Cab mix question for SWR cab users

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by p12bassnut, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. p12bassnut

    p12bassnut Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    DFW Metroplex
    Anyone try mixing an SWR Goliath III 410 with a Son of Bertha 115 ?
    I have both but have not had the opportunity to mix the two in a gig.
    I am curious if anyone has done this with good success.
  2. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    Used a Workingman 400 to power W/M 4x10 & 1x18 cabs. Bought all new around 2000-2001. Huge sound. Some say don't mix speaker sizes, I say when it's that freakin' loud it doesn't matter.:p
  3. Freakin' loud is when it does matter. 4x10 takes a much bigger beating.

    The sensitivity gap between 4x10 and 1x15 makes the big one barely audible and a similar result gained by putting the 4x10 on a stand.

    Since you already have the cabs you can easy check they are both 8ohm and have some fun testing.
  4. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 very imbalanced pairing, plenty of info right on this site, but you have the gear, so......
  5. p12bassnut

    p12bassnut Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    DFW Metroplex
    So when paired, the 410 is going to be driven harder than the 15 ?
  6. The opposite...............

    The 4X10 can take much more then the 1X15.

    *Most* commercially available 1X15's only have about the same output of a 2X10.
  7. 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
    I did it with a Crest CA6 power amp which has two channels, each delivered 400 watts RMS at 8 ohms. The cabs were an 8 ohm 2001 SWR Son of Bertha, and an 8 ohm 1993 SWR Goliath (Eden-built) rear-ported 410—both with original drivers and Foster horns.

    Having two channels made a significant difference, as I could use the attenuators to balance the inputs from the preamp—and thus level the load on the cabinets.

    Worked well, but replaced them with a 4 ohm Epifani UL1 410, an 8 ohm UL1 210, and a Mesa M9 Carbine. Those cabs can be combined on one channel (2.67 ohm load), if you have a 2 ohm capable head. The new rig weighed ~100 lbs, and the old one about 220 lbs.

    I could get louder, lower, and cleaner with the Epifani/Mesa rig than with the SWR/Crest. That said, the Crest/SWR pairing was great.
  8. Suggest reading some of BassmanPaul's posts on sensitivity and 4x10 1x15 power. Sensitivity determines how loud a cab gets for each clean watt used.
  9. stringerbass


    Jan 9, 2014
    Venice, CA
    I've been using a Goliath III 4x10 and Son of Bertha 1x15 (grey grills) since around 1997 with a 1000/W SVT IV Pro (earlier blue script w/ red 'V' logo) and it sounds unbelievable. I listened to all the speaker cabs available at that time and there was something about the SWR's that just seemed 'right' to me.

    I've always played basses with low B-strings (even when thet only have 4) and as a power glutton I like to push air. I originally bought an SVT III with just the Goliath III however this didn't cut it so I swapped out the SVT III for a IV and added the 1x15. I also looked at the Henry the 8x10 and SVT 8x10 cabs, but they seemed too heavy from a transportation/furniture moving point of view and I figured (correctly) that I'd have more options for playing smaller venues with just one cab. As it turns out, though you might expect the 4x10 to be more responsive the 1x15 is a really sweet cab.

    I studied the manuals and got the setup right (I think) when everything was first purchased. I forget whether my rig is set to 4 or 8 ohms though I do remember that I got heavy 1/4', 3 foot speaker cables (not speakerons) left the SVT A/B channels 'unbridged.'

    Jim Carr and Downunderwonder discuss the uneven load on these different cabs. I remember setting the small switches on the back of the amp next to each channel output the same way and the attenuator dials on the backs of both the 4x10 and 1x15 are set to the middle at 5 (though I always thought that this was an adjustment for just the tweeter volume.) In any case my rig is insanely loud and I've never had to push the main volume on the SVT IV much past 5 or 6 even when playing outside at the L.A. marathon with no PA feed. I've also never noticed any serious imbalance in the cab loads... though I've also never really tested this.

    If you've got enough juice to drive the Goliath III and Son of Bertha they sound awesome together in my opinion and offer an amazingly powerful and nuanced pallate to draw from. I'm a real believer in classic SWR cabs and hard working, honest SVT heads!

    If anyone would like to offer ideas on how to best set up and balance my rig I'd love to hear from them and will be glad to untangle everything and pull it away from the wall so I can see the backs give you the specifics of how all the switches, etc. are configured. I'm sure this will help p12bassnut in the original spirit of this post as well!
  10. Simple with two channels of SS. Unplug 4x10, turn up 15 until it farts. Reverse. Now you know how loud you can get with both channels up to limit. In a normal world the 15 will be shouted out by the 4x10, the 15 may as well stay unplugged.

    Quite possibly less than perfect with a 2 channel tube amp.
  11. stringerbass


    Jan 9, 2014
    Venice, CA
    O.K. I get it... p12bassnut and I have stumbled into a long-standing, completely tired issue here on TalkBass! (I just joined yesterday.)

