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Mesa diesel 2x15 cab speaker options? (current are non original)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ampegfuzz, Nov 9, 2018.


  1. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Looking for some insight. I currently own the older tl606 designed Mesa/boogie diesel 215 cab. I purchased it second hand knowing both original speakers were gone and replaced with eminence legend cb158's. I've noticed that the cab seems a little dull sounding compared to other cabs I own. I'm torn on what I want to do. I've wanted one of these cabs for some time but I've boiled it down to 3 options. leave it alone: I do have other cabs but I feel it wont get used much if I leave it be. Replace the speakers: either with OG EVM 15's or possibly something else (Kappalte?). Lastly sell it: GAS is a hell of a thing and I can never leave anything be. My current top option I feel is to swap the speakers. I fear if I put in the original EVM's that it might be light in the low end. I've read people loading them with eminence Kappalite 3015's but I didn't have great luck with the Bassic I had some time ago. I was running a completely different rig then and it was years ago so my tastes might of changed on the 3015. So I'm torn and ask for your thoughts and input. Any insight will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. voided3

    voided3

    Nov 11, 2008
    I was going to suggest the Kappalite 3015 as on paper it has a higher frequency response spec in comparison to the CB158, in addition to being a known good option for TL606 derivatives. With that said, a pair of them is not a small investment and you seem to have mixed feelings about their tone from prior experience.

    First things first, what amp are you powering it with? You may be able to EQ it more to your liking, especially if you have parametric midrange controls or a graphic EQ. The CB158 does start to drop off rather sharply after 2kHz, though, and has a quoted frequency response out to 3kHz.

    What other cabs do you have that you are benchmarking it against? What shortcomings of your current cabs were you looking to overcome with the 2x15, or was it bought with the intent of it being a different flavor on tap?
     
  3. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    I have several other cabs and all my amps into the mesa still sound dull. 800rb/svt/traynor for amps. Of my other 15 loaded cabs they are less dull but less bass also. cabs are peavey/traynor. I have a vintage 810 but I leave it at home.
     
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The Legend CB158 is a dark speaker, nothing like the original speaker used in that cabinet
     
    ampegfuzz likes this.
  5. voided3

    voided3

    Nov 11, 2008
    Hmm, I would say if you really like the form factor of the cabinet and are willing to invest in a driver upgrade, either for the Kappalite 3015, the original EVs, or perhaps Faital 15PR400, you'd probably like the result. If you don't want to invest that much money into the cab, it may be more worthwhile to move it on for something different.
     
  6. If you are pleased with the volume capability of the CB158's and with their tone, with the exception of the dull/dark sound, consider simply adding a tweeter or mid (if you have room for it). To add a tweeter or mid, you would need to have adequate real estate on the baffle, and would need to select a driver, crossover and L-pad. If you've never done any soldering and are unfamiliar with electrical components consider haveing someone else do the work for you or do a 15 inch driver replacement: the 3015 and Faital 15PR400 previously suggested are both excellent choices.
     
  7. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    No room for those in the cab.
     
  8. Balog

    Balog

    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    Have you ever played a stock model of your cab? If possible that would either confirm or eliminate one possibility.
     
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I believe the Eminence Delta (NOT the LF version) is fairly close to the EVM drivers originally used, but like the EVMs, the low frequency power handling is limited (part of the reason why the mid character and sensitivity is what it is)

    There are "better" drivers available these days, but you would need to do the math to determine which drivers might work. The 15PR400 would be one I would look at.
     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  10. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Played a diesel cab yesterday that was stock. I took one of my amps over and one of my basses to a friends house. I was there to lay some bass on a demo so I figured better give it a shot while I’m there. It definitely sounded better then my legend loaded cab. So that at least takes the “leave alone and keep the cab as is” option away. But still torn on speaker. It definitely had better high end but couldn’t tell how the low end was with the amp I brought. Talking to a friend who may have a set of blown EV’s I can get reconed. Don’t know if the baskets match or not yet. The story continues...
     
  11. If you get the blown EVs to rebuild, you will probably end up with the 400 Watt EVM15B kits.
    I think the L kits are all gone.
    The difference is the Bs go a little deeper, but loose a little on the top.
    If you had spent enough time with the original speaker diesel cabs to be used to them
    you would notice the difference, but they would still have the basic EV great sensitivity/in your face mids sound.
    It's a safe option in that you know the speakers and cabinets will play well together.
    Also might be the cheapest option depending on rebuild and dead speaker cost.

    For higher power, lower weight, better low end I'd go 3015s or 15PR400s.
     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  12. mesaplayer83

    mesaplayer83

    Jun 27, 2017
    I've had a 3015 in a RR115(tl606 type cab) and now have the 15PR400s in a pair of SW115s, and definitely prefer the sound of the Faitals... If I were in the OP's position, I'd go 15PR400s for sure...
     
    AlexanderB and agedhorse like this.
  13. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There are some decent recone kits for the 15L's, the pro recone guys will know what's good and what's junk. The DIY kits sold in the internet are mostly junk, and when installed by an inexperienced guy end up quite disappointing.
     
  14. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Slightly sad story. I was gifted some blown B’s a long time ago. I had them reconed to 400s l’s And then sat on them for a long time. Then I sold them :(. Long as kits are still available I should be fine.
     
  15. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    The 400w B's have plenty of highs for an old(ish) school sounding full range 15 cab. I think they're rated to something like 5k, which is very high for a 15. They do have a distinctive sound which may not be for everyone, but it is pretty flexible I'd say. Sits somewhere between vintage and modern.

    BUT, they are also like 22 pounds a piece, so with more modern drivers, you might save about 20+ pounds off the cab weight. If you're not planning to gig it much though, that might not matter much. If you can find someone to do a proper recone and get the frames for cheap, I might go for the EVMs or check out the Faitals.
     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  16. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I still have my old diesel 215 I bought in 93, but I stopped gigging with that cab because the EV15L's run out of steam on the bottom end and dont have the excursion-travel needed for todays music and distort too easy.
    Yes the mids are amazing, but eventually I'll replace them with 3015 (nonLF)
     
  17. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    FWIW I had that cab with the EV 15L drivers and loved the tone but not the lack of lows, swapped out the EVs for 3015s and they could handle the lows better but I no longer loved the tone - kinda of a harsh dry tone compared to the creamy grind of the EVs. Eventually sold it. Still remember the cutting tone with the EVs as the best tone I've ever had for rock and blues. The 3015s will save you about 30 lbs though, if that's important to you.
     
    Bill Whitehurst and AlexanderB like this.
  18. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass

    Sep 14, 2010
    If you didn't like 3015 then you won't like it now lol. I sold mine.

    Original EVs have the mid magic.

    The cast frame CB158 is good for high distortion always on overdrive.

    The Cast Frame Delta Pro 15 has very good highs. And very good sensitivity.
    Kappa Pro sits more in the middle very good sensitivity as well.

    Everyone loves these Faitals ....meh sold them too. Depends on the amp and what your doing.

    With tube head and magic mids are wanted. Then vintage EVs or Delta/Kappa Pro. 158 is good for big boxes or high distortion
     
    AlexanderB and Rezdog like this.
  19. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Is there any sonic difference between the 200w and 400w version ?.... other then power :smug: IE sonically
     
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Not much, and both drivers have the same mechanical power handling at low frequencies, somewhere around 150 watts at 50Hz in a typical critically damped Thile alignment.

    Part of the rating change was due to a change in how the rating itself was made, part was in improved thermal performance (not very important for bass guitar) no part was a reduction in the conservative margins used.

    The difference is not really that significant IME.
     
    Caca de Kick likes this.

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