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New paradigm?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ken FenderJazz, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. I've been out of it for awhile, at least out of bass playing.

    Back in the mid-eighties, I assembled a rack mount system with an IVP preamp, a Crown crossover, and a Sundholm 500W PA amp. These fed a fiberglass single-port cabinet with a 15" non-full-range JBL, and an unported cab with a 12" EV. This worked well because I could sub easily with other amps in our system if we had any equipment failures, etc. If we didn't need full PA, I could snarf one of the 18"s we used for PA low end.

    I wouldn't have dreamed of feeding my 12" straight with the full range signal, I would have thought it would have blown it. But now that I'm in the market to trade some of this stuff in and get something with a smaller footprint, I see most everyone running 4-10s paralleled right in with a 12 or 15.

    Was I just paranoid that I would blow my 12"? Or were speakers more delicate then?

    And can these modern 10/12" cabinets actually get the thunderous bottom-end I could from an 18"/12" biamp combo?

    And does anybody biamp anymore, or has that become a waste of $$?

    When I asked this at Guitar Center, at least the salesman was nice enough to say I wanted 'old school' sound, not that I myself am old :cool:

    Thanks for any opinions/advice/debate.

    It takes about 10 years to get used to your age
  2. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Hey Ken,
    I actually have an IVP at the moment! They're a great pre! I don't use it any more, and I have a deal pending, but my main rig is a BBE BMax pre with a SoundTech PS802 power amp into an Avatar B212 2x12" cabinet. It handles up to 1000W, and I play outdoor gigs with it without incident. Many advances have been made in both the design and manufacturing processes in the speaker realm. I think it could be possible that you may have been able to damage your 12 cab had you run at full range/volume, not knowing which EV you were using. But bass cabs nowadays are almost all ported in some way, many are two and even three-way affairs with tweeters and/or mids. A sealed cabinet, by virtue of it being sealed, will self-damp. It will not be as efficient, as it is only moving the air that the cone sees up front, not the volume contained in the cabinet. I've had a couple sealed cabs from time to time, and they sounded great at low volume. But when turned up, they would compress the air inside the cab and in one instance, the louder I tried to get, the more it would compress, the more low end I would lose. A curious thing, indeed!
  3. I went from a bag end 18" with a 4x10 Hartke 4.5xl on top to a pair of EA 2x10 cabinets. Do the math:

    18" + 4x10 = less bottom than 2x10 + 2x10. :eek:

    Wait a minute.... that can't be right, must be the new math... :meh:

    But no lie, I get a way better low B out of the pair of 2x10's than I got out of my 18+4x10. Not sure if speakers have changed that much, I think its more cabinet design. Maybe new designs like the EA transmission line cabs that required cheap powerful computers to do the design work efficiently? Maybe its just that now most cabs are designed for a 5 string, and tweeters were added to get the hifi slap sound, so it was a natural evolution.

    And I think biamping is a waste of time now that full range cabs are available. When you couldn't get decent low end (especially for low B's when 5 strings first came out) without a subwoofer, it made sense. Others disagree, but just between you and me, I've noticed that people who disagree with me generally tend to be wrong, in my opinion.

  4. +1 on the above comments. I'm an 'older guy' also and remember using Cerwin Vega 18s with 15s on top, etc. I would NEVER want to go back to that. The sound of todays cabs combined with power that we could only dream about back then has made playing bass much more fun. A well designed 410 or 212 cab driven by a bunch of high quality watts will put out virtually all the sound you would ever need... and as a bonus... you can actually distinguish individual notes from one another :p
  5. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, first off I must say that I have also found two EA VL-210's to be one of the deepest, tightest sounding rigs out there. And among all the cabs I own (indcluding 15's and 18's), these are the cabs which just beg to be driven the hardest.

    But, as to transmission line designs being done on "cheap powerful computers", it is my understanding that the opposite is true. From what I have heard, there is no truly effective way to design a transmission line via computer modelling, and that it is done more or less by ear and by hand - by a human, at least! There's a reason that John Dong is the only one designing transmission line designed cabs for the bass community. They are more prevalent in the audiophile world, though.

  6. Mr. TomBowlus, have you tried some of the new cabs out there vs the vl210's? Curious if some of the newer LDS, Accugroove, Shroeder, etc can compete, or maybe even surpassed them...

    I'm married now, can't buy new gear anyway. But I'd rather believe I'm sticking to the vl-210's cause they're still the best out there, rather than I'm a poor gelded housebroken version of the manly man I used to be, who can't even spend his own money without permission anymore... :bawl:

    Don't get me wrong, I love the vl-210's, but always curious about new technology, and affirmation of bragging rights re the vl-210's.

  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Check out my profile or my blog to get an idea of the cabs in my aresenal. With big SS amps, nothing touched two VL-210B's as far as depth and clarity of low end is concerned. Accugroove and ACME cabs may sound more full across the lows, but the VL-210's are still more clear and more deep. The EA CX-310 (which I used to own) could pretty much keep up, though. Schroeder's and Eden 410XLT's will give you that thick, low-mid bump, which can help produce a really full low end, but again, for depth, clarity and the ability to remain tight at stupid high volumes, the VL-210's are king, in my book.

  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I should add, though, that the VL-210's don't seem to like my big tube amps as well. My Whappo, Jr. is my cab of choice with tube amps (for now). When my El Whappo and Berg NV215 come in, though, one of them may very well surpass the Jr.

