Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Amps, Cabs, Effects, Pickups, Onboard Preamps
User avatar
stonecoldbass
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Apr 2010, 23:08
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by stonecoldbass » 21 Jul 2018, 20:18

So I’ve been doing some fairly extensive can testing over the last few weeks and one of the main things I’ve discovered is that it really makes a difference how much surface area your cabs have with the ground.
For example: my 2 112s sound way phatter side by side than stacked. As does my 15 and 12 paired. My 210 has a more present low end hump when lying ‘long ways’ as opposed to standing tall. Now obviously stage sizes restrict how much space we can take up, and there’s are some advantages to having your speakers stacked taller, especially if you are going to be standing close to your rig. But I encourage you try and experiment with how you combine your cabs or if you only use one, trying lying it on it’s long side and see what effect it has.
Anyone else got some experience/thoughts?
http://www.craigstrainmusic.com
http://www.basslessonsmelbourne.com
F Bass VF5 70's Ash/Maple
Iceni Zoot Classic J Funkmeister Custom 5 string
Greco 70's P bass
80's Ibanez Musician
Tecamp Puma 900
Epifani UL2 410

User avatar
Petebass
Posts: 8483
Joined: 31 Oct 2008, 07:07
Location: Hervey Bay, QLD

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Petebass » 21 Jul 2018, 20:56

If phatter is your goal, then yep, you're on the right path. But as always with physics, there's no free lunch. What you gain in lows your lose in clarity. Not so much when you're standing right in front of your cab, but more so for anyone who is standing off-axis. And that means most of the crowd, all your band mates, and probably the sound guy. I don't have time now to go into more detail, but if you google "Comb Filtering", you'll find some mind boggling stuff.
* 2 Stingray 5's (one heavily modded), Ibanez SR805, Ashbory, + more...
* Carvin B1500, Epifani PS1000, Ashdown Superfly amps.
* Lots of DIY neo/lightweight cabs including one made from composites http://www.ozbassforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2546

User avatar
rodl2005
Posts: 4142
Joined: 31 Oct 2008, 09:04
Location: Hobart TASMANIA
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by rodl2005 » 21 Jul 2018, 21:15

I never knew the term for it, but, yeah, comb filtering!
I'd always done it by walking around and hearing just how different my bass sound was in different areas of a venue.

I prefer to get my punch and fatness from the actual rig, rather than using the floor or whatever. 2x115s stacked do it for me if late
Mean & Surly

User avatar
stonecoldbass
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Apr 2010, 23:08
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by stonecoldbass » 21 Jul 2018, 21:39

I wasn’t aware of the off axis issues with clarity with regards to this issue, good to know! I guess it also comes down to what kind of stage it is (hollow or reflective) and whether or not pa support is involved. I’d say in about 70% of my gigs are vocal pa only so I need to fill the room but not deafen on stage, so probably taking advantage of the coupling will be a good thing. I think??!
http://www.craigstrainmusic.com
http://www.basslessonsmelbourne.com
F Bass VF5 70's Ash/Maple
Iceni Zoot Classic J Funkmeister Custom 5 string
Greco 70's P bass
80's Ibanez Musician
Tecamp Puma 900
Epifani UL2 410

User avatar
Bill Fitzmaurice
Posts: 103
Joined: 16 Jan 2017, 08:25
Location: New Hampshire USA
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » 21 Jul 2018, 22:54

stonecoldbass wrote:
21 Jul 2018, 20:18
For example: my 2 112s sound way phatter side by side than stacked.
It may seem that way, but it's not the case. What happens when you put them side by side is that you can't hear the mids and highs as well, which gives the illusion of having more lows. If you were to do that same experiment listening from out in the audience you wouldn't come to that conclusion. As for the boundary loading in the lows provided by the two options, it's identical. All that differs is your perception, which is the result of where your ears are in relation to the cabs.

User avatar
stonecoldbass
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Apr 2010, 23:08
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by stonecoldbass » 22 Jul 2018, 00:22

So you’re saying there’s absolutely no tonal effect from having more surface area of the cab in contact with the ground? What about stacking it on hollow boxes ie other bass cabs, drum risers etc?
Cheers!
http://www.craigstrainmusic.com
http://www.basslessonsmelbourne.com
F Bass VF5 70's Ash/Maple
Iceni Zoot Classic J Funkmeister Custom 5 string
Greco 70's P bass
80's Ibanez Musician
Tecamp Puma 900
Epifani UL2 410

User avatar
Petebass
Posts: 8483
Joined: 31 Oct 2008, 07:07
Location: Hervey Bay, QLD

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Petebass » 22 Jul 2018, 01:47

What Bill is saying is a bass cab will couple with the floor acoustically even if it is elevated. This is because of the physical size of the wavelength of low frequencies. I can bore you with the math but from memory, a cab is still coupling with the floor acoustically at the frequencies that matter for bass guitar up to about 1.5 meters from the ground.

