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Small speaker placement

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. On the ground, for better bass

    9 vote(s)
  2. Close to head level, to catch the highs

    4 vote(s)
  3. Set it on the drum riser, if possible

    1 vote(s)
  4. Tilt the cabinet upwards, like a monitor

    7 vote(s)
  5. Place it on something (milk crate, chair, etc.0

    4 vote(s)
  6. Other (please explain)...

    5 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm surprised that this poll isn't sparking more interest or debate. I suspect that there are more than nine folks other than me (number of poll votes as of this edit) on this board who have less than a stack of speakers, who are faced with a decision on where to place them.

    I know people tend to reply 'en masse' to threads that stir controversy - so let me up the ante and attempt to make the thread more provacative...

    I just noticed a fresh post on some Aguilar widget, that's drawn over 30 replies in a short period of time. I would say that where one places speakers on stage can easily be far more important to the way one is heard by one's adoring fans than whether you're using an Aguilar widget or a Peavey widget.

    If this topic/poll is of such little interest to us Talkbassers, then perhaps we have got our priorities in the wrong place, and ought to replace our gear fetishes with a more 'gestalt' approach to getting that perfect sound.

    [/pot stirring] ;)

    Oh, and thanks to the people who have posted so far :)

    Original Post>
    If you don't have a big stack o' speakers, you're faced with a dilemma - put your cab on or near the ground to couple it to the floor and get plenty of bass, or set it up on something to get the highs/tweeter up near the level of your and perhaps the audience's ears.
  2. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Well I was just thinking about this last week. I got the "Bass is too loud" note delivered to the stage by the club owner at my last gig. I was using an Ampeg B4R (350 watts x 2) with an Ampeg 610hlf and a Carvin 210 wedge on the floor. I was also running a line out to the PA system. So I disconected from the PA Turned my rig way down low and put the Carvin 210 up at ear level on my left side facing across stage towards the band. I had to turn down again because it was hurting my ears. I got it to a level where I felt comfortable with it and left it there all night. I was happy, the club owner was happy I assume 'cause I never did hear about it again that night. But my fellow band members complained a few times that they couldn't hear me. That got me to thinking that I could get a speaker stand and put my Carvin 210 up on it at ear level and just play all my gigs that way. It'd be a hell of alot less stuff to haul around and nobody would have to be offended by hearing the bass but me! :D
  3. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I tried placing my cab on top of my rack to bring it closer to ear level, but found that I lost a lot of the bass I usually had.

    It stays on the floor from now on!

  4. JMBass


    Nov 27, 2002
    I play with my 4x10 on top of the 1x15 cab. This way I can year the treble and middle next to my ears and the low bass is not direct.
  5. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    I put casters on my Goliath Jr., and It made a small, but nice improvement. I found it got rid of my boomy-ness and projected my high mids a little. My cab is rear ported, so all i need to do is put it near a wall, and physics takes care of the rest :D
  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I posted the poll because I have used two stacked cabs for many years. I'm temporarily stuck with a single 4x10t cab (Goliath III) and I'm trying to figure out how to best place the thing when playing live. When I get my second Goliath cab in a couple of months, I'll stack them like you're doing. In the meantime, I've got to figure sumpin' out... Played Sat. night with it on the floor (casters on) - no raised stage at the venue, either, and didn't like it.
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Try it without the casters.

  8. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    bump ;)

    Check out edited starter post at the top of thread.
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I still say they work best on the floor for a bassier sound.

  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Sure - I can certainly see the value of that. When I was using my current Goliath cab underneath the 2x10s in my Super Redhead amp, I would set the cab on its side, to get it in contact with the floor without hassling with pulling out the casters. Since it's almost a perfect square, that worked great, and I would do this at some venues and not at others, depending upon the size and acoustics of the room. Since I'm temporarily using the Goliath by itself now, I have real concerns/issues with the only tweeter shooting its directional sound out at knee level. I haven't played out enough with the single cab enough to say for sure, but I'm planning on trying the set-on-side-to-get-casters-out-of-the-way thing, and tilting the cabinet slightly upwards.

    I appreciate your post, and I admit I'm a bit frustrated that this thread hasn't (yet) blossomed into a robust discussion of the whole range of cabinet placement options. I edited my original post mainly as an effort to stir things up, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced of the folly of picking apart the minute differences in equipment while such a basic issue as this, which can have great implications for a bassist's sound, seems hardly worthy of discussion. I'm not whining that my thread's not taking off like a rocket out of some ego trip, but because I think speaker placement is a very important consideration - regardless of whether other's opinions agree with mine.

