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How do you select cab configuration? (10's,12's,15's,18's?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Newget, Mar 21, 2006.


  1. Newget

    Newget

    Mar 10, 2006
    I'm going to be purchasing a new rig and was wondering how you folks choose your speaker size configuration. What sounds well paired with what? What is the benefit of 10's, all 10's, no 10's. How much different does the 15 and 18 sound from the 12 and 10? Any input would be appreciated, thanx.
     
  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 select by the diameter of the drivers, which is ten inches. Then by the number of drivers, which is four. Then by the manufacturer of the drivers, which is Eden. That's pretty much all you need to know right there.
     
  3. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Very nice.

    The more complete answer: search and research over many years of trials and dollars.

    Then get an Eden rig (I prefer my 212 as a single cab, but my 210+212 setup is everything I could ask for).
     
  4. Newget

    Newget

    Mar 10, 2006
    Well as far as Eden goes I'm already a user and probably for life. I can't decide what to pair my 212's with. Will I lose bottom with 10's, or will I mud it up with an 18? I love the 212 configuration (Nemesis 212 with wt330 head) but I need more power. the idea is to get the 550 with another cab, but which one is the question????
     
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    If you are looking for a law of physics that associates driver size and tone quality, there isn't one. However, commercial speakers follow market trends.

    Commercial 15's and 18's tend to have more low end, because that's what players expect. Historically, systems with 10's had less low end, resulting in perceived qualities such as "punch" and "speed."

    But makers are starting to offer more variety. Thus it is getting harder to associate a driver size with a particular sound. It boils down to what sounds good, and whether you can get the volume level that you need for your playing.

    Of perhaps greater importance is whether you can live with a 1-way system, versus something with a midrange and/or tweeter. Possibly the biggest trend right now is systems with high fidelity midrange and treble response.
     
  6. Newget

    Newget

    Mar 10, 2006
    Could you please elaborate on this, and be as "bass tech for dummies" as possible, thanx.
     
  7. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    I definitely prefer 10's. I love the tightness and response of the cone. Much more of a compressed sound than 12's and 15's. It just gets back in position faster and IMO has more punch. I've tried all the combinations and always come back to 10's. I think a nice 210 cabinet would really add some punch to your 212 cabinet.
     
  8. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    I play blues/rock style mainly, and go for a growly vintage-type tone (with little treble/sizzle) that has a distinctness to the notes. I'm loving the WT550 into a 4-ohm 212XLT, and usually it is loud enough, but can add a 8-ohm 210MBX if needed. That cab combination works great, the tone!

    I used to power an 8-ohm 212XLT (and the 210MBX) with a WT330... not as loud and I was underpowering the cabs, but the 210/212 cab mix still sounded great.
     
  9. Newget

    Newget

    Mar 10, 2006
    Do you feel you have enough headroom with the 212>550 setup, or have you found yourself pushing it past 12 o'clock on occasion?
     
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    No problem, though I am only paraphrasing some of the real speaker experts here on this forum.

    With a 1-way system (i.e., just a big woofer), bad things start to happen at high frequencies. First, the response curve starts getting all sorts of bumps and dips. Second, high frequency response drops off when you are not standing straight ahead of the speaker. To address the second problem, you have to cross over to a smaller radiating area, preferably a cone midrange. It also helps that the midrange has a flatter high frequency response curve. Then, crossing over again to a tweeter gets you up to 20 kHz if you need that much high end.

    A historical compromise was a 2-way, i.e., woofer and tweeter. But it's hard to choose a crossover point with a tweeter that is low enough to address the directionality of the woofer. That's why one of our experts -- Bill Fitzmaurice -- recommens a woofer and cone midrange if the system has to be 2-way.

    Small drivers don't help with directionality if they are in a square array, because the cones move (approximately) as one big massive cone.
     
  11. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Definitely. There was only one time when I wished I had also brought the 210 along. That was with 2 guitars and keyboards and a hard hitting drummer. One of the guitar players has an old Fender Concert 60W head with a 212 cab that he told me he had around 7-8 (damn glad I had my ER-20s that night, my ears were still ringing the next day). The other guitar had a 65W old Fender amp in a 410 cab. I was pushing things pretty hard, and noticed my limiter light flashing very intermittently so I dialed back the low lows a notch or two to stop it (being a bit conservative there). It kept up fine volume-wise, and the tone was superb. Besides the group members who all commented on the tone, there were two particular audience members (one from the band Ambrosia if you're old enough to remember them, the other from the Highwaymen) who made a point to comment on the bass tone, and that spoke volumes to me.

