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Questions about 1x15 cab & speakers...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sweaterboy77, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. sweaterboy77


    Feb 3, 2005

    I am juggling a couple of cabinet projects at once here. Getting ready to get both of them going. I posted earlier last week about getting drivers installed in my Ampeg 410-HLF cab (post here, if anyone wants to comment more... http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/help-bass-cab-project-933261/#post13460435)

    I'm also getting set to play with swapping out my old 1x15 cab for another. Currently I have an old 70s JBL PA cabinet that had a JBL D140 15" in it... sounded great at low levels, but got really farty with some push to it. I swapped it out for an old Altec 421-8LF, which seems to have an even more hi-fi sound, but with a bit better low end, but ended up still farting out a bit in the so so cabinet. I just bought a cab from C-list. The guy said it was an old Fender, and it looks like Fender tolex, but I don't think it is. What didn't look Fender-ish in the 70s? Black tolex, silver grille cloth... there you go, everyone thinks its an un-marked Fender. Anyway, so the dimensions of this new cab are 28"wide x 24"tall x 15"deep. It is a reflex design, with an open square "port" along the side (24" side, so opening is about 24"tall x about 5"wide, and it has a 45 degree angle to it going inside the cab). I'll upload some pics.

    I believe the speaker it came with is an older Eminence E-M15PA 15" 8ohm (still have to pop it open to confirm, but I'm almost positive that's what it is). I can't find any specs on-line about the speaker. I am hoping to get some opinions of what people here think; should I use the Eminence, or keep my Altec. Also, do I need any internal insulating material? I'm wanting the sound to be nice and clean and clear, as loud as it can be (not earth shaking levels... just small clubs, like 100 people or so). The head I use most is an old 1970 Ampeg V4 running 6550 tubes (about 120-130watts).

    Any input would be great. I'll be posting more when I get a chance to get away from work later this week and play around with both of the cabinet projects.



    Attached Files:

  2. sweaterboy77


    Feb 3, 2005
    Here's a good shot of the cab, side view...

    You can tell in this shot that it is 28" tall, on the side where the handle is. 15" deep, and 24" across the top side, which will actually be the side side, as I plan on laying it down sideways, so that the V4 head will sit nicely on the top (on the handle).

    Will probably re-grille it with 70s Ampeg cloth as well.

    Attached Files:

  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ever considered the Eminence Beta 15a or Delta 15a? They are the two most vintage sounding speakers of Eminence's lineup and they take a goodly amount of power. The JBL and Altecs of the day do sound great, but as you said, the power handling is lacking, even with a V4B.

    If you want to get more expensive and lighter, you could also try the Eminence 3015 non-LF or the Faital 15PR400. Both are neo speakers, and both sound quite good in cabs such as yours, especially the Faital, which is a tad brighter than most 15"s.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Email eminence CS all the numbers you can find off the driver and they'll send you what specs they have.

    If that port angles in like that and goes pretty close to the back wall, it may be a slot port, which isn't so easy to figure out. Might be best to sweep a sine wave through it and use the dancing rice to find the tuning.

    It could be a candidate for a Legend CB15, just because those are fairly forgiving of box sizes and tunings, have good spl, power handling and a full bottom.

    Guessing there without more details on the cab.
  5. sweaterboy77


    Feb 3, 2005
    Hey JimmyM,

    I have looked at those before. I can't remember which one I liked, but I have a feeling it was the Delta-Pro 15A (think I was also looking at the Kappa-Pro 15A). Was looking at them both for the efficiency/sensitivity more than anything... 101db for each!!! That was why I picked up the Altec 421-8LF actually. It claims to only be able to take 100w, but it's sensitivity seems to be pretty up there (even more so that the JBL I was running before that). It just seemed like I could run the V4 on a volume of 2, and get the same volume output I had been getting on the JBL at a volume of 3, maybe even 4.

