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10s versus 15s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Javy, Jan 23, 2001.

  1. Javy


    Sep 15, 2000
    Is it true that 10s are the best for tight, punchy bass; and 15s are best at producing deep, solid walls of bass? Or can you really have tight, punchy, deep, solid bass with all 10s or all 15s? I currently use a 200 watt Eden Nemesis 2x10 and a 160 watt Carvin 1x15, depending on where I'm playing. No offense to Carvin owners, but the Nemesis is a superior combo in terms of sound quality. However, I've noticed that the Carvin's 15 inch driver can take more of a pounding from my B string without sounding like it's breaking up at high volume.

    Suppose I wanted to put together a larger bass rig. Could a good 4x10 cabinet produce solid bass and handle a B string well at high volumes, or would I be better off with a 2x15? I don't want to quantify everything like comparing the cone surface area of four 10s versus two 15s or anything like that, because numbers don't always tell the whole story. I'm just wondering if there really is a significant difference in the ability of 10s and 15s to produce all the qualities in bass that we want. Maybe enough 10s can sound very deep and solid. Maybe high quality 15s can sound tight and punchy. What's your experience with 10s and 15s?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I prefer 8s !! My EA VL208 is the best cab I've ever heard. If you look at the thread titled "Euphonic Opinions" - you'll see that quite a few others have got this cab as well.
  3. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    hmmm, well, generally speaking, that is the rule; the 15's being able to handle the frequency response of a resonating B string at it's lower extremities. however, there are some 10" drivers that are better than their 15" counterparts. this is usually true when comparing a high end 10" speaker enclosure with a cheaper 15" cab. it's all in the frequency response parameters of the design. check out some of the bag end ELF equipped systems...whoa...what up, F#?? can you say LOW???
  4. HHmmm.... if 10"s are tight and punchy and 15"s are walls of bass, where's 12"s come in? I am in love with my Nemesis NC-212P and find its bass response more than I could've expected. However, it isn't QUITE as tight as the SWR Superredhead I play through weekly (2 10"s). It's really hard to tell if this is due to circumference of speakers or technology from different manufacturers.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Speaker size does not guarantee how the cab will respond.

    Low end is determined more by proper tuning of the enclosure than anything else.

    A smaller driver (due to lower mass) can respond quicker ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL so if you like to hear quick attacks, usually smaller drivers are better.

    "Deep" sound is often illusory. I own an Acme 2-10 and it has more low end extension than any other cabinet I own, but my Peavey 2-10 sounds "deeper" largely because the mids are reduced and there is a peaky response around 100 Hz or so. Meanwhile, I have an EV loaded 1-15 cabinet which goes lower than the Peavey AND sounds punchier because of an upper midrange peak at around 1200 Hz. I also own an SWR cabinet with 2-8" (!!) and this sounds deeper AND punchier than the EV cab, but does not have the low end extension of the Acme; it has a peak at around 250 Hz which makes it sound very fat. Meanwhile the classic SVT cabinet has weak response starting at around 80 Hz but still sounds "deep" even though the lowest fundamentals are being rolled off.

    In the end you need to plug into the cabinet and listen.
  6. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Of course the best thing to do is to try out the cabs in question. But I do think, as said above, all things equal... the bigger speaker better produces the lower frequencies and the smaller speaker better produces the mids/highs.

    These are very general terms though. I know very little about the technical aspects of sound but can say this. I have never had such a cool sound until I bi-amped with a 15 under and 2 8s on top.

    So for me... I would say use both.
  7. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    The 10's will give you the widest response and best overall sound but the low frequency response of a good 15" driver is a great too. I'd go with the 10's then add a 1 X 15 or 1 X 18 later on. Be sure to go with the 8 ohm if you ever want to add a second cabinet
  8. washxb125


