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BaggyMan

Death of the big cab?

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Looking around the for sale items it appears that cheapest vfm deals for cabs are 4*10's just dont expect to sell it easily after you have bought it. .  They just don't seem to sell.

Is it everyone can't be doing with lugging Gear..old age, smaller and more volume sensitive venues, digital rigs/through the PA setups ..maybe all of the above. 

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It's also that we're all getting too old, or are too poor to hire someone to cart heavy stuff around.

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Small cabs have got much better, so one or two 1x12” s can cover anything.  Also loading, parking and general gig logistics just keep on getting harder in most cities, so two lighter boxes just makes life easier.  
 

I didn’t want sell my 4x10 but it just wasn’t getting used, and gear needs to earn its house room 😳

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I love my Berg AE410 but if it didn’t live in my mates garage and get transported to gigs in a van it would be a pain in the backside. It’s not due to the weight, rather that it’s really difficult to squeeze it into the boot of my car. If we didn’t have use of the van I’d be looking for a two (smaller) cab solution.  

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I have been gigging exclusively with a Fender Rumble 500v3 for a couple of years now. I used to lug two 4x10's and a Hartke LH1000 around. It was a back breaking rig and totally unnecessary other than to intimidate the guitarist with his puny 4x12. The Rumble's 2x10 extension cab rarely leaves the cupboard it lives in. The combo is more than man enough for any gig that I'm likely to do and is an easy lift back to the car

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Many years ago we hired SVT 810's in a couple of bands. They always sounded good, but I'd never consider owning one. I have owned several 412 cabs, one of which I couldn't even lift on my own. When you have roadies you buy what ever you want but sensible decisions have to be made when you are moving your own gear. I have owned 4 215 cabs, a Peavey, 2 Fender Dual Showmans and the least sensible cab, even as a 22 year old, an Ampeg 215. I've owned several 115's which weighed nearly as much as a 412, but the EV loaded cabs sounded the best, even if they were the heaviest!

When I started looking at lightweight cabs I discovered that they were generally designed to higher acoustic standards and produced more volume, tone and definition than the older cabs. A laser rather than a battering ram.  2 of my current 112 cabs are much louder and easily heard than any of those 215s.

YMMV

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I think for the weekend warriors - Yes the big bass cab is pretty much dead.

Touring bands (who still use backline) with roadies, will still use SVT810's.  I think it's fair to say though, that a lot of the modern touring big bands aren't using backline at all.

So I guess, Yes, the big bass cab is on the way out...

That's why you can get a used SVT810 for under £500 these days.  Nobody really wants them.

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Pansies!! That's what I say!!

Unleash the... FRIDGE!!! 

To be fair most 8x10s wouldn't squeeze through the door of the ol' local but I would love to see the landlords face if someone tried...:laugh1:

 

I remember securing a gig at a small pub as a duo and then rocking up with a drummer in tow, the landlord and his clientele were rather surprised to say the least...  

Dunno if they enjoyed the performance but they certainly were entertained by the sight of a drummer setting up a full kit in a 1.2m² space :scratch_one-s_head:

 

P.s. Whilst you're all knocking large cabs. I've got a Large Cab up for sale if any of you slappers, pickers and ticklers are interested... 😏

Keep the dream alive!!!

Edited by Ted Theodore Logan, III
shameless sales tactics
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Hmm, just bought a 4 * 8 ashdown on a whim.  small but bloody hell its a heavy li'l dude.

Edited by BaggyMan
speling mistake
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I switched from an old heavy 4x10 to a Vanderkley neo 2x12 simply based on weight. The neo is more than enough for the typical type of gigs I play....so I guess the trend will continue toward lighter, more easily handled cabs without losing out on sound quality. 

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1 minute ago, BlueMoon said:

...so I guess the trend will continue toward lighter, more easily handled cabs without losing out on sound quality. 

This is the good part. A bunch of speakers in a box has worked for decades, but sound quality in the new lighter cabs improves because these cabs are designed properly.

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I've owned an Ampeg 810, 215, and several 410s and 412s back when they were the norm. Nowadays they're just not needed, I've a 212 that will do the same job at a quarter of the weight, and I've inears that will preclude even that amount of lifting.

There's a Marshall 810 on FB at the moment for £150. That's how obsolete the big cabs are...

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I've only recently sold me Barefaced Six10. I also have a Barefaced two10.

 

A few reasons why i sold it.  The first was that i needed the money (new house buying) and i just couldn't justify keeping it. Usually at a gig there either isn't enough space, it doesn't warrant it, it won't fit in the singers car, (if he drives us),  there's a set of narrow stairs or i just plain can't be bothered with it.

I've been mostly using the two10 since i bought it and a haven't missed the big cab. Maybe it doesnt quite have the heft and it's smaller so without putting it on something its further away from the ear. but the benefits of ease of carrying, fitting in a car etc have made it easy to transition to it. Do i need the volume from more speakers? No i havent ever felt i needed more and at gigs when it would be needed it's been put through the PA.

 

Edited by simon88wilson

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I used to run a TE AH500X  through a 4x12 + 1x18.  Compare and contrast with the current Subway 800+ through a pair of Barefaced Super Compact G3s!!  Total weight of the new rig is about the same as the TE bi-amp head alone and it sounds sublime.

