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Bass Players are Their Own Worst Enemy!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by deadshovelhead, May 15, 2018.

  1. gjohnson441496


    Dec 14, 2014
    Lol. I see you've recently joined. Hehe. Hey man. When I joined I was taken aback by the whole "my bass weighs 10 pounds and it's toooo heavy" meme. Nevertheless, I feel empathy for those with physical problems. I'm also grateful for neodymium speakers and class d amps. I'll keep my 12+ pound 77 Fender P bass, though.
  2. Charlzm

    Charlzm Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Pfah. Whatever works. Over the last 35 years I have had tube amps and solid state, combos and cab/head rigs. For my next gig, I'm planning on taking only a Darkglass pedal and some cables (since I'll be going direct to the board).

    All I care about is how it sounds to the audience, and that's a function of carefully crafting your sound and hoping the sound guy is working with you. No sound guy? My current rig is capable of taking care of that, more or less.

    To the OP - I started getting rid of my vinyl in 1986 because CDs were becoming available. In 2007, I started ripping my CDs to mp3s, so that tells you about my relationship with technology.

    Like I said, whatever works. You want a giant fridge cab and a tube head and have no problems moving it around? Good on you.
  3. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    My keyboard players now turn up with Nords and Hammond modules and sound fantastic. Nearly all the guitarists I know leave their Fender Twins and AC30's at home and stacks? Forget 'em. My gear is light and sounds as good as any of the heavy gear I used in the last 40 years.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the sound of an SVT but weight on its own isn't good or useful. Weight doesn't make the best sound or even a good sound. Other stuff does that and these days guys are designing some of the best sounding bass gear I've heard. Some of it is heavy but most of it isn't.

    It's a great time to be a bass player.
  4. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    It's a relatively new fad IMHO that is gaining popularity due to Class D amps sounding pretty good and being real small and still loud. I notice it as a trend more with the older players than younger. I'm 32 and have no problem using any combination of the heavy amps and cabs I own. I don't own anything light weight, but wheels, hand trucks exist for a reason.
    spatchthepunk and Chris76 like this.
  5. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    FWIW I still use my 610 and my road rack case mounted GK 700RB all the time. Smaller gigs simply get the smaller cabs.(1x15 or 4x10) really small gigs only get the SansAmp.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    "Nothing?" You mean nothing else for you, right?

    I've used the CA series a lot, and I know about the supposed "low frequency feedback" in the CA-9 design. I find that the Crest Prolite 3.0, and for that matter, the Mesa M9, Mesa Subway, and GK mb800 are all great. I like tube heads, but don't find them superior for what I do.

    For me, what really matters is to avoid clipping in any stage of my signal chain. I doubt you mean that a CA-9 is the only way for me to do that. :cool:
    slagheap and Stumbo like this.
  7. Here are a couple videos to consider. The XK-5 sounds pretty true to the B3, right down to the contact noise. I'd bet the internal Leslie simulator is plenty close enough for an ensemble gig.

    But back to the thread, I use a 39-lb all-neodymium full-range 12" cabinet and a micro head. The rig fills a restaurant/bar without difficulty, and I can voice it to suit the music at will. My older (read big and heavy) cabs are collecting dust.

    Full disclosure: I have a Medicare card.

    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    Passinwind, tradernick and Jim Carr like this.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Any perceived improvement in the sound doesn't justify the hassle of moving heavy gear. I don't need to bother my bandmates for help loading in and out.
    10cc likes this.
  9. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    ^^^Folks with questions should listen to brother Stumbo. If you don't have any questions, then listen twice as hard, because you should.
    Now that cracked me up. My wife said that I ruined music for her by introducing to her a good subwoof/balanced sound. Not those words, but that's what she meant... about 1% of the sound systems in her home country are not an annoyance. Kinda like me!
    Gaolee, ghostinthemach and Stumbo like this.
  10. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Okay, so I kind of meant that in a club, the feeling you get in your body off a real B3 through a real Leslie might be hard to replicate... but holy crap! That XK-5 is incredible. I'm gigging with my keyboard geek friend this weekend so I'll be picking his brain about this. Great link, thanks.
    Spacecase and Stumbo like this.
  11. elkkid2

