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 Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options... 
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Joined: 24 May 2011 10:46
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Post Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options...
Howdy!

Long time lurker (rare poster) under a different username (makohund) on Talkbass...

A combination of many factors is prompting me to consider replacing/upgrading my bass rig, at least the cabs for sure. I'll go ahead and blab for a bit, since this is the "hi, my name is" post. :)

* Getting tired of not having room in my vehicle for rig and family together once in a while. Sometimes means my wife and I driving separate cars for a two-hour round trip. (I take my gear, she takes the little ones to grandparents or babysitter on the way, and we meet up at the show.) It's great she likes to come to every show, but driving home separately at 3am for an hour really sucks.

* Family is going to be a bit bigger in a few months (!), which prompted getting a bigger vehicle. (Mine couldn't fit 3 childseats, and staggered work schedules mean we both have to haul them around.)

* I bought a very specific vehicle, and a big part of the choice was because it was just big enough to take everybody, AND my rig. But my measurements were just slightly off. I've rearranged things every which way, but keep coming up short. There are two arrangements where I'm only off by 1/4", but it's a hard and non-negotiable "will not fit no matter what" 1/4". Ugh.

* This has become a most EXCELLENT excuse. "Honey, it looks like I'm finally gonna have to get me a new bass rig to fit the new car like we planned. Sorry!" :D


All that blather simply means my primary/minimum criteria is that it must:
1. Be sonically equivalent (tone/volume) to my old rig, preferrably much better.
2. Fit easily into my other new toy, without dropping the rear seats.


Shouldn't be too tough to meet #1. I like my rig, and think it sounds pretty good, but it's nothing special. It's one of the classic TB budget rigs about a decade ago. But it has served me very well for many years now. Here's the whole rack, top to bottom:

-Furman Power Cond
-SansAmp RBI
-DBX 163 Overeasy Comp
-Empty
-QSC RMX 1450

And the cabs:

-Avatar B210
-Avatar B115

Both of the Avatars are older non-neo versions, and the 115 is the one with no horn. Both are 8ohm, so I usually run the whole thing wide open in bridged mono (1400W @4ohms)... the only knobs I ever move are on the RBI.

My main bass is a 4-string Korean Spector... NS2000/4. I've upgraded the pickups to EMG P4 (neck) and EMG CS-TW (bridge), and the electronics to an Aguilar OBP-3. Also have a 5-string Spector and my old Ibanez SR800 currently strung and tuned to BEAD. Both are stock, and I don't play them nearly as often as the other, but that may change with a new project on the horizon.

I play mostly rock (anything from basic to hard) and metal (anything from slow doom to speed/thrash). But I like to be able to mix in just about anything style-wise, so don't want to be too fixated on how anything behaves just for "rock/metal".

It would be nice to have a little more volume on tap than I can get now. Usually it isn't needed, but there have been times on gigs with no PA support (vocal/drums only) that I'm stretching it, and feel like I'm pushing the avatars to the brink. At that wattage, the level knob on the RBI usually lives around 9-10 o'clock. Up around 11 it starts to sound like I'm gonna blow the things right outta the cab if I give it any more... it's survived 2 hour gigs like that, but can't say I wasn't a little nervous.

The guitarists I play with are really good about understanding proper stage volumes, and using a PA properly, but... there are those occasional unsupported gigs to mid-sized crowds, and they bring some serious heat with them. (The one uses a Marshal JMP-1 into a Marshall 9200 into two 4x12 cabs... that's 100W tube into each cab. Yikes.) I manage to hang with them, but just barely... I'd like a little more breathing room and peace of mind.

So I've been shopping around, and have come to be very interested in the BFM and fEARful designs. My reading so far has me leaning toward one of the following:

1. fEARful 1212/6
2. fEARful 15/6
3. BFM Omni 15TB

I could knock out the Omni for pretty cheap... the driver in my Avatar 15 is on the approved list. But I'm a little hesitant to choose it over one of the fEARfuls based on what I'm used to, and also because it appears to be exactly 39" tall. The space it has to fit into for hauling happens to be exactly 39" wide. I'm half-afraid that it either won't quite fit, or that it'll be so tight it'll be a pain to get in/out. And having any corner protection or casters (even pop-out style) on it might break the deal, too.

So I've been thinking more about the 1212/6 or the 15/6. I've been playing 15's (alone or with others) forever, and like the deep. But I've been considering for a long time trying out some 12's. The cabs look like they're the same size, and either will fit my new ride just fine. (It's a Dodge Magnum SRT8. And I plan on keeping it for decades!)

