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Old Sunn Cabinets?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jerryjg, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. jerryjg


    Aug 20, 2006
    Are they mostly Hype, or this there golden age vintage tone in them?
    I have an old Sunn 2x15 cabinet, the folded horn enclosure. I am looking for good drivers for it, but can't afford the old JBL's that sometimes came with them.
    Don't know if its worth persuing or if they are just mainly collectors items?
  2. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    I just picked one up because it was dirt cheap.

    I can say that the 215S with the mystery made (Sunn Tranducers) sounded way better than I thought it would at practice last night. So much so, that I am going to have dually built so I don't live in fear of smoking the thing with the Kilo.

    Do a search. I read one of the threads where someone reputable stated that the cabs were a bit shallow in depth to allow twin 15's do their thing. The conversation was well over my depth of knowledge, but it is understandable to we mere mortals.

    They also mentioned some modern speaker choices which are shallow enough to fit in the cab.

    If the speakers were blown in mine, would I replace them? Probably with something resonably priced.
  3. I would love to own a 2x15 Sunn SH cab.

    I have owned (2) 2X15 Sunn Magna cabs [ used] and sold them a year later; nothing special about them, IMHO.

    HOWEVER..I bought a used Sunn 1-18vh, in late 1979. That cab is a tone monster..I WILL NEVER SELL IT.

    Although I have never heard one live; from looking at pics: The 2x15 Sunn SH appears to be the [15"] equivalent of : stacking (2) 1-18 vh cabs. If they are a 15" version, they should sound awesome.

    If I ever buy another cab, I hope it's another 1-18vh, to stack ontop of my older cab. Or either a 1-15 SH or 2-15 SH cab.

    As I state in other posts, I am an avid Acoustic Control user; vintage as well as new GC Acoustic. The Acoustic 301 folded horn is awesome, but frankly, I believe that the Sunn 1-18 vh outperforms the 301..IMHO..NO FLAMES, PLEASE.

    If it ain't broke..don't fix it. If it needs speakers, replace them with either JBL's, or Eminence neos. Good luck and enjoy that Sunn cab.
  4. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Pretty much what zon6c-f said. I also have the Sunn 118VH (Cerwin Vega 18) and an Acoustic 301 with the same CV speaker. Both super in what they do. I once ran those 2 cabs together through a Sunn Coliseum head. Most amazing bass I've ever heard. :cool:
  5. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    They are good sounding cabs that work well with a pretty broad range of drivers. The folded port cabs came in two sized, the 200S @ 40” x 24” x 15” and the 2000S cab @ 46” x 30” x 15”, and JBL’s didn’t sometimes come with them; both cabs were only available with D series JBL’s unless you ordered a specific upgrade driver, and I think you had to be an endorser to do that.
    Both the 200S and 2000S are rear loaded, and the 200S cabs are a little tight for some ceramic drivers because of the port ducting. The AlNiCo JBL’s fit fine, but the bigger, wider magnet structure on some ceramics won’t fit so well. If you have the larger 2000S cab you won’t have that issue.

    The smaller 200S cabs aren’t too hard to schlep, comparable to many current 215’s, but the 2000S cabs are kinda like wrestling a bear. I have a whole bunch of bass cabs, and a (smaller size) side ported and front loaded Sunn 215S loaded with EVM15L’s probably gets more use than anything else.
    Sits well in the mix with a variety of genres, sounds great with a variety of amps, is loud enough for all but the largest venues, and isn’t real hard to move around. Also I don't have any worries about banging it into things or sliding it into or out of vans, across stages, etc. because it’s built like a freekin’ tank.
    Less to worry about in situations where I’d rather not scuff up some of the high dollar “boutique” stuff, particularly when I’m not the one responsible for cartage.

    Sunn never put K140's in any of their cabinets as OEM. They used D140F’s and D130F’s exclusively for the first couple years, and then offered the “Transducer” series, built for them by CTS and/or Eminence at first, until Sunn opened their own manufacturing facility in that same “speaker corner” of KY to build them themselves.

