Single 15 Cab Enough?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Peter Murray

    Peter Murray Commercial User

    Dec 13, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Currently doing marketing and artist relations work for Xvive, and product videos for Markbass
    I just want to mention that you can't just replace an 8 ohm speaker in a combo with a 4 ohm speaker to get more power. The combos are designed for maximum output given their size, and if they could have handled 500W they would have made it 4 ohms. Trying something like this will likely damage your amp, possibly result in worse sound, and *definitely* not be covered under warantee.
    I'm not an engineer so I can't go into detail, but there are physical limits to how much power you can put into a combo.
    Many people on Talkbass have raved about how much power comes out of the little Markbass combos, and I personally have experienced nothing like it. I also want an iPod with 200GB of memory, and a laptop battery that lasts for two months.
    Let's not get greedy here!

  2. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    If the makers dont think its wise to replace the driver from 8 to 4 ohms I wouldnt do it. However comparing the internal volume of 3 cabs gave me the following results:

    Bag End S15-D 5305 cubic inches
    MarkBass 15 6329 cubic inches
    Flite 115M 5670 cubic inches

    I have read from numerous sources that the Kappa Pro LF does sound quite good in both the Flite and BE enclosures even though they are smaller in size than the MB. My understanding is that the larger the internal volume (within reason) the greater the low-end the enclosure will produce. From this, it is logical to deduce that the MB should work too. However, I am certainly no expert in matters such as these and the cab manufacturer is going to know what sounds best for their cab. After all they put all the work in designing it. Still interesting though.

    My understanding is that the Kappa Pro LF is rated at 600w rms. If portability is paramount, like it is for me, a 4 ohm driver is better as it maximizes the power of my 600w Focus SA. Ultimately, I know its better to have more than a single 15, but the point of posting the topic is to see if a single 15 is viable.
  3. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    I have had the same experience as several other people who replied. I used to push a 1x15 really hard and tweak the EQ a lot to get the punch I wanted in medium (club) venues. Then I got a 2x10 to go with the 1x15. That opened up my sound so fantastically I wonder how I ever got along with a single speaker. The power is there in all parts of the range. I don't have to cheat the lows to get some mid-range punch or higher-range presence, I can have it all.

    Yeah, you can probably get by with a 1x15, but adding a 2x10 WILL make it better!
  4. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    OK: Sonic Micromini dimensions: 21.5" tall, 18.5" wide, 15" deep. Weight: it's buried too deep in the pile...

    This isn't an issue. Makers rate their amps at 4 ohms, and put 8 ohm spk in the combos, so they can sell an extension cab which makes most people feel better. But swapping an 8 ohm for a 4 ohm does not "de-engineer" a cabinet, it merely utilizes everything the amp has. This is definitely the way to go for maximum loudness out of a given combo.

    What can possibly "de-engineer" a cabinet is if the new speaker has drastically different Thiele-Small parameters than the speaker the cabinet was designed for. I happened to get lucky with my Carvin/Eminence speaker in the Sonic cab, and I think it sounds great.

    There have been debates here and in other bass forums over what sounds louder, one 4-ohm speaker or two identical 8-ohm speakers wired in parallel powered by the same amp... the answers I have seen weigh more heavily to the "more speaker cone area" philosophy, but I have yet to see any hard scientific evidence either way. Which I know wasn't your question, but...

    Good luck with your search.
  5. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    I recently saw a Sonic MicroMini 15 at a Music Go Round store for $108.00US. It was very light (35 - 40 lbs ish) so I don't know what kind of speaker it had in it. For weight comparison, my home built EV TL606 cabinets (3.2 cu. ft.)loaded with EVM 15s weigh about 55 lb. each...and the Sonic was lighter than that.

    I connected a used Carvin 1x10 (150 watt) combo amp to it (still using the internal 10) and it sounded really great!!! are your woodworking skills? Eli and I could make you a "measured drawing" (as Norm Abram would say) if it would be of any use to you.

    The Eminence "LFs" are specially designed to perform well in small enclosures....if it is known to work well in a Bag End, it would probably sound good in a Sonic MicroMini.
  6. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Sounds like BillyB wants to measure my bottom...
  7. My experience exactly with the Peavey - always enough....even, in fact, for two of our recent OUTDOOR shows. I love the Combo 300...amazing piece of gear.

  8. That's not Death Metal...a single 15" driver will be fine. A poster earlier mentioned that once he added the extension cabinet, he could never go back to a single. Well, check out my gear profile, my experience was exactly opposite....I have a nice smattering of very expensive gear, yet I still choose at times to go right back to that 15" BW Peavey.

    I will emphasize, however, that the voicing of the speaker will be important. This Black Widow driver is very bright and defined...unless I stupidly screw-up the EQ, there is no mushiness or "darkness" to the a result, it cuts through very nicely. I should mention that I play in a 4 piece - with each of the guitarists playing through Marshall 4x12 half stacks (200 watt tube power amps apiece). My Combo 300 does just fine. We do, however, work hard at setting a reasonable stage volume. I never have the volume on my combo above 40 percent (rarely above 30%) gets crazy loud if I ever needed it to do so.

    In short, voicing and design will allow you to use a single 15" driver for quite a few applications. That's not a "suggestion" or "opinion"....I actually do it...small to medium indoor venues as well as outdoor shows. I have the option of using extension cabinets...and sometimes I do....especially if we do the limited PA thing outside. I have gravitated to the EA or Dr. Bass rig for most indoor shows as the weight is an issue for an old guy like me. In addition, after trying tons of amplification options, I settled on IvanMike's old VTBP-201 and a PLX for the pre/power setup, the iAMP 800 for the bass head solution, and the Combo 300 will remain my combo solution. About the only thing left in my future is (perhaps) a Traynor YBA-200 if a nice one comes up used for a decent price (to cover the all-tube side of things). All these options allow me a nice palette of options; however, the Peavey combo is a fabulous (while very heavy), punch, and clear amplification system that can easily hold its own in a rock band context.

  9. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks again for all the great info guys.

    Yeah, if I do decide to go with a single 15 I'd just buy an empty Flite and drop a Kappa Pro LF in there. With the 5" midrange speaker I think it should cut thru okay. Just cant beat the weight of that cab and I imagine that with a kappalight 3015 (neo) it would just be incredible.
  10. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    two 15's work much better.
    I'am into two 12's with a 5" tweeder.
  11. CanadianBass48


    May 8, 2005
    Ont, Can
    I think that one 15" could be enough. I haven't used my 15 yet but my 18" Bagend cab can play medium size gigs. I have to have the cab like 10-15' away so that I can hear what I am playing. I have the cab tilted also. Great stuff. I am quite pleased. My band is a hard rock band too. I run about 500 watts through it and it spits it right out at me. I am happy with running only one 18 or 15 cab.
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