Which is better for more volume 2 cabs or one cab with higher wattage amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Isaac879695, May 5, 2019.

  1. Isaac879695


    May 5, 2019
    Just recently started playing bass again and am starting to gig soon currently I have a hartke 4x10 400 watt8ohm cab with a behinger bx3000 head which is 300 watts at 4ohms(I know behinger is not a good brand but it's all I have at the moment)I'm playing with a gutair/singer and drummer and volume is too low even when I crank up the head to full max what would you recommend for getting more volume adding 2x10 cab at8ohm to make it 4ohms and get the full 300 watts or just keep the single 4x10 cab and get a higher wattage amp?
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    In this situation, the general rule of thumb is more speakers will get more sound... more surface area. Rather than a 2X10, perhaps get another 4X10...

  3. Isaac879695


    May 5, 2019
    Thank you for the feedback the only reason I would get a 2x10 cab is so that I don't have to lug around 4x10 cab everytime I go to practice so just using a 2x10 is enough for band practice and then live kust stack the 2x10 on the 4x10. Do you think that would be enough or would it be better to just go with another 4x10
  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist

    Two 8 ohm cabs will divide the power evenly; thus the 210' will get half of your power divided into two speakers. The 410 will get half the power divided into 4 speakers. You would be limited to the 210s power handling, which may not net much more overall volume than you can currently get from just the 410 at 8 ohms.

    A second (preferably identical for easy results) 410 will make a noticeable difference for certain.
    Wisebass, whero, bobyoung53 and 3 others like this.
  5. 1st thing to do is get the guitarist to point his cab at his own head.

    Do same with yours. Putting it up on a chair or box is a good start.

    You really should be plenty loud once everyone is not too loud.
    -Asdfgh-, HolmeBass, Lava and 14 others like this.
  6. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    Upon a bit more thought, with a 300 watt amp the potential issue in my post might not REALLY be an issue, since id think most 210s can handle like 250 watts or more. It would only see "like 150" watts under normal higher volume use.

    It still wont get as loud as adding a 410 though.
    HolmeBass and Wasnex like this.
  7. Isaac879695


    May 5, 2019
    If I did get 2x10 that's at least 200 watts or more would it increase the sound or would it stay about the same?
  8. Yeah, maybe everybody just needs to turn down at practice.
    thetragichero and TimboZ like this.
  9. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    The amp only puts out what it puts out.

    It's a faucet. The speaker is a bucket. Ohms are the diameter of the hose.

    The big gain in volume comes from adding surface area of moving cones. 4 will add more than 2.
    And I and eadg98005 like this.
  10. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Do you use any of the gizmo's? Turn off the compressor, ultra bass and EQ sliders. That stuff can eat up a lot of volume and take the edge off your sound. Take it right back to basics and see what you get then.

    If you can't get a sound you like with all the "effects" off I'd be looking to replace the amp as the first step.
  11. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    You amp is rated at 300W at 4 ohms and your using an 8 ohm cab. I couldn't find any reference for how much power the amp makes at 8 ohms, but suspect its probably in the 150-180W ballpark. An amp that is closer to 400W at 8 ohms is going to be about 4-5dB louder minus power compression. 400W is right at the RMS power rating of your cab. Unfortunately this can be a bit misleading. Often speakers can not handle the full RMS power rating at frequencies below 100hz due to exceeding their mechanical power limits. Using a high pass filter (HPF) can help protect the cab from over excursion, tighten up your tone, and also give you a bit more headroom.

    If you add a second identical speaker and double the power, you get 6dB of extra SPL in the low end. The free SPL is from mutual coupling between the drivers and occurs for approximately the frequency range in which the drivers are within 1/4 wavelength of each other. At higher frequencies you get destructive interference between the drivers. Since adding a second speaker will probably not quite double the wattage output of your amp, the actual increase of SPL from adding a second identical cab is probably on the order of 4-5dB . The sound will be a bit fuller though because of the way mutual coupling works.

