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Something that has been bothering me...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JQ1986, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. JQ1986


    Oct 30, 2008
    Rice Lake, WI
    A few years ago I was at a gig with another band, and the bassist needed to use my cab (Ampeg HLF410) since all he could fit in his car was his head and basses. When he plugged his head in, I think it was a 300w Behringer of some sort, and he barely had the volume turned up and it was THUMPING. I have an Ampeg B5R, 500W, and in order to even come close to the volume I have to have the Volume and Master at around 80-90% which just sounds like crap at that point. It sounds great when it's going into a PA, but weak as hell through the cab. So I'm wondering, is there a problem with my head or something else?
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Could be a lot of things.
    His bass - hotter pickups
    His playing style - heavy handed
    His EQ settings - dialed into a frequency range that your cab just loves
    Your speaker cable - please tell me you aren't using a signal cable
    Your head - could be something wrong with the power section of your amp
  3. JQ1986


    Oct 30, 2008
    Rice Lake, WI
    He did try playing through my head, and it was still very quiet in comparison. Used my entire set-up (instrument and speaker cables, pedals, etc.). Eq Settings...I think we were pretty similar. I may have been a bit more bass heavy. The simple difference was his bass was passive and mine was active. Is there any way I can check the power section?
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    What is your gain set on? Most of the problems come from using not enough gain. Ignore the lights and trust your ears, and crank that gain hard if you need to. I listen for the onset of distortion that I can HEAR (don't go by the light), then back off it a notch when I use one of those B series amps.
  5. creis2


    Nov 11, 2011
    Cambridge, MA
    I agree. One of my first heads was an Ampeg and I was afraid when the lights started to blink. One day someone told me to turn the gain up more, I went from hating the head to loving it.
  6. Might have been that hearing your sound on stage didn't give you a very clear image of what you actually sounded like.
  7. TheRealKong


    Mar 17, 2011
    Maybe you just found out that Behringer stuff is "not so bad" at all, like some people say... Only because it's cheapo, it is reliable, good "budget" stuff. Some people with a pre/poweramp - rig use Behringer power-amps, and they are all satisfied.

    Behringer is well known with theyr recording-stuff, ant theyr amps are loved because of the real conservative power ratings.

    But I think that a B5R should be able to make enough noise to be louder as the Behringer. Maybe its a matter of the frequencies you dialed in, noit enough low mids, you have to try it out.
  8. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    Everything you just said there is wrong. Behringer is known for their UNRELIABLE products that are OVERRATED on power. I don't think I know anyone with Behringer gear that ISNT broken in some way.

    I'd say either the Ampeg has some kind of issue, or it just comes down to gain or the other variables mentioned.
  9. Fixed it for you :rollno:
  10. Behringer is not the same company it was 15 or 20 years ago making reverse engineered junk.

    Some of their new junk is actually rated very decent.
  11. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I have several pieces of Behringer gear in my PA rack. Some of it bought used. Have never had a lick of trouble with any of it, other than a slightly higher noise floor than some of the "better" name gear.
  12. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    You would really need to measure the output of both amps to know, for sure. The amount of gain provided by various stages isn't the same for all brands/models, so the effect on the sound is cumulative.

    If yours was distorted with the Volume and Master at 80%-90%, it's probably because you were overdriving the output stage. Also, the tone controls will affect the maximum setting for the volume and master controls. It's the power supply and output devices that determine your output.

    See if you can get a similar sound at a lower level, with the Master set at the same point, with the bass control set a bit lower than you think you'll need. Then, increase the level, using the Volume control. Does your amp have a gain control? Leave this in the middle of its range. If you turned the tone controls up past about 60%, don't crank the gain. If you decreased the mid/treble/contour (if it has one) controls, increase the gain to make up for it. You can effectively add bass by cutting the mid/treble controls and increasing the gain. Your speaker(s) will tell you when it's excessive.
  13. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I put their A500 power amp in a bar/restaurant and it was on from 10AM to 2AM every day, with one bartender cranking the snot out of it and it never had a problem. This went on for over two years. Another one was used for the subwoofers in a home theater and it worked very well for that, too. The one thing I would like it to have is signal-sensing turn-on or a 12VDC triggered input from an AV receiver. Other than that, it was great. I know someone else who has been using their stuff for years and he says it usually lets you know when something bad will happen.
  14. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    You said your bass is active? Have you replaced the battery lately? I'm guessing that you've already taken this into acount but sometimes we miss the simple stuff.
  15. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    I think the standing right next to your cab when you are playing, vs being away from it when he is will be the culprit, ears in your knees will sort that.
  16. JHAz


    Jun 29, 2011
    This is a PITA trick tha Fender did with its Hot Rod guitar amps until series 3 came out. Sound is logarithmic. So to sound one notch louder (3dB) takes TWICE the power, and to sound twice as loud takes ten times the power. A logarithmic volume control pot works, basically, consistent with this, so if you turn up to half, you're putting out about 1/10 the power you'd have if you turn up to full blast. You can ramp the power up by a factor of 10 (at least theoretically) to cdouble the perceived output, just by cranking to the max.

    A linear taper pot, on the other hand, will be at 1/10 power when you turn it up to 1/10 Makes the amp seem doggone loud in the store, but when you get to a gig that needs you to turn up significantly you find there's not really that much headroom left. You only have the additional gain that would be available if a log pot was already at half.

    More painfully, if you seldom use your amp at over one half it's total power output potential, you have to dial in your exact level using only 1/10 of the range of the pot. So going from 2 to 2 1/4 may more than double the power, making precise adjustments the above-mentioned PITA>