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Cabinet design Vs Quality of Drivers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BenHack, Aug 6, 2003.


  1. Hey

    I'm wondering whether the design of the cabinet ie porting, bracing, depth (dimensions), material's etc gives the cabinet it's characteristic sound or if it's more to do with the drivers. Or perhaps 50/50???

    I'm kinda considering taking the drivers out of my Sovtek 4x10 (eminence speakers) and building 2 2x10's using a building plan from a better cab design. Cheers and Keep Groovin:bassist:

    Ben
     
  2. Mcrelly

    Mcrelly

    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    This is an extreme guess, but I'd say 70% speaker quality and 30% design. But a really bad cab design with make great speakers sound like crap!

    If you build your own I'd recommend you copy a successful cab design. something you know you like the sound and performance of.

    there is a lot of "magic" that goes into speaker/cab volume matching and design. If I were you I'd also study very carefully speaker specs and recommended cab volumes etc. check on build it yourself speaker sites that discuss how to pick speakers for a certain volume of enclosure
     
  3. Thanks for the help Mcrelly. I guess this means that the chances of me building a cab to approximate the sound of an EDEN cab is unlikely without also buying the drivers. Unfortunately anything music related is so expensive Down Under. :(

    Well if I give it a go and it doesn't work I can always put the drivers back in the original can and save the new enclosure's for some awesome speakers:D .

    Cheers, and keep groovin:bassist:

    Ben
     
  4. ESP-LTD

    ESP-LTD

    Sep 9, 2001
    Idaho
    That's the tricky part- there is no such thing as a "better cab design". Every model of speaker has unique characteristics; to get a snapshot of those characteristics the manufacturer publishes it's "Thiele-Small parameters".

    A cabinet can be designed to be small, loud, low, or a mixture of those features (but usually only 2 out of 3). A cab that is "good" for speaker "A" may sound terrible with speaker "B".

    A cabinet must be designed using the Thiele-Small parameters of the speaker, with a specific goal in mind (such as "loud and small"). If you are looking for a "small, loud" cabinet then you will probably consider this a "good" cabinet. If you were looking for a "small, low" cabinet you would consider it a "bad" cabinet.
     
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It's 50/50. What the cabinet contributes (besides the tuning) is stiffness.

    Usually the stiffer the cab is the tighter and crisper the tone will be...even with identical drivers.
     
  6. From what I've seen in testing and playing commercial bass cabs, most of them opt for a too small cabinet. This introduces a pronounced hump in the mid-bass (80 ~ 120) region and produces the illusion of big bass. It is said to make the cabinet more saleable, as well as making the cab small enough to be portable. The Carvin RC210 and Eden D410XLT fall into this group.

    The other extreme is putting the drivers into a too-large cabinet to extend the bass response at the expense of a tubby bottom end. The Avatar 10" models and old JBL 2x15 cabs come to mind here.
     
  7. Mcrelly

    Mcrelly

    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I would imagine to get the "eden" sound you'd have to buy "eden" speakers and use the EXACT dimensions of your favorite eden cab. if you build a cab from a book and use all the materials and drivers they recommend you might get some thing pretty good.

    I'd say build a cabinet for the experience of building something, but don't fool yourself into thinking that IT WILL sound as good as whoever's cab. if it sound pretty good then congratulations!

    used cabs are always a way of saving money, just make sure you get to listen to them first! I was reading another thread where someone bought a 215 cab for a good deal and found out someone put RADIO SHACK cheap speakers into it rated at 100w each instead of the 400w speakers that should have been in there. they said "it went from sounding okay to sounding like the voice of God. "

    there are benfits to making speaker cabinets for a living or else everyone would make their own.
     
  8. Thanks for all the help guys. I think I may give the cabinet builiding a go. I was already going to take all the measurements from an EDEN cab that I like the tone of. Even if I don't like the tone I think I will grow just fromthe experience of building them.

    I got interested inthis because my friend (a bass tech) just built a 1x10 cab using a decent speaker. He based the porting and dimensions on his EDEN 410 and the sound is huge. He's playing gigs in small venues with no PA and is filling the club with rich warm bass.

    I've been thinking that the cabinet is much more likely to affect the tone than the head. Seeing as both my cab and my head suck and I have a limited budget (hard to support yourself as a begining musician) I thought I'd start with the cab.

    Thanks again

    :D
    Ben
     
  9. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Yay - Australians :D<BR><BR>I feel your pain about the cost of gear down here and am considering building my own cab as well. Have a look at the P.Audio speakers on http://www.cannonsound.com.au for some reasonably priced and appropriate bass cab drivers :)
     
  10. Hey Unharmed

    Yeah prices in Australia suck. What sort of music do you play?? If you're into jazz or funk you may have seen/heard a friend of mine playing out and about. Michael Meagre is his name and he is one bad arse bass player.

    Thanks for the link.:cool:

    Ben
     
  11. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    I am definitely into jazz and funk but have only just started playing recently. I haven't heard of Michael Meagre. Where/with whom does he play and I'll check him out. What's the weather like up there? :cool:
     
  12. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've actually built a reverse engineered Eden 2x10. I needed a bass wedge so I built the cab and used the speakers out of my 210xlt. Worked a treat.

