Minimum spec for audible B string.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by eJake, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I have had a couple rehearsals at this studio that has a GK mb500 with a GK1x10 on top and some 1x15 without a front grill on the bottom (i wasnt looking too closely).

    I know all the science guys will say that the mismatched cab was probably the culprit but my B string low notes were inaudible.

    I have played all sorts of house rigs in the past and have had to adjust lines to fit the amp (if it cant handle the low, dont play low). Its strange to me tho cuz I have one of those TC 2x8s that sounds the B fine with my GB Streamliner 900 (smallest amp I own atm).

    Got me wondering if all you techie 5 string players have a modus operandi for what will and will not handle a low note with no problem.

    I play passive J bass no pedals for reference.
  2. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
  3. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    IME it's more about the "growl" than about faithfully reproducing the lowest fundamentals at volume. (Apparently there is this "psychoacoustic" effect where our brains perceive a lower note even when our ears are mostly receiving harmonics, not the actual pitch.)
    I've always had best results, blending in the bridge pickup at least 50% and having some "presence" in the amp setup. Smaller diameter woofers seem to help in that regard - I'm not interested in having a sub-woofer onstage.
    I had one of my best ever low B experiences last night, rehearsing for a Jazz quintet with Acme Low-B1 (10" woofer, 5" mid driver + tweeter). The bass - Warwick Streamer Stage I - is particularly growly and the drummer was playing down to an acoustic piano and un-mic'd horns.
    Obviously more woofers & wattage will be required as the volume increases. But IME mud can be a low B's biggest enemy.
  4. Jazzjames


    Oct 24, 2015
    Essen, Germany
    I’m not sure you can really put a couple of numbers on it and say for sure that a setup will do the job of amplifying the lowest notes of a 5/6 stringer.

    I have an AER amp one and it kicks hard down low at very impressive volumes for its size. Great for rehearsals and gigs in small venues or with quieter bands. Loud rock? No, you need to move more air.

    My Greenboy F112 is ridiculous for the lows, but it buries many much bigger cabs, so I’d just suggest trying stuff out until you find what works for you. If you’re looking for compact and great performance, Greenboy are great.
    eJake likes this.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    What happens when you use one cabinet (either one) but not both?
  6. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I haven’t done that. Great suggestion, thanks.
    Al Kraft and agedhorse like this.
  7. Do it.
    Speakers out of phase will lose the lows.
  8. Heady

    Heady Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2019
    Orlando, FL
    Curious - what style of music are you playing where you need the heavy bottom? Metal? Reggae?
    eJake likes this.
  9. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    When you write that the low B is not audible do you mean there is no sound or that the low B lacks fundamental?
  10. Check your B for a good witness point over the bridge. Detune and press firmly in front of bridge. That could be it. :)
    I use a little 1x8 for practice and the B is there and balanced. Play some other 5s and see if they sound different to you. Just problem solving.
  11. EatS1stBassist

    EatS1stBassist In Memoriam

    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
  12. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    He stated the B is fine on his 2x8 at home.

    There's a real possibility that two cabinets of different brands may be out of phase, especially if the 1x15 is an older JBL driver.
    Al Kraft, bbh, eJake and 2 others like this.
  13. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Phasing is the culprit.

    Minimal spec for tone from a low B is, bump up 300-800hz. Bump down 100-20 hz. Do that, and you'll hear your low notes through anything.
    Rip Van Dan and eJake like this.
  14. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I have rehearsed there for a few different gigs. The first time I really noticed the problem, I was doing some 90s R&B. If you're familiar with the style, the lack of B strength was just was not working.

    The other day we were doing some traditional New Orleans Black Mardi Gras Indian music. I didn't need the low notes but noticed that when I tried to drop the octave on a groove in Eb, it was really weak. The Db was not heard over the band at all.
  15. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I mean that while playing with the band, it is buried.
  16. lizardking837


    Jan 28, 2009
    Need Gigs likes this.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Maybe, maybe not. Without doing some of the troubleshooting I suggested, it’s nothing but a wild ass guess.
    gln1955, eJake, Rip Van Dan and 3 others like this.
  18. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I'm proud of you, talkbass. No one yet has chimed in with the simple, concise, and wrong answer that the fundamental of the low B is 31hz therefore you need a speaker that is flat at 31hz to hear the low B.

    Thr MB500 has plenty of oomph down there. Most modern ported cabs (that are in phase) will do the low B job just fine. Fwiw, I use a high pass filter at usually around 40 or 50hz.
    eJake, Mk90, Element Zero and 2 others like this.
  19. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra.

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Absolutely. I play a 35" scale Ibanez just so that I can have a really strong B string. I play it through a HPF and either a single 112 or a pair of them. It sounds like house on fire. I can guarantee I'm not getting much of anything in the 31hz frequency. Psychoacoustics or something. Freaky stuff.
    And I, eJake and Rip Van Dan like this.
  20. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    Like others have said, maybe the cabs are out of phase.