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Musicman20

What's the big problem with 4x10s?!

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I've gone back to a loud 4ohm 410 cab as my 'do everything', cheap, single cab solution. I always go through FOH and as a monitor for me and the band it works well. It is heavy but it's on a nice set of wheels which also brings it a bit closer to my ears.

Edited by Adrenochrome

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[quote name='xgsjx' timestamp='1343811010' post='1755451']


I like vinyl, but it's downside is it's easily scratched & it jumps when you try playing it in a moving car. :)

I'm not saying 4x10s are rubbish. Far from it. But doesn't it make sense to have the knowledge about what a cab can & can't do & how well it projects across the audience (especially if your backline is your only sound source)?
Ideally you'd just have a wall of 10" drivers taking up the full wall. Then there'd be no dispersion issues.
[/quote]

I don't think any of my gigs in the past 4-5 years or so, maybe even further back, have had no PA support. If they have no PA for the instruments and just use it for vocals it tends to sound messy anyway, no matter what cab you use.

See, thing is, despite it's limitations, vinyl does sound great.

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If you are really neurotic about horizontal dispersion on 4x10s, you can just put a brick under one corner of your cab.

Edited by Kesh

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343805175' post='1755347']
That wasnt related to dispersion, that was just a comment. I personally wouldn't assume what people do and do not understand. It's not exactly a difficult subject, I'm just entering into discussion over whether the rules of what is right and wrong matter so much. Again, it's a piece of music, it's just bass, it's art if you like. Maybe the imperfections are what makes 'a sound' seem right to certain listeners?!

This surely gets some people over excited doesn't it!
[/quote]

Why are you constantly referencing flat response whilst quoting my criticism of dispersion then? And referencing tone pleasing to ears, when the issue is that the same tone isn't reaching ears that are distributed in space? Even if you like the highs and upper mids rolled off by being off axis, they are still there on axis, likely where the mic is, and they are useful frequencies for other band members to pitch from so good dispersion of them is a useful thing. I've already pointed out some of the benefits of poor dispersion, but you don't seem to appreciate them.

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I'd have thought I'd have already said enough in my columns and on our website to get my view across and hopefully increase people's understanding of acoustics.

[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343778512' post='1755259']Aren't most high end pa type bass cabs just basically copied off bass cabs and tweaked[/quote]

No, this couldn't be further from the truth - like way way WAY wrong!

[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343778512' post='1755259']I mean, is the perfect flat response tone even that interesting?![/quote]

We're talking about musical instruments here. Put a great tone into a rig with flat response and you get great tone out. Simple.

The absolutely MASSIVE point being missed here is that so-called 'flat response' and good polar response are two completely different things. Our much-delayed '69er isn't designed to have anything like 'flat response', it's designed to sound like the original 8x10" cab. However, we've designed it so that it sounds like that original 8x10" cab in every point of the room, onstage, off to the side, right up close, way far away, as much as is possible. The original 8x10" cabs have awesome tone but you only get that tone if you stand in a small selection of spots, because the polar response is inconsistent.

Whether or not you want colouration from your bass rig, good polar response is always a good thing. The only exception is if you like to use controllable feedback a la Hendrix - but that's a pretty niche requirement. Good polar response means your cab sounds more consistent from venue to venue. Poor polar response means that in acoustically dead rooms your cab will sound more dull than in an acoustically live room. So if you soundcheck and get the perfect tone without the audience present, once the room fills up your tone will be too dull and boomy. A cab with good polar response will sound much more consistent in different room acoustics because the direct sound is much more similar to the reflected sound.

So to repeat the main point - good polar response does not equal flat response. You can't design a cab for flat response without also aiming for good polar response (otherwise you only get flat response if you stand in the right place) but you can design a cab to have a distinctively coloured tone and still have good polar response.

Edited by alexclaber

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343813616' post='1755486']
...how many people on here have gone to a gig and gone, yup, that bass players sound is really letting him down due to his use of XYZ speaker cab?[/quote]

Er... well... :D

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343814974' post='1755517']
Whether or not you want colouration from your bass rig, good polar response is always a good thing. The only exception is if you like to use controllable feedback a la Hendrix - but that's a pretty niche requirement. Good polar response means your cab sounds more consistent from venue to venue. Poor polar response means that in acoustically dead rooms your cab will sound more dull than in an acoustically live room. So if you soundcheck and get the perfect tone without the audience present, once the room fills up your tone will be too dull and boomy. A cab with good polar response will sound much more consistent in different room acoustics because the direct sound is much more similar to the reflected sound.
[/quote]

In the local venue that is a bowling alley, and with a big shiny walls theme, 4x12s work out better than combos for not sounding a mess, which I'm pretty sure is down to them being directional and not having as much highs/mids bouncing off the walls and being reverby. Although probably not ideal in the line in front of them. The lows in that place are a total mess though.