    I do have concerns with the wattage on the Altec. I only paid $80 for it... I guess I could re-sell it, I almost hate to, as it sounds so good, but from what you said, and from everything I've heard, the Eminence drivers are the ones to beat. Mostly, I'm looking for the best overall sound for the above 1x15 enclosure, given it's older reflex design, and old style dimensions (15" deep seems a bit "thin" by today's 1x15 cab standards).

    Just about my favorite amp sound for what I'm playing right now, is my little solid state Ampeg B100R (which has an Eminence of some sort in it), a 100w 1x15 combo. Its one of the older USA made models, and will hold it's own to even original B15 amps (my buddy has an orig B15N and even he's impressed with the B100R's tone!). I loved the B100R so much, I bought the B200R model about a year ago, but ended up selling it to a KB playing friend. It was one of the newer Chinese made models, and it rattled like a tin can above volume 4. I ended up taking the thing apart, lining the amp guts with heavy Dynamat to keep vibration down... I just couldn't keep it, even after I got it to not rattle.

    Anyway, My hope in this project, is to have something akin to a larger B100R sound, but with this cab, some speaker (hoping the Altec works, but would definitely consider buying a vintage toned Eminence), and using my V4. I like the V4 because it's got more power to it, but also it has at least a little versatility, in that I can get it to sound close to the B100Rs tone, but with some knob fiddling, it can easily get the classic 70s rock bass amp tones I really love. So it's kinda a best of both worlds amp, so long as the cab can get those vintage tones as well.
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Yeah, the Beta is another good option. Will get some oomph out of the V4, and costs less than the Legend.
  7. sweaterboy77


    Feb 3, 2005
    So Will33 & JimmyM...

    Do either of you know the differences between the Delta and DeltaPro and Kappa and KappaPro? Originally, before I picked up the Altec 421-8LF, I was looking at getting the DeltaPro-15A. MusiciansFriend was out of stock at the time, so I picked up the vintage Altec used locally for $80. I like it's sound, but you two think it's just not up to the job without having the same 'fart out' issues?

    I don't really care about weight so much... I just want the tone. I really like 60s and 70s records, and that's the style I tend to play. Like I said, I love my little B100R Ampeg, it just doesn't have any headroom at shows though. When I used to play my V4 at shows with the matching tall 4x12" cab (has Eminence Kappa 12" bass speakers in it), it sounded great... but very poppy. Dead on tone of The Knack... I played my Rick 4003, so that probably contributed. I still play the Rick, but mostly have been playing an Epi Jack Casidy hollow body bass, which has a fuller round tone to it, and I'd like my amp to reflect that.

    I guess what I'm asking is, for this cabinet, would you pick a DeltaPro-15A, Delta-15, Beta-15 (I think Fliptops.com says this is THE goto B15 emulation speaker), or stick to my Altec 421-8LF?
  8. sweaterboy77


    Feb 3, 2005
    Also, do either of you know the differences between Eminences 15A and 15B speakers (the Deltas and Kappas)?
  9. sweaterboy77


    Feb 3, 2005
  10. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Couple differences just off the cuff.

    The Pro series are cast frame instead of stamped and they also have much higher xlim than the stamped ones. That means more robust mechanical handling. That means while some may not make much more clean bass than the stamped ones, they can handle being pushed too far and abused to a greater degree.

    The differences don't end there, those are just a couple of the obvious ones. They are different drivers for different purposes. The stamped frame are just fine for our purposes. The Pro series geared more toward touring/pro level sound where they are more likely to be abused, both from touring, constantly getting slammed around as well as used in PA systems that may get abused a lot, or have to survive inexperienced operators trying to make them do things they shouldn't be doing, etc.

    You could use either in a bass rig, just whichever has the specs that get you where you want to go.

    Usually the stamped frame version perform quite well, and are less costly.

    The "A" and "B" used to signify a different impedance, or perhaps a whizzer cone or other differences within the same model line.
  11. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Not enough info to go on for me. Can't tell if it has a heavy cone, stiff or loose suspension. Can't tell if it wants a big box, small box, sealed box.

