TalkBass Forums My theory why a 15xinch speaker cab is theoretically better than 2x10's.

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#1
12-27-2010, 04:09 PM
 Kneel before Zod. Join Date: May 2010 Location: Los Angeles, CA
My theory why a 15xinch speaker cab is theoretically better than 2x10's.

I'm sure this will meet some resistance and be revealed to be flawed, but I am curious to hear some opinions...

Part A - Size:

In my years working in audio, many consumers always referred to speaker size and they type of sound, as well as volume those speaker can create. Well, we all know that speakers have different resistance and build materials etc...so for purposes of this argument, we are only considering size for now and all other things should be considered equal. For the dumbed down consumer, the fixation always seemed to be about size. (Cue in chick jokes here...)

All kidding aside, I can't tell you how many times I heard, that a 10 inch speaker is "only 2 inches" bigger than an 8 and so on...

I wonder if there are any TB'ers who have thought the same way. In any event, take the following numbers:

Surface area of a 15" - 176.715 Inches

Surface area of a 10" - 78.53981633974483 Inches

Surface area of 2x10's - 157.0796 Inches

In this example, 1x15 exceed the surface area of the 2x10's, by about 19 sq inches. As you add more inches to a speakers radius, the surface area becomes exponentially bigger. A single 15 is 225% bigger than a 1x10.

Conclusion: A single 15 emits more sound than 2x10's combined, assuming the power running to both cabinets is the same.

In addition, the "flashlight" pattern projection of sound, should have a much wider "cone" and "throw" than 2x10's. In terms of the distance the sound is thrown, they should be equal also.

Part B: Other arguments:

No standing waves: There is a loss of sound when the sound waves of the same frequencies meet each other. Using the flashlight cone projection pattern of each speakers sound, there is a large meeting area in the middle from 2x10's, which theoretically should be a dead space. On a 4x10 cab, there should be a very large dead space area, albeit a wider throw. With 1x15, there are no standing waves created.

Equipment Consistency: Over time, a cab with 2x10's I believe will have a tendency to change sounds over a single 1x15. Even with a minor calibration difference or tiny, minor change, be it from manufacturing process or whatnot will make the 2 speakers sound different. If this happened to a single 15, at least the sound created would be consistent.

Air Moved: As bass players, we move air. Quite simply, a 1x15 moves more air than 2x10's and increase the thump/sound we make.

2x10's may be able to create more VOLUME, because they may handle more power as there are 2 speakers, but that does not mean more SOUND. Of course there are mitigating factors there. The 10's size also makes smaller cabines possible... For tone considerations, 10's might be slightly more responsive because it does not take as much power to move their magnets and may have a more midrangy tone, and if that's what you want, that's fine.

I also realize that there might be a potential dropoff in performance at certain volume levels, where multiple speakers will outperform 1, but don't have data that I could find or support to tackle this issue.

This had been on my mind for a little while and I'm feeling that as long as you love the tone that comes from a 1x15, I see no reason to ever want a cabinet with 2x10's.

OK there is my mini thesis, have at it.

Last edited by tastybasslines : 12-27-2010 at 04:15 PM.
#2
12-27-2010, 04:12 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: glasgow (on the 16 bus)
i agree with you
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#3
12-27-2010, 04:12 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: Elk River, MN.
Sounds good to me. But then I don't know much about speakers, I just like 15's
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#4
12-27-2010, 04:13 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Oct 2009
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tastybasslines area = PI * (radius) * (radius) Surface area of a 15" - 176.715 Inches Surface area of a 10" - 78.53981633974483 Inches Surface area of 2x10's - 157.0796 Inches In this example, 1x15 exceed the surface area of the 2x10's, by about 19 sq feet.

I think you meant 19 sq-in (not feet). Good comparison all-in-all!!!!
#5
12-27-2010, 04:16 PM
 Registered User Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, EMG, Coffin Case, Maxon Join Date: Jun 2005 Location: las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
i know its only a theory... but when it comes down to it... i dont think you can just compare a "115" and "210" because you really cant even compare a 115 - 115 blindly like that.

all it comes down to is how well the box is tuned for the driver(s).

you can have a have 210 that does all that you say a "115" does and vice versa.
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#6
12-27-2010, 04:20 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: Santa Barbara, CA
I totally agree.
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#7
12-27-2010, 04:20 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Apr 2001 Location: Wausau, WI
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tastybasslines "...why a 15xinch speaker cab is theoretically better than 2x10's."
Which 15's and which 10's are you comparing?

