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Phil Starr

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  1. Have you finished the Eight I think the 'fighting physics' thing is important without being totally crucial. Cone size affects a lot of outcomes though there are technical ways of stretching the limits. We live in a time where amplifier watts are abundant and cheap, so speaker efficiency isn't so important. FX and amp/speaker modellers are getting better and a guitarist (no booing please) doesn't need a full Marshall stack to 'get their sound' any more. That itself has a knock on effect on the rest of the band and bassists no longer need to 'compete' with guitarists. PA systems have come along so we don't need to fill the room from the backline. We've reached a stage where for most of the time your bass amp only needs to work as a monitor for the band and match the drumkit. A reasonably decent 12" speaker with 300W of amp can be expected to do this. It should go to something like 122db at 1 metre from 80Hz upwards with a -10db point of 40Hz and do so in a reasonably sized portable cab. We no longer really need 4x10's and if you can do it with a 12 why carry a 15. A single 10 will be fine a lot of situations but most if not all will struggle in others. So long as you have PA support for the bigger gigs a good 12 will do almost all you'd want and is the Swiss army knife of cabs.
  2. I wouldn't be choosing cabs on the basis of impedance but how they sound. Ask what sort of sound you want, is weight and portability important and so on first of all. The probability is that with 1200W into a pair of 4 ohm cabs or even 800w into 8 ohms you are going to be able to drown out the rest of the band and blow the whole bands eardrums/cochlea so extra volume is the last thing you want even if your 4ohm speakers could handle 600W. Do you have a particular speaker in mind?
  3. Thanks, that sounds more reasonable then especially if they did contact you before going ahead.
  4. Being reasonable it is really hard to fix intermittent faults. The problem often disappears and you can't diagnose a fault that isn't there and so often you can leave the amp on a test bench for an hour or so and it maddeningly decides to behave only to repeat the fault when it gets back to the customer. Having said that if it worked for a year before playing up again then you could say it was fixed and that what you have is a new fault and something else is just giving similar symptoms, or of course it could be an inherent fault with this amp and the responsibility is MB's not Real's However £180 is an extraordinary cost for replacing the pots and why would you replace anything if you can find no fault? Did they contact you before going ahead with this repair? I was quoted around £200 for fitting a replacement board, effectively replacing all the works inside the amp so effectively fitting a complete new amp inside my case. If there were only a few tens of pounds between a complete new amp and a bodged repair why wouldn't they advise you to have a new board? At the moment MarkBass take no responsibility for their products outside of warranty and do not provide parts or circuit diagrams to third party repairers preferring to keep (probably sell) a monopoly to Real. Real have a monopoly so they don't need to respond to customer pressure and their attitude is take it or leave it. Mark Bass gear is effectively just a disposable item with no after sales support in the UK
  5. As you know there is a limit to what you can reasonably expect of a single 10. There's only so much sound a 10" speaker can shift and you can reach this limit with less than 200W. There are tweaks to squeeze a little more out of a driver but in the end you hit physical limits and the design trade-offs tend to cancel each other out. In the end if you want more sound you need to have a bigger piston. Higher rated 10" drivers are likely to be designed for specialist use in multi-way systems. 2-300W is about it for power handling but of course it isn't/shouldn't be a problem to just turn the volume down. Anyway here is the 10" cab design. I've used it successfully at rehearsals and small gigs and just as a stage monitor. You could just leave out the horn and crossover but it sounds so good with it I don't know why you would, unless funds are tight.
  6. Well done John, this is what self build should be about. I love it when someone takes a design and with a bit of initiative pushes it a little further. The original House Jam speaker was built just for this use and started life using a guitar practice amp to drive the speaker. All I wanted was something with just enough power to match an acoustic guitar for those 'acoustic only' occasions. It was only when I tried the cab only version with my proper bass amp that I realised it could be pushed a lot further than that. So now I'm going to have to do some work building my own combo. I bought a Warwick Gnome (I wanted the BAM but it wasn't available at the time) to do just that but haven't pulled my finger out yet. I hope you get many hours of pleasure from your design, I hope the acoustic world is ready for you
  7. Generally speaking the marked cable (black line) is positive but you can't be certain without testing. As you've been told it won't matter until you connect up a second speaker. Borrow a second speaker and try it, if the bass drops away then they are wired up so that one goes forward when the other goes back and they are cancelling. So long as the two speakers are fairly close the cancellation will be really obvious. Reverse the connection in the Trace and you should get the bass back.
