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The role of speakers in getting a good tone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BobaFret, Oct 2, 2008.


  1. BobaFret

    BobaFret

    Jan 22, 2008
    I've been playing for a while and would say I'm at an intermediate level. I realize "good tone" is a VERY subjective thing but here is the problem I have. When I record stuff using a connection from my Tone Hammer direct the result is pretty nice.

    I bought a Shuttle 3.0 8T because I had some money from a sale of other equipment. I also have an old 90's Eden 410XLT and an SWR 15" Son of Bertha.

    The Eden was used a lot in bars and pushed pretty hard for maybe 5 years.

    The 8" speaker is good for mobility of the unit but it's hard to get a really bassy tone ( it's only 8" ).

    So my question is would looking at maybe a 2x12 or 2x10 be something you would think I'd benefit from or am I just stuck in the "I'll never achieve the holy grail of tone"?

    Here is what I use. Lakland DJ4 > Tone Hammer > EBS MultiComp > Shuttle > Cab
     
  2. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I used to think that the amp or preamp made the biggest difference. In the last few years I have come to realize that the cab seems to have the most impact on tone. Find a bass that you really like. Stick with it. Find a cab whose character sounds like what you want to sound like when using different heads. Buy that cab. The head or preamp should come after that. Make sure you have plenty of power to drive that new speaker. That should never be overlooked! I have been playing the same bass for many years and my amps and cabs change like the weather.

    I finally found the EA nl-210 and since then, pretty much any preamp or head sounds just about right. My attitude bass, crown xti2000 power amp and Nl-210 cab are now permanent fixers. Im currently trying many heads and preamps but, with the current setup, they all sound good.
     
  3. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    Yeah, cabs are a big part - and so are several other variables.
    Lately I've been focusing on STRINGS. Some are higher tension than others and that makes a BIG difference too.
    It never ends ...

     
  4. GlennW

    GlennW

    Sep 6, 2006
    Speakers have a huge influence on the sound.

    They produce the sound.

    They are what you hear.
     
  5. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    I consider the 1x8 cab to be a "special application" piece....where size is of the utmost importance.

    You will definetly get more bottom end with going to larger/more speakers and bigger cabs.
     
  6. BobaFret

    BobaFret

    Jan 22, 2008
    Thanks for the responses. Hopefully it didn't sound too stoopid but I've tried quite a few different cabs in my without ever hitting on the right one.

    It's hard to know if you would like a 2x12 Avatar when there isn't anyplace to try it out.
     
  7. I recently bought a LMK II which I matched to a vintage style ampeg 410HLF to balance out the LMK II modern transparent tone. I AB'd it against gk cabs and they sounded really different, brighter, punchier. I was looking for a more vintage sound so I went with the ampeg.
     
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    It is important to me to be as independent of my pre/amp/cab as possible. I am often using "WHAT EVER IS THERE."

    Yes, I have a couple of rigs I like and use them when I can. Yet, on the road, even in a "Van Trip," I have had to settle for less than optimal amps.

    IMHO, as long as the amp/rig is letting me hear myself in a way that allows and encourages expressive playing, I can DEAL. All IMHO, YMMV, etc. :cool:
     
  9. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    Cabs are one of those things you have to look at as a fixed EQ curve you work with or around so, it's a good idea if you start out as close to where you want to be as possible.

    It keeps you from having to beat something to death with preamp EQ to get what you want. Which is never a good thing.

    Even better is if you can find what you need independant of the cab so when you DI into a console it's not a totally different world.

    IMHO
     
  10. The cab totally makes a difference. I almost unloaded two heads b/c I thought they sounded like rubbish. I was using an Ampeg 410HLF (not the SVT series one, the cheaper series that came before it). Then I ran them through a GB 212 Neo X and a Mesa Powerhouse 1000. Both heads sounds like a million bucks through either.

    Personally, I think the GB 212 Neo X is perfect for your needs. Smaller than most 2 x 12's, road worthy, and can take a lot of power!
     
  11. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie

    Mar 24, 2006
    NoVA
    I found out very recently that choice of speakers will prove to be the icing ont he cack, but it's the amp that is really what makes the recipe.
    I used to use an old Ampeg 200T, and it was "meh". Then I got a 2-Pro, through the same speakers...amazing.

    Then I got an old 4x10 and changed out the speakers. The 2-Pro through that 4x10 = "my holy grail".

    side note: I was told on this forum by a well-respected member, that the speakers that I chose for this 4x10 would not sound good at all because of this spec or that parameter; and that I should have chosen a different model (and that I'd be crying). Well, not so for my tastes. I couldn't be happier with my choice and when it comes down to it: if it sounds good to you, then you made the right choice, and sometimes the "specs and parameters" are just writing on paper.
     
  12. GeoffB

    GeoffB

    Jun 1, 2008
    Buffalo, NY
    I've only been playing 33 yrs. No sarcasm meant but I still feel like I have so much to learn.

    I have 8 basses and played through dozens of amps. In my estimation, these are the factors that affect tone in descending order.

    1. The Player
    2. Cabinet
    3. Pickups
    4. Amp
    5. Strings
     
  13. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    Hell yes.

    I was told the same thing when I loaded a Goliath Sr. cab with Deltalite IIs. I was told that the neo speakers would sound flat and stale and the cab design was all wrong. I have to say that this was all crap. The sound was absolutely amazing. I sold the cab a little while ago to acquire some Mesa cabs, and the new owner loves it as well. It now rocks down a local church every Sunday.
     
  14. fireincairo

    fireincairo

    Jul 8, 2008
    I really think the speaker industry has missed out on the bass world. Guitarists have a plethora of speaker tones to chose from between Celestion and Eminence. Bassists have very few choices. I dunno, it seems like there's a potential for a good market there.
     
  15. GlennW

    GlennW

    Sep 6, 2006
    Ditto.
     

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