Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

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manofthematch
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Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by manofthematch » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:37 am

Hi BP,
I've been reading the forums here and on Talkbass re: using 1x15 and 4x10 and how it's not the ideal configuration i.e having matching cab speaker sizes (solely 10s, 12s, or 15s) is the way to go.
Nonetheless this is what I have... 1x Ampeg SVT3pro, 1x SVT410HE, 1x SVT115HE. All good and reasonable gear. At present I just use the two 1/4 inch jacks and have the two cabs running in parallel.

I am curious as for whether it is possible to use a crossover to divvy up highs & mids to the 10s and lows to the 15? The downside is that the 3Pro does not have an internal crossover, whereas the 4pro does. So I'm thinking that basically if I want to try and get a sound setup like this I should either:
1/ look out for a 4Pro or some other amp head that does have an internal cross over.
2/ get a second amp head - somehow have one head driving the 10s and the other driving the 15.
3/ somehow use the 3Pro with an external rackmount crossover.

(Note: I don't really consider getting another cab just to have matching 10s or 15s)
So, just thinking about Option 3 - I'm not sure whether this is achievable, but here goes...

The rear panel of the 3Pro has 2x 1/4 inch outputs or 1x speakon. My question to the good people of BPNZ is... is it possible to take the sound outta my 3Pro, send it to a crossover which then sends the appropriate signals to the 15 and 10s cabs?

I went to the Rockshop and saw they had a crossover (Phonic PCX3000) for $200 and thought that's pretty inexpensive way of achieving what I'm after. But the truth is I don't know if it would even work and if I'm just dreaming. I've tried googling to see if there are any precedent examples of people already doing this (using separate crossovers from their primary bass amp head) but haven't had much joy... which makes me doubtful it can be achieved.

Has anyone got similar experience or comments on this?

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by cjj » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:02 am

I pretty much do exactly that. I use 10's for high/mid and an Ampeg 115 for the lows. I use a Rane AC22B active crossover to do the split.

Rane stuff is pretty much pro audio and is gonna cost you a bit more than $200 though. The new model is the AC22S, which looks like it goes for around $520NZ:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... -crossover

Not sure what it takes to get one shipped to NZ though...

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by manofthematch » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:13 am

Hi CJJ,

Yeah I saw a photo of your rack setup with crossovers etc (in the What's your Rig? feed) and remember thinking "wowzers that's quite the setup". But looks far more complicated than my setup. I wonder if I am to take the speakon output from my amp head, send that to an input on the crossover and try to split that signal to the two cabs. Or should I take the two 1/4 inch speaker outputs from the amp head and feed them into two channels into the crossover, run it in stereo whereby two different mixes / EQs are sent to the cabs.

I've just got zero experience in crossovers. :?

After my initial post, I thought "well maybe there's some worth - if they're open to me doing it - to head along to a local music store with my rig and try out their crossovers and see if I can get a workable set up to begin with."

I'm beginning to think that's what I should do but I really don't have a clue on different crossovers to try and what would be right for me. Bearing in mind I want to try and give the 4x10s the highs and mids, and the 1x15 the lows.

Tim

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by cjj » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:33 pm

OK, one important point, crossovers such as the Rane gear are "line level" crossovers are are not meant for the levels that come from a power amp. So, running your Speakon outputs to such a crossover would kill it almost instantly.

In my case, I do all of the high/low splitting before the power amp. I have a stereo power amp (PA amp) and use one channel for low, the other for mid/high. Basically bi-amping.

There are speaker level crossovers, but most of them are "passive" and don't have the sharp cutoff ability you get with active crossovers.

So, unless you can get the signal before your power amp, you're stuck with the passive type. If you want the active type, you pretty much have to have 2 separate power amps...

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by timi » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:29 am

manofthematch wrote:Hi BP,
I've been reading the forums here and on Talkbass re: using 1x15 and 4x10 and how it's not the ideal configuration i.e having matching cab speaker sizes (solely 10s, 12s, or 15s) is the way to go.
Yep, but I assume you've been using this setup for a few years and were totally happy with it until you read otherwise? ? If so stop worrying.

