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Why the big rig?


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Big rigs do NOT neccessarily mean big volume. Why folks don't understand this continues to mystify me....

 

What a full stack does is:

- generate more bass due to floor coupling

- transmit 'feel' into the ground

- get the sound up into the player's ear so they can hear themselves

 

This works for guitar AND for bass. And because of those attributes, a full stack can actually be less loud than a half-stack or combo. So often you see guys w/ combo amps turning up to audience-earbleed levels. And why? Because their combo amp, down there on the floor, is shooting the sound past their knees and directly into the audiences' faces. And if you put the amp up on a stand, you lose the roundness that comes from floor-coupling.

 

A full stack is a beautiful thing. Have you noticed that a full stack takes no more floorspace than a half-stack, or a combo amp? And that, due to the configuration of most bass cabs, you can fit an entire stack into the back seat of almost any 4-door subcompact?

 

For guitarists, similar things happen soundwise. And getting that 2nd cab up at chest/head level allows those who utilize feedback to do so at lower volumes. Add to that the image generated by such equipment (yes, when you're onstage you're in show business. Give 'em a show, dammit!)....

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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What do you do about the vocals, though?
Ah, good question....

It kind of depends on the system. We have a 300-watt PA that we use for our vocals, and it's sufficient... Of course, our rehearsal space is maybe 15'x15', so we have no problems there.

 

When we play out at a place with a dubious PA, we go for a gestalt thing... we want the overall sound to have an impact, so we make sure the punk rock kid behind the board just puts the vocal levels up loud enough to be a sort of "layer" on top of the band.... as long as we can sort of make the vocals poke out a little, we're fine.... the idea is to create a wall of sound with the vocals as part of the effect. We're not going for that "big front vocal" pop sound when we play live, anyway... it's all about the feel and the energy.

 

Plus... we're kind of lucky to have a lot of friends who sing/scream along almost as loud as the band...

 

Playing at these places just makes it sweeter when we get to play through a nice PA.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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As a continuation of this thread, I'd like to hear how many guys have big rigs but will confess to seldom using them.

 

???

 

I'll be the first to confess...

 

I have only ever used my 2x10/4x10 stack in a gig situation twice, ever!

 

My GK 1001RB and my 4x10 are always more than enough for even medium-size clubs without me going through the mains. I can easily drown out the entire band with this rig, so the stack is just plain never justified, except for huge rooms and outdoor gigs.

 

My Eden 2x10 and WT300 head are generally used for studio work, practice, and acoustic gigs.

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Guilty. I have a PLX 1602 and a Ampig 8X10.We DO play alot of shows with our small system with just vocals and drums in the mains. Most clubs up here have no PA support. I just wanted a rig that could cover any situation including large outdoor summer stuff since I do alot of that durring the summer. I just happen to be spoiled by the tone of my rig and have the means to haul it,no problem. I'm never told to turn down,and I'm ready for anything. It probably is a bit excessive,though. I'll admit it. :D
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Originally posted by coyote:

Big rigs do NOT neccessarily mean big volume. Why folks don't understand this continues to mystify me....

 

Add to that the image generated by such equipment (yes, when you're onstage you're in show business. Give 'em a show, dammit!)....

9 out of 10 women agree... size does matter.

;)

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Just brought a load of stuff from up North down to Florida. The neighbors are a bit nervous about my bike.

http://www.musburger.net/bass/cb750.jpg

 

But don't realize that this is what they have to fear.

http://www.musburger.net/bass/outlawmarkiv2.jpg

Actually, I don't play that much, usually practice on my Pignose Hog 30 for bass.

 

After reading this great thread, I am deliberating on adding cup holders to my cab. :D

 

ATM

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Originally posted by Deerhunting Season Avatar:

Just brought a load of stuff from up North down to Florida. The neighbors are a bit nervous about my bike.

http://www.musburger.net/bass/cb750.jpg

 

But don't realize that this is what they have to fear.

http://www.musburger.net/bass/outlawmarkiv2.jpg

Actually, I don't play that much, usually practice on my Pignose Hog 30 for bass.

 

After reading this great thread, I am deliberating on adding cup holders to my cab. :D

 

ATM

Nice bike, is that a CB750 4?

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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i use 850 watts into 4x10 and 1x18. most of the time i just use the 4x10(600 watts)unless it is a funky room or outdoors. really want to change it over though. maybe some low b's or something. i never really turn up passed 3-4.5 depending on the configuration and the room dimensions. our drummer just hits really hard. we usually use our own p.a. but we don't have subs so the bass just goes through it for monitors on the other side of the stage.
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MY MEDIUM RIG (my BIG rig needs more megapixels. ok not really. it has up to 4 more cabinets and has only been gigged a couple times for 2-ohm punishment tests)

 

Anyway. My newspaper friend just stopped by and snapped me this jpg. Too bad I didn't get the rig cleaned up and snazz from the last gig loadout. That black cloth thing in between the rack and the cab is a urethane-coated cpack cloth front that velcros on to keep the speakers from getting wet during rain or snow storm loadouts. It's formed to the Marshall-like slant of the cab. I made it myself with my old Singer sewing machine ; }

 

The rack is empty save for power strip and single space 1400 watt 14 pound power amp because it is always that way. It also has a Littlite socket I installed into the right handle, which you can't see because he was in a rush to get to a job. The rack carries my bas stand, most of my cables and accessories, and the V-Bass unit. Everything hooks together in about 30 seconds with banana to Speakon, and XLR.

