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Musicman20

What's the big problem with 4x10s?!

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343818969' post='1755607']

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!
[/quote]

Well I wouldn't be too amazed as you seem to be falling into the same category as me, eg having and opinion.

Re: Music business and PA. I'll say it again, most gigs I play are with a PA. The bass is DI'ed or mic'd from the cab. The PA guy then arranges the mix.

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[quote name='Big_Stu' timestamp='1343820416' post='1755661'][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]you're better to start by getting the best sound that you can, but letting theory dictate it completely is missing the mark completely.[/font][/color][/quote]

Exactly! Get the tone right and then do whatever you can to not lose that tone once the complexities of the real world encroach.

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[quote name='Big_Stu' timestamp='1343820416' post='1755661']
...you're better to start by getting the best sound that you can, but letting theory dictate it completely is missing the mark...[/quote]

One good sound guy is worth a thousand forum posts. I've nicked your 'like' button Stu, btw. :D

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[quote name='Big_Stu' timestamp='1343820416' post='1755661']
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.
[/quote]

All this theory is reflected in practice. Understanding it means you can achieve the best from a less than ideal situation with minimal trial and error.

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343820581' post='1755667']
Exactly! Get the tone right and then do whatever you can to not lose that tone once the complexities of the real world encroach.
[/quote]

So it can reach the ears of the punters that giveth not a sh1t! And if the punters give not a sh1t, then it really doesn't matter if the sound is uniform around the world/room/whatever.

This is coming from real world experience folks. You saw it all here first!

Edited by EBS_freak

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343820458' post='1755662']Well I wouldn't be too amazed as you seem to be falling into the same category as me, eg having and opinion.[/quote]

I have opinions but I generally keep them to myself. Nowadays I try as much as possible to talk in facts and truth. It's a bit of an obsession of mine. It's one reason that I'm an engineer and one reason that I really can't stand the machination of both the political and legal system as they tend to revolve around opinions, presentation, precedent and so on. Unfortunately I can't think of a better solution to either system!

I just want what is good (or better) and want to avoid what is not good (or worse). That remains true for anything I'm doing or buying or designing or writing and so on. If I was anti-4x10" I wouldn't have designed a 6x10" - in fact I spent quite some time seeing if we could achieve loud enough results with a 4x10" because it would have been smaller. Sadly we couldn't. But I've made sure this nx10" cab has good polar response through better design.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343820708' post='1755673']So it can reach the ears of the punters that giveth not a sh1t! And if the punters give not a sh1t, then it really doesn't matter if the sound is uniform around the world/room/whatever.

This is coming from real world experience folks. You saw it all here first![/quote]

If none of the punters give a sh1t then why bother playing gigs? Music is nothing without tone, the two are inextricably linked. The reaction a band will receive is dependent on what they sound like (and look like because we're visual creatures too). The sound of band is a combination of what they're playing, how they're playing together, what everyone's tones are like, how they interact and so on and so forth. A band that sounds better SOUNDS BETTER!

If someone comes away from a gig saying "that band sounded amazing" aren't they most likely to be talking about how good the music sounded? And isn't one component of the music sounding good being the mix of the instruments sounding good wherever that punter was standing?

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343821002' post='1755683']
I have opinions but I generally keep them to myself. Nowadays I try as much as possible to talk in facts and truth.[/quote]

Kudos to you Alex, I'm convinced. I admire your persistence - I would have given up in despair by now! :lol:
The problem with the internet is, the people you meet on it are [i]just [/i]like the people you meet in reality!

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I've just changed from a GK NEO410 to two NEO 210's. Absolutely rock all to do with helmholtz passive radiator standing wave waffle sprocket dispersion. Easier to carry, easier to handle, more flexible configurations (including one or both as wedges e.g. for theatre work) and if I stack vertically then I can hear better. And to my ears sound as good if not better than the 410. God knows what the punters are hearing (DI or not) - but that's always been the case. I've not had any complaints.

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343821002' post='1755683']


I have opinions but I generally keep them to myself. Nowadays I try as much as possible to talk in facts and truth. It's a bit of an obsession of mine. It's one reason that I'm an engineer and one reason that I really can't stand the machination of both the political and legal system as they tend to revolve around opinions, presentation, precedent and so on. Unfortunately I can't think of a better solution to either system!
[/quote]

Ah. Well this could explain the differences in how we approach the subject. Law is my career, and it's taken me years, and a lot of money, to get to the end result. I wouldn't necessarily sit and debate it outside work, but it no doubt reflects on how I think.

If you honestly do have a '4x10 cab killer', and it ticks the boxes, then I am still interested to know about it.

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[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343821262' post='1755691']
If none of the punters give a sh1t then why bother playing gigs? Music is nothing without tone, the two are inextricably linked. The reaction a band will receive is dependent on what they sound like (and look like because we're visual creatures too). The sound of band is a combination of what they're playing, how they're playing together, what everyone's tones are like, how they interact and so on and so forth. A band that sounds better SOUNDS BETTER!

