Phasing, really, a problem?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by randswoy, Jan 4, 2014.


  1. randswoy

    randswoy

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Greetings. I have been a member for 4 years and this is my first post. I have played bass 42 years. Bass guitar, upright and tuba. I have been reading about the problems of running miss-matched cabinets creating phasing problems. Isn't this nitpicking since that in any loud venue, bass is run direct to the PA using your bass rig as a monitor for the stage. You then have a phasing issue between the house and your rig. It seams that if you like what you hear and it sounds good in the house, just play and enjoy. I have used a mix of cabinets over the years and never had a complaint. I look forward to your comments. Thanks
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
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    PDX, OR
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    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Whether it is nitpicking depends on whether the person examining the situation is content with their sound.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Sometimes it's nitpicking, sometimes it isn't. All depends on the amount of phasing you get. If you can't hear any, it's nitpicking. If certain notes consistently disappear in a mix when you play, it's not.
  4. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    You get trouble with FoH vs rig if you have tons of bottom from your rig, which you shouldn't need for monitoring. Hence SVTs being a popular big stage choice, rolled off lows and tall.
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  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree that if it sounds good, it is good. IMHE, I have been happier with totally homogeneous cabinets than I have with mixing sizes, builders, or types, but oddly, a mix of an 8 ohm goliath ll 410 with an 8 ohm Epifani NYC210 worked very well with a variety of heads, including an SWR 350 silverface, a Crest CA6 run in two mono channels, and a Carvin R1000. They just liked each other, and sounded better than when either was paired with an SWR S.O.B. 115.

    A pairing from hell was an SWR Workingman's 115 combo with an SWR goliath Jr. lll 210, whereas the SWR S.O.B. 115 with the SWR goliath Jr. lll 210 was OK, but never quite enough for my louder gigs. All IME, IMHO, YMMV, usw, etc.!!! :D
  7. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    When hooking up multiple cabs, the biggest concern is possible frequency cancellation in overlapping bass frequencies. Just because the electrical signal is going to both cabinets at the same time doesn't necessarily mean it will reach the different drivers at once because crossover networks can cause tiny delays that might not match between cabinets. In the worst case, you have cab A speakers sucking while cab B speakers are pushing, and get missing bass range. But in practice, it tends to be only the upper bass or lower midrange that this can get hairy, depending on what cabs you're mixing and matching.

    The other phasing issues are less severe, and occur at the mid to upper frequencies where you get nodes and antinodes as you walk across the field in front of your speakers. Some people consider the effect so strong they call it "beaming," implying you have zero off-axis response. This effect can occur in front of a single 4x10 or 8x10 cabinet, though how much of a real issue it is tends to be an arguing point around these parts. You can demo a 4x10 or 8x10 and make your own decision on how much this effect is felt in the real world.
  8. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    Forgot to include those who choose to blast bass from a big cabinet redundant to PA support. That's a recipe for wicked antinodes and nodes, or complete cancellation of certain LF's unless the stars align.
  9. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    Aug 26, 2009
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    New Zealand
    Nodes antinodes and mush. Use two mixed cabs, what the hey, go hard. Onstage you'll only hear your cabs and be blissfully unaware of the mayhem. If you want a mic with that even I'm going to laugh.
  10. 10cc

    10cc

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    I have found when using different cabinets 10's with 15's or 18's along with different heads a good way to dial out phasing issues was with my bbe sonic maximizer. It seemed to speed up particular frequencies so my sound and tone where all inline. I do not know if that is what the maximizer was designed for but it worked until I found the head and cab match I use now for everything. Oh yeah another thing, if it's only on stage than just roll with it. It don't matter anyway in the grand scheme of things.
  11. Mugre

    Mugre

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    Some P.A. companies delay the mains to the backline. Fidelity is a problem that we chip away at little by little as we grow our understanding not only of what sound does but how our ears perceive sound and how our brains process sound.

