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Tube Power (db359) and Acme Low-B2 Cabs - enough power?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kurisu, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    I've read some great comments (especially from jokerjkny - thanks man, and I love your avatar) about the Acme Low-B2. I'm trying to price out my amp setup, and I really love the sound of the Aguilar DB359, but I've heard that the Low-B2 need ALOT of power.

    Can a 200W tube head drive this 2x10?? Or do I need a DB728? (and another 6 months of saving)

    Second question - why does Aguilar only offer 400W max (DB728)? How many Acme Low-B2's would this power?

    I don't want to have to buy the DB680 + DB728 if I can get through practice (a really loud drummer and lets assume 2 reasonable guitarists) and small venues with a DB359.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I think you are going to want a lot more power then the DB359 will give you(for the Acme). Why not look into the DB750? That would make for a great setup.
  3. As an Acme lover I have to agree with the above post. You are going to need more power to get Acmes to sound as they should. The DB750 recommended above, or perhaps a DB680 preamp with a QSC PLX poweramp would be more realistic.

    For smaller rooms where only moderate levels are required I will be using a DB680/DB728 combination with one pair of Low B2s. BME this is the absolute minimum amount of power to get Acmes to sound as they should.
  4. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    You're saying a DB728 for just 1 Low B2 cabinet, or 2 B2 cabinets? (sorry, the plural is confusing me)
  5. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    But then I don't get that ooey-gooey power tubey goodness... :(
    I'll look into the 750, but I wish I could stay all tube.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't think you will miss the tube sound using the DB750. I have heard the DB750, and had the DB359. They are different, but not by much. Not enough to make me take one over the other. One thing is for certain, the DB750 KILLS the 359 in volume.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    sup chris,

    well, for my church stuff, i've actually used my DB359 w/ my Acme B-4. sounded fine for my jazz bass, tho the low B isnt nearly as punchie as i'd like. just not enough wattage, i guess.

    and i dont think that combo would bode well for my funk rock trio. so, if you're thinking of using it for a louder, rockin' situation, i cant agree more with the other guys, you'll definitely want the DB750. unfortunately, to my ears, the all tube power section does make a huge diff, but at least, you'll still have that classic Aguilar punch and grind.

    you could always go the DB680/B-2 setup like my older rig. plenty of aguilar warmth and tubeness, and a whole lotta shakin'.


    i'm actually seriously thinking about adding a DB728 for my DB680/B-4 setup, only cause the Acmes do an awesome job in letting all that Aguilar punch shine thru. and, for my funk rock group should be fine, considering that 400 "tube" watts roughly translates to me as 600-700 "SS" watts.

    again, the only real issue might be volume, and it pays to understand what gigs you'll be using with this. so, what app?
  8. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    But with others saying that 900 SS watts per B2 is just about right, what would you need for a B4?!? :meh:

    Right now, just jamming, no gigs. I have no idea what I'll be playing in the future. I'd just like to not have to buy another setup for awhile.

    I mean, what couldn't a DB728 + 1 B2 play? If I need more than that I'd just DI from the DB680 into the PA? (this is thinking too far into the future - again, I just don't want to find out that my beautiful new 728 can't make as much noise as I want it to.)

    If it turns out the B2's have too low an SPL rating, what's the next comparable cab that can handle a Low B?
  9. metron


    Sep 12, 2003
    IMO all tube amps sound horrible through Acme speakers although I only tried the SVT-CL. It was so bad I didnt bother to try any others.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    woah, 900 watts into the B-2?!?!

    that's kinda ridiculous to me. volume issues aside, i'm referring more to Low B string handling. the more wattage, the better the low B punch and tighter repsonse. with 500 "SS" watts, i was getting some righteous punch and volume with my old B-2, and current B-1 1x10 pair.

    again, the Acme's are plenty loud. i kinda get sick of people saying otherwise, only to find out they're playing in speed/thrash metal bands. for everything else, the Acme's are mucho loud enough. i bank my own Acme on that. FYI, i'm sending 900-1000 watts into mine, and its just glorious. :cool:


    i havent heard any of the older school all tube amps thru my Acmes, but with my Aguilar DB359 and Alessandro Basset Hound, the Acmes reproduce their hifi goodness in spades.

    oh and Eden also does their XST line, which supposedly hits 30Hz as well. another sweet cab worth looking into.
  11. Apologies that I wasn't more clear. By one pair I do mean two LowB2 cabinets. I often run two pairs (four B2s) using a PLX.

