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1976fenderhead

Replacing amp+cabs with amp sim + FRFR speaker – recommend me a speaker

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Posted (edited)

I'm thinking about replacing my amp and cabs with just using amp sim on the Helix going into an FRFR speaker. 

Has anyone gone this route? What speaker do you recommend?

Edited by 1976fenderhead

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3 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

First, have you checked this thread: 

 

Haha was going through it right now. 

Also, would like people's opinions on whether the Alto / Headrush 12 inch speakers do a good job. And are they the same?

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Posted (edited)

I moved over to using a QSC K12.2 and I’m 100% chuffed with it, never going back to amp/cabs. From what I’ve gleaned RCF gear is ‘better’ but QSC seems to occupy a really good quality middle ground. Anyway the thread above is a huge mine of information and if you want to try out my K12.2 you are more than welcome.

Edited by Frank Blank
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Posted (edited)

I realize it's 55 pages.  In summary:

  • Yes, people do it and they think it's great.  I'm not aware anyone who tried it was unhappy with it and switched back to amp/cab.
  • As for which speaker - what is your situation (band style/line-up and how loud) and budget?  Most have gone for 10" or 12" speaker.  I recommend RCF. Others get on well with QSC which is similar quality/price. Some are happy with the Headrush 112 which is cheaper - I think the difference with the Alto is that the Alto has a mic preamp?
  • Consider going straight to in-ears instead if that would work in your band
Edited by jrixn1
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7 minutes ago, 1976fenderhead said:

Haha was going through it right now. 

Also, would like people's opinions on whether the Alto / Headrush 12 inch speakers do a good job. And are they the same?

I have posted a detailed review of the Headrush 112 in the above megathread.  For me, it does a great job as a backline amp paired with a Helix. However, I think how well it performs largely depends on your expectations and what you're comparing it too.  I have only ever owned single speaker combos and cabs so transitioning to the headrush wasn't such a shock.  If you're going from a larger multi-speaker cab such as a 4x10 then you would do well to beg/borrow/steal before committing yourself.

As for whether the Alto and Headrush are the same or not is a matter that has never been quite cleared up. Some say they are essentially the same except for the mic preamp in the Alto which makes the headrush perform better for guitar/bass, some say there are some other differences such as internal baffling that tunes the headrush better for guitar/bass. I never had the chance to compare, as I found a used headrush 112 and case for the same price as a new Alto, so bought it straightaway.

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I've read this about the mic preamp before, but why would the mic preamp make the Alto less good for guitar/bass?

A mic preamp should be flat anyway and I'm guessing it would add power and volume to the signal, so why not? Unless if it's a cheap preamp which worsens the tone?

 

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11 minutes ago, cetera said:

Check out the excellent Red Sound cabs. I know the UK distributor and these things are getting amazing reviews!

Distributor page: https://www.clearsoundmusic.co.uk/products
Italian product page: https://www.redsounditalia.com/en/prodotti/macrocategoria/music/tipologia/digital-profiling-system

Do you have a link to an amazing review from a bass player?

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5 hours ago, jrixn1 said:

I realize it's 55 pages.  In summary:

  • Yes, people do it and they think it's great.  I'm not aware anyone who tried it was unhappy with it and switched back to amp/cab.
  • As for which speaker - what is your situation (band style/line-up and how loud) and budget?  Most have gone for 10" or 12" speaker.  I recommend RCF. Others get on well with QSC which is similar quality/price. Some are happy with the Headrush 112 which is cheaper - I think the difference with the Alto is that the Alto has a mic preamp?
  • Consider going straight to in-ears instead if that would work in your band

Plus...

many PA cabs are designed to be crossed over to subs at a certain frequency. If you want lots of low end they often aren’t designed to do that (but you need less low end than you might think) - one of the reasons you get a lot of people recomending the more expensive speakers is because they will be able to handle more low end. 

