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15s and 18s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Alex, May 6, 2006.

  1. I was jamming with my friend earlier today at his house. I played through his rig which was an Ampeg B3 into an old Peavey 1x18 and the sound was exactly what I was looking for. I would describe the tone as punchy, hard hitting, and deep. Like a punchy old school sound. Perfect.

    I had never played through anything bigger than a 12" before, and now I'm look ing into getting a cab with a 15 or 18 instead of the 10s and/or 12s I was going to get. Is the tone of my friends cab characteristic of 15s and 18s, or does that vary cabinet to cabinet?

    What are some general tonal differences between 10s and 12s, and 15s and 18s, or even just changes that generally occur as speaker size increases?

    Thanks guys

  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    15s tend towards a certain set of characteristics, but you're right in that it does change from model to model. Sweeping generalizations (read: Munji's stance on 15s) are almost always wrong.

    I can only talk about my SWR WM 1x15, but I can say that the lows are full and sort of loose sounding. I love that sound from time to time. This 15" loses a lot in the high mids, but the upper bass to mid-mid (does that make sense) response is key, and that's where a big chunk of tone comes from.
  3. I have heard people say that 15's have a characteristic "honk". I have no idea what this means. Anyone care to explain? It sounds kinda negative.
  4. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Not all 15s & 18s produce nothing but mud & boom, like most people think.
  5. If you are looking for a good yet cheap 2x15 cab you could look at the older peavey 215's they are great :D

    Dont know about this honk-y sound, ive never experienced it with my peavey 215 or with the marshall 215 (dynabass) at our practice room
  6. A 2x15 would be waaay too big for my needs. I'm thinking 1x15.

    But this implies that you know what "honk" is. What is it? :confused:
  7. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    I think honk is a low-mid frequency bump. My two Bag End S15s have a little, but in a very good way.

    I also think you would like these cabs. They're pretty efficient and punchy. They sound big, but don't have a lot of boom. They might not have as much low end as you're looking for, but they take EQing for that really well. Bag End makes 15s with a few different cabinet sizes, and 18s also. I haven't tried the 18s, but certainly expect they would sound great.

    SWR makes an 18 as well which you might want to look into.
  8. dharma

    dharma Srubby wubbly

    Oct 14, 2005
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Honk is a plosive word, meaning the user aims to describe the sound he's hearing with the sound of the word.

    Say it out loud over and over.

    When I think bass "honk," I think of that push that makes me smile in fingerstyle funk applications.
  9. for me, when I get a 15 to kick, it's sorta like hearing a tuba or a baritone. this honky, sorta throbby punch of a 15 that (if your EQing yourself to not sound bright, but it depends) just keeps on pumping, until sustain in the notes is cut off (whether by cutting it of yourself or just letting the string just ring to nothing naturally). just a nice, sorta dampened woof
  10. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Yeah, like this too.
  11. wwittman


    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    I'm never happy with small speakers.

    My live rig is a 1x18 and a 4x12 (both Vox)

    and in the studio either the 1x18 or an Ampeg B-15 always works best.

    I've never been a fan of the honky 4x10 sound.
    and they ALL seem to have it.
  12. God's Element

    God's Element

    Sep 27, 2005
    hey guys,

    The new eminenice kappalite 3015 sounds amazing for a 15". The cone is suprisingly thin. It reminds of the Evm 15L cone. It has rings as well (for mids), just like the evm15L. The mids are bright and clear (maybe even honky). Then there's the 5.9 xmax for the bottom end. Man it shakes the windows good. It also handles distortion from my 12ax7 very nicely. Sounds even vintage only with HUGE bottom end. Its an all around perfect speaker. My cab only takes a 15" speaker so i thought i'd throw my 2 cents in.
  13. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I played through a mesa boogie 15 at guitar center yesterday that blew my mind. No characteristic honk, just full and deep punch. i would say that mesa boogie makes a killer 15.

    and yes, i did use my bass.
  14. wolfs


    Jan 18, 2006
    SWR Son of Bertha is a nice soundeing 15" cab... I liked the one I played at the store, but as a standalone. It didn't mesh well with my Aggie S210 so I bought an Ampeg SVT15E instead which sounded really nice in conjunction with the Aggie, but too dark for my tastes by itself.

    The Bag End S15 tops my gas list at the moment... something I would also like to try is BE's S18 since it's so compact and relatively light for a single 18".

    And, hey, if you like the Peavey 18" that's something to keep in mind. I see older Peavey 18" 4 ohm BW cabs pop up on ebay every now and then going for pretty cheap... if that's the sound you're going for, you might be able to wrangle a steal.
  15. That's the problem. I'm looking for something portable, but my friends cab is like 150 lbs and as tall as an 810! It has some sort of weird internal system where the speaker faces backward and reflects the sound into two different output chambers or whatever. Definite;y not going to go down that route.

    My quest now is to find something that sounds exactly like it...and only weighs 50 lbs.
  16. PMC89


    May 1, 2006
    New Jersey
    basically, when it comes to all equipment. just go out and try it. thats all it takes.

    as much as talkbass opinions may be accurate and helpful, it will always sound different to your ears. especially very specific and minute things such as cab tones and bass wood tonal differences.
  17. I wish I could. All of the music shops around me (Sam Ash, GC, Bass Club) have nothing but 10s and 12s. GC might have an Ampeg 15"er, but that's about it.

    18's are definitely nowhere to be found in music shops. Near me, at least.
  18. Honk is the term for the upper resonance that occurs in a vented box that is sized too-small for the driver(s).

    This is typical in commercial cabs, where they stuff acoustically large drivers into boxes of insuficient volume. I have measured this on the Eden D410-XLT that belongs to my daughter's bassist. The result is a noticeable hump in the 80~120 Hz mid-bass area. Rolloff below this point is quite steep, which is why the D410-XLT has no bottom.

    Vented boxes have three resonance points: Fl, Fb, Fh.

    Fl is a resonance below the tuning frequency (Fb), and Fh is the resonance above. The amplitude of each responance responds to changes in box volume. Making the box larger decreases the upper resonance and increases the lower one. A 2 cubic foot cab tune to 40 Hz will sound and measure very differently than a 6 cubic foot cab tuned the same.

    Most commercial cabs have their volumes (size) dictated by Sales, not by Engineering. Optimal speaker performance is secondary to making the visual impression, and selling the product. For example, the Avatar cabs use a generic cab, and change the baffle around for different driver configurations. On the other end, the Epifani cabs are each specifically sized, implying they are engineered for the specific driver combination in use. Side by side, the sound difference is obvious. So is the price.

    To answer your question, the 15" driver nearly always requires a whole lot more cabinet volume. The commercial manufacturer won't build a 12 cubic foot cab because it will never sell. Instead, they stuff a 15" into a cab better suited for a single 10", and get the honk as a result. The marketeers spin this to the public as "big bass".
  19. Oh well you cant win them all :p

    Its already been covered by some other guys, but i would say its too much low mid aswell
  20. Dude, thank you. I totally understand this now.

    That's why this Epifani 15

    Is so much bigger than this Dr Bass 15

    So the Epifani would have a more flat response, and the Dr Bass would have a lot of low mids, but very little bass.

    Am I getting this right?

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