    elkkid2 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Rio Vista, Ca
    The last 7 or 8 years in particular, the soundman has subs , and I'm in those. But, there's plenty of pickup gigs where I'm supplying the power for bass. I always try to find out first. (I used to have two full SVT Classic 810 rigs, if I needed to really throw a party! I miss that.)
    Gaolee likes this.
  12. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    That literally describes most of my shows.
  13. Just to be devils advocate here, you go out and drop a k or more on markbass or genz gear, how long before its in the shop for repair? Do the wafer cabs last, or do they fall to pieces after a couple of years due to the constant pounding inside the cab? Does the wafer thin wood carry tone as well as thicker woods?
    We put all this research and thought into buying a bass and then just grab a cab because its light and will work?
    Reminds me of cars. You used to be abke to buy a mustang for 5k. Drive it into a telephone pole and have a dent in your steel front bumper. Now that mustang will cost you 6 times that and that same telephone pole will completely total your car. (But its better made) lol
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    LiquidMidnight likes this.
  14. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    So, I’ve tried to be very careful (mostly) with my responses in this thread, because while I’m very much against the notion that using smaller/lighter gear requires compromises in tone or construction quality, it is true that if you keep pushing the limits, there is a point with cabs where construction and sound quality will be impacted in the name of smaller and lighter.

    In short, as I’ve said before, there’s downsizing, and then there’s downsizing.

    As far as I can tell, there are three areas where technological advances have allowed for cabs to become smaller and lighter without sacrificing any type of structural or tonal quality:

    1. Fewer drivers: high displacement drivers allow for fewer drivers to do the same amount of work as typical drivers
    2. Lighter drivers: in short, neodymium
    3. Smaller boxes: drivers that can function optimally in a smaller cab volume don't need as big of a box which equals both size and weight savings (in general though, I think that this is mostly related to point one above)

    Given those advances, it’s entirely possible to build a cab with optimal volume/tuning, and with all the proper bracing and structural rigidity/road-worthiness (same quality plywood) and have it still be smaller and lighter than cabs that don’t utilize similar tech. Again, no compromises – at least no more than any other cabs (yes I realize that all cabs have their compromises from an engineering perspective).

    There are cabs in existence, in my opinion, that do make too many concessions in the name of size and weight, and I feel like when neos first came out there may have been a rush to the bottom in terms of weight that may have resulted in earlier neos being even more susceptible to these compromises. With that being said, they are great for those that need the reduction and are willing to sacrifice some low-end extension and/or road-worthiness for it (some may even prefer the tone!), but it shouldn’t be assumed that all modern cabs are making those same concessions.
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    LiquidMidnight and Chris76 like this.
  15. Most likely NOT the right thread for this, but since the last post brought me here.....

    I understand that the larger the venue, the less you rely on your rig and more on the p.a. as i also run sound. That also leads me to my next question, i keep hearing about tone and nothing of air movement, which is a MAJOR contributing factor to bass, why is that? How does less air movement (smaller speaker surface area combined with smaller internal cab area and little to no porting) equal the same?
  16. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I bristle at words like “fad” being applied to Class D when I’d imagine that the great majority of audio amplifiers being today are Class D, from smart phones to venues.

    I’d imagine that to many engineers, non-Class D instrument amps being embraced for their vintage tone feels like more of a fad.
  17. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    That Mustang that looked fine in a crash would often result in the driver losing his or her legs. The new Mustang could crash into a semi and the driver might still walk away.

    Seriously, look at some head on collision videos of an old muscle car vs. something like a Smart Car. The muscle cars look like they won. But the crash test dummies inside tell a different story.
    BurtMacklinFBI and /\/\3phist0 like this.
  18. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Perfect relative pitch, what’s that? I’ve heard absolute pitch referred to as perfect pitch, but I don’t like calling it perfect pitch because I find that term to be inaccurate and it results in people making inaccurate assumptions and it happens less when I say that I have absolute pitch.
    Jim Carr likes this.
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't know about fad, but I sure do know a lot of sound techs who tried class D heads for subs and eventually went back. They would gladly trade them in for lighter gear, but they tried it and didn't like it.
  20. ghostinthemach

    ghostinthemach Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Brea CA
    Special Games two weeks ago. One of the rare outdoor stage gigs I still get to play. This thing
    378640B1-A467-4F81-931E-93D82BA9ECA4. 0897C99D-48A8-4F6D-B72C-6A004D34876B.
    is very different from this
    I move each alone. It’s worth the extra effort for accuracy and that Acoustic rig is not as heavy or awkward as some seem to think. At my age part of my thing is I’m a rock bass ‘historian’. Who else is gonna do it?
    gjohnson441496, Wisebass and Chris76 like this.

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