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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RHCP250, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. RHCP250


    Nov 24, 2008
    So I'm thinking of doing a 4x10 on-top of a 1x15 stack that I see many famous artists doing, and it seems that it is very common. I've been reading on here though, that a 4x10 actually produces more low-end than the 1x15. I liked the idea, and figured most people did it because the 10's take care of your higher frequencies, and the 15 takes care of the lows. Why is it that the 10's produce more low end than the 15?
  2. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    i dont know but i can attest to this in real life.. i have a gk 1001rbII and 2 4x10 cabs.. was thinking about geting a 1x15 .. went to gc.. with my bass played a 1001rbII with my bass in a 4x10 and 1x15 setup and it just didnt have the bass..

    wasnt there.. as to why i have no idea
  3. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    In reality, the diameter of the speaker has very little to do with 'bass' or 'low frequencies'. It's all about the specifications of the speaker itself and the enclosure it's put into.

    Some 10's, 8's, and even 5's have better low end than many 15's.

    Likewise, some 15's absolutely kill some 10's in the low department. It's all about the speaker and the enclosure design.
  4. swankfrank6


    Feb 5, 2008

    i was surprised when i found this out too.
  5. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    I suppose I should add that speaker surface area does play a part in it. 4x10 has more speaker surface area than 1x15, so you 'feel' more of the bass, as it moves more air.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The size of the cab, and it's porting, has more to do with low end than spkr size.
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The reason is called Hoffman's Iron Law. From a cabinet of a given size you can only get so much output and low frequency extension for a given input power. For a 1x15 to be able to go significantly lower than a 4x10 it would have to be either a lot larger, like twice as large, or it would have to be able to make use of a lot more power, like twice as much, or have a combination larger size and higher usable power. Since most 1x15s are about the same size as 4x10s that part of Hoffman's equation is a dead end. Where power is concerned the average 4x10s four voice coils will handle twice the power as the average 1x15s single voice coil. More significant, the combined cone displacement of the average 4x10 is greater than the average 1x15. That's three strikes against a 1x15 having either lower extension or greater low frequency output than a 4x10.

    There are fifteens with enough displacement to beat a 4x10 in the same size cabinet, the Eminence 3015LF being the best example, but you won't find a 3015LF in an average 1x15.

    As to why so many guys use the 1x15 under a 4x10, they, like you, never had it explained to them why adding a 1x15 usually won't give as good a result as another 4x10. They just assumed bigger drivers must go lower. They can, but only if the box they're in and/or the displacement limited power rating is also bigger.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    How does all that apply to a 15 with a 2x10?
  9. RHCP250


    Nov 24, 2008
    Thanks for that info billfitz! I'm really glad I asked before buying. I'm thinking I'm going to go with a 4x10 and a 2x10. That way I can keep the 4 at my drummers house/rehersal space and use that at gigs, and leave the 2 at home, or bring it along if I need more volume.

    Actually I just thought of something. How do 12 inch driver compare with 10 as far as covering all the frequencies?
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's all in the design of the boxes they're in and the quality of the drivers. You just can't generalize anymore about the low end now that cab making is pretty much an exact science. I used to think you could, but I've played through quite a few cabs lately that have defied many of the previously held generalizations. They can't defeat laws of physics, but the laws of physics can be manipulated.
  11. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    Nice summary, JimmyM.

    Here's another way of looking at Hoffman's Iron Law: Cabinet size is like an acoustic bank balance, which the designer "spends" as he sees fit on some combination of bass extension and efficiency. The larger the bank balance (or cabinet size), the more efficiency and/or bass extension the designer can "buy". Different sizes and numbers of drivers do not give the designer a bigger acoustic bank balance; they just "spend" what's in it somewhat differently.

    Mechanical, and sometimes thermal, limitations will cap the maximum SPL that a given cabinet can achieve. So it's not uncommon for a less efficient speaker to actually be able to play louder than a more efficient one, if the more efficient speaker runs into its limits at a lower sound pressure level (and of course lower power level). In fact, in driver design there's a tradeoff relationship between efficiency and displacement capacity for a given cone diameter, so it is unlikely that very efficient drivers are also capable of long excursions.

    Anyway, it is quite possible that some 2x10s will play lower or louder (or even both) relative to some 1x15s. It all depends on the specifics. And remember that the enclosure size will give you a good idea of how much efficiency vs bass extension the designer had available to "spend".
  12. Martizmo


    Mar 26, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    This is Ampegs quote not mine

    "10” speakers work much more efficiently than fifteens or eighteens—and if you put eight 10” speakers together, you can move a huge column of air. You’d need five 18” or six 15” speakers to move as much air as the SVT-810E! And they simply wouldn’t be able to respond to transient peaks as quickly as tens"
    Back to me
    I have a 2x15" earth cab and an 8x10" svt and I love them both. I would say the SVT has a bit more lows actually but the 2x15 has a more crushing tone (at times). We bass players are always looking for the 5th element!

    As others had mentioned, it also comes down to speaker wattage, quality and enclosure construction and dimensions.
  13. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    A quality 115 with a 3015LF and a quality mid, in a big enough cab, will probably put out around the same peak volume as an Ampeg 8x10. Particularly if you've got a lot of lows dialed in.
  14. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    All cabs sound different.
    My Bergantino HT115 does add more lowend to my Eden 410XLT.
    Sounds fantastic under any cab, including my HT210S.
    I think it is a deeper sounding 15 than some others.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I love a good 810, but the response thing is at best a half-truth, and I think they overstate the performance of an 810 as compared to 15"s. That's why marketing blurbs are not the best testaments to acoustic science.
  16. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It's a much better match, especially as a 2x10 allows vertical placement for the elimination of combing and doubling the angle of midrange dispersion.
    The difference is slight, but for that matter it's not all that great between full range (as opposed to subwoofer) fifteens and tens. And a 1x15 or vertically aligned 2x15 will have wider midrange dispersion than 4x10s or 8x10s respectively. I'd personally run a pair of 1x15s or pair of vertically stacked 2x10s than an 8x10 if I had to use commercial cabs.
    Just about any cab will add more low end to your Eden, the result of the additional cone displacement and lowered impedance load. The question is whether you'd get more additional low end from adding a 1x15 or by adding another 4x10. With the vast majority of cabs another 4x10 would go at least as low and definitely louder.
  17. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I used to run a 210XLT with the 410, but I think the 15 makes it sound lower....to my ears....not that the 410 is ever lacking in lows!
    I do prefer the clarity and definition of the HT210S with the 15.
    The HT112 on top of the 15 used to overpower the immediate volume of the 15........the 210 sounds more balanced
  18. Acquistapace


    Feb 28, 2009
    I think Bill can attest to the severe education I've had over this issue recently.

    In practical terms, a buddy just gave me a beastly 2x15 that I thought would solve my problems... and it's simply not giving me the extension I'd expected. I'm expecting Orange 4x10s and 8x10s in my future, though some 1x15s might hop in too, as they're slightly less expensive and have some stout low-frequency drivers.

    Still, unless you're hunting for ominous tones out of some freak-spec cabs (guilty as charged), I bet a duplicate cab to what you have'll totally do the trick.
  19. Aarix


    May 19, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    I've been experimenting with different speakers for a few years (I'll stick with a setup for at 6-12 months). Recently I'm back to a single 4x10 and loving it. I play a 5 string Lakland and my Avatar 4x10 definitely has more usable low end than the 12's & 15's I've been through. And it's actually less weight because I only bring one cab. Go figure...
  20. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Yes, there is nothing better than a one cab to the gig solution.....
    especially if it is light

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