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Is this normal?

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

  1. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Today a bought a Peavey 115BW cab (4 ohms, 350 watts) that I found on craigslist. The guy even delivered it to me since I don't drive. When I plugged in my bass to try it out the kids were taking a nap so I couldn't turn it up too loud, but it sounded pretty good.

    After the kiddos got up and left I wanted to see how loud it would get. I'm running it thru a SWR Workingmans 300 with the EQ flat, and the gain and master volume at 12 o'clock, and the volume on my bass all the way up. This is the loudest it will go before farting out.

    I wondered if the speaker was damaged so I pulled it out. I don't think it's a Black Widow speaker like the guy said. There is nothing written anywhere on the speaker, there is only one screw in the middle of the basket (not 3 like I read online) and the wires to the 1/4 jack have been spliced.

    The cab looks pretty cool sitting between my Peavey PA cabs, but I'm really not impressed with the sound, so I have a few questions:

    1. Is this the iconic Black Widow speaker that I heard so many good things about?

    2. Should I replace the speaker with a new Black Widow or maybe an Eminence?

    3. Is it normal for a cab to become farty when the head is turned up more than halfway?

    Please help me out, this experience is making me miss my old Crate rig.
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    There are plenty of pics of BWs to compare against, and they do have identification. If it doesn't look like a BW and has no ID you've probably been had. But not all BWs are the same. Only the 1505-4DT and 1505-8DT models are well suited for electric bass.
  3. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    I just had a similar issue (farting out at low-mid volume) with my Peavey BX115-BW.
    As suggested in a thread I started, I did a polarity test with a 9V battery and a short lead.
    Turned out that the polarity was wrong (speaker cone moved inward, when it should move outward during the test). I had the 115BW paired with a 210TVX and the polarity mismatch was causing all sorts of problems.

    Once I reversed the wires from the Input Jack to the Speaker terminals, it fixed that problem and it sounds fantastic.

    This might not be your issue, but it's a quick test.
    1. Connect a speaker cable to the cab
    2. Connect a 9V lead (briefly - like 1 second) as follows:
    - Neg wire from the 9V battery to the jacket of the speaker cable
    - Pos wire from the 9V battery to the Tip
    3. Watch the speaker cone - it should move Outward.

    From Peavey Tech support (regarding the 115BW):

    "The Yellow wire should be the positive lead connected to the red terminal of the speaker, and the blue wire the negative to the black terminal of the speaker".

    Hope this helps.
  4. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I haven't done the 9 volt battery test, but I will say this: even hooked up to my head, I can't even see the speaker move at all. In fact, I had to put my hand on the cone just to make sure it was moving (I forgot to mention this in the original post)
  5. Hi.

    What BFM said.

    Based on Your description, No.

    Iconic? Well there's probably all sorts of iconic levels ;).

    If You come across one (BW that is), why not. I wouldn't though.
    Input the dimensions into WinISD or eqvivalent software and find out what Eminence driver would be happy in there. That's what I'd do.

    The knobs positions has no direct relation with the output power. Since the majority of MI 115's I've came across can't handle more than 100 or so watts before farting below 80Hz, I'd say it's normal in this case, especially with a SWR.

    Cut the low frequencies until You notice a difference, and You find yourself with a lot more usable power distribution.
    The fact that You don't hear the low frequencies, doesn't mean they're not there or those frequencies aren't amplified. They're most certainly there, robbing the amps power, and making the speaker over-excurse for no practical reason.

  6. MaGrass


    Apr 14, 2013
    London, UK
    Thank you...
    I think I'm experiencing the same issue...
    Tomorrow I'm gonna open this bastard up and check the wiring...
    But it makes me proud that I got this peavey for £35 which is roughly 50$ I believe...
    Little things of life that make you happy.
    I thought that the reason of the farting was my 4 ohm bassman into the 8 ohms speaker....

    Is it possible to change the 8 ohm speaker with a 4 ohm one or are there there some tricks to be done?
  7. If the speaker is a Black Widow the basket is field replaceable. You need the 4 ohm basket/cone assembly. It will cost you more than the whole cab you bought though.
  8. deathsdj


    Sep 18, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I have three Peavey 115 BVX cabinets. All have Black Widows in them. I have a 4 Ohm one used as an extension cab for a Peavey TNT 115 and it is super loud and rocks a sweet clean tone that I just love. My other two are 8 Ohm and I use them with a Peavey Firebass 700 head. They sound awesome. When I gig I use both rigs. I run the TNT and extension cab clean and run my effects through the Firebass stack. Deadly bass. And beautiful when I run my distortion and the clean and dirty mix.


  9. MaGrass


    Apr 14, 2013
    London, UK
    Here's Where I can happily say that I have a left over old school bw laying somewhere in my room....I'm ready for the transplant ;)
  10. MaGrass


    Apr 14, 2013
    London, UK
    Oh and it's 4 ohm impedance. What can you ask more from life

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