Spraker Cabinets - Ported Vs Sealed

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Aussie Player, Dec 25, 2013.


  1. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    I was reading a lot of the opinion and conjecture in the String Forum when it struck me that I notice a bigger impact on my sound when changing cabs.
    I have 4 at the moment, concidently, 2 are sealed and 2 are Ported. They consist of 2x10, 2x15, 4x10 and 4x12. Also have owned a lot more over the decades including 4x15, 2x12, 8x10, 1x15 double stacked 8x12 and double stacked 4x12's plus anything else I forgot.
    If I had to pick which had the most punch and articulated bottom end I would say the sealed cabs have it.
    I have 10 basses and find this consistent across the range which extends from accoustic bass to semi accoustic, P to J through to 5er's in both passive and active.
    Anyone else find the same thing?
  2. scf4003

    scf4003

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    I'm thinking about changing the speakers out on my sealed Orange PPC4X12 guitar cabinet to Eminence bass speakers for this reason. It sounds great playing bass through it with guitar speakers but I'm sure in the long run, it will kill them. I'm looking forward to the replies you get to this question. I prefer sealed cabs, seems like a tighter low end punch rather than a "bloom".
  3. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    East Central Wisconsin
    I re-purposed a pair of one 12 old PV pa cabinets, with a 12" and a 6.5" mid crossed at 800Hz. I ran the cabinets sealed for a gig or two, and while they sounded great where I stood, they did not fill the room when I wasn't in the PA which for us is most of the time.

    I experimented with the porting, with one ported (the bottom cabinet) and one sealed, and then with the size of the ports.

    Ported, the room fills. I play 5 string, and in our 3 piece, using no PA support for instruments except kick in most places we play, I need the extension of a ported cabinet.
  4. scf4003

    scf4003

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Good point about the ported cab filling the room Steve
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  6. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    But Marshall VBA into a sealed VBC cab will fill the room and impress the other bass players who ask to play through it. Also gave me a chance to stand back and listen.
  7. scf4003

    scf4003

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Sometimes people come up to me and tell me I "fill" the room way too much and need to turn down, so maybe a sealed cab is the best way to go for me.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Most of my cabs are sealed, but my B-15 cabs are ported and they're awesome, too. I know Johnny A from Staind used to say on here how he hated ported cabs. Me, I tend to look at the overall picture rather than the design. Some ported cabs are great, some sealed cabs are, too.
  9. Sartori

    Sartori

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    It depends on the specific design more than ported or non-ported.

    The Sunn 2000S cab and the Ampeg SVT-410HLF are both ported. I love the 2000S cab but detest the 410HLF.

    I also really like the Ampeg 810E, which is sealed.

    There's a lot more to cab design than simply ports or lack thereof.
  10. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Its much harder to design a good ported cabinet vs. sealed.

    I learned this from years of building hi-fi speakers but subbing in different speakers in my ported bass cabinets, and hi-fi...lately a lot of home subwoofers too.

    Ported designs can be smaller and more efficient overall.
  11. vegedge

    vegedge

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    i play a ampeg v2 that is massive 4x12 and ported. i have herd i should block it off and make it sealed.

    what would this do?
  12. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Disclosures:
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If a cab and its speakers are designed to be happy vented, blocking the vents probably won't do you any favours, almost certainly not any that eqing out some lows wouldn't do better. But many cabs have the wrong speakers bodged in, then it all depends on the speakers.
  13. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    I still can't find a "Spraker Cabinet" :) :bag:
  14. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Location:
    North Cackalacky
    I have modified several crappy ported speakers by sealing the ports, especially boomy designs that have a very high mid-pass peak. It worked well with PA speakers from MCM a friend bought, and also worked with a pair of cheap bookshelf speakers I inherited. Sealing the ports will trim that midbass peak down and extend the low end at the cost of efficiency. But sealing the ports on a well designed ported speaker will just emasculate it and make the bass anemic. Of course, a well designed ported speaker wouldn't tempt anyone to block the ports, now would it?

    I'm with the consensus: if a design is done right, then it doesn't matter as much if it's sealed or ported. On the flip side, ported designs get a bad rap because there are so many crappy designs out there that have no low end and try to sell off the shelf by a huge, sloppy boost in the midbass.

    The major advantage of a well designed ported speaker is about twice the efficiency of a sealed cab, as well as a lower -3dB.

    The major advantage of a well designed sealed speaker is a much slower rolloff of low frequencies below the -3dB point, as well as better mechanical control at very low frequencies.
  15. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune Only immortal for a limited time Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Preston, Idaho
    Disclosures:
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    The part of the equation that is usually out of your control is the room itself. Some rooms are inherently so boomy or muddy that being able to temporarily either lower the tuning frequency (to what would be well below optimum under normal circumstances), or seal the ports altogether, can help you get through the gig.
  16. pie_man_25

    pie_man_25

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    Windsor, ON.
    +1 to this. I had designed and build a small pair of bookshelf speakers, it's a ported design, and I had to do a lot of math, double and triple checking it to make sure I didn't fudge anything, and then calculating the volume of the ports, the speakers, and bracing. In the end, it added a great deal more math with the ports and port volumes and port tunings involved and complicated the design process, but I wanted it done right. Not everybody producing anything goes to this level. With a sealed cabinet the matter is much more simple and there's more wiggle room. Just find the volume optimal for the speaker, given some compromises, calculate the size of the cabinet required for that volume given the volume of the speaker and bracing, and then stuff as required.
  17. DavidEdenAria

    DavidEdenAria

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Frank Zappa used a parametric EQ playing live to identify the offending frequency (or frequencies).

    I always used a simple round tube in port designs on hi-fi with 3 or 4 inch PVC pipe......really easy to tune the port just by sliding the port in or out of the cabinet....doesn't matter how much sticks out of the cabinet.

    Once the port is tuned, you just cutoff the appropriate amount of pipe to make it flush.

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