1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

What do you value in a cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kelsound, Jul 15, 2019.


  1. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017
    Feel free to copy paste the questions, with your answers as a reply.
    I am taking a sampling to see what gigging players value most in a cab.

    1). Weight.
    Do you have a limit?
    Will you pay more for neo drivers in the same cab than if it had ceramic drivers?
    Do you already use a dolly for every load-in/out?

    2). Looks.
    Do you prefer typical black and metal grills, or a more old school tweed with cloth grill look (assuming performance is the same)? Other?

    3). Travel.
    Do you use your own vehicle, or public transportation? Or a horse?? :0
    Casters, Yes or No?

    4). Complaints.
    Do you ever get complaints from band mates that say they can't hear the bass, or the bass sounds like mud?

    5). What is the biggest thing you would change with all the cabinets available today?
    Or are you happy with what is available?

    6). With mom & pop shops drying-up, and GeetarCenters having very limited brands, how do you find a good cab? Travel to far away store? Advice from friends? Online reviews? YouTube reviews? Other?

    7). What sound do you prefer:
    Full mid-range and good lows....not worried about that zingy high-end to 10kHz?
    Or full dynamic range maybe with mid pulled back a little? highs extend to 10kHz.

    8). Lowwwww B
    How many need a cab that handles the low B (like actually is strong below 40Hz)?

    Thank you all !!!!!!!
    Yes, I am trying to find solutions.
    After being recently laid-off I have gravitated to what I love, trying to make things sound good (it's what I did for a living). I have already made four cabs, and as I take them to gigs to test I have been approached by other bass players who have been asking about the sound of the cabs. And I am finding some common thread issues that perhaps we all have. Maybe I can solve some of them.
    Thank you for your time and input!

    Ray
     
    MarkA and EatS1stBassist like this.
  2. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    I gotta have a flat response 41 hz! The open E is my favorite note.

    Unless if it is a FearFul cab, I don't know of any that can do a full low B. Even Acme is -6 db below flat. The B is a tuff one to do!
     
  3. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017
    God bless the open E !
    Yes, below 40 Hz is very hard to do, especially in portable cabs.
     
  4. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    Since I am approaching 60, weight is the first thing I look for. Must be in the low 30 pound arena, or I move on. I do have a dolly that I use to get to the stage, but I still need to lift into my SUV at the end of a gig, so that is why I really like the lightweight cabs.

    I prefer a nice round sound with nice lows,, and punchy mids. I play in a variety of cover bands.

    The look isn't a big thing for me, so metal grilles are fine.

    Also I really like 10 or 12 inch speakers. I currently own a Fearless F112 that is my main cab. I also have a couple 2x8 cabs that I use in tight stages stacked vertically.

    I really can't stand rat fur, and look for Duratex coating wherever possible.
     
    dralionux likes this.
  5. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Accuracy.
    Real measurements tell the accuracy but that science doesn't sell well in bass cabinet markets.

    The movement is less bass specific cabinets and more FOH/FRFR cabs which kind of shows that accuracy is important after all.
     
    Nick Danger likes this.
  6. akrachanko

    akrachanko Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    Western Pennsylvania
    Here's my contribution. I would make note that all of this is pretty much just my opinions, and none of it should actually be considered factual. :thumbsup: Answers to your questions are in red below.

    1). Weight.
    Do you have a limit? No, not really, but it's an important factor when I'm looking for cabs.
    Will you pay more for neo drivers in the same cab than if it had ceramic drivers? Probably not, but it depends on whose cab/drivers, and the price difference. I'd probably opt for Neos if they sounded good. I've heard some Neos I thought sounded tinny, so it would depend.
    Do you already use a dolly for every load-in/out? No. I carry everything into my gigs. A lot of stairs at venues where I live, making casters and dollies less useful.

    2). Looks.
    Do you prefer typical black and metal grills, or a more old school tweed with cloth grill look (assuming performance is the same)? I think grill material is irrelevant, as long as the overall finish of the entire cabinet matches. So long as the cab finish matches the grill nicely, then I don't really care that much. That being said though, I bought a Barefaced Two-10, and opted for the cloth over the metal grill because I liked the look.

    3). Travel.
    Do you use your own vehicle, or public transportation? Or a horse?? My Honda Civic gets me to and from all of my gigs. My entire setup is actually designed around fitting into my car.
    Casters, Yes or No? Don't have anything heavy enough to warrant them

    4). Complaints.
    Do you ever get complaints from band mates that say they can't hear the bass, or the bass sounds like mud? I get a lot of feedback that my bass sounds great, and sits in the mix well (I had to work hard to find a setup I liked that would do this). I'm currently running an Ampeg PF-50T into a Barefaced Two-10, and it sounds lovely.

