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Volume expectations

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by robsmirc, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. I realise this is a similar thread posted a few months ago but the answered provided there dont really answer my problem - i think.

    What kind of volume should you expect is my question in relation to power and speaker configuration?

    I also have a TE 350W RASMX GP 12 head. i run a TE 300W quadbox and a TE 200W 15" speaker box - one of the half sized ones.

    Most of my gigs usually consist of in mid sized nightclubs and pubs playing coversongs where the pa does most of the work.The band consists of two marshal 100W + quads, drums, keys and vox playing mostly top 40 rock stuff. i've found that it takes quite bit of volume from my rig to get some clarity and punch into the mix.

    My problem is that i get a barking distortion when i run the whole rig all together at 3 to 4 o'clock. even there it just doesn't seem loud enough, and i don't get the low end punch im looking for.

    I've tried both speaker boxes on their own and get the same effect at 3 to 4 o'clock. the distortion rolls in, but not as bad as it is when they are in combo.

    The head is about 6 years old and was serviced last year. the quad box is a little older i think - if you know your TE gear its the model without sound holes seen in newer models, it has reds stripes and a horizontal port across the front. the 15" 200w is newer, maybe 2 or 3 years old.

    I'm not sure if there maybe something wrong with the amp or maybe i should lower my expectations of what kind of level of volume it should be able to produce with clarity.

    What kind of volume should i expect? What's the point of having a volume knob that goes to 10 when i can't go past 4 without distortion?

    If it is the power rating thats the problem, how much would you go for when shopping for a new head?

    In another thread i read that some amps 'clip' when running at 8 ohms. What does this sound like? could it be my problem?
  2. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    I think this is what you said:
    You have a 350 Watt Poweramp, a 4x10 cabinet and a 1x15 cabinet
    You are playing with 2 guitarists each with 100 watt tube amps with 4x12 cabinets and a loud drummer as well as a keyboard player.

    Typically a Bass player needs anywhere from 2 to 4 times the power of the guitars and 1.5 to 2 times the speaker cone area. This means around 400 to 800 watts of power to compete with 2 100 watt tube amps. Someone else on the board suggests an 8x10 per 4x12 cabinet or a 4x10 with a 1x15 per 4x12 cabinet.
    Why? Clean Bass frequencies typically require more power and larger cabinets to produce the same volume as the higher distorted guitar frequencies.

    Another possibility is using the cabinets you currently have with an additional poweramp.
    If you use 2 poweramps, you could biamp the lows to one cabinet and the highs to the other. The cabinet producing the highs will be able to produce cleaner highs because it is not producing the low frequencies (and it can be turned up). The same goes for the low channel (but the lower frequencies is where you might need more speaker cone area). Biamping can allow for more volume using the same amount of power but it requires 2 poweramps.

    You could ask the guitars to turn down also.
  3. It looks like you're underpowered. 350 watts isn't a whole lot on a rock stage, really. Distortion at high volume means clipping 99.9% of the time. Clipping is when a power amp runs out of juice and can't supply the output voltage you ask for.

    About that 8 ohms thing. I think you're talking about the lower power rating for an amp when loaded with 8 ohms instead of 4. Most amps deliver about 2/3 of their 4-ohms-rated-power at 8 ohms.

    A temporal solution: try to turn down the lowest bass frequencies on the EQ. They eat up a lot of power and will make the amp clip more easily. Turning up the mids a bit will make your sound cut through more, without clipping the amp (which is, obviously, bad for the amp)

    My $0.02 of advice.
  4. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    just a thought, i have a trace gp smx 12 (280-540 watts) and two modulus basses. one bass has bart pu with aguilar pre and the other is emg. both preamps in the basses are 18v. the bass with the bart/aguilar setup, i run the eq alomost flat and both compressions at 12:00. the bass nob on the bass is almost turned off and i get a great live sound and can over power the band if i want. the bass with the emg setup, i cant do the same thing and i have the same problem as you. ?
  5. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I think you need more power if you are going to keep up with the instrumentation that you described. Perhaps the guitarists would be willing to turn down a bit for the good of the whole band:eek: If you like your tone maybe get a good power amp and use your head as a preamp. Generally speaking if you have to run your preamp and
    master volume past 12 o'clock regularly you need more power.
  6. Greybeards rule of speakers and power. You need 2x10's or 1x15 for every 12 and 10 times the power of the guitar amp to compete (assuming they turn up full blast). At this rate you need 2 8x10 or 4 2x15 cabs and 2000 watts of power. That is nutz I know. The biggest problem guitar players have is over powering. Not too long ago my good bud Joe Crim and I played every amp guitar amp we could find. Joe had some extra money and the first thing he did was look for a new amp. He ended up buying a 35 watt all tube Mesa with 1x12. Tube guitar amps don't really start sounding good until they are operating at about 5-10% distortion. I mean power tube distortion and not just pre-amp overdrive. To get a 100 watt Marshall into 4x12's operating at the proper distortion level means GOING DEAF!
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I agree with everything said so far, especially Joris' EQ tips.

    One thing I'd like to add - buy some good earplugs.
  8. Im not very clear about the use of poweramps.. does it have to be a poweramp specifically designed for bass?

    A friend of mine is selling his PA which includes 2 poweramps, im not sure how powerful they are but one runs front house and the other fold back. so i assume they are pretty powerful.

    From what i've seen of these poweramps they have no controls other than a volume knob for setting frequency range output. they are just in - amplify - and out into the speakers. how are you supposed to boost eq with that?

    Also would the speakers be able to take it?

    About bi-amping.. i assume this first requires that the pre-amp have high-pass and low-pass line out puts. My TE RAH350 SMX doesn't have this facility, damn it, so its out of the question for me. I guess both speakers will have the same signal.

    The way i imagine it should be set up is:

    TE350 head speaker output to the TE 300w 4x10 cab

    And either line out* or DI* out to a poweramp, then to the 200W 15" cab

    Is that right?

    * stereo line 1/4" outputs. the amount of level from these outputs is adjusted from the volume/output knob. it runs a signal post eq/comression and effects.

    * DI XLR outputs. i have stereo post eq/compression/effects outs and one preeq out. Its not affect by the output/volume knob

    would i be better off using the 1/4" line outputs and adjusting the volume for my 15" from the TE head?

    Or use one of the 3 DI XLR outputs and adjust the volume for the 15" from the poweramp?

    Hoping i get a reply soon.. my mate is lending me the poweramp this tomorrow night and i want to be able to set it up without blowing anything up.

    thanks for everyones help
  9. That's exactly what a poweramp does, it only changes the volume of a signal, nothing else.

    You run your bass into a pre-amp, which contains EQ and other tonal effects, then into the poweramp via any effects that you might want in between.