Will my set up be powerful enough?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Seejay, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Seejay

    Seejay Guest

    Feb 24, 2012
    Norwich, UK
    I am in need of a gigging rig capable of playing small to medium venues basically, but I do not have great deals of money to spend. I have been using A Behringer Ultrabass BX4500H at the studios I practise at and for the price I think they sound fantastic, so that's my head sorted.

    I was thinking of getting a Hartke Hydrive 4x10 cab, however the cab is rated 1000 watts at 8 ohms, and the amp 450 at 4 ohms.

    My understanding is that because of the resistance from the cab, the output is gonna be somewhat less than the 450 watts of the behringer head. My questions is, would the output of these two be loud enough for what I require?
  2. irishmonster100

    irishmonster100 Guest

    Jan 27, 2012
    carlow ireland
    you would only be getting 300 watts out of the head at 8 ohms which is still loud
    but if you want to get the full 450 in a small package then get the marshall mbc 410 cabinet its 600 watts at 4 ohms
    or you could get an 810 cab which are usually rated at 4 ohms
  3. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'd stick with the single eight ohm cab. You wouldn't notice the power boost because of the lower impedance and the four ohm cab ties your hands with regards to future expansion.

    300 watts into a 4x10 is enough form many situations, especially the situation you've described.

  4. I agree. Only go 4 ohm if you know you wont need cabinet expansion in the future. If you have any doubts (like posting on a forum) about a single 410 cutting it, get the 8 ohm version and add another cab if the volume isn't there.
  5. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    It probably will be pretty loud, but such things are so hard to quantify. Also, remember marginally bumping up the power rating of the amp you buy gives little indication of what will actually happen. Marketing departments have more control over power ratings than the engineers.

    I'm not crazy about the quality of Behringer components, as I have seen the nylon potentiometer shafts shear off with ease and the Behringer cabinetry/head cases literally disintegrate due to moisture. However, they sound perfectly fine, as long as they are holding together. I don't mean to bash, and in fact used Behringer amps for stage monitoring for a couple of years.

    All that said, have you considered buying a used Markbass, Ampeg, Gallien Krueger, Orange, or Genz Benz head? I'm not sure about GK and GB availability in the UK, but if you hunt for a used unit and have about 30% more funds that the Berhinger costs, you can find something that will probably have more power, better durability, and will hold it's resale value better than the new Behringer.

    Concerning power, if you play with a normal rock band, 410s might be enough, though that cabinet is not terribly efficient—meaning it will require a good reservoir of power to get the most out of it. All IMHO.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Seejay - I've used the 4500 head and consider it to be one of Behringer's best units. I think it will serve OK.

    As for the cabs, check the sensitivity ratings. The higher the sensitivity (more dB at 1 watt) the louder it will be with the same power input from the head.

    Here's a quotation from Wikipedia (with some editing on my part, and bold added as needed...):
    Loudspeaker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Efficiency vs. sensitivity

    Loudspeaker efficiency is defined as the sound power output divided by the electrical power input. Most loudspeakers are inefficient transducers; only about 1% of the electrical energy sent by an amplifier to a typical home loudspeaker is converted to acoustic energy. The remainder is converted to heat, mostly in the voice coil and magnet assembly. The main reason for this is the difficulty of achieving proper impedance matching between the acoustic impedance of the drive unit and the air it radiates into. (At low frequencies, improving this match is the main purpose of speaker enclosure designs). The efficiency of loudspeaker drivers varies with frequency as well. For instance, the output of a woofer driver decreases as the input frequency decreases because of the increasingly poor match between air and the driver.

    Driver ratings based on the SPL for a given input are called sensitivity ratings and are notionally similar to efficiency. Sensitivity is usually defined as so many decibels at 1 W electrical input, measured at 1 meter (except for headphones), often at a single frequency. The voltage used is often 2.83 VRMS, which is 1 watt into an 8 Ω (nominal) speaker impedance (approximately true for many speaker systems). Measurements taken with this reference are quoted as dB with 2.83 V @ 1 m.

    The sound pressure output is measured at one meter from the loudspeaker and on-axis. Clearly then, sensitivity does not correlate precisely with efficiency, as it also depends on the directivity of the driver being tested and the acoustic environment in front of the actual loudspeaker. For example, a cheerleader's horn produces more sound output in the direction it is pointed by concentrating sound waves from the cheerleader in one direction, thus "focusing" them. In some cases, improved impedance matching (via careful enclosure design) lets the speaker produce more acoustic power.

    Typical home loudspeakers have sensitivities of about 85 to 95 dB for 1 W @ 1 m—an efficiency of 0.5–4%.

    Sound reinforcement and public address loudspeakers have sensitivities of perhaps 95 to 102 dB for 1 W @ 1 m—an efficiency of 4–10%.

    Rock concert, stadium PA, marine hailing, etc. speakers generally have higher sensitivities of 103 to 110 dB for 1 W @ 1 m—an efficiency of 10–20%.
  7. Seejay

    Seejay Guest

    Feb 24, 2012
    Norwich, UK
    Cheers for all the replies guys, all really useful stuff.

    Jim Carr - The main selling point of the behringer head for me is the Shape function. I love the tone range I can get using it, something I've never been able to get purely using the EQ. Are there any other amp heads out there that can produce a similar sound?

    I play in a ska-punk band so I love a nice bright punchy tone that cuts through perfectly, hence why I've decided to go with something with alu cones. Would a 2x15 cab give a better power handling?
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Yes. The Genz Benz Shuttle 6 and 9 have three shaping buttons that combined offer 8 shapes, and the Mesa Boogie Carbine M6 and M9 have a rotary 5 position switch. I've used both and like them—there are no doubt others.

    IMHO, driver materials and size are not really reliable indicators of frequency response or power handling. Comparing cabinets in a shop is difficult, but it is one way to compare cabinets in the same room with the same bass and amp. Don't believe marketing hype. Use your ears and go listen to other bassists live who play venues you are likely to play in soon.

    A 215 is hard to move without tilt back wheels, though 410 cabs can be tougher to fit in vehicles, too. Two 115 or 210 cabs is easier to fit in a vehicle, and if one fails, you are still able to "make bass." They are easier to buy and sell in stages, too.