15" Speakers for Bass and Guitar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ANelles, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011
    I've found myself in a band where I'm switching between guitar and a Fender Bass VI for different songs in our set, so I've been trying to piece together a rig that works well for both. This is a rather lo-fi garage rock sound.

    I've been using a Hiwatt 50W clone head into an old naugahyde Kustom 2x15" cab, the Kustom has Eminence Alpha-15A's in it.

    This combo is working out pretty well for the Bass VI, but lacks in the high freqs a bit for guitar, as would be expected. It's been passable, but I'd like better. For the Bass VI I'm not looking for anything super dark, bright is ok.

    I recently picked up one of the newer '65 Twin Reverb reissues with the single 15". The open back of course farts out on the low E with the Bass VI at volume, but seems to run great with the Kustom added in as an extension cab, which puts it at 2ohms total load. Gets nice low end out of the cab while the bright 15" in the Twin puts out nice highs that were lacking with the previous setup. It's just a lot to lug to a show. I'd rather just deal with the Hiwatt clone head.

    I was thinking, putting some different speakers in the cab might help me out when using the Hiwatt. Something with a wider range. Or just replacing 1 of the 2 for micing. Any recommendations, or other solutions?

    I was thinking maybe finding some older bright JBLs, some K130s or something. Might be closer to what this cab originally had anyway. Or maybe just replace one of the Alphas with a Delta for a bit more range.

    Thanks in advance for reading this abnormal request.
  2. 4-stringB


    Jun 10, 2010
    In the past, I've used a small guitar amp. Doesn't have to be much, a 8", or 10", with 15-25 SS watts would be enough, as you should cut all lows and most mids from the small amp. A lot lighter than a Twin. Another option is a coaxial 15", kinda pricey, though.
  3. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I used to run my guitar (at the time a MIA Strat) through a 70s Fender 2x15 (powered by a Hot Rod Deville) and it was awesome.

    Have you tried something simple like an EQ or treble boost pedal in your chain to engage when the guitar is being played?
  4. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011
    Tried working with EQ, but the problem seems to just come down to the physical limitations of the Alpha-15 speakers. As you can see, the highs taper off rapidly after 2K.

  5. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I would seriously consider a pair of Faital Pro 15PR400's.
  6. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    I have no idea which speakers were in my 2x15 but in that case the ears could not argue with the results, charts be damned.
  7. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011
    Also, as you can see, in this, the Eminence Delta extend past 5K a bit, unlike the Alphas I have. I was thinking about ignoring my original vintage JBL idea and just picking up a single Delta for the bottom spot in the cab, which is what I mic. I imagine this would be more friendly to EQ in some highs. Loses 2hz on the bottom end, 48hz on the delta, 46hz on the alpha, not that that's very significant for my use.

    Affordable upgrade too, under $100.

  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Some decent double-duty bass/guitar 15's.......

    JBL E/K series.

    EV 15L

    Peavey Scorpion

    Eminence Delta Pro 15

    FaitalPro 15PR400

    With your 50 watts, you don't have to worry about xmax, etc. Just something with a wide enough range to get some thump out of the bass and some topend for guitar. The trick will be to size and port the cabs in the right spot to get some fullness to the bass tone without making the guitar muddy. One way to do it is to make the ports pluggable/sealable, but you won't want to be messing with that mid set. I'd shoot for a low-ish box tuning so you don't have a bunch of mid/high bass woofing up the guitar tone.
  9. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011

    Thanks, I'll look into those. Regarding the JBL, think a K130 would be worth trying out? The Altec 421A looks similar too, and used ones seem cheap enough.

    For new ones, I forgot to mention it in the original post, but I've been looking at a Kapp Lite 3015 also. Seems to extend both lower and higher that what I've got now.

    Thanks again everyone.
  10. webmonster


    May 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    I've got a 3015HO in a TL-606 cab. Great for bass and I like it for guitar, but then I've got nothing to compare it to (yet) for guitar.
    The guitar I play most often through it is a Rickenbacker 360/12V64, so that is quite bright anyway...
  11. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    The Altec is a decent compromise driver. I think Celestion might have an offering than could do double duty as well - check their website.
  12. will33


    May 22, 2006
    That Altec is another, yes. Forgot that one.

    I might be getting my JBL models mixed up here. Is it the 130 series that's more of a dedicated guitar speaker? 140 series more suited to either?

    With 50 watts it might not matter anyway, just if the guitar speaker can reach low enough to give suitable bass tone.
  13. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011
    Thanks for the input guys, got a good price on a pair of Altec 421-8LF.

    I'll let you guys know how it works out when they've been installed.
  14. bottomend!


    Oct 23, 2007
    I'd avoid putting EV's in that Kustom cab. I borrowed one a few months ago for a couple gigs and I'm ashamed to say it's the first time in my life I'd had to bow to the weight of a speaker cab and let it go. Well over 150 lbs and with craptastic handles! It sounded absolutely amazing for guitar AND bass.. but alas, a bitter beast to move. You'd probably enjoy the Altec 421's though because they rock the top end and can maintain enough bottom to keep you happy and.. they aren't too heavy. A JBL E130 in that cab will be back into EV land as far as weight is concerned.
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I was thinking of the 421-8A, or 421-8A Series II. The "LF" in the model number usually means "Low Frequency", leaving me wondering if they'll be bright enough for guitar.

    I haven't heard that model of Altec. I have heard the 421-8A Series II, 418, and 416, and all are plenty bright though. I have a 416 in an old steel guitar amp and really like it there. Don't think that one could do bass though.
  16. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011
    I had the same concerns about the "LF" in the name. With the 421-8LF, the frequency response seems to be nearly exactly the same as the 421A. Looks like it's just a later variation of it. Digging around I found some positive reviews of it by pedal steel players, saying it was plenty bright. Hopefully this all works out.

  17. dspellman


    Feb 16, 2012
    I've got a pair of 418's in a big (30" x 48" x 12") ported cabinet with a horn mids/hi tweeter. The thing dates from 1971, and works pretty well for bass and guitar. It's not a fEARful by any means (the head is a solid state 275W thing), but it's a pretty decent cabinet for almost anything. Except transportation. It will fit in the back of a Honda Civic, but you have to roll down the rear windows to avoid breaking them when you close the door <G>.
  18. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I have a 421-8A Series II. Too bright for my personal taste on bass but with a little knob twisting could pull good double-duty as well. I think the OP would get the job done with these Altecs.

    I haven't tried my 416 on bass, just know it has a nice tone with my old 1949 National lap steel....and can run ear-bleeding loud.

    Enjoying a bit of non-bass specific talk here. :)
  19. lundborg


    Apr 8, 2008
    I've used a Celestion G15 for many years, sounds great for guitar and can handle bass though it's a bit weak in the low end. It needs a closed or bass reflex box if you use it for bass.
  20. ANelles


    Dec 10, 2011
    Thanks again for all of the replies. I popped the pair of Altec 421-8LF's in tonight and gave it a go. Totally met my expectations.

    Gained a massive amount of high end over the previous speakers, and the low end seemed on par with what I had before. The presence knob on my Hiwatt head actually makes an audible difference now! Also, these speakers are significantly louder than the previous set up.

    The cab rocks for guitar, plenty bright with a Tele, and gives me the low end to play bass on the Bass VI.