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Al Krow

Single FRFR or Bass Combo?

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1 minute ago, paulbuzz said:

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!)

But it doesn't need to since when set up as a wedge the speaker is pointing at my ears rather than at my knees like the 410.

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2 minutes ago, paulbuzz said:

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!)

A pair of RCF 745 cabs can do a decent sized venue with a full band going through them, they are very powerful full range cabs.

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

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 :) 

I’m in Southend but I can come to you, I’m never comfortable in a shop to really put a piece of kit through it’s paces, if you’d feel more comfortable at your gaff then it’s no problem, I’d be very happy to help out.

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30 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

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).

I'm pretty sure your bass rig isn't putting out 31hz either. I don't know where this idea that an RCF 745 is somehow inferior for bass than a dedicated cab comes from, they'll blow most setups out of the water in terms of sheer power and volume.

 

We used a pair of 735 cabs on their own in good sized venues with the entire band going through them (inc bass and fully mic'd up kit) and they didn't struggle one bit, just lots of clean power and fat low end. Using one as my bass amp would be total overkill, I use a K10.2 and it doesn't struggle with a 5 string for monitoring even at volume. I went from a 2x12 Markbass rig and haven't sacrificed anything, a K12.2 would be more than enough for pretty much any bass player I think. 

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2 minutes ago, Frank Blank said:

I’m in Southend but I can come to you, I’m never comfortable in a shop to really put a piece of kit through it’s paces, if you’d feel more comfortable at your gaff then it’s no problem, I’d be very happy to help out.

Excellent, thanks Frank. I suspect there may be a couple of other London & surrounding area bassists who would also be interested in this (and if not, I certainly am!) - let's see if we can set something up offline. And Brick Lane is a stone's throw away from me for the après A/B :) 

Right, gents, time for me throw the towel in for today... 🧐zzzzzzz 

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6 hours 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?

What do you think your bass cabs are tuned too? Unless you’re useing ACME cabs, or there was a mod to downtune fEARful 15/6 you know your cab isn’t going to be much different to that RCF

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, lemmywinks said:

I'm pretty sure your bass rig isn't putting out 31hz either. I don't know where this idea that an RCF 745 is somehow inferior for bass than a dedicated cab comes from, they'll blow most setups out of the water in terms of sheer power and volume. We used a pair of 735 cabs on their own in good sized venues with the entire band going through them (inc bass and fully mic'd up kit) and they didn't struggle one bit, just lots of clean power and fat low end. Using one as my bass amp would be total overkill, I use a K10.2 and it doesn't struggle with a 5 string for monitoring even at volume. I went from a 2x12 Markbass rig and haven't sacrificed anything, a K12.2 would be more than enough for pretty much any bass player I think. 

1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

What do you think your bass cabs are tuned too? Unless you’re useing ACME cabs, or there was a mod to downtune fEARful 15/6 you know your cab isn’t going to be much different to that RCF

Gents - I think you've missed misunderstood my point. I AGREE that the RCF 745A looks very capable and should be able to do the job! See my post to BRX earlier:

7 hours 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?

My Q is in the second sentence above.

I currently have a BF SC (21 lbs) and a D class head (3 to 4 lbs) = 25 lbs all in. It handles a 5 string just fine.

I know the 745A can do the trick. But it's a 44 lb lug around. Is there anything else in the FRFR world that can compete or even come close to my current rig in terms of (i) handling a low B string (please note I'll be using it as back line and not just as a monitor) and (ii) that is also relatively compact / portable?

Edited by Al Krow

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19 hours ago, BigRedX said:

And this.

Or fit underneath the keyboard stand holding the computer that is running the backing track.

I can place a wedge FRFR almost anywhere in stage as it's footprint is minimal.

Backing track? What infamy is this? Seriously how a we persuade people to book live bands when Dolly Daydream or Billy Blowave can turn up with a cheap and cheerful FRFR and an iPad and sing all night? 

I suppose my question is why do you need a backing track?

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Gents - I think you've missed misunderstood my point. I AGREE that the RCF 745A looks very capable and should be able to do the job! See my post to BRX earlier:

My Q is in the second sentence above.

I currently have a BF SC (21 lbs) and a D class head (3 to 4 lbs) = 25 lbs all in. It handles a 5 string just fine.

I know the 745A can do the trick. But it's a 44 lb lug around. Is there anything else in the FRFR world that can compete or even come close to my current rig in terms of (i) handling a low B string (please note I'll be using it as back line and not just as a monitor) and (ii) that is also relatively compact / portable?

Probably not BUT for some people that have the luxury of good PA support, an Active FRFR is adequate.

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42 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

I suppose my question is why do you need a backing track?

Because they haven't got the budget for a keys player - or find one that is willing to give up the time to join the band.... or find one that is capable of playing the parts. Or the backing is too complex for a human to play and the backing forms a great deal of the sound of the band....

