Acme - really low?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Suburban, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I read a lot of ranting about the low end of Acme speakers, but I keep wondering what you mean.

    Are they really low?
    I mean, how low? Sure, a low B is no sweat, I know that, but what about real lows: F# or even E?
  2. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Which octave are you talking about? The Acmes handle the low B of a 5-string bass brilliantly - if you want to go lower than that and still get a true fundamental you'll need either a Bag End ELF system or an Accugroove Whappo Grande.

  3. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    It depends on your criteria; to make a cab reproduce the fundamental frequency of a low B as loudly and cleanly as any other note, is a lot of work, and the lower notes are even worse.

    If the criteria is to produce some kind of sound without taking immediate damage, then I would agree that it's no sweat.

    It's all in the specs.
  4. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I had an Acme B4 and a B2 and I discovered that I was never hearing the fundamental of the lowest notes until I played through those cabs. All that low end extension = SLAM! Its the kind of bass that makes your gut feel funny! :eek: They are power hogs though and I sold then because they didnt get loud enough for me.
  5. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    Question about the Acme's being power hungry...

    I am currently running an SVT4-Pro, and running momo at 4ohms I can (supposedly) push 1200w. Will this be enough to get decent volume from either the B2 or B4 cabs?
  6. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I was using a Mackie bridged into my Acmes. 1400 watts max (probably more like 1200) into 4 ohms. The B4 at GuitarX is 4 ohm but Im not sure about the B2. The cabs were loud but I wanted louder. Consider that my other rig is an SVT! :D I would take your amp to the store and try it out. Gary would be more than happy to let you jam as loud as you want.

    PS I fount the Bergs to be the sound I was looking for. A lot of people like the Acmes but I didnt after I used them for a while. The Bergs are expensive but worth it IMO! :bassist:
  7. I'll echo some of the things already said. If you've never FELT the fundamental of a low B then you're missing out. Most "off the shelf" bass cabs don't do a lot under 40-50hz. All you hear is the harmonics of the note you're playing, not the fundamental frequency.

    The best comparison I could make (from actual experience) to my Low B-4 would be an Eden XST. The Acme is far more "detailed" sounding across the full spectrum. The eden still had a little of that mid "hump" (although not as much as an XLT) and didn't quite push the low B as well, IMO.

    Now as far as LOW is concerned; Your drop tunings are going to sound louder with a cabinet that can produce more of the fundamental frequecies then "typical" bass cabs. Be aware that to acheive volume on these low notes you will need lots of clean power. Currently I'm running a DPC1400X (1400 watts) into a 4ohm Low B-4. I have no issues with volume, YMMV.

  8. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Acme's will provide you with a HUGE booty all the way down to a Low B string (31 hz) - a pair of B2s or a B4 will destroy any 18" sub.

    DON'T use Acmes for anything lower than 31 hz (like detuning a B string) as you will likely destroy your drivers. They're tuned to go low...within normal reason.

    I use a pair of B2s that are fed approximately 700 watts each at 4 ohm. I've used them with as little as 350 watts with success, but to be safe, I'd have at least 600 watts on hand per B2 (or 1200 per B4)

  9. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Lonny's right about being careful with your Acmes. I've been to the Acme factory (Andy's basement) several times, and he talks about the numerous warranty claims for blown woofers. People are driving these cabinets with extreme amounts of power (which makes them sound really good at times), but slap a low B string a few too many times and you'll blow the speakers.
  10. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I agree about not trying to feed a Acme anything lower than the B-string! They are very nice cabs, but don't try and use a octave pedal with them.....the speakers aren't designed for them.
  11. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    obviously, you need to try a B4... ;)
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    ya know, not to sound like a broken record, but i'm pretty sure it has to do with the fact that alot of guys dont let the speakers properly break in.

    as soon as they get it, they think, "hey, lets run 2000 watts into my B2, and really hear this famed Low B!" :rolleyes:

    course, i nearly did that, too... :meh:

    but yea, no "Fieldy-isms" with the Acme cabs, pleez... :p
  13. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    Well, I just joined the Acme club.

    Metron - You're old B4 has found a new home. I went to Guitar X on Saturday and picked up your old cab. Gary gave me a great deal on it. I'm pushing it with my SVT4-Pro (1200W @ 4 ohms) and this thing produces the most buttery smooth sounds, while being very punchy at the same time. This is the sound I have been looking for. This cab is in like new condition and I couldn't be happier. I'll try to get pictures once I figure out how to post them on the boards.

