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2x15" driver options...E140, Kappa? What's your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rock&Roll, May 12, 2004.

  1. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    I was recently made the fortunate benificiary of an old Acoustic 406 2x15 speaker cabinet, minus the drivers. So now my search has begun to try and make the cab a useful item.

    From what I'm told, the cabinet came stock with CTS speakers that would be similar to 150w house eminence stamped steel speakers.

    Before I get started, I'll let you know I play four string basses in old rock&roll style, so I'm only looking to get a good 40hz from things

    A friend put a bug in my ear that the JBL E-140's had impressive low end and an amazing bright upper end. From words alone, this sounded good me. Then I looked around and found Eminence Kappa Pro speakers for a good price. The visual response curve for the Kappas seemed to mimic the verbal explanation of a E-140. Even the X-max and cone mass of the E140 and Kappas are very close.

    I know the Kappa Pro has a 72g cone mass, and the Kappa Pro LF has a 97g cone mass. To me, a heavier cone means the highs go bye bye. So I have the notion to avoid the LF to retain some highs.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has some input on how the Kappa's compare with the E-140s? I've not had a whole lot of luck digging up many details on the outdated E-140's. I know the 7 year MFG waranty of a set of Kappa looks real nice.

    A link to the Kappa PDF can be found here : Kappa Pro Kappa Pro LF

    The best JBL E-140 data I could find was this PDF: E-series

    Acoustic 406 Picture (It's the cab on the right)

    So please, tell me what you can.

    Thank you
  2. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    You're correct about the highs. The LF is more geared towards subwoofer applications, whereas the other is for 2 or 1 way systems. You may want to try going with a crossover though... the 2x15" for the lows and a 6" midrange in there somewhere for the mids/highs. That's the concept behind the Bergantino 215.
  3. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    Choice of driver really depends on the physical volume of the cab... and how much you want to spend.

    I built 2 1x15 cabs a couple of years back and used eminence Kappa 15LF drivers (not the PRO series). They don't produce anything above 1500Hz though. Other than that those drivers are the best you'll get for the money and I couldn't really be happier for all they cost. I'm just running a piezo HF tweeter in parallel with one of the cabs to add treble and it sounds OK (I'm going to do a bit of redesigning soon to add a 1x10 and HF driver).

    If you do a bit of measuring up and work out the volume of the cab then there's loads of people here who'll throw in an opinion! Do you have bgavins spreadsheet?
  4. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Interesting you would only get up to 1,500hz on one of those. The Kappa PRO is advertised as 40-4,000hz, which is what is shown on the response curve. Yours was the non Pro, which is advertised for 30-2,500hz.

    If I got one of these, would I be likely not to see 3 or 4khz out of it? I'm just wondering how common it is to loose 1,000 hz off of the advertised top end.

    What kind of bass and amp do you use?
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Cab design is a huge factor of course, but driver to driver - the JBL's will smoke just about any other 15 out there. They have a wonderful natural presence to them. They are also quite efficient. They want around 4 cu ft ported per driver. That 406 is probably a little small (I've slept since I saw one of those ...) I had D140's mounted in a SUNN 2x15 that was a little small and that cab worked great. If you can lay your hands on the JBL's at a reasonable price, do it. They show up on E'Bay pretty often.

    Brownell (speakerreconing.com) in Portland OR makes a 1x15 cab to spec for that E140 and it's a honkin' little cab.
  6. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
  7. I've got a Kappa Pro 15LF in my SWR Workingman 1x15 cab. The original speaker blew. You are right in that it does not have adequate highs.. it is not really that usable as a stand-alone cab for that reason. I use it with a 2x10 and it's awesome, but that speaker really is best used as part of a sub setup.
  8. The E-140 don't have a lot of bottom, in fact very little at all. What they have in spades is punch. They also like to run in very small cabinets. The E-140 is better suited as a mid-bass driver, say 100 Hz or higher.

    The Kappa Pro 15LF is OK. Consider the Beyma and Selenium drivers also.