 

You can't see the 2 inch front casters on the cab, nor its 5 inch rear ones. This sucker is easy to get in and out of most locations and in and out of my vehicles. The cab is 39" tall but don't be decieved. In the bottom there is a quasi-hornloaded 18" monster, and up above in sealed space on an upward slant is 2 tens, 2 sixpointfives, and a tweeterhorn that starts above 5 KHz - all on a great Speakon-driven crossover network that can biamp or do full range.

 

That's V-Bass down below. It's got MY patches in it and can put out enough voltage to easily overdrive the inputs of the Peavey DPC1400X power amp. Talk about a +4 pro system! And this thing is loud and close to flat (compared to most bas rigs) across the entire spectrum. It's an ideal system for modeling as it presents a transparent window for whatever modeling and EQ is being called up. It's also fantastic at loud gigs without PA support. In fact I often only use one side of the amp, and the other side can drive floor monitors or whatever.

 

http://phinixi.com/~greenboy-/MusicImage/MyMediumRig.jpg

.
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Originally posted by greenboy:

The cab is 39" tall but don't be decieved. In the bottom there is a quasi-hornloaded 18" monster, and up above in sealed space on an upward slant is 2 tens, 2 sixpointfives, and a tweeterhorn that starts above 5 KHz - all on a great Speakon-driven crossover network that can biamp or do full range.

Dude, tell us more about the cabinet. I love the idea of multiple size drivers in a system, whether they all in sub-compartments of the same cabinet, or in seperate stackable cabinets. What brand is that cab? Frequency response? Sensitivity? We want more!

 

Btw, if this is your medium rig, I'd love to see your big rig. :thu:

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Man, just read the stuff at the Phil Jones Bass link...awesome info and awesome cabs (at least based on the descriptions).

 

I like the sound of a big rig and here's why: a big rig (meaning lots of speaker surface area, not necessarily big power) will produce better low frequencies even when it's turned down. The drivers you have moving air, not only the more AMPLITUDE of low frequencies can you produce, but the LOWER the frequencies you can produce. For instance, looking at some of the Phil Jones cabinets, the 6x5 rolls off at 50 Hz, and the 9x5 rolls off at 40 Hz, but when you use both together, guess what, the two cabs together roll off at 35 Hz...lower than either cab by itself. This explains to me why I like the sound of two 410's better than a single 410...even though the SWR SM-900 head that I use pushes 700 watts into 8 ohms and only 800 watts into 4 ohms (bridged mono mode).

 

Of course, this depends on the venue, the type of performance (club show or wedding, etc.), and really the type of music as well, but in the type of music I typically play, I think it's important for the crowd to feel the low-end. The good news is that low frequencies can have massive amplitude and not even begin to cause anything remotely resembling hearing damage. That's the cool part.

 

Anyway, this all said, it makes practical sense to balance your rig (not just volume, but what you bring) with the PA geat that's available.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by HankyHead:

When we play out at a place with a dubious PA

I mis-read this at first and thought you were talking about a specific place !! I'm going to start using this when I need a metaphoric reference to a small town - "where do you think we're booked - Dubious, PA?" Previously I liked Toenail AK...

 

Originally posted by coyote:

Have you noticed that a full stack takes no more floorspace than a half-stack, or a combo amp?

I understand the logic of this and truly do not mean to be argumentative. For my band, this has been untrue. I am in a large band that plays small places. Our last gig had me standing next to a stack that was (bottom to top) large EV PA cab, Eden 400 (in rack case), Berg HT112, PA mixing board. This stack was in front of a table that held the PA power amp and PA reverb unit, with a monitor speaker on the floor facing up at the drummer. If I'd had a full stack, I don't know where I'd have put it !!

 

Tom

 

http://us.f1.yahoofs.com/users/7fa12bca/31a2/__sr_/855a.jpg?ph1C7iBBzZN1bf6V

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Pablo,

 

That's an Ampeg 1832 Extreme (PR-1832HE). Like many Ampeg products, unsupported and dropped just about the time it could have been marketed at users of modeling and those interested in extended response, and extended range basses.

 

They probably still have a pdf manual of this on their website, complete with mis-specs; they had several conflicting versions of the specs out. There must have been a turnover in the marketing department or infighting with engineering ; } ...I have all the T-S parameters direct from engineering, along with their test graphs. Sweet that they let me have them!

 

http://phinixi.com/~greenboy-/MusicImage/pr1832he.jpg

.
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Yep. Fastest tightest highs I've heard in a multiple-driver-per-course cab. I see they downgraded the specs in that version of the PDF. The subwoofer used to rated 600 watts RMS. Probably still the same driver ; } ...The raw drivers are all premium for their type, probably worth more than the cost of the cab.

