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Do casters make a difference?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by americanmade, Mar 15, 2005.


  1. americanmade

    americanmade

    Feb 12, 2005
    Is there an audible difference between having casters on a cab versus having the same cab sit directly on the floor? I guess I want two answers if possible: the scientific/technical explanation and any real-world experience someone has had from taking an amp and listening to it both ways. Thanks.
     
  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The real world answer is most definitely yes! As for which is better, this will vary from room to room. In general, though, if I do not have any adverse issues related to stage resonance (or where the room is not overly boomy), I prefer to take the casters off. This will increase the floor coupling effect, and in a best case scenario, it yields enhanced lows (and I think they may be deeper, too) and more "feel." However, in many rooms, this technique can lead to excessive boominess, or sloppy low end. When this occurs, using the casters may help.

    A third option is to use something like the Auralex Gramma to provide a solid base, but to acoustically isolate the rig from the stage. I tend to like the sound with the Gramma slightly more than either on casters or directly on the floor. Yes, it is a fairly minor improvement, but hey, if I perceive it as an improvement, I may as well do it.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  3. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I leave the casters on my rigs, they still have plenty of bass.
    I'm also lazy :D
     
  4. I don't know the technical aspect of this but I recentely installed casters on my 215XL. I found no noticeable difference in sound, maybe a tiny bit of eq'ing but I tend to play with that depending on surroundings anyway. At 105 lbs and about 3' in height the casters allow me to move the 215 without the help of the rest of the band (they're busy too) and as you know you can set your amp on top and I put my gigbag (cords ect) on top of that.....easy. On the other hand you didn't say what you want to install casters on.....not sure if I would put them on a smaller cab like a 115 or 410 I would probably just get a folding dolly from "Lowes" Which I did for a while but I prefer the casters. These are just my opinions....Also, you guy's just gave me an idea! If I don't want to use the caster why can't I just set my 215XL on its side! :) You guy's are great.............
     
  5. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hehe...

    but IMHO, i like the sound of just the cab, without the stage coupling. gives me a punchier sound, and allows me better use of my amp's EQ section.
     
  6. A lot depends on how resonant the floor is for it to make a difference. With the right floor you will get an incredible difference in sound.

    Sometimes, as tombowlus mentioned, that is not a good thing.
     
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    In theory casters would work similarly to spikes on hi-fi gear, decoupling the speaker from the floor and allowing more energy to radiate into the room. But only golden ears in the audience would be able to hear it.
     

  8. +1
     
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    There's mechanical coupling, like Tom's talking about, and there's also boundary coupling, which happens near walls and corners as well. The boundary needn't be resonant at all, concrete or glass or the earth couple quite well. Many cabs are designed to take advantage of boundary coupling, and in fact their sensitivity specs can be taken where it works to the advantage of the spec. If you want to kill boundary coupling, you move the cab further away from the boundary. The further you go, the lower the frequency that still will couple. If the stage is less than 1/4 (?) wavelength, you lose some coupling too. You can play with all this stuff, and tune room response to some degree. Hopefully Bill will chime in and correct any omissions or inaccuracies in this post. My sound system installation days are way behind me at this point. :meh:

    Casters aren't going to make much difference to boundary coupling at the the frequencies of interest here, BTW. The Gramma won't either, for that matter. Some of the taller stands that guys like to use will though.
     
  10. ster

    ster

    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    If I am playing on a hollow stage floor, I take 'em off. I just love to feel the bass, I don't know why but I play better this way.
     
  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    To me...that's one of the stages I fear the most, they become big bass traps......to me anyway ;)
     
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Bro, how do you think the sound deWd feels? :crying:
     
  13. yep.........makes my knees want to buckle out from under me..........no like:(
     
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The boundary coupling isn't going to be particularly affected by a 3 or 4 inch gap between the box and the floor when you're talking about an 11.3 foot wavelength at 100 Hz. I find the only disadvantage to using four casters is that the box wants to roll around too easily, so that's why my T24 has two casters that allow the box to roll when tipped back and be steady when not. I try to let form follow function whenever possible.
     
  15. ster

    ster

    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey

    That's true, I get in trouble for that by my bandmembers and sound guys but that's just too bad for them though.
    OK, I cooperate sometimes...for a few minutes anyway.