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Your opinions on this rig?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassist31588, Dec 26, 2002.

  1. I currently have a 2x12 Hartke combo w/ 120 watts (b-120). I'm thinking of upgrading to a 350 watt head which would be the Hartke 3500, and an Avatar 2x10 with 350 watts EACH speaker.

    I'm a bit confused and ran this by with folks on Harmony Central's Bass Forum and they said it was cool. But wouldn't this be underpowering? Dave Avatar's ad on this cab said 350 each equaling 700 RMS. Does it matter?

    I've just been stuck with Combos up til now so I'm kinda new to this ****. What type of room would the avatar and hartke head fill?

    Suggestions on gear are welcome, but I've pretty much decided on what I can afford and what I need.
  2. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer

  3. Thanks for the helpful response.:rolleyes:
  4. StrudelBass


    Jul 6, 2002
    amps forum?
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Well, here's another helpful response:rolleyes:


  6. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    The 350 W rating on the avatar speakers is just the maximum continuous rating. Giving them less than the rated 350 watts isn't going to hurt them.
  7. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yeah what's with the smart asses? The guy needs help fellas.

    Running 350w to a 700w speakers isn't a big problem, but it can be. If you drive the amp too hard, you'll eventually force it to clip. Speakers can't handle a clipped signal and they'll blow.

    You should be ok so long as you're careful not to drive the amp too hard.

    I don't know that it will fill a room though. From my experience, I don't think 2x10 speaker cabinets were ever designed to be used on their own. I know a lot of people do - but my Eden 2x10 is supposed to be one of the best on the market and I'll never again never use it without another speaker cabinet to help it along. I thought the poor little thing was gonna **** itself.

    I don't know that having such beefy specs on paper will make much difference. Can I suggest using 2 cabinets to create a total of 4 x 10's. I consider 4x10's to be a minimum for a band situation.

    You didn't say how many OHMS your speaker cabinet is. Be careful whan adding extra cabinets that your OHMS don't create too much resistance for the amp. This is another subject in itself....
  8. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    i wasn't trying to be a smart ass.

    just thought he'd get better repsonse in the appropriate forum.

    so, here's my take:

    i'd get as much power as you can afford.

    as i've overstated in other threads, you want at least double your cabs power rating to arrive at the proper power.

    if you run your single 300 watt cab, drive it with at least 600 watts.

    i run 1500 watts into my bergantino ht112. sure loves the juice.

    i run 2400 watts into my bergie ht212 (4 ohms)...i can blow away the whole band!

    its all about headroom and how you ride the levels.

    i had an Eden WT400 and an Eden 210xlt for years. i thought it was great until i got into a loud band sithc.

    the 250 watts into the 210 at loud volumes was a disaster. i sold the whole setup.

    i even added a 115 cab to get down to 4 ohms to pull the full 400 watts frm the WT400. still farted like crazy with the cones dancing like mad.

    power power power is the key.

    i recommend a good solidstate power amp and a tube pre.

    you can get good deals used all over the net. EBay especially.

    power amps:




    loads of choices.

    i'm giddy with my current rig. so is everyone i play with.

    just some thoughts.

  9. so tell me, am I 'underpowering' the avatar, yes or no, each 10" has 350 watts. 700 RMS. Should I get a 700 watt head or 350? I want a 2x10 because I hate 15's, there's NO TONE for me. I like the smaller speakers, they sound much tighter, but I've never pushed any, I'm gonna end up pushing this cab eventually most likely... How many professionals go on gigs and have their rig fill up the room? they go into the PA! I'm not getting an 8x18!!!!!!!!!:D

    do you think the avatar 2x10, 1x12 or would be better. I'd like to avoid the 4x10, because I want something thats going to fit in my trunk. What about Combo amps? basically I'm keeping this system around 600. I intended on buying the hartke head ($450) when I had enough money and then going with the avatar ($250). I don't have the money now and only have like 245 saved from christmas money.

    I'm 14 (last time I said this, someone on HCBF told me to get a Peavey TNT:rolleyes:... Dick), so I dont have a job to afford an Eden. Tone is just as important as volume. I dont want a loud amp with no tone, I don't want a toneful amp with no volume. I just like the hartke sound and others don't. I liked an Ampeg 4x10 and head i tried out when I was buyign my five string but that was higher end and I dont have 2k.

