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Weight of cabs and relationship to performance

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Adrian Cho, Aug 6, 2005.


  1. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've been looking a lot at lightweight cabs. I just bought one of Bob's last Focus 2s and I'm looking for cabs. I have already ordered a 3-way 1 x 8" from LDS, during which time I've also been painfully trying to decide whether to make it a 1 x 8 or go for a 2 x 8. I think I have settled on the 1 x 8 because the weight really is such an issue for me. I am aiming to have a lightweight rig for 90% of the gigs and then have a second cab for when more is needed.

    As for the 1 x 8, Don is currently thinking about how he is going to make the compartment on top that I have requested to house the Focus, AMT preamp, etc. What I want is a compartment where I can transport everything and have it all wired up. With the removable carting option, I can roll everything to the gig, and then when I get there, I just remove the top, plug in the power, plug in the bass and start playing. And all the controls for the Focus, etc. are all conveniently located for me. The trick is to make it with the handle on the removable top (instead of on the left side where Don normally puts it). The cart works for wheeling but when you come to a set of stairs and you have the bass in one hand, you need to be able to lift the cab with the other. Don believes he can use a bunch mini-latches around the removable top and that they will handle the stress.

    Anyway, I digress. In my research, with weight being such a key issue for me, yet performance always on my mind, it's interesting how the weight and performance are related.

    The ultra lightweight cabs like the Portabass 110 and 112 (now out of production), Flite 1 x 10, and Epi UL-110 (I won't bother with the GK MB stuff) all seem to have definite limitations. I've read all the reviews of these cabs and most of what I read is that when pushed, there is a loss of control or distortion of some kind, or "farting" as some people call it. The Epi seems like it could be the best at this end of the scale but still, it has its limits as Tombowlus has noted. Also has Tombowlus has noted, Don can put a 1 x 10 in the same 14" cube box that houses the 3-way 1 x 8 box setup. I didn't ask him what the weight would be but I would guess low 20 lbs. I wonder what the performance would be especially when pushed. Perhaps if just being used as a second cab, it's not an issue.

    I find the the 30 lb plus division very tempting but then I'm falling back into the single solution problem again and will be lugging around close to or more than 40 lbs all the time which puts me back at the Pub's 44 lbs. Cabs like the Acme B-1 and Accugroove Tri110L and of course the LDS 2 x 8 are pretty damn tempting.

    With the LDS 3-way 1 x 8 at around 25 lbs or so, it will be interesting to see what the performance is like vs the Pub when pushed. The one thing about the Pub I've always liked is that you can really crank it and the response is consistent.
     
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    If you are going to try using 2 cabinets, I would really test it out first. IMHO using a second cab doesn't work as well as using a slightly larger cabinet. That Said, if the second cabinet is a single 10' (kind of a subwofer) if will probably work just fine. When you connect two 8 ohm LDS cabinets to the Focus you increase the power a good deal. [/QUOTE]

     
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I have an idea . . . Why don't you have Don make a separate box for the focus that sits on top of the 1 x 8 cab. Have him put latches (I'm thinking of trunk latches) that would lock the box onto the cab and could be removed if you want to use the amp with another cab. He could put the handles on the sides of the cab (like he usually does) and put a handle on the top of the amp box. :smug:
     
  4. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Actually I was thinking of something like that this morning. That is a lot of latches - latches to lock it onto the cab and latches to lock the lid onto the box.
     
  5. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Well, maybe Don can think of some other way of attaching the separate box. I'm thinking outloud now . . . how about a slide type device where the top box and cab would interlock together?
     
  6. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA

    Latches love to rattle and buzz when the cab gets to cookin'. I got a VL110 and I can't leave leave the head sitting on it b/c the latches rattle. (but they're not closed) It's funny, b/c I never had that problem w/the Eden 410.

    I'm trying to hold out for the NM208 too. Maybe they'll be so awesome that some guys will sell their VL208's. :D
     
  7. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Nice to think I can try to offer Adrian information for a change - I've sure learned a lot from him (I even have a Cleveland strung with gut now!) The LDS 1x8 was perfect for me when used with a loud jazz trio with a heavy hitting drummer in a small room. I like the 2x8 better in a larger room with a much more sparse sounding quartet that has a light hitting drummer. The 2x8 has really grown on me. However, during previous comparisons to the 1x8 when playing solo, the difference between the two were not that great. Shows how much the situation determines the result. Stacked 1x8's seemed to make up most of the difference to a 2x8, so that 10" sub option sounds like it could work fine.

