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speaker sizes and frequencies

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by bullyspud, Mar 30, 2018.


  1. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    hi all, I am searching (like everybody) for a decent lightweight and inexpensive amp solution of at least 150W. ideally i really need something that i can carry on public transport with my DB. i play swing style on gut strings and with no drums (for the moment). I am using a david gage lifeline and preamp. i have beenreading as much as i can on this forum and checking out combo amps and amplified speakers in stores.

    but there are still some issues about speakers and frequencies that seem mysterious.

    for instance there seems to be many different opinions about speaker sizes. some people say nothing less than 12" is capable of producing enough "bass" but others like smaller ones and even many expensive bass amps have smaller ones.

    likewise for speaker frequencies- its all a bit vague. the lowest E is around 41hz -but is it really neccessary that the speakers frequency range is that low to hear the bass? lots of people here seem to say no, and again i see bass amps that dont go that low. but those selling amplified speakers only seem to go by the frequency range.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  2. Blissful_Lad

    Blissful_Lad Banned

    Feb 22, 2018
    LA/NYC
    You will undoubtedly receive many responses.

    It's NOT really speaker size. It's a combination of speaker(s) and cabinet design. A great speaker mismatched to a cabinet won't produce great results.

    Lots of small speaker options and small cabinet options.

    PJB, MAS, AI seem to be favorites around here.

    Gollihur has a great return policy.

    Mic'ing or pickup? Be aware of limitations! Mics can sound great in an isolated environment, but not necessarily with a loud drummer in a club setting. Piezo pickups have impedance matching issues.

    Good luck in this pursuit!
     
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    12" speakers can sound quite nice for db, but no one here will tell you that nothing smaller is adequate. I have a Wizzy 12 and a Wizzy 10 and I rarely bother bringing the 12". It is better for BG and in some environments, but the 10 is delightful. Used EA Micro head in a messenger bag, bass on one shoulder (or a wheel) and that 18 lb cabinet is cake to move through the city and is almost always more than needed when I get to the gig, even with most drummers.

    8" speakers are actually extremely popular right now with doublebassist, though I haven't tried one yet. The Phil Jones combos use even smaller speakers (more of them) and have their devotees as well. You have to look beyond the inventory (and opinions) at Musicians Friend, Music123, and Guitar Center to find the good stuff, though.
     
  4. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    Thanks for your replies- Im using a david gage lifeline and a preamp - i've edited that into my first post. I also forgot to mention that I am in Paris, France ( so Gollihur is not really an option for me) and i have a very small budget. this is why i was looking at the powered speaker possibility. i have been looking
    at the fender rumble- and while it certainly is light- its a bit bulky for public transport with a bass.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    A few years ago, Genz Benz had some very popular small combo options that were affordable.

    You may also look at Mark Bass offerings, being in Europe.
     
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    And by the way, the Gallien Kreuger Microbass Combos are not modern marvels, but they work very well and can be found rather cheaply if you look. There are lighter, better, but more expensive modern options, but value for quality can still be a very good choice if you happen into one.
     
    Chris204T likes this.
  7. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    duh! i hadnt really considered cabinet design.
    but what about frequencies- are they really important or just marketing fodder?
     
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well, you wouldn’t want a guitar amp
    but frequency response is important. 150 watts is underpowered IMHO. Fender Rumble 200’s are nice, just understand they are only under warranty for a year. These newer inexpensive amps are not really designed to be repaired. They last as long as they last.:)
     
  9. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    You can go as low as you want with any speaker diameter. What you give up when you try to do that, is volume.

    There's a rule of thumb in speaker design: Small, loud, low. Pick any two. As a result, speakers made with smaller drivers tend to sacrifice low end so they can still reach acceptable volume. Or, they use a larger number of small drivers to approximate the behavior of a single large driver.

    I play combo gigs with 100 W (measured by me) into an 8" speaker, but my main band -- a 19 piece big-band -- would overwhelm that rig.
     
