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Best custom cab for low power tube amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fuzzy beard, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Well this is a niche question here!

    What custom cab offers the best performance to get the most out of a low power tube amp?

    So i am talking low wattage! Main amp is a 18 watt Fender bassman 20. But most likely the cab will never see a amp over a 100 watts.

    MUST be 8ohms

    Can have multiple drivers.

    Weight isnt a big deal but nothing crazy heavy.

    Say a budget of $1000USD

    I cant see spending more than that.

    Thanks to all who can help! This is the start of my research into what cab i will be buying first of the year. Some may know i sold alot of my gear to pay for the wife to take maternity leave when she has this baby! So i will be needing to replace some things this upcoming year!
  2. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    I use a Barefaced Super 15, its 4 ohm though, but its loud enough to jam drums with a nominal 50w amp, it has 4 EL84. Ask Alex, I assume the 8ohm is due to output transformer,, but the impedance curve might be happy enough with the cab, so worth asking, he did say the Vintage would be happy with the 8ohm tap on one of my heads with no 4 option.
  3. I think a Dually or a bassic can be made in 8 ohms. Dually would be more sensitive.
  4. What i am trying to replace is the Kustom 2x15 i had. I loaded it with Legand cb154's. The tone was awsome with my bassman. But i also know there are better cabs out there. I tried to find it but had no luck but a member here once made the clame to me that a single fearfull 15/6 would out do my 2x15 hands down. And that a 12/6 would most likely be about the same.

    Now like i said i cant find were he said that but i find that hard to belive!
  5. BFM Omni15 or Omni12 will slay a fearful for sensitivitity. They horn load the same 3015LF / 3012LF, converting a round woofer into a much larger and efficient square horn. Like cupping your hands around your mouth to shout over distance.
  6. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    I wouldn't use my Omni 15 with a low power amp, it goes really low, but the overall sensitivity isn't great, better than a Fearful 15/6, but you definitely want to aim for something optimised a narrower frequency band to make the most of limited power. I've A/Bed with a GS412 and the GS412 was noticeably louder, and fairly sure my S15 is louder still, certainly in the upper mids, which may give a degree of false impression (an advantage with the Omni15 would share).
  7. Well i should also mention i play standerd tunning 4 string bass. Most of my playing is acompaning acoustic jams. No drums! Maybe a Cajon now and again. I have here as of late played with a guitarist who used an electric for blues. A few open mic's also. Mostly folk,roots,blues type music.
  8. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Two things I'd like to point out, stricly IMO.

    I have played an Omni12 and I have played nearly every greenboy designed cab...it's apples and tuna. And I would NOT say the Omni was more sensitive by any stretch.

    Now a Faital loaded Bassic or an 8ohm Dually (also loaded with Faitals) would be VERY sensitive and would match up with that head quite well :)
  9. Should one expect 3db more from the dually than the bassic?

    What kind of weight are you getting with your dually's?

    Also do you have any demensions for those cabs?

    Thanks for your help!!!
  10. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    The beard and fuzz references totally make it seem you should be a doomer.

    Cheap but heavy solution would be a 4x12 guitar cab or two, enough sensitivity for those shenanigans, and no real bottom needed. Fairly easy experiment, aim for one loaded with vintage 30s or equivalent, with the high sensitivity, they are comparable in sensitivity to a kappalite 3015, so 4 of them should do you, they just don't have nearly as much low end capability, which you won't miss with that little power.
  11. I would think yes, 3 dB increase.

    Mike Arnopol built a 39 pound Dually.
    Dave Homer built one in the low 50's out of wood.

    The other builders have had different result, mostly due to options like heavy duty hardware.

  12. No doom music for me;)

    And i dont know about a 4x12 or 2. Seems like alot of rig for lower volume music.LOL

    I can see it now. Banjo player, acoustic guitarist, and cajon player all set up and then i plug into a stack of eight 12 inch speakers!

