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Stack 1x12's vs Side by Side

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sm49341, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Recently we played a notoriously boom venue. About my 5th time there, we are a variety cover band.. Its a Private hall, concrete floor, drywall, rectangular, stonework opposite end of us, tall cathedral ceiling, glass behind us. I run (2) 1x12 Hartke Hydrive cabs, always stacked. Afterward the soundman suggest instead of stacking, I put them side by side. To tighten up the bass. Well my first thought is that would make it worse.
    Ok, well I used to have just one cab elevated on 30" case. I go into the PA anyway. But I got the 2nd cab for a little more punch on stage, and well, vanity. It looks better. And sometimes I need juice outdoors, and if we use smaller subs. I don't go real loud but I need to be able to hear myself, so I like them stacked, where the top one is elevated giving better monitor performance.
    I have read about this and generally the thought is you get more boom against the floor. That night things were booming too much and I was already having issues hearing detail. You know -that boomy sponge-like feel where when you do play a fast riff or fill its basically unnoticeable. My only remedy at that point is to turn up, (adding to problem) or back up and stand right against the cab. Sometimes I add mid highs, but my eq is going to board. I probably need to switch to straight to board eq, but I do sometimes change my eq for extreme songs.
    Does anyone here run 2 12's or 2 10's that lays them side by side vs stacked?
  2. voided3

    voided3 Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    I agree with this. Raising the cabs helps counteract the boom. I've experimented with my Rumble 2x10 cabs and they sound much better stacked than side by side.
  3. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    And I stack my 2x10s on their ends for a vertical 4x10. With a pair of 1x12s I’d stack them the same way for a vertical 2x12. The vertical stack works better out in the room.
    kcolyar likes this.
  4. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    The soundman didn't know what he was talking about. In the lows the two cabs are mutually coupled, meaning that they act the same as one cab, so side by side or stacked they'd be exactly the same. Stacked it may seem to you that the lows are lessened, but they're not, it just means you can hear the mids and highs better. Psychoacoustics 101.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Ok, I will be the lone dissenter of opinion.

    Sometimes, low frequency standing waves in the room can me shifted so that they are not as big of an issue in the places that matter, changing the way you stack may in fact improve (but could also make worse) what you are hearing (both on stage and in the house). It's easy and cheap to try.

    That said, I might have considered using only a single cabinet positioned closer to your ears, rolled off a little more low end from your amp, or in the case of some amps, used the variable high pass filter to remove some of the low frequency energy at the bottom of the range to keep it from masking the rest of the bass spectrum.
    Stumbo, Jones64, Manticore and 3 others like this.
  6. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    That does work, reducing the acoustic coupling with the floor in the boom frequencies while not bothering the coupling in the lows. With the right amount of elevation you can approximate a notch filter in the upper bass to counter a response hump. But that's the opposite of what this soundman was recommending to reduce boom.
    Wasnex likes this.
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I was addressing more the possible build up of low frequency acoustic energy in particular vulnerable parts of the room, where intentionally degenerating or changing the acoustic aspects of the way the speaker interacts with the room might me helpful (or not). We don't know if it would have been helpful because he didn't try it. Sometimes, re-directing the problem to a less noticeable location (rather then eliminating it, which is often impossible) is the lesser of the evils.
    pachoate, walkbassman45 and JACink like this.
  8. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    I agree with you guys that there is not an always right answer. That every room is different and certain cab placements may help. Your’re right, its free to try, save the hassle of re arranging. He was more like, run it like that all the time. I just feel in a woomy situation that increasing floor coupling would increase boom. AND reduce my monitor.
    BadExample and agedhorse like this.
  9. I feel you ran into a soundman with limited EQ.

    If you aren't pushing your 212 at all you could unplug the bottom one. Then his PA won't have anything to do but turn down the boomy stuff until it stops booming.

