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Al Krow

Single FRFR or Bass Combo?

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

...QSC K12.2 which has 50Hz to 20kHz freq response at -6dB (to take @itu's helpful guide) says it's a 2000W power module. Well further digging and that's a peak rather than an RMS or AES number. What's the typical conversion of peak to RMS - would that be more like 800W RMS?

Just a rule of thumb: multiply RMS by 1.4 - 2 depending on the amp. I suppose that the QSC is able to push around 1 - 1.2 kW RMS.

Remember, that there may be several amps in the box. Simple addition of the powers does not always give very good idea of the perceived loudness level.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Accepting that you've got some good points there, BRX,  the well regarded QSC K12.2 which has 50Hz to 20kHz freq response at -6dB (to take @itu's helpful guide) says it's a 2000W power module. Well further digging and that's a peak rather than an RMS or AES number. What's the typical conversion of peak to RMS - would that be more like 800W RMS?

Doesn’t the K12.2 and the Quilter bass block share some similarities power module  wise?

Edited by LukeFRC

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3 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

For me it's simple. A decent active FRFR with all the  DSP to make it a blank canvas enables me to spend time finding a pre I like to give me the tone I like without having to juggle an extra myriad of variables in tweeters, crossovers, speakers, amps etc that you get from a traditional bass setup. For example, with a traditional bass cab, the baked in sound of that speaker cab can really mess with you if you don't clock that it's that part of your setup which is dominating your tone. 

With the modellers that are out there, you can twiddle to your hearts content... but conversely, you can just find that one pre that you like and just concentrate on getting on with the music.... and as Frank says, the fact that you can have your core tone and then push in extra instruments and use it as a monitor also... brilliant. Vocals tend to send a bit crap through bass rigs.

This. 

I think given the choice @Al Krow most of us would have several big heavy rigs at home and then ask our roadies to take and set up the one we wanted on stage....

in the real world though it depends what you want- and I kinda think if FRFR becomes a fad then folk will waste money trying something that doesn’t suit them. 

First question is where do you gig, and what do you want your bass to sound like? If you want a big wide valve sound with traditional sounding cabs then that’s probably what you want... how do you get that sound to the PA - I guess the traditional DI. Most bass rigs, combo or separates work in this way. An amp that may or may not add its own colour, and a cab that will do likewise...

Where FRFR comes into its own is if “your tone” doesn’t come from the amp and cab, but from something like a Helix or Zoom B3n in my case.

what it means is that I can dial in my sound, say an amp and cab sim with a compressor beforehand,  during practice using the FRFR speaker and then have a reasonable confidence that through a venues FOH it’s should be about where I set it. I once played a gig where the drum machine we used vis laptop had been “polished” by the guitard... we spent most the soundcheck trying to remove the Eq that sounded great in a pair of cheap headphones but really caused problems through a PA- same thing! 

So it depends on what you want... however if I were going FRFR a separate amp that could run without a load would give me a reasonably lightweight preamp option to feed into the FRFR which the combo wouldn’t. 

So in summery, it depends what you’re trying to do, and the answer is probably IEMs...:ph34r:

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4 hours ago, itu said:

I have a far more simple solution. I added a X-over to my effects and the sound changed a lot. Now the low end under 400 Hz has no effects = no mud. 

Appreciate it's a bit of a side track - but I like this suggestion a lot! It's maybe something I can do via my Helix Stomp, but maybe more likely a mixture of a KMA Tyler (or similar) plus Boss LS-2. 

On the plus side, I'm expecting my Stomp to be eliminating a bunch of pedals on my board over the coming six months so there should be ample space to fit these two additional pedals on :) 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

I think given the choice @Al Krow most of us would have several big heavy rigs at home and then ask our roadies to take and set up the one we wanted on stage....

Big heavy rigs and paying for roadies would not be my choice for where my money would go... So, nope, I don't think you can necessarily extrapolate this to a majority of BC'ers from your own dark desires to be a rock god 😀

1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

Where FRFR comes into its own is if “your tone” doesn’t come from the amp and cab, but from something like a Helix or Zoom B3n in my case.

What about the small point of your bass, pups and strings in relation to tone? Surely that's going to play just as big a part?

I've not really got into amp modelling yet on my Helix or previously on my B3n, but maybe that day will come.

**********************************************

I think what I'm hearing, so far, is that if you want to create your "own pre-amp" either with pre-amp pedals or modelling AND you don't like the delicious tone that certain cabs, which are specifically tuned / geared for bass, provide, then FRFR is the way to go.

They're also useful if you want to put other instruments and vocals through and can provide an angled stage monitor.

But active FRFR is essentially a flavourless combo, to which you need to add your own salt and spices to taste.

 

 

Edited by Al Krow

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4 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

AND you don't like the delicious tone that certain cabs, which are specifically tuned / geared for bass

Or you wanted to use the Helix for a certain delicious cab tone and wanted to have that tone via FOH and your rig...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

What about the small point of your bass, pups and strings in relation to tone? Surely that's going to play just as big a part?

