Whats going on with my Ampeg?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Nov 7, 2005.


    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Every week i use my Ampeg B 100 R at Church to play our music for Mass in the Teen Music Ministry i Run and lately i have noticed how diffrent it sounds whille i stand 10 plus feet away from it as opposed to sitting with my back to the amp as i usually do when we play. When i play standing up 10 plus feet away i hear a drastic diffrence in the tone and note deffinition, the notes sound very uneven and i am playing with Sadowskys but when i sat back down with the amp right behind me everything sounded great. What is it that i am hearing or missing?. I have been for sometime been considering some new amplification to get a better all around sonic range and balance so i would be open to suggestions, i would really like to check out some of the Aguilar combos.Thanks
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Are your ears on the same axis relative to the speaker in both playing positions? If not it won't sound the same, no matter what the rig is. It's always a good idea to adjust your EQ to get the best sound in the audience, rather than where you usually sit or stand.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    No i didint readjust the eq but i will keep that in mind.Thanks :bassist:
  4. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    The problem I believe is that the amp is rear ported. So unless you're almost touching the amp w/ your leg it sounds like crap. I play thru a B-115hp @ church & it sucks because it's rear ported. If I step 8 feet away from the amp, all the lows go away but the singers 20ft away & @ a 45degree angle think it's to loud. Rear ported cabs rely on the proximity effect using a wall that should be about 2 feet away from the back of the cab to get low end response. So your sounds varies wildly from room to room w/rear ported cabs. I hate rear ported cabs.
  5. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    I don't believe this is not accurate or true. Port placement on a non-horn-loaded design that is not designed to be reflective (like the Mesa Scout's passive radiator) has a negligible effect on the sound.
  6. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    You wouldn't think it was true, maybe on paper. My experience w/my old SWR Goliath2 410 rear ported was brutally inconsistent from room to room. I did some gigs w/the cab turned backwards & someone would always comment on how much lowend my rig had. SWR tech said yeah that works on the proximity effect, got to have cab 1-2' away from wall. If you don't have a wall , you're hosed. I understand that lows are omnidirectional but this has been my experience w/SWR & Ampeg rear ported cabs IMHO. One's a 15", the other 4x10" & both had same problems.

    It's real easy to test to see if your cab suffers from this syndrome. Put the cab in the middle of a room w/no obstructions, play in front of the cab for a while, then walk to the back. I did this @ the 1st gig I did w/the SWR cab where there wasn't a wall directly behind us. After I heard how much lowend I was missing out on, I sold the cab.

    Perhaps the Scout overcomes this w/the passive radiator pointing down & distributing the lows evenly.
  7. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ
    Blues Cat, any cabinet will sound different with different placement in a room; it has nothing to do with the porting in this case. If you have a cabinet in the middle of a 20'x20' room, it will sound drastically different versus having it in the corner of the room.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I just want my rig to sound good to me no matter were i am standing in relation to it.
  9. getz76


    Apr 3, 2005
    Hoboken, NJ

    That's not always possible in a given room. There are things you can do to minimize it, though. Isolation from the floor (decoupling) can sometimes help, placement of the cabinet (regardless of venting), and equalization.
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Any speaker will vary depending. The frequencies it puts are different length from the git go. It can't sound the same under different situations. Any setup will sound bad in the right spot. But one of the reasons for the popularity of the Woods amps was the EQ faired so well in a variety of environments. I suppose some may be more consistently optimal than others but typically it comes down to tradeoffs - like having lots of glass in your house but low utility bills (without spending a lot more cash to get it that is). Fuel economy and accelaration. Same kind of thing.

    I enjoy live music but I'm always prepared for the "garage band sound" when I go cause that's the nature of the beast. Of the hundreds/thousands of live performances I've seen, there were two I recall that had quality tone. I go to socialize and see the performance, not hear the music. I'd get the cd if that was the case.

    If you like big bottom, you're going to have a lot more problem cause those are grief frequencies. Lots of players sacrifice the bottom end to get live tone they can live with.

    But bass frequencies do better in corners in my experience. My surround powered sub for the theater system is in the corner and the best place to hear tone overall (but especially bass) frequencies in the practice room is the corner. Those are controlled enviroments. When you go live, those places aren't setup for music. Even if they were, if you could here a pin drop on stage from the back row, the soundman would still crank up 200dB.

    If you play around with location and eq, you should be able to find a good spot to play where you will enjoy it. You may have to cut the low end though.
  11. I've got to agree with getz76, and I'm sure Bill Fitzmaurice could give a better explanation, but I have noticed that in some situations the sound 2-3 ft away is hugely different than 15-20 ft away. Sometimes I hear more bass farther away, but this past week I played at a college auditorium and the bass frequencies dropped off the map just off stage. I tried to eq for the audience but it was so bassy on stage the band complained. If I could have raised the cabinet off the floor it would have been more likely that I could have more successfully eq'ed the cab for the room. (particularly because everyone else who had an amp had them on stands and they sounded much the same at the back of the room as they did on stage)
  12. 8mmOD


    Mar 20, 2005
    I endorse & use Tech 21 pedals, Eminence loaded cabs, EMG pickups, Jim Dunlop picks & Ernie Ball Strings, BC Rich Basses.
  13. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    MM I am in no way saying your amp is bad, you just half to know where to put the amp in the room.