Where I think this conversation is stuck is that you seem to be asking more about physical coupling than acoustic coupling. I.e actually vibrations from the cab transferring through to the floor or other hard surface. If that's where you're heading, then any speaker designer still suggest you are barking up the wrong tree. A properly designed cab shouldn't vibrate. Panels vibrating on a cab is just wasted acoustic power.
* 2 Stingray 5's (one heavily modded), Ibanez SR805, Ashbory, + more...
* Carvin B1500, Epifani PS1000, Ashdown Superfly amps.
* Lots of DIY neo/lightweight cabs including one made from composites http://www.ozbassforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2546

User avatar
Bill Fitzmaurice
Posts: 103
Joined: 16 Jan 2017, 08:25
Location: New Hampshire USA
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » 22 Jul 2018, 02:40

stonecoldbass wrote:
22 Jul 2018, 00:22
So you’re saying there’s absolutely no tonal effect from having more surface area of the cab in contact with the ground?
None. The cab walls don't produce sound, driver cones and ports do.
What about stacking it on hollow boxes ie other bass cabs, drum risers etc?
They'll vibrate, resonating in response to the sound waves created by the driver cones and ports.

User avatar
stonecoldbass
Posts: 521
Joined: 16 Apr 2010, 23:08
Location: Melbourne
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by stonecoldbass » 22 Jul 2018, 11:49

Great insight guys, I'm learning! So when I rest my hand on top of my cab and feel vibrations, that means it's a crap cab? There's been a few times my tuner has rattled off my Epifani 410 box, I guess they're not built to a high enough spec. And the other night I initially put my Epi 112 on a hollow stage riser due to reduced stage space, and there was a severe lack of bottom end compared to when I moved it onto the concrete floor for the second set. Is this still psycho acoustics? Because I was hearing more highs I 'think' I'm hearing less lows...?
http://www.craigstrainmusic.com
http://www.basslessonsmelbourne.com
F Bass VF5 70's Ash/Maple
Iceni Zoot Classic J Funkmeister Custom 5 string
Greco 70's P bass
80's Ibanez Musician
Tecamp Puma 900
Epifani UL2 410

Sambass87
Posts: 173
Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 17:14
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Sambass87 » 22 Jul 2018, 13:23

I have been laying my cabs down to get more surface area contact for years, I believe in most but not all cases it sounds better.

Now I don't have time to analyse the physics of each room I play in so every time so I default to laying the cab down and if it ain't right I usually stand it up, usually this has to do with what the stage is like and my rigs proximity to the FOH Subs.

Another thing I have noticed over many many years... I have heard a lot of horrible off stage bass tone... most of the time that I have heard this its been with a cab that is elevated off the stage...

My bit of advise is use your ears, if it sounds better it sounds better... if it doesn't it doesn't..
If I went with what everyone else does and what everyone tells me to do I would be putting up with a consistently horrible sound.... thats something I choose not to do.
-Sam-
BASSES - 1976 Fender P Bass, 1978 Musicman Stingray, 1999 Fender Jazz Bass
AMPS - Acoustic 370, Acoustic 320, Gallien Krueger 800RB
CABS - Ampeg SVT610AV, Ampeg SVT212AV, Acoustic 301, Acoustic 406W, Kosmic Sound JBL-K140

User avatar
noplanb
Posts: 1272
Joined: 04 Dec 2012, 22:00
Location: Adelaide

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by noplanb » 22 Jul 2018, 16:01

there was a severe lack of bottom end compared to when I moved it onto the concrete floor
Could still be the mids masking.
There is another mechanism that can come into play on stages - that of sympathetic resonance. If you have part of a structure or large piece of something that can vibrate - then it can sap energy in symapthetic (damped) vibration from certain note or notes it happened to be tuned to. Re-positioning on the stage should fix it. (I've had a stab at sympthetic damped stage wall add-ons in a hall - formply 2.4x1.2 held by HD rubber hinges close to boomy wall and damped with 25mm felt - madea bif difference in cleaning up 'boom')
Conversely, if you shove your abs in a hard-walled corner, you may be creating horn amplification at certain frequencies.