Personally I think two oranges are better than one grapefruit, but it's just a theory.
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#8
12-27-2010, 04:23 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: Elk River, MN.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sundogue Which 15's and which 10's are you comparing? Personally I think two orange OBC115 are better than one grapefruit, but it's just a theory.
Fixed it.
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#9
12-27-2010, 04:23 PM
 Kneel before Zod. Join Date: May 2010 Location: Los Angeles, CA
I do say "all other things being equal"..

Assuming the 2 cabinets had the exact same box tuning, I think I would prefer a 1x15.

Of course there are lots of factors to point out, and you are correct in doing so, however, this is a base comparison, but I do believe speakers are still the meat and potatoes of the sound created and are a bigger factor in the overall sound...

Quote:
 Originally Posted by diechris i know its only a theory... but when it comes down to it... i dont think you can just compare a "115" and "210" because you really cant even compare a 115 - 115 blindly like that. all it comes down to is how well the box is tuned for the driver(s). you can have a have 210 that does all that you say a "115" does and vice versa.
#10
12-27-2010, 04:24 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: glasgow (on the 16 bus)
nah personally i like melons but thats just me
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#11
12-27-2010, 04:24 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Apr 2001 Location: Wausau, WI
Quote:
 Originally Posted by hdracer Fixed it.
What...you don't like the "new" isobaric Grapefruit cabs?
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#12
12-27-2010, 04:25 PM
 Kneel before Zod. Join Date: May 2010 Location: Los Angeles, CA
Nothing in specific.

Just 2 of the same speakers with different sizes.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sundogue Which 15's and which 10's are you comparing? Personally I think two oranges are better than one grapefruit, but it's just a theory.
#13
12-27-2010, 04:25 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: Elk River, MN.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Sundogue What...you don't like the "new" isobaric Grapefruit cabs?
They don't have them in 15
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#14
12-27-2010, 04:27 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: glasgow (on the 16 bus)
Quote:
 Originally Posted by hdracer They don't have them in 15
i think a isobaric 2x15 grapefruit cab would go down nicely
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 I, for one, welcome our new Janky overlord. All hail, Mcsleazy!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by kraigo McSleazy for the win!.KO
#15
12-27-2010, 04:28 PM
 Banned Join Date: Aug 2010 Location: Cohasset, Massachusetts
I agree to a point, however the discussion about which is better usually compares a 1X15 to a 4X10.

I use a 1x15 and a 4x10. Best of both worlds
#16
12-27-2010, 04:28 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Jun 2010 Location: Beaverton, Oregon USA
So in other words, a 1x18 is the best, right?

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#17
12-27-2010, 04:29 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Apr 2001 Location: Wausau, WI
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tastybasslines I do say "all other things being equal".. Assuming the 2 cabinets had the exact same box tuning, I think I would prefer a 1x15. Of course there are lots of factors to point out, and you are correct in doing so, however, this is a base comparison, but I do believe speakers are still the meat and potatoes of the sound created and are a bigger factor in the overall sound...
Well, it is difficult to say "all other things being equal" when you are comparing two drivers that not only have different sizes but also every single other parameter being different. Not to mention that regardless of cabinet tuning, their output potential and tone are still very different.

Having said that, oranges are not only sweeter than grapefruits (regardless of tuning) but far easier to peel at full volume.
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#18
12-27-2010, 04:30 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Apr 2001 Location: Wausau, WI
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tastybasslines Nothing in specific. Just 2 of the same speakers with different sizes.
You can't have two of the "same speakers" with size being the only difference. It's not possible.
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#19
12-27-2010, 04:30 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Nov 2008
I don't know about the physics but I can say that I have used the same 1x15 TL606 cabinet on a million gigs over the last 20 years and I like it pretty well. I have never played a 2x10 that I wanted to take to a rock gig.
#20
12-27-2010, 04:30 PM
 Registered User Join Date: Oct 2010 Location: Appleton
The only way to compare drivers is by using the Thiele/Small parameters with the drivers specs.
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