Author Topic: My lucky night--advice needed  (Read 449 times)

mtjam

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My lucky night--advice needed
« on: January 19, 2018, 06:06:05 PM »
Okay, okay, I realize my thread title may be a bit misleading!   :)


I was out to dinner with the family tonight when I ran into an old friend. He told me he just bought a house and had some sort of speaker that he wanted to get rid of that was left behind by the previous owner. He told me he would send pictures to me. When he sent the pictures, I was pleasantly surprised to find the speaker is a...


Meyer Sound USW-1 2 x15 subwoofer!!!


I texted him back in about half a second and told him I would take it. He knows what it's worth, but he's not a musician and he told me I am doing him a favor by getting it out of his way. He is giving it to me for free! He was actually going to take it to the dump!


So...I am looking to you Alembic sound gurus to give me advice on how to get this beast up and running. I'm picking it up tomorrow, and I'm very excited even though I know this is not just a plug and play cabinet. Has anyone here ever used one of these for bass guitar? Am I going to need to buy all sorts of extras to use it?


I have always lusted after Meyer gear since I worship at the altar of Phil Lesh and Mike Gordon. I've researched the cabinet, but I am hoping for advice since I know someone here must have used Meyer equipment to compliment their Alembic gear. Sonicus? Edwin? Anyone? Anyone?




StephenR

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 06:38:24 PM »
Sounds like an amazing score at a price that can't be beat. If you haven't already found it here is a link to the manual...

https://tinyurl.com/ybv92gu4

According to the manual the frequency response of this cab is only 40-100 Hz and it weighs 115 lbs. That is actually pretty light for a Meyer cabinet. I think it is also supposed to be used with a Meyer processor maybe someone else here will chime in as to whether that would be necessary. It does sound like you will need a second cab for the mids and highs.

I can attest to the fact that it is a real treat, and was one of my dreams fulfilled, to get to play bass through a Meyer rig. Back in the late 90s I was playing in the Broken Angels with David Gans and we did a couple of benefit shows for Phil's charity the Unbroken Chain Foundation. I played the first 40 minutes of the show during which we did original music then Phil would come out and it turned into a Dead jam to finish out set one and then he came back out for the second set. My role at that point was understudy  in case Phil decided to bail but he ended up finishing all the shows. Due to Phil's involvement Meyer lent us powered cabinets to use for the bass rig which we drove with the preamp of my SWR Studio 220 which has a Groove Tubes preamp in it. Sounded amazing to my ears and the low end was deep and effortless in a way I had never experienced before and have never experienced again. Unfortunately between the price and the fact that you needed a fork lift to move the cabinets there was no way I was ever going to own a rig like that.

Hope you can get this to work for you and naturally would love to hear a report on your thoughts after you do.

JimmyJ

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 10:12:11 PM »
Well now Rob...  I have a story for you!  And maybe even some gear if you're interested...

The biggest rig I ever put together was a tri-amped stereo Meyer's rig with 2 UPA-1a cabs sitting on top of a USW-1 (which I also ran in stereo, if I remember correctly).  The bass was stereo, plus the treble pickup went into a stereo chorus which when turned on was summed into both channels of the dry stereo bass signal.

The rig made an absolutely lovely sound and standing in front of it was a joy. 

In the last iteration I took it one step further and bought a BagEnd ELF-1-120 processor, closed the ports of the USW (!!) and ran the sub like that.  That seemed to not only make the bottom end sound tighter but smoothed it out and extend the frequency response - if that's even possible.

The entire rig went on the road with me for the first few years I was working with James Taylor.  Only possible if you have a crew to move the thing around!  I think I could just barely fit it into my Volvo wagon at the time, and not if it was in it's road cases.  So frankly it was ridiculous!  Then I also realized that putting the crew through all that when I was the only person in the entire venue who got to hear it was all the more ridiculous.  HA!

So the thing is, I still own all this gear.  Including the Crown MA-1200 power amps.  I tried to sell the whole rig ages ago but didn't get any interest.  It would make a great DJ rig, small club PA, or giant drum side fill.  But all the newer Meyer gear has built in amps so it's a bit of a dinosaur. 

OK sorry for the long personal story.  My point is, that USW would make a great subwoofer for either a studio or some kind of permanent installation.  It's a bear to move around but a great speaker cabinet for 100hz and lower. 

You could certainly just plug it in and see how it sounds.  Especially since it was FREE!  But it's meant to be controlled by a processor so if you really want to push some air with it you probably should send it a "sub" only signal.  And with that in mind...  I still have that ELF processor.  It's been sitting under my workbench for several years.  I could check to see if it lights up...?

Jimmy J

edwin

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2018, 03:13:41 AM »
I seem to recall that Phil back in the day ran his double 15s full range.

I wouldn't recommend using it with an ELF processor unless you seal the box. That unit is designed to extend the lower frequency response in a sealed box. A ported cabinet with that much boost in the lows could pop the woofers.

Nice score!

mtjam

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 05:00:50 AM »
Thanks for the input! As always, I knew this was the place to get solid advice.

Stephen, sounds like a very cool gig! I'll definitely report back on my Meyer adventure.

Jimmy, I always enjoy your personal stories and helpful guidance. That rig sounds like a monster; I'm sure it was a blast to schlep around! 😀 I'll keep your ELF thingy in mind in case I ever go in that direction.