    Now about speaker mixing. You are creating a unique set of peaks and valleys (from comb filtering) in the frequency response yet it's not always "wrong" or unpleasant. It's just like light bulbs. How can we look at one bulb at a color temp of 5500k and find it pleasing, and then look at another also rated at 5500k and find it so ugly as to be unusable? Well what they've come to understand is that light can be the same color temp but have a unique set of peaks and dips in the full visible spectrum. With the mixed bass cabs, if it cuts the wrong frequency it's the audio equivalent of the nastiest GFL bulb you've ever seen and no amount of e.q. will fix it. If it cuts a frequency that you'd probably excise with e.q. anyways, you'll likely not notice and be happy with your stack of mixed speakers. I have a book of bass exercises and where the author talks of equipment choices he discusses bi-amp rigs. He was never happy splitting just highs out to the 2x10. Once he defeated the bi-amp and sent full range to both the 10's and the 15, he liked the sound. One way was more ideal on paper but it wasn't what HE wanted to hear from that bass and those cabinets so for him less better was better.
  12. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    Sounds like someone who doesn't know how biamping works.
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I think I know what book you're talking about. And yep, biamping works best if you have cabs made for it rather than two full range cabs with different sized speakers. It ain't the speaker size...it's the design.
  14. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

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    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/bi-amping-terrible-idea-bass-rig-852563/

    Everything ampey's been discussed (at least) once on TB:AMPS!


    (Me, I bi-amp and usually like the results.
    It has been a bit of a learning curve.)
  15. sharkbait130

    sharkbait130

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    hagerstown md
    I have used mismatched speaker cabs a few times and never noticed any problems with that , but it may have just been dumb luck (or my poor hearing.) 4 10's and an 18 to be specific. To top it off , I think the 4 10's were 8 ohm cabs and the 18 was a 4 ohm. (Don't get your panties in a bunch , the amp was 2 ohm capable.) Played indoor and outdoor gigs with it but when I had PA support I only used the 4 10 cab so I don't have any personal experience if the mismatched would have caused a problem there. Like i said though , it may have just been dumb luck that there wasn't a problem.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Who's going to complain? The audience doesn't have a clue why there's more bass over here than over there, and you aren't out there to hear it. But it's still real and, to my mind, undesirable.
  17. randswoy

    randswoy

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    Dec 21, 2008
    A few years ago I started using an Aguilar GS112 for small gigs and a stage monitor at church. I worked well for me with proper eq. For larger gigs I bought a second GS112. I found two stacked to be overly scooped and hard to eq. I didn't like the sound. Recently I had to use the GS112 stacked on my eminece 3015 loaded TL606 15" cab. outdoors with no PA support. The scooped GS with the Mid-rangy 15 sounded surprisingly good together. Od setup, Many compliments from people I trust.
  18. Basshappi

    Basshappi

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    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson,AZ
    I have been a gigging bassplayer for over 35 years and at a guess I would say that maybe 10% of all the gigs I've played have I had PA support. All the rest required my stage rig to carry the room.

    To be fair, except for a dubious flirtation with bi-amping back in the 80's, I have always run rigs that used same sized speakers. I've used 10's, 12's 15's and 18's and the only cabs I found unusuable were W's and scoops. Everything else I could make it work.

    It is a matter of being able to evaluate a room and then use the EQ section of your amp to make adjustments, get as good a mix as you can and then just play music. I don't wish to seem as if I don't care about my tone and how I sound, but I came to understand long ago that most clubs and small venues were never designed for live music. Even with a decent PA system you cannot force a space to be something it isn't so there will always be some trade-offs.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Very true. But do you want to contribute to the problem or do you want to eliminate one factor that could contribute to the problem?

    Not saying it always contributes, but I've yet to play a mixed rig I like as much as a matched rig.
  20. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    "problem" is probably too strong a word.

    a mis-matched stack will work, in that it'll be louder than either cab by itself and the top cab will be easier to hear up by your ears.

    the idea is just that a comparable matched stack (of cabs you like) will work better, so that's the smart way to spend your money.
  21. Basshappi

    Basshappi

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    Feb 12, 2007
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    Tucson,AZ
    Exactly.
    During my "bi-amp days" I came to the realization that in the small to medium sized rooms we played the benefits were minimized to the point of not justifying the effort. I was always able to dial in a usuable sound quicker and easier with a full range signal into matched speakers/cabs.

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