Personally I'd just use the 4x10 and keep the 1x15 for recording.
manofthematch wrote:I went to the Rockshop and saw they had a crossover (Phonic PCX3000) for $200
Phonic are a cheap brand along the lines of Behringer, don't put something low quality like that into your Ampeg setup.

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by martyforrer » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:09 am

I used an SWR 4x8 on top of a SWR 1x15 for years. I didn't know it wasn't supposed to sound any good.

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by Mr Bass Man » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:26 pm

it's all down to personal choice really..... if you are happy with your amp / speaker configuration, then why listen to what others (who have not heard your set up) have to say

I myself have gone on Talk Bass and on here about speaker advice and some of the people on Talk bass said you should never mix and match cabs - don't have a 4x10 with a 1x15... either have two 4x10's or two 1x15's.. and some said do not mix different brands like don't mix Warwick and Ampeg...etc...
Years ago I saw a covers band in Auckland and the bass player had a Trace Elliot 4x10 and a Peavy 1x15 and I thought his sound was amazing.
"We became rich a lot later than I thought - now I'm too old to enjoy my money" - John 'Thunderfingers' Entwhistle

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:13 am

manofthematch wrote:Hi BP,
I've been reading the forums here and on Talkbass re: using 1x15 and 4x10 and how it's not the ideal configuration i.e having matching cab speaker sizes (solely 10s, 12s, or 15s) is the way to go.
Nonetheless this is what I have... 1x Ampeg SVT3pro, 1x SVT410HE, 1x SVT115HE.
I am curious as for whether it is possible to use a crossover to divvy up highs & mids to the 10s and lows to the 15?
There's no point in doing so. The frequency response of the 1x15 and 4x10 are so close to each other that there's nothing to be gained, and a lot to be lost, namely all of the lows coming from the 4x10.
Using mixed driver sizes is perfectly OK if each driver is optimized for operation within a specific bandwidth, as in a 6 or 8 inch midrange used in conjunction with a 12 or 15 inch woofer. PA and hi-fi have been doing this for 80 years. But electric bass 10,12 and 15 inch drivers aren't optimized for operation as woofers and midranges. They're all woofers.
As to the flawed 1x15/4x10 arrangement, conventional wisdom says that the 1x15 is for the lows, the 4x10 for the mids and highs. But since electric bass 10, 12 and 15 inch drivers are all woofers adding a 1x15 to a 4x10 doesn't appreciably add to the lows.
It's also a mis-match in terms of output capability. How loud a driver can play is determined by the cone displacement, Theile-Small spec Vd. In the case of your Ampegs the Vd of your tens is 165cc each, for a total of 660cc. The Vd of your 15 is 400cc. Where output is concerned the 1x15 is the weaker link in the chain, not the stronger.

You will see endless 'I used mixed cabs and love my sound' testimonials. All that they indicate is that one can mix different drivers and cabs and get a result that's acceptable, sometimes even quite good. But that's only because almost any two cabs together will sound better than either alone. That's just the nature of how speakers work.
The only way to know if a particular combination will give a better result than matched cabs is to try all of the possible permutations side by side. For instance, a 1x15/4x10 next to a 1x15/1x15 next to a 4x10/4x10. When you ask all of the mixed cab endorsers if they conducted that comparison before settling on their rig you won't receive many 'yes' responses. For instance, did you?

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by manofthematch » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:05 pm

Thanks all for your extremely helpful feedback. I probably ought to have given the disclaimer that I'm bi(amp) curious. :D
If it was going to be a matter of simply adding a reasonably priced crossover then yeah I could be tempted to try one out in-store... and if it gives me discernible improvement I might splash out for one. But doing so would be a waste of time, the more I read Bill's post.

All that is not to suggest I feel in any way dissatisfied with my current setup. Nope. I just knew fundamentally that the same signal was going to both cabs, and thought "maybe there's a way of customising the signal to each cab by simply adding a crossover?"

