Beam Blockers/Tape on Grill Cloth - myth or truth-ish?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by DannyStereo, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hello all,

    I’m toying with the idea of going the ol’ SRV Route and adding some tape in an X pattern in front of my speakers as illustrated below (I used painters tape to illustrate on my Dr. Z 2x10 cab as I’m not sure I’m wanting to move forward with this plan).
    IMG_0502.JPG IMG_0501.JPG

    This was originally an open back can, but we added a removable ‘cover’ to make it a convertible cab (I generally prefer closed back cabs). Stock Z labeled 10s which sound great but can be a little hard one the top end.

    I’m wondering if adding duct/gaffer tape will diffuse some high end and disperse an more even tone. I trust you guys, so enlighten me! Am I wasting my time? Was Stevie onto something?

    Discuss.
     
  2. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Danny - my take is that tape-on-grillclothes is for mic placement guiding; nothing to do with diffusing anything

    I would concede, by my own trials; that putting DIRECTLY ON THE SPEAKER (attached to its front) some kind of X pattern solid bracing will help a bit in diffusing highs

    But so far off, on the grill clothe, two strips of thin plastic will do absolutely nothing
     
  3. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    There was a thread on TGP a few weeks ago asking why SRV had big tape X's on his amps. Beam blocking was the answer most gave.

    I've never tried it and usually when I get an amp or cabinet that's too bright, I try different speakers first... Simple and cheap never occur to me first! LOL

    Id' say give it a try with the painter's tape and if that works, and you want a more permanent solution, gaffer's tape.... Or take some sharpie to your painter's tape?
     
  4. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    A couple questions:

    1- Where are you playing?
    2- Have you not been able to adjust your rig to reduce your high end (if it's a problem)?
    3- Do you like the sound of your setup?
     
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  5. Mutato

    Mutato Tele-Meister

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    Two uses for tape on grill. Usually if you see and “L” shape it’s for guiding mic placement. Probably for a regular gigging amp owner. As for the “X” shape? Yes that is for taking down some of the harsh highs that come from the center of the cone. If you have brighter amp or speakers and you like treble up sometimes that center area can be harsh. Instead of marring your front grill up you can try some foam and double stick tape and place on inside of grill. I did that on my Princeton Reverb and it did pull down that center harshness. I did it mainly to not punish the audience!
     
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  6. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tried a beam blocker on a Vox VT20+ amp, with an 8" speaker. While there may have been a little effect, it wasn't enough to really solve the "brightness". I ended up selling the amp anyway, as it just wasn't what I liked. Ended up replacing it with a Vox Pathfinder 15R as an 8" speaker practice amp... no problem with it.
     
  7. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    AFAIK X’s are used for beam blocking, and L’s for mic placement. It’s not exactly an elegant solution though.

    I haven’t had trouble with beaminess using vertical 2x10 cabs, so I haven’t tried it myself.
     
  8. DannyStereo

    DannyStereo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I play primarily at church, but this cab gets used mostly at home or smaller churches/events. I can tone down the amps or turn down the treble, but they lose a little bite that way and each amp is different with this cab. I was hoping that a beam blocker solution would allow some consistency between each head.
     
  9. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

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    I’ve tried both, and the Weber Beam Blocker does a lot more. It doesn’t just block the on-axis beam, and doesn’t darken the sound as much.

    I still hear all the angelic harmonics coming off my 5E3, they’re just better integrated with the rest of the sound. I know that sounds like stereo salesman snake oil, but it’s the only way I know to describe what I hear...

    I’m not normally a big vintage Jensen guy, but I love, love, love what the beam blocker did to finish off that build.
     
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  10. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

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    Rick Fass uses some imprecise technical language, and clouds the issue by changing out other components at the same time.

    Still, if you listen to the before and after sections, you can clearly hear that while there’s still some loss of treble when you get too far off-axis, the sweet spot is much wider with the Beam Blocker.

    You don’t have to buy it from Weber (although why not reward the family’s innovation by buying the original?), but you do need a speaker dust cover as the blocking element; the dome shape facing the driver is what makes the difference, preserving more top end and improving the dispersion.
     
  11. Les H

    Les H Tele-Holic

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    I use to use duct tape on my twin reverb grill cloth but only during a gig, didn't want the adhesive to become permanently stuck on the cloth. Tried to diffuse the treble that I couldn't dial out with the stock Jensen speakers. Eventually swapped out the speakers and eliminated the duct tape.
     
  12. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    "Doctor, doctor, when I stick this pencil in my ear, it HURTS!"
    "Well, you could wrap some tape around the pencil before jamming it in..."

    Or, you could move the amp a couple inches.
    Or, try adding in some more of the radiation coming from the back of the speakers, as some of that will be out-of-phase and that cuts some harsh high end as well.
    The tape looks great if you're in a punk band, maybe not so much a jazz trio LOL.
     
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  13. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Holic

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  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    There's also the Herkimer Donut...the Kloppenheimer Donut...I can't remember whose donut it is, but many swear it kicks butt on the Weber- style beam blocker
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  15. gentlyweeping

    gentlyweeping Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  17. Wyatt

    Wyatt Tele-Afflicted

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    The key word is "beam." The high-end coming from the center is very directional (it is harnessed for isolated sound areas in amusement park rides, museum exhibits and art installation). If a player is standing off to the side and the speaker is too bright, a beam blocker won't help, it's purpose is to avoid the ice-pick in the ear syndrome for whoever's head is in the path of that beam.
     
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  18. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yes duct tape has been used as beam blockers for decades. How well it works is debatable. But manufacturers like Hammond have used rigid metal beam blockers for many decades also.
    BTW: I had a pair of Z 10's a few years back. But to me they were too warm on the top end. Are you sure it's the speakers?
     
  19. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    From my experience, which may come down to confirmation bias, I'd rate it as truth-ish.
     
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