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Interesting FRFR story..

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Daft question time - if the helix is mimicing the sound of say a valve bass amp through a 8x10 cab, does that sou d end up as exactly that (ie great for direct recording) or a valve bass amp through an 8x10 cab through a frfr speaker?

 

(if that makes sense?)

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20 minutes ago, la bam said:

Daft question time - if the helix is mimicing the sound of say a valve bass amp through a 8x10 cab, does that sou d end up as exactly that (ie great for direct recording) or a valve bass amp through an 8x10 cab through a frfr speaker?

 

(if that makes sense?)

The whole point of FRFR is that it is transparent and hence adds no colour. So in this case - it sounds like a valve amp through an 8x10.

If you take the speaker emulation off and put the amp emulation through a real 8x10, it should sound the same as the real thing too.

Likewise if you took the speaker emulation off and use the FRFR, it would sound thinner - because the colouring of the 8x10 isn't being added.

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But doesnt the frfr theory fall down, and thats why everyone has gone for top end speakers? Otherwise it wouldnt matter what you bought? Also its a fair bet all different speakers will sound different just on the actual cone sizes too.

But now there is a few combinations:

1. Helix and 8x10 sim tbrough a 10" qsc.

2. Helix and 8x10 sim through a mackie 12 with 1 horn.

3. Helix and 8x10 sim through a 15 (or 12) rcf and 4 horn.

...and then all the above again but add on whatever pa system you use.

Id bet that set up the same on the helix all the different set ups would sound different.

In that way i can understand a basic amp and cab set up - ie a svt through a 8x10 cab, but i cant quite get my head around a helix through cab sim through actual cab (and eventually pa) set up for live work.

 

Edited by la bam

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Who's gone for top end speakers? Pro's have gone in ears and helix  (or similar) into full range PA.

Dinosaurs down the pub knocking out alright now are where the high end cab sales are these days ;)

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3 hours ago, la bam said:

But doesnt the frfr theory fall down, and thats why everyone has gone for top end speakers? Otherwise it wouldnt matter what you bought? Also its a fair bet all different speakers will sound different just on the actual cone sizes too.

But now there is a few combinations:

1. Helix and 8x10 sim tbrough a 10" qsc.

2. Helix and 8x10 sim through a mackie 12 with 1 horn.

3. Helix and 8x10 sim through a 15 (or 12) rcf and 4 horn.

...and then all the above again but add on whatever pa system you use.

Id bet that set up the same on the helix all the different set ups would sound different.

In that way i can understand a basic amp and cab set up - ie a svt through a 8x10 cab, but i cant quite get my head around a helix through cab sim through actual cab (and eventually pa) set up for live work.

 

Well, a true frfr is a top end speaker - just one designed to reproduce what is being fed into it with as little colour as possible. In fact the current trend for a lot of high end cab designers is to get an approximation of a flat response, it's used as a selling point in a lot of cases.

 

The examples you use are all very different but have similar design goals, the QSC doesn't go down as low so is probably not true full range (to 56hz?) but it still reproduces a true, clear signal for monitoring purposes which is the point of getting one in the first place. The PA (if it's a decent one) will reproduce what you put into it in a very similar way only a lot louder and pointing in a different direction. It's just a much more consistent way of achieving a specific sound. For a very long time I just wanted to reproduce the sound coming out of our PA in a condensed format for personal monitoring as I really like the sound of my bass straight into the desk, using an amp actually got in the way of that.

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There will be differences between FRFR solutions but the difference between FRFR solutions will be a lot smaller than between cab solutions.  This is purely because different cab companies have a different tonal goal in mind.  FRFR cab companies have one tonal goal in mind "what goes in is what comes out"

 

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2 hours ago, charic said:

There will be differences between FRFR solutions but the difference between FRFR solutions will be a lot smaller than between cab solutions.  This is purely because different cab companies have a different tonal goal in mind.  FRFR cab companies have one tonal goal in mind "what goes in is what comes out"

 

If you're doing a motown gig one night and a metallica tribute the next the FRFR setup is going to be a winner over the person that bought the Ampeg Fliptop with similar requirements. 

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6 minutes ago, stingrayPete1977 said:

If you're doing a motown gig one night and a metallica tribute the next the FRFR setup is going to be a winner over the person that bought the Ampeg Fliptop with similar requirements. 

