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Rethinking 4x10s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stumbo, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    TL;DR: Taming older 4x10s utilizing eq along with other tips and tricks.

    The following came about because, while I was reorganizing my garage, I came across my Fender Sunn 4x10 cab that has never gotten much love. It's in great shape and the speakers are good.

    Picked it up for a good price and not really used at all, especially since vertically stacking cabs is now well accepted and the understanding of why is well known. Many TBrs setting up newer, lighter rigs are going this route.

    What I'm thinking about are the multitudes of 4x10 cabs still out there, still giggable and now reasonably priced. They may be heavy but still can get the job done. :thumbsup:

    The draw backs certainly come along with the format: comb filtering, directional mids, hard to hear on stage resulting in excess volume and bass in the FOH and difficult to maneuver due to unwieldy cab shape, size and weight.

    So, how to square that circle; turn, what many see as boat anchors, into a viable alternative for budget minded bass players who don't mind the moving the mass.

    To tame these bad boys, they gotta have wheels. At least a cart and probably casters. @BassCliff always moves all his gear with a cart, for a one trip load in/out. I'd consider installing casters on the side as to not interfere with setting the cab on a stand.

    If the casters get installed on the side, a couple if additional inset handles would need to installed, making it easier to put into your ride.

    I'd also pickup a nice cover to keep the cab looking good.:thumbsup:

    Looking at the inside of the cab, replacing/adding insulation would be on my list as would possibly be running the cab parameters through WINsd. Or maybe one of the speaker gurus would help out to see if there was any way to improve cab internals, especially if you need to replace speakers.

    Onto the stage setup.

    With a stand, you can eat two burgers at the same time (I don't like killing birds with stones). The cab gets isolated from the stage and it gets closer to your ears for improved monitoring.

    How tall a stand? Probably two to three feet. That's open for testing out. May depend on how tall you are and how far away from the cab you usually are.

    Hopefully something foldable and definitely stable enough to hold a heavy weight cab. May be mutually exclusive.

    Another option is to tilt the cab back. Maybe with a wedge of some sort. Keeping the head from falling of the back is a concern so another project would be to fashion a bracket to do that.

    Onto the eq magic

    Next, is to pickup an adjustable high pass filter (HPF) or HPF/LPF. If you're not familiar with the term, please check out my High Pass Filter (HPF) and Low Pass Filter (LPF) Mega Thread If you want to check out what other TBrs are using: HPF/LPF list- which do you use or know about?

    The HPF will tame any remaining stage/venue boomyness, cut out the mud, give you more headroom, get more clarity, especially you 5 and 6 string players, and, even out string to string volume.

    The LPF (Low Pass Filter) will help tame any tweeter installed in your 4x10. If you run your cab with the tweeter off, consider disconnecting it or removing it. If removed, be sure to plug the remaining hole.

    One thing that seems to be new to the HPF/LPF discussion is that your bass and treble tone controls change character and become more like low-mid and high-mid controls. Something to test once you get your unit.

    Right now, I use a @Azure Skies Skies Broughton always-on, adjustable HPF. I'm rethinking this too and picking up and HPF/LPF.,

    @fdeck builds a very popular (especially with DB players) adjustable HPF that includes volume control, phase reverse and available to operate on batteries or power supply.

    Also check out [sfx]:home

    Going back to the TL;DR, how can eq be utilized to solve the lack of low mids, as @lowphatbass points out. And, in the process, ameliorate any other deficiencies on stage or FOH.

    An HPF may do that on it's own.

    However, what I'm looking at is the recently released Broughton Messenger pre-amp with built-in hof/lpf and semi-parametric eq and similar units including cabsims(cabinet simulators) and other dsp(digital sound processing) solutions.

    Another item for consideration, along with an HPF/LPF, is the Whirlwind Ten 10 Band Bass EQ FX Pedal http://whirlwindusa.com/media/uploads/10_band_eq_manuals.pdf

    Beam me up, Scotty!
    Here's an interesting take on reducing cab beaming or directivity:
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  2. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Great topic! I see tons of used 4x10 cabs pop up used for pennies. Earlier this year, I got an Ampeg 410HE used for a rather low price, considering it's from 2008 with a plywood shell and is fully functional. I also have an 810E and wanted its half-brother :)D) for times when stairs are part of the load-in or I don't need to liquify the singers with high SPL. I ended up modifying it, so I'll go through your checklist with what I did.