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1343815688' post='1755542']In the local venue that is a bowling alley, and with a big shiny walls theme, 4x12s work out better than combos for not sounding a mess, which I'm pretty sure is down to them being directional and not having as much highs/mids bouncing off the walls and being reverby.[/quote]

I bet tall slim line-array-like cabs would work every better so you reduce floor and ceiling reflections and have wall reflections that sound more like the direct sound. I also think that acoustically difficult venues tend to work better with more linear sounding cabs because you're getting so much colouration from the room, and colouration upon colouration eventually turns into mud. Rather like how the more complex the chords you play on a guitar, the cleaner the tone you need - increasing the colour from the notes means you have to decrease the colour from the amp.

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343816401' post='1755556']
I bet tall slim line-array-like cabs would work every better so you reduce floor and ceiling reflections and have wall reflections that sound more like the direct sound. I also think that acoustically difficult venues tend to work better with more linear sounding cabs because you're getting so much colouration from the room, and colouration upon colouration eventually turns into mud. Rather like how the more complex the chords you play on a guitar, the cleaner the tone you need - increasing the colour from the notes means you have to decrease the colour from the amp.
[/quote]

That is pretty much down to the bands, and thus not a controllable factor for the venue. Linear sounding guitar cabs are a bit not guitar cabs. Main thing being either way, cutting down dispersion is the benefit, the walls are still problematic, which is made clear but the lows in the place being super patchy (better how they've moved the two stacks of subs closer together so they couple). When I've made some XF guitar cabs, I'll be lending them there to see how it works out.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343813616' post='1755486']
The funny thing is, 99.9 % of the people on here wouldn't have thought anything about various speakers, designs, layouts whatever unless somebody else had planted that idea in their head.

Seriously, how many people on here have gone to a gig and gone, yup, that bass players sound is really letting him down due to his use of XYZ speaker cab?
[/quote]

I agree entirely. All of a sudden we have 'experts' sniping and pulling people's posts apart just because they have been reading something through wikipedia. It's all well and good to protest you understand these things, but I very much doubt the intricacies matter in real life gigging. Next time I see RHCP or Jamiroquai I'll be sure to tweet them/email them and say 'hey guys you can't use a 4x10 or mix speakers cabs...the world might implode'.

It doesn't matter, and more importantly the FOH will change your tone anyway no doubt.

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In small venues, the majority of the bass reaching your ears will have been reflected many different ways. There is little any speaker configuration can do.

Edited by Kesh

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343814974' post='1755517']
I'd have thought I'd have already said enough in my columns and on our website to get my view across and hopefully increase people's understanding of acoustics.



No, this couldn't be further from the truth - like way way WAY wrong!



We're talking about musical instruments here. Put a great tone into a rig with flat response and you get great tone out. Simple.

The absolutely MASSIVE point being missed here is that so-called 'flat response' and good polar response are two completely different things. Our much-delayed '69er isn't designed to have anything like 'flat response', it's designed to sound like the original 8x10" cab. However, we've designed it so that it sounds like that original 8x10" cab in every point of the room, onstage, off to the side, right up close, way far away, as much as is possible. The original 8x10" cabs have awesome tone but you only get that tone if you stand in a small selection of spots, because the polar response is inconsistent.

Whether or not you want colouration from your bass rig, good polar response is always a good thing. The only exception is if you like to use controllable feedback a la Hendrix - but that's a pretty niche requirement. Good polar response means your cab sounds more consistent from venue to venue. Poor polar response means that in acoustically dead rooms your cab will sound more dull than in an acoustically live room. So if you soundcheck and get the perfect tone without the audience present, once the room fills up your tone will be too dull and boomy. A cab with good polar response will sound much more consistent in different room acoustics because the direct sound is much more similar to the reflected sound.

So to repeat the main point - good polar response does not equal flat response. You can't design a cab for flat response without also aiming for good polar response (otherwise you only get flat response if you stand in the right place) but you can design a cab to have a distinctively coloured tone and still have good polar response.
[/quote]

I never said flat response was the same, I was just chucking another comment in.

I did however mistype on the iPhone and meant to type that I have read that the latest PA type bass cabs are copied off high end PA cabs, (this was in a fearful thread). Tweaked of course.

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Yawn.

Wot? No talk of Helmholtz resonators?

Edited by EBS_freak

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343817690' post='1755584']
No talk of Helmholtz resonators?
[/quote]

Those only figure in the low end which don't figure into dispersion issues.

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One reason that these discussions return regularly is that listening to a bunch of 4x10's or 1x15's together and comparing them is relatively easy. You just go to a local practice room and fiddle with the battered old behringer / trace elliot / peavey / Hartke they have in there. Take you own cab and profess that your own cab is better.

