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Driver Size - A Different Perspective?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Warpeg, May 6, 2019.

  1. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    I like to believe that most (or, at least many) TB members have been awakened to the fact that driver size does not directly affect things like perceived volume, amount of bass, power handling, etc. We've reached a point where we realize that specifications about a driver's construction, cabinet design, and preamp/amplifier are the key contributors of overall sound. So....

    In this day and age, why do we need different sizes of drivers? Should we standardize on a specific size? Is there anything quantifiable that suggests that X" drivers are better or worse than Y" drivers?
    lizardking837 likes this.
  2. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Have we though? And even if "we TB members" are aware, that makes up only one small microcosm of the total population of bass players.

    Well aside from the actual speaker specifications and how they relate to your intended use... marketing.
  3. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
  4. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Who is this "we" of which you speak? I, personally don't make drivers. Do you?
    BassAndReeds likes this.
  5. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    For the same reasons why we need different size shoes. Different formats still perform differently for any given pack size and weight.

    There might not be hard and fast rules as far as how certain sizes relate to tone, but one size still doesn't fit all from a functional perspective. :)
    popgadget, dBChad and Lobster11 like this.
  6. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    No, I don't make drivers. Maybe I'm missing the meaning behind your question?
  7. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    That makes sense. I guess I hadn't really thought about it from a form-factor perspective.
  8. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Sorry, I should have filled out my thoughts. There is no "we". There's a bunch of cab makers who have different ideas about how drivers, dimensions and materials should come together. Limiting drivers to one size, like any one size fits all mentality, kills innovation.
    The Nameless likes this.
  9. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    It’s subjective. I like how 8”s sound and respond. You know sometimes some 15”s are the best thing happening.

    What isn’t subjective is the effect of the cabinet. So ultimately I don’t care what driver size at all compared to does the cab do what I want it to do?

    We aren’t going to standardize cab design?
    Fridge does what it does so well. Sunn 200s & 2000s were perfect for JBL 15”s. The entire package of the Acoustic 360 is memorable to this day. The SWR BBII is outstanding. The original Marshall 1935 bass specific cabs and the 1982 100w cabs did rock bass in a perfect way. All different drivers all good. Pick your poison. :)
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    funkytoe and AstroSonic like this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Let's outlaw scales other than 34" while we're at it. Round up all the folks playing short scales and 35's, lock 'em up!

    Yes, you Rickenbacker people too - 33.25 is NOT 34.

    And don't even think about adjusting scale length for "intonation". 34 means 34.
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  11. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Right. Personally I've found the idea rig to be a pair of vertically stacked 2x10s -- not because I particularly like 10" speakers but because 4 tens is just the right "amount" of speaker for my needs, and the tall vertical array gets some speakers up closer to my ears so I can hear myself.
  12. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Personally I'm still dealing with the question of which end of an egg is the correct one to break.
    BassGreaser, Al Kraft, Razman and 8 others like this.
  13. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I used Cerwin Vega 18s in the 70s and thought they were the only way to get real low end without farting out . I was trying to get the same low end that was coming out of my stereo that had ten inch speakers . Hmmm!
    Back then there weren't smaller PA or musical instrument speakers in smaller sizes that could do what speakers these days can do . Sure the SVT cabs would get loud and pretty low but not like the Cerwin Vegas .

    The thing with using smaller diameter speakers to do the same job as larger speakers is mostly the money factor as far as I'm concerned . You have to use more of the smaller speakers or horn loading in a large cabinet to make a smaller speaker get as much output as a large diameter speaker . Look at the fEarful cabinets as an example . The 210 fEarful is very cool but a 115 fEarful does almost the same job for quite a bit cheaper . The Kappalite 3010LF costs very close to the same as the 3015LF . I'd like to build a couple 210 Deltalite with horn PA cabs to get the wider dispersion of a couple vertical tens but the cost makes it hard to do . It's just the money factor for me at least . I like them all sizes .
    Rich48, GregC, dBChad and 1 other person like this.
  14. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Uhhhh -
    Acoustical output depends on the volume of air displaced by the driver - more displacement, more volume. For a given excursion, a bigger driver (which has more surface area) displaces more air. Is that quantifiable enough?
    AstroSonic likes this.
  15. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    IMO the Greenboy stuff is a good example, as different size models in the Fearful and Fearless lines were all meant to basically sound the same.

    I chose a Fearless F115 because it seemed like the right balance of size, weight, cost, and performance for my personal needs. Other options for consideration included:

    F112: smaller, lighter, less performance, similar cost
    F212: bigger, heavier, arguably easier to transport (casters), better performance, but 30% more costly – mostly due to the additional driver to @Blues Bass 2 's point
  16. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    There are already standards. That's why there are 12s and 15s and not 13s and 14s.
    lizardking837, GregC, JRA and 8 others like this.
  17. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    There is a taste difference when biting a PB&J, P side or J side up.
    (No! Not Jazz or Precision!) :):)
    Razman, JRA, BassCliff and 1 other person like this.
  18. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    psst - break the side, not the end.
  19. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The need here is opaque to light but transparent to sound - grills

    Cabs should be a black box that the engineer design for their target sound without worrying about how to fashion it.

    What you hear is what you get.
  20. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I use a 460cc Driver....

    Oops. Wrong forum.
    JRA, Jehos and HamOnTheCob like this.
  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.

    Mar 5, 2021

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