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Stupid Newbie mistakes Ashdown/avatar stuff

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gamera, Sep 22, 2004.


  1. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Hi,

    I am a newbie here. I just wanted to post some of my mistakes so others won't make the same ones. I was a bass player 20 years ago and then for some inexplicable reason people kept asking me to play guitar so I switched, well I just recently switched back.

    Not really knowing anything about bass I soliticed some advice from an old bands bass player who frequents this board. Super nice guy and gave me good advice. He suggested I talk to Avatar about getting one of their specials. You get an Ashdown bass head and a speaker cabinet for short money. I looked it up. I called them and made the deal.

    I thought I was getting an ABM325 and got a MAG300. I also asked him if the 2X10 cabinet was sufficent to handle the amp, and if ity wasn't I would go bigger, maybe 2X12 or 4X10 if absolutely neccesary. I was told 2X10 was fine.

    So now I have a cheaper amp head than I wanted and a 2X10 cab that can't remotely handle the power.

    Moral of the story, listen ask more questions, and don't trust everyone. I probably should have come here or listened more to my friend. Sorry to ramble, I am just feeling pretty stupid right now.

    My next question is the ABM325 that much better than the MAG300, has anyone ever compared the two?
     
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    The B210 is supposed to handle 700 watts. Isn't the Mag 300 supposed to be 307 watts?
     
  3. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Well thats what I read, but it really distorts out when turning it about a 1/3 of the way up. That is also what the guy at Avatar said as well. I'm just sure that this will rip the speakers up within a couple of practices.
     
  4. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I have a B210 that I used with a Behringer 3000t head (supposedly a rip off of the Ashdown head you have.) It is rated at 300 watts and I never had any kind of distortion or break up. I now have a pre/power amp set up capable of 425 watts per side and run it with no problems. Something is not right with your rig.
     
  5. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    The MAG is not a bad head. I'm not a big fan of Ashdown's outsourced manufacturing but it's a nice head and all of Mark's amps have pretty good-sized power reserves. That MAG head should burst with 300-500 watts fairly cleanly and the cab should handle it well.

    One thing about the Ashdowns that I have found is that if you have an aggressive attack and a bass with hot output, then it will distort the preamp pretty quickly. You may want to try the low gain input and/or backing down on the preamp gain and turning up the master level higher. See if that helps the distortion problem.
     
  6. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Isimy that could be it. Both were set at about half mast and I haven't had more than a couple of minutes to screw around with it.

    thanks
     
  7. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    You bet. Let us know how it works out. That's a nice rig and should perform pretty well for you.
     
  8. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Isimy,

    While that helped it still seems pretty farty when played with a decent amount of volume and string attack. I hate not knowing anything about bass. This ignorance is gonna drive me crazy.
     
  9. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Okay - I'm going to try a different angle, here.

    I have an Avatar 4x10 through which I originally tried to run a Trace AH200 head (plenty of power for my other cabs) and it was farty as hell. The reason? Not enough power for the cab.

    Granted, mine was a 4x10, which was rated much higher than yours, but you're still looking at a considerably higher power rating for that 2x10 as opposed to the output for your Ashdown head. Assuming that the cab is an 8ohm cab, it's very possible that the fartiness you are experiencing is due to having to little power for that cab (the 8ohm rating for that head is probably in the neighborhood of 230 or so). Those 10s are mighty, regardless of configuration.

    Just a thought, which may be woefully wrong.
     
  10. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Fair enough, but I even consulted with someone from Avatar, who suggested that my situation was likely due to what I described. In fact, at the time, I found some threads on this board that suggested the same.
     
  11. ApeIsHigh81

    ApeIsHigh81

    Aug 24, 2004
    CA
    I had an Avatar B210 used in conjunction with a GK 400RBIII and it had DEEP clarity & balls to spare no matter the volume. Headroom seems to be the definite problem with your Ashdown.
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Guys lets put some physics into this. Underpowering an amp is a term that was originally derived to describe a situation where you drive your amp so hard it clips. Logic will tell you this is more common with amps that don't produce a lot of power and therefore have to be pushed harder to keep up. So it's easy to see how somewhere along the line, this became twisted. An as always if enough people get it wrong, it becomes right by popular culture.

    You can't underpower a speaker. You can push an underpowered amp too hard and cause clipping, but that's not the same thing. You can run 30w into a 1,000 watt speaker forever and not cause distortion if you keep the power clean.

    In this case, Gamera has mentioned that he is not pushing the amp hard at all. Therefore all talk of "underpowering" in irrelevent because he's not clipping the output of the amp.

