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watt multiplier for low EQ? A Monster cable story

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Metal Mitch, Aug 29, 2003.


  1. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    NJ
    OK ever since I got hooked on Monster Bass cables, I have all this extra low end that's bottoming out my amp. It's no specific frequency, I've tried to isolate and roll it off using various EQs, and it really sounds like it's just the natural bass presence of... um, the bass guitar.

    So the question is, how much more power do I need to reproduce that signal without clipping? I've heard all the formulas about 3:1 or 4:1 vs the guitar watts, but how about just adding low-end EQ watts? If I'm running 500 watts now (and I am!), do I need 1000 watts for +3db of added lows? 2000 for +6db of lows?

    This gets crazy FAST. What am I missing?
     
  2. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I think I read that Monster bass cables actually roll off a bit of the treble. If true, then you're not hearing the natural tone of your bass. Of course, this doesn't matter if you like the tone you're getting.

    I don't know any wattage equations for bass, but if you want more control of the low end, I suggest using a biamp rig. I really like mine.
     
  3. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    You are correct, sir. If you are pushing a signal at 500 watts and you want to boost a frequency range by 3db, you will need 1000 watts available in order to maintain the same overall volume. You're not missing anything. It DOES get crazy pretty fast. You can see how having a cabinet that is not -6db at 40hz is a very good thing. Using an EQ to make up for a cabinet's shortcomings eats up a lot of headroom in a hurry. It's always best to have speaker cabs that sound very close to the way you want with a flat EQ. You should only be using the EQ to make minor adjustments - anything more than that and you are treating the symptom instead of dealing with the actual problem.

    But if you've got low frequencies clipping your power amp, the answer isn't to boost them with an EQ - that will make the problem worse. You either need a bigger power amp to handle the incoming signal, or you need to cut those offending frequencies with an EQ. There is no reason that you shouldn't be able to find the right frequencies to cut. The "natural presence" of the bass you talk about still resides in some frequency range. What kind of EQ's have you tried? How are the EQ's on your bass and amp set?
     
  4. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    NJ
    Wow. Ok, thanks a lot Bruce. So I'm not crazy.... well maybe not about this anyway. And you hit the nail on the head - I just happened to be testing a new Madison 1x15 cab that came in yesterday from Scratch-and-Dent sale. It starts rolling off at about 50 Hz and I was attempting to compensate with low EQ. Ah well, I guess it would be good for 3-string bass :rolleyes: nyuk nyuk. ;) I'm really glad it was dirt cheap!

    The Monster cable issue is a completely different thing. I'm guessing somewhere in the range of +6 to +9dbs of added lows when I do an A/B comparison. And I do bottom out if I use the same tone/EQ settings as before changing cables and don't run in bridged mode for extra headroom. The EQ's I've tried are the 5-band in my Carvin head and a 10-band EQ pedal, but the extra lows from the monster seem to be all the way across the board - so I've had best results using the amp's low shelving control which is at 200Hz. I swear that single knob is the best feature of this old head.

    So the bottom line is, time for a new amp... I've been looking to go pre/power anyway. Thanks again for your help Bruce.
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    How low does your bass go? 50 Hz really is going to work fine for an open E (about 41 Hz). Open A is 55 Hz, open low B is about 28 Hz.

    However, the bulk of the notes on the neck are well above 50 Hz, you really need to reconsider how much you are willing to pay in terms of size, weight and $$$ to try to get the "full" fundamental of those last few low notes.

    By the way, although you may be hearing added lows with the new cable, guess what: your amp is NOT working any harder! The cable is AFTER the amp, dude :rolleyes: It's just that your old cable was acting like an attenuator or passive bandpass filter.
     
  6. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    NJ
    Hi Brian, the instrument cable is *before* the amp and is sending a more low-end saturated signal which the amp is trying to reproduce. Just like turing up your low EQ on an active bass, your amp will need more headroom to reproduce those lows.
     
  7. redneck2wild

    redneck2wild

    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    I think the Monster Speaker cables are wrapped to delay the Mids & Highs (which travel the outer portion of the cable). It was explained to me that this is to compensate for typical cable impedence which causes some delay in the low signal over long runs.
    I don't think this "delay" of the highs will result in a stronger signal to a speaker, but just ensures that the Mids/Highs are in phase with the Lows.
    They do sound louder though. Some of the increase may be the cable material used.

    The instrument cable may be doing the same sort of thing as the speaker cable.
    I just tried a Performance Jazz cable and it clipped my preamp at the same setting where a Horizon instrument cable did not.

    Somewhere I have a monster cable that is marked as directional also - it has no shielding on one end.
     
  8. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Mitch,

    Are you in the same Engorge as Kyle or ???


    ~S~
     
  9. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    NJ
    Hail ~S~

    Yep, I met you at Hartley's once. How's it been going?
     
  10. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    M,

    Very good, so far. The mighty "E" are getting ready for Europe as we speak, should be brutal.


    later,
    ~S~

    PS: Tell Kyle I said what's up!
     
  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I hope you were wearing boots when someone gave you that explanation! ;)

    You won't get any usable delay at audio frequencies from an instrument or speaker cable.
     
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    This might be true for high-frequency signals (as in megahertz or gigahertz!), but it's totally irrelevant for audio signals.

    It's just marketing voodoo, which is exactly the reason why I'm boycotting them.
     
  13. redneck2wild

    redneck2wild

    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    It may just be a marketing ploy but here is an explanation from the Monster cable website that corresponds to what a sales person told me:

     
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    rubbish
     
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I wouldn't call it an explanation--it's more of a tall tale. An explanation would have to make sense; a tall tale just has to baffle.
     
  16. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Frequencies have mass?

    Bass amps are my destiny too, I'm a monster!!! Grr.

    The solid core stuff is good too. The core of the smaller strands is not solid? What is it then, liguid or gas? I think a strand is a strand, no matter what the gauge -- strands don't have cores.

    I'm not saying the cables don't work, but that marketing blurb is funny!
     
  17. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I wonder what kind of braiding makes the frequencies "arrive in uniform"...

    :p