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Who wants to give me advice?


Thomas Wilburn

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I've tried to keep from posting gear questions here, but I'm really curious about this and I want some input from some more technical, experience people. The time has come where I want to upgrade from my Fender Bassman 200 combo, mainly because I'm tired of hauling the damn thing around. I want to move to a 15" cab on casters and a head unit. I was thinking of going with the Ampeg B2R and an Ampeg 15", but yesterday at Guitar Center they had a used Carvin power amp sitting in the bass section. It's a 1500 watt amp, and the tag is $225, I guess because Carvin doesn't have much name recognition around here.

 

I'm already using a BP8 for a preamp. Should I just go ahead and get the power amp, since it seems like a steal? Should I expect any reliability problems? It looks like a two-channel amp, and I didn't see a switch to bridge it. Does this mean it may only be 750/side? I'm also not planning on using it with cabs that go anywhere near 1500 watts power tolerance--am I risking damage?

 

This is very tempting, and I want to make up my mind quickly before someone wanders in and grabs it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to go take another look at lunch and try to find a model number for more information--sorry this is so vague.

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Originally posted by Edendude:

Snatch up the amp at the bargain price, and get yourself a 4x10 cab instead of a 1x15, and you'll never look back.

Indeed. Though you may want to consider a pair of 2x10"s or a 2x10" and 1x15" for portability reasons. 4x10" cabs (modern neodymium marvels excepted) are HEAVY!
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That's true what Alex says about a pair of 2x10s being the preferred way to get the big punchy 4x10 sound in a less back-breaking package. At least if you do buy a 4x10, put a decent set of heavy duty wheels on it. My 4x10 weighs in at exactly 100 pounds, so the wheels are a must have.

 

But a pair of 2x10s will also give you the added benefit of lugging just one of them to gigs requiring less volume.

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Dig it, if you like the sound of your 1x15 combo, experiment w/ 1x15 cabs. Also check out some 2x10s, 1x12s, 2x12s, and 4x10s. Not all drivers of the same size are equal, and not all cabs holding the same configurations of drivers are equal. In short, don't overgeneralize too much about the tonal qualities of 15s vs 12s vs 10s vs 8s, and so on.

 

I have a friend who uses a Carvin power amp -- I think it's the DCM1500. He's been very happy with it. This sounds like it's probably a good deal, and you ought to be able to bridge it mono if necessary. Look up the specs at the Carvin website -- they're very informative there. Knowing something about the power output of that amp, if it looks like you're going to land it, will help you sort thru cabs.

 

Good luck.

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Okay, I just went to try the thing out during lunch. We ran the preamp of an SWR into it (it's a DCM1500 and only takes XLR inputs, they had an adapter cable there) and plugged it up.

 

Nothing. The clip light on channel one is always on, and channel two doesn't seem to be getting any signal. The bridge switch in the back (I must have missed it yesterday) is impacted and has to be pushed with a pen (this is probably why I missed it). I'm thinking that this switch has caused a short in the first channel somewhere with the input, and therefore it's clipping. It also doesn't seem to switch out of bridge mode--which wouldn't be bad if it would produce sound.

 

They're going to look at it some more and give me a call if they can figure it out. This is probably why it's so cheap. If they can get it to produce sound without destroying speakers, I'll take it, faulty bridge switch and all. Otherwise, it looks like someone took GC for a ride.

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Yep...

 

That Carvin amp sounds pretty iffy, but if they repair it and are willing to give you some kind of extended warranty, it still may be worth considering.

 

And back to the cab question...

 

I have to agree with Alex about 4x10 cabs. I think they generally put 1x15 cabs to shame in many ways. They sound much punchier to me, handle more power, offer a much more balanced midrange, and also sound much better when you are standing close to them than 1x15s do. I'm always surpised that 1x15s still exist.

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Originally posted by C.Alexander Claber:

Tens tend to handle greater power, are more efficient where it counts, and are more articulate in the midrange. More cut and growl.

NB: This is a gross oversimplification! A top quality 1x15" will wipe the floor with a lesser 4x10". But like for like the tens will growl more and the fifteens boom more. Sadly it's never like for like.

 

Listen to as many cabs as you can befor you make your decision.

 

Alex

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A question I have regarding the "punchy" advantage 10's have over 15's. Is this due to the 10 having the ability to respond quicker than a 15?

"Some people are like "slinkies". They're not really good for anything;

but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a

flight of stairs."

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Originally posted by Stackimo:

A question I have regarding the "punchy" advantage 10's have over 15's. Is this due to the 10 having the ability to respond quicker than a 15?

That's exactly why this is usually true.

 

10" drivers are smaller and move less air than a 15" driver, but by the same token take less energy to be moved, themselves... thus react faster to a signal. Viola! C'est le punch.

...simply stating.
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So when you consider the fact that tens respond much faster to transient input signals AND the fact that four ten inch speakers 'combined' provide much more surface area to move air, than a 1x15 cab does, it's easy to see why 4x10 cabs are generally the much more superior sounding design.

 

And when you factor in the typical added power handling, it's hard to not to want a 4x10 over 1x15.

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Originally posted by Thomas Wilburn:

Otherwise, it looks like someone took GC for a ride.

Better than the other way 'round.

