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15" vs. 18"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bigBbass451, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. bigBbass451


    Apr 9, 2004
    hey everyone! i was just wonderring what everyone's opinion about 15" and 18" speakers. i was looking at getting an ampeg 115E cabinet until i saw the svt-18...........looks pretty good. i want to make sure that my low drop-d doesn't get muddy or distorted. which cabinet should i choose. thanks everyone. ROCK ON! :bassist:
  2. All the 15" I've seen are stuffed into a too-small cabinet. The problem is no doubt worse with 18" drivers, because they require even more room.

    The net result of this stuffing is a bump slightly above the tuning freuquency (the Eden honk), then a plunging response below this point. This makes a cab very "saleable" with the illusion of big bass. In fact, it is big mid-bass, with an anemic bottom end.

    This isn't all bad. The Eden are reknowned for their ability to cut through a live mix, despite having no bottom (XLT). A huge bottom will get murky in most venues that lack bass traps or other treatment. Outdoors is a different matter. A huge bottom makes up for the otherwise anemic sound one gets without walls for reinforcement.

    I build my own, because I don't find commercial offereings that I like. YMMV.
  3. redneck2wild


    Nov 27, 2002
    Memphis, TN
    Are you looking for more low end?
    Are you going to be using it with another cabinet?

    I use either 1 or 2 18's (actually they are PA subs that I use in my rig) when playing but I only use it for the lows - I use either a 2x10 or 4x10 for the mids/highs.
    Most commercial 1x15 bass cabs I have tried have a hump in the low mids due to being stuffed into too small a cabinet. I have played through some PA Subs with 15's that did not have as much of a hump though - the cabinets were deeper also.

    I had the opportunity to play through a 21" speaker this weekend - the guy who had the Cabinet said he only paid $450 for it new. It had massive low end - but it was not as punchy as what I am used to using an 18". I could really feel the notes on my B string as I had not before. The guy that uses it also uses a dbx Subharmonic synthesizer most of the time and almost never has PA support.
  4. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA


    I only use 18" subs for outdoor gigs. Indoors they tend to get way too muddy. They're much better for "super low frequencies", which in turn are needed mainly for outdoor gigs. I have some "fast" 15's (Bag End's) that are pretty good, most of the 15's out there aren't nearly as dynamic as those. Indoors I tend to taper off some of the extreme lows, it makes the speakers sound better and complain less.
  5. bigBbass451


    Apr 9, 2004
    yeah i was trying to get more low end because i'm playing with an ampeg 410he right now and when i hit the drop d open notes i'm just not getting the bass i want and need
  6. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Hey bigBbass451,
    Are you looking at an older SVT18e to go with your 410 cab? If so your ok, but if you are thinking about the new Ampeg 18 cab it's a 4 ohm cab and your SVT350H can't handle powering both of those cabs.
  7. bigBbass451


    Apr 9, 2004
    thanks alot cb56 because i was going to run the new 18 with it. and also does anybody think that a the svt-15E will work ok for coverring the low drop-d open notes?
  8. Remember that with as many people as you get here, you'll have just as many opinions as to what is a good bass sound. I love the sound of 15" cabs, and I've owned and played through a bunch of them. A good 15" cab is a fine standalone cab, and is great along with a 4x10 or 2x10. I don't like most of what I've heard with 18" cabs- but I haven't played through nearly half as many- they don't "flip my wig."
  9. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I prefer 15's over 18's, but the only time i had an 18 was in a Fender BXR(?) cab W/ 2 10's & I didn't like it, so it could've been that particular cab. I've had 15" cabs so much I guess i got used to the sound.
  10. j. lerie

    j. lerie

    May 24, 2007
    Check this out, I found an 1980's SVT-18E on Craigs list, no speaker it is the one that is not 22" deep. I have a 15" speaker that is rated at 600 W. I made a new plate to cover the 18" hole and put the 15" in it sounds really good, it is a little taller than the SVT15 and ports on the bottom.