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Car stereo speakers in a cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by penstock, May 15, 2001.

  1. penstock


    Aug 10, 2000
    Ok, so a guy in my band borrowed my cab for a show with his other band, and he put a hole in my speaker. He got it replaced, but he put car stereo speakers. It sounds fine so far, but should I be worried about it in the long run? I have a Gallien Krueger 6X10 cab that I run a GK 400RB (200 W) through.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I can't catch my breath.
  3. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    No no no! Make him replace it with the SAME speaker that was in there, or get it reconed. Cabs are designed to be used with specific speakers...and car speakers? Yuck!
  4. Car speakers will get blown. They do not have the excursion limits or the power-handling capacity of bass guitar speakers and as such will likely fail if you crank your amp up and slap an open E.

    Get the original speaker put in ASAP.
  5. Car speakers are designed for...............cars.
  6. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    And how did he manage to get a hole in your speaker??
  7. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I dunno if I 100% agree with what is being said here. Although I don't have any direct experience with car speakers in a guitar/bass enclosure, I have read articles (Guitar World magazine) on building cabs with car speakers in 'em - specifically those big, noisy things that people fill the back seat of their Neons and Grand Ams with, to get that "boom-ditta-boom-boom" sound when they are cruising through my neighborhood at 1:00 in the morning. I would say that whoever damaged your sh*t shoulda replaced it AFTER discussing it with you, not before, but if the speaker he put in it is the proper resistance (ohms) and it sounds good, leave 'er alone till that one blows.
  8. Well if it sounds good to you at high volumes, I guess leave them in. But I wouldn't expect a high resale value on a GK 6x10 with a couple car speakers in it.
  9. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    First, read the following very recent thread on car speakers for some good technical discussion: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=16554. I believe that, in general, car speakers aren't great for bass amplification - but there may be some (typically expensive) exceptions. The other thing to consider is longevity. It might sound nice now, but when that cheap foam surround rots out or whatever, you won't be too happy with the sound later.

    - Mike
  10. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    it seems pointless to me... I chose car speakers because I am broke... but in your case, you are OWED the correct speakers. Don't short change yourself.
  11. penstock


    Aug 10, 2000
    Thanks for the help. I think I'm just gonna leave those speakers in until I can get the one reconed and put back as it was before. Do I have to send it back to GK to get reconed, or can I have it done at a local audio shop?

    He put those speakers in mainly because he saw the hole early in the afternoon on the day that our band had its biggest show ever, so that way I could at least play through my cab. The hole got put in there because I made a metal grill for it, but hadn't mounted it yet. I told him that when he moved it to still set the grill in it, but he didn't, and after the move there was a hole. I almost killed him!
  12. MikeyD makes a good point. I run Rockford-Fosgate RFR2215 15" drivers in my bass rig, and we have thrashed this topic to death. Both cheap car subs and cheap instrument speakers, as well as some very expensive JBL drivers can come with foam surrounds. Foam sucks in every application, no matter what quality the speaker, and yes it deteriorates rapidly. I have several VERY expensive JBL 124A drivers with zilch foam remaining alive due to smog. Santoprene is far superior to foam in all respects.

    There are misconceptions here that need clarification:

    Not always true. High-end car subs have far more excursion than instrument speakers because they are designed that way, and intended to be extremely loud. Eminence is a primary manufacturer of instrument speakers that are used in a wide variety of different amps. Musical instrument drivers are typically much louder than car subwoofers on a watt-per-watt basis, require much less power, and have half or less the cone excursion of a car sub.

    My Rockfords are rated at 1,000 watts RMS, which to my knowledge is matched only by the Eminence Kilomax and EV EVX-180B instrument drivers. The lower Eminence drivers are in the 300~600 watt range, depending upon their price point. A single Rockford 15" takes everything my SWR 750 can dish out, and wants more. The real downside to car subs in a bass amp is they are VERY power hungry and not very loud.

    Speakers are designed to reproduce a range of frequencies with a predetermined level of quality. Where they are installed is up to the manufacturer or end user. High end car subs have a low frequence response similar to audiophile hifi speakers, which is far lower, flatter, and much less loud than instrument speakers. Low end car speakers are the same as low end instrument speakers: junk.

    A bass driver must be carefully matched to its cabinet to perform correctly, and/or not tear itself to pieces. It is not very likely that the car speaker this guy used is anywhere close to matching the other drivers. His manner suggests it was a cheap way to avoid his obligation to you and he should have asked your first.

    Your friend is acting like a sneaky dick, and you must make him replace the broken driver(s) with the correct ones. There are several good reasons, one being resale, a more important one is making sure the impedance balance of your amp is not disrupted. If he plugged in a car subwoofer at 1.8 ohms and has your total impedance at 2 ohms or somesuch, bye-bye amplifier head.
  13. In this case, you absolutely MUST change the speakers to the original ones. different speakers in one cab is asking for trouble. They will counteract each other at certain frequencies, because most likely they're all working on one air volume and one bass port tuning. The result: you'll crank up the amp and completely blow the speakers.

    Technically, bgavin and MikeyD are right. But in this case I'd really advise against those speakers. It looks like your friend wanted to get cheapo replacements. He should have you asked first. And you should have asked a speaker tech (not to sound proud: a speaker tech like me) first.

    NEVER replace speakers with other brands or types. ESPECIALLY equal speakers in the same cab.
  14. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I would add: "...unless you really know what you're doing, or there is simply no identical replacement available (such as in the case where an old driver has long been out of production)."
    - Mike
  15. Mike: noted, and agreed.
  16. Kick his ass and make him replace the speaker pronto. Damn, when he accidentally tears off your arm you'd be pissed when he put a wooden stump on your shoulder instead of a real arm?

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