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For me the big gear simply sounds better. Put on a very big stage I think that the bigger gear really comes into its own. That said I loved the sound of my Ashdown RM500 & 2 x RM210s the other week. 

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3 hours ago, BassBod said:

Small cabs have got much better, so one or two 1x12” s can cover anything.  Also loading, parking and general gig logistics just keep on getting harder in most cities, so two lighter boxes just makes life easier.  
 

I didn’t want sell my 4x10 but it just wasn’t getting used, and gear needs to earn its house room 😳

+1. I have a Schroeder 2x10 that weighs 35 pounds and I've never wanted for volume. Schroeder declares it can put out the sound of a 4x10 (but of course he would say that). Whatever the case, it's a killer cab.

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I live up 4 flights of stairs so portability became an issue.  Then I discovered Barefaced cabs. Most gigs I can get away with a Super Midget, but I have a Big Twin 2 for larger venues and festivals.  I'd love an Ampeg valve head but the weight is too prohibitive, and TBH my Genz Benz Streamliner 900 has more than enough welly.

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I have two Mesa Boogie Subway 1x12's which sit unused in the cupboard at the moment purely because my Markbass Traveller 102p sounds great and is so much more portable than the Subway's are!

I do miss the sound and sheer presence of my old Mesa Boogie 1516E but I don't miss having to lug it in and out of the van / in and out of the venue one little bit!

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I tried the Berg AE112 cabs and then Markbass rigs but i was just never really happy with my tone and i kept tweaking things thru the set.

I have a Berg HT322 cab that will never be sold. Its heavy and bit bulky for a one man lift but it has castors.

I went back to larger cabs and bought myself a Mesa Mpulse 600 with Mesa PH212 cab. The amp is heavy as it flightcased but the cab i can handle on my own most times except when it comes to stairs.

The amp sits on top of my cab when moving around only separating when it comes to stairs. I love the tone. I set it at sound check and never have to touch my EQ all night. Its the tone i've been searching for many many years. I might at some point if the band starts gigging more go for the Mesa lightweight gear. Its expensive tho but reviews are good. WD800 with 115 cab matched with 210 i think.

Dave 

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Used to have a GK 1 x 15 and a GK 4 x 10. Now rock a Barefaced BB2 3rdGen. My back is happy with that. I don't gig often enough or play venues big enough to justify anything bigger.

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As a joint guitarist/bassist I often find these threads fairly amusing. Guitarists often get stick from bass players when they have the temerity to trundle a 412 onto the stage - the moreso if they have the further temerity to say they need it for their sound. Apparently though, an SVT 810 for the same purpose is fine.

My current guitar amps are a Cornford Hurricane (widebody 112) for most things electric (hopefully soon to be downsized to something smaller and lighter), AER compact (1x8 I believe) for acoustic and a DV Little Mark (same company that makes the Markbass Micro, and about the same size) for Jazz.

My current bass rig is a Streamliner 600 and a single Vanderkley EXT 112. It's as much as I'd ever need for a gig; any more could be very easily dealt with by the D/I on the back of the Streamliner.

In fairness I don't gig anymore, but I would - and in some cases did - use any of them in a live situation or a recording session.

Just my opinion of course, but given the kind of kit that's now available to both guitarists and bassists, rigs that are the size and weight of the player guite frankly look a bit Neanderthal to me whatever style of music you play. If you like to show people how long your bonnet is then that's fine of course, but let's not kid ourselves about actually needing them for 'your' sound.

Oh, and I would add that I've played guitar for over 50 years and bass for around 30 years (and like to nurse the conceit that I know a little bit about amps & cabs), but if somebody feels the need to lecture me about why they actually need an 810 stage rig then by all means knock yourself out. I'm all ears. :)

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Wouldn't lecture you on 810 cabs but what i've found after 40+ yrs playing bass is the depth of the cab seems to make a fair bit of difference IMO 

The Berg AE112 and Markbass rigs i had weren't that deep. I've tried a "deep" lightweight cabs from Markbass (410) that sounded good. 

The Mesa lightweight cabs i've been looking at are also quite deep but i've still to try them out.

Over the years I've gone from the standard Marshall stacks to 215's then onto custom cabs that i used for 20+ yrs then trying various good quality lightweight cabs and back to what i still regard as heavy the Mesa PH212. 

I buy a bass rig for the tone i like to hear. My full band loved it when i changed to the Mesa rig and i've had many comments at gigs on the depth of tone i have. Some gigs its just my backline and others where its thru the PA then its down to what i hear on stage. The lightweight cabs just didn't do it for me. My band told me they could "hear and feel" the bass on stage with the Mesa rig. They didn't have that with my lightweight rigs but then again they also said same when i was using an Ampeg 810.

I'm not a fan of 810 cabs to be honest. Not just the physical size but the tone doesn't justify the effort of humping it around for me.

At the end of the day its down to personal choice and each individual being happy with whatever they prefer to use.

When you're younger its easier and how a rig looks on stage plays an important part. Now that i'm older and wiser its purely down to how it sounds.

Dave

 

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