Mesa Diesel 115 Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Old Fart, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    I LOVE the sound of EVM 15s and TL-606 cabs. My 215 RR cab RAWKS but it weighs about the same as a railroad locomotive. So....I got an old 115 Diesel cab and there is another on its way. Here are some questions:

    Is there anybody currently gigging with a Diesel 115 cab? Anbydy gigging with TWO Diesel 115 cabs?

    The cab I've got has a small horn on it, with a thee-position switch on the jackplate. This horn is clearly, CLEARLY factory. I did not know there was such a thing. Anybody know about these?

    EVMs are a touch heavy in the mid and high department. Mostly mid. I'm not sure these drivers need a horn. Anyway, I roll off the mids and highs, and Voila! Great sound. Massive thump. I know these things are heavy by today's standards, but I just wonder if anyone besides me thinks they can hold their own with the best out there.

    And finally....Anybody ever use FOUR of these things at a gig?
  2. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    I had a couple of Mesa RoadReady with EVM15L's I bought in the mid 80's . Great cabs! I seem to remember them coming out in the 90's with the horn added to it with the 3 position switch, although with the EVM15L being a full range speaker I don't really see the need for it. I'm not sure, but it is possible that they switched to using a EVM15B speaker in which case the horn would make sense.

    Question. Does the 15 in your cab have a ribbed or smooth cone?
  3. catgut


    Jan 15, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I have seen them with horns. Both in old style diesel tolex 80's and the 80's/90's road ready's. I have a 15L 90's style with no horn. I can't say that I have seen an etched logo buster tolexed 90's diesel with a horn but who knows Mesa swapped all kinds of things over the years.
    Low Class makes a bunch of sense. I would think a 15B smooth cone would be a better fit for a horn. If I had a 15L with horn it would be permanently 'off'. Last horn Diesel 15 I saw up for sale had a horn and visibly had no ribs in the cone (15B) but the seller stated that it was a 15L. ??? Not sure of sellers knowledge though.
  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, my 1994 Mesa price list shows the horn option added $54 to the Diesel 115. But I agree the EV's have so much highs in them already a horn is rather pointless (to me).

    For twenty years I used three EV15's: a Diesel 215 cab along with a Diesel 1516. It worked for what I needed at the time, but I originally wished I had two 215 cabs.

  5. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    Yes, the cab with the horn has the 15B driver. No ribs.

    I am likely to gig the $h!t out of these two 115 cabs. Honestly, I have never heard a better sounding driver or cab.
  6. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I agree with the sound quality statement. I love love love the tone of my EV15 loaded cabs! But after years of detuned-4's and 5 string playing I had to face the fact the 15L has low-end limitations, and had to switch to modern cabs. I still have them though, and would take the 215 out with a 4 string tuned to 440!
  7. webmonster


    May 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    I'm gigging two locally built TL-606 cabs. I love them too :)
  8. BassMonstrum


    Mar 7, 2008
    I know TB-member Matt Dean uses two Diesel 15's and a Mesa Buster. Maybe he'll chime in soon...
  9. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    This little cab (I'm waiting for the other one) RAWKS. And...I can't believe how small it is, for the thump and tone it puts out. Here it is, next to an old Fender 115 cab, with my SVT on top.

    Attached Files:

  10. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    I use two 1x15 Diesel cabs (EVM15L) together with two 2x10 Diesel cabs (EVM10M)
    The 2x10 cabs have a horn, but since there's plenty of high end I cut the wires.

    For the few small gigs we do I only bring the 1x15 cabs, for my taste that setup sounds a bit too "middy"
    The 1x15 and 2x10 Diesel cabs pair extremely well, gives me the sound I'm after.
    I don't use that setup for the small gigs because my 2x10 cabs are 4 ohm now, I replaced the speakers with 8ohm versions (couldn't find 16 ohm versions)
    and I prefer to be easy on the output tubes (my amp only has 8 and 4 ohm outputs)

    @ Caca: I don't have problems with the (or lack of) low end, could be that the 2x10 cabs are responsible for that...
    I had a PH1000 (Diesel version, also with EVM's) that also was colossal in the low end, a bit more "present" than the 1x15/2x10 combi.
    So maybe the 15's (and/or cab design) are the weak link in the low end?
    I will try with only the 1x15 cabs next time in the practice room (Bass 400 into the two 1x15 cabs) and pay close attention.

