Two new, identical Subway 1x15 cabs sound different

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Addison, Oct 22, 2021.

  1. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Nunyo, FB

    I searched for this and didn’t find anything …

    I just bought two brand-new Bronco Baby Blue Subway 1x15 cabs and a TT800 head. I immediately hooked up both cabs and started playing around - I’ll join in the thousands of others with the accolades, because the rig sounds amazing and I feel like I barely scratched the surface so far.

    My question comes because I switched to 8 ohm mode, set the tweeter attenuators to “Normal” on both cabs and A/B’d them and they sound quite a bit different.

    I have them both on the floor, side by side. One is clearly punchy but warm and the other has more bite but much less warmth. These came from a store, so I’m hoping that it’s just because maybe one cab was used more on the floor and is broken in more than the other, but would that make that much difference?

    Obviously, I don’t expect them to sound identical, but there is a little more difference than I feel like there should be in matching cabs.

    The other thing I noticed is that one of the screws was stripped in the “Subway” badge, causing a rattle — hoping Mesa customer service will have an idea how to resolve that issue.

    Anyway, I’m waiting to hear back from the store to see if one cab was maybe used more than the other while on display, but I was looking for anyone else who may have experienced the same thing. I don’t have a ton of experience using matching cabs.

  2. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I would absolutely expect them to sound the same.
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Did you try swapping their respective positions to see whether there is some sort of room interaction, possibly?
    gh0st42, bassdude51, Oddly and 27 others like this.
  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Is there another sw115 at the store? You could at least spot the flake if you ABC them?

    Really don't think there should be enough variance to classify two identical cabs from the same line ( and matching custom covering to boot) as different voicing. One of them has an out of spec driver maybe? Might be perfectly functional and sound glorious, as well as provide many years of loyal service to its owner; yet still be out of spec.

    Pure speculation. Prolly just the room or another factor. I like the idea of swapping positions.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  5. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    This seems very odd to me. There are always some variations in drivers no matter how good the design and QA - that's a fact of life. However, with the SW line's quality of build and components I would not expect it to be night and day noticeable even if you had a plus and minus 3 or even 6 sigma sample side by side.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
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  6. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    Try interchanging the two cables and see if the sound issue stays with the same cab.

    How did you connect the two cabs. Try both cabs connected at the back panel as opposed to daisy chaining them.
    JPDsma, Winoman, Mike Ikona and 2 others like this.
  7. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    This is certainly worth trying to eliminate potential causes, but I wouldn't expect to be able to hear a difference between a 10 foot 16 gauge cable and a 3 foot 12 gauge cable. However, simple, safe, free troubleshooting is always a good place to start!
  8. Can you post a pic?? I am very curious to see blue 15 Subways. All I ever see is black. BarukeModRigs01.jpg
    Murch, dbase, chaosMK and 14 others like this.
  9. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    One time I was AB testing power amps using two identical cabs so I wouldn’t have to switch cables. There was a meaningful difference in sound. I swapped the cabs and the sound difference moved with the cabs. The amps sounded identical. Since then whenever I have identical cabs I do some testing, find the good one, and put that one at ear level.
    Jim C and BlueTalon like this.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    This is indeed odd.

    The drivers used in the cabinet have pretty tight tolerances. While ideally drivers are identical for all intents and purposes, there are tolerances Thad can come into play.

    That said, we need to rule out other possibilities first. Location in the room and relative position of each cabinet is usually the most significant factor in two cabinets sounding different. Reverse the positions of the two cabinets and give another listen.

    Also try with the tweeters all the way up and down to rule out a tweeter or crossover issue.

    Also, testing outside can rule out room anomalies.

    [edit for auto-correct incorrect]

    PM me and I will help you get it sorted out.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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  11. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    What would we all do without this guy..:thumbsup:;)
  12. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Intents and purposes, too, I hope. :D

    (Spellcheck so often doesn't, IME.)
    tblurker, 12bass, akukulich and 4 others like this.
  13. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Nunyo, FB
    The room is pretty dead with a fair amount of room and the cabs were about in the middle, but I’ll experiment with this more tomorrow. Thanks!

    I kind of live in the middle of nowhere and had them shipped. I wish that was an option for sure.

    I used two identical speaker cables when they were both hooked up at the same time and used the same cable when I was ABing them.

    Of course!


    Thanks, I’ll try all of this tomorrow - going to try to use my zoom Q8 to capture some audio and I can send you a private link. I’ll see how that goes.

    And you’re the best! I’ll pm you tomorrow.

    I know, right!?! A big part of why I bought this rig was the support on this forum by both loyal customers and amazing service.
    rhythmwiz, Murch, Wicked G and 48 others like this.
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  15. Jesuguru

    Jesuguru Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    DC area (for now)
    My recent camping trip was intense. We slept in tents, as was our intents.
  16. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    In the decimal system, ya count in tens.
    BassNugget, agedhorse and Jesuguru like this.
  17. roborend

    roborend Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Rock Island Illinois
    Love that color, and mesa service ftw
    bignc likes this.
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    See if you can record yourself direct into the Q8 or find a favorite bass recording.
    Then use this to feed each recording of each cab.
    It's not two much work with two recordings to find the differences between them.
    Some people do hear different than others, so a distraction like a loose screw could bias your overall hearing. Princess and Pea effect.
  19. I tried a 1X15 cab, exactly once. Hated it.

    Went out, and bought an SVT810. Never looked back.
  20. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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