 

That top portion is sealed and very small internal dimensions, those 10s work every well in 1700 cubic inches for the pair down to 150 Hz, with nil phase shift. The 6.5s are the type with their own enclosure built right to the back, which is rather peaky on its own but when combined with the others with the right crossover are the perfect choice for ultra clear SPL, and allows the Fosterx horn to be crossed over beyond its hissy and throaty region, making it too sound superior.

.
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I'd been using a moderate-to-big rig since the mid-90's: an Eden WT-800 with a 4x10 XLT and a 2x10XLT.

 

But recently, my whole band has gone to in-ears, so it's become kind of useless, given that the whole point is stage coverage--the crowd mostly hears the PA.

 

When I first tried the in-ears, it was disconcerting-I just couldn't hear that much low end, and I certainly couldn't feel it.

 

So I use an MXR Bass DI, which goes straight to the board. The 1/4" out on the DI goes to a power amp which pushes a Buttkicker mounted to an auralex gramma platform.

 

That way, I hear the note on my Westone in-ears, and feel it through my feet as though I was standing in front of a maxed out SVT, all while being totally silent on stage. It's great!

 

Of course, to make this work, you really need a dedicated monitor board on stage, and a good soundman in FOH.

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Originally posted by 73 P Bass:

Nice bike, is that a CB750 4?

Yes sir, that is a 1975 Honda CB750K 4, just a little dirty from the gravel roads up at the parental units' place. And the #1 cylinder just loves to run rich. Gotta bring it in yet again.

:rolleyes:

So far: new seat, tank, handle grips, speedometer, air intake, and pipes. Besides the regular brakes/tires/wiper fluid.

 

ATM

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Originally posted by Deerhunting Season Avatar:

Originally posted by 73 P Bass:

Nice bike, is that a CB750 4?

Yes sir, that is a 1975 Honda CB750K 4, just a little dirty from the gravel roads up at the parental units' place. And the #1 cylinder just loves to run rich. Gotta bring it in yet again.

:rolleyes:

So far: new seat, tank, handle grips, speedometer, air intake, and pipes. Besides the regular brakes/tires/wiper fluid.

 

ATM

One of my buddies has a '73 CB750,and, a CB400 4 SS that he is restoring. Bought it off a little old lady for like $250 (it was her sons).

But back to big rigs:

I cranked the Sansamp RBI, Tapco J1400 rig for the first time today (into 2 2 x 10's). Heavenly. My whole house shook, and all my other guitars rang sympathetically to the thunder I had brought. And everything was crystal clear , as if the Tapco was taunting me to push it harder (Come on Charlie, is that all you, got, I haven't even worked up a sweat yet!)!

Big is good.

I need more speakers.

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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As a continuation of this thread, I'd like to hear how many guys have big rigs but will confess to seldom using them.

I confess, I'm guilty... My beloved Acoustic 320 head and 408 cabinet(4x15) haven't left the house in at least 3 years. The last time I used it was for a gig outside on the beach. Fortunately, my single 4x10 Hartke rig stays at the church. Its more than enough for what we play.

I'll be really happy when I can finally get an Accugroove Tri-112, an Avalon pre and a nice QSC power amp.

I'm getting too old and my back is too trashed to haul around major appliances anymore.

 

Rock on.....

 

Tommy

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I only bring my head and two cabinets to select gigs and for recording. A lot of the gigs I play are at clubs that have at least one bass cabinet, so if I can get away with just bringing my amp and a couple of instruments I jump at the opportunity. But, for bigger rooms that don't have great sound reinforcement and outdoor shows, I bring the whole stack. It's purely a situational thing.

 

My last serious project was on the verge of heading out on the road. In that case, I was going to bring everything "just in case". If you're doing multiple dates in a row away from home, I think it's best to leave the options open.

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I've heard bass players get way too loud with all size amps. I use an SVT Classic tube head at 300 watts into two Ampeg Classic 410HE cabinets. I happily use it every weekend in a club house band. The thing is, it's tone plays every bit a part of my sound as either of my two basses. I've never actually disemboweled anybody with it, either. :)

 

My master volume is set to ten, but the preamp gain never goes above three. That is with the Ultra Low and Ultra Hi switches engaged, and all tone controls set flat, except for the bass control which is rolled back to 9 o'clock. This gets me on a sonic level with our drummer with solid low end, and I have the ability to hear myself clean and precisely without being too loud onstage or interfering with FOH levels.

 

I could get by with a smaller rig, and I'm not about to argue that point with anybody. I may eventually get a smaller, more hi-fi amp but not anytime soon.

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Originally posted by earljam:

Duh. I think the point was that you can be more than loud enough with a small rig. Try paying attention to what you are reading for a change.

Wow. He did not say that.

I mean, I'm a newbie and I'm not THAT dense. We have a new Mr. Obtuse!

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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Originally posted by earljam:

Now don't get yourself all worked up kid, if your going to dish it out you got to be able to take it. This will become clearer as you mature. You are right about weddings though, even though the subject is big rigs. If you want we can start over. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

ROTFLMFAO

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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