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advice on LDS cab build

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pfschim, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I recently picked up a very clean Fender Studio Bass amp. Its a mid 70's 200w all tube head which I'm pretty sure was designed by Paul Rivera along with the Super Twin of the same era. It has a classic Fender tone stack (of course) and an additional "presence" control. It also has a switchable 5 band rotary EQ section. Originally came in a combo with an EV 15. Mine is just the amp section placed into a (very nice) mojo-tone Fender style head cabinet. Very nice sounding.

    I have been using it through a Berg CN212 and it sounds great through that cab, but the Berg is 18" wide and the amp is 26" wide. This got me thinking about getting a more width appropriate cab built and also to seek a more vintage design.

    I was thinking of something like a somewhat updated Bassman 2x15, but with the drivers offset, and tuned a bit lower than the traditional Bassmans, which don't deliver much below 80hz or so.

    I spoke with Don Oatman and we considered JBL D140's, K140's or K145's. Don also suggested I consider some of the modern Eminence Kappa 15's or even the Faital pro 15pr400 (which he really seems to like).

    I am seeking a bit updated oldschool tone cab, that might have a bit more range (particularly down low), and even response across the range, than the original cab/speakers offered, so the modern drivers are appealing. I also really like the amp through the Berg CN212, so modern speaker technology is not out of the question at all. OTOH, it does seem like a JBL K140 2x15 cab would just sound really great with this amp.

    Of course with the JBL's, I'd have to go seek them somewhere and hope that I got some that were not beat to death. There is also the weight consideration too.

    So, I am seeking some input from the collective wisdom of TB on some way to think through this decision.

    Don certainly makes it easy to consider options, but I will need to come to some decision here in order to have a cab to go with my new/old amp.

    thoughts ?
  2. ::::BASSIST::::

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

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I'd go with the Faitals. They get alot of love.
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Whatever you do be sure you use an 8 ohm load with that amp if you want full performance. It's an Ed Jahns design BTW. He also did the 400-PS and many other Fenders of that era, as well as much of the actual nuts and bolts design of several of the Rivera Era amps of the mid 80s.
  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Another +1 for the Faitals. I had that 15 in a Bassic and it had a superb old school sound.
    I think you'd also love that under your Walkabout.
  5. topcat2069


    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    I played my Bassman 100 through my G&K Neo 1X15s and the tone was to die for !! Old school sounds great through new tech !!! go for efficiency......
  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    I had Don build me a 215, vertical cab that was designed for two JBL K140's, out of lightweight plywood, with removable casters. I don't know about the 8 ohm thing, Charlie knows more about that stuff than me, but I played a MusicMan HD 150 with that cab and it was glorious ( 4 ohm load ). The K140's weigh about 15 lbs, and with the vertical design, it's really not that hard of a schlep, if you have a hatch back type vehicle; basic roll and tip in type of load. Going upstairs, yeah a pain in the butt, but most of my gigs were pretty much roll it in and turn it on. Those old JBL 15's, especially the K140's have that wonderful, sweet warm tone for tube heads. I have read that the Faital is similar, but have'nt heard one in person. Good luck !
  7. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I have the Faital in my Bassic15 and I love it. Lots of range. The highs are magnificent. I've never like tweeters and this speaker doesn't need one.
  8. +1 The LDS 15's using that Faital are simply wonderful (as I'm sure the very similar Bassic15 is also!). The 3015HO loaded boxes are very good also, and in the same 'punchy, warm and 'paper cone bright' up top. Really nice small cab designs.

    Not sure about the ability (per the post above) to do a 2 x 15 cab at 8ohm impedance with those drivers though. Not sure, but might only be available 'off the shelf' in 8ohm configuration. The OP would need either 4ohm or 16ohm drivers to optimally work with his '8ohm optimal' tube head, if I'm understanding Charlie's post correctly.
  9. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the input so far. Sounds like the Faital pro 15pr400's get some love around here.

    Don has advised an 8ohm cab as the Studio Bass only has one 8 ohm out. I believe this amp is used at 4ohms all the time without issue, but if I am going to get a cab specifically made for it, I would like it to match the amp specs as close as possible.

    That said, I think that limits me to modern drivers as I have not been able to find any 4ohm or 16ohm JBL's. I also think Don mentioned that the Eminence drivers only came in 8ohm too. I'll have to check back with him.
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I have only worked on one of these, which came in in very rough shape. The owner made me keep to a tight budget and frankly I never was all that happy with the results. My recollection is that it made around 120 watts into 4 ohms, and 165-180 at 8 depending on what I considered to be acceptable distortion, and also how my line voltage was doing on a particular day. The rating on the schematic says 180 watts at 8 ohms FWIW.