    One the Transducer series was introduced, the D series JBL’s were offered on their high end cabs until about ’71-’72, and then Cerwin Vega became the “premium” driver upgrade.
    Endorsers could custom order just about anything they wanted though, and more than a few 2000S cabs were special ordered with Altec 421’s.
    Sunn had a pretty close working relationship with JBL while Conrad Sundholm owned the company, and some endorser’s cabs were even shipped with “one off” prototype JBL’s built to spec for specific artists.
    Mr. Sundholm sold Sunn to Hartzell in 1971, which is probably one of the reasons that Sunn stopped using JBL as their premium driver.

    They did ship some special order 215S cabs with JBL’s in the early 70’s though, I still have one that was part of an endorsement deal from 1972, but they are D140F’s.

    I’m not sure of the exact timeline, but I don’t think JBL even offered the K series drivers until late 1973, 1974 or so; well after the Sunn/JBL era.
  6. Zoomie


    Jan 26, 2012
    East Tennessee
    Edbass, many thanks for the correction. I get the K's and D's mixed up.

    I'll make a correction above so as not to confuse anyone.
  7. Oren,

    You don't know how many times I have dreamed of coming up your way and after a day of fishing; jamming on your stuff then leaving with less cash in my pocket and your Sunn 1-18 vh in my GMC p/u.

    I believe the 1-18 vh was optimally designed to run: 920 cabs from a Sunn Coliseum 880. Bass amp.

    My fantasy dream rig used to be a double cab Colisuem 880 with (2) 1-18 vh cabs and paired with a double cab 371 powered with (2) 301's : Stereo for my Rick 4001 rig .

    I never heard of the mighty Acoustic 408 until I joined the unofficial acoustic site, where we "met" years ago [rikfenzon]

    I recently ordered a G C Acoustic 200 H and 1-15 cab for $100 less than the cost of my B200 Combo, which my wife gifted me in 2009.

    When my Rick comes out of repair..if ever..fingers crosssed, I plan to run stereo through the GC Acoustics.

    If ever again, I need the Power AND the Glory, I will release my 370 and Sunn 1-18vh.
  8. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    And hey, if it IS one the gargantuan 2000s cabs, and you ever feel like it's too much to move about, you could always send over my way! :D

    "920 CABS"..lol.. Should have read "...(2) cabs.."
  10. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    I have about 35 bass amps and most are either vintage Acoustic and Sunn.

    Overall, I feel the Acoustic are better constructed. But Sunn did better with some of their designs.

    My main battle amp is an Acoustic 406 wide. But in places I need more projection I take a Sunn 215B (same as 215s). The Acoustic sounds better - the Sunn throws better.

    I have tried a LOT of speakers in these. High priced and not. I found most of the current speakers are made for smaller boxes that are less vented - so they get too much excursion with the big boxes. Sound great until they fart.

    OK - get ready - here is the speaker to get. Carvin PS15-8. They are very tightly suspended and you can throw huge amounts of power at them. Wish I never wasted the money on Delta, Gamma, Kappa, Legend, and so many others. The e140 was OK - but lacked low end and power handling. One guy was listening to the PS15 against a E140 and said the PS15 had the bottom end of an 18 compared to it. Still lots of upper mid range clarity.

    I have tried the JBL 2225H. It sounds almost the same as the PS15! The PS15 gets a twit more high and low - but I bet that was what Carvin was going for when they speced it.

    I have 3 of the 215B cabs - I have A/B speaker changes so this is fairly accurate.

    I have had bad luck with neos - but perhaps others will do better.

    Put the Carvin in my Sunn 115s (silver face) and it is probably my best single 15 cab. Just got a Sunn 115BH. Time to fool with that :)

    Yes - the basement is getting kinda full. Time for a sale....
  11. jerryjg


    Aug 20, 2006
    Thanks man. I'll see if I can track down one of them Carvins for sure!
    I actually have a Alumabass speaker Bukllfrog ( OOP) in the bottom slot for better or worse, and need somthing for the top.
  12. Wesley R

    Wesley R Supporting Member

    Slight derail (although the 200S is on ofmy favorite cabs)

    "Mr. Sundholm sold Sunn to Hartzell in 1971, which is probably one of the reasons that Sunn stopped using JBL as their premium driver."