    Basically a minimum of 200 watts... my 120 watter is barely cutting it, and if the speakers werent so worn out (not THAT bad) it may be a bit better. I pushed that amp with the EQ cranked with my first band, I shoulda known better, I coulda gotten more volume by laying off the EQ
  10. OK. Here it goes, from my point of view:

    When people here say they are concerned about "underpowering a cabinet", they have 2 or 3 things in mind: 1) Will the cabinet sound good, tone-wise? 2) Will the cabinet be able to provide the volume I'm looking for, if I start to crank my amp? 3) Will the speakers blow out if I turn up? Here are my thoughts on each of these:

    ITEM 1 -- Tone changes with volume. Tone changes with the room environment, too -- a cabinet sounds much different in a club than in someone's garage. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but different in every room. A cabinet usually has a characteristic tone quality. With good EQ in the amp, you can adjust to most venues IF the amp has enough headroom. Let's remember that for later on.

    ITEM 2 -- The cabinet spec that will determine whether your amp plus the cabinet will have enough volume for your needs is sensitivity. This is usually expressed in Sound Pressure Level (SPL), expressed in dB, measured at 1 watt of input power at a 1 meter distance from the cabinet's grill or speaker plane. The higher the number, the greater the sensitivity, and hence the greater the cabinet's efficiency in using your amp's available power. This number is also dependent upon the frequency (pitch) of the sound that is input. Typically, cabs' sensitivities are specified at 1 KHz, and are NOT typically specified at a variety of frequencies in a spec sheet. If they were, this number would be much more meaningful to we bassists, IMO. We would be able to determine better if the cabinet would put out what we wanted, given that we knew our amp's ability to put out a certain amount of power when presented with a given frequency. For example, if a cabinet has 105 dB SPL sensitivity (@ 1watt @ 1 meter @ 1 KHz), but has only 80 dB sensitivity at 100 Hz @ 1watt @1 meter, we might consider that cab to have poor bass response. MAYBE. It would depend on the other frequencies measurements. YES. This IS getting complicated.

    ITEM 3 -- The power handling figures given in most spec sheets assume a sine wave input to the speaker at a certain frequency. Once again, this is the BEST CASE scenario. The real world is different. If you drive your amp to clipping, or if you use a lot of distortion, the waveform turns into a square wave or a sawtooth wave form -- for which the speaker has notably LESS power handling tolerance. This is why people on this forum routinely recommend a lot of available amp power for bass; people's ears are a lot less efficient at low frequencies than they are at 1 KHz, and a substantially greater amount of power is need to have the bass appear to be as loud as, let's say, a guitar. To get the same perceived volume as your guitar player's 100 watt Marshall half-stack, you may need 800 watts RMS for your bass amp. Can the cabinet handle that? More importantly, can your amp deliver that wattage to the cabinet, without clipping?

    Remember I asked you to hold on to the thought about amp headroom earlier? That is why it's important. More speakers are blown from an underpowered amp driven into clipping than from a clean amp that overpowers them. More power = more headroom = greater speaker safety.

    Here's something else to remember: If You Need More Volume, Add More Cabs. More cabs move more air, and usually at greater power efficiencies. When you push power into a cab, there is a phenomenon called power compression that robs you of effective use of your amp's wattage. To add the same amount of volume that another identical cab would provide (at the same impedance, measured in ohms, for both speaker arrays), you would need not twice, but closer to four times the available amp power. Plus extra for some headroom.

    Yes, this was a hugely long post. Yes, this is a poorly understood problem, especially by inexperienced bassists. And yes, I HAVE oversimplified these issues for brevity, if you can believe it. But one thing makes it easier: USE YOUR EARS. Play the rig in conditions you'll face, if you possibly can, and let your ears tell you if it'll cut it. All this engineering hoo-hah means jack if the sound blows chunks. I have an Avatar B210, and an Avatar B115. I like them a lot. For me and my needs, they cut it. I like the combination of cabs for tone better than either one alone. If I couldn't afford both immediately, I'd get the B210 first, then the B115. YMMV.
  11. Bassist,
    without getting overly technical, I will say a few things about the Fartke, erm Hartke, 3500. (i had lotsa troubles with mine- others have had great luck) It is conservatively rated at 350@4ohms. it is very loud for its rating (whether thats percievable or actual is another story). it will go far for most situations.

    As far as the AV 210, it is rated 700w. You will only pull 240w out of the Hartke as the best cab for the application is only an 8 ohm'r. i WOULD NOT suggest getting the 4 ohm, cuz you wil be screwed when it comes time to add another cab.

    My suggestion? get the 210 and find a pawnshop 15". I KNOW YOU SAID YOU HATE THEM, but it'll allow you to be heard in a real life situation without damaging the cab you do like. then when the $$$ comes along, get another 210 or a 410.

    JMHO, not even worth $.02

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