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Debunking The "don't Mix Different Speaker Sizes In Your Rig" Myth...

Discussion in 'Bass Amps & Cabinets' started by DiMarco, May 2, 2018.

  1. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I have worked with 1x15 + 4x10 stacks and it sounded very good. So did the 1x18 + 2x10 stack.
    I have worked with single cab solutions like a 4x10 or 2x15 and had problems hearing myself on stage. Could hear myself okay then take one step in the direction of my mic stand and poof, all bass sound gone.

    Apparently, the mixing of different speaker sizes is NOT the definitive cause of trouble monitoring yourself. The different speakers/cabs just need to work well together. I suppose in some cases things will not blend nicely. An SWR Son of Bertha 1x15 works really well with a Goliath III 4x10 on top. Could hear myself well everywhere on stage.

    Yet on most forums people will tell you to NEVER mix different speaker sizes in your stack. What's up with that? Yes indeed I am implying to you this is a MYTH and simply not true.

    Your experiences please!
     
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  2. Toepfer

    Toepfer Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I played a 4x12 + 2x10 set (biamping) - it worked great!
     
  3. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    What?
    First time I hear that LOL!!!
    Even brands like Trace Elliott and such produced 4x10 and the 1x15 or 18 for extra low end. Hellborg's full rig was made with 1x15 bass, 1x15 coaxial treble, and 1x12 (hi cab)
     
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris

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    I've honestly never seen anyone make that assertion. What they usually say is that mixing different sizes may or may not work, and that using matching rigs eliminates the crap shoot. I personally feel that, on paper, their arguments make a lot of sense, but it would be a difficult hypothesis to test in the real world. I do think that they overstate the risks. I've played through a lot of weird rigs over the years, and many of them sounded great, or at least decent.

    I think a lot of this is the height of the rig. I like stacks mainly because they come up close to ear level in height.

    This is another good aspect to consider. Mixing rigs makes a lot more sense when you're bi-amping, sending different frequencies to each cabinet. In fact, I have a hard time imagining the advantages of having a matched rig with a bi-amped head. It seems like that would defeat the whole purpose.
     
  5. Hardy

    Hardy Good Vibe Sponsor

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    In our rehearsal room my Ashdown Drophead with the 1x15" speaker is positioned behind me (on the drummers platform) and the 4x10" on the other side of the drums. When our singer suggested this setup I thought it would not work at all. But it does. And even paying highest attention you can´t locate the "higher" bass frequencies in my corner and the lower bass frequencies in the other corner. It´s a full and homogen sound in the whole room. We play small gigs there (place there is for 60 to 70 people). We can play at a lower volume and we still have a great sound.
     
  6. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    What I (finally) realized is that a bigger cab is not always better. For clubs, pubs, with small stages, 2x10 is better IMHO, because the sound "opens" close the cab, so you can actually hear yourself. Bigger cabs are effective starting 3-4 meters sometimes, so bringing a large cab to a small gig will not make you hear yourself better, but annoy the lead singer :)
     
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  7. Henrythe8

    Henrythe8 Supporting Member Dolphin Hoarder

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    Never heard of the "never mix" thingy. I always assumed the standard rig was 4x10 + 1x15.
    I had a blast with 8x8 + 2x10, very tight.
    In my younger days I played 4x10+2x15, but then the neon tubes dropeed off the ceiling and the table in the bar above the cave we played in started to move. (True story, I played with a dual amplifier setup : Ampeg SVT400 in the 410 and SUNN Betabass in the 2x15)
    Now I play with a 2x12; or a 2x8 + 2x12 for small venues, and it's OK.

    Maybe the "don't mix the cabs" rule is for lazy sound engineers ? (there are some).
     
  8. Hardy

    Hardy Good Vibe Sponsor

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    There are a lot of strange theories out there. Like that one that we all shall play a 4 string Fender Jazz Bass in sunburst.
     
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  9. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    I played with a Hartke 1x15 and 4x10 forever. Always loved the sound I got and never had any issues. It's odd that after 35 years I am just hearing about this haha. My friend ran 2 Hartke 4x10 and we both thought that my rig was fuller sounding. To me there is just something the 1x15 adds that's is great.
     
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  10. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    That something is probably called BASS.
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    :D I remember when I went to by the cabinets, the sales rep was like "tom from Aerosmith runs all 4x10, it's better for bass!" Like I gave a crap about this guy lol. I was coming off using an ampeg 2x15 so I wanted at least one 15". Now I use the 15" with a 2x10
     
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  12. warwickhunt

    warwickhunt

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    Really surprised as many of you haven't heard about mixing speaker sizes/types!

    It isn't a case of it can't/won't work but the 'science' behind single speaker size/type is valid if you want consistency of sound. There is lots of good info out there about it and it isn't myth but if you consider the simple fact that when you EQ your sound for a given situation each different speaker potentially requires a different approach; one speaker size negates in vagiaries.

    Oh and the old 15" for bottom end, 10" for top end is categorically a myth. ;)
     
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  13. Henrythe8

    Henrythe8 Supporting Member Dolphin Hoarder

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    Yeah, but that's for smart people.
    I bass player. :)
     
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  14. PaulS

    PaulS Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Well it might be a myth but sounds good to my ears and that's all that matters. Because we all know the crowd don't care lol
     
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  15. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    The thing is consistency of sound is not what defines a good sounding bass rig. It would in a P.A. system as that needs to amplify all frequencies equally.

    When mixing speaker sizes problems can occur in frequency ranges that are coming from both the larger and the smaller speakers as those can't be 100% in phase with eachother. This is why in a P.A. Those different size speakers are limited to a frequency band using crossovers. A bass rig however seldom has those in place which means your two cabs have to work together well. A key factor however when playing at stage volume levels is the room acoustics, which often play a bigger role in your sound at that moment and can pretty much make or break your bottom end. I like to focus my tone shaping on this area so I prefer my amp's EQ to be very flexible in that area. The Trace Elliot has EQ sliders for 30, 40 and 60hz which can solve a lot of problems for me. I usually completely cut everything under 40hz. On a hollow wooden stage also the 40hz is pulled down to at least -6db. My cab is full range and flat response

    Also, some of the most popular Eminence speakers for bass cabs are far from consistent across the frequency spectrum of a bass guitar. People seemingly prefer this "character" in their tone that has a big bump in the lower mids.

    I guess that I am simply emphasizing the same frequency as those speakers naturally do, using my 12 band EQ.

    All this mumbo jumbo aside we can simply put that consistency does not define if a rig sounds good to the player or not. Inconsistency in hi-fi is called "bad". In a bass rig it is called "character".
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  16. andrew92

    andrew92

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    i had the cab thing explained to me in the following way:

    lets say you have a 500w 410 and a 500w 115 and you're using a 1000w head.

    the 410 is receiving 125w to each coil/driver/cone and its under little stress while the single coil/driver/cone in the 115 is receiving the full 500w by itself and can easily overheat the coil.


    alas, i use a a 2x 212 vertical stack so i dont know if thats true or not, dont care either :)
     
  17. ectoflanger

    ectoflanger Supporting Member

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    All I’ve ever heard is make sure that the ohm ratings are compatible with your amps.
     
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