 

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I’ve had an alto (same as a head rush) and a Yamaha DXR10, the DXR is loads better, a lot louder and more bottom end available

you would struggle with the headrush IMO

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, JohnA said:

I’ve had an alto (same as a head rush) and a Yamaha DXR10, the DXR is loads better, a lot louder and more bottom end available

you would struggle with the headrush IMO

Hmmm.  I tried my guitarists DXR10 alongside my headrush and they both performed admirably for my usage.  I preferred the bottom end of the headrush however at volume.  The specs show that the DXR10 has a higher low end roll off compared to the headrush.  Still a great sounding speaker though.  We use the DXR12's for our mains FOH speaker.

FWIW:

  • DXR10: Frequency range 56Hz - 20kHz (-10db)
  • Headrush FRFR-112: Frequency range 46 Hz – 22 kHz (-10 dB) and Frequncy Response 53 Hz – 20 kHz (+/- 3 dB)

Yamaha hasn't published a +/-3db frequency response for the DXR10 as far as I can see, but I'm certain it doesn't run as low as the headrush.

Saying that. I realise that reproducing the fundamental isn't as important as many think - reproduction of the first and second-order harmonics is where the booty lies. The smaller headrush 108 has an even higher low end roll off (62hz - 20khz +/- 3db) and believe it or not, I'm tempted!  I tried emulating the low cut on my helix and it sounded surprisingly good in rehearsal.  I wouldn't want to gig with it at rock band volume, but it would be more than adequate and easier to manage for rehearsals and the odd low volume gig.

Edited by Greg Edwards69
added specs

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Just to clarify for anyone reading who doesn't know, the Alto in question is the Alto TS312.

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I’ve just started using Yamaha DXR 15s. Just used one at a time so far, but in the monitor position at rehearsal last night, it got rave reviews from the rest of the band. That’s using a Helix with the latest SVT 4 Pro model. There’s plenty of bottom and headroom from it, I’m excited to try it out live on Saturday night at Under The Bridge!  

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13 hours ago, Greg Edwards69 said:

The smaller headrush 108 has an even higher low end roll off (62hz - 20khz +/- 3db) and believe it or not, I'm tempted!  I tried emulating the low cut on my helix and it sounded surprisingly good in rehearsal.

One thing which I haven't tried would be on gigs where there is good FOH (probably including subs) is to use a smaller powered speaker like a 8" as a monitor, high-passed quite high (around 100Hz?) so that it doesn't overload itself; then the idea is that the "missing" low frequencies are provided from FOH, since low frequencies travel in all directions, including backwards.

That's the theory. Does anyone do this and how does it work in practice?

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On 02/08/2019 at 00:33, jrixn1 said:

One thing which I haven't tried would be on gigs where there is good FOH (probably including subs) is to use a smaller powered speaker like a 8" as a monitor, high-passed quite high (around 100Hz?) so that it doesn't overload itself; then the idea is that the "missing" low frequencies are provided from FOH, since low frequencies travel in all directions, including backwards.

That's the theory. Does anyone do this and how does it work in practice?

It works really well for the bassist.

My very first gig I used someone else's rig which was set up like that. In memory it's the best sound I've ever had. Later with one band I used a Hartke Kickback 10 with the notch filter set to remove the deep bass and bass DI'd with a bit of eq to balance the sound from the two sources for the audience. It's crystal clear for the bassist and you do get all the lows you want from behind the PA. It's my favourite set up and yes it absolutely works.

However my drummer hated it, likes the bass to flap his trousers and the constant whining from the drum stool spoilt the otherwise excellent sound. :)

 

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On 31/07/2019 at 13:22, 1976fenderhead said:

I'm thinking about replacing my amp and cabs with just using amp sim on the Helix going into an FRFR speaker. 

Has anyone gone this route? What speaker do you recommend?

I think the thing to remember when choosing your speaker is that there is no magic pixie dust. the Technology and Physics involved in the speaker drivers is the same and indeed sometimes the drivers themselves are identical or near identical.

To make bass you need to shift lot's of air. To do that you need big cones and they need to move a long way. In turn this means you need powerful magnets and long voice coils with good heat handling. All these make for expensive drive units and ultimately more expensive cabs. There are value for money speakers out there and some offer less value but there is no magic budget speaker that breaks the laws of physics or common sense. RCF and Barefaced are doing the same trick essentially, handling all the bass with a single small driver by using an incredibly well specced bass driver with a long coil and a big magnet.

