our bass player uses 2 separate speaker cab sizes...ok or no?? - diyAudio
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Old 29th August 2011, 04:58 PM   #1
60ndown is offline 60ndown  United States
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Default our bass player uses 2 separate speaker cab sizes...ok or no??

the bass player in our band has a bass guitar amplifier (mesa i think)

and (1) 2 x 10" cab and (1) 2 x 12" cab, (the dual 12s gets a little lower)

hes been using both cabs when we rehearse.

im (we) are wondering if its the wrong thing to do?

is it in fact better/cleaner/less distortion/phase risks etc to use either 1 or the other?

or is it absolutely ok to use both at the same time?
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Old 29th August 2011, 07:53 PM   #2
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Glad this came up, there's been some misinformation on the interweb that's vaguely irritated me by being not-quite-right.
So here's my attempt to set the record straight, or at least firmly crooked.

Using either cabinet on its own will result in considerably more stress for the drivers, compared to using all the speakers together. For the same output level, distortion will be lower (assuming the amplifier can hack it - being a Mesa, it probably can).
Differing phase between the two cabinets may result in frequency response anomalies, but if everyone (particularly the bassist) is happy with the sound, I see no reason to increase distortion levels because someone somewhere wanted you to buy more of their cabinets.
Remember - for a given voltage, you gain 6dB by putting another cabinet (of equal impedance) in parallel.
To match the level of two cabinets, a single cabinet must absorb 4x the power - the implications of this aren't to be taken lightly.
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Old 29th August 2011, 09:44 PM   #3
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There is no right or wrong, just opinion. if it sounds ok, it's ok.

Technically, it's fine.
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Old 29th August 2011, 10:00 PM   #4
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Both replies have made huge assumptions without verifying them.

What is this equipment? It it all commercial, both the head and the cabs? Is it just a head with 2 output jacks wired straight up with cables to 2 cabinets? Is any part - cable, head or cabs - custom? Any information like an ohm rating on the cabs or an ohm rating on the backplate of the amp?
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Old 29th August 2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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The sound spreads better with two cabinets.
I run a disco and have one cabinet each side and it sounds and spreads really well.
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Old 29th August 2011, 11:06 PM   #6
60ndown is offline 60ndown  United States
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ive heard it said over the years, that having 2 different size drivers play the same frequencies is asking or trouble ?

in this instance, the 10s and the 12s are all playing everything.
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Old 29th August 2011, 11:32 PM   #7
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I've seen this done many times, as long as the head unit can drive the load it's fine technically, you may get some sonic weirdness but if it sounds ok... making music isn't just maths. I've done all sorts of academically "wrong" things with systems to make them sound the way people want.
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Old 30th August 2011, 01:18 AM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60ndown View Post
the bass player in our band has a bass guitar amplifier (mesa i think)

and (1) 2 x 10" cab and (1) 2 x 12" cab, (the dual 12s gets a little lower)

hes been using both cabs when we rehearse.

im (we) are wondering if its the wrong thing to do?

is it in fact better/cleaner/less distortion/phase risks etc to use either 1 or the other?

or is it absolutely ok to use both at the same time?
Absolutely OK, and I've known some very experienced and exceptional bass players who did the same thing - as long as the drivers can handle the power and the head is properly loaded no problem. In all likelihood your bass player spent a long time figuring out how to get the sound he was looking for, he may be considerably more sophisticated than you give him credit for. (Or it could be an accident) Does the rig sound good?
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Old 30th August 2011, 01:43 AM   #9
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Actually it's not always ok at all.

Depending on the specifics of the speakers and the impedances.
There is a situation where something called "load hogging" can and does occur.

This has to do with impedances and phase angle. Also involved is how much power is available to drive the speakers vs. the power handling of one of the two speaker cabs.

It is easy to see this. Assume for the benefit of discussion that one cabinet has an impedance peak of 32 ohms at 41 Hz. The other cabinet is tuned lower and has an impedance peak of 38 ohms but at 32Hz. Now the bass player hits the low E hard - most of the power goes to the lower impedance speaker. IF that's enough power and it happens enough and the conditions mentioned earlier are met, you fry one or more speakers.

It's a good reason not to use dissimilar drivers in the same enclosure volume - you get the same sorts of issues, only worse.

We're ignoring the idea that he actually got all the drivers wired in phase and also that one box is not two 4 ohm speakers in series and the other 8 ohm drivers in parallel?? Or similar...

Otoh, as mentioned before if it sounds good it is good, according to Count Basie that is...



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Old 30th August 2011, 01:45 AM   #10
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I run a 4x10 cab up top and a single 15 cab on the bottom of my bass rig! this is a very common setup! Both cabs are 8 ohms and I run them in parallel.

My previous cab was an ampeg isovent that had 2x 15's wired push pull and 2x10's. Before that I ran a 2x10 cab with an Acoustic single 18 in a W-bin.

The band I used to work for, the bass player ran FOUR 8x10 ampeg cabs on stage connected to two Ampeg SVT4pro bass amps.

Bass rigs are what ever you want to run as long as you have the impedance figured out...run it!
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