    See the spreadsheet.
  9. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Bruce, The E140 may spec that way, but they do make a great sounding bass guitar speaker. I'm with you on the small cab thing. Loaded in the Cabaret, 4 cu ft ported cab the E140 is a really nice sounding setup. In this case, I'm not sure the spec sheet tells the story adequately.
  10. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Hey I think I know where your speakers went:-

  11. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    I'm using a Wal 4 string through an Ashdown 500 watt combo with the internal speaker unhooked. It does sound very good with the tweeter (even though piezos are rubbish!). I've done many gigs with this set-up and have always been complemented about the sound.

    Take on-board whatever bgavin tells you - I built my cabs to his design!
  12. Bigwan


    Feb 22, 2002
    Ballymena (hey)
    ...I was going to say that. Looks really good but not worth 3.5 times the price of an Eminence Kappa 15LF to me. It'd make a cracking "mini" 1x15 cab though! Maybe some day!
  13. TheAmpNerd


    Apr 25, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I took a look at the pic, that is a nice looking cab. : )

    Things to consider...

    Are you going to gig with the cab?
    If so and you are going to haul it around, consider the
    eminence Deltalite 2515. I've not used this speakers yet
    but a noted bassplayer swears by them!

    Their range is 40 Hz to 3.5 kHz, power is 300 Wrms
    and voice coil is 2.5 inches...which should provide you
    with plenty of touch sensitivity too.

    I've also used the Delta Pro 400 Wrms, transducers in 2 x 15 cabinets with outstanding results too, these go up to 4 kHz.
    The guy was using a tricked out Ampeg SVT amp that I
    tweaked for him. It is a monster system and sounds superb.

    Eminence is making some great speakers, which just about EVERYONE in the business is using.

    I'm considering using the Deltalite transducer in a new
    bass cab that I'm prototyping.

    What is the pre-amp/amp combination that you are going to
    use with this rig?
  14. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Wow, hey, I really appreciate everyone's input. This forum is great. But sadly, there is no conclusion to be drawn from what as been said. One person says one thing, and then the next will contradict it. This was kindof expected though. Everyone has differnet tastes on what sounds good. So one bass driver that sounds good to one, might sound weak to the next. But your input has not fallen on deaf ears.

    I think I'll take a look at some of those other eminence speakers that TheAmpNerd mentioned. I'm just trying to keep in mind what a good set of speakers means in my terms of gigging and recording.

    I'm gonna try Bruce's Perfect Box program. If I understand what I saw correctly, I will be able to input the existing acoustic cabinet into the program, and then try different T/S speaker specs to see how a particular speaker would react in that cabinet. This definately looks cool.

    As for as the amp / pre-amp combo, I'll push the cab with a Crown DC-300A, and preamp that with one of my Acoustic 360 preamp heads.

    Just out of curiosity, what other JBL brand speakers would you recommend? I just need a good rock&roll tone, not metal, or jazz or rap. Thus, if I get no lower than 40 hz, that is plenty. Something in a vague sound range of of Entwistle, Geddy Lee, and Ronnie Lane from The Faces.

    I think the 2226H is out of the question since it seems to be more of a sub-only type speaker.

  15. I use a pair of the 2226H drivers in my old Sunn 2x15 cab and they work great. These are not subwoofers, Fs is 40 Hz. They are more intended for PA woofers, so their response is more linear than the E140's....they won't have the accentuated midrange of the E140's so I've heard.

    I tried the same 2226's in an old Kustom cab and they weren't as good a match as in the Sunn. A pair of Delta 15's did great in the Kustom however.
  16. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've been playing through either K145's or E145's (essentially identical) forever...well, since around 1978 anyway. I love them. They're fat, punchy, warm, and incredibly tough. :cool:
  17. JBL has always been fond of using the EBS alignment type for E140 drivers.

    This means they place the driver into a much larger cabinet to extend the low frequency response. Avatar does this with their 10" Delta cabs, and it is a common technique. The downside is the classic "shelf" response curve, and the huge amount of group delay (read: mud) at the tuning frequency.