    Just for the hell of it, I put my P.Audio drivers in it - no bottom end at all. I've mucked around with the P.Audio stuff on WinISD and they seem to like very small cabinets. The Eden cab will be Way too big. Mind you, those speakers are about are the best value for money drivers in Australia.

    Let me know if you need help with the cab.
     
  13. Mcrelly

    Mcrelly

    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I may be stupid, but why can you austrailians buy off the internet and have something shipped in? or have a friend in the states or some other country send you something? taxes? tariffs? I'm not big on world functioning
     
  14. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    <BR><BR>We could but it's the shipping that's the killer. Bass related stuff also tends to be really large, heavy or both thus exacerbating the situation. We are a really long way from the rest of the world. :(
     
  15. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Shipping often costs as much as the product you're buying, sometimes more. The one and only time I thought about bringing something in from the US, it was an Inductor for a crossover I was making that cost US$15 to buy, but US$35 the ship here. Even brands like Eden and Ampeg cost an absolute fortune because shipping is factored into the retail price. You Americans have got it good.........

    I only buy American if there's absolutely no local or Asian equivalent.
     
  16. Hey Ben, I was going to suggest P-Audio Drivers but Unharmed beat me to it.
    I built a sealed box 2x12" using a pair of their cheap 100 watt ( $69.00 ea Delivered ) HP series woofers to use with my 71'Bassman amp and it sounds great. ( I based the cab dimensions on the Fender Pro-Sonic box from the Fender catalogue.) It sounds good with a solid state head too, warm and punchy. In fact, we A/B'd it next to my bass teachers 2x10" EV box, and he agreed that it sounded better. Better transient response and it also hangs on to the low end roll off better due to it being a sealed cab. Easily handles the low B of my fives. The main drawback with sealed cabs is that they are not quite as efficient at ported enclosures volume wise. But it's plenty loud enough for what I built it for, practice, low powered gigs, and tonal variation from my other gear.
    Anyway, as far as the drivers go, as Petebass said, these drivers are probably the best value you'll find for musicians in Oz.
     
  17. Hey guys

    Wow lots of response, particularly from all you aussies. COOL:D. I definatley think I'm gonna go ahead and build the cabinet's. I think I'm gonna go with 1 210 for starters. I don't really play really loud gigs and have been doing fine with a 1x12 behringer amp. I wanna try and get something with more bottom and a better sound that doesn't way a ton. I wanted to go with an EDEN type design because the EDEN cabs I've heard (few and far between) sound awesome and they definatley cut through the mix. I've tried a couple of they're 210's and they were pretty damn big. Any suggestions for a different 210 design????

    Also I'm wondering if you can wire resistors into cab (adjusted via a switch) so that it can be run at 2, 4 and 8 Ohms. This way I could get as much sound out of a single cab as possible, yet still use it to combine with another cab without blowing the head.

    As far as ordering over the net you guys have already got the answers. However aside from the shipping we also get hit with import duty and a bucket load of tax. I bought my Warwick 5 string off Ebay for the Aussie equivalent of about $1300 and by the time I had it in my hot little (and eager hands) I'd forked out $2100. Needless to say I wasn't happy (although I really dig the bass).

    Oh and all you Melbournites can check out my friend Michael playing in many bands such as: Gojam (world music) and Blow (avant garde jazz). He's also in many other projects (which being musicians we all know will keep changing) that I don't know the names off.

    THanks for all the help, keep groovin

    Ben

    PS the weather here is starting to warm up again and it's probably one of the best times of the year:)
     
  18. Hey Pete

    I'd be really interested in hearing about your reverse enginered EDEN cab. Any helpful pointers ie ply thickness, where to source cheap handles etc. Also what does the cab sound like in comparison to an actual EDEN cab?? CHeers

    Ben
     
  19. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm gonna confuse the issue a bit. The Eden 2x10 has more bottom end than any of it's competitors - BUT, it doesn't even come close to any of my 15's, even the cheapie. It weighs the same as my heavy 15. Ive always used 2x10's as extensions speakers for low-mids up.


    That's because they deliberately use a speaker designed for a MASSIVe cab, then stick it into a cab that's technically too small. the result is a hump in the 70-200Hz frequency range, a percieved loudness, and a sound that cuts through. It's a delicate balancing act though which would be hard to replicate. Speaker choice is crutial. You could use Eden drivers but at $150US each + shipping, that won't be cheap.

    Don't use resistors inside a cab. They actually rob watts away from the speaker.

    You can do something like what Tech sound systems have done and add a switch that changes the wiring from Series to parallel and vice versa. That will give you 2 different ohm options, but not the three you're looking for. For example, if your 2x10 has 2 speakers at 4 ohms each, you can pull 8 ohms by wiring in Series, OR 2 ohms by wiring in parallel. You can't get 4 ohms this cab on it's own. It goes against the laws of physics.
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I used 20mm Plywood. That's thinner than the standard cab but I was trying to save a bit of weight. I used handles and corners from Jaycar electronics. They don't look anything like Eden parts but I wasn't too fussed about that. The cab sounds EXACTLY like a standard 210xlt and so it should - I'm using the drivers out of my Eden 2x10 and replicated the porting and dimensions - the only difference is the shape. Mine is a bass wedge.