    5). What is the biggest thing you would change with all the cabinets available today? Honestly weight. I think most cabinets anymore do a great job of reproducing the signal they're getting fed, so as far as tone, I wouldn't really change anything. I think making cabs lighter is the way to go.
    Or are you happy with what is available? Yes. There are a ton of great options out there for every situation, every budget.

    6). With mom & pop shops drying-up, and GeetarCenters having very limited brands, how do you find a good cab? Travel to far away store? Advice from friends? Online reviews? YouTube reviews? Other? For me, it's a combo of this forum, word of mouth from fellow players, and the occasional YouTube video review. I also still have an amazing Mom & Pop shop in area that has a ton of great gear, and a really knowledgeable staff. When I'm actually ready to purchase though, I've only ever ordered online. If you shop around enough, and find places that price match, you can usually do pretty well for yourself. On the other hand, you have companies like Barefaced that are by order only, so you kind of just do what you gotta do.

    7). What sound do you prefer:
    Full mid-range and good lows....not worried about that zingy high-end to 10kHz?
    Or full dynamic range maybe with mid pulled back a little? highs extend to 10kHz.
    I'm going to use the word balanced for what I look for in a bass sound, although that doesn't really answer the question. I like a bass to sound how it was intended to sound. I usually set my amp flat, then tweak very sparingly. The amp and speakers will have a tonal profile of their own, and I like to let it show, since it's part of the reason I bought the one's I did. What I actually crave in a sound and get disappointed when it's not there is the low end. Bass should be felt as much as heard, and it's unfortunate if you can't feel it.

    8). Lowwwww B
    How many need a cab that handles the low B (like actually is strong below 40Hz)? I don't play a fiver anymore, because I just didn't need it, but having a cab that can handle a low B is important, and I'd argue that's true even if you don't play a 5. Bass notes aren't just a single sine wave; they have tone, but they have resonant frequencies that aren't the exact note you're playing, and some are higher, and others are lower. I like having a cab that can handle frequencies pretty far down there so I get as much of that tonal goodness as possible. Also having a cabinet that handles low end well is great for insuring your sound has enough bass presence, and isn't just mid-heavy with a lack of lows.
     
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I'm just about retired from gigging now but only in the last year or two. I take occasional big band sub gigs and occasionally play out in public with my Friday night Americana/bluegrass jam crew. But my comments will reflect more on the ten or so years before that, when I was gigging at least weekly and playing mostly jazz, but also some country, country rock, and a little bit of classic rock. Never with loud drummers of hard rock guitarists in any case.

    1). Weight.
    Do you have a limit?
    Will you pay more for neo drivers in the same cab than if it had ceramic drivers?
    Do you already use a dolly for every load-in/out?


    I rarely need a dolly (but do have and carry one just in case), carrying my 33 lb single 12 cab is very easy and I pretty much can never quite manage a one load carry-in anyway. I've only used neo drivers for at least the last decade and have no interest in ever changing that. They cost more but are well worth it to me since I think they tend to sound better for my purposes anyway.

    2). Looks.
    Do you prefer typical black and metal grills, or a more old school tweed with cloth grill look (assuming performance is the same)? Other?


    I prefer natural wood, same as for my basses. But my primary gigging cab is black Duratex with the dreaded "bugeye" grill, which I like just fine. I was already tired of the vintage look when it was brand new, to be honest. But OTOH, I'm perfectly happy to rock an SVT if someone else puts one on stage.

    3). Travel.
    Do you use your own vehicle, or public transportation? Or a horse?? :0
    Casters, Yes or No?


    I have a soccer mom van and no need for casters.

    4). Complaints.
    Do you ever get complaints from band mates that say they can't hear the bass, or the bass sounds like mud?


    Mud no. Many guys I play with are old and fairly deaf, and sometimes they want louder than I feel comfortable with. But in general, the guys I play with and the audiences I play to seem to like my bass rig a lot. They notice the amp more than the cab though, probably because I build my own amps.

    5). What is the biggest thing you would change with all the cabinets available today?
    Or are you happy with what is available?


    If I could go even smaller than 112 I'd be down. Other than that, I'm good.

    6). With mom & pop shops drying-up, and GeetarCenters having very limited brands, how do you find a good cab? Travel to far away store? Advice from friends? Online reviews? YouTube reviews? Other?

    Talkbass GTGs are my huckleberry. I've a a few good experiences checking out cabs sat NAMM as well.

    7). What sound do you prefer:
    Full mid-range and good lows....not worried about that zingy high-end to 10kHz?
    Or full dynamic range maybe with mid pulled back a little? highs extend to 10kHz.


    10K is a little too low, I use my cabs for vocals and guitar synth as well as bass.

    8). Lowwwww B
    How many need a cab that handles the low B (like actually is strong below 40Hz)?


