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Why mix and match heads and cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lowdownwalt, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. svp


    Mar 12, 2007
  2. I'd be awfully upset if for some reason I was only able to use matched heads and cabinets. It's not as if Ampeg and Mesa Boogie put compatibility chips in their amp electronics. Is it?

    My all time favorite bass amp rig in the whole world a vintage Sunn Model T with a matching Sunn 2x15 cabinet.

    Another one of my fav rigs is the Eden World Tour 800 into a modern Ampeg 8x10.

    To try and answer the original question; I believe the bottom line is that sound should come before all else, including brand loyalty and the look of your rig. If you're happy with your sound, and your stuff matches? All the power to ya. That said, I would never limit myself to one brand.
  3. lowdownwalt


    Mar 23, 2008
    BC Canada
    Thanks for the input so far!

    I feel that most of the big guy's like Ampeg,Aguilar,Genz,Mesa,Eden,etc. just to mention a few build good amps and matching cabs. Personally for me it comes down to the look of the rig which probably is not that important to some. I do respect those that don't feel their getting the right sound and mix their rigs. For me it just makes me feel good about the rig I'm playing through if it's matched.
    However, having said that... I agree that Bergantino cabs are unique and are probably the only ones that I'd consider to match up with my shuttle 6.

    Thanks guy's!
  4. claytitan


    Mar 12, 2008
    Try out a lot of gear and buy what you like. Buy what sounds good to you and for your band's sound. Who cares whose name is on it. I have the GK 1001rb and a Markbass 151HR. It sounds great to me and the guys in the band. I few posts back there was a guy that thought Markbass heads are great and they have bad cabs. I thought the opposite (although their 2 x 10 traveller on its own would be whimpy IMO). There is no right or wrong answers for this one.
  5. mntngrown

    mntngrown Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    My choice was economics but I got lucky! Avatar 2x12 neo makes my Markbass LMII sound great to me and I did not break the bank! If money were no object I would get matched gear that the manufacturer intended to go together.
  6. shamus63


    Dec 17, 2005
    San Mateo, CA
    In that perspective, there's no valid reason not to mix-n-match if that's what it takes to find your sound.
  7. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    Some cabs just go better with some amps. I have always had mix matched setups except for my Eden rig which still uses a QSC power amp.

    I found magic in my Shuttle 6.0 and Eden cabs. I tried some of the older XB series Genz Benz cabs and was not blown away but have not been able to try any of their newer Neo or Uber series stuff. I have a feeling I would love them!
  8. Hey,I'd play thru a washtub bass,CB mic,and a Victrola if it made me have good sound/tone.
  9. The Backline 600 was cheap
    The Ashdown MAG 210T was cheap

    And they sound BEAUTIFUL together, The ashdown cab keeps the lows sounding full without needing to spring for larger speakers.

    They balance out REALLY well, I found my tone =)
  10. von buck

    von buck

    Feb 22, 2008
    wolcott ct.
    I use a Bag End D210, and it works great with every head I've used with it. Played with an Eden an old beat up Peavey and just the amp part of a GK Back Line.
    Last night was my first gig with my new GB 6, and it sounded better than ever,
    the only thing I don't like is the weight. I'm semi disabled and its a bitch to lift (that's what band members are for)

  11. Possibly going way out on a limb, but individual tastes in sound? Despite all the advertising to the contrary, one size does NOT fit all.
  12. Some validity to it, as different manufacturers aim for a different signature sound. Some traditional, some hi-fi, some bright, some dark.

    If you like that signature sound, helps to use stuff from the company that is known for that sound.

    Electronics are easier to swap out without worries, much less potential for issues as they're generally very flat, at least compared to speaker cabs. No reason not to swap out another companies electronics asa a reasult.

    Cabs can be trickier, in theory. I've used matching cabs lately. Works great. I used to use an 18 and a 2x10, or a 4x10, that worked great too.

    Phasing issues will occur, but I think that happens in various portions of the sound field any time multiple drivers are used, matching or not. I suppose if they happen where you're standing in front of your amp because you've mixed speaker brands/types, that's a problem.... But I suspect it could occur between any different speakers from the same manufacturer, say if you used a 15 and a 2x10 from GK. Have to get identical speaker cabs to avoid that.

  13. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I think if you are looking to use two different speakers (like an 18 and 410) you better off going with the same brand because the company most likely engineered the 2 cabs to work together without phasing issues. Or at least designed the matching head to run with them with a certain crossover network built into it.

    As for amp heads, I can fully agree that Eden heads sound the best through Eden speakers. The resulting sound is just gorgeous. But I have had great success with my Mesa 400+ going through two Eden 410XLT's. The sound is not the same as the Eden heads, but I get a very usable and versatile tone out of that setup.

    In the end though, I liked Eden cabs and I liked the Mesa 400+. It's all tube and gets me the tone I need. The all-tube Eden heads don't have that massive tube growl that I love, so adios Eden heads. I am currently thinking about getting a new Genz Benz cab in the future, still going to use my Mesa 400+ with it regardless.

    Just ask your ears, "What do you hear?"
  14. Anyone ever try and Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 through an Ampeg 410HLF?
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, I see that all the time in ads in Bass Player. I wonder if that's why a handful of companies recently started making a few different models of their products. And that way, if someone wants something different, they have a few options. Interesting...you may be onto something there.

  16. Badbear79


    Nov 25, 2008
    Santa Rosa
    I have a shuttle 6 and indeed tried it with the HLF. If I remember correctly it didn't sound as good as my 700rbII. I'm definitely not an audiophile expert but I think the 700RB sounds wonderful through the HLF. However the shuttle 6 sounds great through the neox cabs, so good I'm not even curious to see what the GK sounds through the neox. I'm guilty of sending the xlr direct out from the GK to the shuttle 6 to play both rigs together (a certain no no). Im still trying to determine using my ears if there is significant phasing issues, I definitely don't hear volume loss but adding 2 12's to the mix does not make it significantly louder. One benefit of doing this I noticed though is that I can crank the GK's direct out volume which gives me enough gain to adequately overdrive the shuttle 6 tube preamp. Otherwise my passive jazz has a hard time doing it by itself, even when i crank the tube gain.
  17. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    In my experience very few Bass gear brands of equipment actually make loudspeakers in the first place.
    So what's written on the outside of the box is somehow far less relevant
    to me than the sound that comes out of it.:ninja:
  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Are you criticizing my rig?!:eek::crying::rollno::(:bawl:
  19. because Bergantino doesn't make a 300 watt all tube head.;)

    jokes aside, i love my "all" Ampeg rig, even though it's got a Stewart power amp supplying the power....

    ps. an Eden 12 on top of an Aguilar 12 is one honkin little rig!
  20. RobertPaulson


    Dec 11, 2008
    Des Moines
    I got a good deal on my SVT, took it in and thought it sounded way better through SWR cabs than the ameg's, so I bought the SWR.

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