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What Head would be best for me and my cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheChariot, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Greetings people. I'm happy to finally find a community of people that know what they are talking about!

    Ok. Here's my story. If you wanna skip the next paragraph and get right to my problem, then go ahead. I REALLY need some advice, and I dont wanna scare anyone away with a huge post.

    2 years ago, I was stricken with cancer (at the age of 15). At that point in my life... I had been playing bass and drums for 2 years... with about 5 years of school band on Trombone (woop-dee-friggon-doo). So... I went through 9 months of all the treatments (chemo, radiation, 2 surgeries) and I am happy to say that I have been in remission for about a year and 3 months, and am currently in the process of growing my hair back down to my shoulders

    NOW... herein lies my predicimate. I was granted a WISH... thanks to the good people at the make-a-wish foundation. What did I get? You guessed it.... a BUTTLOAD of music equipment. Mixer, PA, drumset, Ernie Ball Musicman, Bass rig... the works. Now back then, I was in the hospital a lot and I wasnt able to shop around... plus I didnt know a lot about impedance and wattage and all that back in the day. HOWEVER... I have come to learn that the people at Guitar Center Kinda hooked me up with an awkward setup for my bass rig. Here's what they gave me:

    Ampeg B2R head: 350W @ 4ohms... 4ohm minimum load
    Ampeg BXT410 cab: 4ohms... 1200W Peak
    Ampeg BXT115 cab: 4ohms... 600W Peak

    Now... for those of you who are pro on this type of equipment... you can probably already see my problem. I'm really only able to use one cabinet with the head, because it's minimum load is 4ohms... and both of those speakers together are 2ohms. Unfortunately... it took like a year for me to learn that fact. Right now I'm only using the 410 cab and it sounds just fine... but I have 2 cabs and I'll be D@mned if I'm only gonna use one. I want to know what head would be best for me... because this is really givin me a headache.

    Right now, I'm siding with the B4R. In stereo getting 340W to each cab... that seems ok. But... would it be safe to mono-bridge with that head, considering the 115 is a 600W cab? I kind of fear damaging that speaker. Maybe I should just monobridge with the 410 alone... what would you think?

    Also, there is an SVT4 on clearance at Guitar Center. I could use that bad-boy in stereo and get 490W in to each cab... also I'd have room to ungrade to an 8x10 cab in the future. However, I kinda run into the same worry with overpowering the 115 cab.

    another option would be the SVT2.... it runs at 300W @ 2ohms.... but I really dont know if its work having that much handling power in my speakers, only to put 300W into them. I've played it, and I AM SOLD ON TUBES... lemme tell you.... but I really want to utilize the potential of my cabs.

    Now... one more idea that I had. IT's far-out... but what if I mono-bridged a B4R with the 410.... and then used the B2R as a power amp to power the 115. lol.... that seems a bit goofy, but would it work? And would it sound ok? Is it risky? Yeah... lots of questions. I hope someone can answer them for me please!

    Ok... thanks a lot. Sorry for the huge post.


    P.S. If theres any Norma Jean fans out there.... you should look up The Chariot
  2. I'm glad to hear you are in remission. That's awesome. Hope you feel good for a long long time.

    After reading your post I wasn't sure if you were aware that the B2r is a solid state head. I had one and i liked the tone but the volume was somewhat lacking for my needs. I picked up a QSC USA900 power amp and used the B2r as a preamp for a while and that fixed the volume problem. Doing something like that would allow you to run 2 four ohm cabs in stereo mode without a problem. I eventually decided I didn't want to carry around a head and a power amp so I got rid of the B2r. I miss that little bastard though.

    I don't remember offhand but I believe the SVT4 and SVT5 have a stereo power section that would suit your needs very well but they aren't cheap.
  3. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Ah... I have indeed begun to explore the Tube world. And they sound friggon awesome. I played an SVT Classic and it blew me away. I'm not sure if I wanna settle for such low wattage though. (even though higher wattage doesnt necessarily make anything better) Now... if I had the money for a pair of SVT2's, I'd probably make the investment. However... that's a financial dream.
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Evan, nice post. I'm glad to hear you're recovering and feeling well :) . I'd go mono from the B2R into the BXT410 cab. I run 700 watts RMS into my BXT410, it does fine.

    I had an SVT4 for awhile, it sounded great, but I was'nt impressed with it's volume in stereo mode. It did have a great tone; if the 490 watts per-side gives you enough volume, good choice.

    To utilize both cabs, I suggest you buy a high-powered stereo power amp (600 to 900 watts or so at 4 ohms) by Crest, QSC, Crown, etc, and a nice tube preamp with a built-in crossover. I'd send my lows into the 1-15", and my mids and highs would go into the 4-10". But this is just my suggestion.

    Now, you like tubes. The SVT-CL and an Ampeg 810E cab would be a killer setup. I used an SVT-CL (and later, the 2Pro) through an 810E cab. Very cool sound.

    Best wishes, -A.P.
  5. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    hmm... power amps. I havent really looked into brands outside of Ampeg. I'll give that a look-see. Thanks for the Input.
  6. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Thar she blows... my troubled rig. I currently hold an Ernie Ball Stingray 5-string.... Fretless and Lined. I'm probably gonna sell that via eBay though. Not big on the Fretless setup. I also picked up a Digitech BP50 floor Processor.
  7. Dude fix that chord!!!!!

