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    Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

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    MarkA
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    Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by MarkA on Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:11 pm

    I just made basically the same post in the Big E thread on Talkbass.  Forgive me the lack of originality and my spending not-so-much time here, but I spend too much time with one forum as it is.  I figured if I posted here, though, then Mike and the Big Two could comment, which is something I've missed in the TB thread.

    I didn't see a way to embed the Soundcloud player for each track here (if someone knows, clue me in), so I just pasted link to the each track beneath its description.  Might be more convenient to just listen to the playlist and read the descriptions below.

    PLAYLIST HERE

    -------

    I had a few days last week with my brother at my folks' place, while they were away.  I am currently in possession of a 210 Flex Mod, a MAS 112, and the 46 that Mike recently built me – not to mention JGR's most recent Box O' Tone prototype (gotta give that back, though). In the throes of summer's last heavy geek :'( and not knowing when another such confluence of time, opportunity to play/record into the wee hours, and excellent gear would come my way again, I documented what I could.

    I have mixed feelings about posting this. (Though, since you're reading this, I've obviously gone ahead and done it anyway.)  There are the self-conscious questions - Am I being a pest?  Do these clips make me look fat? – and everyone knows that you can't entirely trust clips, anyway; the player, the instrument, and the way a recording is made all affect the result.  Still, I made some clips of different preamps awhile back and folks seemed to find those useful. The aforementioned caveats applied there, of course, but as long as I set the levels reasonably and used the DI, recording technique didn't come much into play. Cabs are different – mic selection and mic placement need to be considered. I only have one mic (an Audio Technica AT 2035) and not a ton of experience with mic placement. So...


    Notes:

    • The mic is generally 1-2 feet from the cab being recorded. I just moved it around until what was coming through the headphones sounded reasonably close to what I heard without them. Little changes in placement and angle made big changes in the recorded sound, but I got as close as I could.
    • The Box O' Tone (which I used for all the clips, without any EQ filters engaged) has a variable impedance control. I've been setting this between noon and 1:30 for a passive bass, but I was goofing around with it earlier and forgot it set quite low – 8:15 or so – which loads down the passive pickups and dulls their tone and attack a bit. I didn't realize this until I'd made all the recordings, though, so that, at least, is consistent from cab to cab. I still think it (the BoT) sounds good here, and that softer-edged, slightly-loaded-down sound might be something you'd want in certain situations.
    • A room recording made further back with something like a Zoom would have been a nice addition. I didn't do that.
    • The mic was moved for each cab, of course, but I recorded all the clips on one cab before moving on to the next, so mic position is consistent from clip to clip for a given cab.
    • Bass is my usual Fender reverse P/J. Further details on the Soundcloud page for the playlist if you want them.
    • To me, listening on headphones, the clips don't exactly capture the sound – let alone the feel - of standing in front of the cabs. Still, I hope that they're close enough to be useful in forming a rough idea of how they compare to each other and hearing what the switching options do. Bear in mind that I didn't use any EQ and these cabs all take EQ pretty well. Any weirdness in the recordings is solely my fault. For the sake of time and sanity, everything was recorded in one take (though I did remove some of the gaps where I was flipping switches).
    • The 46 and the Flex are recorded without the sub.


    Clips:

    C Major 7 arpeggio, both pickups, played through the 46, the 112, the Flex, then the Flex with the woofer out-of-phase with the mids ("voicing" switch). All switches (excepting the voicing/flipped phase at the end) in their default positions.
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    Little, semi-palm-muted riff I play around with sometimes - on the neck pickup, through the 46...
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    ...through the Flex top...
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    ...and through the 112. (There is a short glitch at the beginning of this recording.) Switches on the cabs in the default positions for all of these.
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    46, bridge pickup, chords and harmonics, playing with the switches in this order:  1-2)Tweeter on: mids normal, then mids hot.  3-4) Tweeter off: mids normal, then mids hot.  (Note: Per my request, my cab is set up so that "normal" is "hot", and "hot" is "hotter", relative to a "normal" 46.  I also asked for the switch on the tweeter.)
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    Same thing through the MAS 112: Tweeter on with mids normal, hot, then off. Tweeter off, with mids normal, hot, then off (woofer only), in that order.
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    Finally, through the Flex top, with one tweeter on and mids normal, hot, then “Dark” (pads them back and engages a light bulb circuit that adds compression as you push the cab), then with the tweeters off and the mids normal, hot, and “dark” in that order. Didn't do two tweeters (there is a second that you can engage) or the voicing/out-of-phase here, for the sake of time.
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    That's all!
    -Mark
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    Steve Regier
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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by Steve Regier on Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:29 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to put this together.


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    MarkA
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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by MarkA on Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:51 am

    Sure! Hope people find it useful.
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    joe.wimberley

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    That's pretty...how's the 46 for doublers?

    Post by joe.wimberley on Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:25 pm

    Loved the harmonics with the 46! Trolling this site and hoping to afford one of these next year. I mainly play upright in a jazz duo, but also play upright with a heavy mellow group, and electric/upright in a loud rock band at our church. Looking at an EA Micro with a VT Sansamp/Tonebone as far as power and EQ.

    I'm waffling between the 26 for upright gigs or compromising and getting a 45 or 46.

    What's the best option for doublers?
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    MarkA
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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by MarkA on Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:35 am

    Hey, someone listened to these! Smile
    I asked Mike the same question, sort of: I wanted something portable that would be good for electric but would also handle amplified cello (and maybe a bit of upright). The latter hasn't happened yet. He recommended the 46. The 45 has a beautiful, warm sound and something about the mids that I imagine would be wonderful for upright (and lots of upright players use them) but Mike said the 26/46 would hold up better for electric work. Mike recently told me that the 46 really prefers to be elevated and that's something I need to experiment with. Been thinking of picking up some kind of light, folding stand. There's always the milk crate option, too.
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    MarkA
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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by MarkA on Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:39 am

    "The latter hasn't happened yet." I mean that I've only played electric through it so far - well, that and tried listening to some recorded music through it (and then it was up on a chair). It is the most balanced of the cabs for that.
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    joe.wimberley

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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by joe.wimberley on Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:43 pm

    MarkA thanks for the reply. I'd like to be able to vertically place the 46 cabinet, some of my upright gigs are me and the rig crammed in a corner.

    Did MikeArnopol ever mention a 26/25.5 with a MAS 110 sub or 109? That way my smaller gigs could be the micro rig, but use the sub when I need to compete against AlexVanHalen Jr....decisions! Luckily I gave GAS but no cash now, so thanks for letting me dream....

    But back to you, the stuff you played was very nice. I enjoyed it a lot!
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    MarkA
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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by MarkA on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:20 pm

    Hmm. There's a 45+110 sub, and the 26 is as loud as a 45 - think I discussed that with Mike some time back, actually.

    The sub that Mike recommends with the 46 is also a 110, but crossed over differently (same sub as a 210 Flex Mod. Those together would be louder than any 410, maybe 610 loud. Not sure.

    The 46 placed vertically sounds good, but dispersion is better horizontally. I think the 109 would do better vertically, dispersion wise, but have a different sound. You'd have to ask Mike what he thinks.

    I think that Mike said the new 109 could double as a sub - again, double check any configurations with him!
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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

    Post by MarkA on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:35 pm

    And thank you!

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    Re: Comparative recordings of the MAS 46, MAS 112 (18 Sound) and 210 Flex Mod

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