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Kustom Deep End DE115H sealed 15" with horn

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by gastric, Aug 8, 2012.


  1. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    I picked up a pair of Kustom Deep End DE115H sealed 15" with horn recently and wanted to share some thoughts and details as there isn't really much info to be found currently.

    • Sealed 15" cabinet and piezo tweeter
    • No horn control though you can easily install a simple on/off SPDT toggle on the RED WIRE for the horn to disable it
    • Light weight at around 50lbs with large side handles
    • Removable 2" casters, plus huge rubber feet
    • Appears to be a plywood baffle, but pressboard everything else
    • Appears fairly well constructed - one brace in the back, some amount of padding, t-nuts for the speaker though the tweeter is directly screwed in through a gasket to seal it, no rattles or loose parts that I've seen.
    • Appears to have no crossover (apparently piezo tweeters need none), and uses cheap plastic 1/4" jacks that are not sealed and should have a plug inserted to keep them from moving air and potentially whistling and buzzing.

    Overall a very nice cab for what it is. Has a lot of depth though not a lot of massive 40Hz sub-lows, has nice tight low end without being boomy like a lot of ported cabs are, is very smooth without any annoying high mid / high peaks even with the tweeter engaged.

    My only real complaints:

    • Tweeter can generate a lot of audible "buzzing" noises when fed gainy sounds from your amp, overdrive, of fuzz pedals. I haven't cracked the case on this, but it's not a mechanical buzz from the sealed 15" vibrating it, you can remove the tweeter from the cab and it will still generate that buzzing noise which does sound like something loose but is just the horn. Turn the gain down (of FX off) and master volume wayyy up to feed it a cleaner signal and it goes away, seems related to grindy/tubey gain/harmonics. I haven't figured out a solution other than to disable the tweeter entirely which still sounds great (and is always preferred when pushing OD/fuzz IMO).
    • No parallel Speakons, just parallel 1/4" though the jack board is traced for a parallel Speakon should you want to install one yourself.
    • No horn defeat or L-Pad. Would've made troubleshooting the horn buzzing easier. However, you can simply install a switch yourself on the RED tweeter wire.
    • Casters are small and always catch on every rug edge, etc. 3" MESA casters are the bomb diddy in comparison.
    • One week after unboxing and they still have a noxious off-gassing odor to them. It's nasty.

    The two cabs stacked and pushed by my MESA 400+ definite start to fart out sooner than my GK 4x12 NEO cabinet. Or it could've been the nasty tweeter buzz, I'll need to retest. But overall I actually prefer the sound of the Kustoms over my GK. Tighter, smoother where the GK has more sub-lows, and high-mid peaks even with it's horn turned off. Guess those GK 12" NEOs push a lot of high mid/high end content?
     
  2. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Photos:

    kustom_de115h_brace.

    kustom_de115h_jack_board.

    kustom_de115h_jack_board_02.

    kustom_de115h_speaker.

    kustom_de115h_horn.
     
  3. bobcruz

    bobcruz

    Mar 10, 2004
    CA
    Thanks for posting, Gastric. If I had seen this review before the recent clearance sale on these cabs I might have ordered a pair. About the buzzing tweeter, I recently had a piezo tweeter buzz on just a few notes, and with the grill off, the buzz would stop if I touched the tweeter's plastic horn, so I figured it was a sympathetic resonance. I pulled the tweeter out and laid several strips of hot glue on the back side of the horn and that took away the buzz. I don't know if that's your issue since your buzz goes away with different gain/master settings. Good luck, Bob
     
  4. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    I haven't gotten that far with test it, to be honest. The tweet isn't in it's own chamber so all the pent up air movement in the cab is pushing on it. It does have a rubber gasket to seal it. But I narrowed it down the the physical tweet by removing it from the cab to isolate it and it still did it. Just sounds like an ill performing tweeter or something. I almost always turn horns off as they amplify hiss, string noise, etc.

    Actually, your post made me poke around with it more. It's definitely gain/saturation/harmonically driven. I have a Ampeg 7Pro here at home. If I drive the cab with loads of clean, low-gain, volume the horn is quiet. In comparison, a much lower audible volume but with higher gain with tube-clipping, you can then hear the horn making buzzing sounds. Maybe it's not high passed high enough and is being driven too hard. You can see the "crossover" on the board, it's just a single 4.7ohm resistor I believe. Actually, I'm not an electronics guru so I'm completely assuming the resistor is working as a HPF based on the fact "HF" is stamped on the board. Someone else could give me some help there. All I know is most other cabs I've used have complex and comparatively large crossovers on the boards, not a single little resistor. Maybe for this cab both the 15" and the horn are being driven full-range and the resistor is simply soaking up some of the power?

    I used the pair at a too-loud 5 piece practice last week and I thought they went from sounding too quiet, to sounding great, to then sounding like they were buzzing and/or farting out at full band volume. Then brought them home to test in isolation. However, with the exception of the tweet buzz (and potential farting out, assuming that was even happening) I think these sounds fairly good.
     
  5. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Installed a tweeter on/off switch on both of my cabs using some spare toggles. A rocker or slide switch would be better as it wouldn't stick out from the cab so far and risk breakage, but I can cut the lever down and grind it smooth for now.

    kustom_de115h_horn_switch_01.

    kustom_de115h_horn_switch_02.
     

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