I actually don't neccessarily demand either to do that "super volume" thing all by itself, so if it is capable of it, that is just a bonus. I figure adding a sub down the road a bit would be a good way to boost those levels up a bit, and I can leave it home (or rehearsal space) most of the time when I don't need it.

Right now, I'm thinking really hard about the 1212/6. It shouldn't have a problem getting the same volume as my current 15+210, right? And probably more? And should match or beat what I have in terms of "deep", even if not quite as much as the 15/6? It's 4 ohm, so my amp could either give it 450W (on a single channel) or a whopping 1400W bridged, right?

And if I later add a fEARful 15 sub, I would then have a 15 for the super-lows/gut rattles, 2-12's for boom/bang/punch, and the mid driver for all the upper-goodness? (Or is that thinking too simplistically about that particular setup?)

In which case... I guess I'd have to run the 1212/6 on one channel at 450W, and the 15 on the other at 280W.

Unless there's some crazy way to wire/switch the 1212/6 to be 8 ohms... so I could dump 1400W into the whole stack, same as I do now.


Anyway, there's my hello. :)

Anybody have any advice, based on that mini-novel? Sorry it's a little long. But I have been trying to do my homework and think this stuff out before I jump into anything.

Thanks!

_________________
Carvin SB4000, Spector NS2000/4
G50 Wireless --> TurboTuner --> B3K --> B3 --> Torpedo CAB --> fDeck HPF III-->
Monique --> IPR 3000 --> 1212/6/1 & 15/6/1


24 May 2011 13:23
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Joined: 28 Apr 2011 10:01
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Location: Western PA
Post Re: Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options...
jammin wrote:
...I've been playing 15's (alone or with others) forever, and like the deep. But I've been considering for a long time trying out some 12's...

...Right now, I'm thinking really hard about the 1212/6...And should match or beat what I have in terms of "deep", even if not quite as much as the 15/6?

...And if I later add a fEARful 15 sub, I would then have a 15 for the super-lows/gut rattles, 2-12's for boom/bang/punch, and the mid driver for all the upper-goodness?


Driver size doesn't matter. The 1212/6 and the 15/6 will sound the same. Maybe a difference in power handling and/or loudness, but no difference in the sound.

_________________
I changed my mind yesterday. The new one doesn't work any better than the old one.
Facts are for people who can't create their own truth - Bucky Katt
Science is all well and good, so long as it doesn't refute my long-held blind convictions!


24 May 2011 18:56
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Joined: 24 May 2011 10:46
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Post Re: Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options...
wcriley wrote:
jammin wrote:
...I've been playing 15's (alone or with others) forever, and like the deep. But I've been considering for a long time trying out some 12's...

...Right now, I'm thinking really hard about the 1212/6...And should match or beat what I have in terms of "deep", even if not quite as much as the 15/6?

...And if I later add a fEARful 15 sub, I would then have a 15 for the super-lows/gut rattles, 2-12's for boom/bang/punch, and the mid driver for all the upper-goodness?


Driver size doesn't matter. The 1212/6 and the 15/6 will sound the same. Maybe a difference in power handling and/or loudness, but no difference in the sound.


Thanks, that's what i've been reading, good to hear it confirmed again. So the 15 won't actually reach any lower, and the main reasons to choose it over the 1212/6 boil down to personal preference, driver cost, matching an existing amp and cabs (power and load-wise), etc.

I think the 1212/6 might be a better match for me, then. more potential volume, handles more power, will be getting more power from my amp, etc. especially if i'm not sacrificing anything soundwise to get all that.

But... I see the 12s are rated the same 450w as the 15. So if the single 15/6 is happiest with appx 500w or so, how well would the 1212/6 do with only 450w on its own channel? (And if I bridge to it by itself at 4ohms with 1400w... is that just asking for fried speakers?)

And if I add a sub later, it'd only be getting 280w. Underpowered, or enough?

From what I'm reading, it sounds like both might be fine.

Then again, it makes an IPR 3000 look awful tempting. :)

_________________
Carvin SB4000, Spector NS2000/4
G50 Wireless --> TurboTuner --> B3K --> B3 --> Torpedo CAB --> fDeck HPF III-->
Monique --> IPR 3000 --> 1212/6/1 & 15/6/1


24 May 2011 22:30
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Joined: 29 Apr 2011 19:47
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Location: Hickory Corners, MI
Post Re: Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options...
I think the 1212/6 is definitely your solution. In fact I'm building one of these for myself... You won't suffer from lack of low end. Two 3012LF's will have more displacement than a single 3015.. You also gain about 6dB from going 8 ohm to 4 and using two drivers.. That is significant.. This is going to be MUCH louder, watt for watt than those Avatars. Use your available power for headroom, not volume.. I think you will find out you won't need to add a sub, this will cover things nicely

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25 May 2011 11:14
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Joined: 24 May 2011 10:46
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Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Post Re: Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options...
Cool, thanks.

