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Inhereted an unknown cab, how can I tell if it can handle bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by harrumphicus, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. harrumphicus


    Jan 13, 2017
    A family friend recently passed and left some gear behind which is making its way to me. He played both guitar and bass, but the family doesn't know what this cab was for. It's clearly semi-recent (made in the late 90's at the earliest, I think) but doesn't have any identifying markings on the outside so I'm thinking it might be homemade. I've seen some pictures but still no pertinent details.

    I'm hoping I can look up the speaker model when I receive it to find specifications. I've heard that speaker/cone (?) travel distance has a lot to do with how well a speaker can stand up to bass frequencies, but looking up other speakers I don't see any numbers representing that specifically. What should I be looking for in the information I find?
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    When you receive it, post some pics, inside and out along with measurements.

    That should get you more accurate answers.
    Bob_Ross and BadExample like this.
  3. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Pull the driver(s) out. That should tell the tale.
    BadExample likes this.
  4. Rick James

    Rick James Banned

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    What you're looking for is xmax. Most speaker makers won't tell you that. Driver manufacturers do, for instance:
    Speaker Detail | Eminence Speaker

    If you know what the drivers are you might be able to find out the xmax. Guitar drivers run around 1 mm or less, bass drivers from 3 to 8 mm, PA subs 8mm or more.
  5. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Although this is not a "for certain" way, chances are favorable that its at least intended for guitar if it is open back, and intended for bass if it has porting. That doesn't mean it was built correctly or has an appropriate driver, but those are some good indicators of its intended purpose. Speakon connectors don't seem to be associated often with guitar cabs either.

    But yeah pull it all apart and get lots of pics and as much info posted as you can. The forum will give suggestions if it'll likely be a good candidate for bass or guitar. Or the trash. That's always a possibility with DIY gear, unfortunate as that is.
    Stumbo likes this.
  6. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    This is good, general quick info. Of course, driver swaps and homemade porting are wrenches in the works as well. No identifying marks isn't necessarily a pigeon-hole for homemade though.
    BadExample likes this.
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    What other people are telling you is the correct thing to do.

    OR....since it's free just use it.
    Listen to it carefully. You can judge by the change in sound when you're pushing it too hard, and by tone whether it sounds good for bass.
    What's the worst that can happen?

    You might also see if you can figure out what amp he used it with. That could give some clues.
    BadExample likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    hook it up. play.

    that should tell you something about its suitability for your bass.

    you could consider: start with lower volumes.
  9. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Visually looking straight at it, typically the center "bubble dome" dust cover on a bass speaker is way larger than a guitar speaker.
  10. OP I am sorry for the loss of your friend. :crying:
  11. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    The spec for that (there are actually two) is xmax. That is the most common. There is also xlim which is technically a different spec, but it refers to cone travel as well.

    Xmax for a bass speaker should be 3 to 5mm minimum. 3mm is pretty iffy.
    BadExample likes this.
  12. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    Sorry too (whatever the cab turns out to be, it'll be nice to have).
    BadExample likes this.
  13. Felken


    Jun 28, 2016
    Ottawa, CAN
    Turn the volume up to 11. If it breaks, it's a guitar cab. If it's still working, it's a bass cab.

    You don't need a guitar cab anyways do you?;)
    deathness likes this.
  14. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Need to video that.

    Whoaaaa new digs? Like you avatar cab!
    basscooker likes this.

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