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Size does matter.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rockbobmel, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. This will piss a few off.

    How come when I read posts about my 2-10 or my 2x 1-12s is big enough for a medium sized room, I scratch my head?
    What are these guys talking about?
    I was reading a post on Yes, Chris Squire was using 2 x SVTs and A Marshall W/4-12.
    I know,it is stadium size, but they have state of the art monitoring systems. Why don't they use their combos and micro stacks?

    When I play out, it is usually less than 100 people & I use a 1000 watt Eden or my vintage SVT with a 4-10 & 2-10 or a 4-10 & 1-18.
    It is plenty loud, but I won't get caught with anything less.
    Maybe my idea of big sound is off. Is this issue that subjective?
  2. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    My guess is that Squire uses what he uses 'cause that's what he's used to. Plus, if the back line isn't impressive, how good can the band be? ; - )

    Being a gearhead myself, I certainly appreciate a huge backline as much as anyone. With modern monitors and PAs, it's completely unnecessary I'm sure. I just saw the '02 edition of A Walk Down Abbey Road with Jack Bruce on bass. The drummer was behind a plexiglass barrier and they were just talking to each other on stage as if there wasn't a noise problem. The stage volume was probably quite low with the PA doing all the work.

    Are you running through the PA? I didn't in my former band and had to pack a bunch of horsepower (PLX2402) to compete with a screaming Line 6 on one side and screeching 100 watt Marshall TSL (with 4-12s) on the other. These freaking guitarsts (now in their late '40s) refused to turn down...so I packed in the ear plugs and tried to stay out of the the direct fire of their amps [Gosh guys, I have no idea why I stand in one place when we play ; - ) ]

    I believe that Geddy Lee isn't using amps at all on the current Rush tour... It can be done...but it sure doesn't look as cool!
  3. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I think many of these 2x10ers don't play in heavy duty situations (two guitars and a dummer +)

    or they have PA support. I know that I use two 410XLTs and 1000 watts at every show. It's a different situation. If I was playing jazz with a piano player and a drummer, 2x10 might be more than enough.
    I too play 250 or less shows (usually MUCH less) and I find it does just fine.
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I use 2 1x12s with an Aguilar DB750. If I put it on 3 with both cabs plugged in, I can make plenty of noise., trust me.

    I've played with distorto-guitar, and a hammer handed drummer, and held my own just fine.

    In my experience, size doesn't matter. Quality components do.
  5. jamminji


    Mar 22, 2002
    To me it is all about tone. Yes 2-10s will be "heard" if they can handle the power, but you will not get the good low end that bass is supposed to have. You won't be able to rumble the crowds inards... lol Yes "maybe" the PA has good enough speakers to get the tone to the audiance (hopefully...Better really trust you sound guy) but the stage volume tone will still be lacking, which in turn will affect your playing. At least for me, if the tone is not what I like I tend to try to compenstate for it with my technigue.

  6. I saw David Byrne play recently at the Roseland in Portland, which is a decent size venue (thousands), and there wasn't a single amp or monitor on the stage - eveyrone just had ear monitors and that was that. They sounded awesome, including a great big bass sound.
  7. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    Eight tens. Never leave home without em!

    For guys that can get away with a 2x10 or 2x12, great for them! I however, can not. See sig.
  8. One more comment on this - I am a guy who went from a 15 and a 4x10, to a 4x10, and now to a simple 2x10 combo over 15 years of playing bass. I have learned a couple of things:

    1) Speakers mean nothing if you don't have headroom. Although my combo only has 2 10s and a horn, it has 600 watts (I know this is small potatoes compared to some bigger rigs, I used to use a 1200 watt amp when I had a bigger stack. That said, its still a lot of meat) and I can easily power another speaker.

    2) Depends on your bass. I can get my double bass super loud and big with my combo. My electric bass evaporates more readily, which makes me think these issues can be solved with premplification/EQ/etc. On stage, your amp should be a monitor for you, not a speaker for the audience (as long as you have a PA). If not, you are just creating sound and communication issues for the whole band.

    3) On the other hand, I totally see your point. When rehearsing, I generally have my leg *touching* my amp so I can feel the bootie. Kind of like when you play your bass by yourself and put your chin to the body to act as a natural sound amplifier. The main problem with a combo on a big stage is that if your amp is at the back, the sound evaporates ( see #2 ) by the time it reaches you, and that while you can hear it, you can't feel it. Even telling the soundman to turn up the bass in the monitors doesn't usually help because monitors are generally quite trebly and you get into risk of looking like a picky ass if you say "I can hear it, but I need more low-mids and less highs in the monitors", ad infinitum. Therefore, I must confess I have pondered pulling out my 15" as an extension on bigger stages. But see#2 - I suspect you can get a bigger sound with other factors than just bigger speakers.

    Also keep in mind the sole purpose (as someone already said) of your amp on the stage should be for you and the band. The PA should cover the audience. Your bass will sound different from where the crowd is than it does on stage, so if you are trying to make it sound good in both places, you will usually fail. Let the PA do its job. If you think the soundman can't do his job, bring your own.
  9. I think it great all this talk about power and size, and i don't doubt your needs or desire for that big volume, but how many of you guys have to lug/carry all your gear from place to place? Do you have a pick up truck w/ hydraulic lift to cart around these 8X10s?. These cabs aren't light.
    I stuff my 1 X15 and either 2X10 or 4X10 Hartke stuff in my car and off i go. If i have to have more volume I beg, and plead to DI me into the PA.
    I agree w/ lerm, the setup on stage is for the band to hear.

