Bass Speakers???

That elusive piece of the overall equation, so many options and so little time to test them all — Celestion, Fane, Eminence, Jensen, JbL, Utah, Ceramic, Alnico, 1x12, 2x12, 4x12, 2x10, 4x10, 1x15, 2x15, 4x15, 1x18 and I'm sure there are even more!

Bass Speakers???

Postby Down&Out on Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:37 pm

Hi Folks,

You'll have to bear with me here but need some input regarding speakers for use with bass.

I've recently become a bass player from lead guitar because there is a massive overabundance of good lead guitar players and next to no bass players in my area. This is no issue, though the issue i do have is that my only rig is my guitar rig, in this case a half pre-rola/rola pulsonic 4x12 greenback setup, and a Dallas-Arbiter era Sound City 4x12 with 'Power' (fane) speakers in it. My head is a 1972 Laney PA60 which i've had the tonestack rewired to superbass specs.

My research tells me that use of a 4x12 in a bass setup is 'fine' per se. After all, the bass players I (try to) emulate are Jack Bruce, Andy Fraser, etc. Both users of the EB3 and a 4x12 stack. I've been using the Sound City and my laney head, purely cos i'd rather the greenbacks stayed safe, but this leads me on to ask, is this going to be viable in the long run?

I chose to come to this forum because those on forums like 'basschat' a lot of naysayers will usually unleash a load of flannel about how you need a particular setup (usually solid state, 4x10s, 1x15s, ported etc) and everything else pails in comparison and your opinion is irrelevant. I appreciate I am new to the field but the whole premise of the Jack Bruce/Andy Fraser thing is that nothing about their tone was 'perfect'. The EB mudbucker to the majority of 'real' bass players is unpalatable but I have found nothing I like more than the sound of Brucey at the Cream farewell concert in 1968 at full chat through a Marshall full stack.

What i'm essentially getting at here is whilst there have been major advancements in the world of bass gear and many would argue that the reason said musicians used 4x12's at the time is because nothing else was available, am i going to be fine to carry on using a 4x12? Especially considering its a fairly 'low wattage' tube amp in comparison to the SS stuff that tends to be the norm with bass players these days, or would I be better with a 2x15, or both, and so forth. Bearing in mind the sort of sound Im going for, i'm definitely not after a super clean, p-bass SS funk tone or anything like that. Over-exaggeration, but you get the idea.

Video as example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qbRV2j3Ls4

I thank you in advance.
Down&Out
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Re: Bass Speakers???

Postby OldSchoolDave on Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:01 am

Down&Out wrote:What i'm essentially getting at here is whilst there have been major advancements in the world of bass gear and many would argue that the reason said musicians used 4x12's at the time is because nothing else was available, am i going to be fine to carry on using a 4x12?


I agree with the first two statements. As to your question, what size venues are you playing?

Nowadays, most Basses are either Direct In or Mic'd to Front of House. Or both. Stage volumes in many rooms have to be kept much lower than in the days before only Vocals were piped through the PA.

What I'm getting at is, if you like the tone of your current rig and it can get loud enough for you to hear it on stage, it'll probably be fine. Just carry a good Direct Box.

If you'll be gigging a lot, you might consider loading some modern speakers into one of your cabs, to preserve the vintage ones and increase reliability.

Disclaimer: just a guitar player...but a speaker aficionado.
Dave
...Hey! I played that song when it was new...
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http://www.OldSchoolDave.com
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Re: Bass Speakers???

Postby Happy Face on Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:41 am

I believe that OSD nailed it on all points.

Recently I waved in a 100 watt Hiwatt head to use for bass. After some experimentation, I ended up pairing it with a sealed 4x12" cab loaded with Celestion G12T-75 speakers. From what I read while researching it, those 12s should be able to handle moderate stage volumes. I guessed as much since I used Sunn 4x12 cabs for bass 40 years ago. They were not loaded with bass speakers either.

Like you said, you have to query oldtimers who played before all of the high power bass heads and cabs appeared. Most "experts" insisted you need to use bass speakers.

So far no issues. A nice punchy sound. That said, I have not run it over 12:00 or with a five string bass.
Happy Face
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Re: Bass Speakers???

Postby pdf64 on Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:58 am

If you're happy with their portability, 4x12 are great for 'classic rock' bass.
The M weight magnet speakers you've got will be limiting their sensitivity and so max SPL / how 'solid' the bottom end is.
I suggest you try H weight magnet speakers eg G12H30.
A 14" deep properly braced cab will help too.
Combine both and you may be fine using just one 4x12.
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pdf64
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