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What Went Wrong: Amp Idiot Needs Help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Saint, May 23, 2005.


  1. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    So, I played live for the first time in 10 years this past weekend. I thought I had a pretty powerful, dependable set-up. Not quite as it turns out.

    I would have thought that my carvin R600 amp, coupled with 2 hartke cabinets --a 4x10 (no horn) and an 18" (+horn) would have provided more volume than I could have used without problems. Nope.

    I used the 4x10 for the high end and the 18" for the low. I got unwanted distortion and weird popping sounds.

    What did I do wrong?

    I should add that I ran the basses through a zoom 506 pedal and a sonic maximizer. Both basses were active, though I accounted for that. I also turned the tube section of the pre-amp off completely.

    Any thoughts would be welcome.
     
  2. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I had to read no further than this. Unfortunately, the Carvin Red Lines have always grossly overstated their power. I've seen many heads rated 300W or lower blow them away for volume.

    Yeah, that too. The one I used to own made very odd popping noises (which could be somewhat mitigated by turning down the "blend" knob).
     
  3. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Bigbeefdog -Thanks for the quick response. Any recommendations on a smoother, more powerful amp?
     
  4. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Recommendations? Us?

    :p

    But first, more info. What sort of music are you playing? How large are the venues? Any outdoor gigs? Do you have PA support? And, of course, how much $$$ are you prepared to spend?

    Once you plop down that info, the deluge of recommendations will begin.....
     
  5. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    :oops:
    Well, I guess that's a fair and fairly obvious question that I should have anticipated.

    In order: Playing rock/cheesey pop from the 60's through '00.
    Last gig was outdoors, next will be an indoor wedding, and then hopefully a club. We do have PA support and chose not to put me through the system so we would have to bring the bass bins (clearly a mistake). As to money, I truthfully don't want to spend more than $500 --and preferably less-- but I'd mainly look at used amps anyway, so the money would go a bit farther.

    Does that help? (And thanks!!!!) :)
     
  6. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Well, if you have a PA with solid bass, that sounds like your first answer.....

    Beyond that, it's hard to predict what you might find on the used market - but $500 should go far. Should certainly get you into something from GK, Ampeg, possibly Mesa. Your choice. Or, pre/power if you prefer. Or, in the opposite direction, a nice combo if you decide to rely on the PA, and bring the bass bins all the time.

    Are your Hartke cabs both 8-ohm? If either is lower, you will have to consider a head/amp that can go down below 4-ohm loading....
     
  7. Sutton

    Sutton

    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI
    I'm back, and with another Kustom Groove Recommendation

    Head: Kustom Groove 1200
    Its well made and has plenty of volume.

    As for cabinets, I'd look into something else aswell....I've heard stories of hartke's distorting at high volumes
     
  8. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    The cabinets are both 8 ohm. I'd never heard of problems with the aluminum Hartke's before, so I'll have to look into that.
     
  9. Sutton

    Sutton

    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI
    The paper hartke I used to have used to distort constantly....when I asked people about it they just said "Thats hartke for ya"
     
  10. I have the 410 Hartke, not very impressed. The 4.5xl had a lot more going for it, volume/tone/power handling wise. I've been looking to trade the 410 Hartke for a rusty screwdriver for a while. No takers.

    Randy
     
  11. What mode did you run your head in?If you ran bi-amped or one cabinet on each power amp you would have been under powered for sure.With two 8 ohm cabinets you should run bridged to get the full output of the amp.In bi-amp or one speaker on each side full range mode you get 175w per speaker,in bridged mode you get 300w per speaker.If you did run in bridged mode and still had problems you should look at another head.I had an R 1000 for a few years and almost always ran it bridged and never had a problem.
     
  12. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    That may have been why I was so underpowered. However, would that account for the popping and the distortion? :confused:
     
  13. Well,that would account for the distortion as well,you were pushing the power section too far.I don't know about the popping though.Make sure your input gain is set high enough too,the input overload LED should be coming on occasionally but not all the time,the input can cause distortion also.Try out the bridged mode you'll get much more oomph.Also try the bridged mode with just the 410,that should sound good too.I've found the Carvins put out pretty decent power if you run them right.The manuals Carvin supplys are pretty good.
     
  14. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Check out some Ashdown heads. A used Trace V4 would be within the price range as well. It may weigh a tad more but its not overly heavy for a tube amp. It sounds great. If not, look for a used (or new if you want to spend $100 more) Traynor YBA-200. 200 watts all tube for each of the tube heads, each are plenty loud.
     
  15. second hand peavey firebass (max700) + a 4x10 cab would be doable for $500, and be loud and reliable :)
     
  16. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Hartke Cabs have very low power handling and get unhappy when you begin to approach their limits. The limits on the VX and TP series are much lower than stated, probably around 1/2 to 1/3 the quoted amount.