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Upgrading amplifiers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by twinjet, Feb 9, 2016.


  1. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    Hi,

    I have come to the conclusion that I should probably upgrade my rig a bit. I'm running a 200w Fender BXR200 and a Hartke 4x10XL, rated for 400W @ 8 Ohms.

    After consulting a few folks around here, I have found out that I'm really not getting much bang for my buck.

    The questions are - what kind of amplifier can I upgrade to that would best utilize the cab's capabilities?

    What sort of amplifier can give me the best tone and volume for this cab?

    Also, I notice some amps are rated for 400W at 4 ohms, 320 at 8 ohms (totally arbitrary numbers here). Would I just buy an amp that would actually be rated for say, 580W @ 4 ohms, 400W @ 8 ohms (again, completely arbitrary numbers)?

    Thanks for your help. And again, the numbers in the previous paragraph are totally made up and probably unrealistic.
     
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    The numbers are pretty meaningless, its all a taste call, and the taste stuff affects everything else. Watt ratings are basically meaningless.
     
    Gizmot likes this.
  3. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    I see. I have been reading up some of those underpowering threads, and realise I'm sort of in that club.

    My biggest thing is just competing with the darned guitarist.
     
  4. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If you like how that stuff sounds, just get second cab the same.

    Or there's the cheap option because they are so common and available: New guitarist.
     
  5. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    Bump?
     
  6. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    If the amp you have now will operate at 4 ohms your max output is something like half of the rated output into that cab. If you need to be louder, either add another cab like yours, buy a new amp, or start over. Of course 100ish? Watts through a 410 isn't exactly quiet, either; and the guitarist could back off some too. That would help. Some people prefer to use more power than 100 watts as a minimum... Like 300 into 8 ohms. Adding a second 410 (and making it 4 ohms total) to a head like that is a whole lot of boom.

    The easiest and usually cheapest way to get louder is with more speakers moving. You have an 8 ohm cab. I'd bet your amp will run another.
     
  7. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah you will gain a lot more volume from another speaker cab just like your current one. It sucks but we have to carry 10X heavier gear to produce the same volume.... unless you spend some serious coin for cabs that will get loud at featherweight.

    Keep the head. Add a cab. You can run a 40 kilowatt amp into that cab and still not compete. More speaker surface area moves more air.

    Wish I had better news.
     
  8. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    @two fingers

    So I have read more from the Amps FAQ thread and it all backs up what you guys are saying. I'd really like to avoid lugging another 4x10 around (more weight, not enough car space). Would a 210XL rated for 200w @ 8 ohms do the trick?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Wait a minute, let's slow down the assumptions and put the horse back in front of the cart...

    Your issue: you have a (Fender) BX-200 and an 8 ohm (Hartke) 410XL

    First important thing: Your amp delivers about 125 watts ("RMS") into an 8 ohm load. Since your cabinet is 8 ohms, you need to us the amp's 8 ohm power rating.

    Second important thing: Your speaker cabinet is 8 ohms and is rated to handle at 400 watts ("RMS" per the O/M)

    Third important thing: With your current amp, you are giving up almost 6dB by only having 125 watts to work with.

    IMO, I would be looking for an amp with about 400 watts "RMS" into 8 ohms (for your current cabinet) and with somewhere between 700 and 800 watts into 4 ohms so that you could at a later date add another cabinet (like another 410XL).

    This helps considerable your immediate problem and provides an additional upgrade path for expanding your future capabilities.

    This is also a good time to be looking at (good quality) used amps, IMO there are some really good values on heavier models on the TB classifieds, and if you can spend a little more you can get some good deals on last generation light weight class D models too.
     
  10. No. You just cut your cab in half.
    Two of them stacked vertically will help you hear it better because the speaker is next to your ears and not your knees, so that would help. And it will be easier to load in the car.
    O
    O
    O
    O
    How are you eq-ing? Too much bass and you loose power and disappear in the mix.
     

  11. Good advice, and normally I defer to you, but my previous head was also 125 watts into 8 ohms, 250 into 4. Sometimes it wouldn't be enough with just one 410, but stacked with another it was definitely plenty, suddenly it'd make the cabinet beneath it shake so much that sometimes the head would move. If he can get either a matching 410 to double up on, or a more powerful head, I'd say that he should have more than enough. Now, if he got BOTH...
     
    mrb327 likes this.
  12. mrb327

    mrb327

    Mar 6, 2013
    Colorado
    Nobody Knows
    Good suggestions this far.

    Best bang head wise, Gk 800 or a Hartke LH1000

    Run an additional 410, should be able to get said guitarist to hear you
     
    twinjet likes this.
  13. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Should really avoid cabs that do that.
     
  14. Tell that to me nine years ago, when that was the best thing I could afford ;)
     
    AshInAmsterdam and mrb327 like this.
  15. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Right, which is why I suggested the upgrade path I did. The additional power should get him to the same place you would with the 2 x 410's, but with the added transport/storage issue of the addtl cabinet. If he needed more, THEN he could consider an additional 410 (even renting if only a couple gigs) for those gigs where he needed even more.

    If storage and cost and transportation isn't an issue, then the additional cabinet would be fine too.
     
    TinIndian likes this.
  16. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    I meant to add that I was going to run the 210XL with the 410XL, not the 210 by itself. Would that work given my current amplifier's power?
     
  17. Find a used Gk 1001rbii or 700rbii, with one of those heads that cab should destroy.
     
  18. That opens up an entire new arena of problems, mainly you'll end up blowing the 210 or underutilizing the 410 which defeats the purpose of adding another cab
     
    /\/\3phist0 and Fingerpickingood like this.

  19. Definitely true, if it's anything like my last amp though, it'd probably sound better with a second cab. My last one farted out with too much low end.
     
  20. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    I had s similar issue. HArtke 4x10 XL and a GK 400.
    Yes, you need an amp with a 400 watt rating @ 8 ohms or in that range.
     

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