  10. lermgalieu pretty much mirrors my sentiments. The major difference is that I have never needed more than 350 watts and, over the years, I have played every kind of venue except for stadiums and arenas although there were a few times (not very many though) where a little more power may have been nice. The fastest way to empty a venue is by using too much stage volume...band members seem to keep cranking up the volume because they can't hear themselves. Before long, the audience clears out because the volume has become unbearable and the only person left is the drunken guy who tells you how great you sound (you know the guy...). You don't sound great, trust me. As lermgalieu said, "Let the PA do its job."
  11. I play in a band with a Hammond B3, two guitarists, and drums. As such, muddiness and stage volume is our #1 enemy, especially since you seem to need to crank up those Leslie cabs to get a B3 sounding real nice. So to fight mic bleed and deafness, we are trying to rely on the PA and monitors as much as we can within reason, and it has made a vast improvement in how we sound "out there". In other words, turning down on stage usually results in it sounding better for the audience - just make sure you can hear/feel what you need in order to rock out and get the best sound out of your amp.

    Also, the kiss of death, at least for us, is when some things are mic'd (or DI'd) and others aren't. This usually results in uneven sound both on stage and out front.....
  12. jamminji


    Mar 22, 2002
    All these things are true "if" your PA and your monitors can handle the bass. I find it funny that we bassists talk about our "sound" (which comes from your amp, speakers and effects, etc) and then give it all away by going through a PA. Now, yes you can run your effects and pre-amp from your rig into the PA but you can not run your speaker sound through the PA. Why do we buy expensive speakers cabs instead of cheap ones.... TONE? It is the age old saying "you hual tone" it does not matter "who" hauls it, but you gota haul it... Either by you via your speakers, or the the sound guy via his. So it really comes down to... If the PA is designed specifically to run bass and you can get the sound you want from the PA... super, then sell all your stuff and go direct. I personally like the tone of my rig over the tone of the PA so I haul my own tone, and complementit when needed with the PA.

    Maybe we need better PA equipment and speakers....lol Or maybe I need a Bass Pod. But then again our PA is just not big enough to run full drums, guitar, keys, and bass. Yes is is loud but as for tone.... hmmmm

  13. Right, this is all ideal, however I think we are talking about ideal. Ideally your PA should be made to amplify the entire bands' sound, rich lows and piercing highs and everything inbetween. I totally disagree that by putting bass through the PA you give your hard fought sound away though. If the DI out of your amp isn't to your liking, have the sound guy mic your speakers. A good PA should be fairly transparent and shouldn't muck with your tone. A good PA has good speakers.

    The main problem we've had with clubs and in-house pa's is that sound folks are so used to dialing in rock sounds (particularily on drums) that they tend to over EQ and compress things. As long as you make it clear that you want your sound to be reproduced accurately, all is usually well.
  14. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    usually, its cause you're doing your dammest to hear yourself over your annoying guitarist... :D:D;)
  15. Picture this.
    PA= 4x 1-18x 2-15s 2-12s 2-8s
    2 2"horns & super tweeters.
    Loud Keys, Loud vocals, Guitarist is new so he is OK for now. Drums are REAL loud except kick. Drummer mikes his whole kit. Drummer runs sound. Drummer is band leader that owns PA, lights practice space, and recording studio!
    Whole band is DI, but bass is kept modest.

    Bass Player (ME) gets big friggin amp to make himself happy with sound and get enough booty.

    Bass player happy, likes to rock!
  16. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    It's also possible that you and/or your bandmates are already substantially deaf. I hope your audience wears earplugs.
  17. what about gigs when u dont mic your amp.like most shows around here theres a pa but its for the singer mainly.most gigs they dont mic the drum sets around here.i plan on useing a 4x10 with a self powered 1c15.iam not sure how manny watts should go in to the 4x10.
  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I asked a salesman at Bass NW this just last night. Why did posters here keep saying that two 1x12s would equal the spls and tone of a 4x10? Had technology so changed that this was possible? He said that the new breed of 1x12s are mostly high quality with high quality components and compare to the numerous low quality 4x10s this can be true. But not compared to high quality 4x10s. I notice that size matters particularly in outside gigs. As Paul Schein at Wash Music Center said, " you are moving all the air on the planet." I once had such a good monitor sound from direct out of a Baby Blue II that I thought I had an SVT sized BB. Often though the monitors can't handle your tone I make them fart. So I often ask to be out of the monitor mix.
  19. Have to agree with some of you and not with most. PA's hardly ever represent the bass well. In smaller clubs if you try to push alot of bass through the monitors the other sounds(guitars, drums, vocals) will be lost in the resulting distortion. Besides most sound guys don't bother fine tuning the bass sound even though they'll spend half the night on the drums and the other half on the guitars.
    Secondly your tone should be what's coming out of your cabs, why pay for all this stuff if noone hears it! The way I see it is, put your cab back beside or behind the drummer so you can both hear it, turn it up to a good stage volume in the middle of the stage and get the sound guy to fill it in through the PA as needed.
    Wounded Paw
  20. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    In the band I've been jamming with for a couple of years now, the running joke is my "wall of sound" because, while the guitarists and keyboard player each use relatively small combos, I typically lug in my 8x8 and 1x15 or my 2x10 and 1x15. Why? Because, as some on here have stated, it's about the "tone", not the volume. I could get plenty of sound out of my 1x15 alone, but I don't want just a 1x15 tone.

    Hey, we're bassists - we're a different breed anyway, right? ;)

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