Frequently Asked Question
What is the difference between a 4 ohm and 8 ohm cabinet?
It will help to think of ohms in terms of RESISTANCE to power. The MORE ohms, the more resistance there will be to the POWER going from the amp to the speaker cabinet. Therefore, if all things are equal, a 4 ohm version of a cabinet will be able to play louder than the 8 ohm model, since 4 ohms is providing LESS resistance. Each time you link cabinets together you DECREASE the amount of resistance—two 8 ohm cabs become 4 ohms, two 4 ohm cabs become 2 ohms. Be sure to check the POWER RATING on your amplifier, the MAXIMUM power rating shown is for the MINIMUM ohm rating – an amp rated 1000 watts @ 4 ohms can be as little as 500 watts through an 8 ohm speaker cabinet.
How should I match my amp with my speaker cabinets?
Let’s consider power first. For optimum results the rule of thumb is that your amplifier’s power rating should be HIGHER than that of your speaker cabinet. Look at it this way: If a car that can only reach 100 MPH is driven at 100 MPH, it is being forced to operate at its maximum capacity and will not perform very well. But if a high performance car, that can reach a speed of 200 MPH is driven only at 100 MPH, it handles beautifully because it has plenty of power to spare. In like manner, a 100 watt amp, when using all 100 watts, is being driven to its maximum capabilities and will not perform well. However, a 500 or 1,000 watt amp that is using only 100 watts of its power is going to perform MUCH SMOOTHER because the amp does not have to push itself at MAXIMUM power to reach the 100 watt level. The result is a much CLEANER TONE at higher volume levels. There are sonic matching considerations as well – best chosen with your dealer or by listening. Feel free to contact us as well for recommendations.
How should I set the level controls on my power amp and pre-amp?
On your Power Amp turn the volume to its MAXIMUM level and than back it off just a bit (until there is no noticeable hiss), then use the MASTER VOLUME (often labeled as GAIN) on your pre-amp to determine the OVERALL instrument volume. Be sure to keep the pre-amp volume UNDER its maximum level since pushing both the power amp and pre-amp to the maximum will result in distortion and possible damaged equipment. Back off on the PRE-AMP VOLUME if you hear audible distortion from the speakers.
How should I set up my bass cabinet for optimum performance?
To achieve the best response, all bass cabinets should be set SQUARELY on the floor (i.e. all four corners firmly touching the floor). However, if you find that a boomy sound is resulting from a wooden floor etc., then simply RAISE the cab up off the floor or try TILTING it back to rectify the situation. You may want to try an isolation riser which is an inexpensive, high tech foam pad that floats your cab off the floor.
What type of cables should I use?
When connecting your amplifier to your speaker cabinet, be sure to use ONLY a SPEAKER CABLE. We recommend no lighter than 16 gauge wire but of course the heavier the wire the better (12 or 10 gauge is great) and the SHORTER the cable the better. Never use an INSTRUMENT cable from the amp to the speaker cabinet! When it comes to your INSTRUMENT CABLE be sure to use a high quality SHIELDED cable, again, as short as possible. (These cables may also be used from preamp to power amp, effects loop, tuner out etc.)
How can I best maintain my Epifani gear?
We sell padded covers for all of our speaker cabinets and we recommend flight cases or other sufficient travel storage for your amplifiers. Do not leave amplifiers connected to the AC line (plugged in).
What is the difference between the series and parallel switch on the effects loop?
A “series loop” interrupts the signal path between the preamp and the power amp and inserts the effect processor signal into that path. This means the entire signal from the preamp travels through the processor and re-enters the power stage. It’s basically a one-lane road going from one place to another. A “parallel loop” offers two paths from the preamp to the power amp. One path is a direct connection from the preamp to the power amp as if the amp had no loop at all. The other path sends the preamp signal to the effect processor (via the loop) and then routes it back to the power amp, mixing it with the direct (dry) signal. Most amps that offer a parallel effects loop have a variable mix knob, so that you can control how much of the effect you want mixed in with the dry signal.
In a series loop, many modern, high quality effect processors can be used effectively without any problems because the sound quality will not be degraded when traveling through the processor. Additionally, there is a mix control that allows the user to adjust the dry and wet signal within the processor itself. A series loop works fine in this case, and though the entire signal is being routed through the effects unit, the tone is still coming out of it uncompromised.
The parallel loop is useful when using stomp boxes, vintage effects or other effects that don’t have any kind of mix function and that sometimes suffer from bad signal-to-noise-ratios, which can lead to tone degradation. Lately, it seems that there’s been more of a return to vintage effects and stomp boxes, which has probably caused more of an interest in the parallel loop. The parallel effect loop does not work well if you are using effects that change the volume of the signal (such as tremolo, compression, or noise gates), or when mixing the wet and dry signals causes an out of phase situation. Technically, if you turn the mix to 100% in a parallel effect loop, it should operate exactly like a series loop.
Will the 48V phantom power on a console hurt my UL Series electronics?
The UL Series Electronics were designed to be used in professional applications where the 48V Phantom Power can be activated on a per channel basis, at the discretion of the sound engineer. Due to the proliferation of semi-professional equipment that strap the 48V supply across all of the input channels, the UL series electronics have been modified to reject the phantom supply, eliminating the risk of damage to the DI circuit. In the earlier units you can engage the ground lift to eliminate the possibility of the 48V Phantom Power signal entering into the DI circuit of the UL Series.
Do you manufacture your own cabinets or does another bass amplifier company manufacture them for you?
Epifani cabinets were conceived of and designed by Nick Epifani. The woodworking is done by a very reputable cabinet builder and the cabinets are constructed to Nick’s exact specifications. The cabinets are assembled in Brooklyn with proprietary drivers and crossovers and tested extensively by machine and bassist. This is the only way to ensure our quality standards.
I have heard that using a tube power amp can damage Epifani drivers. Is that true?
Apparently there was some confusion regarding my generalized statement on the use of tube power amps and speakers. Let me clear this up once and for all. Basically, a speaker cone can break up in two ways as the wave forms emanate off the speaker—axially and conically. As the wave form moves out along the cone of the driver, the wave can be broken by the subtle twisting of the cone itself. That is referred to as Conical Break-up Mode.
Axial Break Up mode happens when the cone stops moving like a piston and begins to flex axially from the voice coil to the top of the cone. Due to the low damping factor of most tube power amplifiers, there is less control over the driver than with most modern solid state or digital amps. Less control means a greater excursion of the driver and more opportunities for the driver to break up either Axially or Conically. The net result of that effect manifests itself in the overall wear and tear of the driver. The lifespan of the driver will be shorter. How much shorter depends on how rigorously the speaker is used.
So what does this mean to a working bass player? Basically if you run any rig within some common sense parameters it will work fine for years. Use and abuse a rig and it will get damaged. We strongly suggest that you experiment with our products and anyone else’s in pursuit of “your” tone. Our cabinets work fine with tube power amps and we have a history of players who love these cabinets and use them in conjunction with their tube power amps.