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Choosing a bass cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 24, 2001.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've been passing all my GAS in the direction of new basses and I just realized it's time I upgrade on the Peavey combo I've been using all my life. I looking into a GK head (probably the 400). I've played through enough heads to know that GKs suit my needs best, I'm baffled on the bottom deal though. I hate to admit I know little to nothing about them.

    What I'm looking for is the cleanest, loudest response at the most reasonable price. I've been checking out cabinet prices and I don't understand the huge price differences. I also know that I've used the same heads with different brand speakers in studios, and there's been a world of difference. I've been considering GK, SWR, and Hartke bottoms. I like the sound of the aluminum Hartkes, but they're always blown out at one of the studios I rehearse in - does this always happen? Can anyone and everyone please give me as much info on speaker bottoms as possible.

    It's really hard to check them out in the stores cause they get all upset when you crank them, and I'm only interested in how they sound when they're cranked. Thanks.
  2. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Now, you are the *first* person who has ever had that desire! ;) All kidding aside - you identified The Challenge.

    There are probably some "fluff" factors in the pricing - both from various manufacturers and various dealers. But some of the fluff gets shaken out by competition - and fortunately there seems to be quite a bit of it in bass amplification right now (unlike in PC operating systems... ahem). I believe that some of the factors that affect price are:
    _ (1) the quality of the drivers in the cabinet (power handling, efficiency, magnet size, quality of suspension, etc.);
    _ (2) the quantity of drivers in the cabinet;
    _ (3) whether the cabinet is two- or three-way (and needs a crossover network);
    _ (4) quality of the cabinet itself (materials, construction quality, fit and finish);
    _ (5) physical size and/or mass of the cabinet (more material costs more);
    _ (6) special design advantage (people are willing to pay a premium for cabinets that perform and sound better than their competition, so the price goes up);
    _ (7) overall size and weight can affect shipping and warehousing costs, which ultimately get passed on to the end buyer.

    Maybe there are others. For example, a small manufacturer that doesn't have a lot of automation might have a cost disadvantage compared to a larger mfr. having such automation. Anyway, good luck with your search, and maybe you'll get some good ideas from reading in TalkBass.

    - Mike

  3. Not to purposly throw up another option, but i think you should add Eden to your list of cabs your considering. They run about the same price as SWR, and are more efficent acording to specs. One bit of advice, get the xlt series, its ported, so its got much better low end responce. i have the d-4x10xlt, and have not regreted the choice over the SWR Golioth. I dont know if its just me, but it seemed like the Eden could handle the lows much better.
  4. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I'm also an Eden fan, the D410-XLT being a very fine cabinet. Another Eden option however, is the D410-T. It's specs are not quite as beefy(price being one of them) as the XLT, but it's a very solid cab and it gives you the effect of rear porting. Depending on your situation, this might be more advantageous than the front ported XLT.

    Happy Hunting,
  5. I'll throw in my vote for the D410-XLT also. Great cabinet. I can also tell you that I played through Hartke speakers for 9 years and never had any trouble with them.
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A single 15" cab loaded with a good speaker (JBL, EV, RCS, BagEnd, etc.). Mesa and BagEnd boxes are highly recommended.
    Buy used to get a better price. Get two and stack 'em if you need more cojones.

    Skip 410 cabs unless you are willing to pay (four speakers in the box = more $$$$)
  7. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    i have an eden metro and i can attest to their sound...it's pretty awesome, as are most of their products. another cab that i like, and is a good all around cab, is an swr triad, if you can find one...my .02...
  8. KillMary


    Jan 25, 2001
    If you plan on playing loud I wouldn't get the Hartke. I've known of plenty of those who blew.

    I'm in the process of changing speakers as well. I'm thinking about getting a 2x10 from Eden and a 1x18 from either Eden, SWR or Bag End (whichever I can find...)

    I played through a friends rig the other day and he had a 2x10 and 1x15, both Ampeg Classics. The head was an SVT III. I was surprised at how good that combination sounded. It totally kicked.

    Anybody played the 1x18 from Carvin? I've only had their 4x10s... which are good especially at loud volumes but no SWR or Eden...
  9. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Wow, finally something you and I agree on. I have played through a 4/10 Hartke for about the same length of time and have never had one problem with them, I think they sound best with a paper cone 15 bottom though. I'm gonna try the Eden 410 XLT next. What I want to do is go with one 4 ohm cab.
  10. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    Yes, I'm using one now. It's not a bad cabinet for the money. The main disadvantage is: I don't think it's very efficient. I have to pump huge amounts of power into it to get serious rumble. However, it's a robust driver, and can take quite a beating if you have a big amp. However, given that I'm regularly driving my big R1000 head into clipping with it, my next move is to replace it with a more efficient 2x15 from another manufacturer. If your music and drummer are more moderate volume-wise, the Carvin 1x18 is probably adequate.

    - Mike
  11. Hmm.. why do you want to do that, Turock? I would get an 8 ohm cab, just for flexiblity's sake. I don't know what kind of amp you're using, but take my set-up as an example. I've got the SWR SM-900 running into an 8-ohm Eden 4x10. The amp puts out 700 watts at 8 ohms, or 800 watts at 4 ohms. There is no audible difference between 700 and 800 watts. And, because my cab is 8 ohms, I can add another one if I want. Just something to think about.
  12. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000

    I'm using a Demeter VTBP preamp with a Hafler Pro5000 power amp. I get 475 watts at 8 ohms and 950 watts at 4 ohms (without looking, I think these numbers are correct, they're pretty close anyway). I have two 8ohm cabs (4/10, 1/15). For the sake of convenience, I'd like to be able to to lug around only one cabinet, and still sound good. If I'm not mistaken the 4ohm Eden cab can handle 700 watts. Good point though and I will take that into consideration. Thanks.
  13. KillMary


    Jan 25, 2001
    I thought about getting a 2x15 but then I thought that a 1x18 plus 2x10 would give me a much bigger range to play with. I hate it when the low notes sound great but when I go high up the neck (and I'm a 6-sting player), you can't hear a thing I'm doing.
  14. Ahh.. well if your amp puts out twice as much power at 4 ohms, that's another story. And if you're keeping those old 8 ohm cabs around, you'd be good to go for any situation. Cool!
    And yes, the Eden cab is rated for 700 at 4 or 8 ohms.

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