 

Thanks Mr M and C Alex for "conditioning" the generalizations. :thu:

 

Thomas, as you shop for a cab use your ears. Try some 4x10s and other configurations, but if you've been happy w/ a 1x15 and that's the right sound for you, ain't no shame in your game to stick with it. Also, most 1x15s are lighter than most 4x10s, and this might also be a consideration. I recently played two different Ampeg 1x15s in a local shop (the BXT Wooten/Bailey 1x15 is fab), and was quite pleased with how they sounded.

 

There are some nice 1x15s out there (although pricey, the Bag End w/ the coax tweeter comes to mind). Additionally, as you've probably read here a million times, the Acme Low B2 might have some of the low end you like from a 15 while giving you more balanced sound across the freq range. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if you found a 1x12 or 2x12 that caught your attention.

 

>

 

Peace.

--sweet'n'low

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Well, I appreciate the help, everyone. I do need to spend some more time seriously poking around at cabs, and I may do so this weekend. The amp I was looking out turned out to have serious wiring problems, and it has been shipped off to be fixed--I don't know how this will affect the price, but I'm still interested in it. 1500 watts is stupid-powerful, and even though I really don't play anywhere that needs such a huge amp, I like the idea.

 

I am definitely interested in the 12 inch cabs, or really anything that is easy to carry around but still loud and smooth. I'm not looking for something that kicks you in the chest when I play--I really just want to reduce the amount of gear I have to inflict on my back. Beyond that, I'm not terribly picky. 2x10 may be a very good alternative to the smaller 15's I was looking at.

 

But we'll see. I'm still new to this, and there's plenty of time to play lots of gear before I make a decision.

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One more vote for 2x10's. They are more punchy, and require less power to operate efficiently.

15's are often lower in sensitivity so they require more power the problem if you power em' up proper no can hear themselves think.

15's also require more distance before the sound becomes coherent, there are acoustic's theories that support this, but most here don't need that because they've heard the difference. Per Willie's point not all drivers are created equal though and some 15's are more sensitive than others.

 

Finally, speakers usually have a sweetspot in the freq range (10's are a little higher freq than 15's, thus are more audible for me) Due to way your ear's are result may vary.

Together all sing their different songs in union - the Uni-verse.

My Current Project

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I actually have very sensitive ears, and I like a lower sweetspot. That's why I can never bring myself to play a Stingray--whenever I try them, the treble is just too powerful, and it feels like the top of my head is coming off. One of the things I've liked about the 15's I've tried is that they seem to have less of that peak, and it also smooths my distortion out a bit, so it's less harsh.

 

Give me a few more years next to a drummer and then I'll probably be damaged enough to handle it.

 

SW, don't even get me started on harmonica amps. I have enough problems with the bass, now you're going to give me GAS for my first instrumental love? Cruel, cruel, cruel.

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Originally posted by Thomas Wilburn:

SW, don't even get me started on harmonica amps. I have enough problems with the bass, now you're going to give me GAS for my first instrumental love? Cruel, cruel, cruel.

Look, bro, consider it public service. :D (But it really is an @$$-kicker of a harp amp, 'specially w/ a touch of fuzz...)

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

Originally posted by Thomas Wilburn:

SW, don't even get me started on harmonica amps. I have enough problems with the bass, now you're going to give me GAS for my first instrumental love? Cruel, cruel, cruel.

Look, bro, consider it public service. :D (But it really is an @$$-kicker of a harp amp, 'specially w/ a touch of fuzz...)
I'm sure it is. My guitarist plays the combo version, and it's an extremely sweet blues amp--the first distortion channel has just enough to sing, and then the next channel has some fuzz but doesn't necessarily "crunch." It's also very treble-biased, seems to me, which is nice in a harp amp to catch those overtones and bends. I'm sure it would be especially sweet with a Green Bullet mike pumping into it...

 

...NO! NO! MUST... PAY... RENT AND... STUDENT LOANS...

 

Speaking of which, how's that dissertation coming, o smiling devil of temptation?

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Originally posted by Thomas Wilburn:

1500 watts is stupid-powerful, and even though I really don't play anywhere that needs such a huge amp, I like the idea.

 

2x10 may be a very good alternative to the smaller 15's I was looking at.

 

But we'll see. I'm still new to this, and there's plenty of time to play lots of gear before I make a decision.

1500w really isn't that stupid. If you run it stereo into two cabs and each is getting 750w (In don't know the ohm min. on anything you are considering, but I'm guessing 750 into 4 ohms stereo) you'll have clean clear power with lots of head room.

My rig right now is 2, 4 ohm 2 x 10's, and I'm considering either a 1200w or 1500w power amp to replace my faithful old SWR 350 (I run it 450w into 2 ohms); Effing Guitarist only needs 22w's!

Also, 2 10" speakers have more surface area than one 15". That might be why Ampeg came up with the 8 x 10; quick response, huge surface area.

Anyways, have fun shopping! ;)

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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I agree with 73 P Bass.......1500 watts isn't stupid.......you'll never push a high power amp like that into clipping.......they sound clean at illegal volume levels because they have tons of head room......I also like 2 2x10 cabs.... They'er not hard to transport, as opposed to a 4x10 od a 2x12 and you only have to use 2 of 'em at a small gig, and you can play the daylights out of them and not hurt 'em.
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You can always try the Whappo Grande.

 

its a mere 21" :D

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