    We tune down 1/2 step (I use 5 and 4 string basses) and have one song in our repertoire that's tuned down 1 step (ADGC for me, lower strings of 5 string on a 4 string bass)
  11. I have a diesel 1x15 and a tl606 cab I built that I gig regularly. They both have eminence 3015s in them. I love the cabs. I have a second desiel 1x15 on its way right now (thanks Gary).

    The new one will have the stock speaker. Anyone know how to tell in the evm 15l is the 200 watt or the 400 watt version? I know they made both but can't find any information about determining which version a speaker is.
    davel66 likes this.
  12. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    I snagged the other cab from Gary. I think he said they were the 400-watt versions. In any case, they can be reconed as 15Bs.

    Interesting. I am wondering about putting a 3015lf into one of these cabs.
  13. FC Bass

    FC Bass Alembic and Mesa/Boogie junkie

    Jun 9, 2006
    Mine have it on the input panel, but it's a sticker so it could be removed.
    If so, it should also be on the speaker:


  14. Sartori

    Sartori Supporting Member

    I use a 15B loaded 215, playing tuned to BEAD. Sounds fine to me.
  15. Just got my cab today. It has different handles than my first. The back panel is just a jack. I will have to remove the speaker and investigate this weekend.

    I can't believe that there isnt a document or website stating all the different iterations of the diesel 15.

    I have never tried the 3015lf. My 3015s and non LF.
  16. someparts


    Nov 22, 2010
    I have both a TL-606 single cab with a 15L and also a 2x15 Diesel...I wouldn't want a horn on either one.

    When it comes to 15s in general, two is much better than one. The coupling effect is more drastic on that combo than any other I've tried.

    I did have the 1516 cab also but it didn't match the 2x15 in volume or bottom end for what I was doing.

    Early Diesel cabs had single jacks on the back, later ones had two...and there were a couple handle styles.
  17. I would guess that the single jack models only came w/ 200watt ev's then?
  18. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics
    my cabs had the EVM15B - they were 1986 year 1-15 road ready cabs, without any horn or tweeter. They were my main live cabs for 20+ years. And the bass player for the band we shared a rehearsal space with had a D180 with a pair of the same cabs that I had (w/ my Bass 400) On more than one occasion, we tied all 4 cabs to either his head or mine - true thunder of the gods! I can't imagine a realistic gig situation that this rig couldn't handle. (using either the D180 or Bass 400)

    and to be perfectly honest, four of those cabs looked more impressive than two 8-10s or any number of Marshall 4-12 bass cabs, it was the 'most manly' bass stack I have ever played through. that low-mid bump felt like someone shoved your chest with both hands, but with no grating harshness or high end ear fatigue. Down in our basement rehearsal space behind Fenway Park, I would play through that stack for four hours at a stretch (these were all original bands: very short gigs, very long rehearsals)

    we were both fairly traditional bass players with the treble rolled off so neither of us missed the lack of high end drivers.

    the only downside to that rig was the overall weight; in those road ready anvil type cases all three pieces (head and two cabs) weighed a bit over 50lbs each or over 150 total. At my current age, the only way I'll ever gig with that much amp is if someone else is paying for a road crew.
  19. My diesel with the 3015 in it weighs 42lbs I believe.
  20. 20140226_174135_1_zpskizbexqa.

    pulled the speaker on my new cab and SURPRISE, 400 watt ev. I need to decide whether to sell the speaker or keep it.

    This cabs construction is a little different. my other one has rubber isolaters between the grill and the baffle. this one has none. also the speaker wire inside the cab is puny. looks like 18ga. that couples with the handles has me wondering what year this is from.

    My older one has all black handles that are round. this one has silver handles that say Mesa on them, and look like old peavey handles.