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Cabinet Trends

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kenny Allyn, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    I am curious ...

    Anyone have a clue on cabinet trends? Reading through several threads gets me to wondering if there is a trend at all.
    Cabinets seem to run the gamut from "They will bury me with my 8x10" to "Amps and cabs who need them" aka use a DI and forget about them.

    In the cab world ... it seems we went from big boxes 2x15, 8x10s and folded horns etc: to a 4x10 standard several years ago to mini 1x12s and such now.

    Just my observation, but most everyone I know is in downsize mode 2x10 combos, Mesa Walkabouts, etc: but is that generational are the new crop of players (or old skool take your pick) out there still willing to haul around the BIG guns. Then there is the I give my all to the soundman and his DI box line of thinking.

    This seems to be the line/trend I hear the most ... I use a smaller rig now, mostly for on stage monitoring, and so the band/drummer can hear me on stage, and because I like it. My rig works well for smaller gigs with no FOH support and for rehersal.

    Thoughts ...

    :) ... A site search dug up this thread from two years ago ... http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=219052&highlight=cabinet+trends
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Yep, just picked up a D-Bass fitting your last comment.

    Get what you want on stage (whatever it is) cause the rest is in someone elses hands anyway.

    Cabs keep getting smaller, louder, with more frequency range and change so fast just when you think it's petered out there's Wizzy-M. What next.

    I keep wondering what's going to replace a conventional speaker. Speaking of 18's, whatever happened to those Magnaplanes anyway?
  3. The trend in cabinet design is... change.

    The marketing people do this intentionally. They stir the pot constantly, to keep the purchasing stream alive. It has nothing to do with advancing the state of the art. That is an accidental byproduct of relentless marketing for profit.

    You mentioned folded horns. This is ancient technology that dates from the 1900s. There is no appreciable advance in bass horn technology per se, it is the advancement in driver technology that has rekindled the interest in bass horns. Today's drivers allow horn configurations that were unworkable in past years.

    The big fridge cabs reflect a commercial attempt at brute force efficiency. They are loud because they have a ton of drivers concentrated into a small space. The enclosure is not optimal for the drivers by any means, but they fit a marketing requirement. In many of the shows I work, there is a large backline of fridge cabs, where only one is actually turned on. It is all for show. If your thing is all about the backline show, IMO a stack of working V-coupled bass horns beats a line of fridges, anyday.

    Full range PA systems are much more common and found in smaller venues than in the past. This opens the door for monitor size rigs and negates the need for wall-of-sound backlines. That way you can have a backline of washing machines, and still have big bass out front.
  4. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    This exactly what got me to thinking about this ... I was at a venue last night, not as a player but to photograph the event. I have played this room before (not a huge place) when we used just a backline only the vocals were miced, now it has a full sound system with a soundman in a booth.
    The bass player (fellow TBer Leo Goff) only used a Mesa Walkabout, and that bass was huge.

    View attachment 66386 Leo with his Mesa (bottom right)

    :meh: ... Still lotsa folks using BIG cabs out there.
  5. Chelsea Baker, my daughter's bassist (www.aroarah.com) has been playing a long time on an SWR 2004 and D410XLT, and has recently added an 18" sub to her standard rig.

    Link to Photo

    The photo above shows her standard rig with the Eden on top of one of my Magnum 18LF subs. They play almost entirely at venues like the Whiskey, Roxy, etc, where there is full PA support. In these clubs, the sub is more useful as a cab stand, because it gets the 10s up to ear level so she can hear it one stage.

    They have been on tour all summer, and many of the smaller towns don't have full PA support. The sub comes in handy for these. A T39 bass horn would crush the 18, but they don't have sufficient trailer space for one. Pity. As of this writing, they are playing Warped Tour which has full PA support, so she uses her rig as a stage monitor.
  6. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    WOW nice rig ...

    You know lots of places don't have that much PA support sometimes none except for the vocals. I recently did a benefit show where they promised that a full PA was to be provided, when we got there it was two 1x15 boxes on stands ... still I ran a small DI signal to that and played the gig with a Mark Bass LM II and a Euphonic Audio VL-208.

