10s vs. 15s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bottomdweller70, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. I'm sure this one has been done before, but can I get some help on the difference between 10' speakers and say 15s or 18s in terms of sound, tone, etc?

    Curently playing Ampeg 8x10 in drop C tuning and seems like the 10s fizzle out on the low notes when I dig in. Just wondered if a larger speaker could handle it better.
  2. specplyrz

    specplyrz Inactive

    Nov 11, 2005

    Not so much as a "larger" speaker, but a differently tuned cabinet would help you. And a larger speaker would also go lower in range, and DEPENDING on how the cabinet is designed. I played with a Hartke 810 cabinet that was ported at the bottom. Was a lower output than my 810e cab, but a muddier tone. Not snappy. It's all in your style.
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    What counts is frequency response and sensitivity, which you cannot determine simply from the size of the driver. Until Bruce develops his database of these factors for various cabinets (since the manufacturers won't give us this information, at least not with any degree of accuracy) your only option is to try stuff out until you find what works for you.
  4. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    This might be out of left field, but is it possible that the "fizzle" is the strings flabbing out? Are you using a 'standard' 4 string set (.045-.105?) and tuning down 2 whole steps. If you are, there probably isn't enough tension in the string to allow the low notes speak correctly, especially when you dig in.

    If you're using a more appropriate set of strings (.065-.125 +/-).....
    well, forget what I said and I'll go eat a bug. :D
  5. Yeah, I'm using a .115 low C.
  6. Groundloop


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bug eaten!
  7. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I haven't come across a non-boutique 15 that i have liked. on the other hand, i have come across many 410's (boutique and non-boutique) that i have liked very much. 15's tend to have far less clarity,and can sound boomy and muddy. 15's make good subs, but 10's make for better full range drivers.

    have you considered a 212? there are many awesome designs out there now.
  8. What characterists does a 12" speaker have compared to a 10?
  9. I use a pair of 15's myself. (homemade 1x15's)
    LOVE 'EM

    I chose them over 10's, because I'm guaraunteed to get a C note, which I tune to often.
    I think 12's are sorter left in no-man's land - 10's will do the job if the cab is designed well enough, and the right drivers are used - or 15's for that matter.
    When looking at a speaker cab to buy, ignore the Sensitivity or MAX SPL - these are really only relevant to the mids. They will give a good idea of mid range volume capabilities, but little else.
    Look at the Frequency response ( -3dB)
    and especially the Usable Low Frequency (thats - 10dB)
    The usable low frequency should be around 40-50Hz on a 4x or 8x 10", and around 30-40Hz on a 15" enclosure. I'm not too sure about 12's. That low B on a 5 string is around 32Hz i think, with E at 40Hz.
    Hope it helps.

    To eliminate the string fizzle idea - you could always whack on a big Bstring, tune to C and see what happens.
  10. If you're drop tuning to a C, you're almost at a low B. You've got the right idea, but didn't take it far enough. You should be on a light B string instead of a heavy E string. .125 would be better.

    I'm not sure that's the problem by the way, but I do know that a set of strings is a lot less expensive to try than a new cabinet... always try cheapest things first to correct problems....

  11. playmybass


    Mar 28, 2004
    Tucson, Az
    With dropped tunings and B strings, I almost always find it nessecary to use at least one 15. It just sounds more full to me than all 10's. This is all IMHO though, Im not saying that you MUST use a 15.
  12. I'll try this too.
  13. I play at standard pitch. I prefer 15s to 10s any day of the week. I don't hear that "less clarity...boomy..." or "muddy" thing at all. It sounds more rich and a better developed tone to my ears.
  14. +1
    I only use 15's myself.

    Flubby? Muddy?
    I think a lot of this notion is the 15's with a large physical 'throw' or Xmax value. (ie - the amount the speaker moves in and out)
    Just make sure when you're choosing 15" drivers that the efficency is very high, and the Xmax is small. No worries :D
  15. Nothing magical about 10s vs 15s. You're moving air. Get enough 10's to match the cone area of the 15s and there's no reason you can't get the same low freq response. In reality the cab probably has more to do with the sound than whether its using 10s vs 15s, provided you have similar cone area and excursion. Listen to a bunch of cabs, pick the one you think sounds best.

    I get more bottom out of my EA 2x10's than I used to get out of an 18 and a 4x10 stack. So with the right speakers and cab tuning, 2 10's can beat 1x18.

  16. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    I personally thinking for myself a 4x10 and 1x15 would make a very cool sound together... mesa makes on of those all in one here

    I kind like that idea... kind of gives the deep low sound with mids together

    Am i right to think that 10's give slightly more mid tone and 15 more deep?

  17. BassyBill

    BassyBill Still here Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    What about the actual frequency range of the driver?
  18. Somehow I don't think that a 212 will give him the volume of the 810 he is using already... and without the volume, It doesn't really matter how well his cab handles the low notes....
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I like the punch I get from my 4x10 cabinet, but I must admit that I do miss the round fullness of larger drivers. I would like to add to a 2x12 to my rig, but since I'm usually in the FOH, bringing extra cabs to a gig just so I can get a desirable tone up on stage is a bit illogical. I probaly will eventually purchase a matching 2x12 for gigs without PA support.

    I really don't buy the whole "15 inch speakers sound muddy" theory. Generally, 10 inchers will be more defined, but I've heard muddy 10s. A quality 15 while not having the traditional "staccato" attack of a 10, will sit well in the mix and all of the notes will sing. I always liked the sound of those old Peavey 2x15. There's no way in hell that I'd haul one of those beasts to a gig every Saturday though. :D
  20. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    How does a 15" produce better lows than a 10" speaker?

    The way I see it is that a 15" driver has to push more air than a single 10" driver so it would be suited to lower frequency ie its going in and out less. But 15" speakers are almost exclusively full range(unless your running bi amped blah blah blah...)so they seem to be able to handle the same frequencies that 10" speaker do. Conversley a 10" speaker seems to be able to handle low frequencies that a 15" does as well.

    What Im saying is 10's and 15's are usually full range speakers. So how does the size of the speaker affect what frequencies it puts out(or possibly doesnt put out)???? Is it just the cabinet and not the speaker at all, giving us the opposite opinions of people here (15's are muddy, 15's aren't muddy, my 10's have loads of lows, 10's cant handle lows as well as....etc)