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Seven Bass Rig questions!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Steamtronic, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Hi, Just wanted to get some confirmation on various pearls of wisdom I've heard over the years. There's also an implicit "why?" at the end of each Q, so if you could be so kind as to explain the reasoning behind each answer I'd appreciate it! :)

    1. Is there such a thing as a "Bass Cab", or will any cab (guitar, PA etc) work so long as it is attached to a bass amp?

    2. Will you damage a Bass amp plugging a guitar into it? Will you damage a guitar amp plugging a Bass into it? What about a Bass into a keyboard or acoustic amp? Will it cause problems if you run multiple instruments through an (appropriate to both instruments) amp at the same time?

    3. Will you damage a head if you run it without being plugged into a cab (eg just plug in headphones)? If yes, does the cab have to be of a minimum rating dependent on the output of the amp?

    4. What are the benefits/drawbacks of single cone cab over a multi?

    5. What is the point of multiple cabs running off the one head? Just because there are more speakers doesn't mean it will be louder.

    6. Are those walls of cabs you see behind a lot of rock bands there primarily for audio, or visual reasons? Do they run multiple heads? If they are set at the same volume, what's the reasoning?

    7. What is the effect of larger cones? (no smart @ss answers thanks!;)

  2. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    1. Yes there is. They are built to reproduce much more low end than guitar cabs. Sadly they are usually heavier and more expensive, and the amps generally are too ('coz they need more watts to get as loud).

    2. No - Kyuss guitarist josh homme used bass cabs I've heard...
    EDIT: Depends on the cab and head (look up Ampegs V4 vs. V4B) generally Guitar+bass head & cab = OK (sounds different but works... although usually it's insanely loud and bassy) bass + guitar head and cab = weak sound, low volume potential speaker death in most scenarios.

    3. Solid state... generally no. All valve... generally yes. Depends on the amp. You should assume you can't till you read the manual. Better safe than sorry, this gear costs a fair bit.
    EDIT: Read and find out before anything gets plugged in - or out - or switched on.

    4. Not sure... modularity? More volume? easier to carry?
    Stereo and Bi-Amping are outside my field of knowledge.
    EDIT: I was answering a different question here... like: 'why use two 410's instead of an 810?' see more appropriate answer below...

    5. Read up on sensitivity. It matters as much as watts. Cone area and the cab it's in all count to SPL - the measure of volume.
    EDIT: see links below...

    6. They might have been legit in the old days, with modern PA's most bands would have to run them below 1 to prevent them messing with the PA sound.
    EDIT: I'd guess 99% of them are fake, most big stages use in ear monitors and/or wedges... maybe a rig on stage for monitoring, but nothing huge at full volume!

    7. Larger cones have generally poorer dispersion above 250 Hz (approx). Smaller cones are more expensive to go loud though (you need more of them, or more expensive designs of cones... in general).
    EDIT: see links below...

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not an expert. Take my views as somewhat informed but not from a pro.

    Read these: http://barefacedbass.com/technical-information.htm

    have a poke around here: http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/ and http://billfitzmaurice.info/forum/

    and of course: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/a...overunderpowercabs-diy-techtalk-links-166225/

    and the talkbass threads... :D


    Q4: There are a bunch of reasons, mainly cost, speaker and cab design constraints... and of course what people think will work: case in point: 410 and 115 stacks... look great but suck almost all the time. The 115 can't handle the same power as the 410. If it was an 8ohm 115 and a 4ohm 410 with a 2.67 ohm stable head... might be good but the problem then is the unpredictability of mixing driver types.
    Like two different types of tyres - they may have effects on the cornering of a car at high speed, two different types of 410 might sound awful at high volume - or even at all volumes. You don't know till you try it... Acoustic engineering is a topic way above my head. And apparently above a lot of audio professional heads too (usually in the marketing and sales divisions).
  3. +1 to Moderno's response. A few things to add/edit of my own in red.

    I quoted his original post, some duplication now.

  4. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Wooo! Teamwork! :D

    Talkbass is a great resource. Most of the above I got from here and links like the above.

    Here's one that got me started and made the basics clear:

    has intro learning guides...

    has intro gear and terminology stuff... read it all, and refer to it and other sources to get a good idea of what things mean.
  5. mwbassace


    Jul 26, 2010
    N.W. Ohio
    The simple answer to #5 is yes more speakers means more volume (SPL's).
  6. Yes, as long as the larger pile of speakers has more sensitivity and power handling.
  7. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    That it! If the overall sensitivity goes up - and the impedence doesn't go up (eg. wiring in series) or down too much (fry mr. amplifier) the max SPL of the rig should go up.

    Assuming no bad acoustic cancelling or odd behaviour*.

    *You know an MRI? The machine makes a deafening noise... nobody could use them without noise cancelling... so they invert the wave and play it at the same volume. minus some distortions you get..... silence.

    Check it out: http://www.mrisafety.com/safety_article.asp?subject=180

    I love references, don't you!? :D
  8. Thank you Plunger, Peavey, and Bassace!

    Plunger, thanks for the links. I've already learned something new from them - "Don’t use an instrument cable to connect speakers to amps! You can cause some real damage." Ill keep reading.

    They also alerted me to the use of effects loops - I've always just plugged my guitar ( and now Bass) directly into the pedal and the pedal to the amp input. What is the purpose of using the loop?
  9. Your foot pedals are optimally run from weak instrument signal. The loop is after your preamp so it is a high "line" level signal. Some amps also filter lows and control the level in and out of the loop to better suit the pedals operating range.

    Rack effects can need the whole line level signal.
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    These guys giving good info. Don't really need to repeat it.

    Here's your answer to #6.



    You put the one cab you're actually using on stage in the empty slot there, PA does the rest. Then it looks like this....



    That's the whole joke behind Rush using clothes dryers and chicken roasters and stuff as backline. Because all those stacks are just silent backdrops anyway.
  11. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    lol, I love how it's a wall of Marshalls but it's actually an ENGL.
  12. what band is that anyway?
  13. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Cool pics - I'd only seen the bottom one till now.

    It's all part of the show!
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I think it "Immortal"?? Like a really heavy metal band. It's nothing exclusive to them though. Stuff is used all the time.
  15. Last time I saw MEGADETH in concert they didnt have a single cab on stage.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Yeah, saw ZZ Top twice. One was the Marshall wall thing, the other didn't have a single speaker anywhere, all wireless and in-ears. That one the stage was done up in some sort of jungle/tiki hut motif. I liked the fake stacks better. Just loks more like a concert and less like a theatre production. But, then again, I think piles of gear is pretty.:)
  17. It has to be Spinal Tap. :smug:

    Cracked up when I saw those pics - suspected as much over the years! Reminds me of those video clips from the seventies and eighties with bands rocking out but no leads plugged into their instruments.

    At least its cheaper when the guitarist decides to trash the set.
  18. Clammy


    Nov 3, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: Neal Moser Guitars, DR Strings
    They often have their stacks on stage behind curtains to the left and right of the drum riser. Last time I saw them was when we played with them in Brazil in May - that's the setup they used. The time before that, was Gigantour in Montreal in February. For that one, they had the wall of stacks on stage.

  19. I've seen a fair amout of recent bands reviving the whoel wall of cabinets aesthetic. But doing it for reals.
    Jucifer is one example, or pretty much any band on Southern Lord or Relapse these days.
  20. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    ...wow...all I can say is wow...

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