my next controversial question!! bass speakers into a marshall straight cabinet??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bon viesta, Aug 17, 2021.


  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    noel redding. billy cox. andy fraser. jack bruce. what’s the deal with all these guys? they used marshall 4x12 cabinets either primarily or at a time in their career, and at the very least i heard what they sounded like with them. and unlike the bassman 2x12 i was talking about the other day, these guys actually sounded particularly awesome with these amplifiers. the bassman is sort of ambiguous. so would the earth explode if i put eminence speakers with a low volume capability (think basslites) into a marshall style 30x30x14 straight 4x12 cabinet? i know you amp techies have the best intentions in your heart, but please don’t smite me for asking such a dubious question :nailbiting: all these questions are sort of my research on what to do with any potential amp set up. if i criss cross and jump around from style to style and question to question it’s just because i’m trying to figure out what’s possible and what’s not.
     

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  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    My hunch is that they were able to get away with it back in the day because of the relatively low power ratings of the amps of the day, typically 100W, and the narrower bandwidth those amps put out, i.e they were grinding out more mids than bass bass if you know what I mean.

    Steve Harris of Iron Maiden used to load guitar cabs with EV drivers for many years so your idea is not completely bonkers. I suppose it depends on what kind of sound you're after and how often you're willing to replace blown drivers.
     
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  3. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Those guys used the best gear that was available at the time. But technology and our understanding of the acoustics of concert sound have come a LONG way.

    Part of the "vintage" sound was due to primitive PA design, which required these artists to try to fill the venue with the sound from their stage rig. They blew a lot of speakers doing so, and as a result often played through speakers that had been damaged or blown by that effort - which made the distorted sound synonymous with "rock star".

    A big part of the reason things just kept getting louder and louder on stage is because the 2x2 cabinet configuration is pretty much a worst-case scenario acoustically: those side-by-side speakers lead to a lot of comb-filtering (destructive cancellation) of the midrange frequencies that human ears are most sensitive to, while at the same time those speakers blast a beam of high-mids DIRECTLY in front of the cab, but sound muffled and undefined if you step off axis.

    So, again, people turned up trying to hear themselves better.

    Physically, there is nothing to stop you from putting 4 Basslites into a Marshall 412.
    But that's a lot of money to spend and bulk to haul for a speaker that just isn't going to sound very good.

    You'd save money and sound better by having a custom 1x12 or 2x12 made to fit under your amp, and you could pick the dimensions, covering, grille cloth, hardware...make it LOOK however you want it to look, but it'll sound far better than they were able to make things sound back then.
     
  4. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    do you think a nearly identical looking cabinet (almost the same size, but instead 28(h)x26(w)x14(d) dimensions) that’s not 4x12, but instead 2x12, would both be a more cost effective set up, and also be better able to get the best out of any bass speakers you put inside the box??? 14 inches deep doesn’t seem too terribly bad for a 2x12 bass cabinet, to a noobie like me.
     
  5. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    This pair of cabinets was built by a company called "Low Down Sound" and the combined weight of the two of them is less than a Marshall 412.

    In particular, the 212 on the left has a pair of high-output speakers and its vertical design makes it sound clear pretty much ANYWHERE on stage - it weighs just over 50# and can take up to 900 watts, so it'll do things that a vintage bass cab could never achieve.

    (The cab on the right has an Eminence Kappalite 3015LF. When I got it, I was listening to music through it to dial in my EQ. The low frequency extension goes so deep that kick drum of the recording was giving me vertigo.)
     

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
  6. b/o 402

    b/o 402

    Jul 14, 2015
    DC & MD
    Here’s what you need to know about what was different in the ‘60s:
    - Watts were expensive
    - Clean watts were very, very expensive
    - Speakers were not available which could take much power. For example, the original Marshall 4x12 had speakers rated at 15W each, as it was hoped it would withstand the 45W of the original JTM45. When the first Marshall 100W was produced, they figured they’d need 8 such speakers.
    The Who actually did a few gigs with 8x12 cabs! Only later did Marshall source speakers capable of 25W each, and put these “higher power” capacity 12s in a cabinet with the special “100” plate.
    - As speakers were developed which could take much power, they, too, were very expensive
    - Finally, what wasn’t expensive was transport, i.e. young guys willing to hump and shlep big heavy gear to every gig
     
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  7. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Possibly - the determining factor for a cabinet's tuning is volume (and port dimensions, if its a ported cab).

