New Band - I Need an Efficient Cab: Build or buy Used?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by swamp_bass, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Last night I joined a band that is forming. Although I've jammed with the occasional guitarist or drummer friend, it's my first time playing full sets with an entire group (a wide set ranging from classic rock to classic metal).

    It was exciting, enjoyable - and I'm glad I brought my earplugs based on the many informative posts in this forum! The volume was brutal in that two-car garage with a heavy handed drummer and two guitarists who like their combos cranked.

    My Rumble 60 was obviously barely adequate with the volume set to max. Even if the guitarists get some sanity, the drummer pretty much sets the level and that's loud.

    So it's decision time for me. I've built a few home cabinets for practice, but they're sealed designs utilizing leftover car subs that aren't made for volume.

    For heads, I have a Markbass Little Mark 250, and a Hartke HA2500.

    Since I have building experience, I could go with a Fearful design. The alternative is to pick up a used 410 or something. What's my best path forward for efficient power with one or both of both of those heads? Separates gives me the option of bi-amping.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A used 410 would likely be cheaper and easier and do the job for you, but if you can build and you like a cab that's closer to the sound of a PA system, the fEarful is cool.
  3. You have modest wattage from either amp head, sealed cabs are something to avoid (lower efficiency). Car subs are notorious for wasting huge amounts of power to make little sound and perform even worse in sealed boxes (they are NOT live sound speakers).
    The 410 would be the loudest option other than an 810 or 412. You still will find a big improvement by a good 115, 210, 112 or 212 cab.
  4. +100%. Yep ^^^ this.
  5. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Thanks for the replies. At this point, it's all about least cost for max efficiency, so if a used 410 will be the cheapest option, then I guess I'll start searching for the most efficient one on the used market.
  6. Your LM250 is good for 250w RMS into 4 ohms.
    This means it produces just under 32 volts.

    You will need an efficient cab to make good use of 32 volts.
    Two JBL E140 or M151-8 as a parallel 4-ohm load would be ideal, but they are scarce.

    The Eden D410-XLT will make a lot of noise for you, especially if can find the 4-ohm version.
    This high efficiency cab is shy on the bottom end, and makes up for it in the mids.
    It has a characteristic bark that really cuts through a loud mix.

    Many D410-XLT wind up with creased drivers, and/or other driver problems from being over driven.
    Inspect carefully before you buy.

    Q: has anybody been inside a 4-ohm D410-XLT?
    I'd like to know if these are 16-ohm wired as all parallel, or 4-ohm drivers wired as series/parallel.
  7. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    Not sure exactly where you're located but if low cost and loud are your two main factors, used is the way to go. Fearfuls are great DIY cabs, (I use one) but they aren't cheap. There are a lot of used 410 and 215 cabs out there that are perfectly functional, but father time has crept up on their owner. With all the newer and lighter bass cab options, the heavier stuff can be had for cheap. Look for a 4 ohm Peavey, SWR, Ampeg cab. Plenty out there.
  8. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    GC online has a couple of used Hartke 410XL for sale for about $200. Sensitivity is 98dB, which with my HA2500 will get me to 120dB.
  9. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    For a couple bucks more you can find a used Eden 410 xlt with a sensitivity of 106 dB. It may be a bit heavy but the extra head room will come in handy of you're playing loud.
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Used 410 - yes, the Eden D-410XLT or XST would be very good.
  11. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Holy crap, THAT'S EFFICIENT!!! That's up there with the original Klipschhorn speaker that wowed people at the World's Fair replicating the sound of a live orchestra with a 7W amp.

    I'll definitely take a look for one of those bad boys on the used market.
  12. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    On a related note, I'm really impressed with the Hearos I recently purchased. Quite the difference from the foam plugs. I was able to hear the range of frequencies, and was able to sing - without getting the ear ringing that I would have suffered if I'd gone neekked eared in that paint-peeling loud session.
  13. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Beware sensitivity figures that are quoted by cab manufacturers, they're often based on marketing snake oil rather than empirical evidence.

    My choice would be to go the DIY route with an Eminence 3015HO (genuine 100dB @ 1w/metre) and stick it in a reflex box for simplicity (suitable box specs on the Eminence site), or if you're chasing the last ounce of sensitivity stick it in a horn loaded design like a Jack 15 from Bill Fitzmaurice designs

    If you can afford two 3015's check out the Starliner build on this forum and build a dual driver 4 ohm reflex cab, or build a couple of Jack 15s and hook them up in parallel
  14. Yes, 106 SPL is efficient.
    However, KH vs Eden is more like making a comparison between a giraffe and a kazoo.

    The D410-XLT does indeed hit the 106 SPL mark, but not anywhere close to where the Klipschorn makes it magic.
    The Eden is a stand-alone box that does not do low bass.
    The KH is a folded bass horn that does not do mids.
    It does not function at all without a corner.

    My first exposure to big horns was in the early '60s... a movie theater in Boise, ID was closed down for demolition.
    The sound system was a 27 foot long horn with a 5" driver and a mouth the size of the movie screen.
    It looped over itself in a 270 degree angle to shorten the length.
    This one operated on a teenie amp, probably 5w.
  15. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    BFM jack 15.
    Very efficient. Somewhat complex build but not horrible.
    Can use lightweight drivers.
    Should be able to sound great with your Hartke.
    I love fearful but prefer around 500w @8 ohms for those. Otherwise with less wattage available IMO they are very average in regards to volume.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sensitivity specs are almost always measured at 1000hz, which makes them rather meaningless. Best to go by tone rather than perceived maximum loudness based on meaningless specs, especially when it comes to Eden, whose specs have always been suspect.
  17. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    Eminence 3015HO sells for $239, and I can get a used Hartke 410XL for $200 that's only 2dB less efficient. The advice that used 410 is definitely cheaper than DIY is holding up.

    As for the games manufacturers play with the specs, I agree that there is wiggle room (such as using a peak in the mid response as the basis for the sensitivity rating, etc), but I don't agree with the justification that they can therefore be dismissed entirely. There is still relevance to the sensitivity ratings, provided one sticks with reputable brand names.

    As for the folded horns, it's incredible what can be done with proper application of acoustic transfer technology. The Bose clock radio is basically a mini movie theater folded horn, though shrewdly marketed.

    Thanks again for all the input, folks. I can't find a used Eden for less than $350, so I'm leaning towards the Hartke at this point. I can always add a 15 bass cab later if the Metalocalypse band ever gets momentum to take advantage of my extra head. ;)
  18. swamp_bass

    swamp_bass I love it when a groove comes together

    Nov 20, 2013
    North Cackalacky
    You make a good point about tone - it would be wise for me to be more patient and demo the prospective cabs to make sure I like the sound. I've been disappointed in the sound characteristics of the low end selections at GC, and there's no reason to think the 410's won't be any different in terms of each one having its own sound.

    Another question - and I think I already know the answer, but I'm seeing quite a few 115's out there at the same price as 410's. Would any of those make a good standalone?
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sure, but generally a 410 will get much louder.

    And you are indeed wise to stay away from low end choices when it comes to cabs. Meh bass + meh amp + great cab = great sound, but great bass + great amp + meh cab = meh sound.
  20. You're welcome.

    TIP: Don't do that - if need be, add another identical cab later.