12's or 15's?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 4Saken, May 21, 2005.

  1. 4Saken


    Nov 7, 2004
    I am a beginner bassist and looking for amp and cab that will be able to be played at small to medium gigs eventually. I play heavy rock/ metal and have a 5 string bass. I am thinking about getting a behringer bxt300 head and this cabinet: http://store.steelsound.com/Detail.bok?no=1413 but a friend of mine who is an accomplished signed national act musician tells me i should use 15's. I was just curious on some feed back on what people on this forum thought about the 12's and what the differences might be.


    P.S. I have no interest in the sound of tens!
  2. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    I like the sound of 15's personally but I haven't tried 12s at all and I go for that old school tone so 15s are a must.
  3. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    If you're just going with 1 sized speaker the 12's are a great comprimise between the lows of a 15 and the highs of a 10. Read the reviews around and there are a lot of great things said about the Aguilar, Eden, and other 1x12 cabs (or 2x12 as well)
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The difference is very personal. I personally tend to prefer 12s over 15s, assuming the same quality. For lower quality speakers, I would choose 12s. Cheap 15s tend to be very muddy.
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I've prefered the tone of ported 12" driver cabinets for the most part since the 80s. I've run them alone or mixed with 18", 15" and currently with 10"... but alway at least one 12" in the mix
  6. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Here is a warning:
    There have been many bad reviews on Steelsound gear. Do a search. I havn't personally used em, but it sounds like they are cheaply built and don't sound good. For quality yet cheap cabs, check out www.avatarspeakers.com. Also, the head you choose should work fine, but you can definately do better. Do a search on Berhinger.
  7. Your question will get as many different opinions as responses. This is no better choice and no one can tell you what you will like better.

    I have chosen 12's and 6's for my rig because I think it gives me an articulate, modern tone. Others like the old school vibe of 15's.

    My opinion is only based on the limited number of cabs that I have tried. I have been told that some companies (Bag End comes to mind) make very articulate 15 cabs.

    Educating yourself on this forum is very useful but it "MUST" be complimented with actual experience to make an informed decision.
  8. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Another vote for www.avatarspeakers.com. I just went from a 210 and 115 to Avatar 112 and 210 and I am really pleased with the tone and portability of the 12. Great lows and no mud. :cool:
  9. Another vote for Avatar, great deal great people.

    Why not one of each Like me :D . I have an RB 800 w/ 115 & a 112. I just got the two Avatars and am waiting for a buddy to give them a work out, as I am a Noobie, but they sound great to me
  10. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City

    I personally don't really dig any of the 15" cabs I've heard or played through, but not all speakers are created equally. For instance, while one company's 12" may be sluggish, another's may be punchy. The same goes for 10" drivers: one company's might be weak in the lows while another's might be the perfect balance of punchy and deep.

    Last night I played a percussion gig in a horrible room where my bass player had a Bergantino HT322 and the headliner's bassist had an Aguilar GS212. The Ag sounded good, but everyone was talking about how good the tone of the HT322 was. Enough lows and enough punch and articulation without being very muddy. The bassist was using an electric upright, a 36" scale fretless, and a carbon fiber fretted bass and all three of them sounded great through this cab. The other guy had a Yamaha Nathan East, and played it very well, but he had a hard time cutting through. His sound was mud by the time it got to the crowd.
  11. Winemule

    Winemule Guest

    Feb 27, 2005
    It isn't the size of the cone that matters as much as the total square inches of speaker surface. The best argument I know of for using 15s is that there's usually only one speaker per cabinet, thus one magnet, thus less weight per cabinet.
  12. 4Saken


    Nov 7, 2004
    Thanks so much for your opinions! I'll check out avatarspeakers.com but i'm still not sure to go 15 or 12's but what about the tweeter in the cab this is something that non e of the bassists I know use but have seen alot of stores carrying them is there a benefit to having them?

  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    There are good cab's out there with 12's 10' or 15's. I have a Music Man 2x12 that goes killer low. Handles a B string with ease. It wants power behind it and it weighs in at 95 lbs. Most cab's that will do what it does will also weigh in there as well as consuming gob's of power. Is also not small at near 24x24x18 or so. Definately hand truck material.

    I also have a Bag End 2x10 that kick's major booty down to about 40. Small, reasonably light and obscenely loud especially given it's size.

    and finally a bunch of 1x15 cab's loaded with JBL's. These are sleeper cab's. Very efficient, won't do the B string justice as they are done at 40 or 45 hz. But, they have a beautiful 'natural' high end. No tweeter required. They have fabulous punch and presence. No woofiness at all. Plus you can get ridiculously loud with two of then and a 200 watt GK head or a Hartke 3500, maybe a working man's or a Genz head. Those show up in the sub-$300 category as well ...

    Personally I wouldn't touch the Behringer head but that's me ... a useg GK 400 or Hartke 3500 would be a better bet as far as long term ownership goes ... There is plenty of that sort of gear available here in the GFS and when you're ready to go, there will be a head that will work for you within a short period of time. You do need to be a little patient and also a bit trusting.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ

    Avatars...no doubt. I've got a 210 NEO and waiting for the 212 NEO in about 30 days!! I still have my Fender BXR 300C with a 15", but 12' still have the rumble w/o the muddiness.
  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    I prefer 15's , its kinda a generational thing, one of my current amps has a 10", the other a 12".

    The speakers are not built the same as they were "way back when"

    A great set up I heard once was a V4B head with 2- 4x12 V4 guitar cabs, loaded with the some unknown bass 12's. Not as smooth sounding as a B25B with CTS's, but definatly an Ampeg sound!

    Get enough cone area, in a properly designed cab, toss enough power at it for your needs, and all should work out well.

    Wesley R.
  16. 4Saken


    Nov 7, 2004
    Thanks alot for all your info! I think i'm gonna gat the Avatar B212 cabinet but if the Behringer baxt300t isn't good to power what can I get that is affordable that will sound good with this cab? At this time I am without an amp do to the fact that my 10in Hartke combo was stolen.
  17. I would recomend deciding on a head before buying the cab so you get the right ohm cab. Opinions on heads are like belly buttons :D

    I chose my GK RB 800 because it is powerful, neutral sounding, Bullet proof. and Cheap you see them for 350.00 used all the time. I think there is one in the 4 sale section here.
  18. mindflow


    Oct 31, 2004
    San Diego
    i used to have a Crate combo with 1 15" it was pretty muddy overall. my buddy has an avatar cab 4 10s, sounds awesome and we both play through GK 400rb's. GK is a great way to go, smaller than most and sturdy as all hell
  19. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    The Behringer is not a bad head and you can get some serviceable tones out of it. I have one and have used it a lot as a backup, practice, alternative head when I don't feel like bringing the pre/power setup. If you check out harmony central and see the reviews for that head you will see a lot of happy campers. Of course there are a lot of better heads out there used, not new but at that price point I don't see anything better.

    I agree with going with Avatar. I have the delta 210 and the SB112 and prefer 12's to 15's. A 12 to me seems to have a smoother more direct bottom end and a 15 will give you a lot of boom depending on the manufacturer and cab design,YMMV. I have played through the 212 and I am GASSING for one at this moment. I considered getting that Steelsound just to see how it sounds but now I am getting a little hesitant after looking at some reviews.


    Jan 25, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ

    Dave has indicated that Avatar is coming out with a 212 NEO in late June...probably somewhere around 55 lbs and $300.