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Opinions on 18" Cabinets ???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by skin, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. skin


    Jun 22, 2003
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    I've always been crazy about the big bottom an 18 puts out. In days gone my, I was quite impressed with the Sunn 18 ported horn cabinet - the one where you just see a curve and no grill cloth???

    Anyone have an opinion on such a cab? I know where there is one and I'm curious about if I should get it. They seemed so efficient in what they could do with the amps back then. I'm sure it has it's place, but where would that be compared to today's stuff?

  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    no question, 18"s are cool
    however they tend to be sluggish and need a lot of watts
    the bag end non elf 18"s are an exception in my experience
    very articulate
    the other thing about 18's and the old horn loaded cabinets is they put out so much low end you can end up sounding like a foghorn by the time the sound reaches the audience
    when i do sound i always cringe if the guy has a cabinet like that
  3. I have two 118 cabs and nothing more and haven't had a problem with tone, but I play mostly ska and fast punk, so I guess I'm not too big on precise tone.
  4. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I found one just like you are describing and was wondering what it sounds like. I've got an outdoor gig coming up and thought it might be cool to run it next to my SVT 1540. That way my amp would be putting out 450 watts. Y'all think that would be enough to push some air? We've got a 1000 watt PA but the low end is lacking. Maybe I could use the Sunn as a sub-woofer for the PA?
  5. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I just bought a second SWR Big Ben cabinet. I plan on running both of them next to our main PA speakers as we don't have any subs, and run my 2 Bag End 15s next to me so my stage volume doesn't have to be so high. These SWRs are great cabinets, and you can get great deals used.
  6. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca
    IMHO, 18's are terrible. But I'm into a real punchy sound. That's why I play through 10's. If 18's sound good to you, go with it.
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    18's sound nice if you are standing more than 20 feet in front of your amp . . . ;)
  8. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    An SWR 1x18+8x8 is a freakin' KILLER sounding rig... I'd so rock that. :)
  9. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    I have an Eden 1X18XL (to go along with my Eden 2X10XLT). You can feel it, but not really hear it until you get about 10 feet out. It sucks power though-big time!

    I'm looking into getting a ThunderfunkTFB420 to power the rig, but I'm not sure it will have enough juice for the 18".

  10. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I recently played a Fender cab that had two 10's and one 18", and it sounded great. Obviously the 18" speaker wasn't responsible for the high end, but the low end was crystal clear, even while I was sitting about five feet from the cab. I don't think I'd invest in an 18" just because I value my high end, but at least now I know that quality 18's exist.
  11. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    For many years my set up was the Sunn Coliseum Bass with 2x18s. Despite just being 18s, it sounded decent and was rather loud.
  12. I dont get why all you people feel this way, I can put my face in front of my 218 stack and hear myself crystal clear.
  13. My sentiments exactly. When I used them, I found myself running at apparently higher volume settings (to hear myself onstage). During breaks, I heard more often than not, that I was KILLIN' the poor folks in the back of the club. So that extra juice I was feeding the cabinet(s) was affecting what I heard onstage minimally...but back there; exponentially!
    For the most part, my cabs are for ME (to hear myself)...moving air is the PA's (and sound guy's) gig. Let the guitar player, singer, drummer, etc. have you turned up in their monitor if there not getting enough coming from your general direction.
  14. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yep. All 18's are not alike. There are several relevant points:

    1. It matters what kind of speaker you have. The reputation of 18's as being "sluggish" is a myth that came out of the 70's. Today's speakers like the Bag End's and the EVX's are every bit as fast as the fastest 10. They can be just as punchy, and just as articulate, if they're in the right cabinet.

    2. Not all cabinets are alike. The folded horn cabs are "supposed" to sound different, they're designed that way. They're not "supposed" to deliver punchy sound, or tight high end. They're supposed to deliver booty shaking bottom, the kind that makes your pant legs vibrate at 50 yards, and that's exactly what they do.

    3. Low frequencies travel through the ground, not the air. Designing an 18" cab to "push air" is probably counterproductive. Wood becomes very porous below 50 Hz, acoustically speaking. Much of the air pressure that would ordinarily bounce off the bottom of the cab, goes right through it instead. At super-low frequencies, one needs to design cabs "differently". Also it's very true that you need to be standing "far away" from an 18 in most cases, to get an accurate feel for what it's going to sound like "out there".

    When it comes to "subs", my experience has been that they're rarely needed, except for outdoor gigs. That's where the low frequencies will fall right off and dissipate, and you need lots of speakers and lots of juice to get your bottom end "out there" into the audience. There's no substitute for 18's for that purpose. They'll get the job done every time, if given enough power. For outdoor gigs, I use a pair of EVX-180A's driven with a bridged Stewart 2.1 (2100 watts, usually I end up using about 3/4 of that for an open air situation, like a park or something). And the last little tidbit would be, tell your sound guy to avoid mic'ing your 18. Put the mic on a 10 or a 12 instead. 18's are good for generating lots of low end at long distances. If you have PA support, it's probably best to go with smaller speakers.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    just get an Acme 4x10, and be done with it... :p
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    What nonsqtr said. I've owned the Acoustic folded 18" cabs, and the Mesa/Boogie front-loaded 18". They sounded radically different. The M/B 18" was surprisingly fast and punchy.
  17. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    believe it or not, the bag end i heard was the s18b-d cabinet - it was huge but very articulate, a great stand alone cab