    I'm assuming the 1/2" excursion may be an absolute mechanical limit and not linear. And, when you factor in some power compression, 100 watts doesn't leave you much to work with.

    That's how they made speakers in those days though. Amps weren't all that powerful, so they concentrated on getting high sensitivity to make the most of what little power was available.

    Also, that 97db spl says it's measured @ 4 feet, so it may test as a louder speaker than that using todays 1watt/1 meter standard.
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Do the speakr ohms match up for your amp so you can install the JBL in the new cab and use the two 1x15 together? IMO, worth a try.
  13. I think you're fine with the 15A. The Kappas are a much more robust driver and maybe beyond your needs (?). I've used their Legend CB15. It's a cast basket and pretty affordable IIRC.

    You're spending lots of time on speakers, which is a cool thing to go through. You're after a certain vintage tone, and you can probably find that with the right bass and amp... passive 4 string fender and a Fender, Sunn, or Ampeg head. The whole works might be simpler for you if you find a more modern speaker cab that can reproduce the character of your bass, the amp, and your approach to the instrument.

    I don't know which 60s recordings you're listening to, but lots of them were done with a tube DI straight into the board, then recorded on tape. The sound you hear might be more related to those elements than the speaker because there may not even be a mic and speaker on the recording.

    Just food for thought.
  14. About a week ago I completed a rebuild of an Epifani PS115 cab that, when I bought it, I had high hopes for. It was one of those disappointing purchases that I had to decide whether to keep and modify or sell. It farted badly the first time I played it. Never could get a sound I liked out of it.

    After some reading here on TB and then calling Al at US Speaker I decided to replace the speaker with a Faital Pro 15FH520. Al at USS was very helpful and ran models of a couple speakers using the PS115 dimensions.

    I added some bracing inside the cab and put the sound dampening material inside as it should have been in the first place. Can't believe how poorly it had been assembled at the factory.

    The result is fantastic - good enough that I'm considering an identical cab for a modular rig. The cab is tuned for around 43Hz and this combination has created very strong low end monster. With 9mm Xmax and 600 watts AES and 1200 watts program power. Very punchy and responsive with no weird frequencies that are exagerated. Very linear. Not as airy as my Bergantino HT322 or Genz 410, but, very pleasing.

    Will gig tommorrow with this new speaker driven by a MB F500 and see how it is in the mix.

    Anyway, big thanks to the guys at US Speaker for the assist.
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006

    Man, that's one monster of a driver. Don't know how they did it, but it has every bit the bottom performance of a 3015LF, with enough top extension and smooth mids to run as an old school 115 box.

    Perhaps the best all-around "one speaker plays it all" bass guitar driver I've seen yet. Nice choice, and enjoy the gig. You will, I'm sure.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Pay close attention to the top end frequency range. Anything lower than 4k for top end response is unacceptable for bass IMHO.
  17. The specs say 40 - 4kHz...and as I said, not as "airy" or detailed as some of my other cabs like the Berg, but, eq'd out has a very smooth, sweet response up high without any harshness. I notice hearing harmonics that are absent in other speakers and seems exceptionally clear when playing intervals and chords witout getting muddy at all.
    I did retain the original Epifani tweeter.
  18. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    I've used the legend cb158 as a replacement in 2 different 1x15 cabs, and they soud pretty great. like what was mentioned above they seem to sound good in many different cabinets.
  19. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Another vote for Eminence Legend CB158. I got 'em in my Ashdown cabs and they sound great, and very forgiving of internal volume.
  20. Indeed.
    I've seen scope analysis that shows 7 KHz is useful for electric bass without fuzz or other enhancement.

    OP, remember a 15" driver can get up this high, but only on-axis.
    My JBL E155 (18") gets up this high, but cuts like a laser beam.

    You will only hear the highs on-axis.
    You can hear this by playing pink noise through the rig and moving on and off axis.
    At a distance of 20 feet out, step to either side a few feet and the highs will disappear.
    It is VERY evident and a good model for how beaming changes the tone.