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B string and cab frequency

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stride000, Mar 21, 2006.


  1. Stride000

    Stride000

    Mar 15, 2006
    Hey there,

    Been looking at cabinets specs lately and something's not quite clear for me.

    We know that a B string is around 31 hz

    In order for a cab to reproduce it well, it needs to be tuned near that frequency.

    Most 4x10's can reproduce a B string really well even if most are tuned around 36 - 40 hz.

    If one wants more low end, he adds a 1x15 but these cabs are not tuned lower than 40 hz either.

    Question is, why is a 4x10 needs to be near 31 hz but not a 15? Is it because of the driver size?

    Thanks
     
  2. That's an interesting and much discussed issue on Talkbass. A cab does have to roll off below 31 hz to reproduce the true fundamental of a low B. However, IMO, many cabs that roll off quite a bit higher sound GREAT with a 5 string bass... to many people, that upper harmonic of the B string sounds more punchy and 'musical' than the huge low fundamental.

    That's why many people think one of the best cabs for 5 string bass is the EdenXLT, which rolls off WAY above the B string fundamental...yet produces a B string punch that you can feel.

    Long story short... don't worry as much about the specs as how the cab sounds to you.... most of the 3DB roll-off spec don't seem to be very accurate anyway from reading the tech guys' posts on TB.

    Also... remember if you do get a cab that truly does go all the way down to 31hz (like the Acme's), you will need massive power to drive those low frequencies.... everything is a trade-off, one way or the other:)

    Also... I don't find 115 cabs to have more low end in general than a good 410.
     
  3. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    I think the fundamental is overrated.
     
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    A cabs tuning frequency and f3 are seldom the same. It's not unusual for a cab tuned to 30 Hz to have an f3 an octave higher, especially when too many drivers are stuffed into too small a box, as is the case more often than not. Also, when you play an open B the vast majority of what you're hearing is not fundamental, it's 2nd and 3rd harmonics. That being the case, an f3 of 64 Hz is generally adequate.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    From a guy that has a stack of Acme and massive power:

    +1
     
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Another +1. My five-stringers sound wonderful, even way down low, thru my Bergantino NV610... and this cab starts rolling off at 48Hz.

    When judging a cab, use your ears, not your eyes. :)
     
  7. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Speaker specs list freq response with a given level of variation (normally +- 3 dB or reasonably flat). This means the cab's response is flat down to the lowest listed freq. It does not mean that the cab has no output below that freq. It does, but it may vary more than +- 3dB. So you may actually be getting 31Hz out of a cab whose FR is listed @ 36 or 40 Hz. Cabs do not roll off as abruptly as say a crossover.
     
  8. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Wouldn't it be nice if this was true. Unfortunately, cab manufacturers have been exagerating for so long, it's now expected. The cab could be -12dB or even -24dB at the lowest given spec. There's no insdustry standard for this, and no-one quotes accurate -3dB figures.

    That's also not correct. A vented cab has a 24dB per octave rolloff. You'd be hard pressed to find an equivalent 4th order passive crossover on a commercial cab. A majority of passive crossovers are 12dB per octave, 18dB if you're lucky.
     
  9. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    um. 410 speakers couple to give an "effective" very large cone to go down to those frequencies? am i right? see pirahna series cabinets.

    i wonder if anyone has tried to build a cabinet the size of a 410 out of 1" piezo elements? might be worth a try... considering they are less than half a buck each if you buy in bulk...
     
  10. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Not quite. The couple alright, and increase the efficiency in the low frequencies that the speaker can produce. But adding extra drivers doesn't mean each individual 10 suddenly can produce frequencies that were too low for them before. Our ears hear more bass, but the real life -3dB point changes very little. Any manufacturer that claims otherwise is, well just doing what they all do - exagerating!
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    nothing more to add,

    save for the fact that i've owned a few well known cabs that sounded great at home w/ their reportedly hit low freq's, only to be asked by bandmates on gig, "why the hell does your sound drop out?" :rollno:

    also, many cabs dont seem to project those low frequencies well, too. again, sitting 1 ft away while practicing at home isnt a very good indicator of good cab business, making good ol' fashioned real world gigging, an amazingly clairvoyant thing.

    bought an Acme B2 & B4 w/ a QSC PLX2402, problem solved. FYI, i've found that the acmes seem to punch with a meatier sound from those lower registers then few other cabs i've used, so long as you have the horsepower to drive them, which IME is about 400 watts per driver.
     
  12. I agree, but...

    A B string through an 18 is something spine tingling! I swear it can move the hairs on your legs!!
     
  13. Stride000

    Stride000

    Mar 15, 2006
    Thanks for all your responses.

    I know you have to use your ears to judge a cabinet but looking at the specs can lead you in the right direction.

    For exemple, I've been testing some cabinets lately and been analyzing thier specs and unless i'm not getting it, i've come to certain conclusions.

    I currently own two Ampeg BXT-410's. I always thought they were lacking projection and were muddy throughout but especially on the low D and E on the B string. The frequency range is 45 - 18 and the depth of the cabinet is 19".

    I then tested an Eden 610XLT. Great projection and punch but no bottom or warmth. The frequency range is 50 - 14 and the cabinet depth is 16"

    Now I'm waiting for the Aguilar GS410 to get to the store to try it but if it's anything close to their S410, that'll be my cabinet of choice. The frequency range is 40 - 16 and the cabinet depth is 16,62. The S410 i tried had great projection, lots of bottom and was very warm.

    Now i know there's a lot more in cabinet construction and sound than frequency range and depth but from what i can see until now is the less deep the cabinet, the better projection you got and the lower the frequency, the more bottom.
     
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There are dozens of variables in loudspeaker design that affect the sound, but box depth isn't one of them, unless it's so large as to allow standing waves to develop, but that would require it to be at least two feet or so deep.
    That doesn't tell you anything either. How many dB down is the response at 50 Hz? 3dB? 6db? 20dB? Without knowing that for all the cabs being compared you can't make a valid comparison. Only a real SPL chart can tell you the differences between cabs, and no one publishes them, so your only alternative is to try them.
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    My favorite cab for Massive B String Reproduction (MBSR-tm) is the SWR Henry 8x8.
    I dunno how they make that cab with those little bitsy speakers do that.
     
  16. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    From memory the sensitivity spec on that cab is only 97dB, pretty low for a a cab with 8 drivers in it. That's how they do it. Loud, Low, Small - pick any 2. They've focused on the small and low, sacrificing loudness in the process.

    To be honest (and I'm probably going to be flamed here) I don't think I've played a single cab that can't do "something" with the low B. I've found the bigger difference in the strength of the Low B can be found in the design of the bass itself.

    Oh and if you're camped down there a lot of the time, I'm going to suggest you re-think your playing.
     
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    The new swr website mention niether spl nor cab tuning. I seem to remember it being like 101 spl, and tuned to 30hz at the low end.
    My memory is junk anymore tho.
    All I know is it sounds goood to me!

    And I'll second that the low notes on the B string are best used judiciously.

    alan

     
  18. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Not really. But since people would like to believe that (and its closer to true in the SR sector) it certainly provides incentive for the cab manufacturers to have their marketing departments cook up more of their improbable wonder-meals.

    And they do.
     
  19. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Nothing like trying to sneak one's musical philosophy agenda into the techie stuff ; }

    Anyway, while I'm playing entire phrases an octave lower you can run and tell Jauqo that, for with his Contrabass ; }
     
  20. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The GS and S cabs are very different, but the GS DOES do a great job of reproducing the low notes on a 5er. The GS has a huge, punchy sound, the S sounds very fat and thick.
     

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