Weber Beam Blockers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by WhoJamFan, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. dspellman

    dspellman Member

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    Walterw's bang on; the beaming doesn't really come from the center of the speaker. The physics are the physics.

    For anyone that's interested, there's a formula that will predict at what frequency dispersion will begin narrowing significantly, and on a 12" speaker that's gonna start happening around 1300Hz. The larger the speaker, the lower the frequency at which beaming begins.

    Beam blockers work, sort of. They've been everything from X's of duct tape to old CDs over the speakers to things like the Weber that you pay for to cabinets like this THD that have blockers built in:

    [​IMG]

    The issue is not whether they work, but whether there's a better solution. Turns out there ARE better solutions, and one was designed by an audio engineer (the rest of these beam blockers are just manufactured copies of the old "X" of duct tape, essentially). Beam blockers as we know them do strange and unwonderful things to the overall frequency response. The foam donuts work. Period. Without screwing with the sound overall. I will guarantee that anyone extolling the virtues of one of the various non-foam-donut beam blockers has never A/B'd the two. Though now I'm betting we'll get a few posters who will claim otherwise <G>. The real problem is that (far as I'm aware) you simply can't buy the foam donuts anywhere, while you can try the various beam blockers (both production and kludges) easily and inexpensively.
     
  2. scolfax

    scolfax Member

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    I don't know anything about foam doughnuts but I put a Weber beam blocker in my Hot Rod Deluxe and it tamed the icepick highs and didn't cost a ton. Was not "strange and unwonderful" in my experience.
     
  3. billstets

    billstets Member

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    I used to have beam blockers and dumped them long before the Jay Mitchell thread surfaced. They may have tamed the highs a little bit, but they also introduced this weird almost muddy sound, like the notes were smeared. I believe this is the phase issue that has been discussed. I will never go back to them.
     
  4. 6789

    6789 Member

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    I've tried Beam Blockers and Foam. Has anyone else tried both?
     
  5. 6789

    6789 Member

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    But have you ever tried Beam Blockers? Did it lessen the Beam for you?
     
  6. tele_jas

    tele_jas Member

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    I used them in one of my Dr. Z amps a few years ago.. I got them to disperse the "beam" from killing the audience (and sound man). When I got them, they did the job GREAT! The Sound man even said "you can turn up if you want"!?!?... But they increased my stage volume significantly, and not just for me - my whole band was now asking me to turn down. I was far stage right and the other guitarist, far stage left, was asking me to turn down.

    I ended up taking out the BB's and started using a plexi-glass shield and have never looked back.
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    read some of the pertinent thread;

    the treble doesn't emanate "perpendicular" from a given spot, it emanates in all directions from the whole speaker.

    the beam is created by the whole speaker, including the part that isn't blocked by the thing in the middle, but only when all of the speaker is the same distance from your ears, i.e., when you're directly in front of it.

    the blockers cause some phase smearing stuff that can reduce the treble a bit.
     
  8. 6789

    6789 Member

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  9. Prairie Dawg

    Prairie Dawg Member

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    Ooh. I now have a headache. That was painful.
     
  10. pula58

    pula58 Silver Supporting Member

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    great comparison demo tedzepplin!
     
  11. rhythmrocker

    rhythmrocker 1966 Battle of the Bands Silver Supporting Member

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    Too bad it wasn't recorded in 3D and
    too bad we weren't there to hear it live and
    too bad we are only hearing what the mic picked up, albeit badly,

    I thought you had more sense than this man, comeon.

    I used to use Weber beam blockers - now foam baby.
     
  12. 6789

    6789 Member

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  13. BEACHBUM

    BEACHBUM Member

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    I tried what SRV used to do and it works. All you need is some duct tape and the insensitivity to not care what it looks like.
     
  14. Norjef

    Norjef Member

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    Used to use BeamBlockers - soundmen way downwind still whined about "death-ray".
    Then I tried foam on same cabs, amps (and bands) - no more whinin - really....and cheap !! Simply makes off and on axis tone more consistent and predictable.
     
  15. WhoJamFan

    WhoJamFan Supporting Member

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    Science? Like Solid state amps sound better than tubes, and replacing everything on your guitar with brass will give you way more tone and sustain, and up until recently, that wireless units sound better than cables? You want to talk about how things can't be so because of science, well, I'd rather just ACTUALLY play things live with a band in the ever changing situation of different venues sonic properties and make a decision based on real world experience.

    I find something that works for me and I share that on a public forum and all of the sudden I believe in fairies and convince myself I'm hearing something I'm not?-wow-like I'm gonna go hang myself now-haha. So all of us who use them are wrong?

    Horsefeathers!

    The issue isn't are the claims scientifically provable verbatim and to your interpretation of them, the issue and topic is simply do they or don't they make an ice pick speaker situation diminish to the point of making it worth it to employ them. "Does anybody use them?" The answer to that has been yes, although others have found different means to achieve their desired result, or disliked the byproduct of it to remove them. This was a thread about folks who have actually tried them and use them, not a slam session on Weber and the people who use their products. If you have indeed tried them, then you have an opinion, if you have not tried them, than your answer has no value in a discussion that asks if anybody is using them. If you have a problem with what a product is advertized to do, and the scientific improbabilities of it, than start your own thread about that and go to town. Everytime a thread about these comes up it's always the reference to the guy with the foam discs and the rocket scientists going ballistic over the nuts and bolts of it, but what you rarely get is some actual information about how it sounds and does it work.