    One doesn't need response below about 50 Hz for a good low B, in my experience. My bigger cabs are -3dB at 46Hz and -10dB at around 34Hz and are already overkill.

    And to address the last part of your post, I'm quite an avid DIY'er, but don't really enjoy woodworking all that much. I built one of the first fEARful 12/6 cabs when Dave Green came out with that design. It was crazy heavy due to the scrap 3/4 plywood I used and I had a chance to do a crossgrade move to an AudioKinesis cab that weighs half as much, so I did.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    wave rider likes this.
  8. TinIndian

    TinIndian

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    First and foremost it has to sound good and do a good job handling the low freq's.
    Second - How hard is it to live with. I owned a Mesa Powerhouse 410 that absolutely killed but ended up being too difficult to live with. Bulky and Heavy (96lbs).
    Looks - Doesn't mater to me. I could care less what it looks like onstage if it kills in the sound dept.
     
  9. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017
    Guys, this is great feedback! Passinwind, love the comment about rocking' an SVT 'if someone else puts it on stage...' Haaaaaa!!!!
    TinIndian, totally hear ya on the Mesa cab. Also a beast.
    Akrachanko, Thank you for taking the time to be specific. It's very helpful.

    Please keep the comments coming. :)
     
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    It actually happened recently, and the owner even thanked me for playing it. He was mixing and just felt like hearing it, there were plenty of smaller things at the venue he could have backlined that would have worked fine for what we were doing.
     
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I car that doesn't smell, a DRIVER who doesn't smell, speaks clear English, and will just shut up and driv.....

    Oh. Not THAT kind of cab....
     
  12. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017
    I can understand that. It's rare to be able to get out into the house and hear your tone from there, but it is very valuable.
     
  13. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017
    Oh crap, I'm laughing out loud!
     
    Wisebass, Zbysek and two fingers like this.
  14. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep. I used to run open mics for quite a few years and really enjoyed hearing how other players sounded through my rigs.
     
    Huw Phillips likes this.
  15. 1). Weight.
    Do you have a limit? Yes, 40 lbs is the most I can carry.
    Will you pay more for neo drivers in the same cab than if it had ceramic drivers? Nope
    Do you already use a dolly for every load-in/out? Not needed, my "cab" only weighs 38 lbs.

    2). Looks.
    Do you prefer typical black and metal grills, or a more old school tweed with cloth grill look (assuming performance is the same)? Other? Gotta be black and not covered in rat fur.

    3). Travel.
    Do you use your own vehicle, or public transportation? Or a horse?? :0 Own my own pickup
    Casters, Yes or No? Hardly

    4). Complaints.
    Do you ever get complaints from band mates that say they can't hear the bass, or the bass sounds like mud?
    Never

    5). What is the biggest thing you would change with all the cabinets available today?
    Or are you happy with what is available?
    I don't use a traditional bass cab, I use a 2000 watt FRFR (1X12) and am very happy with it.

    6). With mom & pop shops drying-up, and GeetarCenters having very limited brands, how do you find a good cab? Travel to far away store? Advice from friends? Online reviews? YouTube reviews? Other?
    Our guitar player let me try his FRFR, it sounded better than any amp I've used. Bought one at Sweetwater.

    7). What sound do you prefer:
    Full mid-range and good lows....not worried about that zingy high-end to 10kHz?
    Or full dynamic range maybe with mid pulled back a little? highs extend to 10kHz.
    I like all different sounds depending on the song. The FRFR reproduces them accurately.

    8). Lowwwww B
    How many need a cab that handles the low B (like actually is strong below 40Hz)?
    I don't play a 5 string but I drop my tuning an entire octave for a couple songs and play the D below the low B and it sounds (and feels) terrific!
     
  16. baileyboy

    baileyboy

    Aug 12, 2010
    I'm not a sound geek or snob as some are, so find a tone I like and stick with it for every song. I use 2-12 Mesa Radiator Scouts for gigging. I think they're awesome because of their sturdy build and low, deep tone.
     
  17. 1). Weight.
    Do you have a limit? Yes, I have had some surgery that now eliminates the likes of 200S’s, B25B’s, and the such. Even a TL606 with an EVL is a tad heavier than I could use on a regular basis.


    2). Looks.
    Do you prefer typical black and metal grills, or a more old school tweed with cloth grill look (assuming performance is the same)? Other? I much prefer cloth yet have owned Black Metal that looked good and worked well. As an almost related side note There was a brand of amplifiers in the 60’s that the grill cloth really billowed out almost kind of cool. Sadly, the material was also used for lining clothes washers and dryers. For sound dampening.