    BTW.... Anyone who lives in the Denver Metro area must visit Gary at Guitar X. He is a very cool guy. Needless to say I will be doing much more business with him in the future.
  14. Metron (who's a great guy to deal with) also helped me join the Acme club by selling me his B-2. I've done 3 gigs with it and I'm very satisfied. I'll do a full report later this week.
  15. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Hey Farley,
    I played through that cabinet on Thursday at GuitarX. I really liked the sound, especially the low end extension, it sounded like the deepest and tightest cab in the store. I think I will check out the B2 when I go back in. I think that a pair of those might be right up my alley. Or maybe a couple of Tri 112s. Decisions, decisions.

  16. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Good to hear Farley! I hope the cab works for you. I know the Berg 210 I traded it in for is working for me! :) I agree about GuitarX too. Gary does great business there and Ill be back in the future for more toys!

    Thanks for the props Joe_A! :cool: You have to do what you can for fellow low-enders you know?!?!? Im glad my old cabs found good homes. They are both essentially new so you guys got killer deals on them. Used each for only a couple gigs. Ive found my sound in the Berg cab and Ill be gigging with it this weekend again. Everyones happy! :D :bassist:
  17. dnburgess


    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
    This thread touches on a number of important points.

    1. How low will Acme go?

    All Acmes are down 3dB at 40Hz and down 6dB at 30.87Hz (low B). These are anechoic measurements.

    In real world applications you will most likely be getting some floor or wall loading which means they are pretty flat down to low B.

    The response rolls off fairly steeply below low B - so they are not well suited to applications where there is a lot of information below 31Hz.

    2. The woofers in Acme Low B models have a break-in period.

    The surrounds on these woofers have a higher stiffness new-out-of-the-box than they do after some hours of use. This has two real-world consequences.

    The first is that the ability of the systems to reproduce the lowest notes doesn't reach it's full capability until the surrounds have been loosened up by being used. The second, and perhaps more important consequence, is that when driven to their maximum excursion, the woofers are much easier to damage when they are new, than after they've been broken in. It is more likely that the cones will be overstressed the when the speakers are brand new, than at any time after they've been used.

    How much break-in time is necessary? They have been broken in using a sine-wave generator in less than three hours. When playing bass, it is very difficult to predict how long it would take for a specific person to do it. It depends on your style, and how loudly you play. The best advice is to start slowly, and work your way into it. Within reason, of course, the longer, and the more gradual the better.

    3. Volume vs sound quality

    The tonal balance of Acme speakers does not change a lot with volume level. So you do not need to drive an Acme hard or with a big amplifier to get good sound quality.

    Also the tonal balance is very consistent across the model range. What changes is the sensitvity and maximum power handling.

    The bigger Acmes are more sensitive - so they sound louder given the same power, as well as handling more power.

    4. How much power is enough?

    That depends on the style of music, band size and venue size.

    A Roland JC120 (60Wpc into 8 ohms) driving 2 Low B1s sounded great with a jazz trio - but died in a big band setting.

    A good rule of thumb when using transistor power amps seems to be that twice the Acme's rated power will satisfy most users. For example, you'll probably be very happy driving a Low B2 (rated at 350W) with an amp rated at 700W RMS 20Hz-20kHz (into the same impedence).

    5. Volume, sensitivity and power rating

    The sensitivity, power capacity and maximum output of a loudspeaker are related by a precise mathematical relationship:

    Om = (10 x log Pm) +S1, where

    Om = maximum output
    Pm = maximum input power
    S1 = sensitivity measured at one Watt/one meter

    For example, even though the Low B4s are not the most sensitive speakers in the world at 96dB, their maximum continuous power rating of 700W means that they are capable of producing 126dB continuous output. This is seriously loud.

    I hope all this helps.
  18. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I swear there's a conspiracy going on to make me buy a Clarus for my jazz gigs (there's something about a 4U rack with PLX 3002 and flashy tuner that seems just so incongruous in that setting).

  19. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Has anyone compared what two B2s sound like in Comparison to a B4? I tried out a B4 the other day and I was amazed with not only the low end, but how tight the cab sounded. Man, it was really sweet to hear such deep, tight bass. I really found it to be comparable to the Accugroove gear that I tried and it is certainly a fraction of the price. I A/Bed the B4 with a Bergantino HT 322 and it was very apparent how much tighter the B4 sounded. Anyway, I would like to get two B2s ideally, for flexibility, but I love how the B4 sounded.

    I will shoot about 1000watts into them with an iAmp 800, so it should be about right (based on the recommendations on the website).

  20. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Two B2's are essentially identical to a B4 with the added bonus of a second midrange driver and horn. Properly EQ'ed, this can go a long way to making the enclosures punch through a stage mix.

    -user of two B2's (4 ohm) at 700 watts each
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