    It has been my experience over the years that most 2x10 cabs make great extension speakers but struggle on their own. Heck don't even use my my Eden 210XLT on it's own and that's supposed to be one of the better 2x10 cabs on the market. So what chance does an Avatar cab have? (no disrespect intended). Furthermore, my dabbling in loudspeaker design has taught me a thing or two about how cab design influences not only the sound, but also the speaker cone movement. Avatar tune their cabs very high. The do this to try and achieve a lower -3dB point from relatively cheap drivers. The problem here is that the speakers unload very quickly when fed a signal which is lower than the cab's tuned frequency, so speaker cone movement increases rapidly, often beyond the limits of the speakers suspension mechanism = distortion or worse. This is not my opinion, it's the laws of physics at work, and they don't change. A standard 4 string bass is already too low for an Avatar cab, 5 stringers are even worse.

    My advice to eliminate you're distorting is to add a second speaker cab. The advantages are enormous. Firstly it imediately halves your speaker cone excursion. It also creates more watts at the amp provided you are careful and match up speaker impedances. And the coupling effect of the extra speakers will produce a more efficient setup which will mean you won't have to drive the amp as hard, thus reducing speaker cone movement even further and eliminating distortion.
     
  13. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Pete: Good info to know and I appreciate the correction. As they say, you learn something new every day, eh? :D
     
  14. bassburnout

    bassburnout

    Sep 22, 2004
    I was just curious about the brand thing when it comes to amps. When buying an amp, do you get what you pay for? Or is it simply buying a name?

    EX/ I am looking at either a Rogue 120 watt combo for about 170 bucks, or a Fender Rumble 100 watt combo for 300 dollars? Predicament.......
     
  15. I've got an avatar 210. It gets fed 250 watts from a peavey.
    I've tested it with high gain with deep signals. I havn't encountered obnoxious distortion.
    I agree with the others that say it could be a problem with the rig. or clipping occuring in the signal chain, but not at the speakers. T
     
  16. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Between the 2, I'd get the Fender.
     
  17. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    Pete what you are saying makes sense. I haven't been able to mess with the amp that much, but I don't thik the cab can handle the low end. In fact you are definitely correct when you say I'm not clipping. I'm not coming close to clipping.

    In fact, when I hit notes this doesn't happen immediately. There is almost a slight delay to it. Its like certain tonal ranges cause a latent sympathetic vibration or slapback through the speakers. At this point it certainly means my tonal range will be limited. I know the cabinet is ported, but I'm wondering if opening the back up a little might help it out.

    I can't really afford to get an additional cabinet right now. The cabinet is rated at 4 ohms. I have no idea if this matters at all.

    Mail order is just a bad bad idea. I'll never do this again.
     
  18. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Before you do, let me have a play with my speaker design software and spreadsheets to derermine the best way to do this. By opening the back, you're effectively lowering the tuning frequency of the cab, but at what cost? Sometimes all this does is make the speaker sound worse but over a broader frequency range. Sometimes it works. It depends entirely of the speaker and it's Thielle/Small paramaters. Lucky for us Avatar use stock standard Eminence drivers, so that info is readily available.

    The only problem is that I leave today for a short 3 day tour. And when I get back, I will be moving house. So it could be a couple of weeks before I get around to doing it. Can you sit tight for a while?
     
  19. gamera

    gamera

    Sep 20, 2004
    Gloucester, MA
    If I hadn't bought mail order I wouldn't be in this bind. I generally don't htink its a good idea to buy guitars mail order. I just thought amps and cabs would be different. I had heard so many wonderfully things surrounding ashdown and avatar that I thought 50 million people can't be wrong.

    Maybe they aren't I just haven't played with it enough yet to decide. For extra every minute I play it, I'm getting more comfortable with the settings.
     
  20. notabob

    notabob

    Sep 20, 2003
    cincinnati ohio
    question...im no speaker expert but couldnt farting be caused by the neagtive and positive contacts on the speakers being reversed? i had this problem with a home made cab once and switching the contacts fixed it. i think the test you can do to check it is this: plug a cable into the cab and take a 9 volt battery. touch the + to the tip and the - to sleeve (on the cable). if the speakers push out when you do this then they are wired fine but if they push inward toward the inside of the cabinet then the speakers are wired wrong. watch both speakers because one may be wired wrong and the other right. if this is the problem then open up the back of the cab and switch the contacts on the bad speaker and it should solve your problem. however, i could just be a moron and this may be irrelevant to you.