    Nice looking cabs.
  8. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    Don't do the B4R. I've heard plenty of horror stories about it. I'd reccomend an SVT-5 Pro. Its the only Ampeg head that has impressed me and put out decent volume for the power. GC was selling one last week for $799


    ps-Norma Jean blows
  9. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Horror stories eh? :confused: Well thats not too good. Could you explain? I mean... I know it's the cheapo version of the 5 pro (which explains a lot as it is), but is there anything specific?

    As of now, I think I'm looking to pick up a 4 pro.
  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I hope your remission lasts for 100 years! :bassist:
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    one point to consider is that a 300 or 400 watt tube amp will sound louder than the same wattage in solid state in most cases
    i used to know why, but i forget........ :oops:
  12. joeybcdt


    May 6, 2004
    SE Texas

    You're not looking at your cab specs right:
    Ampeg BXT410 cab: 4ohms... 1200W Peak.......probably around 400W RMS.
    Ampeg BXT115 cab: 4ohms... 600W Peak........Probably around 200W RMS.

    I find peak ratings useless along with continuous ratings. The ratings to look for are RMS and Program. Program is usually about 2X the RMS rating. If a speaker manufacturer rates his cabs in Program he is telling you how many Watts RMS he wants you to push to it. Ex: If your BXT410 is rated for 400W RMS ideally you'd use an amp rated at 800W RMS @ 4 Ohm. The extra wattage is for "headroom"....the amp is allowed to produce the full peak wattage of the speaker's capability before clipping. At this point, the speaker is operating on peak but the amp is still producing RMS. (OK, there are some uses for peak ratings. I hope I didn't totally screw that up)

    I don't know of any power amps that can run bridged @ 2 Ohm. I know there are some heads than can run at 2 Ohm. You're either gonna have to run a stereo head or power amp or two bridged power amps or get a head designed to run at 2 Ohm.

    You could rewire the 410 to 16 Ohm then you'd have a combined impedence of 3.2 Ohm but I don't suggest doing this.

    God bless you.

  13. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    The RMS for the 410 is 600, and the 115 is 300.

    Maybe you can give me a better layout knowing that.... because I sorta understand where your going... but.... gadzooks.
  14. joeybcdt


    May 6, 2004
    SE Texas
    There are two schools of thought here.
    The first says to just find a head with "adequate" power that can run at 2 Ohm.
    The second says each cab should be on their own power amp running bridged. One 1200W and one 600W.
    Neither of these is "wrong". It's all about what works and sounds good. If it were me I'd buy a power amp and run it stereo.

  15. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Just for the record, I am two and a half years into my five year warranty on my Ampeg B4r. Steady weekend gigging and then some. No problems whatsoever, Bridged or full range. No problems. I keep a pretty close eye on things here at talkbass and haven't heard of many if any problems. It's pretty commonly accepted here that running 2 to 2 1/2 times the RMS rating of the cab is ok. I run my B4r bridged at 1000 watts into my 410he (500watts RMS 8ohms) and SVT15e (200watts RMS 8 ohms). I think it would sound fine run in mono full range with your two BXT cabs 350 watts into each. If your into tubes get the SVT4pro.
  16. I doubt that you will ever need that much power. Tube power sounds like double what it is listed at, compared to solid state.

    Ex. 400 watt tube is like 800 watt Solid state.

    I'm positive that 1 SVT 2 pro will be more than enough.
  17. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I think that's what I'm gonna do... except with a QSC RMX1450.
  18. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    If you're that close, I'd go on ahead and get the RMX1850HD.

    Great for bass! There's times when I wished I'd gotten one instead of my PLX1602 (mine had problems over-heating on an outdoor gig on July 4th here in the TX heat; I doubt the 1850 would have broken a sweat).
  19. i don't like running gear at 2 ohms i dunno why i'm sure it's cool as long as you have good gear, some1 probly told me it's a bad idea when i was drunk and it stuck in the back of my head!

    i'd buy a nice rack (hehe) keep your current ampeg and buy a power amp... QSC seems to be every1s favorite on here!

    it'll sound awesome.. and there is so much rack gear on the market you'll never get bored!
  20. Not to make light of your cancer struggles, but...damn, what a wish. For your situation, I'd suggest a preamp/power amp combination. I find the most flexibility with that setup. You can pick up a great all-purpose power amp, and your power situation will be set for a long time. Then you can get a preamp, and if in a couple of years you find you want a different sound, you can always switch the pre out, and it's a lot cheaper than switching out an entire head.

    My suggestions, since you're stuck on Ampeg - go with the Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp and get a power amp with at least 600 watts per side into 4 ohms. I favor QSC Plx series amps because they're all 23 lbs...even my 3400 watt monster. The Crest CA-9 gets some love here as well.

    If you're okay with having Make-a-wish foot a large bill, I'd go with an Alembix FX-1 Preamp, or anything you find you like on www.basstasters.com, then get the nicest power amp you can find.

    Also, this setup gives you bi-amping flexibility and allows you to throw a crossover between your pre and power amps, sending your high end to your 4x10's and your low end to your 1x15, making your speakers play to their strengths and improving their efficiency.