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'Traditional' Sound out of an LF + Mid design

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Wolffgang, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    After searching for a while, I've found a lot of information that lurks around this question, but doesn't quite tackle it head on. I know it's a contentious question, and may not have a definitive answer, but I'd still love to see what people think.

    Can you, through preamps/EQ/dark magic/speaker emulation get the sound of a traditional cab out of the new wave of 'PA' cabs, such as fEarfuls etc? To me, the difference seems to be trading out low mids for deeper bass in the newer designs. Firstly, am I hearing it right, and secondly, can you get this from this new wave of cabs?

    I'm asking this for personal reasons, not just pure research, but all the details of my situation can be found elsewhere, and I'm not asking this just for me. I want to keep it fairly broad, feel free to chime in with anything you think serves this topic.
  2. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    My ears are not professional, and many things others hear in cabinets I never experienced. WHAT I experienced is this:

    My fEARful does not sound like any other bass cabinet I ever had chance to play through (Ashdown, GK, Hartke, Mesa, Marshall, trace elliot, you name it). When I first played my fEARful in a band-setting, all other band members turned to me with a big smile! There was no muddy lows, there was no high-mid gap, there was just a bass sound - MY bass sound. At first I called it "unspectacualr", but after some hours playing I noticed that less is MUCH more

    A fEARful will reprocude what you put into it! To say it has no voicing is maybe a bit of a lie but this cab is quite transparent, where many traditional cabinets have a certain voicing (some more, some less). A "traditional cabinet sound" is unknown to me. The TE cabs I played through were LOW, while the Mesa cabs were less low and more punchy. Ashdown cabs have turned out muddy to me. Only thing I always liked was my GK BLX stack (I keep that one as a backup) - That GK voicing is nice for some alternative-punkrock thingy
  3. I'd agree that there's not one traditional bass sound, but I'm getting the impression from research and subjective experience that they have more in common with each other than they do with fearfuls, if that makes sense. Again, I'm not assuming that I'm right about anything, just asking questions searching for opinion and fact. Thanks for your input :)

    It seems like between the frequency response of the 3015LF (40hz-1.5K), it's high thermal rating, and its massive xmax, that you should be able to coax enough low mids out of it to get what I'm calling 'traditional' sound, but that's thus far not been my experience. Beyond just goosing the hell out of the low mids with an eq, any tips?
  4. Highpass it. All those fundamentals don't belong in traditional bass cab voicing. Gold standard SVT trails off below 70hz!
  5. Yeah I've been using it with FDeck's HPF lately, with the frequency knob somewhere around 3:00-2:30, but I haven't experiemented that much with bringing it higher. I'll do that!
  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    I tried the fEARful 15/6/1, and the 12/6/1. While I could have lived with it, the type of music I play ( Blues, Traditional RnB, '60's Soul, Rockabilly ), I just could not get comfortable with that big bottom, no matter how many knobs I twiddled. 40+ years of playing traditional cabs, like 215, 212,115, probably have alot to do with it, but I wound up having a LDS 212/Horn cab, and a Greenboy Bassic 15 built, and they give me the " sound in my head " that I need. I'm probably also going out on a limb here, and will get blasted by the fEARful Faithful, but I think the fEARfuls are more for 5 string players, who don't want a flubby B string. Just my two cents. Of course, if you want traditional, nothing sounds as good as a 215 loaded with JBL K140's ! ;)
  7. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    You might look into Roger Baer's designs; I think they start out closer to what you're describing. My understanding is that his 112 and 212 models use a custom Kappalite variant made to his specs; I don't know what's in his 115, but would expect that it's voiced similarly.

    Imo there are off-the-shelf uberwoofers that deliver a bit more in the low-mid region. Enclosure design also plays a role in the voicing up into the low mid region; there is a bit of a trade-off relationship between low bass and upper bass/lower mids, such that a cab optimized for very powerful low bass may be giving up a dB or so across the upper bass/lower mid region.

    As for how much tone shaping can be accomplished via EQ, I'm not very well qualified say.
  8. In my fusion jazz combo I go direct to subwoofer PA, highpassed at 50hz. The BL likes a big boofy kick so I wind up boosting higher than I would like. Works out fine but I enjoy it more when drummer forgets his kick mic.
  9. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Goose the low mids. Why have the knobs if you are not going to turn them?
  10. Works for me. I've been doing that with my Streamliner with lackluster results, but it sounds like I've been using a very coloured starting point in the Streamliner, and that might be part of the problem.

