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When do you have enough speakers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Skel, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Hi all - I am a little confused about the number of speakers one has. I'm really referring to 10" speakers. I'm aware of the huge popularity of the Ampeg SVT 8X10 cab. I currently have one SVT-410HLF that I've been using with my Ampeg B2R head. I'm moving up to an SVT-4 PRO head, and now I'm temped, because I read about another poster who used 2 SVT-410HLF cabs with his SVT-4 PRO head. I would use one 410 cab per amp (SVT-4 has 2 discrete power amps).

    What can I expect if I'm playing at the same volume, but I have 2 cabs, or twice as many speakers? If 8 sounds better than 4, does 12 sound better than 8? Is this simply a matter of practicallity, or that "diminishing returns" law, where you can reach a point in which adding more speakers begins to NOT make any difference?

    Thanks - Skel
  2. Hi Skel,

    Thats a good question that I do not have an answer to! I look forward to seeing the replies though...

    Good thread!
  3. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    My very unscientific opinion is that you'll have more spread with more speaker area. More speakers = more volume, more presence.
  4. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    When do you have enough speakers?

    When you're making enough noise.
  5. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Yes, I'm sure when you are "making enough noise" you have enough speakers. I'm sure you weren't implying, nor are any of us interested in "making noise". At least for me, I am always interested in getting "to die for" tone. I'm one of those people that will haul around pretty much *anything* if it makes my tone better.

    So, what I am saying is, that if you have 8 10" speakers instead of 4, and you want to play at the same volume, will your tone be better, richer, thicker, no different? And is that really all adding speakers does, is increase your volume?

  6. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    When your pant legs are flapping and your hair is blowing - ala the old maxell commercials;)
  7. I know in the guitar world that a 2X12 is superior to a 1x12 because you get better projection and I think even a little clarity for the same volume. I'm just not sure about the lower frequencies as I've only been playing bass for a little over a year now and never looked into it. I have a 4X12 and a 1x15 for my bass but since they are not tuned to the same and are not the configuration... it's comparing apples and oranges. I know that together I get a much better sound out of the rig... but there is also a crossover involved.

    Anyone know how multiple identical cabinets affects your tone at higher volumes?
  8. you have enough when you cant hear your drummer or guitarists at all :smug:
  9. Ask TomBowlus when you have enough speakers. :D

  10. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Better answer: When your wife tells you you have enough. :D
  11. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    If I remember correctly you get a 3db rise in volume when you double your speaker surface area. Hmm...or maybe that's when you double your power. But anyways, you are guaranteed to be louder with twice as many speakers at the same power level (with both cabs the same). (1 cab @ 500w or 2 cabs at 500w)

    Well it's not so much that you sound better only louder. Adding speakers will always make a difference but stages have only so much room. You get louder three ways...

    1. Add power
    2. Add speakers
    3. Get speaker/cabs with a higher sensitivity rating

    As far as sounding better goes, that's all about the tone from your fingers, amp and cabs not the amount of speakers.


  12. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
  13. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    There is no "enough" of anything. it's never loud enough, clean enough, dirty enough, big enough, small enough, light enough, fancy enough...etc... Thus, GAS sets in and your life gets miserable and expensive!!!! :smug:
  14. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    Yep...GAS. I'm new to this forum, and until a week ago or so I kept seeing this "GAS" term used and had no idea what it meant until I asked.

    Anybody can correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm beginning to think that things like 8X10 SVT cabinets are simply a thing of the past, at least for the average "bar band" bass player. These super high powered amps / cabinets were designed back in the days when the amp itself needed to be loud enough to fill large venues. These days with the concept running everything through the PA, I don't think you really need much more than something like an Ampeg BA-210HP, or BA-115HP (220 watts) - of course "choose your favorite brand", but the concept still stays the same.

    This really makes me question why I am even getting the SVT-4 PRO...it seems rather ridiculous for playing clubs.

    Due to my current GAS syndrome, I traded my BA115 (100 watt) Ampeg practice amp, along with my B2R head, for a BA115HP (220 watts) yesterday. I'm going to try this at a gig tonight. My only real question was whether to go with the 1X15 or the 2X10. (In the store I actually liked the 2X10 better, but they only had the BA-210SP, which has a bunch of digital effects that I don't want, or want to pay extra for). So when they get the regular BA-210HP in, I will probably exchange the 1X15 for the 2X10 - as the 2X10 had really good low end, and was so much tighter and punchier than the 1X15.

    Again, due to my GAS syndrome, I also have a brand new Precision, when my new SX precision is every bit as good for a tenth of the price, and my MIM precision sounds great too.

    I don't mind going through this learning curve, but I have a very strong feeling that I'll be selling and/or exchanging a *bunch* of completely unneccessary gear in the next few months. I'm downsizing!

    So what have I learned? You don't have to spend a fortune to get a very good sounding, practical, and efficient bass guitar and amp. In fact you can spend very little. And your focus can go back to *playing* the bass instead of constantly wondering about what you need next.

  15. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    And that, my friend, is why God invented wives.
  16. catdriver


    Apr 19, 2005
    Park City UT
    10's, 10's and more 10's....... ok maybe an 18 too....... never to much or too many, that's why there are roadies.... and friends with big trucks... hehehehehehe..... Oh and finally there is no such thing as unnecessary gear.....

    Many players use a combnation of 10's or 12's and a 15 or an 18, to make sure the speakers are reproducing all the possible frequncies that your gear is generating. 10's and 18's are popular with bass players because they fill in the sonic spectrum that the guitarists and the PA's, 12's and 15's don't use. At least that's what I've often read... I swaer by a twin 4x10 stack regardless of the size of the room, I just turn down.......
  17. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    Skel, I believe your post is very thoughtful, mostly I guess because I've come to the same conclusion as you. I'm going through a Whappo, Jr., (2 12s, a 6, and 2 tweeters). I picked it first because of its tone, and also because of its weight (relatively light for a one cabinet solution).

    The Jr. can throw out a lot of sound, and is fine for 90% of the venues in which I play. In a place so big I start running out of guts, I'm always through the FOH.

    So where does that leave you? Pick an amp and cabinet that meets most of your volume needs, but more importantly, has YOUR sound. I know some people feel they still need to use my old rig from back in 1980-the traditional two cabinet SVT-but I don't.
  18. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    when you have a 'wall of sound'

  19. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    when you run out of money :)
  20. Then I have enough speakers....


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