Edwin, thanks for weighing in! I can always count on you for insight into the Phil tone. I have a Greenboy Audio 215, so maybe I can try the Meyer along with that to see what happens.

My wife's advice was that I could sell it and pay off my credit card! 🙄 Well, that's no fun. Plus, I can't sell a gift from a friend. That wouldn't be right!

I'm just a weekend warrior, so I don't plan on taking this out to every gig or anything. But I'll sure have some fun with it!

Keep the stories and advice coming. Have a great weekend, everyone!

mtjam

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 06:03:28 PM »
Jimmy, the gear I really need is a speaker cable with a Speakon connector on one end and a female EP-4 connector on the other. Do you have one of those cluttering up your gear storage area? Can't find one anywhere! I would love to actually hear how it sounds (hopefully, it works). I've already determined that it's not very practical for most of my gigs, but having that power in applicable situations is great!

rv_bass

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 06:19:32 PM »
Rob, maybe Bayou Audio Cables would make one for you...

https://bayoucables.com/


JimmyJ

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 09:39:13 PM »
Negative on the cable request, sorry.  My old rig was all EP-4s and I've never had any gear that used Speakon.  I can't remember the pin-out of the USW-1 connector although I think the two drivers are each wired separately to it (4 pins, 2 speakers).  A 9v battery and a couple short pieces of wire would allow you to determine the wiring.  Beyond that, you would need to figure out the Speakon polarity and then the EP-4 polarity and build a cable.  You could do it, it's not rocket science!  What amp are you thinking of using?  The Meyer's drivers are 8 ohms each so 4 ohms when wired in parallel.
Jimmy J

mtjam

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 05:11:35 PM »
I would use a Crown XLS1000 or connect the Meyer to my Eden 1205.

Can I buy a Speakon to Speakon speaker cable and change one end to a female EP-4?

I should really learn how to solder.

JimmyJ

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 10:37:37 PM »
Well, the Speakon is a screw on connector and the EP4s are solder, and are a bit too easy to melt if I remember correctly.  What you could do is order a cable from a place like this:
https://eventhorizon-srv.com
If you want them to make exactly what you want, you will need to tell them the pinout of the EP4. 

And I finally found it!  The pic below which is from the "Meyer Sound Design Reference" which I found online here:
http://197.14.51.10:81/pmb/TELECOMMUNICATION/Meyer_Sound_Design_Reference_for_by_Bob_McCarthy_Sound_Reinforcement.pdf
(Yikes!  That's the whole concept of their systems as of 1998.  And it's pretty deep.)

Anyway, according to this, to wire the speakers in parallel (mono) you would want to make pins 1 and 2 "ground" and pins 3 and 4 "+". 

But wait! Your Crown amp has speaker terminals!!  You don't need to use the Speakon connector there.  You could in fact ask them to make you a 4-conductor speaker cable with only one end terminated with a female EP4.  Pin-out wouldn't even matter because you can then choose how to connect this to your Crown amp, either both speakers to a bridged amp, or individual speakers to individual channels.

I like that last idea!
Jimmy J

mtjam

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 04:07:02 AM »
Wow, Jimmy! You have given me some deep reading. I'm sure there is a wealth of information in that resource!

I like your idea for the EP4 to banana cable. I think that's what I will get from either Event Horizon or Bayou Cables.

One step closer to hearing this monster...

JimmyJ

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 08:24:38 AM »
That will work!  Again, 4 conductor speaker cable, EP4 pins 1 (ground) and 4 to one banana.  EP4 pins 2 (ground) and 3 to the other.  That will be 8 ohms each. 

If they don't have 4-conductor cable, then tie the EP4 pins 1+2 together (ground) and pins 2+3 together (+) to one banana.  That's 4 ohms.

I wonder why the previous home owner had that in his house....
Jimmy J

keith_h

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2018, 12:01:38 PM »
And I finally found it!  The pic below which is from the "Meyer Sound Design Reference" which I found online here:
http://197.14.51.10:81/pmb/TELECOMMUNICATION/Meyer_Sound_Design_Reference_for_by_Bob_McCarthy_Sound_Reinforcement.pdf
(Yikes!  That's the whole concept of their systems as of 1998.  And it's pretty deep.)

Jimmy J

A bit of light reading. For those of us who haven't used any heavy math in years I like this statement by the author, "I have made every effort to minimize the mathematics in favor of practical examples."

mtjam

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 06:16:38 PM »
I contacted Event Horizon and Brandon got back to me to inquire about my plans on how I am going to be driving the cabinet, so it sounds like they should be able to hook me up!

I responded that I would be using a Crown XLS 1000 or an Eden 1205, so I did also inquire about an EP-4 to Speakon to use with the Eden. With either setup, I may want to run my amps bridged or in conjunction with another 215 (Greenboy Audio) running through the amp's other side. Is this possible to do safely?

Of course, the Meyer is overkill for any gig I will do but it will be fun to play around with and take out for an occasional gig just to let it roar!

mtjam

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Re: My lucky night--advice needed
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 01:26:12 PM »
Jimmy, I went ahead and ordered the banana to EP4 cable from Event Horizon. I may order others later, once I confirm my Meyer actually works! Brandon wanted me to thank you for referring me to his company. Thanks, and I'll update on my progress once I get the cable!