Blown Trace Elliot tweeter in 1048H cab and question about 1518

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shaund, May 18, 2012.

  1. shaund


    May 18, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Hey all, I have owned a Trace rig since my teens (AH350SMX, 1048H and 1518 cabs). It was one of those shipped from Europe back when they still came from there -- I remember waiting for it for months.

    Here's the thing. When I was younger and stupider, I blew the tweeter by running a DOD grunge pedal in the effects loop. I've always though I liked the sound of no tweeter, but over the years I've come to prefer that brightness at times and finally want to fix it. My question is, should I get a stock replacement tweeter from somebody, or is there something else that I can put in there that will sound just as good or better? If I was going to buy one I think I can get it here:

    My second question is, does anyone else NOT like the sound of the 15" cab? I just find myself using it as a resting place for my 4x10's. I've heard 15" cabs I like, but not this one. Is it a Celestion speaker in there, and if so, which one? To me is sounds almost balls-less, like the 4x10 has more fundamental on a low E (exactly the opposite of the reason I bought it.)

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Somewhere along the line it seems they started using Fane speakers but my 1995 vintage 1518 has Trace custom 15 from Celestion.

    I think you will find the 4x10 doesn't do 40hz either but it should be more sensitive at 80hz. You can eq it into the 1518 but the 4x10 would boom if used together. Assuming the phase is good.

    Just not a good match I guess. It's pretty well known 15's have a hard time pairing up with 4x10's.
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I'm going to go ahead and assume the tweeter is most likely an add-on, which means no lowpass for the woofers, which means it'd be an easy add-on for most bass cabs. Although, Trace has come up with some nice stuff, and has been known to pull one out of their hat now and then.

    Pics/details would be in order.
  4. shaund


    May 18, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Here's a photo of one resembling mine:

    Downunder, as for the 15 not pairing well sonically with the 4x10 cab, that's a new one to me -- wish I had of known that before I went down this route years ago. I actually had a 1048 and the 1048H before I sold the non-horn version and bought the 15. I think that rig sounded better -- basically what I like about the 4x10 but louder.

    The thing that's interesting to me is that I really don't tend to like the 15" period. Just as an experiment I tried leaving one at home and one in our practice space so I got some time in with nothing but the 15". I guess it always sounded less "punchy" in the low-end to me. My simplistic mental equation went something like "larger speaker = larger wave generator = lower tone" but that doesn't seem to be what I'm hearing.

    Another question: how do these setups compare to Ampegs in terms of reproducing a great low E? Never owned an Ampeg, but in playing through them in the store they just seem to have a little more balls on the fundamental...
  5. Not the fundamental but the 2nd harmonic. A fridge has negligible 40hz, doesn't stop it from bringing the thunder because the thunder is higher up. Shame about the dispertion.
  6. Btw, I wasn't talking of the 1518 1048h being a well known missmatch. In general a 15 doesn't keep up with a 4x10.
  7. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    Dude, the 1518 sounds amazing. Maybe you just got a dud. If I could have 2 of them (with the Fane drivers) without it being *165* pounds and too big to fit in my car (I can barely squeeze the one into the front passenger seat, won't fit anywhere else) I would be all set for speaker cabs forever.

    Regarding the 15/410 thing. It's perfectly fine (in general). Some particular cab combinations might not sound great together, but in my experience with my 2 Trace cabs (the 1518 and a 2x10, maybe a 2108 I guess), they are designed to kick ass together, and they do.

    The thing with the 4x10/1x15 mix in general, is that usually a 4x10 is likely to a bit louder and to have a bit higher power handling. What this means is that you have to listen to make sure the 15 isn't being pushed too hard. But of course, you're not supposed to push your rig all the way to the breaking point of the strongest piece. If you do that it's a shortcut to expensive repair/replacement bills. What it does mean, is the 4x10 is limited to what the 1x15 can take. That just means your 4x10 is likely to never come close to getting damaged, IF you keep an ear on the 15. A 2x10/1x15 mix tends to work a bit better, because the 2 cabs will have similar output capabilities and power handling.

    There can be "issues" with phase response, but the Trace guys (especially back in the day) were pretty engineering saavy, so I have a feeling they did what they reasonably could to minimize them. I just know I've been thrilled with them since I got them, and when I'm away from them for a while, they usually sound BETTER than I remember them being, which is always a good sign.
  8. shaund


    May 18, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Jungleheat, when you say it sounds amazing, what kind of music do you play? I believe I have a good specimen -- maybe I'm playing the wrong bass through it (a Fender '57 precision vintage re-issue and a couple other early 80's jazz / p copies) or setting the EQ wrong? I generally like the smiley-face preset, so I usually turn off the graphic and set it to that preshape. I play "indie rock", which generally means 3-piece (sometimes 4+) guitar / bass / drums / vocals type music. The 4x10 cuts through the mud better for me.