    Dont think that would go over well;)
  13. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I play in a similar environmt most of the time. GK Mb200 and 2 rather small 1x10 cabs. One is an airhead. Love that setup under acoustic instruments. My tube amp stays home, on top of a couple of 1x15 cans, soon to be a custom 4 ohm 2x15... Comes put play with my surfabilly blues band. Along with an Avalon U5 when necessary.

    What will make a huge difference, if you haven't gone piezo yet... Skip the amp and get that done first. Godin Acoustibass or a Barker Brio with Graphtech/Hipshot piezo. That or my fretless ray. Piezo and or fretless under acoustic instruments ... The note envelope, the ADSR if you will is way more mportant than the amp. Though the amp of course can't be an afterthought... Of course if you're already in the piezo thing..ah, carry on...

    BtW When I first started gigging in this environment I often brought my old Princeton Reverb. It is installed in a Fender Deluxe cab and has an old Altec 12 in it. It worked fine, I just got nervous about using it for bass, gigging it that often. Not the sort of gear you want to abuse...

    The little gK setup just rocks though...
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Fuzzy, when you're talkin' about low power tube amps, you can completely throw all the high performance, high excursion, high fidelity stuff we usually talk about here out your bathroom window, or better yet, down the drainpipe that is the focus of said bathroom.:)

    It comes down to sensitivity and most importantly TONE. Forget about "uber-designed" stuff...it doesn't fit your purpose.

    One of the best rigs my Bassman135 ever sounded through was a pair of EV15L's in a TL box (Dietz). If you were to put that thing in the perspective of bass players today, they woukd call it a guitar speaker in a box so little it couldn't be worth a damn at bass. What it was, was beautiful sound.

    You're in a unique position.....don't waste it on the latest and greatest.
  15. Any suggestions on a cab then?

    Also my Bassman 20 combo is one of those 15's in a box so small it shouldnt work!LOL But it does have a nice tone!

  16. I happen to be VERY happy with the tone of my Mustang bass. But will keep your suggestions in mind if i go for a change of pace tone later.
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    If you're commited to a 2 driver cab, like a 215, and 8 ohms, choices ade limited, as most good drivers come in 8ohms and not 4 or 16, unless you're a company and can get them made 100 or 500 at a time.

    Good news is, tube amps are ok with ohms below what's called for, just not above. Sort of the opposite of SS.

    What sort of output and tone do you need to play with here?

    It's possible a single, high output 8ohm could get the job done. Like an EV or JBL.
  18. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    We can certainly make an 8 Ohm Dually...had a few people ask about 'em. I will say a weight of low 50's in wood is somewhat optimistic, and I'd be slightly afraid of the larger cabs in composite, though if anyone can pull it off, it's Arnpol. Don Barry did one in Auraco that came in the low 60's but admittedly had pretty heavy hardware, tilt back wheels and skids. I think 55-65lbs is realistic. The Mesa Powerhouse 215 weighs 123lbs :)

    It would be an amazing cab for any number of amps...I've owned my fair share of 15L's and K140's...personally, I prefer the new Faitals, just saying :)
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Another thing to consider is 4, 32ohm Ampeg replacement driver in a 1/2 an 810 box. Would be a pretty big box, and not that sensitive, but nice tone. Hell, with a whopping 18 watts on tap, could do 4 Mods and get more of an early, flatback tone. Those were always the best SVT's anyway and still are. Don't be afraid to use a few guitar speakers with a 20 watt amp.
  20. funkytoe

    funkytoe Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Northern California
    I had this same discussion with JohnK back in February. I wanted a custom cab to go with the 1971 Sunn 200s that John restored for me. After hearing John's sound clips, I went with a custom 1x15 cab loaded with a JBL E-130. The E-130 is one of the most sensitive 15's ever made, at 105 db. It's almost like playing out of a 2x15. Has that great JBL tone, but with more high end/treble extension than either a D-140 or K-140. Don Oatman at LDS built it for me with genuine Sunn tolex to match my head. One of the best cabs I ever played. Makes my 80-watt Sunn sound HUGE.

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