    Ric Vice and Max George like this.
  10. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    thanks fdeck for the reply- i didnt see it until now. i hadnt heard it expressed like that.
    forgive my ignorance but what are "drivers"?
     
  11. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    Drivers are the loudspeakers themselves (without the cab)

    If you’re not afraid of some technical info I can recommend Fdeck’s personal website. It has some really good information on cab design and double bass.

    Frequency range is important, but the simple figures you get from the marketing department are not enough. Mostly they will tell you in wich range the frequencies are heard at more or less the same loudness. For a lot of cabs that are well liked for double bass the lowest fundamental (40 hz) is audible but not as loud as 80 or 160 hz. That’s something you won’t find in the spec list. And it has mainly to do with cab design and hardly with speaker size. It is often a feature of small and closed cabs, but not nescesarilly. A lot of small cabs aimed for eb drop off too fast below 80 hz or have a spike at 80 hz, where a lot of us prefer a more gradual bump between 100 and 200 hz.

    Bottom line is: you have to hear for yourself. Same goes for the high end of the frequency range. A trait of bigger speakers is that they tend to beam: the higher frequencies get less loud fast if you’re move away from the direct front of the speaker. This can work if you want the highs a bit subdued, but is a problem if your amp is alway very close to you on stage and if you like to hear the higher end.
     
    fdeck and Ric Vice like this.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The way the human brain analyzes sound, the fundamental is not actually needed to perceive the pitch. When we play an open E on a bass even if the speakers cannot reproduce the ~40hZ fundamental, our brains will not confuse it with the E an octave above because of the overtones. Think about it: when we listen to music over small speakers (like a radio) that cannot possibly reproduce such low frequencies we can still hear the bass notes. When you do hear a system that reproduces the fundamentals at full volume you might actually think of it as "too tubby"! There are also issues in amplifying very low frequencies where room acoustics can be problematic. Or more simply put: you really do not need to reproduce the full fundamental of the lowest octave of the bass in most situations.
     
    s0707 likes this.
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Agreed, I’m not sure what U.S companies export to Europe. Their electronic standards are higher than the ones here in the states.Thomann offers Gallien Krueger, Fender Rumble, Ampeg BA. You really can’tbeat the Gallien Krueger MBS for size, and reliability. They sound how
    they sound, but with the right pickup
    and a HPF, that sound can be very
    serviceable.
     
  14. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    thanks for the replies! i tried explaining the missing fundamental thing to a salesperson and they didnt beleive me at all.....
    unfortunately even a 2nd hand GK MBS is out of my price range and the others are too big to carry in a back pag. someone lent me a Minimarkbass the other day, it was only 50-60 watts but it fit in a backpack. i didnt have a chance to experiment a lot with the sound but i did find it "too muddy"and it only has an 8" speaker.
     
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Here in the U.S the Markbass Mini is $949.00, maybe it was the Micro Mark
    you were looking at? I can’t concieve
    how you would would get the 2x8 Micromark into a backpack. :) :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  16. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    yeah sorry micromark! in any case i realised that i really do need my two hands free to manouvre the db in the metro. so yep the backpack size is a must (even if its a big one- the fender rumble is too big)
     
  17. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    so i tried some powered speakers and amps today. it was interesesting to compare. beween an alto ts208 and alto tx10- the 10" could handle the higher volumes of the bass even though the 8" had more watts. then i tried a gk MB110 that has "less wattage" than both the powered speakers but was at least twice as loud.
     
    Ric Vice likes this.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    That’s very interesting, the MB 110 has a 1 Meg Ohm input as well, which
    improves the timbre of Pizeo Pickups.
    GK’s were among the first combos to
    do that.
     
  19. bullyspud

    bullyspud

    Oct 15, 2011
    paris, france
    i was using my zoom a3 preamp for all of the tests - i dont know what effect that has on the ohm output....
     

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