  8. It would be good to know which PA speaker you used, that photo isn't very clear. I've wondered why more people haven't tried this, I just sold a couple of Yamaha S115IV's for £150 as part of a complete PA system. The bass drivers are OEM Eminence Delta Pro's and they also use Eminence compression drivers and have a decent crossover with built in protections for the drivers. Effectively that's a 15+horn for £75. Eveyone is unloading their passive speakers so they are really cheap if you buy used. Choose a PA speaker that can handle a decent amount of bass and it's a cheap way to try the FRFR experience, OK your bass amp may not be perfectly flat but if you don't like the sound you can move the speaker on for whatever you paid for it. I know that a few years ago even a budget Maplin Pro-Sound outperformed a number of bass speakers in a shootout.
  9. There used to be an advertising campaign for margarine. Blindfolded people couldn't tell Stork from butter. I used to repeat this test with my 'a' level biology students as an introduction to stats. 10 slices of bread, five buttered and five with marge'. Nobody ever got 10/10 and I can't remember anyone ever getting 5/10. I had to explain that getting 1/10 meant they were good at this they just preferred marge'! we consistently year to year came up with averages between 7 and 8/10. Humans are notoriously bad at detecting these differences which is why we measure so much. Good luck if you are ever falsely arrested and depend upon an identity parade! The reality is that certainly in biology and medicine truth is statistical. My students could do better than chance on identifying butter. Vaccines improve the outcomes for a proportion of people and some vaccines work better than others. If the efficacy is very different you can pick this up with a small sample but the less difference there is the larger the sample you need to be confident in your test. There are accepted mathematical techniques for testing whether a set of data are actually significant and at what level. For a scientist statistics is actually the way of challenging and examining the data, ironically you don't lie with statistics, you lie with data. In this case as described it's hard to see what on earth they were trying to test, the assumption that the skill level of an ordinary person was 0 isn't a safe one to make. It seems unlikely to be true and they may have been as good as a musician at hearing a difference. The musicians and non musicians also might be able to tell that there was a difference but might have preferred the VT pedal. It just isn't clear what hypothesis they were testing and what null-hypothesis was used in the statistical analysis, if any was done. If indeed the test was as described there were too many variables to make any sense of the results.
  10. @stevie deserves all the credit for that design, I designed the tweeterless version. Stevie's cabinet is fantastic though
  11. Yeah, I like the look of a grille cloth but it's years since I used it. I've done a few cabs recently and one of the big problems is that all the British manufacturers seem to have disappeared (well we knew that anyway) and so it is difficult to get hold of decent quality cloth at sensible prices. Allparts stock a range and I've found a Chinese supplier who do the same range and may be the source for Allparts. Historically I used to always heat the cloth before fitting to soften it and I fitted some black and tan cloth that way sold to me off evilbay as 'American Style'. Unfortunately it was the type that shrinks when heated and it shrunk a bit, fortunately it had enough 'shrink' left to finish the job although it was a bit untidy. I experimented with thee offcuts later and this material would have been easy to fit if I'd known (there were no instructions). Later I bought the Marshall Bluesbreaker cloth from Allparts and this was completely different, much thicker and tougher. I cut off a sample and tried the heatgun on it. It didn't shrink and the heat discoloured it. It was really tough to stretch but in the end went on well and looked great. The moral is that you need to know what you have before you start and they don't tell you. Email to check or order enough to cut a sample. Beware also, most of the cloth on ebay is for hi-fi speakers and not tough enough for touring gear. I'm going to order some samples from the Chinese supplier soon and do some experimenting over the next couple of months, I'll report back when I have more information.
  12. Welcome to Basschat You'll have gathered that this has been discussed a lot in these pages so it might be worth using the search facility to find some of the older threads. Equally we forget sometimes that we were all new here once so I'll attempt a quick answer. The gist of this is that size is only one of the things that contributes to the 'sound' of a speaker. It's important, but only a small part of what makes the overall sound. Not all 15's sound the same by a very long way and neither do all 10's. It's not even true that bigger speakers have more bass than small ones; my 5" hi-fi cabs go lower than my 12" bass speakers. So, it's not a very informative debate, most of your answers will be of the 'I've got an xxxxx speaker and I love it it's a 10/12/15 so that's the size I like. The best advice is to approach speaker buying with an open mind and listen to as many speakers as you can, then choose the one you like irrespective of the size of the driver/s.
  13. It is really encouraging to know that others are having the same problems as I have, and many of us share. Like @ubit I jut can't get my head round playing and singing 'All These Things' but as others have said Dakota is a cinch. What has helped me are a couple of lead singers who have been both patient and encouraging. They'll put up with the odd bit of pitching for the right sort of reinforcement in other songs. I started with one or two songs in the set and I've slowly built up to about a dozen or so, mostly big chorus songs. It's encouraging that when I sing the audience usually joins in and when I don't the song often falls flat.They may just be trying to block me out of course My experience is slightly different though, I can only really pitch accurately if I can hear the monitors, without the PA I feel lost and I even have to set it up at home to practice.
  14. It's true I have the same problem and that's how i found out how hard sanding Tuff Cab is Always have to find things the hard way!
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