What specs to look for choosing a speaker?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by thebassbuilder, Mar 7, 2014.


  1. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    Just wanted to know if there is something to look for when reading speaker specs to know what kind of tone a speaker will have? I want a speaker that has a nice open and even tone, something that can do it all for the most part. I am thinking of building my own cab and just trying to learn as much as I can. Let me know your thoughts.
  2. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

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    Building a cab and designing a cab are two very different things. The link between tone and driver specs is a complicated one, requiring fairly extensive technical knowledge, intuition, luck and considerable experience. I suggest you take advantage of the expertise available here at TB and ask for plans for enclosure/driver combinations that will meet your specific needs. Go into more detail about what you are looking for tone wise, the genres being played, the sound levels required (generally, like we play really loud or we are all mature musicians and play at moderate levels, etc.) and the size of the venues being played. Also, what will you be using for amplification?
  3. catgut

    catgut

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    Specs are not going to tell you enough of the actual sound. You need to hear it and hear in interact with your Bass and Amp. I usually start with others impressions and if their description interests me I will check it out. You want wide range but that does not mean you need 20Hz-60KHz in spec sheet. Some of the best sounding speakers have miserly numbers. Like they shouldn't be as good as they are. I never look at specs first. If something gets my attention for depth or something I will check specs to see why that may be but otherwise I don't care really.
  4. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    Thanks for the response. I am thinking of building a bedroom/studio cab. For the most part volume will not be an issue. That is not to say I would not love to use it to jam with others but at this point in my life I do not see that happening. I love all music styles so I want something that can have a hi-fi slap tone to a grinding tool tone to smooth sweet tones. I want it to be a small cab and nothing over the top in design. The amp for now will be a carvin R1000. Let me know what you think?
  5. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    Thanks and give me some of the speakers you are referring too.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Here's an example...

    http://www.eminence.com/pdf/Delta_15A.pdf

    Usable frequency range is 48hz-4khz. Not especially high, but not especially low, either. Xmax (voice coil movement) is a paltry 2.7 mm in a world of bass speakers with neodymium magnets that have over twice that much Xmax. Sounds absolutely wonderful in vintage style bass cabs.
  7. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

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    Most 15 inch drivers need 3 cf or more for optimum performance. This includes the nice 15 inch driver JimmyM recommend. Since you want a 'small' cab most 15 inch drivers will not be on your short list of drivers. For your cab size preference, loudness requirements and frequency range, a good 12 or even 10 inch will do nicely. You did not indicate a budget so from high to low price: Faital 12PR300, Eminence Delta Pro 12A, Eminence Beta 12A and Faital 10FE200. These will all work optimally in a cab in the 1.5-2 cf range. Both of the Faitals are somewhat smoother and more extended in the HF than the Eminences. The Beta 12A will provide a more old school tone. The Eminence Delta Pro 12A is tonally in between the Faitals and the Beta 12A. If weight is a consideration, the 12PR300 has a neo magnet so is pretty light. The Eminence S2010 and S2012 drivers are also light weight neo drivers - they have somewhat aggressive upper mids and lower treble that many players like, but which can be tamed with some EQ.

    All of these can be blown by your rather powerful Carvin R1000, so you will need to pay attention for audible signs of distress when playing loudly. Really, in a bedroom or studio this should not be an issue.

    Honestly, the Eminence S2010, S2012 and Beta 12A are all very good performers and good values. Choose the Beta 12A for an old school tone. The Delta Pro 12A has a more versatile, wide band tone and would pack a lot a capability in a relatively small cab.. The Faital 12PR300 is a premium grade driver - about as good as a 12 inch gets and better than many 15's. The Faital 12PR300 and the Eminence Delta Pro 12A would be safe bets for jamming and small gigs, even if the band is pretty loud. For strictly bedroom and studio use that Faital 10FE200 is the bomb. Once you pick one you'll need a cab design - basically an internal volume and port dimensions.
  8. 5StringFool

    5StringFool Supporting Member

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    I just dropped an Eminence Legend BP 102 in my SWR Working Pro 110 cabinet and it sounds fantastic. I'm pairing it with an Ampeg PF-350 (which is signifcantly less powerful than your Carvin) and it holds it's own just fine in rehearsals and serves as a great monitor for gigs. I wouldn't want to try and carry a room with it or anything, but as long as the PA is doing the heavy lifting it's my go to rig.
  9. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune Only immortal for a limited time Gold Supporting Member

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    Open, even tone = smooth frequency response and decent dispersion.