    3). Travel.
    Do you use your own vehicle, or public transportation? Or a horse?? :0
    Casters, Yes or No? I have almost always used my own transportation or whatever the band was using. The only exception was a Greyhound trip with a B15S to Gary Indiana for an audition.

    4). Complaints.
    Do you ever get complaints from band mates that say they can't hear the bass, or the bass sounds like mud? A Guitarists wife asked if I could turn up. Never ever any other complaints.

    5). What is the biggest thing you would change with all the cabinets available today?
    Or are you happy with what is available? There are about half a scazillion different cabs currently available.

    6). With mom & pop shops drying-up, and GeetarCenters having very limited brands, how do you find a good cab? Travel to far away store? Advice from friends? Online reviews? YouTube reviews? Other? Way back when if you wanted to try out different cabs you needed to visit a different store as most stores had one or two brands. Now one trip to GC will get you into five or more different brands (granted nothing exotic), but still 5 or so none the less.

    7). What sound do you prefer:
    Full mid-range and good lows....not worried about that zingy high-end to 10kHz?
    Or full dynamic range maybe with mid pulled back a little? highs extend to 10kHz. The sound I prefer could be described as a B15n loaded with a CTS, using a Fender P with tape wounds, with only a little more note definition.

    8). Lowwwww B
    How many need a cab that handles the low B (like actually is strong below 40Hz)? Not on my list of needs, wants, wishes or desires, but maybe sometime.
     
    zon6c-f likes this.
  18. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017
    My crappy wireless only goes about 60 feet out. It's better than nothing I guess. It's amazing how different the bass sounds 'out there' in the room.
     
    Passinwind likes this.
  19. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Taking a stab at filling this out first before going through and reading all the responses. Hoping that isn't a mistake, but for me:

    1). Weight.
    Do you have a limit?


    Not a hard limit, but I do want a lightweight cab. My current cab weighs 52 pounds. I'd actually consider it on the heavier side, but from a weight to performance ratio, there are few cabs IMO that can top it.

    Will you pay more for neo drivers in the same cab than if it had ceramic drivers?

    I don't believe that there is a sonic signature for either. Magnet material's effect on tone is secondary or maybe even incosequential compared to other elements of cab design. Just my humble opinion. With that being said, all else being equal, I will pay more for a lighter cab.

    Do you already use a dolly for every load-in/out?

    I don't for most, but I always have a hand truck in my trunk for when I might have a little farther walk.

    2). Looks.
    Do you prefer typical black and metal grills, or a more old school tweed with cloth grill look (assuming performance is the same)? Other?


    I like my cabs to look unassuming. Black. As little flash as possible. Minimal to no branding. To me, my cab is the "stagehand" of my gear. It has a job to do and should do it without calling attention to itself.

    3). Travel.
    Do you use your own vehicle, or public transportation? Or a horse?? :0
    Casters, Yes or No?


    Car, no casters (see hand truck note above). If I'm taking public transport there had better be a backline cab - and there almost always is at venues in big cities.

    4). Complaints.
    Do you ever get complaints from band mates that say they can't hear the bass, or the bass sounds like mud?


    Absolutely not with my current cab. I have received complaints with past cabs, from band members saying there wasn't enough low-end.

    5). What is the biggest thing you would change with all the cabinets available today?
    Or are you happy with what is available?


    I'm pretty happy. There is enough selection out there today that I find it hard to imagine that the perfect cab for somebody isn't out there, or couldn't be built. It might just be a bit expensive.

    6). With mom & pop shops drying-up, and GeetarCenters having very limited brands, how do you find a good cab? Travel to far away store? Advice from friends? Online reviews? YouTube reviews? Other?

    For my last cab, I started with online reviews and then went looking for models to test drive.

    7). What sound do you prefer:
    Full mid-range and good lows....not worried about that zingy high-end to 10kHz?
    Or full dynamic range maybe with mid pulled back a little? highs extend to 10kHz.


    Purely from a cab standpoint, I prefer over-engineered and full dynamic range but balanced and relatively flat. I can then reign in my signal before the cab as needed to suit my taste and needs.

    8). Lowwwww B
    How many need a cab that handles the low B (like actually is strong below 40Hz)?

    I know I've mentioned this a few times in the recent past, but one of the most well-regarded 5-string basses is the StingRay 5. It has a reputation for a great B string. What makes it's B string tone so great? Probably that it has an on-board High Pass Filter that limits lows below 60Hz (around the first overtone of low B). A good sounding B string frequently isn't about low-end extension.

    I like the fact that my cab is able to perform well below 40Hz, but as I noted above, I filter out much of those sub lows just because I prefer how it sounds.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  20. kelsound

    kelsound

    May 11, 2017


    Thank you for taking the time. It seems the 40 lb-ish weight seems to be a common thread.
     
    Nick Danger and Passinwind like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.