However, when a thread starts about Polar patterns, dispersion and frequency response of various cabinets, people are being led to believe what they are reading but not actually being able to test the theory in reality - because you can't just pop down to your local studio / shop to compare your little 4x10 to the latest '10 way, flat response, phasio-intollerator with turbo bass ports' a cabinet that improves your manhood as well as making you irresistible to the opposite sex. (Or same sex if that's how you roll).

[edit] Not suggesting that anyone's gear is [email protected] mind..

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1343818154' post='1755588']
Those only figure in the low end which don't figure into dispersion issues.
[/quote]

You missed the tongue in cheek element.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343818478' post='1755593']
You missed the tongue in cheek element.
[/quote]

Figured it, but still figured would be useful info to anyone who wants to understand, because only concentrating on the bottom bit is an easy/common mistake (see people who obsess over fundamental frequencies of notes).

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343816834' post='1755569']I agree entirely. All of a sudden we have 'experts' sniping and pulling people's posts apart just because they have been reading something through wikipedia. It's all well and good to protest you understand these things, but I very much doubt the intricacies matter in real life gigging. Next time I see RHCP or Jamiroquai I'll be sure to tweet them/email them and say 'hey guys you can't use a 4x10 or mix speakers cabs...the world might implode'.

It doesn't matter, and more importantly the FOH will change your tone anyway no doubt.[/quote]

The world isn't black and white and nor is amplification. Just because another approach works BETTER it doesn't mean that a previous approach suddenly doesn't work. But ask yourself, if you can do something better without any downsides then why wouldn't you? Regarding what big touring acts are doing, don't forget that this is the music BUSINESS! If you're using a huge PA with big monitors and massive FOH speakers then the stage rig is all but irrelevant. And if the stage rig is all but irrelevant, then why wouldn't you use the rig that you're either paid to use, give free of charge or at a substantial discount?

I'll never cease to be amazed by the modern human's ability to subdivide themselves into cliques of big-endians vs little-endians, or 4x10" vs 2x12", or flat vs coloured, or 29er vs 26er (MTB reference) or petrol vs diesel, or creationism vs evolution and so on. It's just silly. Jonathan Swift was satirising this folly back in 1726. We don't live in small tribes any more but most people still act like it!

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343813795' post='1755492']
I don't think any of my gigs in the past 4-5 years or so, maybe even further back, have had no PA support. If they have no PA for the instruments and just use it for vocals it tends to sound messy anyway, no matter what cab you use.

See, thing is, despite it's limitations, vinyl does sound great.
[/quote]

I've played quite a lot of venues where there isn't room for a decent PA that could take some bass & had to rely on my gear to do the job & had good results.
Flea wouldn't have a need to worry about his cab configuration (or even to have any cabs on stage) as the PA & foldback would do all is required. Unfortunately, not all of us on here have that luxury.

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[quote name='dood' timestamp='1343818187' post='1755589']
...a cabinet that improves your manhood as well as making you irresistible to the opposite sex...[/quote]

Is this still for sale..? :huh:

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[quote name='xgsjx' timestamp='1343819559' post='1755620']


I've played quite a lot of venues where there isn't room for a decent PA that could take some bass & had to rely on my gear to do the job & had good results.
Flea wouldn't have a need to worry about his cab configuration (or even to have any cabs on stage) as the PA & foldback would do all is required. Unfortunately, not all of us on here have that luxury.
[/quote]

I've not played a gig for years without some sort of PA support where the rigs onstage are at a more realistic volume and the PA does the work.

If I do play without a PA in the future, I'd be more concerned about how the mix is than the specifics of bass tone in every corner of the room.

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343816834' post='1755569']
I agree entirely. All of a sudden we have 'experts' sniping and pulling people's posts apart just because they have been reading something through wikipedia. It's all well and good to protest you understand these things, but I very much doubt the intricacies matter in real life gigging. Next time I see RHCP or Jamiroquai I'll be sure to tweet them/email them and say 'hey guys you can't use a 4x10 or mix speakers cabs...the world might implode'.

It doesn't matter, and more importantly the FOH will change your tone anyway no doubt.
[/quote]

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v476/Maddogcole/rep_up.png[/IMG] Excellent post! There are so many other variables in a live situation as to make such discussion ******* retentive at best. Depending on what level you're playing at the bass will also be affected by whether the venue is a "barn", the shape of it (how many pubs have the band using an L shaped room?) and often incredibly important how many punters are in.
At the top levels I stopped going to gigs at either Glasgow's SECC or Manchester's MEN arena because the sound was unbelievable crap, the only thing going for the gig was to say "I was there" (Though I didn't even want to admit that when one of them was East 17).
I was at a gig last year which was in a tall long venue, there was no talk of speaker size, cab shape etc or whether the bassist should switch his Ampeg for his Marshall. First question asked was "How many tickets are sold?" & then jokingly "Try to get the tallest ones to stand at the front, too bad the small guys can't see at the back".
There's a lot to be said - stating the obvious - that you're better to start by getting the best sound that you can, but letting theory dictate it completely is missing the mark completely.

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