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> Complete Blasphemy? Pa Speakers Instead Of 4x12?
Todd Simpson
post Jun 13 2013, 06:12 PM
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It will of course some as a splash of cold water to some fans of 4x12 cabs ( I like 4x12 cabs too) to learn that some modern metal pros are actually starting to use things like powered MACKIE HD 1531 P.A. Cabinet and powered sub onstage instead of a 4x12 Guitar Cab. This is typically AXE FX users who are looking for a rull range speaker solution.
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Of course such ideas generate typical responses like "4x12 cabs are never going away" all the way to "it's about time we got those out of the signal chain" and everything in between.

For folks using full range modellers, especially when using 7 or 8 string guitars, you can start to notice that a standard cab, even a mesa or orange, is actually not physically capable (just based on the the specs and frequency charts) of replicating the 7th and 8th strings faithfully. They have great bass on those cabs but were never designed to reach bass guitar frequencies. They still sound good! But....

Meshuggah for example, starting running their heads directly to the tour P.A. when they found it handled their lower registers better and just kept cabinets on stage essentially as monitors or props.

Tosin Abasi started using the MACKIE P.A. cabs on stage as a guitar cab several years ago when he found it could handle everything his 8 string put out. He then added a powerd P.A. Sub on stage.

http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what...r-and-equipment
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MISHA MANSOOR did the same thing a few years ago as well.

http://www.metalsucks.net/2010/05/27/misha...ng-of-the-past/

he has since switched to an orange cab on top of a genz benz GFLEX. Essentially, creating his own semi full range stack. The orange does upper mids, the Genz benz (which has ungodly amounts of bass reaching in to bass guitar range) instead of the P.A. speakers on stage. I must say it looks much cooler smile.gif

I can relate to be honest since I'm a huge OVERLOUD/modelling fan, when I go from direct recording/monitoring on full range system, then try to get the same sound throuh my guitar cab, it's an insane amount of work. Also, on my 7 and 8 the bass is not nearly as tight (simple physics vs software emulation of physics). it still sounds "good", but just not quite "as good". I"ve tried the usual MESA (a tad boomy on 7/8 and not as tight), and ORANGE PPC (great upper mids not quite deep bassy enough). I can see why TOSIN would stack two such monster cabs or use P.A. speakers.

Getting in to ERG (extended range guitars) presents issues that take new approaches. So while I"m no purist/cork sniffer, I would like to be able to use a cab designed specifically for ERG. So far, nobody really makes one. Hopefully soon smile.gif

QUESTION: Any AXE FX/Modeler folks try using full range speakers with a live setup?




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PosterBoy
post Jun 13 2013, 06:19 PM
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I've been using a Mackie SRM450 as my 'cab' with my Axe Fx, now I'm just using it as a shared Floor Monitor with my bass player.

I use quite a few different amp models and cabs, so I don't get the additional colouring from a guitar cab or the limitation of just one cab sound.

The EV12L speaker is meant to be a good compromise for those who want to use power amp and 4x12 and IRs too


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deeaa
post Jun 13 2013, 06:22 PM
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I started using a fullrange pa powered speaker live on stage in about 1997.

I used such a system on and off, lastly a 100W active wedge monitor, till about 2002. After that I used a 120w pa amp into a 4x10 for monitoring and d/i to pa.

Never used a modeler, but a kind of analog modeling thingy/thingies like a Marshall jmp-1 preamp, a red box speaker emulator, a mixer, a multifx unit etc.

Those certainly work well, and it's a good way to get the same sound on stage as you feed the pa live.

If you use a modeler, it makes no sense to put it thru a guitar amp or speaker live. None at all. Pa speaker is much better.


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pdf64
post Jun 13 2013, 11:49 PM
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I guess this approach makes sense; guitar speakers can be seen as being an obsolete and anachronistic technology, something from the 50's that we preserve in aspic due to the tonal signature they impart - they are a very significant element in the sound of electric guitar, or at least rock based guitar. They impact massively on the frequency and dynamic response of the signal that passes through them, but from an engineering perspective it's a very inflexible and constraining method of achieving the desired result; and with the new instruments extending the frequency range outside their bandwidth, they can't achieve that desired result anyway.
So the point is to use whatever technology suits your purpose; as ever, there's no absolute 'right' way, just experiment with various approaches and use whatever works for you.
Pete

This post has been edited by pdf64: Jun 13 2013, 11:50 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 14 2013, 08:10 PM
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Some great replies!! I'm impressed that we didn't get a single angry cork sniffer post along the lines of "Humbug!! if it ain't broke..." and such. I've been seeing posts about which powered pa speakers work well as cab replacements in various forums so I thought it was time for a thread here smile.gif

I"ve recently been using three different guitar cabs in conjuction trying to get enough audio spectrum coverage. It finally hit me that this is just silly and I should skip it and just try a full range speaker. I actually brought in one of my p.a. speakers (an old unpowered peavey 15inch with horn tweater) powered by my Velocity 300. IT took some eq tweaking now that I had a tweeter, but I gotta say it sound better than all 3 cabs combined and weighs quite a bit less smile.gif

I"m currently using a DIGITECH GSP1101 for fx and foot control with a DIGITECH GNX3000 in the Effects loop just for distortion/gain/preamp.

