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EQ: Flat vs. Smiley, What's wrong with either?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mcrelly, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    My latest adventures in cabinets has left me scratching my...head. two 'great' cabinets loved and celebrated by many. How could I go wrong getting either cab??

    EA CXL-112L claims "it offers an extremely accurate and flat audio response. That means you hear exactly what you put into it. There are no colored artifacts - just pure, studio-monitor clarity." Frequency response of 38Hz - 14KHz

    Aguilar GS-112 Bass Player review says "sounds very deep. Low-note fundamentals sound full and fat with a barbecue sauce-like thickness that extends into the upper midrange." Frequency response of 42 Hz to 16 kHz

    Now, to me, why would one sound pretty good at first, cxl-112L, and the other sound much better to me, GS-112, after comparing them side by side? Smiley face EQ in the design? Even so, why did the 38hz of the CXL-112L NOT sound as low as the 42hz of the GS-112??? That still puzzles me.

    In conclusion, have I been brainwarshed by the audio expectations of the big bass, bright treble of my teen year's 'boombox' generation (early 80's)?? I like hi-fi at home, but I still have a sub to augment that sound too!

    "Big Bottom drive me outta my mind!"
  2. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Because "Frequency Response" means absolutely nothing. The phrase "Frequency response" doesn't tell you how loud the cabinet/speaker will be at that frequency, so the numbers are basically meaningless.

    However, according to bgavin's Musician's Reference spreadsheet, the Aguilar GS112 is -2db at 40hz, while the CXL-112L is -3db at around 45hz.
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    :eek: funny numbers eh?
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Your post underscores why I always throw the numbers in the trash and just let my ears do the judging.

    Like an accountant, an acoustical engineer can cook the numbers so that "2 + 2 = 5."
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    It's not really a matter of engineering EQ curves into speaker designs. Some manufacturers have done that (Bose comes to mind) but that's usually a seperate box of electronics. The sound characteristics is the speaker across the frequency range is determined more by the speaker manufacturer than the cab designer. The cab design brings out the best or worst in the speaker.

    Instead of looking at "frequency range", try to find the -3dB point. It will give you a better idea of exactly where the speakers bottom end starts to roll off. It's not a widely publicised figure and it gives you no idea of the tonal characteristics, so we're back to what Ric said and what my sig says - your ears can tell you more in 10 seconds than a full page of specs ever will.
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Just to add to what Pete said, the rolloff numbers tell you absolutely nothing about the midrange charateristics of the driver which is really where the tone of the bass resides. Who cares if you can do 30hz if your mids are crap.
  7. There's no such thing as a 'flat' speaker. All speakers colour sound to some extent. In fact they're probably the source of the most sonic colouration in the signal chain.
    Frequency response means nothing without phase response. It's pretty much impossible to get a flat phase response from a speaker. +/- 35 degrees is considered excellent phase response. Phase response has a large effect on the sonic signature of a cab. The phase difference between the driver fronts and the ports of a cab (group delay) is massively important in the perception of low end. Can't write any more now because I have a broken arm and can only type with my left hand...This post took 35 minutes. :(

    Anyway, specs can be manipulated to say lots of things. The best advice when choosing speakers is to trust your ears above all else.
    :bassist: :D
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Mark, I hate to make you type more but..... how did you break your arm?
  9. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    and thats about how long I had to hear the GS-112 and I said to myself "I like this cab better" then I said "I wonder if the mids will cut through or not"
  10. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    just for you mark I read your post again and more slowly so I can absorb it! like your sig.
  11. No worries ;)

    I hit a jump with too much speed on my mountain bike and pitched over the handle bars, landed right arm first. Snapped the humerus (upper arm)bone. Very painful.... Spent 3 days in the hospital doped up on morphine. :p
    Oh well, you win some you lose some. I was perfectly aware of the risks.;)
  12. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    There's nothing funny about breaking the Humerous bone. That's indeed a painful bone to break. Rest up, get better soon OK!
  13. Arthur Poon

    Arthur Poon

    Jul 13, 2003
    The "Rules" in your sig are 100% on the mark IMO. I've learned the hard way also.

    I'd like to get some laminated "rules" cards to hand to music retailers before they try to steer me towards the lastest-greatest thing.:)

    Once again, I could'nt agree more, great job!:cool:
  14. Thanks!
    Yup, it hurt like you wouldn't believe. From what we figured, my upper body fell from a height of 8 feet or more, and I was going about 30 kph into the jump. I would have been hurt worse if I hadn't been wearing a full face helmet and body armour....

    On topic: It seems that 'hi-fi' has been equated with 'mid-deficient.' By both consumers and manufacturers. I find that strange....