Yeah, I keep reading the FAQs and am thinking I may be underestimating the volume I'd get from a single cab. I would like to get away with just one at least 90% if not 100% of the time, and am thinking that one might be the ticket.

It's 36.5" tall, which gives it 2 inches to spare when put down on its side in the Magnum. It's 20.5" wide, which would put it just over the back seat height but lower than the headrests, so it won't block my rear window view much at all. At 14.75" deep, I'll have plenty of room left to put my rack, and have some left over for any odds & ends... in other words it won't be stuffed to the gills and a pain to deal with. While at the same time it'll be full enough to stop me from thinking TOO much about adding another cab.

So put all 1400W into it, and just don't get too crazy with the volume knob, right? And since I'd be giving her all she can handle, it'll be so loud anyway that people will be hitting the deck and covering their heads long before I'm risking any driver smoke, and my amp will be just cruising along effortlessly, with headroom to spare?

Something like that? Sounds perfect, thanks. 8-)

And if somehow that wasn't enough, or if I ever need to knock down elephants at 50 yards... I could just get another one (mirrored/stacked) and run 'em with an IPR 3000! :mrgreen:


I have to confess I've actually already solved my "fit my rig into the new car" problem. If I get a 5U wood rack case instead of my 6U SKB, I gain about 3 inches, which is plenty to get it to slip in there nicely with the two cabs. Not only that, but there is a great rack building shop right in town. I called them up to see if they could just sell me some bare rails to slap something stupid/fast together with for now.

Cool guy, and he suggested a better idea. He's gonna build me a 5U rack shell with handles for now, for dirt cheap, and have it done by tomorrow, so I can get my gear in it by Friday's gig. (Wow. That's quicker than the music shop here can get me a standard 4U.) Says I can bring it back anytime to get it finished off (lids, latches, etc).

So I really don't NEED a new cab right now. But I still want one in the near future. And I think I've made my mind up for a 1212/6.

I see the closest builder is in CA. (I'm in Oregon.) Still debating whether to do myself, or have it built. I don't doubt I could do it, but I'm short on tools and space. (The back wall of my family room is already occupied by an 80% complete 3-bay flexirack entertainment center I'm building. Taking longer than planned due to lack of "real" carpentry tools, plus deciding to trim all 22 edges with real walnut instead of veneer/tape stuff.)

If there were a flatpack for the 1212/6 I'd probably go that route. But I see them only for 12/6 and 15/6.

Always more decisions to make...

_________________
Carvin SB4000, Spector NS2000/4
G50 Wireless --> TurboTuner --> B3K --> B3 --> Torpedo CAB --> fDeck HPF III-->
Monique --> IPR 3000 --> 1212/6/1 & 15/6/1


25 May 2011 13:06
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Joined: 24 May 2011 10:46
Posts: 449
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Post Re: Hello! Looking for advice about choices and options...
FWIW, I am going ahead with the 1212/6. 8-)

It's being built as we speak. Not by me, decided I didn't have the room or time right now. My only available workspace is still occupied by one of these:
http://forums.klipsch.com/forums/storage/9/705361/haucks%20rack.jpg and it's going to be at least a few weeks before it is done and out of the way. (Trim is only half done, and lots of hand rubbing with tung oil and cure times will have to follow that.)

Of course I'm a little excited. Can't wait to try it out.
Thanks Ron! :)




And oh, yeah... I do know exactly how dumb asking about getting a 8 ohm load out of it looked... that's why I called it crazy. Just didn't know what kind of mysterious voodoo might be conjured up when passive crossovers are involved, not having any clue how they worked. After a few days here and having finished reading 1-4 of the 11 original talkbass threads, I think I've got most of the picture now. (No voodoo. No magic. Aw, shucks!) :ugeek:

_________________
Carvin SB4000, Spector NS2000/4
G50 Wireless --> TurboTuner --> B3K --> B3 --> Torpedo CAB --> fDeck HPF III-->
Monique --> IPR 3000 --> 1212/6/1 & 15/6/1


01 Jun 2011 15:33
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