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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2007 » Archive through March 18, 2007 » Horn loaded cabs for bass? « Previous Next »

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tbrannon
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 321
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post

Alright- time to expose some bass player ignorance here in the hope that you folks might be able to help me out. Whatís the deal with horn loaded cabs?

Let me start by saying this- Iím a science teacher. Iíve taken a couple years worth of university physics, Iíve taught physical science and I really do understand the basics of sound, electricity and magnetism etc., but somehow the head knowledge has totally failed to crossover to amps, cabs and sound. I should understand it all, but there is very little practical application for me when it comes to music.

Iíve been searching for some new cabs- gear is so ridiculously expensive here that Iíve started looking for alternative methods/sources- something different that might get me a decent sound for less buck. I recently found a few threads on talkbass that are discussing some horn loaded cabs that are designed by Bill Fitzmaurice (www.billfitzmaurice.com).

In theory it all makes sense to me and the people who use them seem to love them- most of you Alembic players have been playing for years and years and have tons of practical music knowledge backed by a lot of very solid science. Anybody have any opinions on cabs like these?

Thanks in advance for any help, direction, rebukes or advice.

Toby

(Message edited by tbrannon on February 25, 2007)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4811
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 2:29 pm:   Edit Post

Here is my simplistic, grossly generalized, lacking in fundamental knowledge, based on what I vaguely recall from years ago, opinion. A folded horn enclosure will push sound further than a sealed or ported enclosure. Thus if you are trying to fill a large room, a folded horn enclosure might be nice to have. This is why the bass bins in a lot of PA's are folded horns. However, there is a trade off in sound quality, which I suppose is why the stereo speakers in your living room are not a folded horn design; and why most high end bass cabs are not folded horns.
tbrannon
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 322
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 2:47 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Dave- that's my basic understanding of it as well. I've just read such glowing reviews of people playing out of them and then comparing the sound and relatively small amount of watts and cab size needed to produce such sounds.

There is a guy up in Auckland who builds cabs designed by Bill Fitzmaurice. I'm going to do my best to get up there in the next couple of weekends and hear them myself.

Anybody else with any experience and/or opinions?
keurosix
Intermediate Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 154
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 3:54 pm:   Edit Post

Toby,
Yes, they throw out the sound into the room with very little power. Dave is right, though: The horn puts a honky sound to the final result if you crossover too high into the midrange. So, if you want to save money on the subwoofers amp, you'll more than spend it on the crossover and mid/high amps and speakers too if you want it to sound good. Besides, if the sound is thrown out away from you, you won't benefit up on stage. You won't know if it sounds good or if it is too loud either. Better to get a ported cab where you can hear it, and it puts out some sound to the room too. Then leave the sound in the big rooms to the PA and the sound man.
Kris
2400wattman
Advanced Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 289
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 11:31 pm:   Edit Post

I agree with Kris, Toby. It's really pointless to have a cab on stage that will throw it's best most effective sound into the audience where YOU CAN'T HEAR IT. Save your money and stick with ported cabs, they'll be better for you in the long run and you won't have the sound man TELLING YOU to turn down, to where you can't hear all that glorious tone you spent all that money for. Good luck
tbrannon
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 323
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 12:42 am:   Edit Post

Thanks fellas- Everything you're saying is what I was assuming to be the case.

In search of continues.....*using best Leonard Nimoy voice*

I'm going to be in Perth for about a week in Mid-March and will see what's available to play through over there. I've also got a 7 hr layover in Sydney, we'll see if I can't get in to Greensquare and have a gander at what Mr. Burgess has in-store.
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 972
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

If you want the Jaco sound, a folded horn cabinet is the only way to go...

John
tbrannon
Advanced Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 324
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 1:53 pm:   Edit Post

John,

If all I needed to sound like Jaco was a folded horn cab, I'd already have about 12 of 'em. ;)

I'm still going to wander up to Auckland in the next month or so to have a gander. I'm not sure if the Fitzmaurice cabs are something slightly different, but the people who have built them and use them seem to be quasi cult-ish about the sound and effectiveness of them. I'll certainly have a look and report back.

If others have experience with horns or have the time to look at the Fitzmaurice site linked above and can tell me if there is anything different about these ones, I'd appreciate any and all comments.

Cheers,
Toby
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 974
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 - 7:34 pm:   Edit Post

Toby,

Well, yeah, a folded horn and more talent than will ever fit into my body... ;)

John

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