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OK, don't kill me, but mixing drivers:.....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by basscooker, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    alright here it is:

    i'm kinda getting flamed on another forum because i mentioned that the 4x10+1x15 isn't a great idea...(literally that's all i said)

    so i was hoping i could get a link or at least a thread title i can search myself to link there. preferably a thread that has good solid links and explanations near the top. i know there have to be dozens (if not hundreds) but do any of you more senior members remember a specific one that didn't bust out into a firefight, or a bunch of "just don't" 's?
    i dropped a link to this amps forum there, but it fell on deaf ears (blind eyes?).
    i really don't care about doing the puffy-chested "see, i'm right" thing, but the thread op is looking for a good rig for his band's bass player, and is getting bombarded with rec's for "those" rigs.
    no matter to me, really, but help a brutha to help anotha brutha!!
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    You can't really help the willfully ignorant. You've pointed the right direction, they can choose not to follow it, and they'll probably carry on wondering why bands sound bad at gigs.
  3. +1, I've given up trying to reason with people here, frankly, but there are benefits when you're able to sound better under more circumstances and others sound like they're wallowing in mud ;)

    Check some of the stickies here in the Amps section as there are some good threads with explanations that stick with the science and engineering.
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Do a search for "mismatched" or "mixed" drivers/speakers/cabinets and similar or just scroll until you find something (there are tons of threads about this, but you are right, it is a bit hard to find).

    Many on this board will tell you not to mix a 410 and a 115, but if you understand how a 410 (4 speakers) and 115 (1 speaker) are powered by an amp and what happens when one is a 4ohm and one is a 8ohm (an example) it might make sense as to why.

    Some people swear by this (even Victor Wooten runs mixed cabs), but it is not the best choice for most bassists.

    P.s. If it. Sounds good to you, who cares what Internet "experts" tell you? Just don't blow one of the cabs.
  5. I say mix your drivers all you want. It just makes my rig sound that much better. Thanks. ;)
  6. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    oh, i totally get it! it really isn't about me, like i said. i figured since this bass player is just starting out, i'd try and pass along some of the knowledge i've picked up from all of you. but the other posters on [forum name purposely omitted] started to gang up on me all like "flea" this and "....." that, and i just figured i could supply something informative. kids.... you know it's funny, if the net would've been around when i was 15 i'd have been one of those, too, so.....i'll get searching....or not. like mr foxen said, willingly ignorant, maybe i'll just let the pooping dog poop.
  7. The amps sticky has a link with a relevant thread or two in it.

    gui****s generally think a 100W tube amp + 4x12 is the best tool for the job. Bassists know better, some of us anyway.
  8. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    ok, so i just went back and the op is joining in, "following the crowd" as it were, so i'll just let it happen. oh, well; i tried! he even started spouting the "1x15 will give the better lows" thing.....


    hey, thanks b-string, i'll give posting it a go.....maaaaaaybe ;)
  9. Well just offer "ignorance is bliss" and let it go.
  10. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Just don't go back to that forum. Problem solved.

    But seriously, I disagree that mixing drivers is the end of the world. I did it for years and I never had any adverse feelings about it. I wouldn't do it again however because I acknowledge that there are probably safer and smarter options.

    Too many people get on their high horse about this particular issue. Like proper hysterical or whatever. Rome won't burn just because someone wants to put a 115 on top of a 210. You have to let people have their preferences.
  11. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    i didn't get into anything. i simply stated hey that's not a great idea, check out why here, and provided a link. the flames ensued from there, and i watched poster after poster tear it up..... oh well.
  12. If ignorance closes it's ears or eyes. You did your best and let it go. :D
  13. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    Always kind of a perplexing subject. Science says that mixing cabs with different driver size causes phase problems. But, there are a bunch of pro players that do just that. Many of us on this forum have. It makes me wonder sometimes if these problems are really noticeable to the human ear, or is it only really detectable by test equipment?
  14. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The real problem is that there tends to be a real herd mentality on this issue - and that human beings tend to be herd animals. :rollno:

    People - at least most people - tend to resist change, even when a particular change has been proven as beneficial. In fact, there are some who will resist it all the more stubbornly as a result. You can't reason your way out of that - not when they try to hold reason itself against you. :rollno:

    One common excuse for sticking with the less than optimum status quo is that even accomplished professional players use mismatched rigs with mixed drivers - the assumption being that they must have a superior command of acoustical physics - just because they can play the instrument very well.

