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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / 4x10 bass cab 'beaming'


Robbinsville, NJ

what do you mean the bass is too loud?
Sep 29th, 2017 07:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey gents, got into a discussion with an "audiophile expert/bass player"' friend, and I'm trying to share my perceptions (which of course are more correct than his..)

I was at an outdoor concert, where the bassist used a 4x10 cabinet. Great, punchy bass sound, even at a distance of 200 feet. BUT, it SEEMED when I walked off-axis, to the side, the bass power diminished considerably; returning back to on-axis, the bass came alive.

I did NOT hear this with the next band, they used two 15s, (stacked vertically).

Can anybody comment on whether a 4x10 rig would 'beam' it's output with so much directionality? My AE/BP buddy categorically claims this is impossible.. WHAT SAY YOU?

oldFartNonAudiophileBassPlayer Walt

(This message was last edited by wborys at 03:49 PM, Sep 29th, 2017)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Sep 29th, 2017 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

There's a reason they use the line array systems at large concerts. It's so they can aim speakers in many different directions and cover more area with good sound.

If you can't see the speaker cone, it's not meant for you. The reason it sounds the way it does off access is because the cabinet isn't aimed at you any longer.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Sep 29th, 2017 09:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

The "aiming" Juice mentions is more noticeable outdoors. The sound is much more direct without surfaces to reflect off of. 4-10 cabs and 15" cabs will by design, intentionally of not, cover different areas. This will vary by manufacturer, speaker type, cab porting, baffle board area....and on and on.

Guitar amps too.


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Sep 29th, 2017 01:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

It does make sense. Even though a 4x10" can have a good bass response overall, you can't beat physics. 10" speakers themselves are going to emphasize a waveform of a certain length. The lower wavelengths are going to be emphasized because of the cabinet construction itself. That's why a 1x10" would generally have very little bass response. Shorter wavelengths are more directional, therefore more susceptible to beaming. Longer wavelengths are not as directional. Hence you can have subwoofers in less-than-ideal locations, and you can still be fine.

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 03:55 PM, Sep 29th, 2017)


LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Sep 29th, 2017 01:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I played a show on bass where I could tell them exactly what I wanted for the backline. I got a 4x12" and 2x15" both. I thought it was perfect, because you got some higher frequencies popping plus the "boom" of the bigger speakers.

(This message was last edited by gdw3 at 03:51 PM, Sep 29th, 2017)

Contributing Member


ex Machina
Sep 30th, 2017 05:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Some speaker/cabinet designs project work like a flashlight projecting photons: a bright beam with some minor spillage to the sides.

In a small room this is not a problem because the sound waves bounce around. Outside, the beam continues into infinity.

It's the same with outdoor PAs; a powerful system can really punch in a room, but outside, the wind seems to blow the sound away.

I've been using Beam Blockers on most of my amps for a long time; it does make a huge positive difference, and it spreads the sound around much better--even in a small room.

Beam Blocker

FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / 4x10 bass cab 'beaming'

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