Mixing Amps and Cabs, etc...

I have a strange subject to start. Mixing amps with other brand cabs. I know a lot of people do this, i just dont know if people know anyhting about it. For example, Justin Chancelor plays through a rack mount (various different pre-amps and shit that i can't recall), and split to an Ampeg 8 by 10 (or 12) and a second 6 by 10 mesa boogie, i believe. Rich sound.

I currently own a Yorkville xm200 Combo amp. It's definately a transition amp for now. I'm not too satisfied with it. Just doesn't seem to solid, or stable. But I definately, for now need more volume, and want to extend it. I could always stick with Yorkville and get the 115 Extension cab, but what do you fella's think about sending to a 4 x 10 Ampeg? I know it sounds odd, but ampeg is gorgious, and the thought of making my yorkville's lacking sound even louder is a bit painful. With the ampeg extension, then i can use it for a fuller sound, and then keep it for later upgrades, when i can afford an ampeg head, etc etc...

Would something like this be like mixing oil and water? Or am I just experiementing with what could be an interesting sounding combination. Or maybe it would just be crap altogether.

Any suggestions, and ideas, or your own mixes would be awsome. I'd love to hear what things people have linked together, and what kinds of sounds they've produced.

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Far from an odd subject, this is a really good thread that should've been looked at by now. For one thing, you're not the only one mixing brands around by any means. I remember on The Bottom Line forum a thread called "Riggage for Giggage". It wasn't really a discussion; more of a chance to brag about the gear you own. Still, far from everybody had Eden amp/Eden cab or SWR/SWR setups. It was very commonplace for people to mate gear up.

My own story isn't exactly relevant to you, but it does illustrate how cab-swapping can really be worthwhile trying. I use valve heads; not the Ampeg SVT (nice, "Boogieman" here loves 'em) but British EL34 types. For a gig, my mainstay is a Marshall Superbass variant. I've had it since 1981 and it's a great head but it took, literally, decades to get the cab right. Because I really disliked clanky solid-state rigs of the 80s and 90s, I tended to try allsorts of "vintage" cabs. Various old brands (WEM, Orange etc) loaded with Celestions, Goodmans, Fanes... 10", 12", 15"... everything had a wooly flubbiness to it.

When the Fanes started to go, I pulled them out of the 2x10" and replaced them with some techy, ali coned things. I don't even remember the make and I don't fancy pulling the cab apart but, crikey, it completely opened up the sound. The valve grunt and grit was still there but I'd suddenly gained a heap of clarity and articulation. Showed up some of my terrible habits awfully, too. I still have some "vintage" drivers that I play through when using smaller heads, but I wouldn't touch them for a gig.

Like I said, it doesn't help you in recommending a particular combination but hopefully it does tell you that experimenting with different cabs and drivers is worthwhile. I do like Ashdowns, and Lee_UK here got some in when trying out bass. He tends to post only in the guitar cat, but it'd be worth PMing him if you're curious. And Boogieman here must've tried a hatful of speakers in his time.


I'm certainly fond of the idea, also, of mixing the thumpy (sometimes muffled ufortunately) sound of a single 15 inch woofer, with the clarity and precision of, say a 4 x10 cabinet. Kind of the best of both worlds, in my opinion. Of course my opinion is based a lot on assumption, and not so much from experience. Only going based on my interpretation of what I think these amps may sound like.
I do know, my sound is severely lacking that sort of trumpety, horn like sound to it. It's kind of like having too much low end rumble, mixed with too much high frequency snap. Not so much the midrange eq either. It's part my bass, and definately a lot my amp. Hense, why i definately dont want to add another 15 inch speaker. It'd just be the exact same undesirable sound but louder. Hah!

Out of curiousity, since I have no experience with them, what could you say the difference is between tube and valve? (valve and tube isn't the same thing right?.lol), mechanically, and acoustically. ...Just on a side note...

Certainly, the 4x10" + 1x15" is a classic combination, and with good reason. I don't use the 15" myself, something Boogieman has berated me for :wink: , and I know what he means, but it's not my style. I find the 10" gives that punch you're talking about. The 15" shifts air.

Before I go much further, I ought to ping Lee into looking in here. I don't know how much he carried on with bass, but he swapped PMs with me when he took it up. On my suggestion, he got together an Ashdown Evo 500 (SS power amp with blendable SS and valve/tube - the terms mean the same thing - preamp sections) head, the Ashdown Blue 4x10" cab and an Ashdown single 15" driver that was going very cheap. I don't know if he got around to putting the 15" into a cabinet.