    The implied argument is, of course, silly on its very face. Which is probably the reason why it is so seldom argued explicitly... :eyebrow:

  15. Oobly


    Jun 19, 2008
    Some possible problems caused by mixing drivers / cabs:

    1. Different phase response causing phase issues (some frequencies boosted, some diminished).
    2. Different surface areas causing different SPL, so one cab will often not contribute much volume-wise. This is a complicated one, though, since it's a combination of impedance, sensitivity, surface area and cabinet design which determines SPL at different frequencies for a cab.
    3. Different power handling depending on impedance.

    So, if you have a 410 and a 115, both with the same impedence (say 8 ohm) and drivers of the same sensitivity, then the amp will push roughly the same electrical power into each, but the 410 will usually be significantly louder due to it's driver surface area. If you use a 4 ohm 115 and an 8 ohm 410, the 115 will get more power from the amp, but most likely again not in exactly the right ratio to make them the same volume. Again, this gets complicated due to total cab sensitivity at different frequencies.

    So if you like the sound of a particular cab, it's a safe bet to get another identical one and stack them. Mixing cabs can be a real crapshoot, never know if it'll sound good 'til you've got the whole rig running.

    Personally I wouldn't even use a 410, though, due to the drivers being mounted symmetrically causing comb filtering and baffle step issues. Vertically arrayed identical drivers or crossed over drivers of different size will give the best horizontal phase response. Vertically stacked 210s or a good 3-way cab always sound best to my ear, but they don't look like the classic "fridge" or wall of sound.

    Driver size has very little to do with frequency response. A large driver will start to "beam" high frequencies earlier than a smaller one (which is why woofers are big and tweeters small), but that's another issue. A small driver can sound "lower", "bigger", "fuller", etc. than a large one, it's all about the specific driver's frequency response and sensitivity.

    That said, if it sounds good, why not.... Good on you for trying to set them straight, but as the saying goes "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it use identical cabs"... or something.
  16. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    All the pro/big players that mix up, you just need to look at where the mics are. If there are any, they are close miced, if there aren't its going DI. Pro means getting paid, and one of the things that pays is having a visible rig by a certain manufacturer.
  17. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Honestly, there's a level of truth to this. There are a lot of people (including many of those that now freely throw around terms like "ignorant" on this board) that probably did, at one time, mix drivers as well. They did it because 1) they didn't have a background in acoustics, 2) They saw lots of famous bassists doing the same thing and 3)they never noticed any audible difference worth worrying about. The third reason is usually why most people don't listen when the passive aggressive insults starts to fly.

    You can preach until you are blue in the face. Many knowledgeable people have done so on this board, and literally burned themselves out on this forum doing so. Give them the information and then, if they still insist on doing it their own way.........let them. It's certainly not hurting you, and inferring that the person is ignorant of somehow inferior isn't going to win them over any time soon.
  18. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Except those of us that go to gigs and listen to bands.
  19. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Point 1. true
    Point 2. true
    Point 3. only true untill they indeed heard a system that didn't have these issues.

    IMO, since I now have a system with minimal phase issues I know what it sounds like and what it's positive effects (for me) are.
    Maybe to some these are negative effects, e.g. a good phase response will let you hear more details of your instrument. Some people don't want that, they want a more muffled sound that "covers" e.g. irregularities of their playing-technique....

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