DET amp size

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tanish Mehta, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Tanish Mehta

    Tanish Mehta

    Jun 16, 2020
    I am doing some work on bass guitar speakers and this seemed like a very professional sit with experienced players. I am doing GCSE work in this area and had a question.

    I just had a question whether for the speakers you use, you find it a bit of a headache to carry around big ones and whether you may find it easier and more suitable to use a smaller, more compact and with the same amplitude?
  2. Welcome to TalkBass.

    What is DET and GCSE?
  3. Tanish Mehta

    Tanish Mehta

    Jun 16, 2020
    Work and a set of exams. DET is design engineering
  4. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Bass speakers have dramatically decreased in weight over the past decade or so. Same applies to many bass amplifiers. Popular bass enclosures also tend to be smaller than in years past, with the option to bring more than one speaker cabinet and stack them on top of one another in case more volume is required. Also, there are some circumstances where the bass uses a direct signal to the main venue speakers without having to use a bass amp at all.

    I don't know how much smaller/lighter bass cabinets and amplifiers can become where the engineering reaches a point of diminishing returns. In other words, how much effort would it require to make bass amplification equipment 15% smaller and lighter than the best available today, versus how much difference that would make to the person who has to carry it around.
  5. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Welcome to TB and don't be shy in asking questions.

    We are currently in a golden era of bass equipment that is relatively lightweight and awesome sounding. Examples abound throughout the industry. Many of us aren't getting younger and the end of schlepping boat anchors is most welcome, although we might have some nostalgia for the old stuff.

    There are two aspects that contribute to speaker weight: 1) cabinet material and 2) speaker material.

    The first issue is addressed by using lighter plywood, such as Baltic or Italian birch. GR Bass goes to an extreme with the introduction of carbon fiber construction in their Aerotech line. Other composites have been used but are usually difficult or expensive to produce.
    Proper internal bracing of a cabinet will also make it rigid enough to sustain higher SPLs and remove resonance while still being lightweight. For a good lesson on the effects of bracing, check out Andy's video:

    The second issue has been attacked in a number of ways. Some of the lightest professional speakers use magnetic material called neodymium, which creates a strong magnetic field with very little mass. That said, there's a new generation of ceramic magnet speakers that have reduced weight as well. The basket material also has a lot to do with how much the component weighs.

    The number of speakers that are loaded into a single cabinet is also a consideration. A modular approach of multiple cabinets with a single speaker is going to be lighter and easier to carry than a single cabinet. Popular examples are a pair of 1x12" cabinets stacked vs a single 2x12" cabinet. Both will sound the same, so it comes down to personal preference as to what is easier to carry. A single 2x12" cabinet will be lighter and easier to carry than the traditional 4x10" and will be fairly equal in output.

    Good luck with your exams.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  6. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    General Certificate of Secondary Education. IIRC from my misspent youth! :D

    In my day they were just GCEs normally gained by going to a Grammar School.

    I'm guessing the OP is in the UK or one of the colonies.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    OP, you may find through your research that as sound reproduction goes, we are kinda at an impasse with regards to size. Right now, overcoming the physics of marrying higher decibel output and smaller volume of space within the speaker enclosure is no easy feat. The goal is to move air. The lower the frequencies, the harder it is to move enough air to get the Sound pressure levels live music requires from something small.
    I wish I knew who to attribute the saying to, but;

    Pick two because you cant have all three.

    There are some products out right now that really could be considered to be popping holes in that saying, but in general this is the crux of loudspeaker design.
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Hoffman's Iron Law, more or less. ;)
    basscooker and S-Bigbottom like this.
  9. @Tanish Mehta Look up Hoffman's Iron Law, if you are not already familiar with it.
    Josef Anton Hofmann - Wikipedia.
    Sensitivity and Hoffman’s Iron Law, or “why you can’t have your cake and eat it too” – Audioblog

    To answer your original question, most prefer the smallest they can get away with for the job.
    Some situations that is a Good 1x12 and other situations they need a 2x12 and some situations that is an 8x10 cab. I even have some with no cabs at all, it is all inears monitors only as there is no sound on the stage allowed.

    More speakers make more volume, got to have the right sized rig for the gig.
    basscooker likes this.
  10. Gosh darn it!
    You got this in while I was typing. :sorry:

    Passinwind likes this.
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I just popped back in to wish the OP well with his exams. :D