To our physics trust, I'm sure theres still some boom to be gotten from cabinet proximity to floor - I'm thinking guitar cabs, so may be freqs from 80 to 500 or so. Eg 500mm off the floor should defeat reinforcement for f's around 200Hz - still could be noticeable for bass. What do you think?

As always, it is suck and see - ideally, stand out in the middle of a full hall and listen to yourself while you play ;) (maybe a recording of yourself!)
I see..............basses!

User avatar
BazzBass
Posts: 2740
Joined: 28 Sep 2014, 13:36
Location: Adelaide

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by BazzBass » 22 Jul 2018, 16:51

I haven't played a venue big enough to warrant taking both my 210 cabs lol, D'OH !

With my damaged hearing, I prefer my 210 cab standing tall, preferably raised off the floor, to reduce muddiness and to put a speaker closer to my ears.

I've used the 210s stacked vertically at jams and for clarity you can't beat it, imho ymmv TIAMDE (taking into account my damaged ears) :)
Loud things: Markbass LittleMark 250, Hartke HA2500 amps, Hartke XL210 cabs
Pretty things: Fender MIA P, MIM P and J, SX J, Takamine ABG
Bands: Los Mescalitos , Distorted Tarts

User avatar
Rocksolid
Posts: 2057
Joined: 02 Mar 2009, 17:27
Location: Prospect, South Australia

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Rocksolid » 22 Jul 2018, 20:33

I certainly prefer the tone on my NV115s stacked on their side rather than vertical. I hear too much mid on the vertical config.
Gear:Fender I Quilter I Berg I Tech 21 I Zoom l Line 6 I Aguilar I Boss I Broughton l sfx l EQD l SD I TCE l MIPRO I 1964ears

Basses: Fender I Sandberg I Musicman I Warmoth l Squier I Aria Pro II

Bands: Jungle Jooce, Coke 'N' Nuts, Crossfire Hurricane

User avatar
Bill Fitzmaurice
Posts: 103
Joined: 16 Jan 2017, 08:25
Location: New Hampshire USA
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by Bill Fitzmaurice » 22 Jul 2018, 23:32

So when I rest my hand on top of my cab and feel vibrations, that means it's a crap cab?
Not necessarily crap, but not as well made as it should be. When corners are cut it's on the inside of the cab where you can't see it. In most cases you can fix resonant panels by adding the internal cross bracing that the manufacturer left out.
I have been laying my cabs down to get more surface area contact for years, I believe in most but not all cases it sounds better.
That's a subjective observation, and if it's what you prefer by all means continue to do it. Just be aware that what's actually happening probably isn't what you think is happening.
Another thing I have noticed over many many years... I have heard a lot of horrible off stage bass tone..
What's heard is very much a product of the listening position. That's why you should only drive the stage with the back line, while the PA drives the room. If you have no PA then you should do your sound check standing well off stage, say on the dance floor if there is one, adjusting the amp to give the best tone there. If that gives a dodgy tone on stage consider that you're there to play to the audience, not to yourself.
To our physics trust, I'm sure theres still some boom to be gotten from cabinet proximity to floor - I'm thinking guitar cabs, so may be freqs from 80 to 500 or so. Eg 500mm off the floor should defeat reinforcement for f's around 200Hz - still could be noticeable for bass. What do you think?
You get full boundary loading where the cab is less than 1/4 wavelength from the floor, and from a rear wall as well. 0.5 m gives full boundary loading below 170Hz.

User avatar
slowlearner
Posts: 5663
Joined: 21 Dec 2010, 14:30
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Coupling. How do you lay your cabs?

Post by slowlearner » 23 Jul 2018, 10:31

My usual fair for a big blues gigs is 1x12" and a 1x10". Stacked tall, with the brightest cab on top.
Close to my ear, easy to hear = band happy, FOH tech happy, not too much on stage vol.

I suspect there wasn't much coupling and if I needed more lows, 1 dial fixes that.

BTW, if there's one thing I've learned from this forum and gigs it's this. The FOH tech usually has a much better idea of what to do with my bass sound in the mix than I do. It's slightly different with new blues band where I'm playing bass and guitar together, but bass alone is best left to the tech if there's a proper PA.
Bassline "I'm not arguing.... I'm just explaining why I'm right."
My Band - https://www.facebook.com/PBT-1914426202220972/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests