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1x15 vs 2x10 - volume, speaker speed, and versatility questions.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. I'm in the midst of constructing my idea of a completely modular electric bass system to include a very modular bass guitar (no internal preamp to speak of, pickups wired with individual outputs with individual volume controls only). I'll be getting to building that bass inside of a month. Currently I'm using my ever-loyal Cort A4.

    I'm currently using a Baer ML112 cab which is a front ported 1x12 neo + 1x6 with a crossover (not sure of the x-over's tuning point). Amp = Mackie M1400i. Preamp = a ton of custom stuff ranging from Line 6 M13 to a fully analog modular filter array to a DIY Marshall JTM45.

    I want to add another speaker cab to the works. Not to replace the Baer, but to augmment it and provide me with another voice in the choir. I'm also looking for a little more volume, moreso for the added headroom. So I have a couple of loose-end questions here.

    Does a 1x15 provide more SPL than a 2x10 - all things being relatively equal (same speaker types in both, whether they are both neos or both traditional type magnetics) .. and so on. In either case I'm considering front ported cab designs.

    Also, are modern 15s fast enough to work well with an Entwistle/Sheehan tapping type of typewriter style? Or is that the 10" universe?

    To clarify "fast" and/or "speed", some may argue that "speaker speed" is a ridiculous notion in that "100hz is 100hz" and that "speed" is a mistaken idea. When I speak of speaker speed, I'm talking about loudness, not frequency. In the synthesizer world it's known as the amplification envelope. It has nothing to do with frequency or pitch, it is relative to how quickly the audible volume level comes up to full volume ... more specifically the attack portion of the envelope. So when I ask if a modern 15" speaker is as fast as a 10", I mean does it's volume envelope's attack phase come up to expected levels as quickly as a 10" speaker. It has nothing to do with the actual frequency, only the SPL. That said, will the attack transients be as pronounced between the two designs?

    For that "a little bit mushier" attack the 12" seems to provide me with that just fine. Uh .. so far. So I'm hoping to add more low end, but to tighten it up a bit with this additional cab.

    So .. 1.) attack speed - 2.) SPL amounts - 3.) general versatility within my given setup as provided above.

    I used to have an Ampeg SVT with a front ported Ampeg 6x10 HLF cab. Among other things, I'm trying to gain access to that tight/very nice bottom/low end. Keeping my current amp/speaker cab in mind.

    This is difficult to explain.

  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Best not to think of driver size when thinking about this stuff. Really not any generalizations that can be made at this point. Some 15's (like the Celestion neo's used in some of the Schroeders) are very tight, and have massive midrange content. Some 10's, like the ones used in the Acme cabs, behave like subwoofers with massive low end extension down to the 30hz range.

    Always pretty much a better bet to get a second identical cab. You will get a massive 5db or so increase in output due to the almost doubling of power (assuming you have a solid state amp going from 8ohms to 4ohms) and drivers, and the doubling of the drivers and cab coupling will increase the low end output a bit also.

    The 12's used in your Baer cab are very tight and punchy (based on the Eminence 3012HO) but can take quite a bit of low end boosting without flubbing out. And, that mid driver gives you a nice 'quick feeling' response in the upper midrange.
  3. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Also, FYI, port location has virtually no impact on the performance of the cabinet. The sound coming out of a properly designed port is at a low enough frequency to be omnidirectional, for the most part.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    If two mainstream speakers have the same frequency response curve in the lower registers, then they have the same transient response.
  5. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    This whole thing about speaker speed......:rollno:
  6. bwoodman

    bwoodman Supporting Member

    KJung said it - get a second identical cab - done deal - I've read a lot of threads on this topic and the experts always say the same thing...
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Agreed. 2 of the same will ALWAYS outperform a mixed bag. And, with the "coupling" efect, you gain not only more overall volume, but also better low end response.
  8. Fairly accurate statement from a dispersion perspective. However some port designs can be such as they greatly optimize voice coils heat dissipation thus lowering low end frequency compression at high volumes. An example of this is a vertical longitudinal port as seen on the dual woofers Barefaced designs. So in some specific circumstances, yes, port location & design can help with overall cabinet performance :)
  9. Flux-It is possible that what you really want may not be compatible with what you could do using the cab you have and end up spending money on further multi cab solutions. It seems to me that you may be looking for a PA-like bass cab sound. Maybe a single 2 or 3 -way cabinet would serve you well.
    Should you be open starting off a clean slate cabinet wise, I'd propose the following:
    Depending on your budget, you could consider and do some research on the Barefaced Big Twin (with our without tweeter) or a Fearful 12x12x6. The mid driver may give you the impression of "quickness" or attack you are after while low passed woofers will provide you with that rich but focused deep bass sound. All of this in a light, compact and single haul solution. My two cents! :)
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    His Baer ML112 is similar to the designs you mention. A second one would most likely get him to where he needs to go. Roger's OEM version of the 3012HO (kind of puts it in between the HO and LF) is more 'bass guitar friendly than either stock driver IMO an IME, and his Faital mid driver (also used by Alex of Barefaced, I believe) is a thing of beauty up top... much warmer and smoother than the 18Sound used in the fEARful design IMO and IME.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    think of the additional cab less like "another voice in the choir" and more like "extra cylinders in the engine"; you want them behaving identically so the extra power "syncs up" like it should, instead of getting wasted or even fighting the original power output.
  12. Yeah... all of this due to all of us doing our best describing subjective tonal signatures using words that can also be used to describe physical parameters... Its a bit like describing the taste of different wines (that specific wine has an acidic touch... but someone will eventually argue..eh, the pH is the same as the other one!)... One may feel a cab is "quick" because its frequency response emphasize the pick or finger attack noise on the strings- and no more is needed to trigger that classic speaker size vs displacement quickness discussion :eek:
  13. Thanks for the clarification and makes sense. So my suggestion would now be based solely on the single cabinet solution being easier to haul vs stacks - Big selling point for myself and many others, maybe not that much for Flux :)
  14. R Baer

    R Baer Commercial User

    Jun 5, 2008
    President, Baer Amplification
    IMO, there's a couple reasons behind the notion that 15's are sower than 10's. First off, people still associate the 15 sound with the sound of cabs from the 70's when 15's were very popular. Then came along the 410/tweeter design, with it's more hi-fi sound, that put 15's out of flavor for a while. In the meantime, although speaker technology has progressed very far, people still have that 70's sound in their head when they think of the 15's inherent tone. Secondly, in my experience, frequency response has everything to do with people's perception of speaker "speed". Take one cab with a bigger, deeper low end and compare it side by side with another cab with tighter lows and more present mids and players will pick that second cab as the "faster" of the two, every time. A well designed 15" cab shouldn't be any "slower" than a cabinet with tens, but it will often be perceived as such.

    I must admit that although we have discussed your rig made of synthesizer modules and preamps before, I've never been able to fully wrap my head around exactly what you are doing with it. I do wonder though, if you wouldn't be happier just using a really good bass head with some good cabinets and eliminating all those components that weren't necessarily designed to be used as a bass amp in the first place? IMO, the best rigs are always the simplest rigs. Unless of course, you are using the synth modules as more of an "effects unit" type thing, in which case you can ignore my previous statement. I always recommend to our customers who say they love the sound of the ML112, but need more volume/headroom, that they should just consider adding a second ML112. Same sound, more volume/headroom and an increase in "bigness" to the low end when stacked.

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