    I have run two Acmes with my Trace V8. It works fine and sounds great, with not much extra headroom though. Note that more power allows the mids to "open up" and sound more articulate.

    My DB728 was ordered last week, so I have a while to wait before it arrives. It's about the same power as the Trace and I will post a short review when the time comes.
  12. Keep in mind that the B-4 is actually more efficient than the B-2, so that you get 3 dB *more* output with the same power from the B-4 than you do with the B-2. Check the efficiency figures.
  13. I had a DB-359 and it was a great sounding amp but it didn't put out enough power for cabs like the acmes or Bergantinos.

    It really sounded awesome in a small room with a Bagend S15D and S12D.


  14. I use a Trace Elliot V6 on my B4 and it does fine for medium rock volume and staying clean. Having played a DB-359, I doubt it would be anywhere near enough with just a B2. I also have a DB-728 and I wouldn't hesitate to gig with it and the B4, but I also don't have the cleanest tone, and power amp overdrive puts a LOT of cut into the sound.
  15. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Hell yeah!!! Just upgraded from a Mackie M1400 to a QSC PLX3002 - from 425W into each B2 up to 900W. Cleaner, clearer and more bottom end even when cranked. No more making friends with the limiter. I am a VERY loud player though, I like my tone to wrap around the band rather than cut through. (More importantly the rack now weighs 40lbs instead of almost 70lbs, much nicer load in).

    However, I don't play 5-string, I use high pass filters set at 30Hz on both my preamp and power amp, and I listen (i.e. start to hear LF distortion as Xmax is exceeded and back off the bottom end). As almost all blown Acme drivers are due to over-excursion not burnt voice coils I don't anticipate any problems.

    Absolutely. Give them a reasonable amount of power and they will hold their own with most traditional 10" cabs - the fact you don't have to crank up the bass on your amp to get reasonable bottom end frees up a lot of power and makes them more efficient than the specs suggest.

    If I need any more volume than 1800W into a pair of B2s will give me, I think I'll have to upgrade from -15dB musician's earplugs to the -25dB model! However, with judicious EQing I doubt that will ever happen.

  16. According to Acme, you need 500 watts to do the B2 justice. If you're dead set on using Acme speakers, you'd better think about SS to power them. I have a Bergantino 1x12 Ht that I power with a Eden VT300-A. This combination sounds wonderful, but the Bergi can handel all the VT-300A 300 watts and probably a few more. If you're gonna use tubes you need efficient speakers. (Eden, SWR, BE, Accugroove(sp)) If you're gonna use Acme you need big power. I'd suggest the Aguilar or Alembic pre-amp and a PLX 1602. (jmho)
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    [hands chris a glass]

    santory? :D
  18. Kurisu


    Nov 19, 2003
    Saskatoon SK
    Gnarg! Since we had our baby I haven't been able to go to the theatres, so I've yet to see LIT. :(
    But I'm a fan of all things Murray, so I can't wait.
  19. Actually, that's not quite so. Andy Lewis says that 350 W is a good starting point, and that 500 is "ideal"; but he also says in the manual that people have successfully used amps as small as 100 W with them, depending on their needs. It's a not as if the cab doesn't work right if you don't give it enough watts. It sounds fine--just not very loud.

    And as for sounding better with more power, well, that's true, they do--but so does just about every other bass cab in the world, within the limits of what it's capable of handling! There's nothing specific to Acme about sounding good with big amps, it's just that the issue comes up a lot in talking about them because of their relative inefficiency (which, as others have said, isn't as huge as is often believed).
  20. Let me re-phrase. Using less than 500 watts would be less than ideal.

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