Should I bother with new speakers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by theinfamous, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. theinfamous


    Dec 22, 2014
    I need some wisdom here people.

    My current setup is a darkglass alpha omega into a fender bassman 410 of unknown age. Yes, I know the amp far outclasses the cab, but I wanted a lighter amp head and that's the one I liked.

    Now, I think the speakers in the cab are worn out. They make some strange and not nice farty distorted sounds at higher volumes. (but seemingly not all the time) I especially noticed it this summer on a couple outdoor gigs with bigger stages. Also, overall, this cab just sounds ok even when it is performing as it should.

    Now my questions are this:
    How can I tell for sure the speakers are shot?


    Is it worth it to consider replacing the speakers or just go for a new, better cab?

    I would like higher power handling capabilities and less weight. Also, I'd kind of like a cost effective solution.
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I don't know that anything I say should be considered "wisdom," but you could just be playing too loudly for the speakers to handle. A torn speaker cone should sound pretty bad even at rehearsal volume. Take a good listen next time you fire it up. Whether it needs repair or not I wouldn't use a 410 cab for anything except maybe to sit permanently in a rehearsal spot such that I never had to shlep a cab to practice.

    If I needed something that loud I'd get a pair of Neo 212 cabs or maybe a used Greenboy-designed 15/6. I don't like 410s. They're too big, too heavy, and too horizontal. They just blow your pant legs around at ankle level and injure your back.
    Lobster11 likes this.
  3. theinfamous


    Dec 22, 2014
    Theoretically, I shouldn't be playing too loud for the speakers. Theoretically. I have the amp head set so its putting out 350 watts. My volume very seldom goes above halfway, because at that point it gets uncomfortably loud. The cab is supposedly rated at 700 peak, 350 continuous iirc.

    I don't really have a problem with the 410 configuration personally, I'd just prefer it to be a bit lighter. Other than that it suits my needs.
  4. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    Download a signal generator to your phone (they are free, and useful for a bunch of stuff).
    Dial up a sine wave. Plug the phones out of the telephone to the input of your amp. With the master all the way up (to keep the signal clean) get a good loud signal and sweep the sine wave from 30 Hz. to 8 KHz. If the speaker farts at any frequency, it's a goner.
    theinfamous likes this.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    No offense, but you know this how? Hint: knob position is very rarely an indicator of actual power output at the load. [​IMG]
  6. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    It may well be that the modern amp is putting out more lows than the speakers can cope with.
    As for new speakers, a lot depends on the cab. If its a ported cab then you need speakers that are precisely matched to the cab, or else alter the cab to suit the speakers.

    In your place I think I'd sell the current cab as is and find something that's a better match for the amp.
    eriky4003 and theinfamous like this.
  7. Get a whole new cab and be careful of your knob settings especially with the Bass knob or you will repeat the same situation, even if they are higher wattage ratted.
    BassmanPaul likes this.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The problem you describe could be caused by having the amp's bass frequencies boosted too high. That causes a lot more load on speakers and can cause the exact problem you describe. This could mean you're asking a lot more of the cab than you think.

    I suggest checking your amp EQ settings, backing the bass way down and relying more on mids. See what happens. Cost is zero, and it's easy to try.
    theinfamous likes this.
  9. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    How old is the Bassman 410?

    The older Bassman 410 H or Pro SL are 8 ohms, 600 Watts (Program) 300 watts (Continuous) and 68-78lbs. The Darkglass is likely too much amp for these speakers and other older models with similar power handling.

    The current Bassman 410 Neo is 8 ohms, 1000 watts (Program), 500 watts (Continuous) and about 55 lbs., relatively light for a 410. It should match okay with your Darkglass with the speaker switch in the "out" position for 4/8 ohms. Make sure it's not pressed in for the 2 ohms setting.
    eriky4003 likes this.
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    You need a cabinet of the same vintage as your amp.
  11. theinfamous


    Dec 22, 2014
    I don't know how old it is. I bought it off a dude used. According to the back panel its rated for 700 watts continuous, 350 program.

    Also, I do have the switch pushed in for 2 ohm because it says in the owners manual that you can use this setting to get 350 watts with an 8 ohm cab.

    Ah yes. Indeed. Quite.
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Should be 350 continuous/700 program as the reverse doesn't make sense. The problem is this is probably the thermal rating of the voice coils and not the mechanical rating of the drivers, which is determined by the drivers' Thiele/Small parameters, box volume, and port dimensions.

    It not unusual for a cabs low frequency mechanical power handling to be lower than it's continuous thermal power rating. With ported cabs the excursion of the drivers decrease as the frequency approaches Fb. Fb is the resonant frequency of the port, and essentially the port resonance controls cone movement. As the frequency drops below Fb, the excursion of the drivers quickly increases. So if you feed the cab heavy bass without an HPF, you may exceed the drivers excursion limits before you hit 350W.
  13. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    You've misread the manual. You should only engage the 2 ohms setting if you are connecting a 2 ohms load. Otherwise, use the 4 ohms setting.
    With this in mind, I'd say there's a high probability that the speakers are now damaged
  14. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Are you sure? This from the Darkglass FAQ: F.A.Q. Microtubes 900 – Darkglass Electronics
    theinfamous likes this.
  15. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Hmm, I was going by the beginning of the manual. That FAQ is a bit more concise.
  16. theinfamous


    Dec 22, 2014
    Yeah, I wrote that backwards.
    Wasnex likes this.
  17. theinfamous


    Dec 22, 2014
    Thanks for the clarification. The darkglass puts out some pretty heavy bass if you boost that part of the eq. It is part of what attracted me to the head in the first place.

    I tried some different settings this weekend and it does seem like the bass frequencies were the problem. I was able to have a bit higher volumes with no noticeable fart sounds. (other than naturally occurring ones)

    I'm pretty glad you folks helped me find a good solution, as I'm definitely not ready to spend more cash on a new cab.
    Wasnex likes this.
  18. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I think a lot of novice players approach a bass amplifier and think "well it's for a bass so I naturally want plenty of that 'bass' knob!" And this is of course almost always a mistake. I think of all EQ knobs that one might have available on a bass amp, that "bass" or "low" knob is the one I'm most likely to leave flat.
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    To reiterate what @Passinwind mentioned earlier; How do you know the power output?

    Ultimately it doesn't work the way you think it does, nor does the thermal handling spec of the cab tell you everything you need to know about its mechanical handling.
    Mingo Sanders, Haroldo and Passinwind like this.
  20. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    pretty much

    4x10 will fart out whenever it gets there lol

    i prefer a 810
    actually easier to move for me than a awkward 4x10

    pretty much have never cared or complained about power handling or volume.
    such a generic answer that really works.

    i have over EQed the krap out of it. never needed a high pass filter
    plug in and go
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