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Acme Cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dakine, Aug 4, 2003.


  1. Hi All,

    I'm very intrigued by Acme cabs and have a couple of questions.

    What does the high end sound like, compared to other bass cabs with tweeters? I've read that the high end on Acme's is a bit "challenging" because it's much different sounding than "normal" cabs.

    Do Acme's sound similar to playing through a hi-fi stereo system (at much higher SPL, of course)?

    Do they sound like what you hear through a headphone amp?

    I have a Carvin 2x10 w/tweeter and am looking to upgrade. I have a QSC PLX which should be a good match for the less efficient Acme. My bass is a Pedulla with bright roundwound strings.

    Thanks,

    -David
     
  2. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    David,

    I was intrigued by Acme cabs last year, and went out and got two Low B2's (use a Kern pre + QSC power amp). After a few gigs, I ended up selling both of them and returning to my Goliath I 4x10 cab. The Acme's did indeed sound different, and I simply prefer the sound of a "colored" cabinet when playing live. And the Acme's are decidedly lower-volume than many other cabs.

    The Acme's sound did have a resemblance to playing through my studio monitors... but I personally don't particularly like that sound, particularly for fretted basses, and especially for slap-style playing. Slower attack, not as much texture... just generally less interesting to my ears.

    The Acme sound is not for everyone... do a search on this forum and you'll generally find people realy like, or really don't. They are nice and compact, and actually fit in my car's trunk, unlike the Ampeg 2x10 which I got later (and am very happy with... nice and meaty tone).

    Greg
     
  3. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    The Acme's certainly SEEM to lack a certain amount of "highs." In actuality, you're hearing your instrument's full range all the way across the spectrum.

    Most enclosures have a hefty bump in the mids, unlike Acmes which are flat. Though this means you have to dial in the mids yourself, it also means you can take them out. The same goes for the high end and the low end.

    What you put into an Acme is what you get out of an Acme - so you know exactly what your bass and EQ and effects are doing. The benefit? If you play into big PA setups (like me), you'll hear the precise signal being sent through DI to the mixing desk. I've never had a problem hearing myself above a pair of Marshall half stacks at normal stage volumes (but no excessive overdrives, etc. in use).

    Just make sure you have plenty of power on hand. Each of my 4 ohm Low-B2's get 660 watts. At the bare minimum, you should have 350 watts as a starting point.
     
  4. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    what lonny says is true. but what MG says is true too! just depends if you really like that DI sound.

    take your preamp and plug it into a mixing board listen to what you get, and that's pretty much the Acme's. if you need more highs, simply dial in more. because the Acme's are SOO flat, people dont understand that you have to be even more aggressive with your EQ settings to get sounds that your used to with "colored" cabs.

    that's why with my various Acme's, i love using my Aguilar DB680. i love how it sounds thru the board, and love its amazing versatility. if i merely EQ with my ears, instead of my eyes, i can get some very very tasty tones.

    also, i wouldnt use headphone amps or even so-called "hifi" stereo's as comparisons to the Acmes. headphone amps and stereos have their own coloration you need to consider, and both have LOTS of coloration like extra bass and extended highs for a more seductive sound. the only real comparison are a nice mixer and some studio monitors.
     
  5. Thanks, very useful info. I hear you saying that Acmes are less "meaty" and have a less pronounced high end than "normal" 2x10+tweeter cabinets. Plus they are less efficient, but I already knew that.

    I'm concerned that my Alembic F1-X might not have the EQ flexibiliy needed to dial in a "traditional" tone with Acmes. The Alembic tone controls sound great and have tremendous range, but there is no sweep which especially important for mids and low-mids.

    Is anyone using an Alembic F1-X with Acmes? Do the EQ controls give you what you need?
     
  6. I had a previous gen B4. Not my sonic cup of tea. Great bottom end but weak in the mids up. I used it effectively w/an Eden D410XLT. Killer system but very rarely did I require the two cabs.
     
  7. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i know there are many many other factors involved...

    but like i alluded to before, try running your bass and Alembic preamp straight into your mixer with your the studio monitors, or with a nice pair of "flat" response headphones, or better yet, into a PA.

    if you like that, you'll love the Acmes.

    if you dont have that setup, then goto a GC, and plug into their stuff! :bag:
     
  8. sricabla

    sricabla

    Jul 4, 2003
    San Francisco
    From what I could tell, all of the above posts are true with the exception of your bass's electronics. I have an Alembic with an F2B and I
    followed the recommendations of users to run your rig on the flat side (EQ).With the primary side of your sound coming from the bass...I make as little adjustments on the preamp side as possible and I get a true tone from my bass, which some people might like or dislike. Yes the Acme's are an aquired taste, but if you like them they are true troopers for your overall bass sound. Yes they need lots of power...Yes they are hi fi( if you like that) but they are a no fuss cabinet and with the F2B (Fender twin inspired) you get a no frills "electric bass" sound with little effort.
     
  9. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Check out these threads:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=73511&highlight=acme+key

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70502&highlight=acme+key

    Basically I've found that Acme cabs sound just like studio monitors - if you like the sound of your bass in the studio control room then you'll like Acmes. I run them with my amp flat and then control the sound with my hands and my bass's onboard EQ. Give them plenty of power, I'm upgrading from 425W per Low-B2 to 900W each.

    Alex
     
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The F1-X uses the same tone stack as old Fender tube amps (Bassman, Showman, etc.). That means bass and treble are BOOST only and the midrange is CUT only (flattest response is like 1-10-1!!!).

