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Question on ported vs. non-ported cabs - need advice/opinions!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Jan 11, 2012.


  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    Hey guys,

    So I've recently been reassessing my rig - namely my cabinets. I currently run two 2x12 Genz Benz Neos that I power with an SVT. I personally love the cabs because they have a warm sound, a good dynamic range, and a nice pillow-like punch. However, I've recently been wanting something different.

    I've found these cabs to lack the kind of punch that really kicks you in the gut and shakes you on your feet. I recall a recent band party I went to and the bassist's rig was absolutely stomping mine in the punch department. You could literally feel each note hit you in the chest, and I remember my guitarist leaning over to me and saying, "you need that" - I agreed.

    I noticed that the bassist's cab wasn't (to my knowledge) ported, and I know that many people around here say that non-ported cabs tend to have tighter lows and punchier dynamics. I was wondering how true that was and if it would be worth me picking up a non-ported cab to get that kind of earth shaking low end and gut hitting punch that you actually feel, because all I know is that my current cabs seem unable to get that feel.

    If the answer is yes, could you please make some suggestions on cabs that would be worth checking out? If it helps, I play rock, finger funk, and jam type stuff. I want a strong but tight low end, really punchy mids that you can feel, and a bright, yet round, high end that isn't too shrill or brittle.

    Thanks!
     
  2. suraci

    suraci

    Apr 11, 2005
    Just a guess, but I have been thinking about SVT 810- actually TWO of them is killer
     
  3. Devo-lution

    Devo-lution

    Jun 24, 2009
    It's all up to your personal preference. IMO, there are ported and non-ported designs that can be defined as punchy. Better try some and find out which one will suit you best.

    If you really want to go with a non ported (sealed) cab, here are some to look into:

    Ampeg svt 210 av, Bergantino NV-series, Barefaced '69er, ampeg svt 810's, some Hartke cabs, ...
     
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    Haha, I knew the answer was going to come sometime or another! :D

    TBH, I'm not a huge fan of Ampeg's cabs. They've always sounded very dark, undefined, and slightly muddy to my ears. I've also never been able to get a very punchy tone out of them when I've used them as a back line.

    Something worth mentioning is that I'm only 5'9'', so I kinda need a cab I can move on my own. I had enough trouble trying to cart around the Ampeg 6x10 for the brief month that I owned one in high school.

    Another thing I've seen mentioned a lot is that 'punch' lives in the 180-200hz range, but the SVT's mid control only goes as low as 220hz. I was wondering if this might be playing a part in me not being able to get that sort of punch.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well your description certainly fits the 810e. I've found that mule-kick low end exists at around 100-150hz, though not sure how you'd dial it with an SVT to get that out of your GB cabs since I never played them. But that's the calling card of pretty much all Ampeg cabs. You can dial it out of you don't want it but they do make it super easy to get it. The SVT voicing with all knobs at noon will give you a nice big hump in that region, but I don't know what happens to it when running it through the GB cabs.

    "Muddy" to me sounds like you were using SLM cabs from 2000-2007, BTW ;) I think you'd be pleasantly surprised to hear the current Ampegs in comparison.
     
  6. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Never had the slightest problem getting punch from an SVT rig, unusual you have had problems.
     
  7. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    At the risk of asking the obvious: how about just turning down the bass on your SVT a notch ot two?

    I know that's a suggestion that sounds like something meant for a total newbie, no offence is meant, but turning down that bass is so counter intuïtive to us bassists. We sometimes forget it's a possibility. My setup is totaly hifi with a lot of smooth lot low end, but with some eq I can get punchy. And eq-ing is mostly about turning things down, not up.
     
  8. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    You might very well be right. I recently tried an Ampeg 8x10 at GC that sounded very good (I actually thought it was a fluke :p). They might be worth trying out again :)

    Btw, do you have any opinions on the 6x10? I remember not liking the one I had, but I know for a fact that it was an '03 model so that might be why.
     