There's all kinds of reasons why people use backing tracks. Have a look on YouTube at what the tech behind Katy Perry's shows look like. There's as much live music as backing tracks it would seem - but those backing tracks are driving patch changes on electronic drums and triggers,  guitar patch changes as well as layering "backing track" audio that is not possible to otherwise reproduce live.

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4 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Because they haven't got the budget for a keys player - or find one that is willing to give up the time to join the band.... or find one that is capable of playing the parts. Or the backing is too complex for a human to play and the backing forms a great deal of the sound of the band....

There's all kinds of reasons why people use backing tracks. Have a look on YouTube at what the tech behind Katy Perry's shows look like. There's as much live music as backing tracks it would seem - but those backing tracks are driving patch changes on electronic drums and triggers,  guitar patch changes as well as layering "backing track" audio that is not possible to otherwise reproduce live.

This. For something a little more down to earth have a look at Tesseract's live rig. They're playing backing tracks to the PA and 3 separate click tracks to the band's IEMs from a laptop through an audio interface. Plenty of bands doing it nowadays, especially the click tracks and patch changing.

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9 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

Because they haven't got the budget for a keys player - or find one that is willing to give up the time to join the band.... or find one that is capable of playing the parts. Or the backing is too complex for a human to play and the backing forms a great deal of the sound of the band....

There's all kinds of reasons why people use backing tracks. Have a look on YouTube at what the tech behind Katy Perry's shows look like. There's as much live music as backing tracks it would seem - but those backing tracks are driving patch changes on electronic drums and triggers,  guitar patch changes as well as layering "backing track" audio that is not possible to otherwise reproduce live.

Thank you.

If we were able to find a synth player with fantastic technical ability, who can also double up on guitar, percussion, backing vocals, is happy to sit out those songs that don't require anything extra, and willing do it all for occasional expense money, then we would have no need of the backing track.

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I currently have a BF SC (21 lbs) and a D class head (3 to 4 lbs) = 25 lbs all in. It handles a 5 string just fine.

I know the 745A can do the trick. But it's a 44 lb lug around. Is there anything else in the FRFR world that can compete or even come close to my current rig in terms of (i) handling a low B string (please note I'll be using it as back line and not just as a monitor) and (ii) that is also relatively compact / portable?

I have the "little brother", an RCF 732A, and it can definitely handle a low B nicely.  Yes, it's heavier, at 39lb.  Older setup was Shuttle 9.2 & Big Baby 2; I'd have gone back to that if I wasn't happy with the RCF.

Your Super Compact is a good cab - I haven't played one but I had the previous generation Compact.  I don't think it's full-range though - I didn't love it for upright.

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I've mentioned it before somewhere, but the RCF has two side handles and also a top handle, which is three in total, and makes it easy to carry in different configurations e.g. getting through narrow doors.  The Barefaced only has one handle!

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

I have the "little brother", an RCF 732A, and it can definitely handle a low B nicely.  Yes, it's heavier, at 39lb.  Older setup was Shuttle 9.2 & Big Baby 2; I'd have gone back to that if I wasn't happy with the RCF.

Your Super Compact is a good cab - I haven't played one but I had the previous generation Compact.  I don't think it's full-range though - I didn't love it for upright.

Thanks John. That makes sense about upright, given that the SC has a top end f-response of just 4k, and 'piezzo' / upright is going to want to go higher than that to get that top-end 'zing'. 

It seems to me that a 'DIY FRFR' may be the solution here: I'm thinking along the lines of a BF BB2 as the transparent cab (which is, anyway, the basis of the expensive 600W BF FR800) and then adding pre / post as I like.

I'll probably initially be sticking with my DG M900, which allows me to bypass the amps pre if I want to. 

The BB2 is just 26lbs.

Seems to me this could potentially give me a best of both worlds compromise?

Edited by Al Krow

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7 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

I've mentioned it before somewhere, but the RCF has two side handles and also a top handle, which is three in total, and makes it easy to carry in different configurations e.g. getting through narrow doors.  The Barefaced only has one handle!

So we maybe need to formulate a general principle here, along the lines of a D class watt = a tube watt = a watt. 

On the same lines an FRFR lb = a bass cab lb 😁

But, more seriously, I take your point that shape and handle location can make something heavier easier to carry. 

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Posted (edited)

Remember that active PA speakers in general (not just talking about RCF here) - have DSP to aid in the flattening of the cab's response. Whilst it is possible with a passive setup, in reality, to have a comparable system without high costs is very rare.

Also, remember, you can always take away frequencies that can be reproduced by a cab... it's generally not a successful route to try and reproduce frequencies that can't be reproduced by a cab (obviously). Whilst people may think that they can hard cut off a set of frequencies in the top end because they don't believe that their instruments produce them, this isn't true. A lot of the "airy" quality comes from all the harmonics that exist in those super highs... and cutting them can actually be detrimental to you your bass sound. In fact, this applies to pretty much every instrument. If your mix is sounding a little flat in the top end, it's can be those super super highs that are missing.

