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Convince me to keep these Eminence 3015s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fu22ba55, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    After reading the tons of positive posts and info here about Eminence Kappalite 3015 Neo Drivers, I decided to give them a try for myself when I recently cooked one of my EV15Bs

    Loaded in a TL-606 cab, this 3015 driver is NOT doing it for me.

    Everyone here on TB provided a ton of helpful info re: these speakers, and ON PAPER they should be sonically superior... better FR curve, better Xmax...

    I have two TL-606s, and only one driver blew, so I was able to compare the two drivers side by side, one at a time.

    I kept trying to dial in a sound I liked with the 3015, and every time I switched back to a EV15B, it just sounded better. And by "better" of course I mean more familiar. It's what I'm used to.

    The 3015 seemed a little too midrange happy, and didn't seem to have as much high end.

    And I like to push the EVs... and get some fuzz... push them with that damaging square wave distortion... I'm used to the way the EVs break up... the 3015s were less musical when they broke up. More like PA speakers, not bass speakers.


    3015 fans and speaker gurus alike, let me know what I need to do differently to dial in a sound I like better on the 3015s

    -Where do I want to concentrate in changing my EQ to get a tone I'm used to? subtract mids? add treble? subtract bass?

    -Do I simply need to hit them with more wattage to get the same quality of distortion as the EV15Bs?

    -Is this a TL-606 issue? (It's my understanding that the TL-606 was basically built around the 15B driver)

    -What can I do to see the good side of these drivers before I yank them out and sell 'em right here to one of you neo fanatics?

    (And fear not EV15B fans... my blown driver is already on its way to OC speaker for a recone)
  2. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Not sure about most of your questions, but I'll answer one. It's not a TL606 issue imho: I have a pair of TL606s with Kappalite 3015s in them and I absolutely love them. But then, I don't go for any fuzz.

    Good luck, and I hope others chime in with more info.

  3. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Don't feel bad, I tried a 3015 in a 3 way carvin LS1503, and really was'nt all that impressed. Did not not sound much different than the stock 15 and I sold it. I like the old vintage 15 sound of JBL's myself, and after trying some neos, I'm going back to the sound I like and put up with the weight. But, I am definitely in the minority when it comes to this particular driver, just depends on your tone goals.
  4. Putting a speaker into a cab that is not designed for it is a sure fire path to disappointment
  5. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Use a distortion pedal with a mild tubey type distortion. VT-bass. Great for the speaker emulation effects.

    EQ suggestions are pointless without knowing what tools you have available, so, what amp and pedals do you have?

    And the big one: It takes your ears a while to get accustomed to a new cabinet, in my opinion. Give it a little while and stop listening to the old one for a while :)

    Speaker distortion is a good way to kill your drivers long term. If you want to keep killing them, I don't see how to help you. Just go for it and realize the cost. A distortion pedal will be a much better long term idea however.
  6. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Another thing to remember: 3015s are loud and clean and have minimal midrange breakup. They have very little upper bass bump in even very small cabs - very flat down low.

    Because of that, they sound "Thin" to a lot of people used to a bump at 150hz from a traditional cabs.

    The first place I would start eqing IF you have the tools is to bump @ 150hz 1/2 octave Q, start at 3db and go up.
  7. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Actually, I modeled the 3015 in the TL606 in WinISD before doing the replacement. It's a pretty fair fit. Could be a tad less volume, but the driver works well in a TL606.

  8. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Amps: Boogie D-180, Aguilar DB359, 70's Magnavox SVT

    Pedals: The only pedals I have are on my bicycle.

    I tried the driver with the Boogie D-180 and the Aggie since I didn't want to push it too hard if I didn't like it and needed to sell it.

    I used my '71 Jazz, '70 P-Bass, '79 MM Sabre, and '99 Warwick Thumb.

    Even on the "modern" clean stuff, I preferred the sound of the EV.

    I guess this is what I meant about "familiar". I'm hoping to find a sound I like from the 3015s so I can get used to it.

    At $99 a recone, it's not a bad way to fly... I usually wind up reconing every three or four years. Drummers change drum heads, we change our strings... I think speakers are perishable items like strings.

    THAT is some super-helpful info. I'll start there for sure.
  9. How long have you played them ?

    They need to break in and loosen up a little
  10. i too made funny faces when i popped two 3015s in my 215. its all midrange. but i really like having it there now that i can hear myself. bumping some lows could help, but honestly, i end up cutting some lows and and for situations that are honky, i use the good ole contour. i think you could easily cut some mids from these speakers and still end up where you started before trying them.
  11. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    This was actually something I was curious about... do speakers "break in?" If so, then yes I need to put some miles on them before making a decision.

    I've only tested them for a few hours gently. Haven't abused them.
  12. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    This is also super helpful.
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It takes at least 12 hours of low frequency sine wave input sufficient for 1/4" of cone excursion before a driver will even approach its capabilities.
  14. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Found this while I was researching the 3015s, and just now referred back to it:

    From this thread:


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that means that the EVs have a low-mid contour, scooped sound, "built in" to the speaker in effect.

    I've looked at all the tape marks on my amps, and the mids are dimed pretty much across the board.

    So when I A::B compare the two speakers without changing my EQ, of course I'm going to get more mids from the 3015s. I've been compensating for the lack of mids from the 15Bs all this time.

    All I need to do is cut the low-mids on the 3015s around 75Hz, and I should have a similar sound, with more headroom in the mids if I need it?
  15. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009

    Anyone know the response curve of an old Carvin PS15C loaded in a TL606? Does it exhibit the same mid scoop as the 15B? I have a couple (one blown) in the basement somewhere, but I seem to remember them as pretty bite-y. More similar to the 3015 than the 15B. Are those worth re-coning? I think they were Eminence OEM for Carvin.
  16. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Isn't that a max-power curve? It isn't SPL, so it has nothing to do with what you'll hear. It just tells you that---in that cabinet---the driver won't take more than about 85w at 70Hz. This is why the cabinet match is so important. It can be great, it can be crap.

    As for break-in, set up a 25-30Hz audio generator (or a looping CD). You can run the driver in free air as long as you don't overextend it, and you will hardly hear anything from it.

    After you've finished the break-in, give it a listen.

    PS: Break in one driver at a time so you can compare the result.
  17. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    That's just plain sneaky. Hope there are no whales in the area trying to sleep.

    Thanks. Awesome idea.
  18. koobie


    Jul 11, 2007
    Portland OR
    I get plenty of bass out of my 3015-loaded Trace 1153 (I play 4 strings). I like the mids, it's pretty punchy. Agreed that a 3015 does not sparkle in the top like an EVM15B, at first I wasn't sure it was a good move. But I've adapted my eq to compensate and am pretty happy with the overall tone. I don't plan on pushing the 3015 anywhere near it's clipping point, I prefer a clearer tone for bass speakers (guitar speakers are another matter). When you consider the 450 watt power rating and it's relatively high xmax (it's lighter weight is an added bonus) it's a driver I'd recommend to just about anyone.

    That said, if I can find a reasonably-priced 15" driver with similar specs to the 3015 but with some of the EVM15B's sparkle on top, I'd be open to it.
  19. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    This. Night and Day difference between the time I took them out of the box and post-break-in. I was ready to can mine too.
  20. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    That's what I was thinking. Play them a bit get to know them better and let them get to know you. It's not like it's going to affect their resale value.

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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