Absolutely. This is why I went for Helix into  FRFR. I’m playing a variety of covers, including Motown, in a pub band, and then depping in Metallica Reloaded over the summer!  All bases covered. (Pardon the pun)

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2 hours ago, charic said:

There will be differences between FRFR solutions but the difference between FRFR solutions will be a lot smaller than between cab solutions.  This is purely because different cab companies have a different tonal goal in mind.  FRFR cab companies have one tonal goal in mind "what goes in is what comes out"

 

Worth mentioning that FRFR with passive cabs is a bit of a BS game... (many passive cabs claim to be flat response but are far from it) but with DSP in place, particularly the cabs with DSP and power amps built in, the deficiencies of the cabs in terms of not having a flat response, pretty much anything can be made flat. Then it becomes  more about the speakers that are being used and whether they can handle the volumes at each of the frequencies that are being demanded from it.

As charic says, bass amps are designed to be coloured... as are some bass amps... that is is why some cabs work with some amps and not others... and vice versa. You don't really have the same challenges with FRFR. If the model is pants, its going to sound pants through all FRFR cabs.

I wouldn't agree FRFR = top end speaker. It's more about being uncoloured and full range and  flat response hence FRFR.

Edited by EBS_freak

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10 hours ago, lemmywinks said:

the QSC doesn't go down as low so is probably not true full range (to 56hz?) but it still reproduces a true, clear signal for monitoring purposes which is the point of getting one in the first place. The PA (if it's a decent one) will reproduce what you put into it in a very similar way only a lot louder and pointing in a different direction. It's just a much more consistent way of achieving a specific sound. For a very long time I just wanted to reproduce the sound coming out of our PA in a condensed format for personal monitoring as I really like the sound of my bass straight into the desk, using an amp actually got in the way of that.

If you want loads of sub 56 hz coming out of your PA, guarantee your mix is going to be sounding pants anyway. Bearing in mind you rarely hear the fundamental of your bass guitar anyway (more the harmonics), only going down to 56 hz is certainly not a bad thing for bass monitoring purposes - or out front for that matter. Anything lower is going to be eating up loads of power and for very little reward.

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Just now, EBS_freak said:

If you want loads of sub 56 hz coming out of your PA, guarantee your mix is going to be sounding pants anyway. Bearing in mind you rarely hear the fundamental of your bass guitar anyway (more the harmonics), only going down to 56 hz is certainly not a bad thing for bass monitoring purposes - or out front for that matter. Anything lower is going to be eating up loads of power and for very little reward.

Oh don't get me wrong, it's plenty low enough, I would have sold it already if it wasn't! It puts out a lot of nice low end and doesn't sound lacking at all, one thing I have noticed is that it's much more responsive to eq than my old Markbass rig and I'm still getting my head around what a flat eq actually sounds like rather than the bass heavy/rolled off treble  "flat" I've been used to on bass amps for two decades.

 

Only done 3 gigs with it so far, first one it coped well despite being on a crap sounding stage and the next to it performed admirably. The downside is nobody has bought my old MarkBass rig yet!

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12 minutes ago, lemmywinks said:

Oh don't get me wrong, it's plenty low enough, I would have sold it already if it wasn't! It puts out a lot of nice low end and doesn't sound lacking at all, one thing I have noticed is that it's much more responsive to eq than my old Markbass rig and I'm still getting my head around what a flat eq actually sounds like rather than the bass heavy/rolled off treble  "flat" I've been used to on bass amps for two decades.

 

Only done 3 gigs with it so far, first one it coped well despite being on a crap sounding stage and the next to it performed admirably. The downside is nobody has bought my old MarkBass rig yet!

A lot of people find that FRFRs are lacking in mids - usually because bass cabs are heavily coloured in this area. If your FRFR cab isn't doing it for you - its probably down to the model of the cab not being as forward in the mids as you'd expect. I would wager that you should be looking at the low mids as opposed to the bass - bass cabs aren't actually as bassy as you would think.

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I've not found the QSC to be mid shy at all, however I am using it with the Bass Amp preset so maybe that has something to do with it. Also maybe the Sire preamp has a baked in sound itself as I'm doing pretty much all tone-shaping from that and very little on the Fishman. Last gig I had to cut mids (assuming around 400-450hz) and boost a good amount of bass to get the sound I wanted, the previous one I ran it with centred mids and a small bass boost. On both I rolled the brilliance knob back a bit on the Fishman to get the highs under control.