    So if you need to match a certain dimension (typically the width of the amp that's going on top) you can adjust the other two dimensions to get the correct total volume.
     
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  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I would add...

    - They had to replace a lot of speakers, and often played with blown ones.

    Question for OP: Maybe you answered this in one of your other threads (which I don't remember seeing), but is there some reason you don't just buy a bass amp and cabinet(s)? Given the variety available these days I'm sure you could find something that gets you whatever sound it is you're looking for.
     
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Sure, and then this happened:

    Jerrrrrrry.jpg
     
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  10. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    The OP clearly stated that the tones he heard sounded great to him (for the reasons you explained - which I liked, and learned something from :)) so if his tonal goal is to recreate the sound of those artists, then he should do exactly as he proposed or use similar gear (lower powered tube heads into guitar cabs). I don't see where he asked how to save money doing so in the process.
     
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  11. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    with my dad as someone who’s very skilled in electrical engineering, i want to broaden what i can get out of bass amp purchasing with that in mind. why pay someone to do all that stuff when you can do it with your dad? and i’ve always been obsessed with vintage music gear. it looks awesome, and it feels awesome to be playing in front of, or on, or whatever. i don’t gig, i don’t have any specific constraints to abide by, so i’m not limiting myself to whatever is super popular right now with ultra low lows and top notch power and all the current top notch technology. i don’t have bandmates pressing me to get better gear, or a drummer being too loud to hear myself, etc. i have the flexibility to “experiment” and try different things and ask about things to be personally satisfied with what i can get out of the options laying around on the internet, as opposed to just giving up and buying a fender rumble and forever wanting something else. i’m preventing my own future damnation to GAS, among other things.
     
  12. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i’m all for saving money where it’s able to be saved!!! especially if saving money ALSO means the end product will be more sustainable/reliable than the expensive option.
     
  13. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Guessing can get quite expensive.
     
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  14. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    hence why i ask my stupid questions on TB:D
     
  15. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    This adds a LOT of clarity to the objective behind your questions!
    Fundamentally, amplification is the collision of electrical engineering and acoustical engineering.

    Since you already HAVE a great electrical engineering resource, start learning more about the acoustical side of the process - what the Thiele/Small parameters mean, and the tradeoffs between those different parameters.
    Thiele/Small parameters - Wikipedia (Wiki is hardly ever a definitive resource, but this article could point you in several useful directions).

    Something that could be a great activity for you and your dad would be to build a vintage-style amp from a kit:
    Weber Speakers – www.tedweber.com

    Doing so, you can see how different components shape the tone and come up with something that is uniquely your own.

    Weber also have vintage-style speaker cabinets, and you can select the covering, grille cloth, hardware, etc...
    Plus, they make a WIDE selection of vintage-style speakers - where you can select the magnet material, cone voicing, dustcap material (all of which affect the tone).

    Since your goal is experimentation and the joy of learning, get to know your variables then enjoy the journey!
     
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  16. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    that was the plan!! buy an empty marshall style cabinet, buy a mojotone marshall head kit, and do it together and while doing it learn about what works and what doesn’t with bass amplifier technology and how to deal with tubes and speakers and all of that junk. my dad makes kits all the time, and he’s a guitarist. maybe i should have said that on my earlier thread too…. :cautious: i must have sounded like a madman with a wrench and an idea in his head.
     
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Have Weber ever published T-S parameters for a single driver they sell? They "were going to get to that" quite a few years ago, but I can only hold my breath for so long...;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
  18. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    In VERY general terms, the difference between a vintage guitar amp and a vintage bass amp is a few capacitors, maybe a larger output transformer, and a speaker capable of reproducing bass frequencies.

    The rest is up to nuance, refinement, and taste...
     
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  19. groovaholic

    groovaholic The louder the better. Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Ah...true...scientific analysis and Weber speakers aren't entirely compatible.

    In Weber's defense, the T/S parameters are really only make/break for us bassists. And the majority of their customers are vintage-minded guitarists.

    Those dirty, nasty guitarists can put 22 watts into a single 12" in an open back cabinet and make our 800 watt rigs SWEAT to keep up :banghead:
     
  20. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    i don't think this concept works in reality-land ... the 'box' is designed & optimized for a particular speaker or combination of speakers from the get-go.

    "to get the best out of any bass speakers" ... if that were achievable, to me it implies that all bass boxes would be alike. why spend money & time on cab design if there were already a box design to get the best out of any bass speaker?
     
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