I love my Compacts, but have always been disappointed in the Compact's reproduction of low end as it applies to the Porchboard Bass.
Many of you guitarists have found it workable, others, not so much.
OLDGHM said it best when he said the Porchboard/Compact sound is "more of a THUD than a BOOM(p)"...and I agree.
I've listened to some recordings by ST where the subtle use of the Porchboard by a guitarist, can be quite effective.
While it's fine for a gentle pulse behind the acoustic guitar, I find it's not so good as a drum set replacement.
I often take the Porchboard, a snare, hi-hat, and ride cymbal to open mic and light country gigs.
With the L1 Model II, all is great, the PB becomes a bass drum (when necessary), suitable at reasonable volumes.
But with the Compact, the PB does not blend well, volume and tone-wise, with the other (lightly played) drums.
It just can't keep up, and the frequencies do not go low enough to give the PB enough of it's warm tone.
So...after reading a few Cap Capello posts about the Energy ESW M8 8" powered sub, I became curious.
I put a tickler on eBay to notify me when I could buy one for under $350, and it finally happened.
It arrived two days later, in time for the 50 hour recommended Break-in period before my next open mic date.
The manual's Break-in involved running continuous music from my laptop into the Compact, then lined out into the M8.
Volume was set to "moderate" as recommended, and allow to run from Friday night until I left for open mic on Sunday.
I checked in occasionally and was very impressed with the added low tones provided by the M8.
I can certainly see why Cap would recommend this sub for stereo Compacts with DJ work.
How was it for the Porchboard?
Well, all the numbers aren't in yet, but first reaction is that it just barely gets the job done.
The M8's tone is quite excellent, the Porchboard sounds as it does with an L1, but definitely not as loud.
Understandably, I suppose for a 9x9x9" cabinet weighing maybe 14#.
At open mic, a couple of musicians commented on being satisfied with the bass "pulse" it gave, but it was just that.
Getting some distance between myself and the sub when another drummer played confirmed that it was louder than on stage.
Still, I like to have some headroom, and I had the M8 up full volume, and the T1/Aux cranked pretty good too.
It's possible that alternate signal routing might make this work better, but I didn't get to try all options last time.
First, I had the M8 fed from the L/R RCA outs on the compact, with the M8 at full volume.
I adjusted Lo Pass Filter and Phasing to get the most low bass I could.
I could not get quite enough low bass, before the Compacts upper bass THUD became prominent.
So I re-wired and sent the Porchboard's signal, Aux out of the T1 directly into the M8 and got a bit more volume.
The Aux send was maxed at 100%, the Trim on ch 3 was constant Yellow.
I fed some of the PB to the Compact via Main Out, for fill in of the upper lows that were cut by the M8's Lo Pass Filter.
This was the better result and how I left the settings for the rest of the night.
The only thing I might have missed was how I set up the Aux send...it was "PRE-fader".
Had I set it to "Post-fader", there might have been more signal at the Aux's output...not sure.
Will try that later.
Bottom line here so far is that I'm not really knocked out by the M8 for a live musician.
Certainly, it's a nice sub and does it's intended job, but I'm on the fence whether or not to re-eBay it.
As for using a home hi-fi sub-woofer out live, there could be a bigger, better way to go, without too much weight.
Weight, is the key here too, I really like the M8's size and weight, and it's performance with prerecorded music.
But, through no fault of it's own, I really don't think it should be used as a live sound reinforcement speaker.
I wish Bose had a nice, little, fully adjustable, road worthy powered sub.
*This message has been edited. Last edited by: Drumr,
Interesting results, Drumr. I have read Cap's comments, along with others, about this little sub and wondered whether it would work with my L1 Compact and my upright bass. But, every time I think about it, I ask myself, "Why?" I already have an Acoustic Image Contra amp that has provided years of service and very satisfying amplification for my upright. I don't gain anything by adding more equipment to carry to a gig.
Still, I found your first thoughts about it interesting....
Hi John, and thanks.
Have you tried your upright with the Compact?
I have hooked up an acoustic and and electronic upright to the Compact and both sounded excellent.
Once was at a rehearsal, and the other "after" a gig, just to test it, but I would not hesitate to use it at a gig for a small venue.
I'd urge you to try it on one of yours and let us know.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Drumr,
Hey Pete -
A couple of years ago, I did some 'limited' experimenting with the L1 Compact and my NS-WAV4 bass at the St. Louis GC. At the time, I didn't feel it warranted replacing my AI Contra amp, and still today, I wouldn't use the L1 Compact in place of my AI Contra, given the choice.
Here's a link to my initial thoughts on using it with my bass.
My L1 Compact has another use, however. When not in use for speaking engagements, it's regular position is in my music room at home, with my iPod's bluegrass and acoustic music playing!
I keep one hooked up to my LCD TV, another to a Laptop & a T1.
Life is good!
Decision made...sold the M8 on eBay just now.
It cost me about $80 to try it out after eBay/Paypal fees, about 20%, and that's reasonable.
Two reasons I sold it:
1) Not enough headroom
2) M8 is not built-for-the-road
I could have bought speaker grills, but then, how to protect the switches and pots on the rear of the sub.
Just not worth, the hassle to keep the M8 safe, and the expense for the limited amount of added sub bass.
No question that the M8 is worthy for DJ uses, just not for this musician.
In my quest to cut down on gear load, I've decided to just go with the L1 Model II with a single B1 for light gigs.
That combination still offers more bass than a Compact + M8...though a bit more strain on the back.
Once again, the Compact didn't fulfill my drummer's dream, yet it still holds a place in my heart for many other reasons.
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