OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

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Boy_Narf
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OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Boy_Narf » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:24 pm

Hello Everyone,

I currently play a Traynor SB115 combo amp. At practice my amp is pretty much pinned, and it's just barely keeping up. During quieter sections it's perfect, but when the band kicks ups the dynamics I get lost. I really like the portability and tone of this amp, and have been considering replacing it with a bigger rig for a few months now. I had a potential strike of genius last night and thought to myself "hey, what if I just buy a second matching amp, and run them together?". Now I know lots of people run two amps to get a thicker tone, or to have one clean and one dirty amp. But does anyone run two amps together to get more volume, or presence on stage? I'm assuming having 2 amps @ 200 watts each with 15 inch speakers would be similar to a 400 watt head and 2 15" cabs (not sure how headroom would compare). I know I'm not going to double the volume (need 10X the wattage for that), but it would be cool to get more overall volume/headroom, while running each amp at medium levels, as opposed to running one amp maxed out.

It will be way cheaper (save roughly $1000) to get a second combo and run them together, as opposed to getting a head and two cabs.

Any try this kind of thing before? Will I get more volume? or just a bigger/fuller sound?

P.S. I'll most likely use a Radial BigShot ABY to run them both.

Thanks,
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Gladmarr
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Gladmarr » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:05 pm

Guitar players have been doing it forever. There's no reason it wouldn't work.

Boy_Narf
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Boy_Narf » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:08 pm

When I ran dual amps I only used it to "thicken up" my tone, or to have one clean/one dirty amp. Never compared volume levels.
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by bclaire » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:42 pm

Multiple bass amps? Check out Royal Blood - he's using multiple amps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ere2Mstl8ww" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Boy_Narf
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Boy_Narf » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:47 pm

I've seen quite a few pro bands using dual bass amps live, but wasn't sure if it was for additional volume, or to set the EQ on each amp differently and beef up the sound.
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Mystic38
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Mystic38 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:52 pm

i would consider your sb115 to have a small enclosure for a 15" driver. .. and if you are looking for clean headroom you may be at some level substantially below your 200W.. particularly if you are up'ing the bass eq or using a deep switch... So its not clear to me that you would actually achieve the volume you want by just adding a second travel combo.

if you are in a position to try before you buy then it does make sense though as a first step!

Other than that you could consider
a) DI to a PA. (lowest cost)
b) a used larger 115, 212 or 410 cab plus a rack PA, or other class D amp driven from your DI (not necessarily a bass amp, but could be)
c) a full scale bass rig for shows. (highest cost)
-Ian-

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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Boy_Narf » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:45 pm

Hey,

I leave the EQ at noon with the exception of the treble. I like to bump that up to 3. The low expander/deep knob stays at 0. It's essentially a scoop/compressor. My original idea was to DI out straight into one of my 1000 watt EV powered speakers, but the tweeters are very harsh with the DI signal. I'll have to put a small passive mixer in between to eq out the high end. This is not the most portable setup for live gigs. We do have a PA at the jam space, but it's having trouble keeping up with vocals, keys, and trumpet. Honestly we are not that loud. We jam in a fairly large room, and the amp just doesn't have the juice. I'm thinking in a smaller room this little guy would have no issues.

If my local L&M has it in stock, I should be able to rent it for a week or so and see how it sounds.
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Mystic38 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:15 pm

yeah..i took a look at the manual and saw the DI is pre-eq, so agreed you would be pretty brash through a pa without any eq..

i guess even a 6 band mxr would help, and although expensive, the Empress paraEQ is a great tool..3 band parametric eq plus the bonus of a boost feature so would be useful elsewhere..
-Ian-

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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by OrangePaul » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:54 pm

I like the idea of 2 amps. You could stack them too i guess.

Deep powerful controlled bass does requires a lot of watts though. Don't think that is something you can get around.
Paul.

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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Boy_Narf » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:32 pm

Yea I know bass is all about mega wattage. I'm a car audio enthusiast from way back so I know all about low range drivers and their power requirements.

If I had a bigger car I would most likely have picked up a bigger rig already. The 1X15+2X10 combo cab (I would prefer 2 15" cabs, but they would be double the prince), and 500 watt head would be absolutely perfect for just over 1K brand new. Next time I'm in the store, I'll try picking up the cab and going for a walk (I believe it's 85-90lbs). My little combo is just so light and portable. I think my bass in it's hard case is heavier. Another thing I'm not factoring in is the cost of the AB/Y pedal. I've had a few in the past and I'm not a fan of the passive ones. I have my eye on the Radial Twin-City Bones. It's widely available here in Canada, and is one of the only active options I have locally. Our dollar is so bad I'm not going to be ordering any gear from out of country for a while.

I'll be looking around $650+TAX for the second amp and switcher, and just over 1K for the full 500 watt 115 + 210 rig. Might be worth it in the long run to spend a bit extra now. Am I allowed to talk non Orange prices in this joint? D:

To be honest, I'm mostly concerned with lugging gear/a big cab around the city. The whole point of me joining up as a bass player is to carry less crap to a gig (plus I love running around with wireless haha). Even though (in my other band) I'm down to a three piece kit with a hihat and single crash, I'm beyond tired of lugging my drum kit around the city. Drums are a blast to play, but man, tearing down and setting up for every practice and gig gets old FAST! Especially when we only make $10 :) Life of a musician eh?

I guess the best thing to do would be to rent a matching combo and see how it pans out during a jam. If it doesn't work I'm only out $10. I'm also keeping my eye on Kijiji. Those old 200-400 watt blue carpet Yorkville combos are bulletproof, and pretty dang affordable. Might be worth a try if I can get one for $100.

Thanks guys.
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a.hun
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by a.hun » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:24 am

The only real problems with running two amps are potential hummy ground loops (shouldn't be a problem if using the Radial switcher), and how the amps / speakers work together. Generally running identical speakers causes no problems. If you really like the sound of one than adding a second just gets you more of the same. Same is usually true of combos. I'd stack them vertically if possible to keep the good sound spread.

Again +1 to Traynor / Yorkville being generally excellent in the performance / VFM stakes. Seems like a plan to me.


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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by CPL » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:03 pm

I've ran two combo amps in the past without any issue, usually by chaining one from the input into either the DI of the other, or effects loop. Sometimes, I did that for a stereo effect for both sides of the drums, more so than the need for extra volume, and the guitarist I played with at the time did the same thing. It depends on what amps were around and who I was playing with. I'm lucky that now that I have the Terror Bass 1000, so volume isn't much of an issue these days. The great thing about it is it's so lightweight and comes with a gig bag with a strap, so you can sling it over your shoulder and free up the carry load a little bit.

Yeah, those Traynor amps seem to be nice amps. I thought about looking into them at one point or another, but I got a hell of a deal on the Orange that I couldn't pass up.
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by Black13 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:18 pm

Boy_Narf wrote:I've seen quite a few pro bands using dual bass amps live, but wasn't sure if it was for additional volume, or to set the EQ on each amp differently and beef up the sound.
Every time I see two heads, one is a back-up, while they're only playing through one at a time. I say get a better head if yours isn't cutting it, avoid the extra complexity of daisy-chains and extra cables. Try to keep it simple, when possible. Regards.
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Re: OT: Running Two Bass Amps For More Volume?

Post by BrianFantana » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:52 pm

Sansamp------->bass amp--->PA ----->FIN.

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