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Is it harder to cut through the mix with a HiFi cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jock, Sep 28, 2002.


  1. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well, is it harder to hear yourself on stage with a flat and true sounding cab? Do you need a bigger amp? And Im not talking about Acmes cause they are so inefficient.
     
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    It might be true if all other things are equal. Many cabs seem to have a midrange hump that makes it cut through better. Perhaps this has come about to counter the smiley-curve that many bass pickups have? As you probably have EQ possibilities both on your bass and your amp all things doesn't have to be (equal that is) though. There are probably other characteristics that determine if you hear the cab, like if the sound is "smoooth" or "grainy" (don't know what does this, perhaps also something to do with mid and high range characteristics).

    I don't find full range to be good if you use the cab as a stage monitor, the lowest bottom end just muddies up the listening and causes problems with resonances in stage floors etc. I tend to have a quite hard sound in my monitor to be able to hear the notes clearly. If the cab doubles as FOH sound then you of course will have to live with (too much) bottom end so that the audience gets a nice sound.
     
  3. Don't confuse hi fi with flat and lifeless. Hi fi simply means reproducing sound in it's true form without it being colored by the equipment it's played on. Hi fi cuts through better. This may or may not be a good thing depending upon the situation. If you're in a 3-piece power trio, for example, you're going to want as much sound as you can get to help fatten things up. A bass rig with a lot of character (SVT comes to mind) would be a good thing. However, if you're in a large band with keyboards, horns and a lot of vocals going on a clean, hi fi rig is probably the ticket because a well defined and tightly focused bass will cut through without having to be unacceptably loud.
     
  4. jock

    jock

    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks guys. Great answers.
    I constantly find my self liking the sound of more HiFi amps as I visit musicshops. Ampeg sounds just like mud IMO. I still prefer vintage basses though.;)
     
  5. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    There's some truth to what you say but not in the part about a trio. I routinely work in a classic rock trio with high-end, hi-fi rigs. Accurate rigs will sound better in ANY context over highly colored ones because you have more control over your sound and can eq to taste without having to start with some non-flat coloration starting point. If I want a fat tone, I dial it up. If I don't, I don't have to settle for it because my rig is already fat, as with a non-flat rig.
     
  6. I didn't mean to imply that hi fi rigs were inappropriate for tios, not a all. I was citing an example where something not hi fi might be prefered. I was in a trio years ago and our music was sort of a marriage of Chicago blues and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. My SVT rig was perfect for this band. Later, I got a great gig with a 7 piece top 40 band and the SVT just wasn't cutting it at all and it had to go. GK 800RB and EV speakers were a better match for this band.
     
  7. VicDamone

    VicDamone

    Jun 25, 2000
    Ditto with Mud and boogie bass. In hindsight I can vividly remember what my SVT couldn't do...even so I regret selling that rig very much.

    Before you max your plastic, have you tried raising your cabinet level with your ears or kicked back. Check out Phil Lesh's rig on page twenty-eight of the August issue of Bass Player. Those are high frequency horns in those 12" cabinets and they're about ear level. Looks kinda goofy but judging by his sanitary left hand work, I'll bet it works great.

    I became a Lesh fan after that show at the Greek in Berkeley. A stroll past front and center stage revealed some of the most luscious and defined lows from a bass rig I've ever heard. Sumptuous tone.
     
  8. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm a Euphonic Audio user (bought 'em full price BTW), and I really think Hi-Fi is better. I think the idea behind this kind of gear is that the sound coming at you is accurate to what you put in. So if you want more mids to cut through, you dial them in etc. You get less ear-fatigue, and you can tune the EQ to the room better.

    I like having gear that is clean and clear, so that I can muddy up the tone with bad technique if needed. :D
     
  9. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Couldn't agree more, Vic. Phil's tone at the San Diego show in May was the bomb!
     
  10. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    I happen to know some of those guys and they all complain that phil is WAY TOO loud onstage

    AJ
     
  11. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Could be but he sure sounds great out front and that's what really matters.
     
  12. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I Hear You:)
     
  13. I was a guest bassist at a country bar last night, and played my P through the house rig. A Hartke head, SWR 2x10 on SWR 1x15.

    The house bassist cuts through completely, because his Bass=2, Mids=7, and Treb=10. His MIA Fender P sounded honky and gutless, but it sure did cut through. His EQ was about as far away from HiFi as one can get. Yuck.
     
  14. I think a lot of people associate Hi-Fi with "mid shy", or scooped sounding. I don't think this is the case really. Like Mudbass said Hi-Fi is just accurate representation. An accurate cab will faithfully reproduce what's put into it. So it will sound muffled if you turn the tone on your bass all the way down or scooped if you EQ out all the mids. Coupled with an accurate amp with minimal colouration (all amps and cabs colour sound to some degree) you'll get a faithful representation of the sound of your bass and your playing technique. What you get out of the cab is dependent on your playing style, what bass you are playing and the settings on the amp. So Hi-Fi cabs can cut through very nicely or can make you get totally lost in the mix depending on what goes into them. Myself, I dig the colouration of my SVT rig and it certainly doesn't sound thin or muffled, but I agree that it's not appropriate for certain styles. I'm eventually going to get a small Hi-Fi type rig for myself beacuse I dig that vibe too! :D