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Loud is easy, quiet is hard

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by B String, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    With the materials and technology today, its fairly easy to
    make speakers that can go loud and love doing it. As I've
    said in numerous threads... How often are you asked to turn up your volume, when working. My boxes sound good loud,
    but I'm looking for a full punchy sound , at lower volume too.
    So.... What are some boxes ( 1x12 and larger) that sound as
    good at low volume as they do louder?
  2. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I'm pretty sure most of the boutique and other better gear today sounds good at low volume. Schroeder, Aguilar, Epi, Bergantino even my Mesa 1516 sounds great at low volume.

    All those companies make 12" boxes nowadays.
  3. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think you might be suprised. The boutique cabs are the
    what I'm talking about. Some of the 2x10 boxes that can
    really get some volume also seem to want volume to really "open up". What boxes do you know for a fact, or
    through experience, work well for both loud and soft?
  4. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    From experience, Aguilar 12" and my Mesa (seens that I own it). I've also played through the newer Mesa 15's and 410's and they sound nice low volume.

    The others I listed are from word of mouth, generally on here.
  5. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I use my Acmes as everything from big gig rig down to home practice rig and they still sound great in the quieter environments. Personally I suspect the most of the 'problem' with cabs sounding less full and punchy at low volumes is down to human ears' deficiencies - Fletcher-Munson curve and all that...

  6. Indeed.

    And, of course, "working well at low volume" and sounding "nice" is TOTALLY subjective.

    One man's meat is another man's poison and all that. :D :D
  7. I had an Epifani 410 NYC that didn't really sound good at lower volumes but sounded awesome at louder volume, so I sold it and bought an Avatar 212 and it sounds good loud and soft!!!
  8. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've done quite a few low volume gigs with a single Berg HT112. The results have always been great for me. This is with a six string as well and the low B string was still right there.
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I have an Avatar SB112, and it sounds completely different at low (apartment volume) and playing volume...it's much brighter, and as you turn it up the high end disappears, replaced by low mids and lows.
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I play restaurant gigs where I sometimes need my EUB to be softer than the average real upright. The EA CxL-112 works really well for this, and it'll get damn loud and still hang tough as well. Honestly though, I use my Schroeder most of the time for fretless BG at loud gigs.

    I actually built another coax 1 X 12 myself that's maybe even better at low volumes, but it doesn't do loud nearly as well. The VL-208 does quiet really well too, but I didn't get a chance to crank it and see what happens at that end.

    One factor that complicates things is that "quiet" rooms tend to be smaller a lot of times, so the speaker's response is going to change. If you're willing and able to change EQ for different volumes, I think that lots of the perceived opening up could prove to be related to your ears, not to the cab.
  11. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA

    Exactly my problem. I've tried just about everything,
    and this is what my final solution is:

    Very low gigs (I play in an acoustic newgrass group)
    SWR Baby blue, good definition at low volume.
    Problem, with a drummer (our outdoor stage) the
    8" woofers don't have an enourmous amount of bottom end.

    Next level up gigs:
    Bag End S15D with JBL D140F (took original speaker
    out, good lows, but lacking in punch in the mids/highs
    at low volume). Amp: Fender 1965 Blackface Showman

    Alternative: For folk festivals or travel, when I get
    20 seconds to get on or off stage.
    Eden Nemesis NC210P. Not as good of tone as Bag End,
    but better lows, and with a SansAmp BDDI acceptable
    tube sound. Louder than above, but more "transitor sound"

    Final tiny rig: Epi T112 driven by an alembic F2b through
    QSC_PLX2402. Does need to be driven harder than above,
    but a standalone rig (often sound guys tell me to turn
    my stage volume down so they can turn up the house)

    The eternal quest for low volume umphhhhhh

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ
  12. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    My Bag End D10BX-D does "quiet" well. It is articulate at low volumes- maintaining the low end. When playing at low volulmes, tytpically I find that the low end is the first to go. Not so with the Bag End. The high end remaims crisp too. I kept it specifically for small gigs. I just throw my rack on top of it and run one side of my QSC though it full range. I've played a few coffee house duet/trio gigs with this.

    And if I need to crank it, well... :bassist:

  13. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    my Aggie 1x15 sounds great at all volumes.
  14. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    The EA Wizzy sounds very good at low volume; very articulate and full while retaining its punchiness. All things considered, this is rapidly becoming one of my favorite small cabs.

    I've also found a single Bergantino EX112 to be satisfying in a low-volume situation although it doesn't have the clarity of the EA mentioned above. Both worked well for DB as well as EB.

    And the CXL110 in my EA iamp350...man, that's a whole other story. GREAT at low-volume but I don't believe they're made anymore.

    Good luck in your quest for the low-vol grail! ;)
  15. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I can always get a smaller box to use just for smaller gigs.
    Thats not the problem. I want to find one box for the quiet
    part of the gig and the later, loud part of the gig. It seems
    many boxes can do one or the other. A berg ht 1x12 would
    be great for early on, but no "booty" for the loud stuff. My
    epifani 210UL seems to be a good compromise, but I wish it
    were just a bit quicker at lower volume. Its almost like I want
    to bring two different boxes to every gig. (too much stuff to
    haul around) With everything out there, it seems you can
    find one box for both sound levels.
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've not tried one but you may want to look into the EA NL210.
  17. joereda

    joereda Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    I've been using the Bergie mini-stack for a while now. Recently I've been using just one cab for our jazz sets and plugging in the second for the "up" stuff. It helps me a bunch. I think cabs coupling with stages, our ears, and perhaps playing the instrument with a lighter touch all add to a perceived lack of "punch" at lower volumes. ???

  18. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think it's worth taking two Berg 112's. They're plently light and you can get the quiet and the loud.
  19. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    As I said, the Bag End does this very well. It is rated 400 watts and is very efficient, so you get "loud" too.

  20. I think cabs sound the same, loud or soft, but when quiet you can no longer "feel" it, that's the thing I miss at quiet volumes.

    Maybe I'm lazy, I just bring the smallest cab(s) that should provide the volume I need. Small room = 1 EA 210, big room=2 EA 210, maybe switch to a 1-18 stacked with a 410 for outdoor gigs, although I'm not entirely convinced that's louder than the 2 EA 210's. Guess I'd rather risk blowing those rather than my EA's if I really go overboard.... :D


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