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4X10 and 1X15 a bad combo... but why?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Psychbass, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. I have an Eden WT 500 run into Eden 4x10 and 1x15. both have Tweeters. This was the set up that was pushed on my parents when when they purchased the set nearly 20 years ago (and they still sound amazing).

    However, I've heard that the 4x10 and 15 is a bad combination due to the imbalance in the cabinets. I have a peavey 4X10 cab as well (all of them are 4 Ohm cabs), and Im assuming it would sound better to switch the 15 out for the Peavey.

    I've played smaller gigs without the 15 and it does seem to sound better to my ears. I don't put the amp in bridge mode for the 1 cabinet, and i just swing the balance knob 100% towards the side with the speaker.

    The question I have is why is the 15 inch a bad combo? What is the purpose of a 15 if the 4X10 just sounds so much better anyway. Should I be using bridge mode with the one 4x10? Will that blow it up?

    Should I just use the 4x10 and also run the DI to the PA?

    Much appreciated.

  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    You can't say different cabinets are imbalanced or incompatible in general - you need to look at specific cabinets and their characteristics. I use a 15" cab paired with a 12"/6"/tweeter cab and that works because they are designed to be used together.
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    The general thought process is:
    Your 4X10 is getting half of the wattage and the 1X15 is getting the other half. The 4X10 is dividing that power between 4 speakers and 1X15 is sending all of it to just one.
  4. Most commercially available 1X15's only have about the same output as a 2X10, so it has trouble keeping up with a 4X10, and becomes the weakest link.

    Not to mention, mixing driver sizes *can* cause phasing anomalies that create areas of dead bass, and areas of boominess around the room.
    RickyT likes this.
  5. ok, I get that the 15 gets half the power as the 10s and then is more likely to blow up as I turn the volume up. (I've never brought the main volume above 5 as it's never been necessary).

    However, could this be attenuated by the mix knob on the amp... such as if I set it to send more signal to the 15 and less to the 10s... or am I just limiting my overall volume at that point?
  6. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    You would want to send more signal to the 10's, not the 15.
  7. You would want to send more signal to the 10's, not the 15.

    That makes sense. Thanks.
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Please do a search on the subject - it really has been done to death on this site. The same problems occur with the Mesa big cabinets containing a 15 and four tens. Search for those threads too.

    In a nutshell, if you like the sound of your 4x10, a second identical 4x10 will give you more of what you like.

    Edit: Adding a 15 will just create a weak link in your system as the 15 would be outclassed in every regard by the much more efficient 4x10.
    CosmicRay likes this.
  9. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    Im still trying to wrap my head around being able to use two 4Ω cabs in bridge mode. Is 2Ω bridged a recommended setting for that amp? If so, cool, I just have a bit of an aversion to ever going under 4Ω, even if the amp specs say it will be ok. I don't like using my amps as a backup space heater.
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Good catch BC, I completely missed that!! :)

    Re-reading the OP I think that he may be meaning that, with the one cabinet, he only uses one side of the amp. Both sides for two cabinets.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I would doubt that it can sustain a 2ohm load. In fact, I'm pretty sure the 'bridge' outputs on the back of the stereo WT amps state on them 8ohm min. , while the individual A/B amps state 4ohm loads min. which is pretty much a standard arrangement.
  12. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
    As already said, you are trying to send equal amounts of power to cabs with totally different amounts of power handling. No good reason to do it that I've ever seen. The big reason I hear is 4x10 "for the highs" and a 15 "for the lows" which is not how it works at all.

    I know this comes across as very condescending but when I see someone with a 4x10 on a 1x15, I immediately disregard anything they say about bass gear or their knowledge of it. I'm just putting that out there... feel free to keep it in mind or not, but I would want someone to tell me the same.
    iualum likes this.
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
  14. It's simple: A 4x10 has almost 4x the surface area of 1x15. It moves more air, so it's MUCH louder. Your 4x10 drowns out the 1x15, making it pointless.
  15. Goatee


    Aug 28, 2006
    Yes this has been done to death on this and other forums but the thing is the "anti mixing 10's with 15's brigade" have very little substance to back up their claims. Various theories are banded about e.g phasing, booming etc but at the end of the day many companies make cabs loaded with 10's and 15's which are designed to work together and many people are out there gigging with a mixed set up and are perfectly happy with their sound...(me included)

    In fact there are a few major amp manufacturers that have created cabs with a 15 and 10's in one cab, are the (so called) forum experts going to tell them they don't know what they are doing?
    smithcreek likes this.
  16. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I am definitely no sound engineer or cab designer, but I've seem some guys with a looooong list of credentials fall into the brigade you're referring to. Graphs and figures seem like hard evidence to me. I also don't see how arguing cone space and dispersion isn't a substantial argument.

    I'd also add that from a practical standpoint, this could be the same as a P/J bass or a smiley face EQ setting. In certain contexts it sounds great, and it might be that it was exactly what the person was looking for. However if they are having issues cutting or there are certain things they aren't aware of (boominess in certain places, lack of definition, etc) this could be a situation where they just don't know what they are missing or mishearing. Not to mention many folks listen with their eyes and assume the 4x10's + 1x15 rig to be the "pro rig" stack.
  17. Sorry if that was worded poorly, I DON'T use bridge mode. just one side of the WT going to one cab, and the other side going to the other cab. Both are 4 Ohm loads, which each side is rated at. If I had an 8 Ohm 15 cab, I would simply buy another 8 ohm 15. As of now, I mainly use the 15 to hold the 10s at ear level (and because I have it). I may just put castors on the Peavey 4x10 and use it or just use one cabinet with the WT.

    In 20 years of using it, I've never blown the 15. Never gotten close to needing it to be that loud.

    However, I can see some truth to the phasing using the mixed cabs in some rooms. There are certainly dead spots with it that I don't notice when I don't use the 15.

    Please notice my second post. ;-)
  18. brainburst


    Jan 10, 2012
    bronx ny
    The manufacturers know exactly what they are doing: They will package anything that there is a market for whether it is a good idea or not!

    The fact is that the frequency and transient response of a 4 x 10 vs a 1 x 15 are different. Having two cabinets covering the same frequency range but responding differently is generally not good unless they are somehow perfectly complementary. That is very difficult unless you can eq and amplify them separately.
  19. The question at hand is 4x10 with 1x15. 10s and 15s can be done...but you have to balance output volumes.

    You won't do that with 4x10 and 1x15. Maybe 2x10 & 1x15. I had a traynor cab that was set up like that. It was decently balanced, but the 2x10 were still louder than the 1x15. The surface areas need to be close. You've got to move the same amount of air with both cabs or 1 will overpower the other.