Mixing Cabs from Different Makers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RunngDog, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I've noticed that most peoples' rigs seem to have several cabs by the same manufacturer (e.g., an Eden 210 and 410). Is this just brand loyalty, or is there some better reason to stick with a single manufacturer? Are there issues to be aware of if I add another manufacturer's cab to my current rig?
  2. The biggest issue I can think of is cab efficiency. For example, an Acme cab (low efficiency) would be hard to match up with an Eden cab (high efficiency). The Eden would be much louder unless you can run a lot more power into the Acme.
  3. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith

    Sep 9, 2001
    Very true. Also, I'm in the market for a cab to compliment my Goliath Jr.III and have yet to find something to compliment it better than an SOB. Manufacturers design cabs to go together.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    When you find something that works, keep using it.

    I used all Eden for a while, and have had pillar cab of my Eden 410XLT, but the second cab has been a revolving door, including Mesa, EB, and SWR cabs.
  5. Driver polarity is an issue you have to check. Make sure all drivers move the same direction in reponse to a given signal. A small battery and cable will show this.

    If you have a two channel power amp, such as the QSC, you can compensate for the sensitivity difference between two cabs. The Acme/Eden example cited above is a dramatic contrast. Not only in loudness, but in tone. They are fundamentally different from each other. This may or may not suit you.
  6. Muzikman is right on the money. You can mix cabs from different makes, BUT they both should be either efficient or both have to be "power hungry".
  7. RunngDog

    RunngDog Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Chicago, IL

    Is this the case if you're running a 2-channel amp? This is particularly relevant to me since I'm thinking about an Acme as the 2nd cab (first is Schroeder 1210).
  8. In general, from what I've read, it is not good idea to mix any cabs with an Acme cab since the Acme are so inefficient. However, you may be able to compensate with a stereo amp (such as the QSC PLX) by turning the volume of the Schroeder cab (which is supposedly very efficient) down.

    BTW, while we are on the subject of mixing brands, my Bag End S15B-D has a 103db sensitivity rating, and the Schroeder 1210 is 102db. The 1db doesn't really make much of difference right? Would you still recommend a stereo amp? (I will probably get an 8 ohms version when it becomes available, BTW)

  9. Tim__x


    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    1db is tiny. You'll never notice.

    Edit:Stereo Amps are still nice to have though. Just don't worry about adjusting gain to make up for the efficiency difference.
  10. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    No brand loyalty here! :D
  11. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Ive never played a gig that required the use of more then one cab. ;)
  12. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I often mix brands and cab sizes. I run each of the cabs through a seperate channel on my stereo power amp and that allows me to balance them to my taste.
  13. Prahainspring


    Oct 22, 2002
    New Jersey
    I'm going to run against the grain here. I use an Ampeg head and run it through a Marshall 1x15 and an ever changing 2x10. I agree with Brendan, "When you find something that works, keep using it." My only problem is that I cant find a 2x10 that works! :smug:
  14. Brand loyalties and efficiencies aside, heed the advice of bgavin: "Driver polarity is an issue you have to check. Make sure all drivers move the same direction in reponse to a given signal."
    There is nothing that will suck your tone faster than out of phase drivers. Even when using identical cabs from any manufacturer for the very first time, I'll run the polarity check. You never know who had their hands inside the cabinets before you got your hands on them. Test the speaker cables as well for the same reason.
  15. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Madrid, Spain
    I¡ve never done, how would you do it? Can you educate me on the process of testing polarity?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  16. One way is to pull the speaker out of the cabinet. Attach a 9v battery to the speaker leads. Observe the direction that the cone moves.
  17. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Another is to plug a 1/4" cable into the cab and use alligator clips to attach a 9v battery to said cable, then look through the grill. Use the same terminals for both cabs, obviously.
  18. blowinblue


    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    I'm as loyal to cabinet makers as they are to me. If I could find one that offered one free cab for every one I purchased, then I'd be loyal to one brand. No one has stepped up yet. :D Seriously, even cabs from the same manufacturer can have differences in efficiency and perceived volumes. That's why I use a two channel power amp if running multiple cabs (as someone else already mentioned). I can balance the volume between cabs if necessary. Of course, how stuff looks is important. If mixing cab brands, we always have to think about coordinating size and colors. We never know when the fashion police might show up on one of our gigs. Heaven forbid that we put a wider cab on top of a narrower one. :oops:;):rollno::D

    M. M.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    To some people this isn't important, but I'm finding out it is to me...matching the cabs seems to work better for me.