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Subwoofer cabs.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Piano Black, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Piano Black

    Piano Black

    Sep 26, 2005
    Apple Valley
    I'm looking to get a good subwoofer cab (1x15", 1x18"... hell, maybe even a 2x15" if I feel like going overboard.) I currently play through a Mesa Boogie 4x10 from the mid/late 90s, with a Warwick Profet IV as my head.

    As you could figure, I just need to find a good subwoofer cabinet to fill up that low end that my 4x10s muddify. My Price range is from $250-$400. I would love to get a Mesa 1x15" but I don't have the kidney to spare to buy one of those...

    Any thoughts?
  2. I assume your Mesa 4x10 is pretty sensitive, and makes a lot of noise per watt of power. You mention the lack of bottom on the Mesa, which is the norm for sensitive, small bass cabinets. These cabs typically have a bump in the 80 to 120 Hz range.

    If you are lacking bottom, this is important when playing without full PA support, outdoor gigs, etc. If you bring a sub to a gig with full PA support, the sound man will hate you. A big bottom in a typical bar sound worse (muddy) than the 4x10 alone.

    You didn't mention how low you go, but lets assume you are a 5-string player (31 Hz).

    Bass cabs in 1x15 or 1x18 don't go down very low. They are a big driver stuffed into a small box that gives a bump at 80 Hz that masquerades as big bass. It is not. The Yamaha SW118 sub is gutless below 60 Hz, but it is loud.

    My daughter's bassist (www.aroarah.com) uses a D410-XLT as a stage monitor, because most of their shows have full PA support. Outdoors, it is a different story. The guitarists' Marshall 800 and Mesa Triple Rectifier completely bury her, so I'm endorsing her with Tuba bass horns. She is a drop tuner, and routinely plays open C#, so she needs a Tuba30 or Tuba36 to support this outdoors. A pair of T36 in 28" width is a perfect fit in their 5x8 cargo trailer.

    Big bottom demands a lot of real estate for the cabinet(s). You must have sufficient cartage to transport that real estate to your gigs.

    Your budget limits you to a do-it-yourself solution, or getting real lucky with a used sale item. If you have modest skills and hand tools, consider building a Tuba 30. The total cost will fall within your budget, and you will have killer bottom for your rig. Transport is an issue, don't overlook it.
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, you'd have to pick up the ELF processor somewhere (which might kill your budget), but the Bag End ELF 1x18 subs are affordable, compact, and stupid deep (with the ELF processor).

  4. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    soundman will hate you?
    not if you dial in a good sound at a reasonable volume,
    no matter what you use.
    i love 18" cabs. i can get great results every time i use them,
    and compliments on my tone.
    get what sounds good to you, i hate this "no subwoofer" crap.
    total myth.
    btw, i make most of my living as a pro touring engineer;)
  5. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    The reason the myth persists is because a lot of cabs people are using for this aren't so well designed, and because a lot of people never learn to use more complex systems well. And such a system begs for more power to the sub than to the other cab, and a good crossover at a lower frequency than some heads and preamps have supplied. Same is true of some of the passive xovers built into 18 cabs.

    I've used subs with my bass onstage and really had goodness. But I've done SR too. A lot of people haven't and really have trouble reading manuals and stuff ... Then it's nicer to NOT see a sub onstage ; }
  6. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Also, if you are playing on smaller stages with crappy construction, a real sub can make a lot of messed up mud coming back up through mike stands (especially the kick and toms if they are heavily low-EQ'd), and if there is also subs in the PA and the stage isn't so large there's the additional out-of-phase sourcing errors to worry about.
  7. The only $.02 I have to add to this is that not only 15s or 18s can be used for subs. I use a 210 as a sub for my 610, and it sounds great. 12s can also make great subs.
    Oh, and bgavin, tell your daughter that their performance at the Hinder show was pretty good ;)
  8. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A sub is a cab that is designed for lows, and only lows. Very few MI drivers in the 10 and 12 sizes are subwoofers.
  9. CanadianBass48


    May 8, 2005
    Ont, Can

    I bet that my Basson 210 could do it. :) Those things go freakin low :D
  10. Key phrase, " *if* you dial in a good sound..."
    When I do sound for groups that are typical of TB membership, the player who shows up with a huge rig is the first to turn it to 11. His sound is merde, and there is nothing I can do about it. He refuses to turn down, refuses to dispense with the mud, "it's my tone, man".

    Tone is subjective, like or dislike is entirely in the ear of the listener. However, measurement is objective and not subject to opinion. Most 18" electric bass cabs don't measure much in the low end.

    And a lot of folks make a living as computer programmers. Many of them aren't any good, but they make a living at it.
  11. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    hey, if you ca't dial it in, like stated, no matter what you use it's a dead end.
    and since most 18's don't have that much low end, why the myth about
    the mud?
    my point about being a pro engineer is that i won't hate you if you bring in a sub.
    and if you ever need to hire me, pm me and i'll send you a resume.
    no need to be a jerk with the last comment.
  12. I looked at your public profile, and am impressed with how much gear you buy. Other than being 36 years old and having a lot of money to spend, it doesn't say anything else.

    I didn't see your real name, or see any mention of the acts you tour/engineer with, which is surprising. Since you are so quick to tout yourself as making most of your living as a pro touring engineer, I'm surprised you don't have any of your achievements listed.

    A lot of acts tour, from National-A acts all the way down to starving punk bands. The FOH that travel with these acts range from outstanding to awful.

    As to being a jerk, check your verbage. And no, I'm not at all interested in your resume.

    None of this is productive to the thread, so you can have the last word.

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