Disappointed with a Henry 8x8

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Alex Xander, Sep 29, 2022.

  1. Hi Folks,

    A non bass playing friend recently bought an SWR Henry 8x8. I jam at his house from time to time, and have tried very hard to like the cabinet, but it has always seemed muddy, regardless of the bass I use with it, or the amp.

    My friend has recently started playing in a duo, where he is playing sampled bass on keys with his left hand and feeding the keyboard into the 8x8. He is very happy with the tone at low volume, but says things get too muddy for his liking at higher volumes. He is using a power amp that is feeding it around 300 watts. I have tried it with an Ashdown ABM, Bassman 300 Pro and an Eden WT800.

    I'm posting on his behalf, wondering if anyone has any suggestions regarding why it might be muddy and what measures we might be able to go to to fix it.

    I suggested 0.5 aligning the cabinet, but he is having the muddiness issue playing very close to the cabinet, so we doubt comb filtering is the problem.

    My friend thought that maybe the speakers had lost some of their compliance and simply aren't as tight as they used to be.

    Any suggestions on how to make the 8x8 less muddy at higher volumes, or are they an inherently muddy cabinet?

    I suggested replacing one of the speakers with a good compression driver crossed over fairly low. The existing speakers are all in parallel, so this would be feasible.
  2. You could do a quick test to confirm all the speakers are in phase. Do this with a 9v PP3 battery and a standard quarter inch jack speaker cable. Insert the cable into the cabs input socket, then touch the other end of the speaker cable across the two terminals of the battery. All the speaker cones should move either in or out together. If some move in whilst others move out, there is an out of phase issue causing cancellation of the cabinet's output. This will make the cab sound gutless. Correcting the cab internal wiring will sort that particular issue.
    If all cones move in unison then something else might be at fault or that's just how that cab performs.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2022
  3. Also possibly too much low end dialed in. Start with none and add slowly. I’ve heard one in the Ryman Michael Rhodes. TE head. Vince Gill/Amy Grant. No mud. Hutch Hutcherson. SVT II. Bonnie Raitt. No mud.

    Something is amiss. Good luck.
  4. willsellout

    willsellout I apologize in advance. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Having played extensively with a Henry I can definitively say it shouldn’t be sounding muddy, at all. Wish I had more to offer you than that. Hopefully someone else can offer a bit more helpful advice.
    Saetia, CTW68, Element Zero and 5 others like this.
  5. Don't start replacing speakers. Bass cabs and the speakers in them are designed as a system. Anything you do outside of design parameters can further compromise things.
    While speaker swapping is common in the guitar world and most get away with it due in part to the higher frequencies involved, Bassworld is a whole other planet, with it's own specific eco-system.
  6. I wonder if the sampled sound he's using is just a bad sample (as in inherently muddy).

    Thank you. Having never heard one before, I didn't know if they were a muddy cab and everything was normal, or if if something was amiss.

    All over it. I have Dayton DATS, AJ Horn and WinISD as well as a calibrated measurement mic. I've done a fair bit of diy in this area (most recently here AudioKinesis Inpsired 18 + Horn ) , but my friend would obviously prefer bit to butcher a perfectly good cab.
    HolmeBass and SirMjac28 like this.
  7. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    That is a fat sounding cab to begin with so if you're adding bass anywhere in the signal chain it can get a bit wooly. I found a little goes a long way with that cab.

    Do you know if the speakers are the originals?
    31HZ, Mike Marshall and Al Kraft like this.
  8. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    This would be a good cabinet to use a HPF with the amp.

    Additionally, unless you correctly identify the real cause, guessing on a “fix” is unlikely to be successful. Random changes to cabinets may be popular in the DIY community but from what I have seen over many years have been mostly dismal.
  9. squish

    squish Flying under the radar!

    Dec 6, 2005
    I've mostly run my SVT II through mine for years (bought the Henry new in '95). Mud is never how I'd describe the tone. Someone upstream suggested a speaker polarity check which is great idea. Good luck!
    Saetia, MaxSpinrun, Al Kraft and 3 others like this.
  10. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    From what I can remember, the henry 8x8 has a pretty large port, maybe the tuning is a bit highish and therefore giving it a bloaty / muddy sound. You could easily stuff / close the port and see (hear) if it reduces the muddiness.
  11. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    If cabinet is desined to be ported then I would not block the port, it most probably will not improve the sound. I have noticed that very often muddyness can be tamed by simply refucing bass tone know. That brings down the lows and up mids and hights. Very usefull in many ocations. Have you tried this?

    P. S. I haven't tried that particular cab but many others.
    Marko 1 likes this.
  12. EQ adjustments, not speaker swapin'.

    Did someone already swap the original speakers out?
  13. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Someone has monkeyed with wiring, changed out speakers and/or one or more speakers are damaged IMO. It's been years since I played one, but the last word I would ever associate with that cab is muddy.

    IIRC you did have to be careful not to feed it unreasonable amounts of low end especially at high power/volume, but frankly IME that was true of most any cab from that era with the typical amps of the day.
    Saetia and BassNugget like this.
  14. Supadope

    Supadope Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    My goal is to leave the world a cooler place than when I arrived.
    Just take it out back and hose it off.
    That's what I do when the dog gets muddy.
    ahc, S-Bigbottom, el murdoque and 7 others like this.
  15. Keyboards.have crazy frequency ranges, I'd start with a few already mentioned suggestions - flat EQ, add bass slowly. HPF to take unusable frequencies out. Maybe see how it sounds with a real bass too.

    I've heard lots of good things about that cab, its definitely on my 'want to try' list!
  16. HPF for sure, but check the speakers to see if they have been replaced.

    They might just be really old, too.

    I tried one in a music store once and muddy was not my impression, but I also did not turn it up very much.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    If someone overpowered the cabinet and damaged the speakers, that COULD be the cause, but I would start with a HPF first.
  18. My experience with most SWR Cab's is they sound great in a showroom but in a band setting they lack Mid's and there's too much Low End the one exception to me was the Goliath Jr. I had used one and have heard people using just one and I thought they sounded great the original Baby Blue combo with 2X8's also sounded great. I would suggest a HPF and set it at 80 HZ and see what happens
  19. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Tell him to sell it and look for the Megoliath 8 x 10 MUCH BETTER and a KILLER bi amp cab too.
  20. I gigged one of these for a while. I always tried to be “in” the mix, and not overpower anyone - and on stage volume was fine, but this one regular gig we did had the bar along the side of the dance floor, and the bartender would always be complaining he couldn’t hear the drink orders over my bass.

    That cab always sounded good to me, but yeah, those low frequencies could get out of hand quickly! Definitely dial back on the bass eq. HPF and even cut frequencies on top of that if you need to.