Acme Low B-1 question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Robert Gross, Oct 16, 2021.


  1. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    I just picked up an Acme Low B-1 series 3 at a local music store. It has the three speakers (like all Acme cabs) but no attenuators for the 5" speaker or horn. Did they get rid of the attenuators on the series 3? There isn't much info on the Acme site.

    The cab sounds great, so I don't think anyone modified this or did something dumb - like removing the control plate on the back. I'm just surprised that there's no control over the various speakers.
     
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  2. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Acme's used to have a high and mid attenuator. (I have an older B-1.)

    I don't know why Andy dumped them but I'm gonna guess that they are redundant. The eq on the amp controls what frequencies go to the drivers.

    Example, so like if the high end on the amp is rolled off or eq-ed away, the tweeter horn is not going to produce those sounds anyhow.

    That's my guess.
     
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No, the series 3 now uses fixed-attenuation crossovers.

    Riis
     
  4. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    This is my second B-1. I assumed they would be identical, but my older one has both attenuators. I due use them depending on the gig. A there is a huge tone difference when those are rolled all the way on or off.
     
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  5. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    Any guesses whether the fixed crossover has the attenuators full on, or half on?
     
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  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Good question. E-mail Andy Lewis @ Acme for the full details. I still have the series 2 cabs. IIRC, the flattest setting is midrange -5, tweeter -2 but YMMV.

    Riis
     
  7. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    I've always left the attenuators cranked all the way up on my older Acmes and I've never felt the mid driver or tweeter were anywhere close to dominating over the woofer.
     
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  8. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    Good call. I will email Andy right now. Thank you!
     
  9. gwangi

    gwangi

    Jul 4, 2009
    Forbidden Valley
    Not trying to derail this thread but I just went to the ACME site and nothing comes up as far as trying to order a cabinet, does anybody know if ACME is still in business?
    I did try sending an email but haven't heard back!!!!
     
  10. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    I've used the attenuators from half on, to all on, depending on the volume. At high volume - if I'm really pushing the cab - the highs can get a little sizzley.
     
  11. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    I just went to the website as well. There is a link to order, but that link goes nowhere. Weird.
     
  12. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    I never really took a close look at the attenuators until just now. They are labeled 0-20...who knew? Are you saying flat is mid on 5 and high on 2, as they are labeled on the back? If you got that info from Andy, then that's probably how the fixed attenuators are designed. My understanding is that Acme's sound is transparent, what goes in is what comes out.
     
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  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I got this from my "legacy" series 2 manual (20 yrs old?) and is largely anecdotal and based on keyboard & PA applications. The manual is still available on the website. These are my B-2 cabs in our rehearsal space:

    AcmeCabs.jpg
     
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  14. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Pluto
    Agreed. I have two series 3 B-1s and even with one 10", there is enough low end that it is hard to get upper mids and highs to be above the lows without much rolling off of the lows in EQ. These cabs definitely benefit from high pass filters set fairly high, just to get a bit more balance, and to be able to push them harder safely.

    The low end is more dominant at lower volumes. When you crank the volume, the sound becomes more balanced, at least to my ears.

    After a show I played some years ago, I was hearing some distortion and buzz in one of the tweeters. I convinced myself that I had managed to blow the tweeter. Andy replied that it is almost impossible to blow a series 3 tweeter, especially at the volume I was using for that show, implying that the crossover to the tweeter is set so high that it doesn't get much power. He didn't say what the crossover points were, though. I brought that cab home and it sounded perfect, so I apparently was getting some sort of vibration on that stage that was at a high frequency. The B-1 cabs, tiny as they are, are well known for their low end, and I have heard rattles and other sounds in a variety of venues I've played in.

    There is nothing quite like a B-1 or two B-1s with a Quilter BB800 on top. Tiny stack, but my gosh, the sound is incredible. A bit of HPF or bass shelving rolloff makes it possible to run louder, safely, than you would think possible with these. Andy has always said that his cabs like power, and there is plenty with the BB800. @Robert Gross - you should give the Quilter a try with your B-1! Also, I picked up a Broughton Filter Equalizer this year. That pedal compliments the BB800 and the B-1 beautifully. I have no idea if anyone else is using that combination, but it is nearly perfect for what I do.

    I do remember reading this summer somewhere, and I apologize for not remembering where, that Andy is/was in the process of ending new cabinet production at Acme Sound. He is committed to his products, so I would be pretty confident that he'll continue offering support as long as he is able, and can source parts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
  15. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Pluto
    Acme's Facebook page has not been posted to since June 2020. Sometimes people will post comments to the most recent post asking what is going on with a company, or rumors of closings, and the like, but nothing like that appears on that 6/20 post.

    I really hope Andy is not actually retiring. Maybe what I saw was just a rumor. If he is, he's had a nice long run and made a lot of bassists and other musicians very happy over the 30+ years he built cabinets!
     
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  16. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    IMHO leaving off the L-Pads likely reduces cost and increases reliability.

    Eliminating the L-Pad also ensures the phase response through the crossover points is as good as it can be.

    HPFs and LPF incur variable phase shifts through the crossover region. One filter has leading phase and the other has lagging phase. Ideally the phase of both filter sections meets at the crossover frequency (a smooth handoff/transition).

    When you change the level of one driver with respect to the other, you actually shift the effective crossover frequency. This will typically introduce a bit of phase error between the two drivers.

    I modified the following image. Notice the crossover point is pushed lower when the level is raised on the high range driver.
    upload_2021-10-16_15-13-51.png

    Years ago I had one of the original Low-B2s. I was a decent sounding cab, but I would not call it flat or HiFi as it had sort of it'd own unique baked-in sound. I ran the mid and tweeter wide open and still felt the lows were still hyped a bit. Also, since the sensitivity of these cabs is unusually low, it tended to have limited dynamic range and run out of headroom in loud settings. I am sure I would have been a lot happier with a pair of the Low-B2s.

    One of the last cabs I used was an Eden D210XLT. Although it was not perfect, it allowed me to hear myself way better and I used it successfully at high volume on some really big stages.
     
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Pretty good description. I run the pair with no midrange nor tweeter attenuation and the lows still have the tendency to override. My lower enclosure (pic'd above) is the B-2W: just the 10" drivers which accentuates the issue. I run each enclosure off a dedicated amp channel and attenuate the "sub" to balance things out. I'd rather have two full-range B-2's.

    Riis
     
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  18. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    I have a n Acme LowB 3 with no controls on the switch plate and it has not been modified
    Duke
     
  19. Glennbassmann

    Glennbassmann

    Nov 6, 2019
    I usually have both pads a 12:00 o'clock ..sounds fantastic... upload_2021-10-16_18-1-57.jpeg
     
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  20. Robert Gross

    Robert Gross Supporting Member

    May 23, 2018
    I do like that my series 3 (bottom) and series 2 (top) are ported out of opposite sides. The sound is very full with the ports left and right - at least in my living room. I haven't gigged them yet, but I think the pair sounds better than my Low B2. So far, I've turned the attenuators on my series 2 off, and let the series 3 take care of the highs. Very nice so far. IMG_0267.jpg
     
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