    It came with the factory pop-in casters, but I removed them in favor of my Rock 'n Roller cart. Needless to say, it rolls a lot better on that and you don't have to bend down as far to pick it up.

    Yep, bought the OEM Ampeg cover for it. The cab is a bit scratched up from it's prior ten years of service, but not abused or missing tolex so I view it as worthwhile.

    I ended up swapping in Eminence Basslite SC10-16 drivers and removed the crossover and horn, but kept the stock polyfill lining. I made a plexiglass "blanking" plate with a gasket to fill the hole the tweeter used to occupy and wired the back panel with a single Speakon jack.

    In addition to changing the cab's impedance to 4 ohms and raising its thermal power limit to 600 watts (400 mechanical), it also went from 75 pounds to 57 pounds. It requires a lot less grunting to get it in the car now.

    I always use an On-Stage WS8540 for single-cab setups on both guitar and bass. It raises them two feet up on the lowest setting and handles 300 pounds, in addition to folding down into a small size in one piece. I popped out the telescoping legs on mine since I don't need to raise it any higher than two feet, which in turn takes out a bunch of weight and sympathetic jingles from the stand. It also sits level so your head doesn't slide off.

    I have a Mesa Subway D800+ as my go-to amp, which has one built-in. Being a sealed cab, it's essentially its own HPF, but Eminence's "medium sealed 4x10" cab design for the SC10-16, which the 410HE loosely resembles, recommends using a 65 Hz HPF so I run it at about 9 'o clock on the D800+.
  3. This is great that you are starting a thread to help keep these older cabs alive and well.

    My 0.02 cents...
    Got a 4x cab in a square configuration?
    Find another one like it and stack them.
    Now you have dual stacked vertical fours. :thumbsup:
    In the old days it was called an 8 by... but this is more flexible.
    Carrying half a fridge is easier than carrying a full one. Right?
    cheechi, jamro217 and Stumbo like this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    I really like the 18 lb weight loss and the HPF on the D800+. I suggest testing it a bit higher.

    Have you been FOH to hear how it sits in the mix? And how it sounds side to side at different venues?
  5. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    I have, but with the cab in the air combined with being sealed, it starts to get thinned out a little too much. With a ported 4x10, totally. On the other hand, it's so close to my head that I'm practically wearing it as headphones, so that's nice.
    Stumbo likes this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
  7. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    10" are only usefull for sealed and being cramed into taller 8 cubic foot slant back enclosures.

    No stand is needed they are already tall.
    Wheels are necessary, and standard.

    Any application needing a ported application Fs and sensitivity is worthless
    For 10" much easier to just move along to 12"

    I agree the low sitting profile and weight of 4x10 is annoying. It requires a lift for loading and unloading. And stage placement.

    Using the standard wide and narrow tall cabinet platforms eliminates lifting. Just tilt n slide. Weight is non issue with tilt n sliding.

    Same with the whole annoying 1x15 or 2x10 concepts. No tilt no slide and still 40 to 55 pounds you have to lift. Looks lighter on paper. In reality more heavy more trips. Wheels added you stoop over to push. Still requires a lift for loading unloading and stacking.

    Basically nothing improved past the standard. 24" wide 38 to 40" tall cabinets.
    Likewise larger 26" wide 43 to 46" tall cabinets.

    Tilt slide roll..no lift
    Combing is minimal, crossfire eliminates most of it. Or vertical 15" is well....vertical.
    All applications can be used within taller golden ratio cabinets
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Which cabs are those? Anyone producing them?

    Why is that?

    Yeah, but if they only weigh 30 lbs or so, it's not so tough.

    Got it. Would you explain the golden ratio?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  9. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Sounds like he’s describing the Ampeg 810E.
    Pbassmanca and bassopotamus102 like this.
  10. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    FTR, here's builder David Luke's (@dawind99 )solution to 4x10 deficiencies: a vertical 4x10, easy to tip and load: RS410V/RS410VT | RevSound

    But hey, we're talking about millions of cheap, older, 4x10s setting in garages or basements throughout the electrified world!:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    Pbassmanca, Thundar and Wasnex like this.
  11. saabfender

    saabfender SUSPENDED

    Jan 10, 2018
    No lie about the TL;DR on this thread.

