Replacing 15" Speakers

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by basskidd, Dec 22, 2013.


  1. basskidd

    basskidd

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    I bought an old 2x15 Hartke cab a few years back (old meaning from the mid 90's lol) and accidentally blew the speakers a few weeks ago. I'm looking for some replacements for them (ye olde gc was absolutely no help with recommendations / advice)
    I was also looking to bring up the power rating from 300 watts (where it was) to 500 watts. was hoping someone could help me out with understanding whether bringing that up will have to do with the way I wire it, or if its inherent in the speakers that are installed?

    What are your thoughts about speakers??? Ever replace speakers in a cab? What brands do you like?

    Looking for something that won't cost all that much, though I do understand that you get what you pay for. Just not trying to lay down $500 on a set of speakers... don't have the cash for that just yet :p haha
     
  2. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    More important than budget is the dimensions and porting of the cab. But if you give up all three someone will tell you what is what.
     
  3. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    Zoiks, having just spent a few days myself looking for low cost speakers that are well suited for a bass cab, I think you're up against a wall for two.

    As Downunder said, dimensions of the cab will tell us the cubic feet you have, from which we can see what speakers will sing (and what speakers will fart) in that box. Undoubtedly, you'll either need to adjust the porting or convert to a sealed cab to get it right (if it's ported to begin with).
     
  4. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

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    There are people here who can help, but they will need more information.

    1) the internal volume (or dimensions) of the cab and dimensions (or description) of any bass ports.
    2) your current amplifier.
    3) what caused the stock Hartke drivers to blow.
    4) size of venues played.
    5) how loud is the band.
    6) what genres do you play
    7) how would you characterize your tone (or the tone you are trying to get), or give us your typical tone control settings (boosted or cut bass, mids, treble)

    The more of this we know the better we can help. If this all seems just too techie and overwhelming, just tell us something like 'enough already! I just want drivers that will handle 500w and fit in my cab'. We know we are bass geeks and won't be offended.
     
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  6. headband

    headband Supporting Member

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    But to answer one your questions - the wattage is inherent in the speaker design, a 100 watt speaker is a 100 watt speaker. 2 100 watt speakers can handle up to 200 watts. If both of your speakers have the same impedance then power will be evenly distributed between them, whether wired in series or parallel.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    If you don't get Hartke speakers, you might want to try the Eminence Beta or Delta 15a's. They work in a lot of different cabs.
     
  8. basskidd

    basskidd

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    Awesome, thanks man!

    And to answer a few of the questions...

    1) Not really sure about the internal volume, I'm back home for the holidays and don't have the cab with me... If it helps though, it's a Hartke 215 XL: http://www.samsontech.com/hartke/products/cabinets/xl-cabinets/215xl/

    2) I'm gonna be running through an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500, and was going to bi-amp through my other cab; an Aguilar GS 212.

    3) Not exactly sure what caused the stock drivers to blow, there were honestly a few things it could have been... From being on the road (in a hot and humid trailer), being a little bit over-powered by the head, being that they're slightly aged and have seen some wear, that I bought them pretty close to the coast in NC (not sure if the salty air would have done something)

    4) Size of venues I play varies from small clubs to outdoor festivals

    5) The band is loud. Very loud. A bit loud for my taste, but I try to keep up :p haha I've actually had sound guys come up to me during a set break or after the show and talk about how they have no idea how to mix the guitarist (he's the band leader) because he's just too damn loud.

    6) I play a lot of blues, rock, funk, and a little bit of jazz

    7) is a tough question... I like to boost the high mids as well as the bass (generally) but what I pride myself on is that I change my tone for pretty much every tune. It's.... versatile. Yeah, that's the word. haha

    Thanks :)
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I think #5 answered #3 ;)
     
  10. basskidd

    basskidd

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    haha... yeah, probably had something to do with it...
     
  11. headband

    headband Supporting Member

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    In what way did the speakers fail? No sound at all? Rubbing voice coil? Tear in the materials?
     
  12. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

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    Good enough info. You have a couple of good choices.

    First, maybe contact Hartke about replacement drivers. They might be within your budget, and of course they would 'work'.

    Second, choose a replacement driver. The trick is going to be to find a driver that meets your playing needs and your budget. You have about 3.3 cf per driver, which is plenty for some nice, affordable bass drivers. If you liked the Hartke drivers then you'll probably want drivers with a bit of extra energy above 1 kHz. Take a look at the Eminence Kappa 15 LFA ($140 each). Plenty of power handling, very good (if not super driver) Xmax, and ts parameters that will allow usefully audible response to around 50Hz (probably equal or better than the Hartke's) in your cab. 40Hz with a little EQ. Fs of 43Hz. Your cab has 4 ports. We will need their ID and length. It may work just fine as-is.

