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Upgrading a speaker

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Martin89, Dec 28, 2013.


  1. Martin89

    Martin89

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
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    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    I have a bass cabinet I have very little money into and was thinking about upgrading the speaker. What kind of specs do I need to look into to make sure it's a proper replacement/upgrade?

    Specific Details:
    Cab-Acoustic B115
    Dimensions-24"x25"x16"
    Sealed w/ horn 8 ohms

    Speaker considering using:
    Celestion BN15-400S 8 ohm

    The only thing I know is Avatar has a cab like this but it has a little more volume than mine and has an open slot front port too and no horn. How do I know it would be ok?
    Specs page for it:
    speaker-http://celestion.com/product/34/bn15400s/

    Has anybody else used this speaker in a similarly sized sealed cab? Thanks for any input.
     
  2. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
  3. Martin89

    Martin89

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    ^but how do I know it will sound better?

    I mean other than it not being stock/cheap/Chinese? And that's a good price, the one I was originally looking at was about $140. I'm just looking at something to maybe hold me off from another cab for a year or so.

    EDIT:isn't that also a PA speaker? Wouldn't one suited for bass be better? or would the PA speaker be more transparent?
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The Beta and Delta 15a are Eminence's go-to speakers for traditional style bass cabs. A lot of folks use them in their vintage Ampeg and Fender cabs. The PA designation means nothing other than it can be used for a PA cab as well.
     
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  6. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    Nov 21, 2008
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    Just about anything sounds better than Celestion bass speakers IME, with an Xmax of 2.5mm that is really not suited for bass guitar use. The Eminence is minimal at 4.0mm for bass guitar.
    Pro PA speakers are often used for bass cabs. I didn't mention the Delta as it's Xmax is only slightly better at 2.7mm and actually wants a smaller sealed box.
     
  7. Martin89

    Martin89

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    Thanks, Jimmy.

    Will there be more clarity? Sometimes it sounds very muddy regardless of EQ. It sounds very "traditional"/boomy a lot of the times.
     
  8. Martin89

    Martin89

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    Thanks, I really don't know much about it and have never done it before. Just trying to do a cheap upgrade that will keep me from diving into Avatar or fEARFUL territory a little longer.
     
  9. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    So long as the mud isn't coming from the amp head the Eminence should sound much clearer and far outlast the stock speaker. It will most likely be louder with the same amp power as a bonus. If it sounds "boxy" add some stuffing to the cab. You will be able to drive it harder before reaching power compression.
     
  10. Martin89

    Martin89

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    Thanks! the stock is only rated at 250, what do you use as stuffing? It's definitely not the head, I've ran it through other cabs and even just straight DI. I thought it was just that I didn't like 115s but spending $80 on a speaker is really nothing to improve sound compared to getting another cab...
     
  11. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    For a sealed cab Poly-fill works well, cheap and not heavy like mattress toppers can be. A crafts store or Walmart has it in the fabric section for quilts/pillows/upholstery. :)
     
  12. Martin89

    Martin89

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    Ok, think I've seen my oldest sister use that stuff before for some of her projects(she probably has some left over!). Also, cool to see you're from AZ too.
     
  13. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes I noticed you are in Glendale. If you ever visit the old London Bridge over here drop me a note!
     
  14. Martin89

    Martin89

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    Definitely. Haven't been out there in years... Do they have any good gigs/festivals for spring break? lol Not that I have a spring break but I know that's kinda the busy season at the lake haha.
     
  15. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    Haven't seen any festivals scheduled during spring break lately but the venues are hiring more live bands again. Pay got sucked down by one local band that has since split up (thanks wankers) ;)
     
  16. Martin89

    Martin89

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    That's good to hear. Playing at a new venue in Peoria next month so things are good over here too. Pay here seems to be nothing compared to everywhere else but it's fun.

    To keep this on topic, is there anything I need to worry about swapping speaker and not horn? I know what they do but not how they interact with each other
     
  17. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    After you remove the screws from the old speaker it could be stuck on the paint so use a putty knife or dull butter knife to pop it loose. Nothing to do with the horn. Even if it is not a piezo element horn, production cabs very rarely run the woofer through a crossover and you're keeping the impedance the same on the woofer anyway.
    Whatever color wire is attached to the red dot or + on the old speaker make sure that color wire goes to the same on the new one.
     
  18. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    Good advice steering him away from the Celestion BN15 with no Xmax and towards the low cost Beta 15.

    My only concern is the OP's comment about boominess.

    The Beta 15 in a sealed 4.5 cu ft cabinet will have a Qtc of 1.1, which I personally would consider on the boomy side, but I'm in the camp that prefers the hi-fi sounding cabs. Many folks don't, and prefer the higher Qtc with a warmer tone and bass gain (in this case between 70 and 110 Hz).

    Unfortunately, it's somewhat subjective based on taste.

    I like the way Parts Express has "OPTIMUM CABINET SIZE" listed under each of its speakers. The sizes don't necessarily match what I calculate for my personal taste, but they're good ballparks to estimate how a speaker will react with a cabinet. The general rule of thumb is that the more you squeeze a speaker into a smaller cabinet, the more upper bass gain you get (warmer tone) at the cost of less precision.

    If you're concerned at all about muddiness, choose a speaker that is a closer match for your cabinet size (4.5 cu ft).
     
  19. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together Supporting Member

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    I lived in Phoenix for many a year. I only got out to old London Bridge once, but my memory is kind of a blur as it was part of a Havasu trip. Is Spring Break still crazy?
     
  20. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    I figured 3/4" MDF or OSB and a minimum setback on the baffle to give an interior volume of about 3.5 cu ft from the exterior dims. Still a little large but that is what happens when trying to fit a speaker to an existing box. Adding some bracing could reduce interior volume more if need be.
     
  21. B-string

    B-string Gold Supporting Member

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    Not as crazy as it used to be, snowbirds standing on the banks with binoculars so they can complain to the city council have tamed things a bit ;)
     

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