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Alternative to Kappalite 3015

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by beate_r, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    Hi there,

    a while ago i have built a box around the 3015. The speaker is by far not broken in, and my amps are just not powerful enough to achieve that.

    The the midrange of the box is very pronounced and the lows are to weak for my needs.

    I am aware that i can improve things a little bit by further increasing the volume of the box a bit, maybe to 85-90 l (it is currently slightly below 80), and even maybe by tuning it to something around 60 Hz.

    I am a bit frustrated - even my Beta 12 in some 50 litres sounds warmer and "deeper", and two of them would be at least as loud as the 3015 - for less money.

    Anyway, it might be worthwile to check for alternatives. Boundary conditions: lightweight, relatively compact vented cabinet, high efficiency is a must, because my ampliefiers are relatively weak.
  2. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    So, do you have a question?
  3. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Try a Faital 15PR400. It's voiced a little deeper with smoother mids and more extended highs. You shouldn't have any trouble selling the 3015 to help pay for it. Also, if you're amp doesn't put out much wattage into 8 ohms, you can get a 4 ohm Faital. That's about as good as it gets.
    I don't think you'd want to tune a 15 like that to 60 Hz. Use WinISD (free download) and the T/S parameters from the Faital website along with the calculated internal volume of your cab to find the best tuning. Once properly tuned for your driver, make sure there is some internal sound dampening (not a bare box) and it should sound pretty good. No need to make it more complex than needed.
  4. 5port


    Oct 14, 2009
    LI,new yawk
    I feel your pain and can relate. I bought a non-LF 3015 from US Speaker and installed it in 3 or 4 cabinets I have here...from large to medium size. In all of them it sounded too mid-heavy to me. I tried lining one or two of the cabs and it helped maybe a little bit...still mid-rangy and I wasnt happy with the sound.

    The last cab I installed it in happened to be the smallest cab (a 300W combo)...my Ibanez Promethean P3115. Its about 2.0 cu feet. I removed the tweeter and installed a port tuned to 47hz. I also lined the cab. Here it sounds loud,clear and deep. I'm just confused that it sounds the best in the smallest amp/cab I have, but it has really improved the performance of this combo so much that it is a perfect match.
  5. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    The 3015 doesn't really want a box bigger than 2.5cf-2.8cf and wants a tuning in the 45-50hz range. Tuning to 60 will make it give up the gas down low very quickly.
  6. Eminence recommends all kinds of tunings for it, smaller boxes get higher tunings and a highpass

    Here's the medium one:
    File: KappaLite3015MedVentedCab450Watts.bb6
    3015 Med Vented Cabinet
    By McJerry
    Eminence Speaker LLC
    Thermally Limited to 450 Watts; F3 of 65 Hz.
    For Full Range use a High Pass Filter at 40 Hz.
    For Hi Pwr Mid/Hi Sat use a High Pass Filter set to 100 Hz.
    Box Properties
    Vented Box
    Prism, square
    --Box Parameters--
    Vb = 2.483 cu.ft
    V(total) = 2.825 cu.ft
    Fb = 49.42 Hz
    QL = 7
    F3 = 64.54 Hz
    Fill = minimal

    No. of Vents = 2
    Vent shape = round
    Vent ends = one flush
    Dv = 4 in
    Lv = 6.86
  7. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    That's the original volume of my enclosure - but that had been tuned too deep

    Which means that i need to take out my saw and shorten the channel length instead of increasing its surface.
  8. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    You live in Germany, right?
    Check the loudspeakers from Oberton, they have some real gems in their program. If you have any questions about tuning etc. send me a pm.
  9. 1n3


    Sep 13, 2007
    If your Beta 12 cab sounds warmer and deeper than your 3015 cab, I wonder if you have a defective 3015.
  10. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    I don't think so.
    The Beta 12 plays really well in small enclosures like a TL806 tuned to some 55 Hz. Even better in about 55 litres tuned to nominally 53 Hz. In such enclosures it has a very warm sound which sounds deep and appealing due to its warmth.

    The 3015 is tuned to nominally 51 Hz. In direct comparison it is actually deeper, and , of course its tone is a lot better "defined". But it appears "cold".
    Maybe the chassis is great for modern sounds - but for my most recent project i need deep well projecting lows, maybe a bit dirty, a lot of punch and ideally a tube amp. (i actually consider buying a Mywatt 200 because i do not believe i get my Dynacord G-2000 up and running in time...)