    The Dayton PA380-8 ($76 each) will provide similar bass performance (to the kappa 15LFA) tuned in the 40-47Hz range. Less power handling and about 2db less sensitive, but two of them will comfortably meet your needs (excursion limited to well over 500W pwr handling for the cab).

    If you are willing to sacrifice some deep bass, the Eminence Gamma 15A ($85 each), tuned in the 40-50 Hz range will provide the same sensitivity as the Kappa, but the pair will be excursion limited to as little as 260w between 60 and 90 Hz. seems like a real compromise, but many commercial offerings do no better.
     
  13. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    The wiring (series or parallel) will change the total impedance of the cab, which will change how many watts your amp can provide (assuming a SS amp), but, as headband says, the watts of the cab will be the watts of the two speakers added together - regardless of how they are wired.

    So, assuming you have two identical speakers, the cab will either be double the impedance of one speaker (if wired series), or 1/2 the impedance of one speaker (if wired parallel), but ALWAYS double the wattage of one speaker.
     
  14. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

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    All 3 of the drivers I mentioned are nominal 8 ohm impedance, so you would wire a pair of them in parallel to get a 4 ohm cab. Solder all internal connections. Use at least 16 ga wire, making separate runs to each driver.
     
  15. basskidd

    basskidd

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    I'm not sure why I didn't think of this sooner... I was just leafing through the latest Carvin catalogue and saw they have speakers in the back... Anyone had any experience with the TS15 or the PS15?
     
  16. Remus_Redbone

    Remus_Redbone

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    I've run a Carvin PS15 for a few years. They are decent speakers, although I seriously doubt the 600W rating. I almost always ran it with another cabinet & only a 500W amp. I have a 4 ohm version. Carvin made some change to their speaker line a few years ago because my PS15 is a cast aluminum frame unit rated 600W, and now a PS15 looks like a stamped frame unit. I guess my older PS15 is more like the current TS15

    I recently bought an Eminence Legend 15-8 ohm that seems to blow the Carvin away in every aspect with the exception of high end. Two of the Legends should bring your Hartke cabinet alive. I have mine in a 2.37 cu. ft. older Ampeg flip top cabinet tuned to 48-50 Hz range and it sounds great. It was $129 in Sept 2013. 300W rating.
     
  17. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    Out of curiosity, what amp were you running the cab with when it blew? What was the volume on the amp set to, and was the bass boosted on either the amp or your guitar? Lastly, where was the cab positioned in relation to you: at your knees, or at an angle you could hear it?

    On a budget, you're at a crossroads between sensitivity and excursion for replacement drivers, and I'm still scratching my head on how you blew the first cab. Would hate for you to murder a second set of speakers because the root cause hadn't been identified:
    1. Underpowered amp overdriven into clipping, warping voice coil with DC voltage?
    2. An adequate amp with the low frequencies cranked higher than the speakers can handle, causing mechanical damage?
    3. A very powerful amp cranked higher than the Ampeg cab could handle because you had it pointing at your knees and couldn't hear it?

    One thing you might want to consider is buying a louder cabinet on the used market, like a 410 or even an 810 depending on how loud the band is and how the cab blew in the first place.

    Just some food for thought.

    *** Edit *****
    If it's an old, old cab, are the surrounds rotted? If so, you didn't blow them, it just expired. As a teen, I inherited a classic pair of AR speakers from the 60's. They lasted about 2 months at relatively low volume before the surrounds of the woofers started crumbling because they had become brittle.
     
  18. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

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    No such thing as "underpowering".

    Clipping/distortion does NOT send DC voltage and kill speakers.

    A lower powered amp run into clipping can put out twice it's power rating - therefore killing the speakers with too much power.
     
  19. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    A well designed amp has a clip protection built in. But we don't know what he was running, and some amps are not designed as well as others.

    A solid state amp without proper clip protection circuitry will flat line the peaks. I've measured it on an oscilloscope.
     
  20. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    But on that topic, was the OP running with compression set to full, or no compression? Again, all the difference between thermal and mechanical damage as the root cause, with two different solutions as far as type of replacement drivers.

    Just like cowbells, the only surefire solution to all the possibilities is MORE SPEAKERS! Find a used fridge and never worry again! :bag:
     
  21. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

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    They have clip protection (warning lights), but most amps do NOT have a limiter.
     

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