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Nice/premium speakers in a cheap cab/enclosure?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DetectBigCactus, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. So I currently have an Ampeg SVT CL head with SVT 410hlf cab and love the tone, however I/my band mates don't have a way to move it from my practice room at home (vehicle limitations, all small/mid size sedans) so I've been forced to use my back up amp (Fender Rumble 500 combo) for gigs. The fender is fine, but just not as good as the SVT and I want to feel I have my best tone for shows. I would ideally like to get an aguilar db210 or something in that range, but just can't drop that kinda $$$ at the moment. So since I'm on a bit of a budget I was wondering if anyone had experience putting high quality speakers in a "cheap" cab (like a Hartke Transient 210, fender bxr 210, two cabs my local GC has used for under $170 right now) and how that went?

    Also I would love to hear about any used 210 or possibly 212, 300W+, 4 ohm cabs that anyone knows would pair well with my SVT, for a reasonable price.

  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    Bass cabs don't work that way. The box and drivers are a system that work together. The box and port dimensions are determined by the speaker going in the box. Swapping speakers is not recommended without doing some work to determine if the speakers are a good match for a box that is already built. There are detailed specifications needed about the speakers that aren't published by manufacturers regarding OEM speakers.

    I recommend a different solution.
  3. I wondered if there was something that was kept from the "general public" about how the box is put together with the speaker, thanks!
    basscooker likes this.
  4. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Even premium drivers in a cabinet not designed to support their particular parameters could well be a downgrade over the originals.
    JRA, Aqualung60 and Arjank like this.
  5. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Using the driver’s TS specs and a cabinet design program is a fairly straightforward excersise.
    JRA and gitfiddl like this.
  6. That is def something I want to do at some point, build my own cab, I'll have to look into some design programs, thanks!
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    .....as long as you can get the specs.

    OP, I know you said transport is an issue.... But have you looked into an 810? I've heard they fit into some fairly average cars. I know that the 410HLF is a pretty big and somewhat unwieldy cab. 810s have wheels and are sometimes easier to move around than a 410.
  8. Yeah I have wheels on my 410 that makes moving it around my house fine, it's just the actual getting it to gigs, hell I'm almost ready to trade my car for a small SUV to be able to move it! Though I haven't really looked into the 810, I figured I was having a hard enough time with 410 haha
  9. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, Chopshopamps.com
    The HLF is pretty deep. I think most 810s are narrow by comparison. I've seen pics of them on their sides in back seats of sedans.
  10. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    When I buy a vehicle, getting my stuff into it is a primary concern. :)
    murphy and DetectBigCactus like this.
  11. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    CameronJohnson likes this.
  12. By the time you add up the cost of premium Spkrs for your cheap cab you end up with the cost of a new cab. Buy used and save. There lots of smaller high end cabs that kick butt. Do some research.
    pudgychef likes this.
  13. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    If you want to stay Ampeg, maybe a pair of the 210AVs? (I think that's the model...the lighter 2x10s that came out with the Micro VR) I had a pair and that head and they sure sounded more Ampeg than they felt....

    I recently grabbed an ELF 2x8 that is a treat. Maybe a pair of those?
    MrLenny1 likes this.
  14. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    An Ampeg 410HE will fit on the Little back seat in my Tacoma. Nowhere near the bottom end BOOM of the HLF. They are heavy 91 pounds, but are cheap used due to their weight.
  15. Are you drive a two seater roadster? Because you might be surprised what can actually fit in a small car. For practice I normally just use one cab.

    For gigs I fit two ampeg cabs, 4 space rack, pedal board, and two basses in my 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer 4 door sedan for local shows that I drive to. 697C6B94-A186-4250-A7A3-08C78831699F.

    If we’re going anywhere more than 2 hours away we use our band trailer and all ride together which I realize may not be an option. But back in my early 20s I drove a 2002 Chevy cavalier two door and would put a SWR 610 (which is taller than the 410hlf) on its side across the back seat and rack in the passenger seat. It was a pain but it was absolutely possible. Ive even seen people fit ampeg 810s in little hatchbacks.
  16. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    I've done it. I bought a used Carvin 210 combo missing the head and with blown speakers for $40. Found a pair of Deltalites on Reverb for $60 to my door. Sold the old crossover and bought an upgraded one for what I sold mine for. So for $100 I have a cab that sounds killer and can handle quite a lot. I ran a GK 1001RB II through it with no issues, an Ebs HD350 (in pic) also no issues and currently running a Carvin R1000 bridged and the cab takes it all. It is small and weighs under 60 pounds with the head. I now know about all the rules about TS specs and all that, but I put this together before I was informed. I guess I was lucky. I just picked up a JBL Sellenium super tweeter to replace the Carvin Red Eye. Goes in this weekend.:thumbsup:
    gitfiddl and The Nameless like this.
  17. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Just ^^THAT^^
    A cab is much more than a simple box with speakers inside. Box and drive must match together.
    Anyway, any compromise in quality will result in average results at best.
  18. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yeah, but how about your bass gear?

    Just bought Suzi a used Mini Cooper which I'll drive on occasion...I'm 6'4", 225 lbs. Has all sorts of bells / bangs / whistles but what it really needs is an auto-dial to my Chiropractor when I reach my destination.

    BassmanPaul likes this.
  19. I've thrown better drivers into all sorts of cabs. Never had an issue. Saying drivers can't be changed because of boxes being designed for certain drivers because "it's a system" is like sayin you can't have humbucking pickups in a jazz because a jazz is a system, and the bass might not sound good. In my experience, with very few failures, changing drivers in a box works fine. Especially if yer on a budget. Following the parameters of the original box might be recommended, such as loading the box with drivers of similar ohm loads and power handling. But even that doesnt have to be applied. For example; My friends and I have 3 old SWR Bigfoot 212s. In each, one original driver blew, so we replaced the original Bag End drivers with three totally different drivers. In one? Aguilar 12s. In the 2nd? Eminence. In the 3rd? JBL 12s. One cab is now rated at 500 watts, one 800, one a thousand. They all still kill. Each being "customized" for the users' amplification. And these are but a few examples. I've put Peavey tens in SWR boxes, put Meyer 15s in Bag End boxes, it's endless. And truthfully, in about 30 years of workin on gear? I've never had a cab tell me with its tone that replacement drivers didn't work. Currently, I'm using an old SWR Redhead with upgraded Eminence drivers. The old ones were fine, but I wanted to see how much speaker tech had advanced in 25 years. Well? It'll suffice to say every single facet of the amp's tone was improved. You can't lose by tryin it. You may find out that it works. And works well.
  20. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I drive a Miata and can get all my gear in it but I am 5'6", anyone over say 5'10" hates them.

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