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Volume Problems

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JazzFusionB0rg, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Howdy all.

    I'm an Australian bassist currently using a Warwick FNA Jazzman 5 through an old SWR SM-400S Head and Warwick 4x10.

    I absolutely love my sound - clean + bassy, perfect for the rock/funk groups I play in. My problem is volume (lack of it). The SWR head can output 400 Watts into the 8-Ohm cab (rated @ 300 Watts), so I'm scared to ever turn the volume much past the 1 o'clock position.

    My questions are:
    # Would purchasing a higher-wattage cab (I'm looking at an 4-Ohm Eden 4x10 1000 Watt job) thus allowing me to crank my volume further really return a decent volume increase? The 4-Ohm load would allow my head to output 550 Watts.
    # Is it ok to crank the gain of my compressor in my effects loop to get more volume, or should effects typically be 'neutral' with regards to volume?
    # Although I love my head, is it the limiting factor? Should I eventually look into something else? :(

    Many thanks.

    PS - Living down under means quality bass gear is scarce, and hideously expensive (even after the currency conversion etc).
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Bumping to 4 ohms will give you some extra volume, although volume-wise, it may be better to have an "extra" cab rather than substituting for the one you already have. It won't be a whole lot of extra volume, but it'll be noticeable.

    You can crank your compressor volume. At some point you'll probably hear some distortion, and you'll probably want to back down at that point, to avoid overdriving the power amp.

    Power means a lot for bass playing. My minimum rig these days is 1200 watts, and that seems to be "good enough" for most everything except outdoor gigs. Outdoors in open air, I add a pair of subs and another 2100 watts.

    You might want to get an extra power amp, and plug it into the line output of the SM-400. That way you'll retain your sound, and you'll have more volume. You could try driving the new cab off the power amp, and just run your old cab through the SM-400 in the usual way.