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17 hours ago, la bam said:

But doesnt the frfr theory fall down, and thats why everyone has gone for top end speakers? Otherwise it wouldnt matter what you bought? Also its a fair bet all different speakers will sound different just on the actual cone sizes too.

But now there is a few combinations:

1. Helix and 8x10 sim tbrough a 10" qsc.

2. Helix and 8x10 sim through a mackie 12 with 1 horn.

3. Helix and 8x10 sim through a 15 (or 12) rcf and 4 horn.

...and then all the above again but add on whatever pa system you use.

Id bet that set up the same on the helix all the different set ups would sound different.

In that way i can understand a basic amp and cab set up - ie a svt through a 8x10 cab, but i cant quite get my head around a helix through cab sim through actual cab (and eventually pa) set up for live work.

 

Obviously, those 3 frfr solutions will in fact all sound slightly different yes. No speaker can ever be frfr, and even if it was directly on axis then it wouldn't be off axis and it certainly wouldn't be anywhere near once it's in a room rather than an anechoic chamber. The point is, they're getting as close as they can within certain physics, budget, size, weight and cost constraints. Give me a very large, very capable PA system in a good room, an RTA mic and a pink noise generator and I'll get you damn close to frfr in one particular spot. But as soon as you move around the room, move the pa system to a different room or indeed try and compress the whole pa system into something the size and weight of a QSC 10.2 then you're going to move farther away from the ideal.

 

An 8x10" (or really most cabs) are designed to sound subjectively good. They're a part of the instrument and they're for sound production, not sound REproduction. FRFR just means that you're aiming for clean and clear, you're aiming for reproduction rather than production. Whether or not you can ever achieve it is another matter.

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2 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

see at that sort of prices I'm starting to think about selling my amp...

You know it makes sense!

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1 minute ago, EBS_freak said:

Nearly another one!?

I’m not sure if I got counted or not... But with a line 6 Helix purchase last week, paired with my QSC 12.2. I’m moving all my analogue ‘old school’ bass gear on... Sorry rock and roll. 

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1 minute ago, Musashimonkey said:

I’m not sure if I got counted or not... But with a line 6 Helix purchase last week, paired with my QSC 12.2. I’m moving all my analogue ‘old school’ bass gear on... Sorry rock and roll. 

You utter bastard. Another knife in the heart of rock and roll.

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Worth noting the QSC K12 are the original versions which are quite a bit different, the power distribution between the LF and compression drivers makes more sense in the new versions. Also you don't get the fancy screen and I assume the handy factory presets/eq.

Anybody had both to compare?

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I could be wrong but I think the originals had much better drivers. They used a Celestion 12" with a cast chassis, 3" coil and neodymium magnet, plus a Celestion compression driver with a 1.74" coil. The later ones have smaller voice coils for LF and HF and the 12" drivers are pressed steel with ferrite magnets. Sometimes it pays to be a bit nerdy about these things.

Edited by stevie
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I didn't look into the 12" cabs as they weren't on my radar when shopping but from opinions across forums (pinch of salt etc.) the consensus was that the K10.2 was quite a bit better than the original K10, seemed to be the same for the 8" version too. Dunno what's in them (or the 12s for that matter), just thought it was worth mentioning. A lot of the new features may not be of use to bassists but the bass amp preset and instrument level input are really handy for me for home use.

 

There was also a GK Plex preamp pedal on one of the Facebook bass pages the other day for £200 if anyone is interested, no affiliation. Seemed like a decent deal for a really well featured all in one pedal.

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The function/pub/all sorts band I gig with the most have a pair of RCF ART 12s, a single RCF 15 sub sited by the drummer, and in-ears. Presonus mixer, all Bluetooth/Wiffy. Guitarist has a Helix, I just use a Zoom B3, the kit is a very small one bristling with triggers and an overhead. Works a treat, sounds good for all sorts of music. We did step up from the RCF 10s, though, as we were pushing them juuuust a little on the volume front.

We gigged in the New Forest not long ago and got all of us and all the gear (including lights, stands, three guitars, two basses, etc) in my car. OK, so it's a big Skoda Superb Estate, but even so...

It's the way forward.

I still have my Walkabout and BF Super Twin for Rawk gigs, tho... :D

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