3015 plus mid vs. Fearful?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by morebass!, Jul 28, 2013.


  1. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    After 3 pages its clear this thread is more about the 3015 and my poor cab building skills than the Fearful - just so you know.

    I have a couple Kappalite 3015s. I'm a little disappointed in the low end from them in the cabs I built for them which are similar to TL606s but with bigger ports ala Passinwind. Actually they are kind of cheesy - I tried to salvage some low end MDF PA cabs by adding lots of poplar bracing. Anyway, playing bars with my medium-loud band with my B1500 and home-brew 3015 cabs I found I'd keep adding bass and sub-bass as the night went on. The mids would get cloudier the more lows I would add. I'm wondering if I had a quality cab, like a Dually for those 3015s would they perform better on the lows? An efficient 4 ohm cab that delivered the lows would be nice with my Walkabout. Would like to keep the weight down too.

    And to make a long question even longer I'm wonder if anyone's tried a 6" with the 3015. It makes sense to me since the 3015s aren't really that smooth in the mids and it would free the 15 up to just work on the lows and low-mids I haven't seen this discussed on TB. The 3015LF Fearful seems to get all the glory. Maybe that's the way to go for me too but I have these 2 3015s and would prefer a 4 ohm cab.

    So what say? Could a 2x15 + 6 be the key to happiness with 3015s?

    BTW I play four string and occasionally tune down to as low as C sharp. I slap but the 6" should be plenty of high end for me.
     
  2. 1n3

    1n3

    Sep 13, 2007
    USA
    Have you ever tested the cabs to see how they're tuned? That info could help answer your question.
     
  3. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The 3015LF is a completely different beast from the 3015 (non LF). I've owned cabs with both. It is my belief that adding a 6" mid to the 3015 wont do what you want. The 3015 already has a ton of mids and thats the job of the 6" so kinda redundant IMO.

    I would bet that you could ship your 3015s to an Authorized Builder and they could drop them into a Dually to your tonal satisfaction.
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    For what it's worth, I've never built a TL606 like that myself, and AFAIK no one else has actually followed my recommendations on how to do so yet...;)

    So, what actual box tuning frequency did you measure, and what is your actual net internal cab volume? I'd start by trying to fully optimize what you already have, then see where you may need to go.
     
  5. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    I have one coming so, stay tuned for another lds thread and read the details. Read. All of this stuffed has been talked about to the nth degree on here.
     
  6. I think your issue is the Walkabout, not the 3015's, which are just amazing sounding speakers. Yes, they have nice mid midrange response, and a very nice, warm upper mid response, but they can hammer down low. The Walkabout is a wonderful head, but it does get quite 'cloudy' sounding if you push it too hard (edit: your situation of adding bass EQ as the band gets louder to 'try to keep up' makes things much worse, not better). It is an honestly rated 300 watts, but if you push it beyond its limits, it will get quite flubby. This, IMO would be even worse with an 8ohm, lower sensitivity LF loaded box.

    The idea to have a Greenboy builder put those wonderful drivers in a professionally built and optimally tuned box (that could also be part of your problem) is a good one (if you are on a budget, you might check with Don and LDS also, since he has built a zillion wonderful 3015 loaded boxes). Then, you should look into a higher powered head and all would be good. An Aguilar TH500 would kick way harder than a Walkabout at 4ohms, and get you a somewhat similar warm, punchy tone with the 3015 x 2 box.

    That would be an amazing 'old school' sounding rig that would massively outperform similar 'cabs of old'.
     
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Clearly adding a mid driver wouldn't affect the lows, but he's asking about smoothing out the midrange, which it WOULD do.

    I'd thinking crossing a mid driver somewhere in the 1.5-2 kHz range would allow some of the bright upper mids of the 3015 through while also smoothing them out a bit, extending the top end of the cab's range AND aid with dispersion.

    I think you could add a 6" mid to a 215 cab with 3015s without changing the internal volume or porting of the cab too much (which I'm guessing kringle77 is doing). But I think it'd be hard to do with 115 cabs while having the optimum design for the 3015s but someone with more cab construction knowledge could comment on that.
     
  8. I would think he is talking about the midrange WAY below 1K, which is getting into the lower treble region for me. However, +1 if his issue is a bit too aggressive of a grind up top. That is not really how I read his post.

    Again, assuming he doesn't have a totally mis-designed box, I am 100% sure his issue is the Walkabout (which I owned for quite a while). GREAT sounding head, but if you push it in a loud situation, it will compress and get overly wooly, and if you add low end to try to fatten it at this point, all you get is mud IME.
     
  9. hdracer

    hdracer

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I have a 3015 in a properly built TL-606 and it rocks.
    It has none of the problems you describe.
     
  10. +1 It is one of my favorite speakers. Unique combination of really good mechanical specs (you can pound it down low), but yet it sounds like a great bass speaker, with that nice mid presence in the key 100hz to 500 hz range) and a very warm but present top end.
     
  11. Big +1

    Pushing an amplifier into overload shifts energy into harmonics. Energy is shifted from the fundamental and second harmonic of lower bass notes to the 80-300+ Hz range, producing sonic mud and weakening their 'depth'. Boosting the bass in an attempt to strengthen the lows only makes it worse. It's a battle that can't be won. So, assuming that the OP's cab is not grossly misaligned, the solution is an amp that can deliver more power in the deep bass.