    Hi-fi slap tone + grinding tool tone + smooth sweet tone = decent top-end extension (for slap) + lots of tone-shaping capability in your amp because it's hard to build that much adjustability into a cab.

    Modest volume = we can use smaller drivers that go up higher

    Okay here is my suggestion: Four Faital 5FE120's. They will theoretically approach a modest 110 is SPL, and will go up to 6.5 kHz smoothly. Will give you a decent low-E but limited power handling on low-B.
  10. T-Bird

    T-Bird

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    Hi.

    When I choose a driver for anything else than a "just-throw-it-together" cab, the availability of the replacement driver(s) is the first priority.

    OTOH I have bought discontinued drivers in bulk as well when the price is too tempting to resist ;).

    I also try to model any cab to accept a wide variety of different drivers with just an adjustment of the internal volume and/or the number and the length of the ports.

    Very few if any manufacturers publish accurate enough graphs of their speakers to even start guessing anything else than +/-5 degree tone.
    IMLE anyway.

    Regards
    Sam
  11. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    You guys rock and thank you for all the advice. I will look into these. I am sure I will have more questions once I get a chance to read this again and look up the speakers.
  12. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    After looking at the 2 10's recommended the faital 10fe200 and the eminence bp102. The eminence goes a little lower but faital goes a little higher. Does anyone know how they compare or how they sound? Also can anyone give me an idea of the ideal enclosure for these?

    It seems crazy that the faital is priced so low compared to there other items.
  13. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

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    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can **** off
    I quickly read thru this post and I highly recommend purchasing your speakers through US Skeakers, the will or can pretty much tell you what youll need. I described what I wanted after a speaker was damaged and they suggested the speaker and to my surprise it was spot on. Then a friend of mine who owns some studios orderd speakers from them and they set him up with cabinet design suggestions. Im not sure if its a regular thing they do or if they were just being helpful. But he followed there suggestions and ended up w some badass sounding cabinets..
  14. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune Only immortal for a limited time Gold Supporting Member

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    The Faital is more consistent with your tone goals. It will fart out at a lower volume level, but it doesn't sound like that's a high priority. If it is, then use two.

    The 8 ohm version of the Faital is a sealed box woofer, while the 4 ohm woofer could go either ported or sealed.

    Either one will work well in about 1.0 cubic feet; porting the 4 ohm version would call for a 3" diameter port, 6.5" long, tuning the box to about 46 Hz. If you make it a pluggable port (by using an expandable plumber's test plug), you'd have your choice of low-end voicings, which might be nice for the wide range of music you have in mind.

    I make no claims that any of this is "ideal".
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

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    As a DIY'er, I have to admit that I've never been able to choose a driver directly from the specs. Rather, I have to feed drivers through a modeling program and compare the curves to my idea of what I'm looking for.
  16. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    Great info and thank you! At the price I see this for I may want to go with 2 of them. If you did 2 of these in the 4 ohm version would you have to use a 4 ohm tweeter or could you use an 8 ohm? Also I think I read were you can wire 2 4ohm speakers in a way to make them 8ohms or would one of those 3" mid/high faital speakers work great in this cab design to cover the very highs?
  17. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune Only immortal for a limited time Gold Supporting Member

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    Two 4-ohm woofers in series = 8 ohms, and then you'd double up on the box volume and number of ports relative to using just one woofer.

    In that case, you'd want an 8 ohm tweeter section.

    I use that little 3" Faital combined with a 12" woofer in one of my cabs. Cross it over pretty high up, as its thermal power handling is modest.
  18. thebassbuilder

    thebassbuilder

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    Duke, thanks for the advice. Do you think that would sound good for bass guitar using that 3" as the tweet with that faital 10? Or do you know of another good tweeter like the eminence apt80 but in a 4ohm? One that is priced like the eminence? I think with this first try I want to keep the cost as low as possible.

    I also just found this speaker Beyma sm-110 anyone know anything about these speakers. It seems to cover more range than any other 10 I have seen and at 6.5khz that seems high enough to cover the full bass range without a tweeter but I could be wrong.
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    1. Does it sound good to my ear?
    2. Will it handle my amp's output?
    3. Will it meet my volume requirements?
    4. Does it look good on paper?

    In that order.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Other than going up to 6.3k, which is high for my tastes (I prefer 5k or 4k as I was raised on cabs that don't go past 5k), I think that Beyma would probably kick ass in a little bass cab. The frequency curve looks good, and even though it goes up to 6.3k, it doesn't look like it'll be unbearably trebly, either.

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