    The best course of action really depends on what you think about your current gear and your goals. I would probably keep the Hartke and elevate it so I can hear it better, and buy a more powerful amp. An important caveat here is that I use my amp as a personal monitor. It's only purpose is for me to hear and it is not expected to fill the room with bass. If another person needs to hear bass in the bands I play in, they typically ask for it in their monitor wedge.
    Rocker47 likes this.
  12. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I agree it's not ideal because the power is not distributed equally to each 10" driver. A better solution would be 16 ohm 210 and 8 ohm 410. This would increase power, provide a safe load for the amp, and distribute the power equally to each driver. Unfortunately Hartke offers only in 8-ohm 210s.
  13. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    More than just additional SPL happens when you double the woofers. You get a coupling effect and the addition of a larger baffel area gives you baffle step comp. The tone will be bassier and louder compared to just one with a more powerful amp where all you will get is louder.
    egarcia, Chickenwheels and Wasnex like this.
  14. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I would get a better amp, maybe 500-600 watts @ 4ohm. Then later the second cab.

    I've gigged with an 8 ohm 410 and a 400 watt amp and it was JUST enough to be heard in a larger band, but a 410 is plenty for most situations when properly powered.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  15. Ekulati

    Ekulati Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Haven't read all the posts so far, but regardless of what anyone said, you should ignore them all. (grrr, why can't I get the winking smily to work?)

    No, the GENERAL rule of thumb is yes, get a second identical cab. But in THIS case, and this case ONLY, my vote is you take whatever $$$ you're thinking of spending on a cab, go to GC used online, and grab any number of GOOD used heads. Being mostly a GK guy, I'd say a used 700RBii, but certainly there are other quality brands out there used. Maybe a used Fender Rumble head. If you can't get decent volume out of a Hartke 410, the problem is your amp. Not the cab.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  16. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Your 4x10 should be more than enough. The thing is, is that your cab is 8 ohm. and your amp puts out 150 watts @ 8 ohm, not 300. And that's if it's wattage is measured by scientists, and not PR guys. 150 watts from a solid state amp is fairly 'low horsepower'. A 2nd 8 ohm cab would bring the amp's out put up a bit, and move more air. But the head is still fairly 'low horsepower'.
    Munjibunga and Isaac879695 like this.
  17. Great observations and info so far. You’ll need to tinker with all these discussed concepts.
    As a rule, more speakers is better for louder. However, I feel you need another amp as a Hartke XL410 should be ample, provided:
    -It’s not damaged.
    -All your cables are quality and functioning.
    -You are not scooping midrange and boosting bass with your eq.
    -You’re band isn’t playing too loud in a small space.
    -Your instrument is setup and functioning well and making a sound you like.
    I don’t know what sound you like, but a used Gallien Krueger head is a good place to start amp-wise for value/quality/tone/power.
    Best wishes!
    Wasnex likes this.
  18. CalBuzz51


    Mar 11, 2016
    Also, keep in mind most SS amps are rated about half the power @8 ohms than 4 ohms. Two amps I have:
    Mesa 800+:
    800w @4 ohms
    400w @8 ohms

    GenzBenz Shuttle 6.0
    600 w @4ohms
    375 w @8ohms

    Tube amps are rated the same wattage no matter the impedance setting.

    I believe both a 410 or a higher powered amp are going to get you louder, but agree the amp in this case is the better upgrade.
  19. If your primary goal is to be able to play louder and sound bigger,
    get a second matching 410...
    then find a good used head that can put out some decent power
    between what you have now and the rating of the two cabs combined.
    Depending on your tastes and budget that could be a G-K700RB, Fender Rumble,
    SVT, Bassman 300, 500 or 800, or many other options.
    The point being that once you have two cabs you can use the power without straining anything
    and sometimes be just fine with one cab and more power.
  20. This is the correct answer, IMO. A good head with that cab should be plenty. As someone else mentioned your 300 watt head at 4 ohms is probably actually about 150 watts. Behringer’s are also known for being underpowered. I used to have a GK Backline 600 (that I paid $80 bucks on CL) which was 300 watts at 4 ohms, and I used a Peavey Headliner 410 (spent about $185) for practice with a rock band, and I never had a problem with it not being loud enough.
    Jim Carr and Ekulati like this.