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Question for people with wide experience with 15" cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ccyork, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    I play a 4 string Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass. The closest I've gotten to my perfect tone, is this combination, believe it or not:

    Fender Bassman 25 --> Ashdown Mag115

    The only thing I don't like is that 16th notes played on the low E string cannot be articulated well. They all just kind of mush together.

    Now the Ashdown is the only 15" speaker I've ever played.

    1. I've heard people say that 15-inchers are "flabby", but is this a characteristic of all 15-inch speakers?

    2. Could this "flabbiness" be because I'm driving the cab with only a 25 watt amp? In other words, would more power give me better articulation?

    3. Could it be that the very qualities that I like about this combination are what causes the "flabbiness" and if I try to change anything, it will not be productive?

    4. Are there any 15" cabs that articulate well on the low E string and still maintain a real "old school" flavor?

    5. And what about Naomi?

  2. My SWR son of bertha (1x15) sounds almost as articulate as my SWR goliath jr. cab (2x10).

    I think modern 4x10s go deeper than modern 1x15s.

    I play similar basses as yours as well:

  3. scottmabe


    Mar 29, 2008
    Memphis Tn
    Well, it kind of depends on what tone you really want. I play 4 string Fender Jazz Active ( Candy Apple Red) with a Behringer rig.
    1-4x10..1-single 15 sub. 300w Head...

    The 15 is a (shudder to say it..) Peavy Black Widow ... I LOVE the sound of this cab by itself. Used it alone for years... Then I mixed it with the 4x10 and am sold on it. A bit loud for the non-appreciative members but tone is thick when I need it.. soft for the others...

    I would try a bit more horsepower to drive the speaker... but thats me...
  4. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    i might add that playing at low volume does not reduce the "flabbiness." other than the lowest notes though, the sound is like butter
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Are you sure it's the amp and not a physics or technique problem?

    The very low notes take longer to develop and aren't necessarily where you want to be playing super fast...that's why I'm asking.

    Have you tried other amps and had the problem go away?

    I can play pretty fast, but there are things I don't do on a bass (even though I physically can do them) because I know they won't project into a room right.
  6. CrackBass


    Aug 10, 2004
    just an idea, replace the bass preamp. i replaced mine with an audere and i like it very much. imo the stock preamp is inherently muddy.
  7. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    The Black Widow cabs are great. Cheap and great.
    Much better sounding than you'd expect, and plenty articulate.

    I run mine with a 410 as well. Bi-amp 250 watts to the 410 and 750 to the 15. Sounds great.

    To the OPs original question: As has been stated, lots of factors go into the sound. But 15" speakers don't necessarily have to be slow responding.
  8. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    I use a GK 700rb used to have a 210 and 115 peavey, got rid of the 210 and now use 2 115s and have no problems like that.I'd try a different 115
  9. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    More than likely, yes.
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I like that ...

    You could move to a more articulate cab. For instance, Bag End S15D's are super tight in the low's but it may be as much techique and taste as anyting. Maybe shotgunning 16th's would sound better as 16ths interspersed with 1/8th notes ... If nothing else - it would be good exercise to re-write the line that way ...
  11. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    i wouldn't exactly say i'm "shotgunning" 16th notes. i'm talking about, like, 4 in a row, in a motown tune

    it could be partially technique, but i can articulate the notes much better on my 2x10, and also on the 1x15 when i trim the bass control back. so i know it's not jut technique

    but i like your comment very much because my takeaway is that you should work WITH your equipment instead of fighting AGAINST it. i never thought of it like that before

    thanks :bassist:
  12. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    You have just answered your own question.
  13. ccyork


    Jan 26, 2004
    hey...that's my bass in that picture...no wait...mine doesn't have an ashtray...

  14. mfgl


    Jul 1, 2008
    Altoona PA
    I believe with my limited knowledge running a 200-300watt speaker with 25 watts could hurt its performance. I cant see it would hurt anything but i think more power would make the speaker perform ..."faster, snappier, fuller" not sure the terminology. I assume that power gets to the magnet, more power making it more powerfull.
  15. I think it's terribly difficult to generalize about driver sizes and the ability to go lower or deeper, be more articulate, etc. I believe there are so many variables that interact to produce and/or affect sonic characteristics (driver materials and design, cabinet materials and design, preamp influences, power amp influences, pickup characteristics, effects influencess, EQ settings, playing techniques, etc.) that simplistic conclusions about driver diameter are just that: too simplistic. IMO, you need to perform A/B demos of speaker cabs using your particualr signal chain and qualify your "conclusions" to: cabinet A in combination with your signal chain versus cabinet B in combination with your signal chain.

    Having said that, there is an additional factor you need to remember regarding most Motown bass pasts: they were recorded with "vintage" Fender basses that were heavily muted with felt under the bridge cover. (Jamerson's notoriously high action only added to the effect.)

    I play newer Fender USA basses and place a light roll of thin foam under the strings--as close to the bridge as possible--to partially mute them and to eliminate some of the troublesome overtones. The effect is less than that on a traditionally-muted, vintage Fender. It's not enough to make each note deadened or staccato. It allows a nice combination of reduced note ring and increased note separation. If I need more sustain, I simply remove the foam during that song and use hand and finger muting to the extent necessary. Best of all, you can vary the size and tightness of the foam rolls--thereby varying the amount of their influence--which cost only pennies each. In the 2-3 years that I've been doing this, I've lost a couple rolls but I've never worn one out.

    Something like this may help the articulation of your 16th notes. It does mine.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:

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