Getting a bit technical here... The Ampeg 8x10" cabinet, when Ampeg originally designed it, was meant to get around the woolyness of many 15"-based cabs of the time. They could suffer from an uneven response because even the 15" wouldn't quite deliver the low Hz of the E to the same amplitude of higher registers. The 8x10" never meant to cover the lower end fundamentals, but was supposed to capture the higher orders and deliver a balanced (and quicker, punchier) response across the strings.

That's the theory/blurb, anyway. These days, it's absolutely no problem finding 10" drivers, using new materials, that have a fairly flat output down to a four-string's low E 40Hz. The Eminence B102 is used a lot, but I had to go a bit further for my 5-string's 30Hz. You don't need to worry too much if your 1x15" is in use at the same time. A 4x10", although a pain to cart around, makes life a bit easier for the cab designer than a 2x10". You could do with a cab that's close to the stats of your current 15" to keep a balance and Eden and SWR spring to mind, although Aguilar, Acme, etc etc have their seconders.

I'd need to have a look at the Yorkville details, but I'd be more inclined to go 10" cab. You should be able to try out an ext cab using your bass and your Yorkville in a good store; rather than just hand over money and hope for the best. I could babble for hours, but others may have a POV; particularly Boogieman although he's living out of a suitcase on the road a lot. I'm off to ping Lee now.

I quickly realized my error, after soon refreshing my memory of the Ampeg SVT not being a tube amp. I was confusing the name with th B15, or B25's, etc etc... I'm glad we're on the same page with that though. I've never really heard to them being called Valve tho, and when i did, i just never put 2 and 2 together. Maybe i dont get out much.

Anyway, I loved your description of the 15" just moving air. VERY true, and well put. Thats kind of the impression I get.
I play in drop D also. And have considered a 5 string soon. As you can imagine, my Amp struggles. It's just a shame i didn't know anyhting when I bought it.

I'm looking forward to hearing what others have to say also.

Before Boogieman hits me over the head :wink: , I wasn't intentionally dissing 15". It does move a lot of air and that's really useful for keeping the low through, say, a hoedown. I tend to play riff-type or melodic basslines and rarely hold a note for long. I could benefit from both cabs but I don't do venues that justify carting a lot of boxes (I'm getting older and lazier, I know). If forced to use one cab, some would choose a 1x15" but I (and I suspect you too Mack) would choose a 2x or 4x10". Would I go 2x15"? No. Must tell a funny story...

A 2nd-hand shop used to sell allsorts of castoff, 2nd rate cheap gear. I used to go into such places a lot; they were a good source for obscure brands of good kit that people would get rid of cheap. Anyhoo, I was in one day and they had someting pretty unusual in. It was a 21" driver (yes, really. 21") housed inside a concrete mains sewer pipe, a foot or so long. Must've weighed an absolute ton, lying there on the floor. I was told that none of the amps in the shop could turn it over (mostly old 100W SS stuff). I went home and brought in my valve Superbass and gave it a go. There was this tremendous booming bass, buckling floorboards and bulging out the store windows. Frightening. The shop guys were like overgrown kids, yelling at me that I HAD to buy it. No way; it was impressive, it really was, but I could imagine my car sunk onto the base of the rear shocks and oversteering like a pig around town.

Just to clarify the valve/tube thing. In England (and, allowing for translation, most of Europe) those glass things are called valves. Thermionic valve is a pretty good description of the job they do. In the US, they're called tubes. So a tube amp is a valve amp. The original Ampeg SVT (reissued these days as the SVT Classic) uses tubes in the preamp and 6550-type tubes in the power section. I think, off the top of my head, that the SVT II is a hybrid, with a tube preamp and a solid state power section. Other SVTs are all-solid state. It's a bit confusing.

Even more confusing is why so many bass players complain about the weight of a tube amp (true) but then cart an 8x10" or 2x15" cab down three sets of stairs to get to the stage. Even the worst of my valve heads are not much more than 25kg, around 60lbs.

That story made my day. I would have loved to have seen that in person!

I definately didn't take you're description of the 15incher as a dis to it. But I'm definately pretty certain now that i dont want 2 15's. I did some looking into on yorkville, and they have a pretty wide selection of cabinets, and arrangements. So it's looking good. I'd still need to experiment with other brands though.

I'm starting to get some peaks of interest in hybrid amps, although, I tend to be a bit traditional. (I still think vinyl sounds better than cd's, etc...) So I tend to want to go for the heavy tub/"valve" amps. And it's true. So many bass players complain about their head being so heavy (I think the comlaints are actually just for bragging purposes), and lug around a double stack of 8 x 10's or soemthing rediculous. Again, I think it's the bassist mentality to has the biggest guns.

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