    Oh, and I forgot about one cab that really gives the VL-210's a run for the money in deep, tight, lows. The Berg HT115. Just a stupendously good 1x15, though ultimately, the VL-210's go a bit deeper (but the Berg is more full sounding).

  9. After getting out of a band for awhile, I swore I'd play for free and pay a roadie my fee so I could just come in and play. That big old rack was/is a pain to haul around.

    I hadn't pulled it out of the basement for awhile until the other day when my church's subs went down. That was about the time I thought I could use an update :D
  10. For you VL210ers out there.... there are two of them in nice condition for sale at Low Down Sound in Detroit.

  11. Wonder if that's a damping factor thing I wonder? Don't tubes tend to have much lower damping factor than SS amps? I'm using the crown K1 class D, has a ridiculously high damping factor with my vl-210's.

    I've gotten some funny looks from bass players that haven't heard of EA, not too impressed with "just a pair of 210's". :rollno: Until they hear them. :eek: Haven't had anyone lose control of bodily functions yet, but its just a matter of time.

  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That's my guess, too.
  13. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I only have a few years experience on The Bass, but many-times that with The Wife (er.. a couple of'em, actually).

    Here's what I did, and it worked like a charm, Man: When I first started thinking about getting back into The Bass (after twenty years - that's longer than we'd been married), I started getting attitude from her about it right-away. I told my wife that she didn't have to worry; that I'd only buy any new bass gear if I happened to make any money playing on my junker-equipment. Well, of course she assumed I'd FAIL, and never make any money, RIGHT? ..So she grudgingly said that was alright with her (oh - don't misunderstand; she says most-everything pretty grudgingly anyway - like "good morning", and "good night").

    ..So a year and a half later, I'm pocketing $100 in gig-money every to every-other weekend or-so, and so-far the Little-Lady has got nuthin' to say about my new GK / JBL / Boss rig (Don't get me wrong, now; she doesn't have much to say to me anyway..) - and a new pro-Bass is next!

    She still has never come out to see a show... (sigh..) Hey, things are working-out even WAY-better than I thought they would!

    See? You can even get marital advice from old-pros here!

    ..So there-ya-go. You're all-set.

    Oh yeah -

  14. I don't see VL-210 on their website - is it being superseded by NL-210?
  15. They stopped making them quite some time ago. There was a short lived model after the VL'scalled the CXL210 or something like that. I, of course, bought one :D . It sounded great... much crisper than the original VL's... however... it weighed a TON! Now they have the new Neo 210. I haven't played one, but they look nice (although they are still heavy for a Neo cab).
  16. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA.
    Engineer: AccuGroove Speakers & Amps
    It all depends on the cabinet & speaker (driver) design. With the correct setup you can forget biamping.

    I started playing in 1970 & edged into biamping around 76. Biamping & carrying multiple cabs was all I did for over 25 years. Even with the most elaborate setup I could not get the true sound of my basses, although it was better than using standard gear.

    That’s what drove me to start a personal project where multiple cabinets were squeezed into compact unit. The next goal was to be able to make it sound better running full range with a regular amp than with the complicated biamp setup.

    Frustration with what was on the market (& the lack thereof) started the personal project that ended up becoming AccuGroove. Do I miss biamping? Not in the least.

    I’m sure there are those that still biamp & it can certainly be a better solution to much of what’s on the market. If you already have the biamp capability with the correct gear & it’s working, why change.

    AccuGroove Speaker Cabinets
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    To my ears, the CxL-210 is not "much crisper" than the VL-210. In truth, I found it to be slightly more warm than the VL-210, with the VL-210 being slightly more clear, and the CxL-210 being slightly more full.

    The new cab is the NL-210. I happen to own at least one of all three EA 2x10 models. To me, the NL-210 seems quite light, even knowing that it is a neo equipped cab. And the kicker is, it's the warmest sounding of them all (though the VL-210 is still the deepest and tightest).

  18. Wow... you're saying you hear the treble output (which is what I meant by crisp) of the CXL being less than the VL??????? Man, when I got the CXL 210 it sounded like taking a burlap bag off my VL. Granted, the low end extension wasn't there like with the VL. Given the CXL was a 2 way cab with a more traditional tweeter, it sounded much closer to, for example, the Epi210 (non neo that I had at the time). I had actually talked to the EA guys at the time, talking about some of the limititations I found with my VL, and they felt that the CXL 'fixed' some of those problems. I guess it's all a moot point, since both those cabs are off the market.

    Regarding weight, the new EA neo cab is relatively light versus traditional cabs, but is much heavier than other neo 210's, I assume due to the extra material for the transmission line design. Their 410 neo, for example, is about 20 pounds heavier than the Epi 410 neo.
  19. Tom, you are quite simply (for lack of a better word) insane bro! :D
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I head more overall clarity with the VL-210, which is not necessarily the same thing as more high end. What amp were you driving them with? It might be that with some amps, the higher efficiency of the CxL series would allow more of the high end to come through. The VL-210 seems to be one of the more "headroom hungry" cabs, and its upper mids and highs open up a good bit more at higher volumes. I did my testing using my iAMP 800, with all attenuators set to noon.

    And keep in mind, for those of use who buy mostly used equipment, anything is potentially "on the market!"

    Well, the NL-210 is 44 lbs, and the Epi T-210UL is 38 lbs, so to me it's not a huge difference. The Accugroove Tri 210L is 57 lbs (and seems light as a feather to me).


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