    The laws of physics dictate you can have any two of these three: Loud-Small-Low. The E140 is first and foremost designed for efficiency (loud). This left the other two parameters (Small+Low) open to compromise. JBL could have opted for (Loud+NotSmall+Low) same as the Eminence Deltalite 2515 or Delta 15, but settled on (Loud+Small+NotLow) instead.

    The JBL specs simply describe the physics of the driver. Whether or not you like the sound of the driver is subjective. IMO the E140 has the punch of 10s and that classic JBL sound. It doesn't have bottom, but that does not mean it doesn't sound good.
  18. The PerfectBox program has long since outlived its usefulness.
    Use WinISD instead. My spread sheet contains everything you need to plug in a huge database for WinISD.

    The purpose of my spread sheet is matching a driver to your (existing) needs. Sort it by size first. If you have to match to an existing cabinet, then sort it by SBB4 Vb. Look at drivers that most closely match the existing cabinet volume including the displacement of the driver. Typically 0.2 cubic feet or less.

    A 2x15 cab uses half the internal volume as the requirement for each driver. Both drivers have to be the same if they are going to share this volume. Find the volume, divide by two, then subtract the driver displacement. This is the net volume occupied by a single driver. Pick a driver with the Fb close to your lowest note. Some drivers such as the E140 are not designed to run in SBB4 alignments, so do the same thing for the QB3 type.

    When you install a driver that is a very close match to your cabinet, then tune the cabinet as per the spread sheet, you will have a real nice sounding rig. I've done the math, you do the install work.

    When you are building from scratch, work in reverse. Pick the driver you really want to use, then find the cabinet and tuning to fit.
  19. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    I'm one goof ball in a group here that like a more vintage tone, with maybe a touch of hi-fi.

    Well, I've done some thinking. Since I'll be doing a lot more recording with this rig, I want the sound to be spot on not just good enough for gigs. I'm thinking my best bet will be to run JBL D-140's like they used to put in the old fender and sunn bass amps in the 60's. This seems like a very straight forward solution anyhow. Too bad JBL seems to be very hush-hush on giving out the specs for the D-140. :confused:

    I've seen that the 145 drivers are a better bass driver than the 140. I'm guessing, if both were in identical cabs side by side, I would say that the 145 was the better sounding speaker. But, the various 145's seem to be much less frequent at appearing on the market.

    A slight though that has been way in the back of my mind was running two different drivers in the same cab. Like running a more "sub-woofer" type driver in the bottom of the 2x15 cab, and a more biting driver like the e-140 in the top. If I was a tad more wealthy, I'd try it first hand (and probabably find that it was acutally a bad idea to begin with), but I don't think I'll be so lucky. ***(Just saw your post bgavin. this wont work)***

    Hehe, I can hear you guys now saying "make up your mind you idiot! We told you what will sound good! Shutup and go home!" :oops: Luckly, around these forums is a community of decent and helpful souls which I'm glad to be in. Thanks for putting up with indecisive weirdos like me.

    Anyhow, once I do decide which driver to use, I'll post here and give some results. It should at least be helpful to someone someday.
  20. Bi-amping the E140 is not a bad idea at all.

    A pair of 15" subwoofers (mine) bi-amped to a single E140 at 100 Hz and higher is perfectly satisfactory. This will provide a mammoth bottom and the upper end punch. And a lot of cabs to haul around.

    The E140, E145 and E155 are three different animals in their construction. I have numerous tech notes on my web site in the JBL section, if you are interested. The E140 is the bass/PA version of the E130. Very small xmax and highly efficient and punchy. The E145 is a large-underhung type coil (very expensive to make) and offers much more bottom at the cost of less efficiency. The E155 is different still, and has a unique cone shape and is designed for punch.

    I recently bought a few JBL M151-8 which are similar to the E140. The run SBB4 in 1.87 cubic feet at 45 Hz, making them great for bass stage rig or PA drivers. Most FOH guys don't want a bass stage rig with a big bottom because it interferes with the PA support. JBL are perfect for stage rigs in this case.