    BTW: the beta 15 is several years old and probably fully "broken in". The kappalite probably not. My amps are just able to "tickle" that chassis - last monday's constant load of 50 Watts was the loudest i did up to now.
  11. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012

    the Obertones look interesting.

    What i am actually looking for is a lightweight (!!!) chassis
    with a large sensitivity working well in small enclosures.

    My short term plannings: i will try to determine the actual resonance of the cabinet - meanwhile i own a sine generator and a scope and can do simple measurements like the "salt test". Then i will try to improve a few weak points of the cabinet and see if that helps.

    On the longer term i need a 2nd cabinet anyway.
  12. Your box is nearly 3 ft^3, seems to be tuned a bit higher than Eminence would tune it at that size, maybe fill it up some.
  13. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    The Oberton Neo line has some very nice drivers that work great in smaller cabinets. They will not do the sub octave, but they will offer punchy bass that's great for bassguitar.
  14. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    ... and the salt test gave 56 Hz (55.5 Hz with the port against a wall) with a fairly large uncertainty of a few Hz.

    So the tuning of the cabinet is almost correct. It seems that slighly narrowing the port again (it had been opened up to 8 cm) by inserting a thin wooden plate.

    That and partly redoing the bracing might improve the situation a bit, but it would not fundamentally alter the tone.
  15. Your f3 is probably just too high to give a hearty low E. Going by the Eminence midsized box specs I posted above you should be fine to knock the tuning down.
  16. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    Often enough my playing is significantly above the low E, and my small 112 cabinet with a very similar tuning is a lot warmer and has less booming mids (my 12" EV fullrange PA speakers as well). Unfortunately You don't hear it any more when both cabinets are driven in parallel.

    Yes, i am aware that i am iterating around the optimum setting. And of course i can derive an estimate how much i need to reduce the area of the port.

    But my feeling is that this - albeit improving the system a bit - will not remove the emphasis of the lower mids which seems to be typical of this chassis.

    BTW: LSPCAD also optimises the chassis to a volume of nearly 75 l and a tuning frequency of 49.5 Hz. With the real Helmholtz frequency and the real port area the port length is just 10 % off. IMO quite good - a lot better than some results of WinISD.
  17. I don't know what you call low mids but I call them 100hz to 250hz, warming but too much can be boom city in the wrong room. Sounds to me like you need to eq to suit the cab more than fix the cab.
  18. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    The contrast to a Zeck 115 (i guess it was running an Electro Voice) was huge.
    My amp has to james tone stacks in series, one in the master stage, one in each input module. These do not allow me to overemphasize these lower mids without overemphasizing the deepest frequencies even more.

    I know this amp pretty well, even with several different enclosures, and the behavior of the 3015 is "unique". And despite becoming obvious last monday, it is always noticeable. It is clearly the cabinet.

    The next days i will try to bring the resonance closer to the intended value.

    BTW: the simulations show a small maximum round 80 Hz. For my other speakers (Emi Beta 12, Fane KP 12, Emi Beta 10) this low frequency max is above 100 Hz. My guess is it is actually the low response around 150 Hz leading to a relative overemphasis one octave higher - the musical lower mids. And thats what we hear. If my idea was true, the cure might be an even higher Helmholtz resonance, but possibly at a smaller Q value. Maybe a damped port.
  19. Helluva confusion here. Too much low mids, but not enough warmth, does not compute with me.
  20. beate_r


    Jan 25, 2012
    To resolve the confusion: what You call lower mids is actually the higher register of the musical bass range. Consider old radios (or bass emphasis processing): the bass content of the deepest registers which cannot be reproduced by the speakers is effectively shifted by applying a large k2 into that range and pretend better bass. And the ear will recognize this as bass. The lower mids is the octave above, i.e. the range between, say 200-400 Hz.

    Anyway: improvements can only be done step by step: first of all thorough tuning of the enclosure. Then re-checking its stability - maybe i should add some external bracing to it.

    But anyway: i did listen to the samples of johnk_10's 215 cab (http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/custom-diy-2x15-cab-build-854517/). When equipped with 3015 it also clearly showed that characteristical tone - less pronounced, mosly because there are two speakers - but clearly identifyable. Which is often nice, but not if You need loud but deep vintage growling (i know why i am playing my heavily pimped Epiphone EB-3 with pyramid black nylons through tube amps...).

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