acme bass

Carvin vs Acme Discussion

( To make it easy to read, the answers to his questions are placed within the body of his notes.) 


Well, you've got my interest.  Nice job on your web-site.  I had at one point
looked at possibly building my own cabinets because I wasn't happy with what
was available.  I appreciate your technical discussions on port placement, T-S
parameters and what they mean for bass cabs, etc.  Nice work.

Here's my situation.  I currently use an Ernie Ball MusicMan StringRay5 (Active
pickups and EQ...I generally turn the lows all the way up and leave the mids
and highs flat on the bass guitar itself), an SWR SM-900 head (I do some EQ'ing
here as well, usually boosting the lows and some parts of the highs), and two
Carvin RL-410T cabinets.  For what I do know (playing in church), two 410's is
too much to lug around.  I'd really like to replace these two 410's with one
cabinet that is as good or better than both combined.  If I only use one of the
Carvin cabinets, there's much less low-end.  I really like bass
should move some serious air, but still have have some mids and highs that give
it brightness and articulation.  However, I do not like honky sounding mids or
muddy/distorted lows, so I'm not very happy with most small cabinets that I've

These Carvin cabs start to roll-off low-end at 60Hz, which kind of explains to
me why I need two of them to get the lows that I think I should be able to get.
I finger-pick and slap, and I really dislike how much of the lows disappear
when you switch from finger-pick to slap.  I'd love to be able to add the
brightness and attack of slap without losing the lows...I want to be able to
feel the slaps!

I was quite happy with the sound of these Carvin cabs when I played a 4-string
with passive pickups.  However, when I started playing a 5-string Stringray
with active pickups, I became very dissatisfied with these cabs.

So, given what I've told you about what I'm looking for, tell me this:

1)  If I replace the two Carvin cab's with one Acme Low B4, will I get the
low-end response that I'm looking for with only one cab?  (I'd select the 4 ohm
version so I can get the full 800 bridged mono watts out of my SWR head.)

A: Absolutely. Low end is our bread and butter around here. BTW, the SWR 900 has been successfully used in this way, by Melissa Etheridge's bass player, Mark Browne, among others.

2)  I want the B-string to be reproduced with authority and conviction.  Will
the Low B4 do that?

A: Yes.

3)  As I mentioned above, with anything except both 410's, the deep lows
somewhat drop out when I switch from finger-pick to slap in the same song.  I'd
really like to get more lows out of my slap licks (better low-end transient
response?).  Would I see a noticeable improvement in this characteristic with a
single Low B4?

A: I've never been asked this question before. It sounds like a playing technique issue, not a speaker issue. I could be wrong. 

4)  Based on what I've told you, do you think I really need two Low B4's, or
does it sound like one cab would do the trick?

A: I believe one would do the trick. Carvin doesn't represent their 10" woofer as being able to reproduce very low notes, and in my experience, they represent it accurately.

5)  Since I already have Carvin cabs and believe that they are very rugged and
high-quality (even though the sound character doesn't exactly meet my current
desires), I had considered replacing the two Carvin RL-410T's with one Carvin
BRX10 (their new 410...rated frequency response goes down to 27 Hz).  Granted,
I haven't heard this new 410, but how do you think your Low B4 would compare to
the Carvin BRX10?  I realize frequency response specs can be misleading or
"interpreted" in different ways by the mfg, so if you can provide any insight,
I'd really appreciate it. 

Thanks and best regards!

A: To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I looked at their site. I've alway liked their stuff pretty well, and have no doubt that it's well built. The telling specification would be sensitivity. In order to squeeze the low bass from a compact enclosure, it is necessary to use a long voice coil (which incidentally, Eminence can't use with their neodymium motor). A long voice coil results in lower efficiency, for which our cabs are notorious. If Carvin represents their cab as having a high sensitivity rating, I would doubt the low end. But interestingly, they don't include that spec in their description. These are my thought on the matter. I hope this helps.





Thank you for the quick response.  So, I gather from the specs that two Low B2's
would be sonically equivalent to one Low B4, right? 

A: Actually 2 b-2's is a little bit better,, albeit more expensive. But it's not a big difference.

I'm also trying to figure if I can eliminate the need for a combo amp as well.
I've got an Ampeg BA-115 (100 watts, 15" driver + tweeter, slightly used)
sitting at home, and I haven't decided if I like it good enough to keep it or
I'm going to return it (just bought it Sunday).  I'm wondering if one Low B2 +
SWR SM-900 would absolutely kick the snot out of this combo amp while being
roughly the same size and weight.  The Ampeg chokes just a little on that low
B-string if I dig into it...would the B2 handle grinding on an open B without
any rattling and farting from the drivers, assuming I'm driving it with
sufficient power from the SWR head?

Thanks for the answers!

A: Absolutely.




Thank you again for the quick response.  I've got just a bit more research to
do, but I think I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a B2.

One more question.  My SWR SM-900 head will output 800 watts @ 4 ohms bridged
mono.  I'm thinking of starting with one 8 ohm B2 and (assuming I like it as
much as I think I will) adding either a second 8 ohm B2 or possibly an 8 ohm
B4.  Will my SM-900 drive two 8-ohm B2's to a very loud SPL cleanly, or should
I really consider buying two 4-ohm models and adding an 800 watt power amp
slaved to the SWR head?  What do you think?  I want bass that can be felt
(finger-pick or slap), but I don't need to rearrange internal organs or
anything.  I'd rather err on being able to be too loud though...headroom =
clean output.  I'm thinking in terms of an outdoor gig with drums, 2 guitars,
keyboards and vocals...


A: I would start with the 8 ohmers. If you decide you want more power later, you can accomodate whatever amp you buy to the load you have. And you may not need another amp anyway.



back to forum