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To horn or not to horn? High end lacks clarity.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by YosemiteSam, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. YosemiteSam


    Jun 8, 2005
    Chatham, MA
    I noticed recently that I'm not getting the high end I want out of my rig. It sounds fine at home practice volumes, but when I play with my band I lose the top; all my fills at D and higher on the G get muted below the mix.

    I'm using a BBE 383 biamp preamp with the lows going to a 180w Stewart amp into a 1x15, and the highs going to a Carvin 100w amp into a 1x10. I started thinking of just going for a 2x10 cab to get more air flowing, but then started thinking that maybe I needed a cab with a horn. I've never thought much of their use in a bass rig, 'cause it's a bass, but I'm open to suggestions.

    So what's the general opinion? Should I bother to look at cabs with horns, or is a standard 2x10 enough treble for most situations? I don't do a lot of solos, mostly play groove stuff, but I do like the occasional pop and twiddle on the higher notes. I just wish more people could hear it. :)

    -- Sam
  2. There's a bunch of variables to be considered here. What's the bass? Active pickups? What kind of strings? Have you tried raising the pickups on the upper strings for more output? Are you using a compressor? What's the length of your guitar cord? How hot are you running the 1x10 compared to the 1x15? Any this stuff can kill your treble response if it's wrong. I'm biamping a 2x15 and 2x10 and if I hit the bright switch on my preamp I get so much treble it makes my teeth wiggle...and that's with the horn off. You should be able to get plenty of treble out of a ten inch speaker.

    It might be the preamp. I'm not terribly familiar with the BBE 383, but if memory serves it had kind of an odd EQ section (as compared to the classic Fender tone stack) split into 5 or 6 frequencies that you could boost or cut. The frequency you need to boost might fall between the cracks, I don't know.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I think you need to boost high mids rather than treble. Something in the 800 to 1,000hz range.
  4. Like others have said I would start with EQ. My experience with tweeters has not been good. They seem to brittle to me. That may have a lot to do with the EMG pickups in my bass. My solution was to retrofit my 2x12 cab with 2 Emiinence Alpha6 mid drivers with a 6db crossover slope at 3khz. This makes them work more or less like a tweeter but they naturally roll off sooner so the super high end sizzle isn't there. The amount of clarity is outstanding and it turned out exactly how I hoped it would.
  5. YosemiteSam


    Jun 8, 2005
    Chatham, MA
    You know? Right after I wrote this I started thinking of "variables". Things like strings, pickups... Those already mentioned.

    You're right about the tone control setup on the BBE. Good idea to look there, too.

    Thanks, I have some tweaking to do. Maybe I'll try my Steinberger with active EMGs and roundwounds, and see what happens. :)

    -- Sam

    P.S. Thanks, you just saved me at least $100. :) (For now.)
  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That's not the fault of the tweeters but you're right. Irrespective of the on-axis response of any particular ten, off-axis (which is what counts) tens aren't much good above 2 kHz at best. Tweeters don't generally do much below 4 kHz. That leaves a full octave response hole in the midrange, and the aural perception is that the tweeter has a brittle tone. Your solution of using midrange drivers is the correct one, though now if you added a tweeter I doubt if you'd still call it brittle, since the system would have a balanced response.
  7. I've considered that but right now I am very satisfied with the results of just using mid drivers. I have thought about going 3-way with a more traditional crossover network but why fix what isn't broken?

    That doesn't mean I won't do it. I have a terrible impulse to modify everything I have ;)

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