    To clarify/quantify, that'd translate to something like a +6-12ish boost in the 200-400hz range? (referring to an external EQ, not the STL)
  11. Way to let a sabre tooth tiger out of it's cage.

    Your amp has limited eq for dealing with your situation. Sic the hpf and 10 band on it. Boost 100hz to 500hz, less if it gets boxy.
  12. It needs to be let out of its cage; there's no reason these two schools should be at odds, hopefully a little more understanding will make things a little better.

    Maybe it's a result of the Baxandall EQ, but I'm surprised how unhelpful the Genz's eq has been getting more definition. Even cutting the bass to 8:00-9:00 and boosting the mids notched to 200 or 600 to 3:00-full didn't really help.
  13. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I would boost more around 100hz.
  14. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Are you using an active preamp in your bass?
    With my Corvette, boosting its bass knob seems to make it sound more scooped. I would guess its shelving filter is centered in the low bass region. As opposed up the upper bass/lower mid that I want to hear.
    Lately I've been cutting bass slightly onboard and goosing ~180hz. Seems to round things out more for me.
  15. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Disclosure: It's been 6 years or so since I last used a "traditional" speaker cabinet, so I'm relying on how I remember them sounding.

    I'd say the best way to get "traditional" sound is to use a modeling preamp that has good speaker emulation when using PA-style bass cabinets or going DI to the PA.

    The cone breakup/distortion you get at the upper limits of woofer-only cabinets is probably impossible to replicate with woofer-mid cabinets.

    To replicate the low mid bump of "traditional" cabinets with my Shuttlemax+fEARfuls, I set the Low Mid frequency at around 7:00-8:00 and boost it slightly...depending on the situation, room acoustics and my tastes on any particular night. The Low Mid control on my G-K 1001 could get close to what I wanted, but not quite perfect with fEARful or Acme cabinets.

    I don't often have PA support and I have no qualms about using copious lows...if the situation/room permits. So I can't help you there other than to say a Shuttlemax seems to be high passed quite a bit higher than the G-K.
  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Eq can help but it can't fix everything. A lot of "one speaker plays it all" designs have bumps and dips and breakups and distortions that a lot of us find musically pleasing to the ear. They add color to the sound rather than more accurately reproducing what comes in.

    As far as your Streamliner, in addition to reducing low bass, can try turning up or pushing in any knob or switch labeled Gain. That may help add some flavor/harmonic content.

    If that still doesn't help, it may be time to experiment with pedals and/or a different amp and speaker combination.

    One of the advantages of the Fearful, in addition to the off axis response, is that it will more accurately reproduce PA type sound like what your DI is sending to the house. Can run that way, or use a more traditional speaker and mic it.
  17. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
    This question IS a lot like 'can I get a good P-bass sound from my J-bass'? Most players find it far easier to get good P-bass sound out of a P-bass. Same with cab tone. If you want a more traditional sound maybe just use a traditional cab. It works very well and requires no additional black boxes or dark magic. A question for the OP: Why not just use the real thing. A player knows what genre will be played, and can choose an instrument and amplification accordingly.
  18. I've been trying amp and cab modeling through PA type speakers with interesting results. I cannot move and thus let go of my older cabs. I don't have a fEARful yet, but the main advantage that I can see is that your cab won't be fighting the FOH mix.
  19. That's not a bad comparison, and that's basically what I'm trying to do. Although using both J and P basses, I'd say that I can get pretty much everything I like about the P (NOT everything, I'm not starting that argument) by running both J pickups in series :D

    I was using the real thing, but it was someone else's real thing, and I don't want to buy my own, especially after spending so much on two custom-made fearfuls. To me, the premise is that if fearfuls (and similar cabs) are designed to basically be a PA, to be fairly un-voiced, then I should be able to give it some semblance of 'traditional' voicing.
  20. Yeah, I let my POD X3 go a little while ago, and I'm definitely regretting that now, it'd be a very useful tool to see what it's speaker sims sound like through the fearful. What do you use for modelling?