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Phil Starr

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  1. Amen to this before anyone reaches for the paintbrush. Anything other than the thinnest paint is going to add mass (OK anything you apply adds mass) and is likely to add stiffness. your speaker cone works under cone breakup for a lot/most of it's frequency response. The inner part of the cone moves faster than the outside and the cone flexes. A heavy coat of paint could wipe out a lot of your top end or change it unpredictably. There are all sorts of other things to think about too, there is often quite a bit of design work that goes into that cone of paper pulp. If you aren't too bothered about the sound and prepared to scrap the speakers if it goes wrong then that's fine but just be aware before you add three coats of Dulux. I imagine Ashdown tried this before putting it out to market and that is why the 'paint' is so thin.
  2. I think it is just about two equally good ways of doing the same thing. You can either regard your bass amplification as part of your sound and go for something that sounds really good to your ears because the built in shaping of the amp adds something. Alternatively you can go for something with a neutral sound but shape it up with a bit of EQ to get the sound you want. I've a couple of RCF10's that I use sometimes and I tend to use them with my Zoom B1 to give a sound I'm happy with. More frequently I use a 2x10 bass cab which is absolutely not flat but which I also like.
  3. hey Patrick don't give up on it. We had a guitarist who was so shy she hid behind a pillar on the first gig and stood at the back most of the time. She made the band sound great, learned everything we asked and was good to work with. The bassist got to stand at the front too so bonus for me I'm assuming you are a bassist so people expect you to stand at the back and hide next to the drums. Bands are made up of all sorts and most musicians are pretty supportive. It get's better over time too.
  4. It's no different than choosing a 'proper' bass speaker really. If you buy something cheap it's going to have cheap drivers in it and they won't work very well. Spend more and there is no reason why a bass driver in a PA speaker won't handle bass as well as a bass guitar speaker. After all it's only got to produce the bass at a level to balance with the rest of the band which is what you should be doing anyway. Equally a 1x10 bass driver isn't enough for most of us and a 10" PA speaker isn't going to be magically louder. If you normally go out with a 2x12 then 2 12"PA speakers are going to be what you need. Again a 12" Barefaced is more likely to be enough compared with a lesser speaker and a 12" QSC is likely to blow a lot of cheaper speakers away. On top of this it's a good idea to look at what others have done loads of us have gone for the QSC or the RCF PA speakers and so you can be confident that they'll do the job.
  5. If they both played equally well then it's a nice problem to have. It's much more nerve wracking in my experience to play in front of people you know than strangers. Maybe that's why no 1 was more nervous. I don't like amp twiddling, if you are a gigging band you need someone who will play the set and not lose the momentum between songs, however he may well have been nervous too and tweaking can be a sign of nerves. There's not enough information to decide really, you could call them back and have them play a little longer maybe? Or ask the 2nd choice if they'd be interested in depping, code for 'are you still available if the other guy doesn't work out'.
  6. Running the two cabs at 12 ohms will give you a significant increase in volume. You've doubled the radiating area of the speakers increasing their efficiency by 3dB as well as the maximum output and power handling. If you operate them at the same volume as a single cab you will have reduced excursion and the heating of the voice coils as well as the velocity of air in the ports and will have reduced distortion as a result plus you will have raised one cab up to ear level and will hear yourself better. As far as the amp is concerned, well it depends upon the amp. Two things limit amps output; the voltage they can drive into the speaker without distorting, and the current the power supply can maintain. Trace watts for example are a myth but based on the reality that Trace amps tended to have really beefy power supplies. It's a rule of thumb that it'll be the voltage limit that determines the power output at 8ohms and above but the current limit that operates at 4ohms. So, whilst an amp ought to double it's output into 4 ohms you get a lot of amps that do 300W into 8 and 500W into 4. The probability is that you'd get 400W going into 6ohms from most amps and an extra 4dB increase in total output. Just running a single 4 ohm speaker would give you roughly 2dB extra output compared with an 8 ohm speaker so using both at 6 ohms is going to give you a small but noticeable improvement in levels over a single speaker as well as a potential reduction in distortion.
  7. If you want someone to suggest some speakers and calculate the port length then we need the internal dimensions of the cab and an idea of the budget you have to spend, and maybe an idea of what sort of sound you are aiming at. The idea of a 2x12 is a good one, it'll give you a bit more bass extension and save half the money. Using the old cab is great if you want a cab that size and shape and to save the hassle of finishing off a home brew cab but it can be more expensive than just buying a used bass cab as cabs of this configuration aren't fetching a lot of money nowadays. It's fun making stuff though and it saves a bit of waste. There's plenty of people on here who will do the calculations for you but if you need me to do it just message me.
