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The right amp for a cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GreggBummer, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. I recently acquired a Hartke Transporter Cab loaded with a Carven 600W 8 Ohm cone. I am, in the very near future, going to purchase my first bass amp head. I have been asking questions here on the forum, and doing a bunch of research. Thanks to many of you on the forum, my search is narrowing.

    However, I am still looking for advice/opinions. I am looking to spend $500 tops.

    The first amp that comes to mind is the Hartke HA3500A (Power: 350 Watts at 4 Ohms, 250 Watts at 8 Ohms). This begs a few questions-
    -Is 250W enough to drive the cone? Can you damage an amp or speaker by UNDERdriving it?

    Another option: A GK Backline 600 (300W @ 4 ohms) with the addition of a 4x10 Hartke Cab (300 watts at 8 ohms). Combining these two cabs into to full stack would give me a 4 ohm system (check me on that guys). Also it should push the GK amp to it's 300W potential. Is 300W through a 4x10 and a 1x15 enough to play dive bars and small clubs?

    I am not sure what I am doing here. There are lots of options out there, and I want to stay as close to $500 as possible. I have a gig coming up, and my little 1x12 180W combo isn't even cutting it in rehearsal.

    I don't gig out much... maybe 4 to 6 times a year. I used to go the PA route, but it wont work with this band. I want to make a smart buy. Your thoughts, opinions, and experiences are welcome. :confused:

    Thanks in advance.
  2. xBECKx


    Oct 19, 2007
    look used.
  3. Simon Langley

    Simon Langley

    Jun 19, 2007
    Chico, CA
    I used a 300 watt head with a 410 and 115 cabinet for many years without any problem hearing myself in any medium sized club or bar. I think that it would definitely work out good for you.
  4. Trinen


    Jul 14, 2007
    Seattle -- Ballard
    Site Merchandiser/Editor Amazon.com Musical Instruments Store
    To me it's really a question of how much power you need. For years I played an SWR bass350 through an 8ohm Eden 410 cab, so Theoretically I was pushing 240 watts, but realistically that amp was a bit overrated. In any case, at the bars and clubs I was playing, I had plenty of power with that setup. A 4ohm setup would get you more power out of the head, and that would let you run it at a lower master volume for more headroom, but if you really like that cabinet, and you aren't playing really big spaces, my guess is that the 8 ohm setup would work for you. The disclaimer to this is that I now play a 35o watt Ashdown through a 4 ohm Bergantino 610, and I'm happier with my sound. That's really more a function of the different head and cabinet tone qualities than the power output. I'm still not playing at any higher volume than I used to. I never ran the master volume on my old head past 12 O'clock, and I don't run the new head past 10 most nights.

    You could run two 8ohm cabs together and get the full amp output at 4ohms, but you gotta ask if you really need to. People can call me a weenie (and I'll accept it) but I sure don't need to be hauling any more weight to a gig than I have to. I got the Bergantino 610 because it was a less weighty and more maneuverable alternative to an 810 from another company. In my area on Craigslist you can usually find a good 350 watt head (Hartke, SWR and others) for a good deal less than $500, and for what you're doing I think that would work fine. As for your last question, 300 Watts through an 8ohm 410 alone should be enough for small bars. It always has been for me.

    I welcome alternate views on this point, as I'm certain they're out there.
  5. jellymax


    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    does your 180 watt combo have a extension speaker output? if so, plug in
    your new cab (15" woofer i am guessing) there & try it out.

    if that does not work, buy a used GK800RB for $300.00 & call it a day. if your
    band is loud, get a used 8ohm 2x10 cab for 200-300 bucks, making it, yes,
    a 4ohm system for low bread. 4 ohms fully utilizes the capability of the
    head plus the extra speaker area makes for a large improvement in
    ability to thump some ****
  6. Thanks for the input. I am going to continue to look around for a used deal... but I am keeping my options open. I think that the GK backline might work if I can't find anything used. Around here (the Philly and S. Jersey area) bass amps are sort of hard to come by on the used market anyway.

    Thanks for the help.
  7. Jelly,

    No my little Behringer doesn't have an independent output for a speaker cab. It does have a DI though. Good for the PA. But the PA we have doesn't sound very good with bass going through it.

    It seems like picking up that 1x15 might not have been the deal I thought it was... I should have held out for a 4x10. Oh well. I didn't know better... now I do. It's not like I can't use it- but I didn't want a whole monster stack on the stage.

    Live and learn.:rolleyes:

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