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Anybody think heavy bass cabs sound better?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by adam precision, Sep 29, 2008.


  1. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ireland
    I've heard lightwieght cabs sounding good but i honestly think there is something missing.
    For example I heard two bands play the same venue. One band had a markbass cab the other had a ampeg cab. The ampeg filled things out better. It just filled the room with the the bass without being louder if you know what i mean.
    I don't know the science behind it. Maybe its the mass of wood resonating i don't know.
    I'm all for lightweight gear but i think my next cab purchase will have thick plywood construction and non neo speakers.
    Does anyone share this view?
     
  2. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    No, because it is wrong. It is not about weight, it is about rigidity! If you get equal rigidity with less weight then the cabs will sound identical (assuming matching speakers). However from what I have seen of many lightweight cabs they do not have as much bracing as I would like to see, so they may not be as rigid as some heavy cabs. Saying that, there are heavy cabs out there with very poor rigidity due to using particle board or OSB, neither of which have the stiffness of plywood (or MDF but that is far too heavy and brittle for gigging use IMO).

    Alex
     
  3. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Maybe Bill fitzmaurice will chime in. But no, more likely it's the volume of air being pushed by the cones' surface area- more speakers move more air. Was the Ampeg an 8x10? Solid construction is a plus too, but rigidity is more the issue, not mass, I think.
     
  4. I agree. I have not heard a lightweight cab do the job like a heavy cab. For example I own an Avatar Neo 410. It's a great cab for small clubs and for gigs that I do not have to move air. But put it up against my Ampeg 610 and there is no comparison. The Ampeg wins out.
     
  5. I agree too, but it's probably down to what Alex said. Remember the age old equation; Weight/Quality/Price, generally you can only have 2 of them ;)
     
  6. Alex's Barefaced 1x15 cab (lightweight) outperforms my Trace Elliot 1x15 (er, heavy). It outperforms in weight, in volume, in frequency response... Yes lightweight does sound as good, if not better.







    (Alex, where's my endorsement deal... ;) )
     
  7. Your also comparing 2 different companies. I'm no guru but would assume these cabs have different frequency responses. They may also have different "voicing" specs thus one may sound different than the other. I believe Ampeg is notorious for hanging out in the midrange..something that cuts loud and clear in a lot of setting, prob why you could hear it better. Lastly what amp/preamps were they using..Makes a difference too.. Doubt weight has anything to do with it.
     
  8. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ireland
    Both cabs (ampeg markbass) were 4x10
     
  9. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Beer's in the post! ;)

    Alex
     
  10. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Yep, all that too.
     
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    For a good bass sound you need a good PA system with a pair of these ...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. A heavier cab will vibrate less (sympathetically) therefore less cancellation and tighter response.

    My .02

    - Andrew
     
  13. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    No! A stiffer and more rigid cab will vibrate less. The mass is of very little relevance.

    Alex
     
  14. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    Theoritecally yes, but economically speaking you're probably going to add weight most of the time to get it.

    Clever bracing though, like in the ACME cabs, will get it. I just don't think most manufacturers make the effort to get all that clever... hence we get heavy cabs.
     
  15. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Many do I'm sure, but none of them are loudspeaker designers. :D
    Cleverness has nothing to do with it. It's cheaper to build a cab that's heavy rather than one that's braced.
     
  16. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    That's actually what I was alluding to- clever takes time, and time is money. My thoughts tend to come out more complicated than necessary sometimes.
     
  17. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    Were they using the same bass with the same head with the same eq settings? I don't know if what you were hearing was only the cab.
     
  18. If you could make a bass cab so it weighed 10lbs, and had it stiff enough so that it would not warp with the movement of the driver, then the cab would vibrate around on stage like a pager on a table, and it would sound terrible. The movement of the driver can throw a light cab around more than you would think. Go ahead and touch the cab and see if you can feel it moving.

    If the driver is losing energy by physically moving a cab, then that energy is not being used for generating sound. By extending that theory, you should lose bass response as the cab is allowed to move more and more (ie: becomes lighter and lighter), of course, assuming a perfectly ridgid box.

    So, by placing an elephant on your bass cab, you should get the best bass response. If someone would be so kind to test this theory and report back...

    But seriously, if someone had a very light cab, it would be interesting to note if the bass response improved by allowing someone to stand on it.

    My other .02. Now I'm broke :)

    - Andrew


    ps. I agree about the ridgid cab though. I just think a heavier cab wouldn't vibrate around and waste sound making energy.
     
  19. Count Bassie

    Count Bassie Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Smithfield, RI
    There must be a law-giving curve by which you could reach an optimum mass for the enclosure, so that it would remain stable enough to give the desired response while the driver baps around. I'll bet...
     
  20. prsbass

    prsbass

    Oct 13, 2006
    Seattle
    I've tried several of the new light cabs with neo drivers and none of them produce the tone I am looking for. I don't know if it's the neo magnets, bracing or the stars don't align. My latest theory is that most of the new stuff is voiced so the frequencies I don't like are boosted and the ones I do like are cut. Don't get me wrong I have had several heavy cabs with ceramic drivers that didn't produce the tone I wanted either. I just know what I like and don't know any of the science behind it.
     

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