    Getting nit picky is really kind of fruitless in an industry where things are commonly called something they are actually not. This is widely accepted-like Tremolo on a guitar is actually a manual vibrato unit, and a treble bleed circuit in a Tele is actually a treble bypass, and the coil tap was actually a single coil that had lead wires that allowed you to "tap" into the pickup in various places to get more sounds out of it, not a wire that grounded out 1 coil of a humbucker to give it a single coil sound. I could go on but I think we get the picture here.

    So, when Ted Weber came out with the Beam Blocker, is was something for people who had that beam of death speaker to use to combat the situation. I don't think he was trying claim he had a magical device that defies the laws of physics and science. He probably looked at an old Jennings VOXAC30 combo and saw the wood come down in front of the cone like a BB does, and went from there. Who knows, but to say Ted Weber didn't know anything about speakers is about as ignorant as saying Vox didn't know anything about electric guitar amplifiers.

    While these are not for everybody, plenty of people like them and use them. I for one, am happy with how I sound all over the stage, through the monitors and mains, and when it gets recorded live by someone in the audience. I just played an outdoor hotrod and chopper show a few hours ago and was happy with my sound. Didn't need a slide rule, table of elements, or a persniketty professor to make sure all my electrons were lined up in a row.

    Great video TEDZEPPELIN, now folks have something signifigantly to go on when dealing with the death beam issue.
     
  16. hywelg

    hywelg Member

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    Jay Mitchell donuts do exactly what he says and proved they do. I tried them and they work. They are very cheap to implement.

    What it boils down to is whether, when you eq your amp on stage you stand in the beam and like that sound. IF you are used to standing above and/or off to the side and you eq it standing at that position then the beam may well be a problem for the audience.

    Tedzepelins test is not representative of the situation outlined above, where the guitarist is above or off to the side of the beam. His video does indicate a loss of highs, which is exactly what Jay Mitchell says will happen, the foam has killed the beam. Indeed you get a small drop off of high end off axis (again Jay Mitchell states this will happen) as well, but you do know that it is consistent over the whole spread of the sound so you can re-eq the amp standing wherever you like and know its what everyone else is hearing also. To my ears both the cd and the beam blocker had an unwelcome effect on the lows. Duct tape was marginally better, ¾" foam was too much ½" foam was the best of the bunch. Of course what we can't hear is how horrible the actual live sound was on axis. It might have been OK but I have been to enough gigs to know that when its horrible you have to move somewhere else. The Peter Greier Video is a better illustration of the effect, though I would like to have heard what the effect was like stood above the amp like the player.

    Now I haven't a/b'd these foam donuts with a Weber BB, but I have talked to other guitarists (pros with way better ears then me) who tried WBB's and didn't like the effects. I am simply relating my experience with the JM Donuts, which I have in all my speaker cabs and have put into some of my mates cabs as well.

    So, all the people who have been posting about the donuts and have been accused of derailing the thread, you are right to do so. They are telling those minded to buy Weber beam blockers that there is a better, cheaper way of reducing the beam effect. Perfectly legitimate IMO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  17. 6789

    6789 Member

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    That's part of the problem. Some people are overly confident that something they have never tried cannot work.
     
  18. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    :rimshot


    Despite all the cautionary tales of old, no one has ever sailed off the edge of the world.
     
  19. Rockerduck

    Rockerduck Member

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    duct tape still works for me. I don't care what other musicians think. I care what the audience thinks, and the guy paying me. Beam Blockers work, cd's work, donuts work. To be clear, I use the amps provided me at shows, and monitors. I carry duct tape and cut a piece off and put it there myself. 40 yrs. and still works.
     
  20. Stu Blue

    Stu Blue Member

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    Science is science... be careful or you'll wind up in magic mojo land. You ( and many others) fail to distinguish between overall tone and directivity. Anything you put in front of a speaker (including the cloth) will change the tone thru various phase cancellations... but that doesn't change the directivity of the speaker... the shorter frequencies will still appear to be louder in a narrow beam as you move across the axis. All frequencies are radiated by all part of the cone.... as you move off axis, there is a different distance from one edge of the cone compared to the other so the same frequencies arrive at different times (out of phase) and cancel each other out... so you get less treble off axis.

    EDIT: Jay Mitchells' doughnut does cut the treble, but it reduces the treble from the edge and the hole in the centre acts as a virtual small speaker speading the higher frequencies more evenly. It is the ONLY device available that also changes the DIRECTIVITY of the speaker to a more even spread... everything else merely cuts the top which fools many people into believing the directivity has changed when it hasn't. The frequency that beams is entirely determined by size of the cone... all 12 inch speakers beam equally, they just vary in tone NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK YOU HEAR. This can/has been measured... so don't argue about it... learn something instead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012

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