    It's always the bass copping the boom blame.
  10. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    [QUOTE="Its always the bass copping the boom blame.[/QUOTE]

    Yup. Cant tell you how many times i just quit playing, and there was no decrease in the boom. My guitarist loves humbuckers and clean sound. And pianist has heavy left hand.
    agedhorse and SJan3 like this.
  11. SJan3


    Dec 8, 2010
    Yup. Cant tell you how many times i just quit playing, and there was no decrease in the boom. My guitarist loves humbuckers and clean sound. And pianist has heavy left hand.[/QUOTE]
    This^^^!!! Can't tell you how many times I had to ask the guitar or keys to back off the lows. I'm at the point where I avoid playing with guitar players as much as possible. Too much clutter!
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    there's no magic either way if the FOH has no control over your signal. unless you have issues with the FOH, it might be better to go with someone who can hear what the audience is trying to hear.

    i agree with agedhorse . i think there are a lot circumstances where the FOH may be trying to manage nodes, reflections, pressures, etc., and being able to part ways with your expectations/preferences may very well be in order.

    also: i wouldn't let "vanity" come before the quality of performance.

    good luck next time! :thumbsup:
  13. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Conditional dissenter here.

    Side by side stacking results in increasingly narrow horizontal dispersion as frequency increases, and at higher frequencies results in the formation of frequency dependent lobes. Vertical dispersion is wider with this arrangement, so more of the mids may reach your ears if you stand directly in front of the speakers.

    I am an advocate of vertical stacking but it's important to keep in mind that this arrangement narrows the dispersion pattern and produces lobing in the vertical plane. I usually elevate both cabs so the top cab is near ear level, or angle the top cab to aim directly at my ears, so I hear the full range of the cab.

    In my experience, a single cab immediately behind your head produces an experience similar to wearing good headphones. This approach allows you to hear clearly while greatly reducing the amount of sound your rig spills out on stage. Think of the inverse square rule (6db drop for each doubling of distance) with your head at 12 inches from the speaker. My usual goal is to get the band and audio tech to tell me to turn up rather than turn down, so I love running a speaker right behind my head.

    IMHO, unless your generating distortion in your amp, set your DI to "pre", so you can optimize volume and EQ without worrying about effecting FOH.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The narrowing horizontal pattern can easily be adjusted by splaying, and may be helpful in the impression of control of low end by putting the mids better where they are needed in cases where the low end is uncontrolled and unwieldy (due to acoustics).
    HolmeBass and Wasnex like this.
  15. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Stack them, but don't plug in the bottom cabinet.
    voided3 and agedhorse like this.
  16. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Lots of good points here folks. Correct i dont need to plug in the bottom cab if dont want to.
  17. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    If you're in the boom room, put a single cab on a stand and get it close to your head. You'll be able to turn the volume down and let the house speakers do the heavy lifting. Better yet is to eliminate the dedicated bass rig altogether and use either wedges or IEMs. A dedicated bass rig typically makes the issues with the boom room worse.
  18. I’ve run my ampeg cabs a side by side in the past. I don’t do it anymore. It works on some stages. We’re an originals band so there are Shows where we have to get our gear off the stage quickly and its easier for me to roll the entire stack off in one trip. Another issue I ran into was some stages that aren’t very deep so I prefer stacking vs all the sound being at my knees. I think it’s god it’s ups and downs depending on the stage and venue. I know there are some players that prefer running two cabs on the floor though. Janek Gwizdala likes to run his 2 Aguilar 112 cabs on the floor. He even spreads them out a little so they aren’t side by side. Has his TH500 sitting on one and use uses the other as a stool when he wants to sit down. But he plays jazz and typically with a keyboard player, drummer and a saxaphone player like he does in the Bob Reynolds band.
  19. ficelles

    ficelles Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I always stack mine vertically. If there is excessive boominess then unplugging the bottom cab or rotating either or both cabs away from parallel surfaces can often fix it, that and use of EQ. Turning up will usually make it worse. Maybe the sound guy had a mic placed somewhere that he felt was picking up the top cab? The venue you played sounds like one for leaving the backline at home and using IEMs...
  20. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Stillwater, New Jersey
    This is how I deal with most rooms. Plus I get the drivers a bit closer to my ears. I guess I should have re attached those logos the other way. :) IMG_2857.JPG

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