    I was installing a phone system at Hartzell, and saw the Sunn posters. I commented posatively and the main admin lady begged me not to mention it, as it was a major sore spot with her boss. To bad, I thought there might be some interesting conversations available.
  13. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC

    Please, make that dream (or at least most of it) come true. I'm just a stones throw off I-85 and am very flexible on time. I'd love to see you and share my love of gear with another like minded brother. A couple or so years ago, Mike Winters (from ACC) managed a visit. We had such a great visit! :bassist:

    I see where GC is deeply discounting the Acoustic stuff. I may have to sneak a look at some. Curious to see how the Ric works with your anticipated rig.

    Think about that little drive up 85. Might even have to go to Long Creek Fish Fry for some good ole fashion "Fish Camp" style eatin, a Gaston County tradition. :cool:
  14. Don't know when we will next visit, but wife and I love Western N C/Mountains.

    Forgive me if I only bring my wife and fly rods. Well maybe a jamming electric bass....

    Be warned: I plan to leave with either or both[ LOL]: a 301 and/or Sunn 1-18 vh.

    Vetchking says I have "really" never heard my 370 and I dream of stacking another Sunn 1-18vh. BLASPHEMY??

    New GC Acoustic 200H and seperate 1x15 cab due in this week.
  15. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    I suspect that GCs experiment with their version of Acoustic as an entry level bass amp line may have finally gone south. The local one here only has a small collection of units left from what was once a vast product line.

    The only one I ever thought was worth the money was the little mini-stack as a personal practice amp. I think that is going bye-bye to.

    Hey - Wesley R - why do you think it was a sore spot at Hartzell?
  16. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC

    Having grown up in San Diego, my wife is quite the beach person, be we both enjoy visits to our mountains too.

    OK - open invitation with all welcome.

    Well, we know how Vetchking likes to say things, but he could be right. Just one way to find out!

    Hope the new Acoustic stuff does what you want it to.

    Remember your open invitation - anytime. :cool:
  17. OREN.. and with us as well when in Atlanta vicinity.

    Great large pond nearby - guaranteed catch your fill of panfish.

    Our spouses will be compatible as both have married bass players, which implies intelligence; thus they will have lots to talk about culture-wise as a well as music.

    OH..You have got to see Atlanta Bass Gallery.

    Plenty of Blues and BBQ, as well.

    Bring your Sunn cab..LOL...Maybe trade for 1971 Kustom-B200[ CTS]?....[BEGINNING TO DROOL AGAIN]...

    PS: Also check out my post in Unofficial Acoustic [ see: rfz] regarding my B200 Combo.
  18. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I owned and loved my Sunn and Acoustic stuff in the 70's.

    I played them into the early 80's, then slowly bought new stuff--GK 800, 2-10's biamped with a 15 (Gauss and JBL).

    Then I used Eden stuff with a rack.

    Now I use small stuff (Mark bass) for light gigs.

    GK w/212's or 410's for bigger gigs (though rarely).

    I'll take a carfully designed and engineered cab over any of the vintage cabs for bass. That's just me--- I don't play nearly as loud as I used to.

    Bottom line for me---vintage stuff is more hype than sound.
  19. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Westchester County NY
    I had a Sunn Concert Bass setup in the mid-70s with the 2x15 cab (not JBLs). If my memory serves, it had a loud, gnarly, mid-rangey rock sound; which was what I loved then; and the cab was not small. Like others, I have moved through a lot of gear over the years. Today's gear is really superior in tone, weight, form factor, volume, etc etc. There is no magic in the old Sunn cabinet; but if it has the sound and the look you want, go for it.
  20. ejt


    Feb 29, 2012
    I can't believe I just saw this thread! I'm the proud owner of a Sunn 215SH cab. Several years ago I upgraded to Eminence Kappalite 3015s with neodymium magnets. I added some bracing, filled both sealed enclosure spaces with acoustic stuffing, and changed the jack to a Speakon. I can tell you that this cab makes monster bass. It is, however, the low pass cabinet in my biamped system so I'm not asking it to reproduce full range bass. I play five string on a metal band and spend a lot of time on the B string, and this cabinet delivers for me. We just recently played a gig and several people complimented me on the "wall of sound" bass tone. Don't necessarily know about vintage golden age tone or whatnot, but I'm extremely happy with it. Magic.

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