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810 vs 215

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassoMatik, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. BassoMatik


    Aug 23, 2012
    I know the 115 vs 410 debate has come up a lot and I remember there was maybe one 810 vs 215 in the past but I can't find it. Please don't get mad :eyebrow:

    Anyway, what are the advantages of having a 215 vs an 810 and vice versa. I've always wanted to play and possibly own a big rig.

    Does a 15 have an advantage over a 10? And does a 10 have an advantage over a 15?
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Size doesn't mean much. The other 20 or 30 parameters that make a speaker what it is do.
  3. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    A certain 10 will have certain advantages and disadvantages over a certain 15 and vice versa, but with modern speaker design there is no way to tell from speaker to speaker. Then there is also the design of the box. In the end, find what you think you might like and try them out.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Problem is, when you say "810", most people automatically think "SVT", and that cool, but, whether you like it or not, that's pretty much going to be your constant comparison for what an 810 is. I don't think there's a common 215 with that level of top-of-mind awareness. Some may think older Sunn or Fender, some Peavey BW's, some Mesa, etc.

    With the new speaker technology now, there's 215's and 412's that can run deeper and louder than an SVT 810. Whether that equates to "better", is a matter of taste.
  5. That's always the crap-shoot. It's a major PITA to drag my rack and basses into a music store to try out cabs and/or heads. Not to mention the fact, that the music store environment bears no resemblance whatsoever to the venues where I actually crank 'em way up for an extended period of time.
  6. BassoMatik


    Aug 23, 2012
    I know my local Guitar Center has 810's that I can try out. But as far as 215's? I haven't found a single place nearby that has one.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Do any have a pair of the same model 115's? If so play them together. You could play a bunch of different 215's and hear as many different sounds as there was cabs to play. Same goes for 810's or any other combination.
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Although it's a gross generalization, IME sealed 810s seem to have around the same midrange content as many 215s, whereas ported 810s go deeper and typically have brighter highs than a sealed 810 - largely due to the ports increasing low end output, and that *most* ported 810s will also have a horn/tweeter... As far as volume is concerned, most 810s will get louder than most 215s - IME, a 215 will typically put out around the same volume as a 610...

    I tend to like my ported 810s for modern rock/hard rock/metal, and 215s for classic rock/blues/modern country...

    All of the above is based on my experiences with commercial cabs - I've played pretty much all of the pro quality big cabs, and owned quite a few of them... None of the above applies to the custom designed cabs like the fEarful, Dually, Barefaced, etc...

    Here's a couple of my cabs:

  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Based on my experience I think most 8x10s should be able to do whatever a 2x15 from the same manufacturer/product line can. Generally you are going to get more output out of the 8x10. If you want the softer edge of a 2x15 and fill-the-room lows, you can dial em in.

    The SWR Megoliath (my current cab) has some truly epic low end if you want it. It's a hard 8x10 to beat if you can find one. Low mids/rock voicing, but very sensitive. With the right EQ I have gotten it to sound very close to other cabs I've owned.
  10. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    ^ This

    There are soooo many other things that go into what makes a cab sound the way it does. I will say this, though...most 2x15s will be LIGHTER than most 8x10s ;)
  11. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
    It comes down to response time. The bigger the driver the more mass that has to move and the more inertia that has to be overcome when changing frequency. 10" drivers are more responsive to changes in input than 15" drivers. Of course you need more 10" drivers to move the same amount of air as a 15".

    The thinking for reinforcement, nowadays, is more small drivers. Look at any modern large concert reinforcement rig. Compared to those in the 70's and 80's. Lots of smaller drivers in vertical arrays arrays, rather than big drivers in horizontal arrays. The smaller driver arrays sound better, vertical arrays sound better. IMHO. I've heard the improvement over 35 years of concert going.

    A ported 10" can reach the same low frequencies as a 15", and provide faster response times and improved mid and high response.

    I myself use 2x10's and stack em up as the venue size increases. It's easier on the back and it's scalable :smug:.