    Jan 23, 2001
    i don't know realy i have a yorkville 200t bass master and i knbow what ur talking about with the wall of bass with a 15 cause i have that problem i would suggested going with a 10's fro a cab but a combo 15's cause with a combo u can get around the wall of bass with equalization and string gauge ( i fing bigger is more punchy ) except with low b it just stand over all the other notes
  9. I was using a Hartke 410XL, great punch, and clear tones. But something was missing. For years I was strictly a 215 kinda guy (big and heavy), but switched to the 410's for the punch. But the "rumble" just wasn't there. The Hartke has a pretty low frequency response and could handle the lows great, but it just didn't have that bottomy "oomph".
    For New Yer's gig I treated myself to a Hartke 115XL, and am all nice and oomphy now. The 410 and 115 together are a great compliment to each other.
  10. I've been playing through an Ampeg SVT410HLF for the last year, and this thing moves air! Still only 4 x 10" drivers, but the cabinet design means it can deliver some seriously low frequencies without the need for a separate 15"
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Tens rule, but fifteens might rule too. Tens plus fifteens definitely rule, for sure. That's all.
  12. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Amen to that!
  13. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    And what to think about a combo with 1*15" + tweeter (horn) ?
    I know it won't be as good and versatile as 2 or 4*10" + 15" (or 18") but it can be a good compromise ?
  14. If the B string is your major concern, forget about attack and speed. Those low notes are big and slow and ponderous, period. That's why, as a general rule, a 15 will sound better on the B. As Munji said, 4x10 plus 1x15 equals bass heaven.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I thought this combination would be cool - I don't know much about the technical stuff with amps either, just what I've learnt though using my ears over the years.

    I have an EA VL 208 and a Hartke 1X15. Now the 208 sounds great on it's own but isn't loud enough for some situations and I add the 1X15. (This is using an Eden WT300) Now although this makes the whole setup louder, the 15 dominates the sound and is quite unpleasant to my ears (boxy?) - is there any way I can balance the sound so that I get more of the 208 and less of the 1X15?

  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Just done some quick internet research and think I've probably answered my own question - the easy way is to replace my WT300 with a WT500 or WT600,


    but as I'm strapped for cash at the moment - repairing my roof is costing a packet - this probably won't happen for a while. Any other ideas?
  17. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Ponder that Warwick Terminator cab, 2x10"+2x15".
    In theory, seems great combination.. Anyone tried this?

    I think I have seen couple Warwick cabs and heads
    on tv shows, one 4x10 and one Terminator, both had Warwick heads to power 'em too.
  18. Warwick cabs are nice, don't like the heads though. Played through a ProFet IV head with a 4x10 and 1x15...well punchy and low but you can (IMO!) take the head and drop it over the side.
  19. OK, so answer me this; how much potential do the frequency curves of differing manufactures cabs have for clashing with each other? Like, two Mesa cabs can sound great together and two Eden cabs can sound fine but what happens when a Mesa and a Eden are combined? My Mesa 2x10 and 1x15 were a phenomanol combo but I traded the 2x10 in for a Eden 2x10 based on its stand-alone ability. Now the combination sounds to "thick" I know these companies will set the freq. curves to work well with their own amps and cabs, if you combine differing manufactures do you risk "over-emphasizing" one range of frequencies, too much of a "hump" with unevenness?? Am I crazy? My car stereo installer warned me of this when installing a system for me. What do ya' all think? I want to use my Eden 2x12 (god-like) with my Mesa 1x15 but sometimes I don't think it really sounds that good, kinda weird? I use a Mesa M2000 head.
  20. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Hi, Mad - you may be mad, but not crazy! It depends on what sound you want, I think. If you want a wide range (almost hi-fi) sound, then you need to think in terms of speakers complementing each other. I would guess that the 2x12 has too much in common with the 1x15, so you probably get a really strong output from, say, 60-300 Hz. or more. Yet the 12's don't quite have the upper midrange that 10's usually have. Perhaps, as you suggest, some manufacturers do design some of their speakers to complement each other. For example, if I order an Eden 2x15 cabinet, I might do better getting their regular 4x10 (410T) rather than the 410XLT, because the latter probably overlaps too much with the 2x15 on the low end. This is all guesswork, since I don't have these (yet). If you want to emphasize only certain frequencies - for example, for classic rock styles, then it's probably not as important to have complementary frequency responses from speakers.
    - Mike

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