    :eyebrow: ... Made me glad I brought more than a DI box
  7. mattpnolan

    mattpnolan Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    New Jersey
    I think the trends depend on the type of music. My band is metal/experiment/progressive, and when we play with bands like that, it's about showing off your gear. However, I'm starting a new project that will be more indie/experimental/rock and I find that most those bands bass players just have a small monitor sized amp, because, let's face it, bass players in those bands are just not as "visible," per se.
  8. stealth51


    Jan 26, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    In my younger days I would pick up and carry a Peavey 18" bass bin by myself. Back then you didn't have the benefit of much PA support. You had to make sure you were heard some kind of way ;) I now have a 12" combo for small gigs and GK head and a 2x10 cabinet that's adequate for larger gigs. Anything bigger I go to a PA. My GK head has a direct out on it but I still may get one of those small DI boxes in the future to put in my gig bag.
  9. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    It all depends on the genre of music. Like someone else mentioned above, the metal scene he's in, it's big rigs.
    The rock and metal scenes around Seattle is the same way...everyone is using big rigs wether it's 8x10, 2x15, 4x10+1x15, 2x12+2x12, or what have you. These gigs are pretty loud, I still favor using my Mesa 400 with a 2x15 cab.

    Then I head over to the blues scene, and it's smaller rigs or combos. A 2x10 or a 1x15 is plenty. My 100w Ampeg B15R is more than enough fill for da' blues.
  10. I'll admit to getting my jollies by playing street gigs and showing up with the big iron. These are about the only gigs left where you play outdoors, yet do not have full PA support. Stairs are never an issue on the street, so moving the big toys around isn't a real problem.

    The last one I played some years ago was with four 1x15 subs, and I got my ass handed to me by the guitar players. That won't happen again.
  11. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    You make a good point about the metal/rock scene ... but that leaves a ton of other working stiff type gigs that we bass players get into indie stuff, country, where it's not a visual thing.

    :meh: ... Still have yet to hear from the DI only crowd, I admit I have a hard time seeing that.
  12. spencer

    spencer Guest

    Feb 22, 2006
    Now that I finally got my 8x10 which I leave at church [at least it will get used instead of a bedroom amp] Im looking for a small combo like 1 12" just for playing around with some friends maybe for a little acoustic gig or practicing alone. I found one I really like The mesa walkabout but one look at the price tag and WHAT? Over 1000$ for a combo? Shoot, Now im looking at the markbass 1x12 combo anyone know how much its going for?
  13. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Hmmm. Im 32, playing blues, classic country and rock, and use a Berg NV215 and just bought a '73 SVT. I guess I'm out of the loop on current trends. I did buy a B15N for small gigs though! I dont mind the weight...when I get onstage! I really do understand the desire for some light weight gear for ease of getting in and out of gigs. Loading in and out can be a pain...and I lift weights almost every day and am a FedEx guy! I guess its more about the bulkiness rather than the weight for me, but it does get old when you have to move your bass gear AND the p.a. AND help w/ the drums and guitar amps AND...
  14. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I've noticed the trend as well. Soon we'll be using 15x2" cabinets. Well...probably not.
  15. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    PJB - lots of smaller drivers in relatively heavy packages
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    One trend is simply variety. Lots more specialized products to match niche markets. Also, I think that at least some driver and cab makers are making better use of the real physics of how speakers work.
  17. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I have toted the big iron for years. Gradually, I started downsizing. I was thrilled that my 90 lb 410s were 32 lbs lighter than my 1810s. I am not a big guy(seriously vertically challenged), but I schlepped those 122 lb cabs (two of them) up narrow staircases for several stories...no elevators...all by my lonesome for 13 years. Now that I am using lightweight 1X12s, I am much happier. I have lost nothing, soundwise...I've actually gained in that regard. We have two full on PAs in our band. Everything is either mic'd or DI'd. Our soundguy keeps it on the up and up out front. Stage volume is well balanced-every musician can hear what everyone else is doing. All is good.

  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I am looking at my Magneplanars right now, if that is what you meant!
  19. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Still schlepp a fairly heavy rig. One or two EV TL606 cabs. They are heavy, but I love the tone and never get PA support.

    Tempted by the lighter stuff? You bet. For the small number of gigs I play a year (around 20) I can suck it up. If I make a change, it'll be towards one of BF's designs. Good horns have a certain rightness to my ear.
  20. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    100lbs of tube head and 125lbs of a 2x10" + 1x18" cab.... trading up to a separate 1x18" and 2x12"

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