If someone comes away from a gig saying "that band sounded amazing" aren't they most likely to be talking about how good the music sounded? And isn't one component of the music sounding good being the mix of the instruments sounding good wherever that punter was standing?
[/quote]

Because your opinion of what is sounding good is based on musically trained ears. How many times have you been to a gig and thought "that was bleedin' awful", "the sound guy doesn't know what the hell he is doing", only for people around you to be singing the band's praises? You've stated above, music nowadays is mostly about business, making money... rightly or wrongly, the quality of the tone and the musicianship of the players has fallen down the order of importance.

Remember that playing music is not always for enjoyment but sometimes for paying the bills. You bother to play gigs to pay the bills. Some play for enjoyment. And some people just ride the wave as it's the latest fad they are going through.

Talk about your function gigs, your wedding gigs - these are the bread and butter gig of every player who makes a living out of music. Itsonly the cream of the crop players who can play top flight gigs all year round. Even those sessioning in top flight bands will have a function band to keep the money rolling in. Now, these bread and butter gigs, are generally played to people who are looking at having a nights of entertainment, where the sound is to an acceptable level (and that includes tone of the instruments, mix of the band etc) and played to a certain level of competance. 99 times out of a 100, a punter won't know what gear you are playing through, it's value or how incredibly great sounding it is. The truth is, they simply don't know... or care for that matter. In fact, they are more likely to be more impressed by your light show. In my experience, as long as they can hear the vocals, rightly or wrongly, the rest of it is of little importance. Any player who works like this, must recognise this to be the case.

Yes, I have what I consider to be nice gear but that would seem to be for my own entertainment rather than the people who are listening to the band it would seem - because experience has told me that most people can't actually tell the difference. Us as bassplayers maybe... but to the greater community out there, I would say absolutely no way. Hell, people can't even tell the difference between a bass and guitar most of the time.... and here we are talking about cabs?

It's the same as if somebody comes up to me and says that I'm the best bass player they've ever heard, they are either deluded or know nothing about the bass players that exist in the world. Where their statement may be factually correct, it's hardly the grounds to go and boost my ego and go off running to the nearest gear manufacturer asking for an enwhoresement.

Edited by EBS_freak

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1343820209' post='1755652']
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.
[/quote]

Quite right. I do too.

But isn't it useful to know that where your 4x10 may sound amazeballs at X it may sound duff at Y & then you can check & do something about it if it does?
It might be an onstage scenario where you have no foldback & the drummer or one of the other musicians think you sound awful (due to their axis from the cab). That way you have some knowledge to find a remedy... Move the other musician to a better position of course! :yarr:

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I'd love to know what venues you guys are playing.

Drumkit and available space normally dictates where you are going. Yes, place your amp in the ideal space but that will probably fck up the stage plan for everybody else.

OK, soundcheck. Sounds great. Now the previously empty room fills with people. What happens? Yes, your sound completely changes.

Do you guys actually leave your bedrooms?

Edited by EBS_freak

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[quote name='JD1' timestamp='1343821922' post='1755711']
I've just changed from a GK NEO410 to two NEO 210's. Absolutely rock all to do with helmholtz passive radiator standing wave waffle sprocket dispersion. Easier to carry, easier to handle, more flexible configurations (including one or both as wedges e.g. for theatre work) and if I stack vertically then I can hear better. And to my ears sound as good if not better than the 410. God knows what the punters are hearing (DI or not) - but that's always been the case. I've not had any complaints.
[/quote]

Similar situation here - my ABM 410 has great sound to my ears, well made and looks good (which counts for something I think B) ), but was seriously starting to dread moving it about (my new band reheases somewhere called "the attic"...and it doesn't dissapoint in terms of staircases). Due to lack of funds I took the unadventerous option and shelled out for two ABM 210s. I couldn't be happier. Took the opportunity at the weekend to properly compare against the 410 in case I was missing something to do with the size of the cab or other 410 secret ingredient. Prehaps unsurprisingly there's nack all difference as far as I could detect, except the 2x210s feel louder (no doubt due to a bit of extra height and 4ohms not 8). But the tone is fundamentally the same.

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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.
[/quote]Said thinking obviously falls into the wishful category. :gas:

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[quote name='Bill Fitzmaurice' timestamp='1343824501' post='1755780']
Said thinking obviously falls into the wishful category. :gas:
[/quote]

Not really. There's a problem in translating scientific ideals into the reality of gigging. The two aren't mutually compatable.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343823376' post='1755742']
I'd love to know what venues you guys are playing.

Drumkit and available space normally dictates where you are going. Yes, place your amp in the ideal space but that will probably fck up the stage plan for everybody else.

OK, soundcheck. Sounds great. Now the previously empty room fills with people. What happens? Yes, your sound completely changes.

Do you guys actually leave your bedrooms?
[/quote]

If you have good dispersion from the cab, it matters much less where it is. And the people in the room don't make much odds to the nearfield mids which are important for monitoring, unless there is a really nearby wall they are going between. Check the gigs section of the forum to see where people are playing.