    That means there are certain tone settings you just can't get...you can't boost mids at all and you're somewhat limited in your ability to cut bass or treble relative to the mids (though it's easy to cut bass or treble relative to the other). The EQ bands are also very interactive, meaning after you've tweaked the treble to perfection if you tweak the bass it will also affect the treble!

    This may seem stupid but the Fender tone stack has worked well on stages for about 50 years :cool:

    If you don't use basses with onboard cut/boost EQ and you need radical tone shaping, you might want to add an outboard EQ to the F1-X.
     
  11. Balor

    Balor

    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    I wouldn't call the Acme flat. There alot bassier than anything I've heard (that's not saying much but still...). This observation comes after playing a Dream Theater CD through mine, I almost couldn't hear guitar and the vocals were not as clear as they should have been. They seemed a bit far away

    My main bass as EMG pickups and I always considered her to be mid strong with very little real lows. The Acme changed that big time! My tone is now much more even.

    One more thing. Ever noticed that many people roll off the bass on these unit...

    take care
    PL
     
  12. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Well, I've been using my Alembic F-1X with my Acmes for more than a year now and couldn't be happier - thunderous, warm bass goodness. True, the Alembic doesn't give you much in the way of EQ versatility, but most of the time I'm completely happy leaving it flat.

    For added versatility and precision, particularly for fretless and live band settings, I've added an Aphex parametric equalizer to the rack, which makes those 850 Hz tones SING through the midrange drivers....mmwwwwwahhhhhhhh...

    At any rate, the Acme/Alembic combo should make you plenty happy, given the right amount of power. If you need more shaping capability $150 bucks will get you a good EQ.

    Lonnybass
     
  13. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Lonny speaks true...his rig does sound awesome. I too had a B2 and believe that 2 of them stacked vertically sound much better than one.

    The Acmes would sound totally different than your Carvin...

    Oh...here's tone-master Lonny takin' a ride:D
     
  14. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    How strange - what were you using to drive the Acmes? This is completely the oppposite of my experiences with a $500 CD player into my Mackie M1400 in stereo into a pair of Acmes mounted on my hi-fi speaker stands - I used that set up as my stereo when my hi-fi amp broke and it sounded incredibly accurate, plenty of highs and mids. The only downside is that it was somewhat fatiguing due to the relentlessly accurate and honest sound. Are you sure that the mid/high protection bulb wasn't blown when you tried this?

    Alex
     
  15. Balor

    Balor

    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    just one small quesetion... how can I know they're still intact?

    PL
     
  16. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    dang it, you guys! :mad:

    all this talk is makin' me guilty for selling off my 2x10, and giving me GAS for an Acme 4x10!

    anyone else using one? i know the weight of the 2x10 and my pair of 1x10's, but is the 4x10 really that "unmanagable"? it'd actually be lighter than a pair of the 2x10's. no?

    and if guys are using 900 watts into their B2's, how much power would i need for the B4?! i've got the Peeve DPC1400x, would that be enough?

    sorry for hijacking your thread, dakine! :meh:
     
  17. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    You'll know if the crossover fuse is blown but you have to remove the grill and upper driver to find out. It's an automotive turn signal light bulb, #1156. If the filament is broken or you hear rattling when you shake the bulb, time for a new one.

    I replaced both of mine on Sunday - it cost me $1.99 and took about 20 minutes, and I'm back in business.

    Another cool thing about Acmes - if you have a bunch of basses...say, six :), you'll hear the differences between all of them quite clearly.

    It's actually become hard for me to test drive instruments in music stores using their stock Hartke/Peavey/Ampeg enclosures becuase I find myself wanting to hear what the basses sound like without all the harshness and coloration.

    Billy B from LZ...that guy in the picture is good lookin!

    Lonnybass
     
  18. Balor

    Balor

    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    thanks for the info, I'll check that.

    just tried the acme as a thrid speaker... it really those bring much nicer and stronger bass. Can't say my Wharfedale 8.4 are bass shy, but the B2 really those make a very nice sub!

    to answer an earlier question; I use the line in of my iamp800 with either a discman or my home system.

    thanks
    PL
     
  19. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    Pierre!!

    why didnt you say it was you?!? you're the one i sold my old Acme 2x10. i thought your name looked familiar. well, good to know that you found it a good home, and that it got thru customs ok.

    btw, try running your CD player thru a mixer, or your CD player deck from your home stereo into a power amp into the Acme, and you'll hear how incredible the Acme can be! i'm actually using my 1x10 pair as a mini PA / home stereo. :bassist:

    tho the EA is supposedly very flat, it still does some bass inducing to a certain small degree.

    btw, thx to all this Acme talk, i just ordered a 4x10 cab from Andy! darn GAS!! :meh:
     
  20. Joker-

    My B-4 (4ohm) is super happy with a DPC 1400X pushing it (bridged mono)!!! I'll take 78lbs on for this kind of tone any day! It puts my previous 2x10''-1x18'' set-up to shame.

    For the original poster-

    I went with Acme after running across them (by chance) on the net. They seemed to be the ideal sollution for the sound I had always been striving to acheive. I had been trying various bi-amp set-ups (2x10 w/either a 15'' or 18''), 12's, 4x10's, etc... To bring out the deffinition. What it boiled down to is that I REALLY love the sound of my bass, an early 90's MIJ Fender Jazz ("Foto Flame", 60's re-issue) w/EMG's and Badass II. It records like a dream. It's no surprise that most of "my tone" comes from how I play and the sound of my bass. I had never been able to match the tones I'd acheived in the studio live until plugging into an Acme. I now have the ability to sound however I want to. With a 2 week trial pollicy you've really got nothing to loose.