Cab replacement speaker recommendations / advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mr123Clark, Jun 25, 2021.

  1. Mr123Clark


    Jun 25, 2021
    Hello to you all,

    I am relatively new to the bass scene (only 2 years) and finally bought some cabs that are *not the best* in terms of reviews, but they cost only $110 for both so I can't complain and also have extra cash for upgrades. I play mostly indie rock music and use a Ashdown CTM 30 Little Stubby All Tube 30W head. It has only one 4ohm and one 8ohm outputs, and sounds fantastic played through my buddy's Eden 4x10 and not looking to replace it. Currently I have the cabs running in series with 250W 8ohm in the 210 and 200W 8ohm in the 115 (plugged into the 4om output)

    The cabs are:
    Ashdown Mag 210T Deep (2x rear ported)
    Ashdown Mag 115 Deep (2x rear ported)

    I know all cabs sound different with specific speakers and there are no general "good" or "bad" speakers, just good matches to cabinets, so I want to run my idea on replacements by people for some thoughts.

    Eminence LEGEND CA104 10-inch Bass Guitar Speaker 200W 4 Ohm (x2 for the 210 wired in series for a total of 400w continuous) (I also will most likely disconnect the horn in the cab as its not great for my sound with a J bass and the pedals I use)

    Celestion BN15-400X 15" 400W Neodymium (for the 115)

    All the speaker knowledge I have tells me this will work but would love some more opinions/advice on this upgrade. Not looking for people to tell me to build my own cabinets or buy other ones :) Thanks!
  2. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Welcome to TB!

    The CTM 30 provides 30 watts into a 4 ohms load. That's all she wrote for output power.
    Your current cabinets are rated for significantly more than what your amp can provide. Those are ratings for how much power they can take, not how much they output. Changing the speakers won't magically give you more output.

    I know you don't want to hear it, but if you don't like the cabs you have, sell them and get different cabs. Otherwise there's nothing to be gained from the inadvisable practice of stuffing a random speaker into a box.

    FYI, there are several threads here of users who like those cabs just fine, and you got them at a bargain price.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    Leave your cabinets alone, you aren't likely to "improve them" by tinkering with them. You could also make them (much) worse.

    If you don't like your cabinets, sell them and buy something that you can try out with the money you saved by buying new drivers and selling your existing cabinets. You are 99.9% likely to be to be way ahead this way.
    Spruce Knob, wmhill, mikecd1 and 13 others like this.
  4. Mr123Clark


    Jun 25, 2021
    I guess I should clarify WHY i am looking to upgrade, not trying to get louder but more trying to improve the tone / less farty on low end. Would speaker replacement potentially help this?
  5. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Unless you reverse engineer the cabinets and understand their design, there is no way to predict how different speakers will respond in them.
    You might also want to try each cabinet individually on the 8 ohms output to see if the problem is one or the other, of if it's a problen when you combine them.
    How is your EQ set?
    TheReceder, smogg and Mr123Clark like this.
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    The advice of @abarson and @agedhorse still applies.
  7. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    If you daisy chain from one cab to the other, you're running in parallel, not series into the 4Ω jack, which is what you want. If you're somehow really running in series, you're connecting 16Ω into the 4Ω jack, which would be a very bad idea with a tube amplifier. Hopefully, that was just worded incorrectly.
    AlexanderB, smogg and Mr123Clark like this.
  8. Mr123Clark


    Jun 25, 2021
    After testing independently, the 210 has a definite hiss and the 115 has a farty low end for low registers. My EQ is approx a 15% bass boost, 15% mid cut and 5% treble boost (assuming that the 12oclock would be zero here)
  9. Mr123Clark


    Jun 25, 2021
    Yes that is worded incorrectly, cabs are wired as parallel
  10. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    First of all, welcome to Talkbass! Since you are new here, you are probably not aware that the advice you are getting (most notably from @agedhorse) is from an accomplished sound engineer who is responsible for designing much of the bass gear that we mere bass mortals lust after. Mesa Subway amps and cabs, Genz Benz gear, and more. When he tells us that something will likely not work, we tend to listen (although we still like to argue!). The guitar world is different - stick a different speaker in a cab and change your sound - but bass cab design is highly specific as to speaker selection, cab size and shape, ports, electronics, etc.
  11. Mr123Clark


    Jun 25, 2021
    Thanks for the advice from you all! It will be a few years before i can save and justify for a proper mesa or aguilar rig, but save I will! In the meantime ill take the advice to tweak EQ settings to maximize the Ashdowns. Next project is to create custom grilles to mirror the classic maroon ones!
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Selling the cabs you have and getting something you like better is the best way to replace them. You're just wasting your money if you try to replace the speakers.
  13. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    I'm with @agedhorse on this, just save the money and buy the cabs that work for you.

    In the past when we had little money we used to build cabs from known working designs, many JBL K140 and K145 speakers transitioned to different cabs over the years. I just followed JBL's recommendations at the time and still own one K140 that is still working. Luckily my dad had a shed with lots of great tools so it was fairly easy to build cabs.

    These days I'll go to a store, line up all the likely suspects and try them out back to back, I'll usually pick one that works well for me and that's it for a few years. I love the new gear, it's lighter and sounds far better than stuff I've had in the past so it's a good investment in that it will be used and enjoyed for many trouble free years.
  14. If you are running a 30w amp into 400w+ of cabs, any farty low end is unlikely to be down to lack of power handling in the speakers unless there's something wrong with them. It's far more likely you're pushing your amp into overdrive. The Little Stubby uses 4 EL84s which is unusual for a bass amp to say the least, and unlikely to give you a clean sound except at low volumes.
    ahc and AlexanderB like this.
  15. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    In both cases, your amp is causing this.
    The hiss CANNOT originate from the speaker, as it only reproduce the signal from the amp.
    The farting out is almost certainly your amp clipping, not over excursion in the 15". That size of woofer typically works great with 150-250 W amps...
  16. Try to rent a larger bass amp in terms of output power. One of the 500 watt class D heads will show you what those cabs are capable of.
  17. mikecd1


    Mar 3, 2009
    New England
    The speakers in commercial cabs are designed for those cabs and randomly changing them produces unexpected results for the most part. As Agedhorse indicated, best to sell / trade for new ones. The few times I've changed a speaker I've consulted with Al at US Speaker who will ask you for all inside measurements of the cabinet as well as the type and size of any ports. He will model that information and determine what (if any) replacement speaker would work best. Often, especially if its say an Eminence speaker its quite possible that the proprietary design has a close commercial replacement which might just get you back to where you were. Crap shoot. Start over is likely your best bet. Good luck and welcome to Talkbass!
    agedhorse likes this.
  18. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    Maybe I'm wrong, but if you have hiss, I would cut rather than boost the highs. And with fartiness, I would cut the bass a bit, rather than boost it.

    Also, if the tweeter is a piezo, it could be the cause of the hiss. I had a markbass cab with the piezo, and it was hissy. If it doesn't have a switch to turn it off, I can't imagine disconnecting it would be a problem.
    agedhorse likes this.
  19. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    One way to control the speaker farting out, is to use less bass ( low end extension ), and till you can upgrade your rig, I'd suggest you aquire a HPF, it will give you more control, in controlling your low end and in some cases it can increase your sound output, my other suggestions, read the many, many threads on TB, and don't be shy, in asking questions, the only bad thing, good bass gear costs $$$