What would you think of this rig? (And a few other questions)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I still don't have the money for this, but I might be getting a job soon. *crosses fingers*. I've had a lot of time to think about what I wanted in a rig. I want something that's powerful enough to be heard in my band. Something that's versatile. I wanted 10's and a horn cause I like the more defined/staccato tone, (like a Marcus Miller or Ed Friedland type tone), something that's portable. (I drive a Chevy Corsica, so portability is a big issue), and I wanted a more "colored" tone, as opposed to a flat sounding tone. I also decided after long debate, that I would prefer SS over tube.

    So here is what I came up with

    A Carvin R1000 head
    An Ampeg BSE410HLF cab

    A couple questions though:

    1st, what do you think about this combination overall. What do you think of the head and what do you think of the cab? I said I wanted sort of a "colored" tone, but I know I can't just go out and try a Carvin at a music store, could you describe some of the tones the head is capable of?

    The cab is rated 400 watts @ 4 ohms, the head of course, is 1000 watts, will running a head that is 600 watts more hurt the cab or head?

    I might decide to add a 2x12 later on down the road. I was wondering, what wattage and ohmage should I get for the 2x12 to be safe? (I'm sorry, all the ohmage and wattage thing is confusing to me :D ) Also, does Ampeg make a 2x12 cab, cause I've never seen one?

    Well, I really appreciate you for read and answering my, probaly very dumb questions :D :)
  2. JoelEoM


    Mar 11, 2002
    Lancaster, PA
    as far as compatability goes, you should be fine, you'll have a TON of headroom, but you wont want to turn it up too loud. the cab- ive always thought they were too muddy - for my taste - yours may be different. i like the PR-410HLF's much better. as far as the head goes, almost everything ive read on here about them has been good, although a few have complained about reliability problems, and the length of time it takes to get a good sound out of it, as theres a lot on it. i have no experience with that however.
  3. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    You should be fine with the power ratings. Like I said somewhere else...think of the tachometer on your car...do you run your engine over the redline?
    The available power in the head will only damage the cab if you have everything turned up too far. You should hear it distorting before the point where you do real damage.

    You'd run a higher risk of damage if the ratings were inverted; 1000 in the cab (as if ) , and 400 in the head.

    As long as you get the tone you like, it really doesn't matter what anyone here thinks.
    Carvins are a good buy. Good luck.
  4. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the input guys.
  5. lpbassics

    lpbassics Guest

    Jan 26, 2002
    While i too succumbed to the 4x10... aggie.

    You might want to consider getting 2 2x10's.
    Especially if portability is an issue. Because with a 4x10... portabililty is definately a problem if you have a car.

    Also since your on a budget, and who isn't, you would be able to buy one and then add the other one later, just to give you something to play with. 2x10's can be quite loud.

    A final advantage is that if you enjoy the "more defined/staccato tone", 2 2x10's would give you 2 horns.

    This rig would also be versitile in that you could bring what you need.

    The only reason i picked up those 4x10's is because i got em for the price of a 2x10.

    but the final decision is most definately up to you and your ears.

  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Your questions aren't "dumb" at all. They're very legit. And as the tired adage says, "the only dumb ones are those that you don't ask."

    I can only vouch for the Carvin R heads. No, they don't have a "signature" tone in that they do something specifically better than any others in terms of tone. Shoot, give me something like Aguilar or an SVT for that.

    However, the great strength of their R heads that I and others have found is that, in addition to their reliability, they are tone-chameleons. Between the very effective graphic EQ bands, the parametric EQ controls, the Boost switches, the stereo amps, decent soft-knee compression, and a sortta-okay crossover, those babies do so many things so well. With good cabs, (not Carvin), I get very near other amp's tones.

    I'm not cheerleader for all Carvin products. But I'll stack their R heads hold their own, IME with SWR and G-K.

    If you get one, realize this isn't a "plug n' play" head. READ THE MANUAL first. A lot of new owners have owned only "user friendly" heads.....click, click, and you're ready to go. Then they think the Carvin R head is screwed when they can't play through it 3 minutes after they took it out of the box. What really happened is that they unknowingly activated the head's "Protect/Shutdown" circuit because they didn't learn how to use it.

    If you're really a juice freak, look at their DCM power amps that pump out 1500-2000W paired with a good preamp. They're also a good deal, but if I need that power, I'm going through the board.
  7. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for all the great info Rick. It definatley sounds like the Carvin will be the head for me then. Just one question though. In the Carvin specs it says that it's 500watts @ 2 ohms for both channels, 350 for 4 ohms, and it says it's 1000 watts @ 4 ohms when it's bridged. My question is, what does it mean by bridged. Is that when you take the wattage of both channels and combine them to go into a single cab?

