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Do amps+cabs perform better when they are the same brand?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Din Of Win, May 12, 2010.

  1. This may be a dumb question... but i thought i'd ask anyway since i'm curious.

    I KNOW amps+cabs perform fine when they are mixed and matched (mine are ALL different).

    But, i was wondering if there are benifits to pairing like makes (i.e. - ampeg head+ampeg cab), and further more... like models (i.e. - i have an ampeg b25b 2x15, would there be a noticable difference if i had a B25 head attached?).

  2. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    It would make some sense if they did, as companies probably design their equipment (or at least did at one point) to sound good when paired with other equipment they sell. But that is by no means saying that it wont sound good with other brands either. Then again, in a modern industrial setting, maybe they're just designing whatever will sell, so you may have as much mismatch within a brand as between brands...

    For me at least, I like matching aesthetics.
  3. Knee-jerk wise, I'd say that if the manufacturers of the top line brands are doing what they say they are doing and what the big prices indicate, then mixing and matching isn't too much of a problem - especially if one wants to get something out of the amp/head with a different voice from a particular set of drivers.

    You may be able to tune the mixed bag to suit your own needs or desires.

    But (there's always a 'but') if you do like I do - and I'm not pro at all - I like the contiguous appearance and tonality (good enuff?) of a matched set.

    Somehow just knowing all things are from the same company/manufacturer creates faith in their design people and you hope they know what they are doing and really really matched things from their factory to their specs and output, etc.

    That 'faith in brand' may also affect your playing ability - it just might be a head game we play with ourselves.

    But HEY! Ya gotta believe in something, if not your own tastes and styles - then at least look good doing it.
  4. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    If matching amps & cabs from the same manufacturer was the "best" way to do things, then all the professional/well known bass players with 1000's of hours of of live performance on their resumes would be doing just that... and they're not. It all comes down to what sounds best to each person.
  5. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    GK is the only brand I know of that matching is better because they have a bi-amp option that is only available with their head and cabs.
  6. I'm enjoying the sound of my Little Mark III thru my Avatar. Would it sound even better running through MarkBass cabs? Unless I land a gig playing bass for Stryper I'll never know because I just can't see myself standing in front of that much yellow.
  7. It makes little difference. Most of us buy what becomes available in our area. Buying on the used market you have to go with the best you can get. That being said there are signature tones such as an SVT and its 8x10 or the B15 and its cabinet. I like the tone I get from my B15 but as the amp has a problem that i've not had time to find I rehearse using the cabinet powered by a Hartke HA4000 amp. The tone is different but there again I've not messed with the EQ on the Hartke to try and cop the B15 tone.

    For performance I use a pair of Acme B2s and up to recently a Carvin DCM1000 power amp and a full tube pre-amp. I've just switched to a Carvin BX1500 and though I've only used it once, it was superb. I can also pick it up with one finger! :)

  8. THIS! is what made me ask in the first place.

    Like i said, NONE of my gear matches and sounds great. But reading up on GK stuff made me wonder if other manufacturers do the same kind of thing...

    and is it then just Aesthetic that cabs are named after heads? Like my b25 ampeg 2x15 and the b25 ampeg head.
  9. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I think it depends on the manufacture, like GK.

    Mesa amps are renowned for sound great with Mesa cabs.
  10. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Certain cabs sound good.
    Certain amps sound good.
    If you pair a good amplifier with a good cab
    It doesn't matter what's written on it.
    Limiting your self to a single brand is bound by the laws of probability to be less
    suitable for you specific needs because its a myth that cabs are tuned to amps,
    they are only actually tuned to themselves for maximum
    SPL reasons.
    Many manufacturers claim to re-design speakers specific to their needs?
    No its usually just the label that goes on the back and sometimes a batch of cones are made with a different pigment.
    Its much too small a market to really fundamentally redesign already proven components, in fact some of the most famous name manufacturers sadly don't bother to specifically make musical instrument speakers any more at all.:bag:
  11. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Perform as in controlling features like GK's horn management system? Yes.

    Perform as in best possible sound? That's in the ears of the user.

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