    Reading your posts over time, I think your volume needs are less than mine, or you get a lot more volume out of your bass. This makes me think that the 1x8 could be ideal for you. I'm very curious to find out how you like the 1x8 as you certainly have great ears and strive for the best sound. That coupled with the fact that your playing situations seem to be different from mine add up to a very useful upcoming review.

    My mini solution to date is a 1x8 with a Clarus SL. I had Tuki make a cover for the 1x8 that includes a big pocket on top to hold the Clarus SL and cord. Slide off the cover, attach the SL and I'm done. Allows for one hand amp carrying, but it's not a real combo, nor does it solve your 2 channel needs.
     
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    The exchange of information is the great thing here. It has been very helpful to read about your LDS experiences. You know what's funny is that with so many guys here using handles to identify themselves, it's sometimes hard to make the connection with real names. Don asked me if I knew you from TalkBass but he mentioned a name (can't remember what it was now). Of course I only know the handles so I couldn't be sure but he mentioned Miami so that was the connection.

    Anyway, the weight really is a big issue for me so having a small rig is definitely good. The majority of my gigs are trios and if necessary I can play them without an amp but it's damn hard work and if the ambient noise level is high (which is often the case), it makes soloing almost impossible. So I definitely need some assistance but usually it's not much. I don't think I've ever had any rig I've used running at more than 50% of the potential volume and even those cases were rare - usually jam sessions with a lot of insensitive players. Usually it's more like 20%. However I am starting to do more high volume things with big groups like 25 piece bands, etc. I've always had combos - previously a Coda and then the Pub. Separating the amp and speaker will give me some flexibility to have at least two rigs to handle both kinds of situations.

    Based on some of the posts I've read about the LDS single 10"s, I think I will go with Epi or some other option for that. I'll just have to wait and see how the LDS 1 x 8 really pans out. What I really loved about the Pub apart from its reproduction, was the punch (the sound pressure level was amazing) and the consistency of the sound. And it had amazing low end for that size of the box. They are rated down to 38 KHz (for whatever a spec like that is worth). However the weight was killing me. I'm only a small guy and the other day I had to lug the bass and about 50 lbs of gear on a trolley up and down three levels in a car park to get to the gig. Big mistake as I felt it the next day. We'll see what I end up sacrificing for the weight.
     
  9. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Macmrkt is from my business - www.macmrkt.com...I'm Marty from Miami to Don as you guessed. If you can play at all without an amp in groups, I think the 1x8 assistance should really do the trick. I wonder what you heard about the LDS single 10's that makes you think Epi? I would expect that Don's could make a 10" custom sub would be easier to tone match to the 1x8, no?
     
  10. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Regarding the LDS 10's, it was Tombowlus' posts about them somewhere here (perhaps in the BG side too) although he was referring to a 3-way 1 x 10" and perhaps there have been some improvements in the tuning since then. The Epi is really what appears to me to be the best performance for the weight. Of course the other way is to go with the 2 LDS 1 x 8s but I'll have to check out the low end. I don't want unnatural lows but the guts have a really strong fundamental and I have the extension now too, that's why I thought about the 10".
     
  11. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I saw Tom's latest post just now in the other thread...I believe that the LDS 1x10 1 way set up as a 'sub' could be made just about as light as the Epi and would be most likely be best match for the LDS 1x8 3-way. Don has a return policy on custom cabs if it didn't work out...as would whoever you got the Epi from - could be another Adrian shoot-out in the works! However, if you can wait, see what your 1x8 can do after it's broken-in first...it can go quite deep.
     
  12. flatback

    flatback

    May 6, 2004
    Bolinas Ca
    Adrian,
    I am right there with you man. I play a lot of gigs where I am really hoping the 1x8 is going to be not just enough but better. I got mine with a pole mount (Don said it should be done in a week or so) cuz I like to have the volume lower but I really want to hear what i am doing and having it up behind me always seems to get me in the right head space. I just gigged over the weekend with my old WW (LP) and I dont think that it is going to cut it tho. I think I am going to sell it and the GK and the Mackie and buy one of the new Focus III's. The WW's I had cranked and it was a trio gig( just not enough power). Don said that I will get more head room out of the 1x8 cuz it is a lot more efficient,we'll see.
    Why did you go for the Focus II instead of the new III...? Just curious..
    all the best,
    Piro
    ...I am real curious about the 10" in the 14" box too. If you go that route be sure and give us the low down..
     
