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15" vs. 2x12"

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by neddyrow, May 31, 2011.

  1. neddyrow

    neddyrow Support Staff for My Better Half Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    I am curious as to thoughts on what is a better double bass amp. A cab with 1x15" in it or 1x12" or 2x12" or even 4x10"? Personally, I am from the school of thought where bass is to be felt and not heard so I like and go with the 1x15" but I have friends who play bass that would never go with a 15" ever! What do you guys think?
  2. trowaclown


    Feb 26, 2008
    Like what is commonly said on the electric bass side where I come from, there are too many factors in play to throw out any overarching characteristics that can differentiate between 15" and 12" cabinets.

    Apart from mere driver size, the tuning, cabinet size, amplifier used and EQ will all fundamentally change the voicing of a cab. No longer is 10" punchy and 15" boomy, in today's bass cabinet world.

    P.S. And hello from the other side!
  3. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    The cabinets most often used with Double Bass are 1x12's like the EA Wizzy 12 M Line, and Bergantino AE 112, and GK MBX. I'm hearing that the newer Eminence Kappa Lite 115's sound very good as well but they are expensive and likely to get more so. Personally, I wouldn't go for a 4X10 but I've seen Dave Holland and Gary Peacock use one.

  4. Studiodawg


    Oct 25, 2007
    I've seen a lot of poo pooing the 1-15", but I like the sound. I am currently using an old 2-15" Peavey Black Widow cab at my house gig w/ Euphonics Doubler head.
  5. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Wow! I had one of those monsters back in the day. I can't imagine using it for upright, although I used a very old Kustom 2-15 in a practice studio for awhile and found it pretty nice for the blues stuff we were doing.
  6. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Are the preferences for smaller cabinets (1x10, 1x12) based primarily on portability, or are there sonic issues with larger speakers?
  7. IWishIWasBlank


    May 28, 2011
    I have a 2x15 along with a 4x10. For good thick sound, it smokes the 4x10's no problem. Clarity though, is what I get from the 10's. I keep the 15's to add the low end in.
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I used a Kustom 3-15 back in the day for a few gigs. What a monster. To the original question, use a cab that works in context of the band, how much volume, spread, etc. you need, and how much cab you are willing to carry around.
  9. neddyrow

    neddyrow Support Staff for My Better Half Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    First of all I play my upright with a bluegrass olde tyme fiddle band. At small gigs I just play through my fender bxr 100 15" amp which works well. The only problem is that I have to be far away from the amp to hear myself. I'm thinking about getting a GK mb 112 combo because it's light and I can go direct since out PA has 15"s and an 18" sub. My question is, "is it easier to hear a 12" on stage where a 15" might be tougher?"
  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Not in my experience.
  11. IME I find that certain basses (electric in particular) lose a good bit of their punch on 15". I have a 15" MarkBass cab and am kind of wishing I had gotten a 2x10.
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    As stated above, it depends upon the particular equipment. Too many variables for generalizations to be made as to which is "better." A properly loaded 15" driver can punch you right out of the room. :)
  13. I play an EUB in several local community orchestras. I am the only double bass in two of them. I use an Eden WT 550 through a 1x15 and 2x10 stack. All of the orchestras are brass heavy and very light on lower strings. I have no problem with matching the volume level needed. The arco sound is quite acceptable. I have often wondered if 12" speaker would have a similar sound with less gear to carry.
  14. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    This sort of topic is endlessly discussed on the "other" side.

    The only thing directly affected by cone diameter alone is the dispersion of the directional frequencies (mids and highs) -- the reason 15s often seem to sound "deeper" is that these frequencies are being "beamed", usually at your calves and knees. The speaker's displacement and by extension its potential loudness, is partly affected by its diameter, but is also a function of its Xmax (all very simplified). There are no tonal differences that can be ascribed to a speaker's diameter -- there are 20-odd Thiele-Small parameters generally used to describe a speaker's behaviour, and these interact with the enclosure in which it is housed.

    To speak more directly to the OP -- the advantage of a 212 arrangement is that it can be placed on its end, with the speakers vertically aligned. This does two things -- it gets one speaker closer to your head, and it improves dispersion. Speakers placed side-by-side behave in this regard as one speaker with twice the diameter, and a correspondingly narrower horizontal dispersion. 410s have this disadvantage, and are greatly exceeded in performance by vertically-stacked 210 cabinets. Commercially built 410s are very often in too-small an enclosure, designed to look good on top of a 115 rather than to enhance their performance.

    Which brings me to mixing speaker sizes. This is unpredictable (can be good, but usually isn't), due to the different outputs of different speakers interacting and causing peaks and troughs at various points in the room. This problem is avoided by using identical speakers which should be in phase.

    Anyhow, hope that's of some use to somebody as a precis of some potential pitfalls.
  15. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Put tilt-back legs on it, so you can point it at your head and hear all the overtones in addition to the fundamentals.
  16. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Two speakers stacked will have less vertical dispersion than a single speaker, so the player may hear it less well than a single - certainly not as well as a single that's tilted upwards. The horizontal dispersion will be no better than a single.

    Two speakers side by side will have less horizontal dispersion than a single speaker, and the vertical dispersion will be no better than a single.

    A 4x is the worst of both worlds. A single is the best (except for a well designed multi-way).
  17. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Yes, certainly I meant improves dispersion relative to side-by-side; it's the same as a single speaker. Vertical dispersion is an issue with vertically stacked speakers if you're quite close to them, but even these can be tilted on a smallish wedge. If you're only using it for stage monitoring, things need to be getting fairly loud before a decent single-speaker cabinet tilted towards you won't cut it. It's all I use, for what that's worth.
  18. harmendebresser


    Mar 11, 2010
    the Netherlands
    Endorsing Artist: Höfner, Pyramid Strings, Dr. No FX & Asterope cables
    I've experienced my 115" is more prone to feedbacking as opposed to 12" cabinets. Never liked the 410" for some reason with the double bass...
  19. Studiodawg


    Oct 25, 2007
    My Euphonic Doubler with 2-15 cab has plenty of punch and articulation...I think the combination of my Fishman Platinum DI and the Euphonic's EQ gets me to the "Audio sweet spot"...I play right in front of the rig at "moderate/restaurant" volume and get my "rock'n'roll ya yas"...we are an acoustic band that plays rock, blues, folk & bluegrass. I don't like muddy bass tone at all. I use my GK MB212 for all my other gigs lately... Fishman Platinum DI into GK MB212. It's more finicky than the other rig, but it works fine.
  20. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I own and play 1x10 and 2x10 stuff from Acoustic Image, and it sounds great with my upright and everything else. It certainly doesn't lack a low end and has plenty of feel - they're designed to couple to the floor and have controls to turn that feature down as needed. (An oversimplification, I realize, but that's the essence of it as far as I know.)