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Ideal speakers for 5 string bass (low B)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by holllowbody, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. holllowbody


    Mar 25, 2009
    An open low B string in standard tuning will be at about 30-31 hertz. Tune down and it goes even lower. As I peruse speaker cabinets I see that the vast majority of what is out there has a frequency range of down to ~40 hertz up to whatever (the latter spec is irrelevant).

    I see lots of 4x10 cabs, 6x10 cabs etc that are only rated to ~40hz and people playing a 5 string through them and can't help but wonder about the compatability there.

    My question is, what is most common for speakers in a 5 string rig and what is ideal a 5 string rig? Is a 5 string rig normally compromised in the lower frequencies?
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Anything much below 40hz is inaudible, so it's the harmonics you hear. A good powerful amp, and modern speaker cabs will be just fine. The lowest ones are the Acme's, but you really don't need to go there.
  3. svp


    Mar 12, 2007
    My Berg NV412 can handle my low B very well, and very LOUD:hyper:
  4. holllowbody


    Mar 25, 2009
    ......and the bergantino nv412 is only rated to 45hz. Interesting.

    OK, so below 40hz in inaudable, but my thought was more along the lines of possible speaker damage and noticably low output at the frequencies that are below the intended frequency range while the other frequencies have higher output.
  5. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Specs mean very little, since they don't show the true picture of the cabinet's response. (An exception is Bill Fitzmaurice, who publishes SPL charts.)

    The cabinet design makes all the difference. Size of drivers matters little nowadays.

    T low B produces virtually none of its 29Hz fundamental; to do so would require much longer strings. It's almost all harmonics.

    Use your ears to listen, not your eyes to read advertising.
  6. Well the fundamental frequency is 30.change, try looking for cabs that will do that.
  7. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    The 40hz ratings are usually attenuated a fairly noticable number of db's anyway. Take your bass where you can try cabs out and see what sounds best. Specs are hooey, for the most part.
  8. +1. Too, Bill can respond as to the speaker damage aspect, but many live/practical applications require a tighter less-booming low B sound, so the resonant freq. of a speaker at say 40hz. would give it that tighter feel cause it naturally produces less db's/rolls off when it tries to go lower, like the notes on the B string. Just another thing to consider.

    In other words, if you hang on the low B and use a 118 cab(or otherwise), chances are you're gonna boom in a live situation in a small/med venue. Then the sound guy, if he doesn't know what he's doing, won't EQ the boom out, he'll just cut you out of the mix:(

    If you can keep the stage volumes/mixes right (or if your head has the capablity in cutting/boosting 30Hz and below), then I'd say get somethng that captures the low B.... .

    ....just another perspective.

  9. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    That's exactly where I went and I'll not go anywhere else. Best bamn speakers out there IMO!

  10. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Most cabs simply won't. Some claim response down near there (e.g. my Eden D112XLT claims 32Hz). Maybe it does, but the output is so attenuated that it's not worth much.

    Again, knowing that "a cab will do that" reasonably is the whole reason for personally trying them. Specs don't tell you anything. And what you think you're hearing is not necessarily what you expect.
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I wasn't one of the early adopters, but I've been playing 5 string exclusively for 9 years now, and have tried LOTS of bass rigs over that time. My favorite of all is the Berg NV610, which (like the NV412) is spec'd to 45Hz. The reason I love it, even with five string tuned a half-step flat, is that it has great punch and growl, and sounds as deep as I want it to when I boost the low end. Sure, the lowest *fundamentals* aren't really there, but like Rick Auricchio and others, I will urge you not to worry about specs: listen with your ears, not your eyes! The Berg still sounds huge. I've owned some cabs that have had better frequency response, even down into the low 30's (allegedly), but I like the Berg better. In my experience, the lowest lows can muddy up the stage sound, interfere with the kick drum, blur note definition, etc.

    Believe me, the lowest notes on my fiver come through my Berg NV610 just fine, and they sound great because there's a lot more to a note than its fundamental. I'm not saying that audiophile bassists are wrong for wanting to assemble hi-fi rigs that reproduce those low fundamentals. What I am saying is that tone is (as always) subjective, and a hi-fi rig isn't necessarily best! Each bassist needs to choose for him or herself... chances are, those lowest fundamentals won't be missed. YMMV, but I don't miss them at all. :)
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    P.S. I don't mean to recommend Bergs specifically... my point is that cabs should be judged by the way they sound, not the way they're spec'd on paper. :)
  13. I understand a little more now...... the Ampeg SVT 8x10's only have a lowest response of 60hz, yet there is a lot of bass that can come out of one of those
  14. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Personally I feel 4 10's stacked vertically are perfect for either of my 5-strings played fingerstyle in a wide range of styles. Others feel they need 12's, 15's or even 18's...
  15. Do Neos make a difference?
  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
  17. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    Well, you could always spend the $$$$ on a Bag End Infra system.

    Dan K.
  18. From http://www.eden-electronics.com/products/cabs/indiv/d112xlt.asp, "32hz - 14khz ±2dB"

    2 dB isn't a lot of attenuation. Some makers will list a -10 dB point, which IS a lot.
  19. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
  20. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

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