great.The QSC poweramp is also very good but a little heavy.Crown and Carvin have poweramps that are priced about the same but are about ten pounds lighter if that matters to you.If the weight isn't an issue the QSC would be my choice too.
  19. Funkee1


    Jul 19, 2002
    Or a Genz Benz GBE 600. It'll run those cabs really well.