    I’ve never cared for 4x10 cabs because they beam so badly. That’s enough for me to never own one.
    CapnSev likes this.
  12. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    While lighter is certainly more fun, I think we need to creatively rethink mechanical advantage applied to each situation. I've got a 4000 Lb Index milling machine and a 2500 Lb lathe I move around all I want, by myself.

    Tilt and slide is still the same amount of energy to lift it up, just a maybe 2:1 or 3:1 mechanical advantage. Just need to come up with a way to increase that ratio and you can move whatever you need to move.

    Cool thread bro. @Stumbo

    Have fun and keep yourselves and yourparts out from under heavy stuff.
    Stumbo and pellomoco14 like this.
  13. Hpf/lpf ftw
    Stumbo likes this.
  14. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    I’ve owned a lot of speaker cabinets over the years and I’ll agree. Here are my findings:
    1. A shallower cabinet is easier to safely get a grip on than a deep one.
    2. The vehicle you’re transporting your gear with should be compatible with your gear if you frequently gig. Wedging a 4x10 in the trunk of a Civic is a lot harder than loading it in a mini van. A mini van is probably overkill if you gig with a Trace Elliot ELF, though.
    3. A taller cabinet requires less bending to maneuver.
    4. Padded speaker covers not only protect the cabinet but also your shins, vehicle, and walls of your home, in addition to reducing annoying rattles in the back of your car during your three hour drive to a wedding gig (ask how I know).
    5. You never need to lift a fridge style cabinet like an Ampeg 8x10, especially if you don’t mind smashing it into stairs or live in an apartment with an elevator. If it needs to be dead lifted, someone has to help you or it’ll be your coffin, however.
    6. A super light weight, high performance cabinet stack is a real back saver, but when the questionably setup tent at the wedding you’re playing at catches a wind gust and whips into it, I hope you’re standing next to it to catch it (ask how I know).
    7. Covered trailers with ramps are amazing.
    8. A lack of stairs in general is amazing.
  15. Gladly its everyware you look, the mathmatical expression of beauty. The golden ratio, also known as the divine proportion, golden mean, or golden section, is a number often encountered when taking the ratios of distances in simple geometric figures such as the pentagon/pentagram, decagon.
    Its the basis of Fibonaccis' sequence.
    I dont remember the exact formula
    Putting it as simply as we can, the Golden Ratio also known as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Divine Proportion or Greek letter Phi) exists when a line is divided into two parts and the longer part (a) divided by the smaller part (b) is equal to the sum of (a) + (b) divided by (a), which both equal 1.618.
    So it relates closely to perfect 5th (Phi) + perfect 4th(phi)
    1.618 squared, divided by 4 = pi
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    smeet, Amano, Stumbo and 2 others like this.
  16. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    I've only recently begun using a 4x10 and it seems to be the easiest for me to hear of anything I've used, so I don't know if I believe the comb-filtering is as big a deal as people make it. Not only that, but every good bass player I've seen live for quite some time has been using a 4x10. Mine is 61lbs, which is heavier than I want, but it seems to do the job nicely otherwise. Now, a single 15 I had actually taught me what beeming was. It was horrendous.
    bassomane and The Nameless like this.
  17. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Mine is uncovered, with ramp. Not secure to leave gear alone in, but otherwise very versatile. I brought the Heavy Ten 2500 Lb lathe home in that from across state and unloaded it alone.
    Stumbo and voided3 like this.
  18. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Which 4x10 are you running and how do you typically set it up on stage?
  19. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    It's not a great cab (hartke with those genz benz faital 10pr300s) and I just set it on the floor behind me next to the drummer. I hpf it at 40hz, which helps a lot with muddiness (but I've done that with other cabs too).
    Stumbo likes this.
  20. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    I also have an Epifani UL410. Amazing sounding light weight cab and yes it is "loud as ever loving crap". I use an Fdeck HPF.
    murphy, Stumbo and two fingers like this.

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