I tried every pedal/rack/etc. I could get my hands on short of an AXE FX/KEMPER (which is just out of the budget range) and couldn't not find a distortion I liked until I finally gave in and bought an old gnx3000 which was in great shape. The "warp" feature is still the only way I've found to get the tone I want without spending a fortune and the PA speaker is able to handle the bass due to the 15inch woofer. It's an odd looking rig to be sure smile.gif


Todd

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SixStringSamurai
post Jun 14 2013, 09:31 PM
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This was actually the trend to begin with, but a lot of pros are going back the other way now. Tosin and co. have started hiring high gain heads (Mesa, ENGL etc) on their tours, preferring to put their amps through a tube poweramp and a 4x12" rather than straight to PA. He says he likes the feel and warmth of the tube poweramp. When I was at his clinic last year, he chose specifically to go through an ENGL head (into the poweramp), to a miked 4x12", instead of straight to the extensive PA they had set up for him.

Recently when I saw Coheed and Cambria they were both packing Axe FX rigs as well, but also, going through a bunch of Mesa 4x12" cabs... and I know they were on because I was standing in front of Claudio's rig on the barrier and it almost deafened me, hahahha.

I think when any new tide of digital gear comes in, cool people who are into tech will embrace it wholeheartedly... but inevitably they still find with experience that there are some things that a digital preamp just can't do yet. On a recording, I think an Axe FX II would probably be bloody well identical to any amp you could mic up out there... but live, from a "feel" and amp interaction point of view, I think many people are finding that it still doesn't quite get there yet. And of course, playing through a little PA foldback doesn't quite feel as rockstar-ish as playing through a stack of 4x12"s does it?

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This post has been edited by SixStringSamurai: Jun 14 2013, 09:34 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 15 2013, 04:45 AM
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Very Good Points indeed! As I mentioned at the end of my original post, TOSIN among others is starting to build a semi full range system by stacking very specific components together. E.G. Using an ORANGE 4x12 stacked on top of a GENZ BENZ 4x12. This is actually not that far from the P.A. in terms of sonic character but without the really high response. He gets the added benefit of the tube warmth through the Tube Head which rounds the sound coming out of the Axe Fx.

Other AXE folks have followed this same pattern on this years tours. Using very specific bits to build a guitar rig with much better frequency characteristics than any single 4x12 could manage.

For folks using 8 string guitars, this is a real concern. For folks using 6 strings and axe effects, it's FAR less of a concern. A 6 string guitar can be faithfully reproduced by any nice guitar cab. COHEED AND CAMBRIA for example, or any other band slinging six strings, will be more than taken care of by a MESA/ORANGE/MARSHALL.

There certainly is a certain "rock starness" to playing through a large stack of amps and cabs that doesn't feel quite the same when going through a P.A. cab. For larger acts, on national tours especially, audience expectation plays in to it as well. The stack is almost a prop, in some cases it's only a prop. In terms of sound, an amp miced through a P.A. often sounds more like the mic and P.A. than the amp, so any "tubeishness" is mainly enjoyed onstage IMHO.

MESHUGGAH for example, having based most of their sound on 8 string guitars, long since gave up trying find cabinets that could handle it since they even down tune the 8! At which point, even the GENZ BENZ can't cut it. They have no choice but to run direct and let the house system run the cross over to send the really deeeeeep stuff to the subwoofers/mains.

http://www.premierguitar.com/Video/2013030...ck_Lovgren.aspx

QUOTE (SixStringSamurai @ Jun 14 2013, 04:31 PM) *
This was actually the trend to begin with, but a lot of pros are going back the other way now. Tosin and co. have started hiring high gain heads (Mesa, ENGL etc) on their tours, preferring to put their amps through a tube poweramp and a 4x12" rather than straight to PA. He says he likes the feel and warmth of the tube poweramp. When I was at his clinic last year, he chose specifically to go through an ENGL head (into the poweramp), to a miked 4x12", instead of straight to the extensive PA they had set up for him.

Recently when I saw Coheed and Cambria they were both packing Axe FX rigs as well, but also, going through a bunch of Mesa 4x12" cabs... and I know they were on because I was standing in front of Claudio's rig on the barrier and it almost deafened me, hahahha.

I think when any new tide of digital gear comes in, cool people who are into tech will embrace it wholeheartedly... but inevitably they still find with experience that there are some things that a digital preamp just can't do yet. On a recording, I think an Axe FX II would probably be bloody well identical to any amp you could mic up out there... but live, from a "feel" and amp interaction point of view, I think many people are finding that it still doesn't quite get there yet. And of course, playing through a little PA foldback doesn't quite feel as rockstar-ish as playing through a stack of 4x12"s does it?

biggrin.gif



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