    I also had quite the adventure with one Super Twin Reverb combo, used for guitar. The was upwards of twenty years ago and I've done my best to erase all memory of the ordeal. I'm sure that one would've made a great bass amp with a different cab though.

    John K and I have discussed this in the past and I will happily defer to his much greater experience with these amps. You can rarely go wrong sticking with the factory specified load though, assuming the amp is up to stock spec.

    Best of luck, and have fun. :cool:
  11. foderaman

    foderaman Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    The Faital PR400 comes in 4 or 8 ohm.I had Don build me a 4 Ohm 15/6/1 and it turned out perfect !!!
  12. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    So 2 4ohm Faital PR400's could be wired in series (?) to get an 8ohm total load, and that should be good for the 8ohm Studio Bass amp ... right?

    Does anyone happen to know if the Eminence 3015HO's come in both 4 and 8 ?

    My JBL search is starting to show some 16ohm K140's, so that may still be a possibility unless I am reading that wrong.

    thanks, as always for the collective insights. I told Don I would let him know which way I want to go by Friday.
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    There are aftermarket 16 ohm D140 recone kits out there, not sure about Ks or JBL factory kits though. I always preferred my E145s over any Ds or Ks, but many feel otherwise, especially those not shooting for dead clean. I'd probably just get the Faitals.
  14. Cool. That would work well for the OP for an old school sounding lightweight 215 8ohm cab. Two 4ohm Faitals in series... done!
  15. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    Both the 3015s & 15PR400s are tremendous. Some prefer one, some the other. But the U.S. Speaker site shows the Eminence in 8 ohm only. If you really need an 8 ohm 215, though, then the Faital is the choice.

    http://www.usspeaker.com/Kappa Lite-3015-1.htm

    http://www.usspeaker.com/faital pro 15PR400-1.htm
  16. subscribed... interested to see what you come up with. Especially interested in the whole wide - 26" wide piece. You don't see many cabs that wide,,, especially these days. It's all 24" wide for use with modern tube amps / led sled amps,, and 19" or smaller for more modern cabs for use with Class D.

    I have a couple old tube amps that are 26" wide, and have often thought about having a cab made,,, but what configuration for a 26" wide cab?

    Are you going to have your new cab styled to match the fender head?
  17. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    yes, that's the intent. black tolex and some close approximation to Fender silver face grill cloth. If Don builds it, I suppose it will come with an LDS badge, but I may just stick a 70's style Fender badge on it to match the Studio Bass.

    The other thing that was pointed out to me is that the original Bassman 2x15 cabs were sealed (yes?). If thats true, do I want to go in that direction ? I have experience with both sealed and ported cabs of all kinds, and more-or-less recognize the usual upsides/downsides of both. I was thinking ported, but now I am scratching my head a bit.

    again, the goal is a somewhat updated oldschool tone that does not need tons of deep low end, or much way up top. Keep thinking of the JBL loaded TL606 type cabs I used back in the 70's. Tight low-end, sweet low-mid & mids, and good upper presence without any clack or sizzle. All of this driven by a 200w Fender all tube amp (which is being checked out by a tech as we speak).

    thoughts ?
  18. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Play guitar.
    When Don lived in my neck of the woods, he used to own a Fender Studio Bass combo. Maybe talk to him and see if he can match the build, if you want an exact copy. BTW, Don plays bass and is very familiar with this rig.
  19. It has been a while since I've talked with Don, but I remember him kind of 'collecting' these things. I think he has at least a couple.
  20. I think fender amps (and a lot of old tube amps) pair up nicely with a cab that is strong in the mids and tight in the bottom.

    You like it with the CN212? To me, that cab has a nice low end that is tight, controlled, and punchy, and had a really nice strong mid voice, and smooth top. I did A LOT of gigs with a Bassman 100 and I really liked it with an Aguilar DB212 - similar to the CN cab, nice strong mids, etc... To my ear the CN has a little tighter bottom, and is more low mid voiced, where the Aguilar is more mid mid voiced. I played the Bassman with a pair of Ashdown compact 15s and it was not a good match. Those cabs did not go very high, and had a big bottom. The low end was a little out of control. Too much bloom on the low E string and weak in the mids. I played it on a couple gigs with a sealed NV412, and it was awesome - again, tight bottom, punchy, nice strong mid voice.

    I wouldn't be afraid of a sealed box, but that will limit your choice of drivers. Talk to Don about it. He can maybe do a ported box that has a nice tight low end, similar to a sealed box.