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Tweeter or No Tweeter?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jake, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    I've been looking into different one 12" cabinets. Aguilar has one that is tweeter-less and one with a tweeter. What is better for double bass, tweeter or no tweeter?
  2. joel kelsey

    joel kelsey

    Aug 1, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I would go with a tweeter, but with a volume knob. With my Epifani I turn the tweeter down but not off. However, with my SWR combo amp I turn the tweeter off. I think it all depends on what sound you want. I also know that real low quality tweeters are really brittle sounding. I would also try both cabs before buying one.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    While an answer MAY make sense with regard to Aguilar, one cannot generalize across manufacturers as to whether a tweeter or tweeter-less cab is better. For example, I use a Wizzy and can get plenty of whatever high-end I want from it. Energy in the higher frequencies, say 2 kHz and above, carries the upper partials of the strings and also the "articulation" sounds (i.e., string noise, etc.). Of course, there is precious little energy in that frequency region that eminates from a DB played acoustically. In most cases, I find that players boost that region to "enhance" their amplified sound so that their desired sound is achieved. It is often useful to do that when playing a higher-intensity gig so that the articulation will "cut through." Still, for me, I never found that I needed or wanted a cab with a tweeter. To each his own. Whether or not a cab with a tweeter will better fulfill your needs depends mostly on the cabinet and the sound you seek.
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Go with the tweeter. I am trying a tweeterless cab right now (thread here) and definitely miss the tweeter. It's harder to cut through a wall of sound.
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you're going to try some cabinets, try one with a mid-range like the accugroove. One thing you'll note is moving off to the side and listen to the cabinet. I bet with the midrange you'll find it has a wider and even dispersion and more of the tone you're after.
  6. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Or try a Wizzy. No tweeter, but a unique Whizzer cone. Plenty of high-end for my tastes (which are rather "old school", admittedly). On another thread some folks were just commenting on how the Whizzer cone seems to handle off-axis dispersion rather nicely.
  7. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Waiting for that Wizzy 10...
  8. bribass


    Jan 25, 2006
    Northern NJ
    Endorsing Artist; Arnold Schnitzer/ Wil DeSola New Standard RN DB
    The m-line Wizzy does a great w/ both airy hi's as well as off axis dispersion.

  9. I'm from the other side of the site, but seem to use the amps and speakers that many DB's use. Since I'm a tweeter fan, I thought I'd post.

    There are many different flavors of tweeters and circuits, so 'tweeter or no tweeter' is a difficulate question to answer.

    The Accugroove and Acme cabs (and the older EA VL line of cabs) use a very natural, polite, organic sounding soft dome tweeter that would seem to me to work perfect with a DB (they sound great with my semi-acoustic piezo driven Rob Allen bass). The Acme cab has the advantage of an attenuator for both the mid driver and tweeter, so you can adjust the treble to taste... the newer Accugrooves have no attenuation for either mid or tweeters.

    The Epifani line of cabs (which many DBers seem to use) has a GREAT design for DB.... the woofers operate full range and the tweeter kind of 'sits on top' of the sound. So, an Epi cab with the tweeter turned off would be identical to the cab with no tweeter. This is very nice, since you get a lot of nice, organic sounding upper mids and treble from the woofer (similar to the Wizzy comments above), but can dial in a little sparkle with the tweeter if you so choose.

    The Bergantino tweeter/crossover seems to work very differently. It seems to be crossed over lower, and a lot of sound seems to come from the horn. The Berg cabs seem to lose all the upper mids to my ear when the tweeter is turned off (although this is less so with the small HT112 vs. the larger HT112s)... I'm not sure if this is due to crossover design (i.e., that those upper mid and treble frequencies are literally removed from the cab's response when the tweeter is turned down), or if it's due to the more long throw type woofers that Jim uses that seem to have a lower drop off level in mid response. So, to me, the tweeter seems much more integrated and necessary in the Berg design versus other cabs (for better or worse).

    Hope that makes sense.


