15" vs. 18" Speaker Cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cassanova, Oct 7, 2000.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    In the past few days I've been looking at 15" and 18" speaker cabs to put under my 4x10 cab. I already know the brand that I'm going to get and it's Carvin. Heck I even know which cab, even though I play a 5 string, I'm still going to go with the 15". I think they sound a little clear and punchier. Every 18" that I've tried sounds muddy and lacks the punchiness that I like. The freq responses between the 2 cabs are'nt even that much of a difference. I just thought this would be and interesting post, and am very curious to know how everyone else here feels about the 2 different size cabs. I look forward to reading what everyone has to say.
  2. 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
    Have you tried an Eden 118? You should.
  3. I have one and didn't like it when I was using it. Too slow, TOO MUCH bottom, and it failed on me and now needs a recone (has a voicecoil rub, probably from running it with insufficient power).

    I should send the speaker in to Eden and get it done, as I recall they only wanted $90 to do it. But it's kind of a pita to pull it, figure out a way to pack that big heavy mofo, and ship it, so there it sits, brokenhearted. I haven't used it in a couple years.

    My D-115XLT was awesome, on the other hand. Blends with the D-210XLT better, tighter, quicker, and without that excessive bottom that the 18 has.

    My opinion, natch, YMMV.
  4. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I agree, I'd look into the high-end 18's. The lower and even mid-priced 18's just don't cut it: too much of the car subwoofer "boom" for me. Ont the other hand, a quality 18 such as an Eden or SWR has a nice tight depth to it that adds tremendously to the music. One thing that I've founfd out about 18's is that a good one usually isn't cheap (the Eden 118XLT lists for $796.00). 15's will have more punch. Just as 10's have more punch than 15's.

    Here's a few links for you:
  5. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I have no experience with 18s. I just remember someone posting on this forum that there is only one "usable" 18 speaker: Bag End.

  6. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    In my experience, a particular speaker size usually excels in a particular frequency range. It then boils down to what you want. If you want a thinner, snappier sound, then smaller speakers are the ticket. If you want huge rumble, then bigger ones are generally best. If you want the whole range, you'd probably get various sizes. Bootsy Collins has (had) a rig with 18's, 15's, and 12's (and maybe even smaller drivers). He definitely wanted the rumble factor in a big way, but he also slaps a lot and needed to get the highs out, too.

    Probably for 4-string bass, 12-15" drivers excel in that frequency range. There are exceptions to this, however, depending on cabinet design, driver design, etc. For a full-range sound (which I like - lots of big fundamentals for funk and rock, but plenty of punchiness for slap work), I would *generally* get a blend of small and large drivers. My Carvin rig has an 18 and two 10's (with a tweeter) and has a decent full-range sound. I don't expect the 18 to be very punchy. The tens handle that duty. However, the 18 does the room-filling sustained fundamentals very well - y'know, the kind that shakes your chest and makes your vision blurry. If/when I upgrade my speakers, I'll probably get either a better 18 or 2x15 rig for the low end - and perhaps a 4x10 to cover the higher stuff. If I had space (and, better, a roadie), I'd seriously consider a big folded horn system to rattle things... The biggest extremely low bass sound I've heard has come from 18's (and particularly those in folded horns). Anyone remember the sensurround theater systems? Back when the movie "Earthquake" came out, the theaters were outfitted with these speakers. Now, I'm not into "boominess" per se (which I think of as peaky response in the bass range), but a well-balanced (flat) response extending down well below 40 Hz. is really nice to have.

    Anyway, relative to 15 or 18: if you need the speaker to cover some highs and aren't as concerned with extreme low end, then by all means, the 15 will be the ticket. If your upper range is covered already (12's or 10's or 8's), then the 18 might work really well.