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Amp stands: tilted vs level

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GuiTuber, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. GuiTuber


    Feb 19, 2015
    San Antonio, TX
    I realize I might be starting a $#!+ storm with this, as there will certainly be strong opinions either way, but I was wondering about the advantages and disadvantages between level and tilted amp stands.

    The idea with PA speakers is to put them above everyone's head to reduce obstruction of the sound. The idea of raising a bass amp is to allow the low frequencies to travel out better.

    So, would it be better to point your bass amp skyward, as it were, rather than straight out? Or would tilting it point the sound too far over everyone's head and just bounce it off the roof, or worse being on a patio and having the sound disappear into the night?

    What say y'all?
  2. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    On the floor tilting upward works well. I often place smaller cabinets on a stand that raises them about three feet.

    Either way, for me it is all about monitoring better. This makes a tremendous difference when playing.
    joe vegas and Humbled like this.
  3. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Pulling a bass cab off the floor is going to reduce the low end response somewhat.
    You might be able to hear yourself better with the speaker cabinet pointing up at you or elevated
    closer to your ears, but the sound will be a bit thinner.

    In the studio, we laid my SVT 8X10 on its side, full floor contact, wheels off, to help fatten up the sound.

    Stands have an advantage recording at home where you don't want floor contact to vibrate down below.
    Tilt stands help you focus the sound where you want it rather than just beaming the audience out front.
    They also discourage stubborn pets from trying to sleep on your gear and elevate cabinets out of danger zone.
  4. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    If you search, Bill F once said that if a bass cabinet was something less than 24" above the floor there would be NO loss in coupling.
    Personally, I have found that tilting the cabinet with a 2x4 or rack case cover gives me the best sound in a live band context.

    I really don't think the math adds up by laying a bass cabinet on its' side for recording with close mic placement.
    If you are going for a room sound with a mic a few feet out there would be no benefit.
    Perhaps I'm wrong but I would need to see the math to be convinced otherwise.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
    jnewmark likes this.
  5. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    I use stands and like them to get the cab closer to my head AND to keep the rumble down on stage. Guitar players often leave amps on the floor to keep the low end solid, but that's not an issue for bass amps, at least not my bass amps. There is a downside to rumbling the stage, which is unwanted low end harmonics and annoying your bandmates. (I've done a 180 on this within the last year or so. I used to really like the rumble but have been convinced otherwise.)

    As far as tilt vs non-tilted, I'd say whatever helps point the cab closer to your head to help as a monitor. This depends on how tall the cab is, really - taller cab needs less tilt. The better you can hear it, the potentially lower your stage volume has to be, which should be the goal unless there is no PA support for your bass. In that case, you may want to NOT point it at your head so you can make it louder without drowning out everything else.

    My tilted stand from Saturday's bar gig...
    iualum likes this.
  6. Orion61


    Feb 5, 2015
    NW Iowa
    I was listening to a band during setup and sound check where the Bass Player had his amp on the built in angle pointing it up in the air slightly.
    It was a Berhinger combo. (spelling?)
    I was at a table about 50' away. After going through a song, I asked him to try again with the same settings sitting flat and pointing straight out (He's a friend) The difference was pretty defined. The lows were better and the definition of notes were better.
    I have to add he was playing "barefoot: without PA support. He kept it down the rest of the night.
  7. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    For the most part, you're talking about a single cab, I suppose? But 2-box set-ups can also benefit from being elevated (level, of course ... tilting is still possible, I guess, although much more difficult).

    Yeah, it's mostly about being able to hear yourself as much as possible.

    Tilting of a separate amp/cab makes it a bit more difficult because you need to secure the amp (or it needs to be placed to the side). Not an issue with a combo.

    If no FOH, I much prefer level since it allows better forward projection of mids/highs. You may need the stand to be a bit taller, though, to get it close enough to ear level. If you do have FOH, when your rig is solely for monitoring, it's pretty much 6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of another, whichever you like more.
    High Camp likes this.
  8. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Cab was a flat back SVT 8X10. The difference was not huge but there was an improvement in fatness.
    It was also provided a really handy place to sit while tracking in the live room :)
  9. GuiTuber


    Feb 19, 2015
    San Antonio, TX
    I should have clarified the setting in my original posting, but this is what I was thinking about.

    For my band, two acoustics and percussions going through the PA and myself through my 200w/15" amp, my amp is for the audience, not for monitoring. So I'm wondering how the orientation of a raised amp will affect it's presence from the audience's perspective.
  10. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Well you won't be beaming the front rows, so that may be a good thing.
    Have someone else sit in on bass and see how it sounds out front or just run a long guitar cable so you can hear it out front.
  11. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
  12. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    The older vintage SVT 8X10 cabinet was on the factory removable dolly, so we laid it on its side and pulled the dolly.
    Laying it on its side gave the cab full contact with the floor so it boosted the low end a bit.

    We also put the SVT head on the floor, behind the cabinet to reduce the room mic picking up the cooling fan during quiet passages.
  13. I don't think the angle (flat or tilt-back) matters here, it is about getting the driver pointed at your ear. In my small club gigs I used a keyboard stand to raise the combo about 3' up (but level) and put my processor rack and monitor power amp on top of it so level was out of convenience (allowing stacking) only. In a tilt back application you still need to be a few feet away to get to where you are lined up with the driver. With a tall enough stand and placed level you can be right next to it for best monitoring and lowest possible stage volume.
  14. shadven

    shadven Twang-tastic Bass Player and Song Writer Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I rock, therefore I am.
    I gig with my B-15 quite a bit. It's a 1963(?) cab that tilts. I love it.
  15. Tilted or elevated everytime (unless SVT like/ tall-ish enclosures) ESPECIALLY in smaller playing areas that don't allow you to get far enough away from your cab/cabs. I flat out don't understand how any bassist and especially those guitarists who most often play louder than they need to, how having a lower profile cab blasting at their calves/back of the knees helps anyone, other than audiologists who will eventually have to help people with their hearing loss.
  16. Burwabit

    Burwabit Likes guitars that tune good and firm feelin women Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Lubbock, TX
    Do you mean Bill Fitzmaurice? Bill M is the Fender Blues Jr guy. :)
  17. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    I started with a big OS Sunn clone 2X15 and then went to dual 8X10 SVT cabs so hearing myself was never an issue.
    My little 1X15" practice/lazy gig cab was fine for small areas.

    Today, I think tilting an under-powered small rig towards you, so you can hear better is probably common practice.
  18. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I don't know if this is true for all SVT's, but the fan on mine is LOUD. I once used it on stage for a theatre production and the fan noise was a big problem. I disconnected the fan and took the back panel off the amp, and I put a box fan set on low speed right up against the back of it. Problem solved.
  19. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Mine was '73 Black Line Head. The fan was only a problem in the studio right before the part started or between quiet passages.
    I was running the SVT comparatively low volume, so the room condenser could pick it up.
  20. I remove the rear wheels off one of my Diesel 115 cabs in rehearsal rooms, to tilt it - so I can hear myself better. When performing, I stack two Diesel 115s, mostly so I can have one of the cabs closer to ear level.

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