    Again, thanks for your post, Nick man :)
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    On another note:

    While I dont consider a 4-10 a big rig, I dont think it really clasifies as a small rig.

    When Im talking about my rig Im talking about a 2-10(Eden 210XST). It might not be able to handle alot, but it does its job fine.

    In the future I plan on adding another 2-10 (210XST)and a 2-12 (212XLT) or 3 more 2-10's(2-210XST's, 1-210XLT) for the ultimate portable and gig matched setup. Yes, it will be big.

    I think if I were in your situation, I would especially want to rest the rig in dirrect contact with the stage since SWR cabs dont have a very low frequency response, and the coupling with the stage would help.

  12. I voted other to make the point that if I must play a gig with just 2x10, I usually stand it on the floor on one end. It sounds better that way IMHO. It sounds much better on top of one of the Eminence 18s I picked up off of Parts Express a while back!
  13. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If I can do so conveniently, I tend to find some way of leaning my cab (Ashdown mini 1x15) back so that the sound is being aimed a little nearer my ears (and also to stand a little distance away from it). I'm looking for a clear sound so that I hear what I'm playing; standing a little distance away also ensures that I get an idea of what the rest of the group are hearing as well.

  14. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Cool - I wondered if anyone did that :)
  15. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    All the above. Because each venue I play is different. I have also set my cab on the side of the stage facing the band for side fill. Having a wireless is great for going out on sound check and finding the best placement spot for each gig. When using my 2-10 only, I also set it on its side.
  16. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I always put my cab up off the ground near my head so I can hear everything. Sometimes I put it on a keybaord stand. If I need more bass, I crank up the bass knob.
  17. Joe Smithberger

    Joe Smithberger Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Canton, Ohio, USA
    If you are only using your cab for a monitor, a 2x10 works great on it's back. I have a furniture dolly (carpet covered rails about 3-4 inches high with good casters) that will allow my cab to clear the speaker cord plug. We are usually standing close together, so I sit the cab between myself and the drummer and stand next to it. In really cramped quarters, the 210 can sit right next to the drum kit, under the cymbols. The full speaker surface is shooting up at you, you still get floor coupling, and you can turn it up as loud as you want without bumming out the folks in the front row. My rack just sits on the floor next to it. This works way better than anything else I have tried with this cabinet. The drummer is diggin it pretty well too since the bass is pretty low in the PA monitors.
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Donkey, when I use a single 4x10, I remove the 2 rear castors. It puts the cabinet in contact with the ground so you don't lose as much bass as sitting it one a milk crate. But it also tilts it back a bit so you can hear yourself rather than just blasting your sound through your legs.

    If you've got a drum riser that at least knee high, use that, provided the drummer doesn't mind hearing you from behind the cab (my drummer hates it cos it gets woofy back there).
  19. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    It really all depends on the situation. At one church I play at, they hate stage volume so I play with the small cab on the ground tilted up, so I can hear it without turning it up too much. it also reduces the floor coupling so the boom factor is reduced.

    however, in the 60's rock band, i use 2 ag 112's stacked on their side, since it seems to provide the best mix of clarity and volume.

    at some jazz gigs i've played with a cab on a chair to get more of the true tone of the cab, and less boomy-ness.

    i would say normally though, for your average application, flat on the floor is where you start, then to solve a problem there's other options.

    hows that for definitive vagueness?
  20. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Until this past weekend, I was turning my 4x10 on its side (putting casters to the side) and using the front cover of my 2 space rack as a prop which would let me vary the angle of upwards tilt. This was very satisfactory.

    I got an offer I couldn't refuse to buy a second cab, a 4x10 Avatar cab. It doesn't sound as good as the Goliath, but the two cabs together sound much fuller and better than the Goliath alone. A little EQ tweaking (took out a bit of bass) and my rig is sounding absolutely righteous, if I must say so myself ;)

    And in a similar spirit to my edited original post, where I suggested that speaker placement was more important than speaker brand, I'd also say that the difference between an 8x10 and a 4x10 setup represents a larger difference in overall sound than speaker 'Brand A' and speaker 'Brand B'. Point again being that equipment brands are not nearly as important as other factors in determining your sound.

    I admit I was hesitant to put a 'cheap' Avatar cab into my SWR rig. Boy, was I wrong. Not saying that the Avatar is a match for quality of tone, but as I said before, the two mixed cabs sound far better than the single SWR cab.

    Hey, this post isn't about small speaker placement at all... (slaps self).