    I'm sold on 10s and won't be going back to 15s.
  12. RootNoteRadical


    Dec 8, 2011
    Obviously I love the AMPEG 810e, I do love 2x15's. But as most people here will tell you size of the speaker doesn't matter and of course you want the lightest thing you can carry.............
  13. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    A 15" speaker will have more sensitivity around 97 to 100dB
    10" speakers are much lower 92 to 96dB. Cost is similar in all price brackets around 90$ 150$ or 300$ per driver , so the overall cost at whatever price level to a 2x15 and 2x10 would be the same. Except the output of a 2x15 would be much higher and require less power to reach band levels. Also in general the resonant frequency of a 15" speaker is lower. So they can produce more bass . The only drawback to having more bass response is the physical size of the box needs to be bigger.

    10" speaker is smaller so you can fit them into smaller boxes.
    So even if the lack sensitivity you can stuff 4 of them into a box
    that would only be able to support a 1x15.
    So in general it takes 2x10" to equal the output of a single 15"
    So if you stuff 4 of them into a small box you get the sensitivity of a 2x15, the only trade off is you have the extra weight of 2 more drivers and the bass response is lower.

    Likewise if you compare a 8x10 to a 2x15, the 2x15 will be lighter. but the 8x10 will be able to handle more power and the maximum volume or maximum SPL will be slightly higher.
    Going by the 2x10 = 1x15 a much more fair comparison
    Would be a 4x15 compared to a 8x10. Output and power handling is roughly the same. The bass output of the 15" would be much deeper.

    Going old school the average weight of a standard ampeg 8x10 is about 165 to 175 pounds, and the average of a 2x15 would be about 90 to 115 pounds. now with lighter materials and lighter neo drivers those numbers can be thrown out the window. Likewise you still talking 8 speakers compared to 4 speakers and even though the weight has been reduced. The weight and cost of each speaker is roughly the same 7 to 12 pounds and a average of 200 to 400 dollars per driver.
    So a 4x15 would still be less cost and less weight. Only drawback is the 15" requires a bigger box. or 2 separate enclosures as opposed to one single 8x10.

    overall comparing cost, size ,weight, power handling

    the best overall compromise between all is to use a pair of drivers with higher sensitivity. In this case the best option would be a 2x12 or 2x15. This would satisfy 80% of all bass players. For the other 20% you would just add another 2x12 or 2x15 for more output. Otherwise the low sensitivity of a 2x10 is hopeless when compared. If a player needs a small portable box like a 2x10, the 2x12 is not much larger, but the overall sensitivity and power handling is much higher. Well worth the compromise to a slightly bigger box. If a player needed more output from a 2x12 or 2x15 and does not want to add more cabinets for extra volume. Then the other option is to buy higher cost speakers which can handle more power. So instead of getting more output from more speakers you would get more output from more wattage. In todays lightweight high powered amps market having 600 to 800 watts on tap is not really a problem.
    The only drawback is the high cost of high power speakers.
    OrphicTrench likes this.
  14. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    why stop at 1 2x15?

    why not an 8x10 + 2x15?

    or 2x18s :love:

    what about 4x15s?

    diff'rent strokes. . .
    Joshua Cass likes this.
  15. Wrong. :scowl:

    Thats like saying a Honda Civic is faster than a Bugatti because its lighter. The Honda is lighter, but that is one spec out of a long list of things that determine how a speaker sounds.

    Bigger speakers have more powerful motors than smaller speakers. The rest of the parameters, and the cabinet design will determine frequency response, not driver size.
  16. Nothing to add to what's been said. I love those cabs though. :hyper:
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I love this thinking. Y'all may think what you wish, but it makes complete and total sense to me. It's great.
  18. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    As has been stated, it's more of a speaker specific issue. That said though, I still think the JBL 15s (130s, 140s, especially the K series) are the end all, be all of bass speakers for me at least, and thus I will be sticking with my 15" loaded cabs.
  19. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    A 2x15, assuming the speakers are vertically stacked, will sound the same off axis as it does directly in front. 8x10s sound good if you are standing in front of it. But it wont make a good stage monitor for the rest the band or for the audience. Unless you stack all the tens above each other
    The classic 8x10 is redundant old technology.
  20. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    This is incorrect. F=m.a therefore a=F/m

    As long as F is increased proportionally (i.e. with a stronger motor) then the acceleration remains constant. This can be both measured and proven mathematically.

    The inductance of a driver dominates its transient response - a 15" with lower voicecoil inductance than a 10" with equal motor strength will respond faster.
    RaggaDruida likes this.

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