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why are tweeters so common in bass cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by allredtillblue, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. allredtillblue

    allredtillblue Banned

    Mar 27, 2015
    On the radio and at bigger live shows I almost never hear any reason for them. Obvious exceptions being tool, RHCP and mudvayne- but they haven't released anything super trebley in years. Most modern RnB that I've heard seems like a plain ol fullrange with the mids dialled back would do the trick fine for the seven or eight pops in a song. Maybe I'm trebally challenged? Really I've never been in a studio or performed at a level that anyone would consider pro and would like to know if I'm missing something or if tweeters are like sport suspension and low pro tires on midsize fwd sedans- consumers just buy because it seems cool? School me on who uses it in a way that sits in a mix to the music's benefit.
  2. I've modded my cabs with a switch to cut the tweets and crossovers out, but I find that in most situations I want a bit of them in there mostly to define the attack. When I've got them on I've got them rolled off to about 9 o'clock.

    The thing about the speakers running full range is that it sounds a little too rounded off and the attack of the notes seems to be lost leaving me with a mushy feel...
  3. Many tweeters are adjustable to the user's preference. I typically find the lack of a tweeter more "my tone", but adding a tweeter suddenly transforms a cabinet in to an arena of new sounds.

    Ok - that's just poetic. Companies can sell more cabinets by offering an inexpensive tweeter to make their cabinet appeal to a wider consumer base.
    monsterthompson likes this.
  4. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    no effin idea; biggest waste of time since biamping
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  5. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Basically, the demand for more watts meant speakers traded off top end for bigger watt numbers. Then they needed to add a tweeter to hide the missing top end response, even though they wound up with an octave or two gap between them, can still claim 40hz to 20khz, just not mention the gap in the middle.
  6. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    I'm partial to tweetered cabs. Generally speaking, I find them to be more articulate. At times I like to dominate some fret clank, and I think tweetered cabs tend to have more snap.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    OTOH, I can think of quite a few builders who put a whole lot of thought into their full range enclosure designs. I don't necessarily like a lot of snap in my tone but there's still enough >5K sonic content to make it worthwhile. When I adjust my amp / EQ, I want the cab to respond accordingly. Take a look at the BFM "all purpose" bass enclosure offerings. You can stick most on a tripod and use them for PA mains.

  8. allredtillblue

    allredtillblue Banned

    Mar 27, 2015
    So are there any mainstream pop, rock (non-power-trio), RnB or country bassists who make actual use of tweeter frequencies rather than surrendering them to the more treble-relevant instruments?
  9. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Mark King.
  10. The Regulator

    The Regulator

    Aug 10, 2005
    I always keep mine off.
    Liam Wald likes this.
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I can't seem to find any tweeters in my cabinets (except the Minimark but I think that one was been fixed: blown out :cool:) and I get more than plenty of high end, enough that I frequently roll off the tone control on my basses. :)
  12. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    Because, despite the name "bass"; the intrument is still capable of producing high end.

    Especially you'll hear it in a lot of solo bass and slap techniques.
  13. Argassab


    Dec 16, 2014
    Cayman Islands
    I'd consider it a condiment so it has an attenuator to taste.
    deeptubes and mimaz like this.
  14. Gizmot


    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    The "sound" that bass players want now is somewhat different than it was 30+ years ago. The sound everyone used to use was all woofers - mostly 15s. When Larry Graham, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clark came on to the scene, everyone started going for a more hi-fi sound. Its been that way for awhile.
  15. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Even if the fundamental is a low note there are still higher frequency components in the attack part of the sound as well as in overtones. I like a bit of tweeter for the clarity and presence it brings, though it can get a bit too much especially when you add distortion.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    TheRealKong and static0verdrive like this.
  16. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Because guitarists.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The only time I like tweeters is playing upright bass, but not enough to have them on in my cabs, only the PA. I guess I could use them because I use pedals that have speaker simulators for electric anyway, but none of them but one even have a tweeter, so whatever. Don't really miss it.
  18. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Because they didn't used to be.

    Tweeters have their place, but I tend to roll mine *way* off on all my cabs. Just a touch to get that "snap" to come through.
    High Camp likes this.
  19. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    I use em most of the time at some level. Keeps me happy with my sound, those high frequencies all get absorbed by the first row if you've got no FOH support. But hey if my cab is my monitor ill like the way it sounds
  20. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
    I disconnected the tweeter in my Ashdown MAG410 because I was using it for guitar for a while. I planned on connecting it up again, but I can get an over-bright sound without the tweeter anyway. A little bump of your amp's treble knob can make up for the lack of tweeter.
    Jeff Scott likes this.

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