  9. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    No offense taken :) My go to setting on my SVT is bass at 10 o'clock, mids at 2 o'clock, and treble around 1. Even with the bass cut back and the mids boosted I still find myself lacking in the kinds of mids I'm interested in trying to get.

    That said, I do have rehearsal with my band tomorrow, so I'll be sure to try out a lot of different settings to make sure I just haven't found the sweet spot yet.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The 610HLF gets slammed on here sometimes because it doesn't go as low as the 410hlf but goes lower than the 810e. I've only played new ones so I can't tell you what the old ones sounded like, but I think the newest ones sound killer. I prefer the 810e, but the 610hlf is cool by me.
     
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Long Island, NY.
    Good stuff. I'll be sure to give them both a test run the next time I make it out to GC.

    It's kinda funny though. If I end up with the 810e I'll officially have the most cliche bass setup of all time - Fender P in TTB with a tort guard and flats played through an SVT fridge rig :D
     
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    You can't improve on perfection....
     
  13. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    Nothing wrong with the Ampeg setup - people like it for a reason... :)

    My personal observation is that cabinets that are a bit shy in the low bass region often sound "punchier" to the ear compared to "full range" ones.
    If you have the opportunity to try your current rig with a high pass filter you might see that sounds better to you. 12 dB/octave cut from 50 or 60 Hz will make the rig appear "tighter" even if it really is not.

    It could be a thing to test before you invest in a new cabinet.
     
  14. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    May I be the first to recommend the Bergantino NV610?

    The punch you get from it with an SVT is visceral.
     
  15. +1 ANY Berg NV, 412,610 works wonders as far as punch goes
     
  16. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    True, it's part a trick of the ear, better said a trick of the brain.
    The same goes for bolt-on necks and neckthrough designs. Bolt-ons sound tighter most of the time because they lack the fundamental that neckthroughs have.

    But as far as loudspeakers go, a closed box has a 12dB/oct drop of below the Fb a ported one between 18 and 24dB/oct which means the Q of the system is lower for the closed system. This will in theory make it more "quick" in the lows. Also, a ported design has something that is called groupdelay, this value should not be to large.
     
  17. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    To make things "worse" the group delay is largest for low frequencies, gradually decreasing for higher frequencies and will be equal to a sealed box at a couple of hundred Hertz. (That frequency is still in the upper bass / low mids.)

    Hence my suggestion to cut the deepest lows from your existing speakers to see if that sound works better for you. This is best done with a dedicated filter as the "bass" control on most amps will not work in that manner.

    Big bass reflex speakers will also need well designed and powerful amps if you want both control and "punch".
    Some (bass) amps are too weak and gutless to realize the full potential of many cabinets. There is a noticable difference in how my Ampeg SVT-410HLFs perform in the deep range depending on what amp I use...
     
  18. Arjank

    Arjank

    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Yeah, the power-amp is very important. I first had an ol' Bell 9024 amplifier (mosfet 2x800 watts@ 2ohm load). This beast made the bass sound very tight and punchy even at very high volumes.
     
  19. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Not necessarily. With many musical instrument drivers the roll off below F3 can be made identical with both a sealed and vented alignment, with the only difference being the low frequency sensitivity. The Ampeg ten is one example.
    Group delay is inaudible in the low frequencies. Oddiophiles get all excited about it as it can be seen on a chart, but in the real world below 100Hz its effect is insignificant.

    Where sealed and ported alignments differ the most is in low frequency sensitivity. It takes considerably more power for the sealed cab to subjectively sound as loud, and that higher power results in higher levels of harmonic distortion in the midbass and mids. We call it 'punch'. To some extent you can emulate the response of a sealed cab by turning down the bass EQ, but the overall effect isn't the same. But try it anyway, it could help.
     
  20. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sweden
    No, Bill, group delay is not inaudible and excessive delays (that typically show up in big vented enclosures with deep tuning) can easily be detected. It has been studies done on it.
    For most application it is however of less impact than other design related shortcomings of most LF systems.

    The one who does not belive it should try to hear a PA rig with and without time alignment of the subs in relation to the rest of the rig...
     

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