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Phenomenon with large practice rooms

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RAM, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I have an Epi 4-10UL run through a Read Purity and Stewart World 2.1. In my new band's practice space, I've noticed while the volume and cutting power is tremendous, the cab oddly doesn't have enough lows for the size of the room. It's a warehouse with tons of misc. "stuff" laying around, and impossible to back it against a wall to amplify the lows. I've boosted the lows on my basses (US Spector, Jerzy Drozd Mastery VI, and Lakland DJ), as well as on the Purity, but I still find I don't get that low-end thoaty punch. At best, if I crank the lows, my tone ends up getting muddy.

    Don't get me wrong...I love the voicing of this cab, as it makes my finger-style playing really cut through with authority. But, the lows just seem lacking, at least in this room.

    I'm sure it's not entirely the cab's fault, as it's got more low end than my old EBS 4-10, but just still seems to be missing something "down there".

    I'm not in a position to acquire another cab at this point, although trading it wouldn't be as much as a financial strain. The trouble I have trading it is knowing what I'd be giving up, and wondering if it's not entirely the room's fault.

    So, what do I do?
  2. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder encridublee smatr

    Nov 22, 2004
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I can't imagine it would be the Epi 410 that is lacking in lows. That said, the room, in both our opinions would be the culprit.
    I rarely have a problem with lows and have most of my problem is cutting through so, you should find some solace in knowing that you have a unique problem with me. What head are you using? Wattage enough? Concrete floor? I always like the tight sound I get from a solid concrete floor beneath me but it sacrafices some lows. Cut your highs? Turn your cabinet around maybe?
    Maybe reorganizing the space if possible to alleviate the deflection created by the things laying around would help. Throw some old carpet remnants around over the stuff. Can you find a corner to place your cab? Sheesh, I wish sometimes I had your problem. Ours is always a muddy mess. I am constantly trying to find some snap without being twangy.
  3. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    It's not on casters is it? You could try lying the cab on it's side, it noticably increases the low end to my ear. I also thought my 410ul was a little shy right on the bottom until I swapped from a wt800b to a crest ca9. I don't think that any more. Another option is to pick up a parametric eq with a variable high pass filter. You can set a narrow bandwith and boost right at the bottom without it affecting your low mids much. The high pass filter set correctly will protect your drivers from over excursion. Alto and behringer make suitable 1ru eqs that are very inexpensive. I've got one of the behringer peq2200's and it's useful. You can hear when it's in circuit (sounds slightly dark but it has a bypass relay so you can switch it out without recabling) but it's better than putting up with difficult accoustics. Bypass switches on every eq band too. I'm sure there's some very nice units available for more money, maybe something like a focusrite green series, do they still make those?
  4. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    You're fighting a losing battle with the acoustics. The only solution is to change the position of your cab (or maybe your position relative to it). Because the cab is away from the walls the back wave is bouncing off the walls and cancelling out the front wave at certain frequencies (where 1/4 wavelength equals the distance from the wall). EQ will just suck up power to little effect.

  5. Would you be allowed to move some of that misc.stuff around?
    If you could create some 'walls' around your band to contain the sound it might help.
  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
  7. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane what goes here?

    Feb 23, 2003
    Denton, Texas
    Have a party and fill the room up with people. They make great dampeners.
  8. There are quite a few posts complaining about the Read preamp's lack of low end (at least that's what I remember reading... PM Tom Bowlus... I believe he's commented on this... it's either the purity or the 'true voice' preamp that has this problem). Anyway, IMO, you don't need another cab, you need a different pre!

    Edit: I PM'd Tom to make him aware of this thread, in case my above comment was inaccurate.
  9. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    All gear stuff aside for now,

    An old band used to practice in a room that had a square floor plan, around 20'x20'. You could be playing near your rig and hear what seemed to be a dearth of bass response, and move over where one of the guitarist's mics was - about 5 feet away - and practically feel the low end pushing the eardrum against the opposite wall. A large amount of time spent moving the bass rig around, changing the entire band floor plan, and finally doing some acoustic treatment made this "standing wave hell" a bearable place for band practices.
  10. I agree with Alex. Sounds like your cab is in a "node" where the low frequencies could be cancelled out due to the room's accoustics. You can try moving your cab, or have the band setup in a different location in the room.
    You could also try changing out the cab, power amp, and pre (each separately) to see if those components make a difference.
    Just my 2 cents. Good luck! :D
  11. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ken, I believe my comments were all on the True Voice, but I do find the Read Purity to be a rather 'mid-focused' preamp, so the lows are - on a relative level - perhaps a bit reduced compared to some other preamps.


    [Edit: But I agree, it sounds like predominantly a room thing.]
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    This is also why for years I hated playing outdoor shows. The bass kind of drifts off into space, and you never really get to hear it. :(

    I had a practice room that was also a large empty warehouse space and it had the same problem, for the most part (not the worst problem, mind you, which was the temperature...100+ degrees in the summer and sub-freezing in the winter).

    High wattage multi cab setups seem the only way to combat this well. :( I always find myself thinking about the original Jamaican sound systems, where they'd set up in an empty lot or field and used loads of amps and bins to create prodigious bass...the system that was the biggest and could produce the most loud low end was considered the 'champion sound'. It lead folks like King Tubby to design his own gear (and truck it around)...That's a big reason you hear the bass so loud on Jamaican recordings! The were meant to be heard outdoors!
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    A Trace Elliot V8 and a Bergantino NV215 solved any problems I might have filling up the low end at an outdoor gig. :cool:
  14. Put your cab in a corner. This is as good as it gets, room-wise, for increased bottom.

    You can build and put up bass traps here: Link to Ethan Winer Bass Traps

    These go a long way toward taming room nodes.
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I'm already thinking about a second HT115. :)

    And I haven't even gotten the first one yet! If all goes well, I'll have it for this Sunday's show. Theoretically, my amp will go down to 2 ohms I could do 2xHT115 + 1x1212 for an outdoor rig. ;)
  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Quit practicing and go gig!
    The only acoustic problem you will have next could be the bar owner.:)
  17. +1. LOL! Good advice! :D :D :hyper:
  18. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I wish!

    We're so new we don't have enough material to fill a beer bottle.:eyebrow:
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Room modes (standing waves) can cause drastic variations in bass response from one spot to another. These variations might be a large as 20 to 30 dB at some frequencies.
  20. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Of course you're right Bob. But given that all rooms have modes I'm wondering in this case if BurningSkies is the only one on the right track with his reference to outdoor sound. RAM doesn't actually say how big the room is other than it's a warehouse, which could mean it's pretty damn huge. If it is that big it could well be similar to outdoors in that the omnidirectional lows just seem to disappear in the abscence of boundaries. Without compensating lows off the back of a thundering pa the best way I know to cope with that situation is to add speaker area, as BS suggested.
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