Edit: Also it isn't science if it doesn't relate to reality. If you can't relate it to reality, it is understanding that is lacking.

Edited by Mr. Foxen

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[sub]Not a problem with the understanding. I was referring to the practicality and hence what the reality of gigging is like. It's a tradeoff. Need a tweeter in your cab? Oh dear. Dispersion from your cab isn't going to help you much.[/sub]

Edited by EBS_freak

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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 suppose in much the same way people tend to take an analgesia, for example paracetamol, instead of drilling holes in their heads to relieve a headache. Because someone with more knowledge put that idea in their head.
[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343823376' post='1755742']
I'd love to know what venues you guys are playing.

Drumkit and available space normally dictates where you are going. Yes, place your amp in the ideal space but that will probably fck up the stage plan for everybody else.

OK, soundcheck. Sounds great. Now the previously empty room fills with people. What happens? Yes, your sound completely changes.

Do you guys actually leave your bedrooms?
[/quote]

You may have missed this in one of AC's earlier posts. Consistency I think is the key word.

[quote]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]

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[quote name='Bill Fitzmaurice' timestamp='1343824501' post='1755780']
Said thinking obviously falls into the wishful category. :gas:
[/quote]

Nice...

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1343820637' post='1755669']
I've nicked your 'like' button Stu, btw. :D [/quote]

We'll sneak them back in gradually - via the back door :blink: .
..........................where's a *taps side of nose with finger & knowing look* icon when you need one?

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343823376' post='1755742']Drumkit and available space normally dictates where you are going. Yes, place your amp in the ideal space but that will probably fck up the stage plan for everybody else.[/quote]

A cab with better polar response will work better in less ideal positions than a cab with poor polar response.

[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343823376' post='1755742']OK, soundcheck. Sounds great. Now the previously empty room fills with people. What happens? Yes, your sound completely changes.[/quote]

Funnily enough, look what I wrote a few hours ago:

[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1343814974' post='1755517']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]

Using science and engineering to design better loudspeakers isn't about trying to make some theoretically 'ideal' (WTF would what be anyway?) bass cab, or making something that sounds good in theory but not in practice (HTF do you manage that unless you're some hack who doesn't really have a clue what the scientific method entails?) This isn't some kind of pure maths style playing around with ethereal bollocks, it's actually looking at the REALITY of gigging and using engineering to design cabs that perform better in the REAL WORLD, not in a guitar shop or in someone's bedroom. A cab that you know you can trust to sound as good as possible when the stage layout isn't great, when the room acoustics are poor, when you don't have time to soundcheck properly, when the guitarist or drummer play too loud so you end up pushing it really hard.

f*** theory, this is about PLAYING REAL GIGS!

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His first cabs, according to Jim Marshall, were 14" deep (IIRC) because that was the size of wood we had lying around that day. I've seen a fair few on many a stage.

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At some point last year, maybe mid-May, I played a Charity event in aid of cancer sufferers. Not only did I have a fantastic time, and play to one of the most bizarre crowds I've ever come across, it was also one of my now ex-bands first proper outings.

Very large stage, to what we were used to. Extremely professional soundman who deals with large DJ's and bands all over Europe, and we were second on the bill out of three.

I got told there was no need to bring a rig, as there wouldn't be much need for a 60 min set and the fact we were supporting. This also helped with the transport.

What did I use? The headlining bands Hartke 4x10 with a Hartke amp head. It was raised from the floor and next to me.

This was when I was testing the boundaries of the good 'ol Sue Ryder P bass which was sold on.

So, not high end gear, but a fantastic soundman.

What did it sound like? Apparently, it was brilliant. I could hear everything, and so could the band. The bass was clear and distinct.

The crowd loved it. It was a simple 4x10 setup. It proved to me, yet again, that no matter what you do, its all about the playing and the band. A tight band, with a good soundman, and even budget bass guitars sound great.

I know a few people who won't play without 'their' gear. Our new drummer is a total gear head and won't use anything apart from his £4k drumkit, even for rehearsals.

Me? If I got asked to pick up and fill in, or play, or whatever, i'll play whatever. As long as its not a ridiculous bass with 16 strings.

The gigging world, and the crowds, want a good band, a tight band, and the vocals are 'it' when it comes to the covers scene.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1343825738' post='1755823']
[sub]Not a problem with the understanding. I was referring to the practicality and hence what the reality of gigging is like. It's a tradeoff. Need a tweeter in your cab? Oh dear. Dispersion from your cab isn't going to help you much.[/sub]
[/quote]

The idea of a tweeter is that it has better dispersion in the treble than larger cones, that is why they are small.

[quote name='Big_Stu' timestamp='1343829593' post='1755905']
His first cabs, according to Jim Marshall, were 14" deep (IIRC) because that was the size of wood we had lying around that day. I've seen a fair few on many a stage.
[/quote]

4x12s have even worse dispersion than 4x10s, that's why you need loads of them to hear and a PA, if they weren't directional a 100w head and two 4x12s wouldn't need PA support in most venues.

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