    Should I perhaps be boosting a bit at 80 and cutting a bit at 40 in order to get a more "4x10"-type sound, or am I headed down the wrong path entirely here?

    Thanks for all the help guys!
  9. StraightSix


    Nov 23, 2011
    There I think lies your answer - two 410 cabs will work pretty well together.
    Similar to an 810 fridge but you have the option to take a single 410 cab for smaller gigs or rehearsals.
  10. The Trace manual is very clear about cutting the lowest sliders on the graphic to get the most from any bass cab.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 a smiley face eq curve is cutting the all-important mids from your bass tone. better to boost the mids, and cut the lows, if you want thunder.
  12. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    I play all kinds of different stuff. To me the 1518 has just about the ideal 15 sound. I describe at as warm and buttery and fairly punchy.

    I would try tweaking your EQ without the preshape, starting from flat, with your bass "flat" (ie with tone all the way up on a Fender, blend in the middle on a J, but you can tweak that too), and then cut (preferred) or add as little as possible to each band to get your sound zeroed in.

    If that head has a 30 Hz slider, you could dump that all or most of the way out of the mix. That's going to give you a lot more headroom, especially if you don't then crank the next couple of sliders.

    My 2x10 sounds pretty cool, but it's definitely better in conjunction with another cab (ie the 2 different 1x15s I usually pair it with, the 1518 and a JBL loaded vintage Carvin). It's slightly on the thin side by itself.

    Maybe what you really need to get more "punchy" is more mids/upper mids. You could try (even with the pre-shape in) boosting a bit around 500 or 1k and see what does for you.

    Long story short, I think you have an EQ problem and not a cab problem, because those cabs should kill (especially with that head). You have a sweet setup at the moment, and I wouldn't replace it unless you absolutely cannot get it dialed in. But I have a feeling you might run into the same problems with other gear because of the EQ issue. Maybe get a bass playing friend with a good ear to try dialing it in for you and see how that goes.
  13. shaund


    May 18, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Alright, fair enough, maybe I've got an EQ problem. Over the years I've experimented with turning off the pre-shape and tweaking the 12 band, but I actually do like the "classic" Trace sound -- just through the 4x10. Maybe logging a couple thousand hours through that rig has trained my ear :)

    It's been years since I've given it a shot, but I think I'll try doing some hand EQ'ing next time I'm practicing. My ear is decent for bass tones -- I tend to record quite a bit but I figured out years ago that I wasn't a fan of the Trace for that. I use a Demeter sometimes, but lately it's been all Bass plugins (the new Amplitube custom shop plug, in fact, has a great sim of the Trace 250 rig) and mostly Ampeg for that. I think I'll go back to the drawing board a bit with my tone.

    As I recall the head has 30hz and 40 hz sliders. I'm thinking I'll boost more in the 100 hz range? Or are we talking 300-500? I know I hate the sound of 200 on my bass...
  14. I use preshape 1 and temper with the graphic quite aggressively. For double bass I turn off the preshape.
  15. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    BAS is the place for all stuff Trace in the Americas. Great people to deal with. I would buy the replacement from them.
  16. shaund


    May 18, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Finally had some time to mess around with my rig this evening. It had been awhile (I've been playing through an SWR practice amp + my computer rig) and I have to say: I'm reminded how amazingly badass the Trace sounds. So stinking loud and clear! Too much crap rattling in my basement though.

    As an experiment I ran the 15 without the 4x10 cab. The preshape actually sounds better than I remembered -- especially the "rock" preshape, which I had previously discounted. I wasn't playing with the band, but I might just try that preshape next. After that, I ran no preshape and messed with the 12 band for awhile. Obviously things will change when I get in a room with drums and loud guitars, but I was able to get some great "cutting" tones. Not really my thing for playing by myself in the basement, but it will be useful next practice. After tweaking knobs for awhile I may be starting to get the 15" sound better -- to my ears it's "slower" in that it takes a tiny second for the note to really develop, but it has a nice low flavor to it indeed. Certainly sounds better with an EQ than with either pre-shape (and maybe that's what my problem with it was in the end.)

    For EQ, I ran every slider down, then tried running them up two at a time. As an aside, it's amazing, but the 60 + 100 all the way up with everything else cut is actually a usable tone. In fact, there were a TON of great tones in there. I generally cut 30 all the way, and even 40 all the way (there just wasn't anything there for me. 60 was flat or slightly cut, 100 was flat, 180 was slightly boosted, and on up. I think my "reverse smiley face" peaked at 340 or 660. I get a lot of buzz on the Precision I was using around 2.6k and 5k, so those were cut almost all the way (probably need to back off that once I fix the tweeter in the 4x10).

    Great stuff, thanks for the recommendations guys. Also, Paul, thanks for the info on BAS -- I'm going to give them a ring and order the replacement horn from them.
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