    Edit: Regarding the Ag GS112, that cab has a particularly 'scooped' type voicing to me... deep lows, sizzly highs with the tweeter on, but somewhat polite in the mids.... I would think that would not be the best tone profile for a DB, but I'm a little out of my area on that!
  10. I have two Acme 2x10 cabinets. I had them in a speaker shop a couple of months ago, trying to chase down a noise I finally realized was unrelated to the speakers. The guy that looked at the cabinets grudgingly acknowledged their good points, but said he was surprised they used a "$2.50" tweeter, and thought they would have used something better. They sound fine to me, however much they cost.
  11. Most tweeters are actually very inexpensive since they don't have to handle high power of a wide range of frequencies. From my layman's understanding... the components of the crossover are key... the actual tweeters, even in high end bass cabs, are usually in the 10$-$15 range. I assume stereo equipment and PA gear that are designed for a more full range sound reproduction might be a different thing.
  12. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    After rereading Adrian's post, I felt like mentioning that "cutting through" has never been a problem at all for me with the Wizzy, even though it does not sport a traditional tweeter design. It's mostly those "forward upper mids" characteristic of that cab's voicing I suppose that punch through nicely (IMO) in a dense setting. And some of the cats I work with are pretty dense.
  13. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    On paper and from reading TalkBass.com, the Acme Low B-1 looks really good to me. That one is at the top of my list along with the Wizzy and the M-Line Wizzy. I've also thought about trying to save some more money and getting an AI Focus and a Acme Low B-2 rather than a Clarus and the Low B-1 or a Wizzy, so I would have a much more versitile rig at only a 20lbs (actually that sounds like a lot) weight difference. I figure with the AI stuff, if I'm getting a decent amount of BG gigs, I could try out a Sansamp or another outboard preamp.
  14. IMO, you are attributing the primary difference between those two incredibly differently voiced cabs to the tweeter. This is a common mistake (attributing 'cutting through' or whatever to one single attribute of a cab that is easily identified). Per the above comments, cabs like the Epi110UL and Wizzy (which have a very nice full range response coming from their woofers) sound great in certain situations (even with the tweeter turned off in the Epi's case, or without a tweeter at all in the Wizzy's case).

    There are a lot more differences between the two cabs you are discussing than simply the tweeter;)

    That being said, per my post above, it is amazing how different cabs sound with different types of tweeter circuits and hardware... with the Acme's, older EA VL's and Accugroove cabs sounding very even without the standard 'tweeter/horn' tone, and the Bergantino's sound having lot's of 'tweeter/horn' integral to their tone, and with the Epi's (for example) falling somewhere in between.
  15. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I realise there's a lot more to the difference between those two cabs than just the tweeter. For one thing, one of them is made of metal. My point is that if you have a tweeter you can attenuate it. If you have no tweeter you have nowhere to go.
  16. I don't think the metal cabinet material would have a significant impact on the tone of that cab (i.e., a cab of the same design and dimensions with the same speaker made of high quality, dense wood should sound virtually identical). The primary difference is the small internal volume of that cab, and I believe it's also a sealed design with no port.

    Your comment about attenuating a tweeter is IMO the kind of oversimplification I was trying to discuss in my previous post. Attenuating a tweeter in, for example, an Epifani cab that has a full range speaker with lot's of upper mid and treble response from the speaker itself results in a very nice 'tweeterless/vintage' tone, as you suggest. However, attenuating a tweeter in a cab like the Bergantino's, where the woofer is a more 'long throw' type that doesn't seem to reproduce much sound in the upper mid and treble region is totally different (and less satisfying IMO). Finally, the three way type cabs, like many of the LDS cabs, the Accugrooves and the Acme's, are yet another flavor of this, with the tweeters only carrying the very, very upper regions of the treble response of the instrument, and doing it with very mellow, natural sounding soft dome type tweeters.... this type of tweeter design is so subtle that Accugroove doesn't even provide an attenuator.

    So, again, don't mean to push you back so much, but the question of 'tweeter versus no tweeter' is a very complex thing for EB... probably even more complex for DB! IMO, the more you think about these design differences, the better off you will be.

    For me, if you know you like a classic horn/tweeter tone in your sound, the Bergantino HT series is great (or I guess if you like a dark tone, the Berg EX or the HT with the tweeter off is a good bet). I also put newer CXL and NM EA cabs in this category... lot's of those cabs inherent voice in both the treble and upper mid region comes from the tweeter to my ear.

    If you like more of your tone coming from the woofer, with just a little(or a lot!) of totally controllable upper end presence, the 'chameleon like' Epifani UL's (which sound great with the tweeter up or attenuated) are great. (I could have actually included the Epi's in the first category also, since the crossover and tweeter is IMO the best in the business at the moment to my ear).

    If you aren't a tweeter sound fan at all, but still like some upper mid and 'natural treble presence' in your tone, the Wizzy, Accugroove, Acme or older EA VL cabs seem particularly well suited for this type of tone.

    I'm talking in general here, since I'm not a DB player. However, my buddy Ric Vice and I have done the A/B's with a number of these cabs with DB, and that, along with my EB experience, has led me to the above comments.
  17. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I don't know if you remember this or not Ken, but once you commented on the fact that I had the L-Pad on my Euphonic Arts VL 110 tweeter so far back that it was actually turned off, so the only thing I was hearing was the midrange and bass drivers. My experience with tweeters and the Acoustic Bass is that a little goes a long way. Using one with the B&C Neos in the LDS 2x8 Three way and a midrange driver is almost redundant because the neos produce midrange very well. It needs to be there but the tweeter Don Oatman put in that cabinet is very mello.
  18. +1... that's kind of what I was talking about... there are so many different types of circuits and designs that the 'tweeter or no tweeter' question is difficult to answer in a simple way.

  19. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    +1. Gotta have an adjustable tweeter. I turn it way down too, but it doesn't sound right without it.
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    With the EA VL series cabs, I always turn the tweeter off, as it seems redundant to my ear.

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