    After a fair amount of reading old posts the basics seem pretty clear:

    - This is a 'Noobie' mistake motivated by the desire to mix the characteristics of unmatched cabs, save some money, and reduce the furniture moving quotient some.

    - There's a danger of speaker damage due to variant power handling.

    - The different frequency and response characteristics increase the possibility of cancellation and other mischief caused by unmatched specs and designs.

    My rig sounds great after 15 years and quite a bit of stage time, but I get the arguments and now I gotta do some testing and re-evaluate everything... *%#@*! lol.

    The 4x10 is rated at 800/W and the 1x15 is only rated at 350/W, but it still hasn't blown despite a lot of pretty loud playing. I'm guessing that both cabs are 8 ohms because the Son of Bertha was only made at this rating (I was aware of this at the time and probably wouldn't have mismatched the ohm specs.)

    This power handling differential is what really concerns me and if it weren't for the obvious math in this regard I'd probably just forget about it. Though my stack might sound better with another Goliath III... I don't know?

    I didn't completely understand your response Downunderwonder.

    - Disconnect the 4x10 and turn up the 1x15 until it starts to lose it (got it... but what does 'SS' refer to the SVT A/B channels out?)

    - Reverse (don't got it?)

    - Then reconnect both and never exceed the level that caused that 1x15 to bonk (think I got it.)

    - 'In a normal world the 15 will be shouted out by the 4x10, the 15 may as well stay unplugged.' Does this mean that even with these adjustments and not exceeding the limit determined above you still won't hear the 1x15? Or is this only the case if you go louder?

    - 'Quite possibly less than perfect with a 2 channel tube amp.' (don't got it, but my SVT IV Pro does have a 4 tube pre-amp?)

    After years of use I've never noticed anything that suggested the power handling differences of the cabs might be an issue. Further testing in addition to Downunderwonder's recommendations will probably consist of separating the cabs left and right, playing them together and separately and listening closely to the response at different levels.

    I'm gearing up (no pun intended) to hit the stage again this year after a few years of being a regular citizen and can only guess that the search for another grey grill, 8 ohm Goliath III may be in the tea leaves for me if something is revealed that was previously missed.
  12. If it's working, no need to fix it. Sorry for the confusion, I got the idea you had a 2 channel amp.

    You have missed the other key point, sensitivity of 15 is nearly always significantly down on 410. In other words it makes significantly less noise with its power quota than the 410 makes with equal power.
  13. stringerbass


    Jan 9, 2014
    Venice, CA
    You got it right Downunderwonder, I do have a a 2 channel amp (just didn't understand the term 'SS.')

    Also, I had been wondering about the relative output levels with equal power input... thanks for clarifying that.

    There may be a partial solution to my problem in the SVT IV Pro manual.

    The amp doesn't have two separate channel volume controls for the A/B channels... but it does have a section with a 'frequency' and 'balance' knob for use in the bi-amp (stereo) mode.

    One sets the frequency crossover point between the Bi-amp High and Bi-amp Low outputs and the other adjusts the relative balance level between the low and high frequency bi-amp signals.

    The manual gives 2 options (blue arrows only & blue plus red) for patching on the amps rear panel to make use of these controls. This is my own drawing and I've paraphrased the language to avoid copyright issues.


    1) Bi-amp: Full Range / Lows - blue arrows only

    The two internal amps power a full range cabinet and a low frequency cabinet with the Stereo/Mono Bridge toggle set to the the Stereo position. The crossover point for just the low frequency cabinet is adjusted by the Frequency control.

    2) Bi-amp: Highs / Lows - blue plus red arrows

    The two internal amps power a high frequency and low frequency cabinet with the Stereo/Mono Bridge toggle set to the the Stereo position. The crossover point for both cabinets is adjusted by the Frequency control.

    Thanks for your help so far... any thoughts about the best way to use the bi-amps frequency and balance control features? Each output channel is rated at 350/W rms @ 8 ohms (300/W continuous) in the stereo mode. Both cabs are 8 ohms with the 4x10 rated at 800/W and the 1x15 rated at 350/W.
  14. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    I used the Golliath II with both a Big Ben and a Son of Bertha. I always preferred the Big Ben under that 4x10. Both with my SWM SM-400, SWR Grand Prix/QSC MX2000, or my SWR Bass 750. The combo was always incredible. However, weight won out eventually and I went with Schroeder 12's to replace my SWR's.
    Sorry for the small pic
  15. Biamping is for fidelity, not volume. You get the overall volume capability of the lowend cab. The higher fidelity and volume would be achieved by using the 410 for lows and the 15 for highs, try crossover around 120 to 200 hz wherever it sounds best. That gives the tonality of the 15 with the weight of the 410, like a tremendously capable 15 might sound, possibly terrible to your ears.

    All in all, close to zero benefit to biamping the other way around. Better to put the 410 on a stand.
  16. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Forget the TB drama. Should sound great, only thing you need to know is that 2x the power handling of the 15 is all the combined rig can take safely.