This is exactly why I use an FRFR setup, it is the tone of the instrument that I want as simply and colourlessly amplified as possible. I play a Rob Allen Mouse with LaBella flats and a Godin A4, both of which have very distinctive acoustic tones that I want to reproduce with as little ‘interference’ (apologies for my lack of tech terms) as possible.

Edited by Frank Blank
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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

Or you wanted to use the Helix for a certain delicious cab tone and wanted to have that tone via FOH and your rig...

[Aside] Re your previous Q on another thread - if you're going on this particular journey, Luke, then you definitely need the greater capability of the Stomp and its amp and cab modelling. Time to let go of the B3n.

Edited by Al Krow
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24 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

 Time to let go of the B3n.

Only if you aren’t getting what you need out of the B3N. It’s a pretty capable unit, especially for the money.

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1 minute ago, EBS_freak said:

Only if you aren’t getting what you need out of the B3N. It’s a pretty capable unit, especially for the money.

Aside: though it didn’t enjoy the high output on my G&L L1000 on Sunday - it was peaking the input. Ended up just going via DI 

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9 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

Aside: though it didn’t enjoy the high output on my G&L L1000 on Sunday - it was peaking the input. Ended up just going via DI 

Turn the bass output down then! Or inline attenuator.

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I can't remember the last time my on stage rig had any effect on my FoH sound so the point is moot for me. It's a question of wanting something which can produce a clean bass signal, points directly at my ears and takes up barely any room on stage with the absolute minimum of setup faff. Having a small powered PA cab does that in one package with power to spare and IMO sounds like a better bass amp than my old Markbass rig (LMII with 2 x Club121 cabs).

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2 hours ago, Frank Blank said:

This is exactly why I use an FRFR setup, it is the tone of the instrument that I want as simply and colourlessly amplified. I play a Rob Allen Mouse with LaBella flats and a Godin A4, both of which have very distinctive acoustic tones that I want to reproduce with as little ‘interference’ (apologies for my lack of tech terms) as possible.

That's actually really helpful point. One of the 'myths' around FRFR is that you need amp and cab sims to make them work well. But from what you're saying Frank, that's a nonsense.

You can go bass --> (colourless) FRFR and get to hear what your bass really sounds like! 

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For me, the most convincing argument in favour of using a FRFR speaker (either active or passive) is that it makes it much easier to be sure that you're sending the right signal to the PA soundman.

If your speaker has a pretty flat response, like (hopefully!) the PA system, then you can just tap off a DI signal to send to the PA, and know that that tone, amplified through the PA, should pretty much match the sound coming out of your on-stage gear.

If not (ie your bass speaker is significantly coloured, like most speakers used for bass rigs), then you will previously have adjusted your amp EQ etc to sound good through your rig's speaker, compensating for its idiosyncracies.
So how are you going to get the right signal to the PA? If you take a DI signal before your speaker, then it won't include whatever colouration your speaker is bringing to the party. If, for example, you have a tweeter-free cab and are using any overdrive/distortion effects, this is likely to sound dreadful when DI'd into the PA.

So perhaps you'll mike the cab? Even if the soundman is willing (and they're often not keen...) he will need to take account of the huge bass boost caused by the proximity effect of the mic jammed up against your cab. Is the soundman on top of this?
And, oh, does your bass cab have a tweeter? Perhaps even a separate mid-range driver?! Mike them up separately, you say? Good luck with that!

A disadvantage of the FRFR approach is that a speaker that can produce high quality, clean, full range sound at volume levels equivalent to a traditional bass rig is a probably a much more expensive item than a decent traditional bass speaker.
For this reason, amongst others, I have always stuck to the traditional route of using a normal kinda bass rig, sending a DI signal off to the PA, crossing my fingers and hoping/trusting  that the soundman is sufficiently on top of the task to make something useful out of it! If you've applied a bit of sense to it this approach usually works out ok - after all, it's what pretty much everybody always did until recently...

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@paulbuzz - some really good points, thanks. Picking up on one:

4 minutes ago, paulbuzz said:

A disadvantage of the FRFR approach is that a speaker that can produce high quality, clean, full range sound at volume levels equivalent to a traditional bass rig is a probably a much more expensive item than a decent traditional bass speaker.

I think you've hit a particular nail well on the head above.

If I'm looking for something < 40lbs (which is my personal 'comfortable' weight limit) and wanting to avoid anything larger than a 12" speaker, then I'm looking at something like a QSC K12.2.

But at - 6dB this has a frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz.

As a bass player, that very top end (> 15 kHz) is superflous to me, but my low B is at 31 Hz; so it's clearly not a speaker that has been designed with a focus on the bass player.