From my perspective, tone can come down to a helluva lot of variables - playing technique, strings, bass electrics, bass wood, leads, strings, effects, EQ, amp set up, room you're playing in... bass amp is a part of a chain.
When you ask all of the mixed cab endorsers if they conducted that comparison before settling on their rig you won't receive many 'yes' responses. For instance, did you?
Good point there Bill - I didn't really think of asking mixed cab endorsers for their take on this. I did google for users who had the same setup as me but was also interested in whether there was anyone using two Ampeg SVT bass amp heads in tandem. I couldn't find much on that.
10 years ago I had a different 4x10 and 1x15 setup with different branded cabs too, always bearing in mind to get the right number of ohms. And, indeed I latched on the logic that by adding a 1x15 I figured I'd get more bass. I think you're right on the money when in actual fact, yes two bass cabs do sound better than one, irrespective of the driver size.

One thing I'm intrigued by though is... if 10s, 12s, and 15s aren't optimised for operation as woofers and midranges, why bi-amp at all?

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:11 am

manofthematch wrote: One thing I'm intrigued by though is... if 10s, 12s, and 15s aren't optimised for operation as woofers and midranges, why bi-amp at all?
You don't, there's no point. If you have speakers with at least an octave differential in their low frequency response then it's worthwhile. For instance, on PA, with a sub that runs from 35 to 100Hz and tops that run from 100Hz on up. You may even tri-amp a PA, the sub from 35-100Hz, midbass from 100-1.5kHz, high frequency 1.5kHz on up. For that matter you could do so with electric bass with a true 2-way cab, using a woofer and a real midrange driver. But your typical fifteen inch electric bass driver has a range of 40-2kHz, while a typical ten runs from 50-2.5kHz, so there's just not enough difference between them for bi-amping to accomplish anything, nor for that matter for it to make sense using them together, especially in a 4:1 ratio of the smaller to the larger.

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by martyforrer » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:32 am

Have a look online at the Greenboy Fearless cabinets. These are getting stunning reviews. They use an Eminence Kappalite 10, 12 or 15 with a Faital 6" midrange driver and a 1" compression driver, all split with high quality crossovers (I forget the brand). There are full specs and schematics online. From the reviews (by "name" pros) it would seem that these are the be all and end all cabs. The audio samples on youtube sound damn good too. I'm just suggesting this as it may spark some ideas.
I use Phil Jones Bass cabs with multiple 5" drivers (full range). They are pretty damn good tone wise, but not hugely loud, so I'm looking at the possibility of a Greenboy cab myself for the loud gigs.

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:56 am

martyforrer wrote: From the reviews (by "name" pros) it would seem that these are the be all and end all cabs.
Not by those pros who play mine. :mrgreen:
They (fEarful) are considerably better than the vast majority of commercial cabs, but since they're not horn loaded they don't have higher efficiency than store bought cabs. That's especially important to residents down under, where being able to use one driver rather than two for the same output can save enough on driver costs to keep you in Steinlager for months. Perhaps only weeks for Harley. :lol:
Last edited by Bill Fitzmaurice on Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by Fenderfan » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:05 pm

^^^ I'd vouch for that. ^^^
I've played some BFM cabs that Harley had made, and from that point on, nothing else compared. That led me on to building my own BFM cabs. And I've never looked back. :D
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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by martyforrer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:54 am

The BFM cabs are on my shortlist too.

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Re: Why did the Ampeg cross over the road?

Post by MesaMan » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:06 am

I have a Mesa m-Pulse 600w head and Powerhouse cabs. I have the 4x10, 2x12 and 1x15 cabintes. I can use any two in combination to get the maximum power. Each cabinet has 3 way selectable crossover points and an attenuator for the horn. It's simple to hook up, its loud and the sounds is better than many other bass rigs I've had the opportunity to hear. It has a great balance between highs, mids and lows. The cabinets are not cheap and are heavy but produce a full and powerful sound. I run a Warwick fretless 4 string, Warwick FNA Jazzman 5 string (fretted) and a Fender Deluxe Jazz 5 string (fretted) through it.
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