  8. It really is a great question. I'll bite. It's not the speaker you need to think about really. Imagine two people standing very lose together on stage singing a simple song like Frere Jacques. (it could be any two things making any sounds but I want a simple example) Each singer as they sing sends a complex wave of sound into the air and once the sound leaves their mouths it starts to combine and the now doubly complex sounds spread together to your ear where the eardrum vibrates in time with the combined voices. Eventually this is converted into signals in your auditory nerve and is carried into your brain. The magic bit is what happens there. Your brain analyses the signals, works out that it's not one but two voices and then that it is singing, it is words, that they are in French and whilst one person is singing Frere Jacques the other is singing Dormez vous? It can only do this because you've learned to interpret the sounds. A new born baby won't be able to distinguish the two voices or understand the words because it's brain hasn't learned how yet, and if you don't know any French you might only hear the sounds phonetically. If you take the people away and replace them with a speaker playing a recording of the song you'll hear almost the same wave pattern made by the movement of the speaker and still be able to decode it. Even if it's digitised and a lot of the information stripped out by making it an MP3 your brain can still process the information and work out what we are listening to. Your brain is brilliant at this and even better if you are a musician. You could probably listen to a symphony orchestra and pick out one instrument at a time especially if they played a bum note. The same note played on a Rickenbacker or a Jazz, no problem. All the speaker needs to do is transmit the data in a reasonably honest way, your brain will sort it all out when it gets there.
  9. I'm going to veer away from the herd and say cone size does matter. It certainly isn't the only factor and not all 12's sound the same or give the same maximum output but for reasons of simple physics a Venn diagram of bass speakers would show much more overlap of 12's than that between 12's and 10's or 10's and 15's. It's just to simple to say either that all 12's are the same or that it makes no difference. The biggest factor is cone area. Speakers move air for a living, the size of the cone is directly related to how much air you move. Ultimately that relates to the maximum volume and efficiency in turning watts into decibels. Sure you can lighten the cone or use a bigger magnet or tweak the coil, magnet geometry or the cone suspension to get more out of any speaker but each of these in turn affect other aspects of the sound or the price, usually both. You don't really need the physics to check this out, go on the Eminence website and check and at any given price bracket you'll see increasing speaker size tends to give you more dB/W, a lower resonant frequency, and the frequency response rolling off a bit earlier. It won't be universal because speakers will be designed for different purposes but the overall trend is quite obvious. There is a bit of a sweet spot around 12's at the moment though. Speaker technology changes slowly and most of the advances are in materials rather than new principles which haven't changed in 95years. A typical12 will handle about 300W at about 94-97dB/W that's just about enough to match a drummer at rehearsal and to work as a personal monitor on stage. Add a second 12 and you'll get an extra 6dB which gives you room filling potential for audiences of around 1-200. (sensibly at this point letting the PA take over some of the heavy lifting makes much more sense) Single 12's are really quite portable and even a 2x12 isn't a problem for most of us. For most of us a couple of 12's is the most practical option and covers us for pretty much any eventuality. Of course not everyone plays in a rock or pop covers band so needs are different and for some people tone trumps everything. The advice to use your ears and try before you buy is the best advice but starting your search with a couple of 12's isn't a bad idea if practicality is important. You are almost certain to be able to meet all your needs with something relatively compact and portable. There's still going to be plenty of choice too
  10. That's your mistake, I was on the beer
  11. Actually you've nothing to lose, they will either sound good together or they won't. you'll get more volume certainly and you won't need to work them both so hard in all probability. Because they are each being driven by their own amp you will only have to tweak the volumes to balance the output between them. The extra height will mean the top speaker is closer to your ears and you'll hear better than if they were on the floor and you'll still get a bit of extra bass from the one on the floor owing to the coupling. It used to be quite common for a bassist to use a guitar amp with a bass amp back in the dark ages to get a nice punchy midrange. You've got loads of eq options but I might well try rolling off a little of the bass to the 10 so you can crank it a bit harder to match the 15 which I'd expect to be louder. The power handling of the 10 is going to be limited by the excursion so rolling off the bass will limit that and give you some more headroom. If you can't get them to work together you've lost nothing.
  12. Still using my Exposure VII and VIII from the same era, I hope your Bergantino is still going strong in 30 years
  13. Just a question really, why do you want a 15? I'm not one of those that thinks you can never mix speakers, but it's an unpredictable business. It's not just the ohms that need to match, the speakers need to have the same loudness or sensitivity. Otherwise one will just dominate the sound. Mixing cabs isn't a predictable thing either, you can't just add a 15 for 'more bass' as some 2x10's can have more bass than some 15's. Some don't of course but how will you know until you've tried them? The other thing is that you might expect mixing speakers will give you a blend of both, it rarely does. If you just want extra volume getting a matching 2x10 makes more sense. It'll also give you more headroom so you can boost your bass eq a bit more if that's what you want to achieve. Of course buying a 15 gives you three options both speakers separately and together. That'll give you three different set ups and sounds which is fun. the other thing is that 15's are unfashionable and therefore cheap on the used market. I couldn't give away my old Peavey 15 a couple of years ago and stripped it down for spares. Looking out for a Hydrive at the right price might be your best bet, you keep the all Hartke look and end up with what you want not a compromise.. The only way to get a good mixed cab system is to go out with your 2x10 and amp and to try them together, some will sound horrible, some combinations lovely and most a bit meh. Is this a good time to trail around shopping or visiting socially distancing strangers? It could be a good time to keep an eye on the used ads and maybe put up a wanted ad for that Hydrive.
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