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Eminence Delta-12LFA ... Is There A Better Choice?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mrjim123, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    I plan to build two single 12 cabinets. I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive ($150 or less) driver that will give me a warm low end, i.e., not weak in the 50-90 Hz range, and realatively flat above 90 Hz. I plan to tune to 45 Hz and want the -3 dB point to be at or below 45 Hz. I don't care about response above, say, 600 to 800 Hz because I plan to also build a fEARful type head case for a midrange driver.

    By the way, low weight is important - that's why I'm building separate 1x12's and a separate midrange enclosure. That being said, a Neo 12" driver would be nice, but not necessary.

    I've modeled several Eminence and Carvin drivers in WinISD and the best choice so far seems to be the Eminence Delta-12LFA. But, according to Bill Fitzmaurice, "The 12LF ... was a better than average low frequency driver when introduced, but that was over a decade ago."

    My questions are:

    1. Why is the 12LFA at best only "better than average"?

    2. Is there a better choice for my design goals?
  2. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    For low end, you are looking for a speaker that has a large xmax -- the distance it can travel in and out to crank out bass. Newer speakers have much improved xmax.

    It sounds like you are building a speaker cabinet, but don't understand the different aspects. It's hard to beat a fEarful. Or if you want something super-sensitive, one of Bill's designs. I built Bill Fitzmaurice's Titan39 and bi-amped my combo. It's awesome, I recommend it.
  3. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    The Titan 39 weighs 60 lbs., too much for my 60 year old back and knees. I have two Avatar 2x10 cabs that I'm happy with performance-wise, but at 46 lbs. each they've become more than I want to lift. And did I say "inexpensive"? I want to do it myself and stay under $250 per cab. The fEARful 12" driver alone is somewhere around $300.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think good low frequency response depends on more than just a high Xmax.
  4. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah it depends on a lot of factors. But xmax is pretty high on the list if you want to play low frequencies through your cab at volume without it killing your speaker.
  5. /\

    You probably save money in the long run, as the fEarful 12" will do the work of two average 12's
  6. This is absolutely true. The woofers in the fearful cabs can output much more than a Delta LF cab. Imagine the weight savings if you only need one cab, and it has a neo driver! :cool:
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    You're partially correct. Response does not depend on xmax. Output does.
    I personally don't use or recommend a T39 for bass unless you're using it as part of a scalable system, adding it to a suitable top when even an 8x10 just isn't enough. And I don't use a 3012LF loaded cab myself. That's because I do use a relatively large, though very lightweight, high sensitivity cab. If you are going to use a small lightweight cab of standard design/sensitivity and you want to get high output in the low end then you must load it with a high xmax driver and have an amp sufficiently large to power it. That's the physics of it and they will not be denied.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    How much amp power will you be using?

    The basslite s2012 may or may not be an option. It's xmax is around the same as the deltaLF, but sensitivity is a bit better, so play a little louder with the same input. A good choice for small/medium power amps. Neo prices have come down a little bit, that one might fall in your $150 or less requirement. It's thermal rating takes it out of the running if you'll be using big power. That's using big power, not just owning it.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    From the first post...an f3 in the low 50's sounds DEEP. No need to wring out performance in the 40's. Good output in the 60-120 octave will give you deep/fat sounding bass. That'll also help raise displacement limited power handling and use a more compact box, whatever driver you choose. I'd raise your goals just slightly there. What a lot of us hear as deep bass is really an octave higher than we think it is. Not questioning your ears, just suggesting giving up some performance at 40 and gaining it a little higher up.
  10. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I priced the S2012 at BLT Sound yesterday and it was $125 (BassLite S2012). I've only used an S2010, but in a small cabinet (1.35 ft^3 before deducting port and speaker volume) it handles a B string well and I love the sound of it. Very even, to my ear. That cab is tuned to 55 Hz (at least that was the goal). Not a "True B" cabinet, but to the ear it's fine and the S2012 would be better.

    Eminence's spec sheet is here: http://www.eminence.com/pdf/Basslite_S2012.pdf
    Eminence's example cabs are here: http://www.eminence.com/pdf/Basslite_S2012_cab.pdf

    The S2012 likes smaller cabinets and is less expensive than the 3012LF. You lose absolute power handling and low end performance, but like Will33 said, you gain efficiency, so power handling may be less of an issue.

    If you were going to go the fEarFul route, I think I'd just go with the 15+6 and call it done. It goes much lower than the 12 does, if I recall correctly. If I were going to build from scratch I'd go with the S2012 because it's cheaper, lighter and goes deep enough. It's a very nice speaker.


    P.S. Right now my S2010 is running without a tweeter or mid. It's fine for my needs. It's probably losing top end at about 4K, from what I've read.
  11. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    My amp is spec'd at:

    300W @ 8 ohms
    500W @ 4 ohms
    800W @ 2 ohms

    I play everything from small clubs to outdoor gigs. I have other cabs I can pair my new build with for gigs where I need more output, but I'm mainly concerned with small to medium size indoor venues.

