1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

BEST Speaker for B-15?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassamatic, May 1, 2009.


  1. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    My B-15 is coming out of storage and and on the way back from the East Coast.

    When I first acquired it in the late 60's the speaker was blown, and I replaced it with a Cerwin-Vega 15. If I find it needs replacing, I can either get it re-coned or change the driver.

    What is recommended for a replacement driver that will provide the original sound?

    I have another cabinet that I can steal the Eminence Kappa Pro LF from, if that is a good idea.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    personally, i like JBL D140F's in them the best, but IMO the D130F and EVM15L are also a great speakers for them.
     
  3. Greyvagabond

    Greyvagabond

    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I know fliptops uses Eminence Alpha 15s in their reproductions. Anything with too high a power handling characteristic won't get the "mojo" the B-15 requires!
     
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    yeah, that's why an Alnico JBL (D or K series) or an EV 15L sounds so good in them. they are way more efficient than the original CTS speaker.

    if you want the stock sound, i'd look around for a used Fender bassman 15" speaker (square magnet) from '68-'73. i sold a couple of perfect ones with original cones pretty cheap ($50 ea) about a year ago.

    here's some pics of them:

    73-CTS15-1_front-w.

    73-CTS15-1_rear-w.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bruce sells his cabs with whatever you want in them, but he recommends the Alphas, Betas, and Deltas. At the risk of sounding like a heretic, I use Delta 15A's in both of my double baffle repro cabs from Vintage Blue and Fliptops, and to my ears they might as well be the 66 CTS in my real 64. I hear no difference whatsoever, but I can daisy chain them into an SVT and throw some serious power in them if I need to. I never need to, though ;)
     
  6. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Thank you all for your input. In hindsight, I can see that the high-efficiency, low power speaker type would have been what was required, and they WILL sound different than modern, high-powered speakers!

    I will start looking around for one of the above.
     
  7. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Kind of a crossover is the Em Kappalite 3015, which is sensitive but doesn't easily break up with less than 400 watts. I've driven one in a ported cab with a Bassman 100 watt tuber. It still sounds tight when totally lit up - really lets you put the pedal to the metal without falling apart on the lower notes. I imagine it would be one of the better models for limited watts, though some might prefer something that gets a bigger midbass hump in cabs of similar size and tuning.

    Probably the 2515 would be better yet if you were sacrilegious enough to try a neo ; }
     
  8. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Get an Altec 421, if you can find one, preferably a 421A. The Altec 421 was the upgrade speaker offered by Ampeg and sounds great in a B-15. The 421 also has a relatively high sensitivity rating, which means it makes the most of the B-15's power. This is a big plus with a low power amp.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    While you're right about the Altec's goodness, back when Gio's amp was made, the JBL D130 was the upgrade speaker. Ampeg didn't offer the 421A (and 418B) until the bigger Thiele cabs of the late 60's and 70's.
     
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    personally, i've always disliked Altecs. they have WAY too much midrange for my taste, and remind me of a large metal megaphone.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Now I understand how the Altecs could work in those Thiele cabs even though they're much brighter than the CTS's they used. The Thiele really supresses upper mids, so the Altec probably just brought them back to a usable level. Now you've got me wanting to try one in my 77!
     
  12. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    Well, as it turns out, I also have a homemade 2 x 15 cabinet that I built back then, and it is filled with - you guessed it - 2 Altec 421As! I guess I better get THAT sent back also, or at least the speakers.
     

  13. I couldn't agree more.
    The 421 is a beautiful sounding speaker in the B-15.

    MM
     
  14. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    I've tried CTS, Altec 421A and a Realistic in my B-15S. I kept the Altec, it just sounded right. That, with the higher power and the badge on the back says Altec 421A.
     
  15. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    The original stamped-frame, square magnet CTS that came in the B15 sounds best. That is one great sounding 15.

    I had two of those in a 70's Sunn Concert Bass 2x15 cab back in the day. That was the best sounding 2x15 I ever played through. At one point back then I got a second identical cab with Altec 421A drivers - it didn't sound nearly as good as the "cheap" CTS 15's. Those Altecs sounded harsh.

    A big part of the B15's good tone is that original CTS driver.
     
  16. rbonner

    rbonner

    Sep 25, 2008
    I need to pick up a 215 JBL D140 cab just so I can have some of that raw goodness back. JohnK you have got me thinking about that stuff again. Nothing super power, maybe a nice tube 300 watt SUNN unit. Just kidding.

    A nice clean Bassman with a pair of D140's... My Bassman had Misco Red Lines and they just weren't the same as the 140's. I'm feeling some GAS... Right when I need to be building abusive 6000 watt sub cabs.

    BOB
     
  17. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    Hi Bob,
    yeah. your best bet would be to find a 2000S or a 350B with a 2-15 Sunn (horn loaded) cab. i have K140's in mine and the D & K's sound almost identical with the exception that the K's handle more power (150 watts as opposed to 65-75w for the D series).

    a 2000S (mine is a '71 ss rectified one) with vintage JBLs in the old reflex cab can almost give an SVT/8x10 a run for the money level-wise. my 2000s has scoped out at 160w RMS (clean) and with the super efficient JBL's it sounds LOUD and proud and extremely vintage, yet Hi-Fi sounding.
     
  18. kittyboy

    kittyboy Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Wouldn't the Kappalite 3015 get you great sound and about as much SPL as you could hope for?
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good question. I've always wondered that myself.
     
  20. edbass

    edbass

    Nov 8, 2004
    +1
    I've got the exact same rig, 2000S with K's, except the amp is a '72 2000S. A 2000S with a 4/72 inspection sticker which according to the Sunn catalogs should be a 350B.
    Go figure!
    I just upgraded the can cap to an SDS Board, probably picked up a few watts, and as you said it's "LOUD and proud and extremely vintage, yet Hi-Fi sounding".
    Truly, they just don't make 'em like that any more. My only regret is that to gig it I have to actually move it...

    Jimmy, I got that "orphaned" B15N that you so kindly advised me about ($225 ;)) and lucked out; strong as an Ox, scratchy pots but specs out, Magnavox 6L6's test at 85%. Now I just need to get one of those reissued fliptops.net cabs, and I think the amp just begs for a D140.
    Luckily I happen to have a few laying around!
     

Share This Page