    Years of using combos have really befuddled me when it comes to head/cab systems. :D

    p.s. I knew someone was going to say about my quesitions not being dumb. :p
  8. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Bridging is when you combine the power of both channels into one . And for the amp you are considering that is into a 4 ohm load. One 4 ohm cabinet....or two 8 ohm cabinets "daisy chained" (one cord connects the amp to cabinet one, then another cord connects cabinet one to cabinet two) presents a 4 ohm load to the amp. If you have two 4 ohm cabinets that is fine if you run your head stereo but if you daisy chain them that will give you a 2 ohm load which may be unacceptable for your head (check the specs).
    So this info is pretty important when you are deciding on speaker cabinets. Bridging usually increases the amps overall output. The directions for the amp would have any info needed on how to put the amp into bridging mode (should be some sort of switch and maybe some wiring directions if you are using banana jacks........usually pretty idiot proof).
  9. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA

    um....is that bad? ;)

    i was sitting at a stop light and my car was idling funny so i gave the gas a poke, and i guess the rev limiter stopped working momentarily cos it went way past the 7200 RPM redline, more like 8k.

    the VW 16V engine absolutely rules. :D
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the bridging info Incubus
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

  12. i have the r1000.

    it's an awesome head, very powerful.

    the downside is that at the moment i only have a Big Ben, which is only 400 watts...

    so i have to be mighty careful, especially if i have it bridged. i like the sound better when it's bridged... but i have to be very careful not to clip the head.

    damn i need a Goliath III about now...

    i barely make it through while jamming, plus i want that extra BOOM to knock people over with.

    to sum it up, good sounding set up, goodluck with it.
  13. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Rick...that's my standard gig rig! :D 1000 watts into 2 8ohm D-410XLTs

    But yes, for most situations (especially those with a decent PA), 1000 of power is something you just never end up using. I do, but only becuase no places near where I play have an in house PA.
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well, that's what I was kind of asking earlier about driving a cab with a head that's rated 600 watts more. I believe the program wattage on the cab is 800. Do you think an R600 would be a better choice? (Cause I don't really have any need for the full 1000 watts as Bredan said, I basically decided that the R1000 would be a better deal since you get 400 watts more for only a few dollars more, but I don't want to overdrive the head)
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Okay, since those concerns were only implied in your original post, I didn't want to give any input on what I thought you were really asking as peripheral concerns.

    I don't pretend to be any cab expert by any stretch of the imagination. But people who have a lot of expertise in this area told me that "program" is a code word for "Don't run the piss out it all night or it will melt."

    In other words, "program" means "It can handle these brief power peaks but don't run this cab continuously at program power."

    As for selecting the R600 instead of the R1000, that really depends on your personal situation. If the approx. $80 difference is significant to you, then the R600 is more immediately the better choice because you have short-term budget issues.

    But if you foresee more speakers requiring increased power needs in the not-too-distant future, the R1000 may be the logical choice. So what if you aren't using the full wattage capability of the head FOR NOW??? As the saying goes, "Penny-wise, pound (dollar)-foolish" because the longer term needs aren't considered.

    But if you think the combo of the R600 and the Ampeg 4x10 will take care of business for a good while, you may want to consider that as your better option. The reason being that something new and better at decent cost appears on the exploding bass market so often.

    Example - An 70's punk band I played with, as well as truly big name bands, got rid of our amps after a tour because we knew that by the next time out on the road, there was something better available (and we kicked the snot out of them).
    I sense that is still going on. I've seen Dave LaRue's cabs offered for sale right after he finished the G3 tour. I imagine the same thing is going on - by the time he anticipates going on tour again, something better will be available (or it was just an endorsement deal).
  16. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Hmm, interesting points. The 80 extra dollars shouldn't really be a concern for me. I was just wondering if it would be safer to run the R600 instead of the R1000.

    If I were to one channel of the R1000 into the cab, that would be 350Watts @ 4 ohms. The cab as I said is rated at 400. I know it's not good running heads that are underpowered for for their cabs, so would even running 50 watts under hurt anything?
  17. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

  18. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Yes, all good points. I never really looked at it that way. I would have the guy at ampeg to say "No, get an ampeg head, it will work better" :D

    Seriously, thanks for all the info you have shot out at me Rickbass. I have a job interview in a few hours, and I really hope I get it so I can start saving up for a new rig. Thanks :)
  19. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Sounds like you've been to Guitar Centers. ;) I will say this for Carvin - every time I've contacted them about using another make of cabs with their heads, they never tried to do a sales job on me. Any tech shouldn't, if they believe in being professional.

    If they do say that, just say, "Not me. I was spoiled by the old Ampeg heads when Selmer had the company." That should shut him up right quick because everyone knows that was part of Ampeg's "Golden Age."

    Best of luck on the interview. Hope it's something you want.