    The OP has described his cabs as being 'similar to TL606s but with 'bigger ports'. Presumably this means they have around 3cf internal volume (per driver), and that the port area has been increased. To do this right (maintain the same fb), the port lengths would have to be lengthened. If this was not done, the resulting alignment could very well be very non-optimal (fb would be too high). This could be easily checked by performing the 'rice test' or by a quick modeling run using the actual port dimensions and internal cab volume. An optimally aligned cab could result in the stronger bass tone the OP is looking for, without the need to boost the bass. A more powerful amp would still likely help.
     
  12. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I took your recommendation and tried it. They actually don't sound too bad, just not what I think they can do. I had them in a Mesa 2x15 TL606 box before I build cabs myself. They sounded very good but I wanted more low end. The boxes I used have slightly more internal volume and the shelf port is 3 inches instead of 2. I don't know how to measure a box tuning frequency or used modeling software though I suppose I should learn. My other concern is that these boxes, though reinforced with the bracing I put in, are still made from MDF. Not even 3/4" either. Maybe 5/8. It's hard to tell with the rat fur on them.
     
  13. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    My new box is 1.5 ft3 and tuned to 65hz. It is loaded with a 3015 run fullrange and a faital 5fe120 5" high passed at 1.6khz. I really loved the dual 3015 I had. I just wished that I had made it smaller and tuned for a low mid bump centered at 150z. This one will have it. I also had a tweet in that cab but wished I had went with a mid. The 5fe120 is really low output but, that is what I chose on purpose. I find that I like to boost the treble on my amp so that a really good driver like the 3015 will develop some grind and excitement. At that point, most mids would get clacky. I've already hooked up these two drivers at home, outside a cab and it does just that. It adds alittle top end breath to the 3015, sort of like putting new strings on the bass. When the treble is turned up, the 3015 growls and the 5" stays smooth. This partical mid is really flat and doesn't seem to have any resonant spikes. Its the first one I've used that doesn't have a spike somewhere in the range. Stay tuned. The box should be here by early next week.
     
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Interesting!
     
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Less cab volume than a 606 works better than more, according to my local friends who've done this drill.

    Are you using the port blocker option? That seems most popular when using enlarged ports, which makes perfect sense.

    Anyhow, the gist of my actual recommendations involves trying many different box tunings and carefully measuring the results. Even if you going to trash the boxes, might be worth trying that first. ;)
     
  16. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    To clarify, I have used these cabs with my B1500 and still experience the muddiness. The WA is a new purchase and I haven't gigged with it yet - though I'd think it could be a good gigable head with a couple 3015s.

    With all the power and clarity of the B1500 on tap it seems that the issues are either the cab construction or the 3015s just don't go low enough for me. Although I braced the cabs it may be that they are just not solid enough to withstand the pounding. Compared to my Bag End S15B (the really big box 18.5x28.5x24.5) my 3015 box is really lacking in clarity and lows. Of course the BE is an outstanding 15 cab.
     
  17. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    kringle - Yes, very interesting. I like the grind of a good 15 (e.g. EV, JBL) for rock and blues but also want to be able to have a clean slap tone. And the 5 would help with the dispersion issue I read so much about (but can't say I notice a lot on the gig). Can't say I'd want a big bump at 150 hz. Isn't that in the Boom range? Seems like a Pbass could get too boomy at the volume a couple 3015s can produce with that kind of EQ.
     
  18. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I apologize for partially attributing my sloppy design to you. I pieced together recommendations from varous TBers and added some over-simplifications when the boxes fell in my lap. The ports may be partially blocked by some of the front-to-back bracing I did but otherwise there is no intentional blockage.

    If i start varying things how do I carefully measure the results? Recordings?
     
  19. Sounds like a box tuning problem. Those 3015's are the clearest punchiest 15's I've ever experienced, and they can handle a wump of power. That being said, they don't extend into the sub lows, so if you are cranking a bunch of 30h (or whatever the lowest band of bass is on that B1500, then things might get ugly even with a correctly tuned box. These drivers, to my ear, are all about clear punch, fat upper bass, and a wonderful midrange clarity.... like a great recorded P Bass or 60's style J bass with nickels sort of tone.

    If you want the big low end, the LF loaded cab might just be for you, especially with the power of the B1500!

    Good luck.
     
  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    No worries on my account, just want to see you get the best results possible. So for starters, look at the original TL606 plans and the way the port blocker screws on to the center section of the shelf. Try that before worrying about anything else.

    One seat of the pants way to measure tuning is to pull off the grill, face the cab driver up, and put some grains of rice on the driver. Sweep a low level sine signal through the cab and look for minimum cone travel, which shows up as less "dancing" by the rice. Note the frequency, and you're done. WinISD has a built in signal generator, as do many DAW apps. Listening to recordings and especially your own playing are definitely useful and important too though.

    I used a variety of other tools for measurements when I was still building DIY cabs. The threads in the Amps DIY sticky sections go into excruciating detail on all that stuff if you want to go deeper.
     
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