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Single Cab Sounding Better Than Duals?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Russell L, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Tonight at the blues jam I took only one cab. I usually take two. (Playing a Markbass Little Mark III head through one or two Markbass Traveler 151P cabs). I know that dual cabs is always overkill at the jam, but it's just been fun to have the sound of both. Anyway, I've been sick (including tonight--just got home), so I took just one. Plenty of power at 300W, and the 15 can take it. Yet, the 151P isn't necessarily the deepest sounding cab, with it's bit of built-in mid boost. Well, I thought the rig sounded pretty good as I played in the host band. Then, after two other bass players played it they said they thought it sounded better than when I had two cabs there. Even our drummer said the same.

    I guess it sounded tighter with one cab. And, btw, it had PLENTY of lows, even low mids, depending on where you played on the strings. The last guy sounded really good (TB member sobie18). Perfect bass tone, IMO, and good articulation on his part. With two cabs it seems that the low lows can come out more, so I have to dial them back some in that case. The one cab still had them there, only a bit more subdued, I guess.

    Anyone else prefer one cab to two?
  2. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    do you have them side by side on the floor or do you usually stack them vertically when you use the two ? ...
  3. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Vertically, longways at that. I think it's just that the one cab sends out a tighter sound as far as the lows go. Likewise, my 121H combo with it's even smaller 112 cab seems to sound even tighter.
  4. There's always one.
  5. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    It may be a matter of needing a slightly different EQ when using 2 cabs. Then maybe lowering the volume just a bit. Sometimes I use my balance knob to choose just one cabinet(The 1x15). I do it to get more growl at lower volumes.
  6. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    If using multiple cabs, I will often experiment with placement to suit the room .. side by side for more floor coupling, vertical to reduce coupling, etc .. a couple times, I have used just a single cab, and I have come to think that I like the sound better because the head (400RB) is working an 8 ohm load, with less output, so the volume needs to be turned up into more of a 'sweet spot' rather than running at a lower impedance (with 2nd cab) and volume set lower ... my thoughts in those scenarios is that the 400RB likes to be pushed a bit... not sure how valid, JMHO

    Edit to add: after I figured that out, one time I ran both cabs wired externally in a series, at 16 ohms, and cranked the head even a bit more and it seemed to work for that room/that situation ...
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've never once preferred one cab over two, unless of course the one cab is an 810 ;)
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    It really depends on what cabs you are comparing. My fEARful 15/6 alone will dominate many other single cabs. However, my 12/6 +12sub stack definitely brings more to the table if I compare both of those to the 15/6 IMO.

    All things being equal I'd always prefer a dual driver cab(s) versus a single. That said, my 15/6 wipes the floor with my old UL112 stack. So yeah, it really depends what you are comparing.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm sure I'd prefer two 15/6's over one of them ;)
  10. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Me too... if I had roadies.

    Two 15/6s would be complete overkill for what I do.
  11. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    F*ck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades



  12. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Sounds like you prefer the tone with less bass, maybe try both cabs and cut some bass to see if the sound is tighter as you describe it.
  13. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Sometimes having only one good cab by your knees just sounds more 'appropriate' than in addition having a second one closer to the ear. If the extra volume isn't a factor, it can just be a more pleasing way to go, I've found. I am not scientific at all, only go by the sonic effect, not the physics of the matter.
  14. +1 The increase in bass response when coupling two identical cabs is real, and typically is a good thing. In a bad room (boomy wooden stage, or whatever) a bit less bass can be a good thing, and with identical EQ settings, the single cab configuration can sound 'better' as long as it gives you enough volume.

    The Markbass bass control (a pseudo shelving control with a low frequency start point) is GREAT for removing a bit of deep low end without losing the meat of you tone.
  15. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    less lows = tighter bass. try some sealed cabs, you might like it a lot.
  16. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Thanks for responding, guys. It's no big deal actually. And yes, I have sometimes rolled off the 40 Hz lows when using two cabs, for just as you say, a tighter sound with two cabs. I dunno, last night was interesting due to the good sound. Less bass? Yes, but it was only the very low stuff that was only less pronounced. Oh, it was still there, but it seemed as if some higher lows were getting accented better. Just what I like. It's a weird room, though. Low ceiling, tile floor on concrete, rock walls, but with some rugs hanging.

    Otherwise, I can also get a good sound with both cabs, even in there, but with a different eq plan, though.
  17. In my experience, a single cab can sound better when being pushed a little harder. It seems to make the speaker move the amount of air the box was intended to.

    It may also have to do with having the single cab sitting in the right spot for the acoustics of the room.

    I know my head really begins to sing with the volume up too. Perhaps your experience is a combination of all three
  18. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Hard to say. The other guys playing sounded real good out in the room, too.

    btw, I was playing my old Jazz Bass Special with the pups biased a bit toward the P pup. And the cab was tilted back a bit.
  19. capcom


    Mar 23, 2005
    I think when using multiple cabs, cancellation of some frequencies due to path length difference from the sources will always occur.

    For even more simplicitiy lets consider sealed cabs.

    The path difference is relatively minor when you stack the cabs vertically and stand and walk in the audience like 5 or more meters away from the cabs therefore you most probably hear more true representation of the sound coming from multiple cabs if we don't count the effects of dispersion and reflections in the room.

    However when playing on stage right in front of the bass cabs, the path difference from the cabs, lets say the straight line from the center of the speakers to your ears is geometrically more. The difference can be I don't know like as much as 50-60 centimeters or half a meter. In this case for example Low-mid frequencies will be more hard to hear when you stand too close to vertically stacked cabs. Perhaps this was the reason why single cab was very "rich" in low mids in your situation.
  20. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Trust me more, IS more, and a dual woofer fEARful rig is a beast.