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Adrian,
    I really sympathize with you quest for a accurate and light rig. Hopefully the Focus and The LDS Cabinet will meet your needs. My standard setup
    until last year was a Walter Woods MI 400 and the EA 108. For most gigs it worked fine. Your new setup is roughly equivalent to that, actually
    it has more power and the Focus head is about half the weight of the WW 400.
     
  14. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    It was tempting to wait but there were a few factors for me:

    a) The current Focus does pretty much everything I want. Bob did tell me that the new heads would not be any lighter. I am sure they will probably have more power but I think the current Focus has plenty enough power for what I need. There are a few minor features I'd like to have but I can live without them.

    b) I really don't like the form factor of the new Focus that's shown on the AI website.

    c) $$$ I just bought an extension and I'm about to buy a new bow.

    Adrian
     
  15. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Early last year as you'll see in this thread, I was trying to come up a light rig. Even something lighter than the Coda I was using at the time. I ended up getting the Pub because I was so enamored with the sound although of course it was heavier and not lighter. Interestingly, in that thread, Tombowlus did suggest LDS and I gave Don a call but was not convinced after speaking to him that his cabs would be transparent enough. At the time, I believe most of his customers were slab players. Fortunately of course, some of the guys here did further research and tried out some units and the rest is history.
     
  16. Adrian, if I am correct you know about SR-Technology, which is sort of the amp-and-speaker branch of Schertler. Have you ever considered trying the Club 150/A, an 8" + compression tweeter cab with built-in 150W power amp? It weights about 10 kgs. If you need more power, you could always get another one and still carry less weight than one Pub! (And if you try it first, then I will know whether I should get one, too ;-)

    Cheers,

    Vincent
     
  17. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hi Vincent. I think if I remember correctly, that you were the one that made me aware of SR Technology. I did exchange e-mail with them about the JAM combos. I think I would avoid the SR Tech combos for a couple of reasons. Firstly I think I'd prefer to go with a separate amp for flexibility. Secondly I don't like the idea of buying something big and heavy in a market where there is no local after-sales support.
     
  18. I see... I find the problem you are dealing with in this thread very intruiging, since I sort of have the same questions. The sound I am getting with my rig right now is fabulous, but it is not the most straighforward rig there is: a Glockenklang Acoustic Art Mk 1 cab (27 kgs!!, but not that large; only a 10" speaker and a 2" tweeter. There is a lot of wood in this cab... And the sound, oh that magnificent sound...), a Lab.gruppen iP450 power amp (1 rack unit high, 10 kgs), an SPL mic preamp and a Neumann KM 185 mic on a stand. I can haul everything, including my bass, from the car to the venue in one go on a cart (provided there are no stairs). Replacing the cab and amp for a 10 kgs powered cab sounds very appealing, especially considering the fact that I not even use a quarter of the 450 watts of power my Lab amp can provide. 150 watts thus ought to be plenty.

    Yet, I don't have a clue how the Sr tech cabs sound, and I think I would regret ending up with a sound that is inferior to the sound I am getting now. Moreover, I believe it is to a large extent because of the dispertion qualities of my Glock cab that I can be heard that well. Would I also give that up when replacing it with an SR? Questions, questions... I could get an SR tech Club 150/A for about 430 Euros from an Austrian internet music shop... Oh the temptation!

    To be continued...?

    Vincent
     
  19. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Given all current products on the market, there has to be an optimal point for each us where we are happy with both the sound and the weight. I'm certainly not going to settle for crappy sound or even mediocre sound just for weight. THE SOUND is the whole reason I play the instrument in the first place. If I didn't care about it that much, I might as well be playing slab. SOOO, the sound has to be good but for sure things have to be easier than they've been for me so far. My current setup was just too much weight and too many components - too many things to plug and unplug and too many cables lying around on the stage. In that respect a good light (high performance) combo might make sense but I also want the flexibility to have multiple rigs.
     
  20. Boppingtheory

    Boppingtheory

    Aug 27, 2001
    Italy
    Hi to everybody from Italy.
    For those of you who could be interested , SR Technology has recently released two new combos : the Jam 150plus and the bigger Jam 400 model.
    Both of them stand out for quality of the sound, portability and professional features onboard.
    I'm not an endorser of these products but as italian musician I could listen to them in different gigs in different environments now (pub, coffe houses, small room theatres) and I can assure that the quality of the sound with the stick (this models were developed with the help of an Italian Stick player, Virginia Splendore), or the doublebass or even the plank is really astonishing for the dimensions of these small boxes, very natural.

    Here you have a description of the main features for the models :)

    http://www.zioshow.co.uk/view.php?id=5676&area=1