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Hearing through your arms and back?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Happy Face, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Happy Face

    Happy Face Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Portland, Maine
    I've always been wary of the adulation bestowed upon the ultra-lite amps and speaker cabs. Never been convinced when I read "Someone came up and told me how wonderful my lightweight 1x12" with 3 pound amp sounded."

    I've bought two lightweight heads as backups to my tube amps. One sounds pretty good, one was quickly sold.

    But I had to respect it when some of you admitted you put up with some loss in tone for the sake of convenience. Especially you NYC folks. Been there, done that.

    Recently we secured a weekly gig at the top of a long flight of stairs with no loading dock. I am luckly enough to have bandmates who are always present for each & every load in and load out. But I still figured it might be nice to use a pair of those ultra-light 1x12s rather than haul up one of my Orange OBC-115 cabs. Especially since there is a great sound system at the club.

    So I bought a pair of one of the boutique cabs whose brand starts with a vowel. They sound horrible.

    The big Orange 1x15" cabs can make any amp sound good. I ran an old SS Sunn Coliseum which sounded really crappy through the old 4x12" cab (with JBLs) through the Orange cabs. It sounded sweet! Anything I put through those speakers sounds sweet. SS guitar heads, 30 watt amps, whatever.

    In contrast, any amp I run through the modern ultra-light 12s sounds really bad. Even a beautiful old Sunn or Orange tube head. I've tried tweaking them endlessly, but nothing sounds good, especially when I play a nice Guild bass with Bisonics. With a lot of fiddling, a Steinberger can sound tolerable.

    I'm wondering how much of the raves the lightweight equipment is getting is simply a function of the weight, not the sound.

    (PS - PLEASE spare me the obligatory lecture of "If you played out as much as I do you'd understand" etc. I am talking about sound, not convenience.)

    Thanks for reading my frustrated rant.
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Sounds like you just bought the wrong cabs.
  3. rollin$tone

    rollin$tone Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    I love my Markbass Rigs! I still own Eden stuff...love it! But these Markbass rigs, with the right bass, I feel, gives me that Jamerson tone! And THAT, is about as good as it gets!
  4. Happy Face

    Happy Face Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Portland, Maine
    Epifanis are wrong?
  5. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    come on, Happy!

    what's really the problem?!!:confused: do they sound that bad or do you have to walk to work,... what's the story!;)
  6. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    If you didn't like them, then yeah. All cabs are different, lightweight or not. Those probably aren't voiced in a way that you like. They're pretty hi-fi and modern, and if you like the Orange stuff I'd guess that's not your thing.
  7. Happy Face

    Happy Face Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Portland, Maine
    Pacojas - They sound really, really bad. To my ears, anyway.

    Walk to work? That's good exercise! Good for us old timers.

    Going on and on about how wonderful some amp or cab sounds just because it is lightweight? Well, don't the older guys on this forum owe just a little to the younger guys coming up to be honest about why they think this stuff sounds good?

    But then, maybe in an era of ultra-compressed iPod mixes, sound doesn't really matter.

    It's the age of convenience!


    Anyway, please forgive me. I must go and take a shower. My wife claims that I smell after playing a gig. Say it aint so!!
  8. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    yeah,.. i had a mini-rig for less than a year before i sold it & went back to my heavy weight Tone Monster rig! my very popular mini was lacking in total tonal content, though it did sound great.
  9. Hi.

    Out of phase with eachother?

    If You use 'em together that is, if they sound bad also by themselves, it's just a wrong cab for you. Regardless of how high someone else praises 'em.

    Well, 7km/hour it'd take me about 12 hours to walk to work, so not that good for youngsters either I'd say.

    It ain't so.

  10. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    IMO, the lightweight market, while certainly gaining ground quickly, hasn't diversified to point where every traditional option has a lightweight option. So there are still going to be particular sounds where your options are "Go Heavy or Go Home".

    But sometimes I think people simply aren't interested in anything new. Apparently, all the good tones were invented back in the 70's, and if a lightweight can't duplicate them exactly, they're a failure.
  11. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    My Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 sounds great through two GK Neo 112s. If the tone wasn't there, all these folks who use this gear wouldn't do it. Use whatever makes you happy.
  12. will33


    May 22, 2006
    You hit it on the head with that deal about ipod mixes and what some people expect as "tone" nowdays. I also think you have a point about over-exaggerating it just because it's easy to carry around. This coming from someone who uses "new" stuff all the time, but isn't blind to the tradeoffs involved.
  13. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio

    +1 to that. I use a pair of NY 604's and they do the job whether it's a small club or a festival.
  14. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    So let me get this straight. The OP is basing his experience with one brand of cab and is now basing all lightweight cabs from this one brand?
  15. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I think it would be good for you to play through a lot of different brands and models of amps & cabinets. That will make you better at getting a sound you can tolerate more easily with any equipment. If you find yourself at a gig with an amp that stops working and need to scramble to finish the night, you're gonna be screwed because there's no way they're going to let you tweak the settings for a half hour or end the gig because you "just couldn't get your sound". That would make you a liability.

    I know of people who go on tours and can't rely on being able to use the same amps and cabinets because not every venue or city will have the same backline- you might want to talk to someone like this to find out what they do about differences that make it impossible to get their normal sound.
  16. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Personally, I think it's fine to do a bit of the hearing through the arms. :)

    Too many people get Obsessed about eeking every drop of ultimate tone out of their rigs.

    If I can get 90% to where I want to be tone wise, yet shed all kinds of weight and bulk off my rig, at my age - you better believe I'm doing it.
  17. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Me too.

    I think you just picked the wrong cab.

    My ultimate rig was the Genz Benz GBE 1200 (42lbs) into an Aguilar GS412 (116lbs). Heavy as hell but sound like God himself lent me his personal rig.

    Now I play the Genz Benz ShuttleMax 12.0 (6.7lbs) and a Schroeder 21015 (58lbs). At less than 65lbs I have a very very close approximation of MY tone.
  18. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    The Glockenklang Blue Soul I'm playing through now is 11lb and has a sound that would easily envelope and suffocate the tone of any other amp I've played through. It's freaking awesome.
  19. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I have never been overly impressed with the Epifani stuff I have tried, I mean it is OK but there is much better lightweight stuff out there right now.

    I am currently using a GK Fusion (all tube pre at 4.5lbs) into a Bergantino AE210 and it sounds great for what I need and makes load in and outs a breeze.
  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I always laugh at these sort of threads.

    I'd throw it back at the OP 'I wonder how many guys carrying 150 pound rigs convince themselves that they sound 'better' because they weigh more'.

    Tone is tone, watts are watts, and the neo drivers are FAR more advanced today than most ceramic drivers. Of course, too small of a rig for the gig, regardless of weight or design in not a good thing, but that is a totally different issue, separate from component design. Until the 'super 12' type cabs came out, I would have never been happy playing a moderate sized gig with only 112, and most 112's on the market still will not handle peaks/transients, etc. at high volume. However, some of them will now.

    If you dig your heavy, old school rig, nothing wrong with that. However, trying to convince yourself that it somehow 'sounds better' just because it is heavy makes just as much sense as trying to rationalize that the lighter stuff doesn't sound as good because 'it is lighter'. Makes no sense either way.

    Play what you dig, dig what you play;)

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