    BGD, the sound was dropping out @ the end of your cord/stage because the sine waves reach a dead spot, (for lack of a better term) then they will be audible again @ 26-28' away. So it's possible for the audience to be hearing your bass & you to be standing in the dead spot. I believe different size drivers can shorten this dead spot.

    G76 I agree that any cab will sound different w/placement in any room.

    So let's take the room completely out of the equation. Take a rear ported cab outside/outdoors w/no obstructions & see if it sounds bassier/fuller on the port side. I'd like to know too. I don't have a rear ported cab anymore so I can't test this.
  14. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Getz 76 is right in that any cabinet will sound different depending on where it's placed in the room, no matter if it's rear ported, front ported or sealed with no ports.

    My Walkabout Scout is rear ported and as well has a downfiring passive radiator. it sounds very much different according to placement. And I never jam it right up against a wall. To do so would block the rear port and alter the tuning of the cabinet.

    It is best to EQ for what the audience will hear if you can. And what sound good at one point in the audience will sound terrible in other points in the room, depending on the room. Higher volume levels compound the problem.
  15. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    I suspect it isn't the rear-porting, although that can have an effect.... probably not the problem here...

    Standing up vs sitting down gets you involved with directivity..... highs tend to go straight, and your ears are out of the "beam" if you stand up versus being in front of the speaker.....

    Try tilting the cabinet up a bit.... Or just get used to it if you'd rather have the audience hear the best projection.
  16. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Supporting Member

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    We've got our 15" Ampeg combo amp on a quicklock tiltable stand & this just moved the inconsistent frequencies to another part of the stage. I don't think it's a brand specific problem, just a rear port design/amp placement issue.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Would i be better off with a 2 10 combo?
  18. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    The only way I know to get good tone both onstage and n the audience is to have an amp you love to stand next to (monitor for you) and a DI or mic line to an engineer out in the audience who cares about helping you get your sound to the people. Work with this person, explain to them what you like and don't like, and when you find a good engineer take good care of them so they'll stick around for many many shows.
  19. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    That depends. 2x10 cabinets are not any more room friendly than 1x15 cabinets. They may tend to be "faster" but are not necessarily going to be more even sounding in different listening locations just because they use a multiple driver set-up. Also, and this is where it may be getting a little too esoteric for bass amplification, a side by side 2x10 cabinet will have "smearing" of the sound as the ear is at different distances from each of the drivers. A vertical array which gives you a "line source" configuration is preferred. That's why you see all drivers arranged vertically in home stereo speaker cabinets. Side by side drivers cause sound to arrive at different times to the ears of the listener thereby decreasing the articulation and fidelity of the signal ( I told you it was getting a bit esoteric). Before someone says that bass frequencies are non-directional and this vertical mumbo-jumbo is just a bunch of horse hockey, please note that only frequencies below 100hz are non-directional. Above that they are directional. Granted, when you are 50 feet away, all these minute differences tend to converge and become less of an issue.

    My Peavey 115 BVX BW cabinet is front ported and if I step out in front of it 10 or so feet (like you have explained) the tone shifts quite a bit.

    My home stereo speakers are exactly the same. If I stand near them, they sound bass heavy. If I go back to my regular seating position 8ft. in front of them, they sound bass-shy and they are an acoustic suspension design ( no port at all ).

    There's a bit too much emphasis on rear-firing vs. front-firing ports in this discussion. As long as a port is not being blocked by a wall or other surface, it will work properly. A ported design is used to extend driver bass extension while maintaining SPL's. It's a cheap way to make sure the speaker cabinet is loud. Non-ported designs tend to be less efficient but more linear in response. The frequencies that a port outputs are all in the very lowest part of the output of the cabinet and as such reside in that "non directional" portion of the audio band.

    proximity effects, acoustic coupling from floors and walls, standing waves due to room dimensions, indirect sound off of walls, all these pesky characteristics contribute to uneven acoustics.

    I also play at church and am sometimes told that I am too loud by the sound man even when I am right in front of my amp and can't hear myself over the drums and guitar amps in the onstage mix!!

    Also, once the congregation (audience) is seated, the sound changes again as all those folks tend to soak up another set of frequencies.

    That's why a soundcheck is sometimes almost useless for us, because the slap echoes in our auditorium plus a lower midrange node that makes everything sound like mud are horrendous in an unfilled room, but change again once it is full of people. Such are the trials and tribulations of the volunteer church soundman.
  20. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004