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Difference in sound quality: bridged vs stereo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mo' bass, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Last saturday I had an outdoor gig and decided to bring the whole setup. I started experimenting a litte with different connections and I discovered that my Mo'Bass sounds much **MUCH** better in bridge mode than in stereo mode. I was subbing for another bass player and the guitar dude had already commented on the looks of the Mo' but hadn't said anything about the sound. About 1 sec after I connected only the 2x10's to the mono output and set the switch to mono he suddenly said it sounded very good.

    I emailed SWR and the tech dude wrote back that it there was more clarity and headroom in bridge mode but I think that the difference in sound quality is way too much.

    Way back when I first gigged with the Mo' I already noticed that my sound was much clearer when I only used the 2 2x10. I attributed that to muddiness from the 1x15. Now I'm not sure about that.

    Anybody here who knows the effects on sound quality between stereo and bridged?

    (ps, I know a lot of people dissed the Mo's clean tone... maybe they only heard it in stereo mode)
  2. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm no expert on tone, but from my own personal experience, I don't find any difference in tone solely based on going stereo or bridged-mono IF they are putting out the same wattage (which is rarely the case because of load differences and cab configurations you'd have to do to get same wattage from stereo and mono).

    Did your wattage increase when you went mono and realized better sound? That's where I think the "clarity and headroom" comment the SWR guy made if you did start putting through more watts.

    For example, someone could be running two 8 ohm cabs in stereo and get let's say 200watts per cab. But when you run it in bridged-mono mode, you can get 830watts @ 4ohms, giving both cabs now 415watts (this is the case with my QSC RMX 850, theoretically speaking). Though doubling the watts doesn't double the volume, I would think things would be noticeably clearer and allow for less distortion.

    Eh? :ninja: :eyebrow: :ninja: Eh?!

  3. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Getting myself out of laziness and doing a bit more research...

    I saw that your Mo Bass puts out:

    Bridge/Mono Mode
    900 Watts @ 4 Ohms
    650 Watts @ 8 Ohms
    440 Watts @ 16 Ohms
    (minimum load = 4 Ohms)

    Stereo Mode (per side)
    600 watts @ 2 Ohms
    400 watts @ 4 Ohms
    250 watts @ 8 Ohms
    150 watts @ 16 Ohms
    (minimum load = 2 Ohms)

    Looking at that, you can't have two 4 ohm cabs or you'd be running 2 ohms bridged, so you must have two 8 ohm cabs, right?

    In stereo, you were only running 250 watts per cab. But in bridged, you ran 900 watts (450 per cab)! Especially considering you used to run a 15" that most say takes more power to drive it properly, I bet going 900watts into you two 2x10 cabs definitely must have sounded much clearer and most likely louder.

    Just my deflating $0.02 worth of analysis and opinion. And boy is it deflating...


  4. I'm sure that I saw this under a different thread,... not that I mind.

    I have had similar results from my SM 900. I used only the left side because I thought I would need the right side to power the vocal monitors, found the vocal monitors were fine and decided to bridge the amp. I adjusted the volume to compensate and although the band mates didn't hear a change in apparent volume, they thought it sounded better and they "felt" more. More headroom I guess. ???

    How do you usually hook up your rig if you only have the two 2x10 cabs? Stereo? Are any of the FXs stereo in the Mo Bass?
  5. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Unless the amp has some peculiarity in its design, bridged and stereo operation will have audibly identical sound quality except that at the same setting of the gain control, the amp will be 6 dB louder. If you then turn the amp down 6 dB to match the output that you would have in stereo, you now also have another 6 dB of headroom.
  6. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    My stereo SWR amp sounds much better bridged then stereo.
    Maybe it's an SWR thing?
  7. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Thanks guys!

    Just to clearify how I hook things up.
    Bridged mode: 2 2x10's parallel on the mono output. (that's 450watts / cab) thanx for looking that up for me Transverz
    Stereo mode: 2 2x10 parallel on the right channel (200W/cab) and 1 1x15 on the left channel (250W)

    Hmmz, after typing that I realize that it is either 900Watts or 400Watts that are going to the 2x10's. That could be it then. I'll try and do some research at home, just by using one 2x10, and hooking it up bridged and mono. Maybe more watts makes all the difference but to me it sounded like something else.
  8. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    It might just sound better because it's louder.
  9. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I'm gonna go ahead and agree with Transverz's theory. My 1x15 started sounding a lot better after I loaded some more power into it... and I still think it sounds a little "blah" for my liking. If your adding that much headroom and power... your likely just going to get a better sound.