That's the other factor. Increasing the cone area increases the efficiency of the system and increases the volume of bass. A cheapish 15 may well match an expensive state of the art 12 for output and a 12 however good isn't going to match an 8x10. 

So when you come to choose don't expect a Headrush or Alto to match QSC or RCF (btw these are equal in quality but the RCF's are currently cheaper) any more than you'd expect a single basic TC or MB/Ashdown to match a Barefaced. If you can't get what you want out of a single 12 at any price point using a bass cab then moving to a single 12 PA cab will still have the same limitations.

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I have just gone down this route and and am well happy. 

I run a EBS microbass 2 into a QSC 10.2 and I must say that the sound is the most natural, even and well produced sound that I have had for a long time! (I have been through Genz, MarkBass, TC, ETC.)

I use it at quite a large venue and it really delivers, and it has loads of power!! Far more than I will need. I do prop it up on an amp stand as well and it has the added bonus that I can run my vocal mic into it and use it as a vocal monitor as well, using the thru output to go to the pa. It doesn't compromise on the bass sound at all.

I don't know how it would fair if you played in a rock band with just backline, but if you go into FOH, and just need to monitor, this idea is second to none. A preamp pedal of some sort in my view is important for sound control. The 10.2 does have onboard EQ but would be a fiddle mid-gig. That to me is the only compromise.

I was skeptical, but I am converted. No more bass specific amps for me! End of the day, it what works for you and this works for me.

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I trialled the idea with an alto speaker, worked well but the QSC is another league altogether. I would imagine RCF, Yamaha would also give similar results.

Don't compromise - if you are doing it, do it right.

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Currently shopping around, looking at RCF, QSC, Yamanha, the cheap ones (Headrush, Alto)... What RCF model do you recommend?

It seems people who have 10 inch models are happy with them and don't feel they should have got 12 or 15?

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Posted (edited)

I have an RCF 732A and very happy.  For me, it replaced a Genz Benz putting 500W into a Barefaced Big Baby 2.  I feel the two setups are comparable; what I mean is that they are both clear, no compromise in the sound quality, and they can go louder than I need them to.  Context here is doubling on 5-string electric and upright in a 12-piece function band, used as backline with no PA support. https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/315455-interesting-frfr-story/?do=findComment&comment=3559638

I haven't tried the RCF 712A, which is one price point down, so unable to say what the difference of £250 makes.

I did also have an HD10 (which as far as I can tell is pretty much the same as a 310A) for a bit.  One alone was good - louder than a 10" has any right to be - but of course not as loud or deep as the 732A.  For many/most of my gigs, it was fine - but it couldn't quite cut it for the most demanding ones. https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/317870-rcf-hd-10-vs-barefaced-one10

So actually I had two HD10s at one point - using both together was really good. https://www.basschat.co.uk/topic/315455-interesting-frfr-story/?do=findComment&comment=3524836  In fact I'm not sure which sounded better in the end - two HD10s or one RCF732 - but for me one 732A is more convenient than two of anything since I only have two arms/hands to carry stuff with.
 

Edited by jrixn1
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3 hours ago, 1976fenderhead said:

Currently shopping around, looking at RCF, QSC, Yamanha, the cheap ones (Headrush, Alto)... What RCF model do you recommend?

It seems people who have 10 inch models are happy with them and don't feel they should have got 12 or 15?

I have the QSC K12.2 and it’s lush, I went for the 12 rather than the 10 just because in my band situation I can use it as a monitor when I play with PA support and as backline when I don’t. Having said this @Bridgehouse seems perfectly happy with his 10”, ha ha, and after all he started all this...

...where are you located @1976fenderhead? You are welcome to try my K12.2 out.

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Posted (edited)

Moved my comment to the main FRFR topic as I feel as if I`m jumping on the op`s topic which wouldn`t be right!

Edited by jezzaboy

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On 02/08/2019 at 00:33, jrixn1 said:

That's the theory. Does anyone do this and how does it work in practice?

I'll often do this, even with bass rigs. In fact the last time I had an SVT provided, I ran it with the low end dialled out completely! Not the typical SVT experience, but gave me a great big, clear low end, with top and mids from the amp.

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