    I just modeled the Kappalite 3012LF (which is used in the fEARful 12sub) in WinISD using some of Eminence's medium vented box design guidelines (1.86 cu. ft., tuned to 44 Hz), and I have a few general questions:

    1. Comparing the Kappalite 3012LF to the Delta 12LF, the SPL charts are virtually identical, but the Maximum SPL shows that the Kappalite 3012LF has considerably more output (as much as 6 dB) in the 60 to 110 Hz range. In previous modeling I had been doing most of my comparisons using the SPL chart, but maybe I should be looking more at the Maximum SPL chart?

    2. The Kappalite 3012LF Maximum Power chart is the first I have seen that shows NO dip in max power at any frequency. Generally speaking, how do I interpret the Maximum Power Chart? Is it mostly indicative of how much power the box CAN handle? Is there no dip mainly because the Kappalite 3012LF Xmax is so large?

    3. I can never seem to get rear air port velocity anywhere near the recommended maximum of 20-25m/s; my results are typically something like 40-60m/s. I'd like to keep round vent lengths below about 13". So, w/r to chuffing how bad is 40-60m/s? I'm not competing with screaming Marshall stacks, nor do I plan to.
  12. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Speaker Hardware is currently listing the 3012LF at $225.
    Still puts the completed cab over your budget, but as others have written: it will do the work of two lesser drivers.
  13. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    Thanks for that tip. I'm not that committed to 45 Hz - I just read somwhere that that is is a good starting point. I modeled my existing Avatar 2x10 cab, which I really like the sound of, using the box's exact dimensions, which resulted in a tuning frequency of 47 Hz. But, some of what I'm hearing from that cab may be due more to the driver itself than to the tuning frequency, So, now I'll do some modeling around 50-52 Hz.
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Yes, look at the maximum power chart when comparing drivers and look at the dip just above the tuning frequency. That will reveal real output capability. You have enough amp there, the 3012LF may be a worthwhile investment. When you push it towards it's full potential, it moves as much air as a pair of common 12's. Also with that much power, if you use it, power compression and thermalling would become an issue with the basslites. I have a pair of deltaliteII's in my rig. Gets way loud but again, that's twice the size of the single 3012LF rig.
  15. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    I thought the recommended maximum air velocity was about 1/20th the speed of sound, or 55 ft/s. Keep it below 60 and you'll be fine (IMO). That's at absolutely the loudest and when that's happening you aren't going to hear a little chuffing anyway.

    When I've played with the Delta 12LF, and in Eminence's own speaker cabinet recommendations doc, it's displacement limited to around 125 watts if you want to get the low end out of it (big box). In other words, don't worry too much about your amp's power output. For most 1x12's and 2x12's the speaker will hit xMax first. With the fEarFuls this is less of an issue, but you're trading sensitivity for a large xMax.

    100 watts through an efficient speaker cabinet will surprise you. I don't have the WinISD driver file for the S2012, but a 2x10 with the S2010 models 117 dB when pushed by 100 watts (below xMax) in a 2 ft^3 box. It would only get better with S2012. Unless your band is crushingly loud, two 1x12's with the S2012 would do you quite well.

    I'm advocating it because it has very good performance in a small box. I've modeled the Delta 12LF a fair amount and it's nice, but the S2012 looks nicer to me for real world boxes where that lovely low end comes at the expense of a much larger box than most 12" speaker cabs use.

  16. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Rule of thumb on air velocity is 20 meters per second...30 if you have flared ends. To be honest, I've gotten away with a little higher than that with no problems. A little chuff as you're approaching full output may not necessarily be a bad thing, more of a warning "hey, you're approaching the danger zone here". But, lower is still better. As airflow becomes constricted in the ports, in can also affect the tuning frequency and contribute to cone-rocking, not just make funny noises.
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Some of this talk may be pulling you away from your original intent, but, if you are looking at going the single, high-end LF route, I'd seriously consider using the 15" model if your weight/bulk limitations allow it. It runs a good bit higher sensitivity and will play louder than the 12 without the big power and louder still with it. Back issues, space limitations, etc., it may still make more sense to you to go with a pair of smaller good cabs rather than one larger great one.

    FWIW, 12" fEARful owners describe the broadband output as comparable to a typical 310 cab, a pair of them like a 610. With much better lows in all cases.
  18. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    You could build one moderately sized box (3 cu ft), which is just slightly bigger than your planned cabs would be anyway,
    and load it with one kappa 15 lfa and cross it to eminence la6-cbmr at 800 hz. It will go louder than kappalite 3012lf, f3 at low 48 Hz if tuned to 47 hz. For price of included components and overall size, lower and louder it canĀ“t get.
  19. thudfromafar


    Dec 12, 2007
    Not to derail the thread too much but does anyone know the internal volume of an avatar SB112? I think my deltalite in there is shot (I remember it going wayyy louder before distorting... does that make sense?) and want to replace the driver. Was thinkin basslite S2012. I would power it with my shuttle 3.0 which is 180 watts @ 8ohms. I have the 15/6 for big stuff, this is for small stuff.
  20. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    Elkhart, IN
    Can't answer your question, but don't even rely on the published (website) external dimensions to make an estimate. The website's dimensions for the B210 cabinet are incorrect.

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