Edited by EBS_freak
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@EBS_freak thanks for that.

Totally agree about the top-end f-response being important, the lack of which is a key reason for me looking to replace my BF SC. 

Do you know if the BF FR800 power module has a DSP? My understanding was that the BB2 was already pretty flat response and not adding much in the way of tonal 'colour'? 

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

@EBS_freak thanks for that.

Totally agree about the top-end f-response being important, the lack of which is a key reason for me looking to replace my BF SC. 

Do you know if the BF FR800 power module has a DSP? My understanding was that the BB2 was already pretty flat response and not adding much in the way of tonal 'colour'? 

Just try my 12.2, you'll buy one the next day.

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14 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Do you know if the BF FR800 power module has a DSP? My understanding was that the BB2 was already pretty flat response and not adding much in the way of tonal 'colour'? 

It does have DSP based on what I know about the FR800 having looked at it in the past - but I can't remember if it's being used to make the cab linear from an EQ point of view... or to implement crossovers/hpf/lpf, I would have to investigate further.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jrixn1 said:

I've mentioned it before somewhere, but the RCF has two side handles and also a top handle, which is three in total, and makes it easy to carry in different configurations e.g. getting through narrow doors.  The Barefaced only has one handle!

 We have a pair of 735 cabs (same deal aside from the voice coil I think?) and carrying one in each hand with my arms straight down using the top handle is no problem, this is how I usually get them into gigs. If I'm carrying just one I use the side handle and hold them a little higher, they aren't particularly heavy. My old Markbass cabs were actually more of a pain to carry despite being very light as they were cube-ish with one recessed top handle in the middle which meant they had to be held away from my body.

 

Plus on the Barfaced that handle will probably fall off or disintegrate after a few gigs so you'll have to cradle it into the venue like a newborn baby! 😁

Edited by lemmywinks
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12 hours ago, Al Krow said:

@paulbuzz 

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).

 

12 hours 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?

I think the whole thing about full range and flat response is that what you put in is what you get out. If there is no high end content in the signal then there won't be any hf coming out of the speaker. 

As to 'authority' I think that has two components; power handling, and how the system copes with the most difficult bass notes compared with the rest of the spectrum. If you stop to think about it the best PA speakers are designed to amplify the whole band with each instrument sitting where it belongs in the mix i.e. the speaker will handle all the bass if it (the whole band) is mixed as it should be. A pair of PA speakers should be able to handle all the demands of the bass and kick drum alone.

From the technical point of view the limits of a driver are set by heat dissipation, the voice coil length/magnet geometry, the mass of the cone and the compliance of the suspension. These have physical/practical limits for  all speakers of a particular size and the best bass speakers and best bass PA drivers are going to be approaching these limits, often they are the same driver so there is going to be no difference in authority between really good PA speakers and really good bass speakers. I'd happily use and specify RCF drivers for my bass designs but they are slightly more pricy than some other manufacturers offering the same specs.

As to cost, PA speakers are a bit cheaper than bass speakers of the same quality. The RCF745 is pretty much top of the tree without going into the specialist area and available about £1100 the Barefaced £1250 (Brexit and exchange rate changes have narrowed the gap this year), lower down the scale the difference is probably greater in percentage terms. 

The 31Hz/5 string thing is a non-issue with this quality of gear. Most commercial bass cabs have little output below 50 Hz just like PA tops. Fortunately neither do bass guitars.

You need to decide what your amp is for and how you will use it. A single 12PA speaker from QSC or RCF will be plenty loud enough for your stage monitor. It'll probably be loud enough for the rest of the band on anything but the largest of stages and TBH most bands need to reduce their onstage volume quite a lot. No single 12 is going to address a large auditorium with authority, whatever the manufacturer says. If you want bass authority with backline only you probably do need an old fashioned multi speakered stack. Assuming all else is the same two 10's have roughly the same cone area as one 15, so you need two 15's to make a 4x10 level of authority. IMO that is way too loud to be on most stages.

 

1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

@EBS_freak thanks for that.

Totally agree about the top-end f-response being important, the lack of which is a key reason for me looking to replace my BF SC. 

Do you know if the BF FR800 power module has a DSP? My understanding was that the BB2 was already pretty flat response and not adding much in the way of tonal 'colour'? 

The FR800 has DSP. Barefaced will even customise it for you.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jrixn1 said:

I've mentioned it before somewhere, but the RCF has two side handles and also a top handle, which is three in total, and makes it easy to carry in different configurations e.g. getting through narrow doors.  The Barefaced only has one handle!

They also have 4 feet... if you get my drift. ;)

Edited by EBS_freak

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I would add that the high end response is nice if soloed. But in a bigger band context it does not matter so much. Other instruments take that space from us bassists. We are the band pass filters (BPF) that do not get the lowest nor the highest. Oh dear...

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