    Other than that, the 550/212 will get me through most any indoor situation, 550W into a 212 box with 103dB sensitivity. And FWIW, I play 4-strings so I'm not asking for a ton of low fundamental.

    Adding the 210 adds speaker area and draws about 660W at 2.67-ohm (440W to the 212, 220W to the 210). If you add a 4-ohm 210, the amp puts out 720W into a 2-ohm load.
     
  12. 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
    Here are Eden's specs on the D-210XST (which I recommend, and you know how many posts I have):

    Speakers EC-1060XS Cast Frame
    Tweeters E-2700 Cast Bell
    Crossover 3.5KHz @ 18dB
    Power Handling 500W RMS
    Frequency Response 30Hz - 14KHz
    Sensitivity 103dB SPL
    Impedance 4Ω or 8Ω
    Dimensions 23”w x 18”h x 18.5”d
    Weight 59 LBS

    Compare that frequency response with anything else they make, for instance, the D-215XLT:
    Frequency Response 40Hz - 14KHz
    Sensitivity 103dB SPL

    Or the D-118XL:
    Frequency Response 42Hz - 2.5KHz
    Sensitivity 100dB SPL

    Or the D-212XLT:
    Frequency Response 40Hz - 14KHz
    Sensitivity 103dB SPL

    Or even the venerated D-410XLT:
    Frequency Response 50Hz - 14KHz
    Sensitivity 106dB SPL (this one is a little louder, but not lower)

    Not to mention the D-410XST:
    Frequency Response 36Hz - 14KHz
    Sensitivity 104dB SPL

    So you should be seeing a pattern here. Tens dominate when in the proper cabinet.
     
  13. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    A 2x10 cabinet that goes down to 30 Hz?! Sorry, but I'm not buying that. I'll put that Eden cab against one of my SWR Big Ben enclosures and I'd be certain the low end of the Eden wouldn't have the depth of the SWR 18.

    I run an Avatar 2x10 with either 2 Bag Ends 15s, or 2 SWR 18s, and that gives me a great combination of low end with midrange punch.
     
  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I see a pattern. The frequency response and sensitivity figures are meaningless without curves.

    Marketing hype dominates when not in the proper context.
     
  15. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    1. Any speaker diameter can dominate for bass response (relative to overall sensitivity and standardized for SD)

    2. Eden's published specs should be read with slanted eyebrows. Download yourself a copy of Winisd and reference a similarly dimensioned enclosure with any 10" speakers with the same average efficiency and see if any of them hit 30hz at any better than a 12dB drop (and that is a very generous figure).

    I'm not calling Eden's engineers (or marketting department people) liars. I would, however, insist that they are apparently measuring these cabs in very favorable sized and dimensioned rooms (probably without proper sound absorbing materials) and/or with the benefit of floor coupling. If ANY 210 can out-thump an 18 in the 30-50hz region, provided they're both put in appropriate enclosures, then something is drastically wrong with the engineering of that 18" driver.
     
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The other possibility is that the SPL spec is at a favorable frequency. Only a curve answers these questions.

    It's worth remembering that at the low end, the sensitivity curve has exactly four parameters. You are working within some pretty tight constraints. Tweaking any one electromechanical parameter to increase sensitivity also affects frequency response. Simultaneously tweaking combinations of parameters to retain a tolerable curve is what confines you to the "Little, Loud, Low, pick any two" rule.

    But I am not denying that, physics aside, if the big players in the market decide that tens shall dominate, then tens shall dominate.

    Admittedly, I am not in the league of 103 to 106 dB sensitivity specs. My main system is in the ballpark of 95 dB, once I do an honest accounting of the effect of EQ on headroom. This is with a single 12.
     
  17. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    i wonder why people havent jumped onto the 24X6.5 cabs yet? has anyone tried it? the 32X6.5 freq response curve is FLAT... all the way to the tens of hertz. quite scary in the graph.

    i think they are called pirahnas?
     
  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    There have been many favorable reports of the PJB array speakers on this forum.
     
  19. 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
    David Eden is a known LIAR!
     
  20. 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
    Hmmm ... wonder why they don't do the same thing for their 15's and 18's.
     

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