I'm not sure there is anything on the market that hits the spot, in the way that a dedicated bass cab does, in terms of handling the low B string notes with authority without being a large / relatively heavy item. (Bear in mind my starting point here is separates: D class head and BF Super Compact cab).

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Posted (edited)

I am not sure it was ever a myth you need an amp and can sim before an FRFR to make it work well.

Its either people wanting that sound, or just a plain lack of understanding.

So far as frequency range, if 31 Hz is not technically projected due to the 40- 50hz lower limit, the harmonics will be heard, and rest will be filled in by your brain - which has been covered ad nauseum

Edited by Cuzzie
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7 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

As a bass player, that very top end (> 15 kHz) is superflous to me

Dunno how old you are Al, but speaking from my own position of rapidly advancing decrepitude, hearing anything above 15 kHz is just a distant memory! 🤪

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28 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

That's actually really helpful point. One of the 'myths' around FRFR is that you need amp and cab sims to make them work well. But from what you're saying Frank, that's a nonsense.

You can go bass --> (colourless) FRFR and get to hear what your bass really sounds like! 

Luckily for me my basses are used in a form of music that’s crying out for the tone of the bass alone, I sometimes think I’d like to try out a Helix just for a gas but I’m actually rather glad I don’t have to use effects in my band. Also I wonder if the reason I struggled for years to get the tone I wanted was simply because I had never heard my basses uncoloured so I had no real fundamental ‘starting’ tone from which to build. If you have never heard your bass amplified without ‘colour’ how can you really effectively alter the tone?

I am attracted to the amp and cab sims, like I say, just for the fun of it really but yes, bass -> (colourless FRFR) gives me the pure tone of the instrument, I add a touch of mid, a touch of bass and a little compression on the preamp and I am totally happy. I have played both basses straight into the QSC without the preamp and it still sounds better to me than any dedicated bass amp I’ve ever heard and I’d be perfectly happy to gig plugged directly into the QSC and DI from it directly into the desk.

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22 minutes ago, paulbuzz said:

A disadvantage of the FRFR approach is that a speaker that can produce high quality, clean, full range sound at volume levels equivalent to a traditional bass rig is a probably a much more expensive item than a decent traditional bass speaker.
For this reason, amongst others, I have always stuck to the traditional route of using a normal kinda bass rig, sending a DI signal off to the PA, crossing my fingers and hoping/trusting  that the soundman is sufficiently on top of the task to make something useful out of it! If you've applied a bit of sense to it this approach usually works out ok - after all, it's what pretty much everybody always did until recently...

Not in my experience. My conventional "big rig" that has now been replaced by a Line6 Helix and an RCF745 FRFR at a cost of just over £2k originally set me back quite a bit more even though most of it was bought second hand 10 years ago. I've just looked up the price of one of the cabs I was previously using (EBS Proline 410) and new it costs more than the RCF!

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

I am not sure it was ever a myth you need an amp and can sim before an FRFR to make it work well.

I run a guitar amp SIM (Roland Jazz Chorus which in real life would be completely inappropriate at gig volumes for bass) for my Bass VI patches and no amp or cab SIM at all for the 5-string bass patches except where I am using a bass amp SIM for the overdrive sound instead of a distortion pedal.

Edited by BigRedX

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Posted (edited)

@BigRedX - I see you're using the highly regarded RCF 745A which is 15" woofer; - 3db 45 Hz to 20 KHz and 44 lbs;  and you're also 5 string player.

Would anything smaller / lighter be realistically capable of dealing with the low B string with authority?

Edited by Al Krow

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

@BigRedX - I see you're using the highly regarded RCF 745A which is 15" woofer; - 3db 45 Hz to 20 KHz and 44 lbs;  and you're also 5 string player.

Would anything smaller / lighter be realistically capable of dealing with the low B string with authority?

Why not bring your bass over and try it through my QSC K12.2? The only real way to settle this is to try one, surely?

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11 minutes ago, paulbuzz said:

Dunno how old you are Al, but speaking from my own position of rapidly advancing decrepitude, hearing anything above 15 kHz is just a distant memory! 🤪

Me too (see the 'Can you hear it?!' thread in gen discussion for proof! 😀)

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10 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Not in my experience. My conventional "big rig" that has now been replaced by a Line6 Helix and an RCF745 FRFR at a cost of just over £2k originally set me back quite a bit more even though most of it was bought second hand 10 years ago. I've just looked up the price of one of the cabs I was previously using (EBS Proline 410) and new it costs more than the RCF!

Fair enough, although I'd be surprised if your RCF745 can bang out the same volume levels as your EBS 4x10! (I could be wrong though - I haven't tried an RCF745!)

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Frank Blank said:

Why not bring your bass over and try it through my QSC K12.2? The only real way to settle this is to try one, surely?

Yes, completely and that's very kind - where are you based? If you're closer to me than PMT Romford (which has a good selection of FRFR), I'll happily take you up on it :) 

Edited by Al Krow

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