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What happened to 15" speakers? They sound good now!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by thebassbuilder, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    I was GC today and played everything I could and the cabs or combos I liked most today was the 15's. What is up with that? The last time I even tried a 15 anything was when I sold my Ampeg B15 rocket combo that I did not like at all. Everything back in the day had this mid range hollow sound to it. Now I am thinking of going with something with a 15" speaker. The one I liked the most today was the gk mb115. That combo has a sweet smooth and articulate tone that just blew me away. I even liked the Ampeg BA115 a lot as well. I was about to invest in building a 1x10 cab but now I am thinking of going with a 15. I am now rethinking everything.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sorry, you lost me when you said you didn't like your Rocket Bass amp ;)

    But seriously, the only thing you can tell about a cab by the speaker size is the size of the speaker(s). Take them all on a case by case basis.
  3. Cycho


    Nov 30, 2010
    Speaker design has come a long way so buying by the inch probably doesn't make sense any more (if it ever did). I love my NY 151, BTW, so I certainly have nothing against 15 inch speakers.
  4. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I'm crazy about my Mesa PH215 cab. I think there all many good 15 based designs out there and a significant market for them.
  5. There are lots of good sounding 15s, and lots of god awful 15s.
    There are also a lot good sounding 12s, and lots of god awful 12s.
    It really comes down to cabinet and speaker design. You can't generalize by size.
  6. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
    Modern 15 inch drivers can generally handle more power (thermal) and some can go deeper at gig levels (greater Xmax), but they have not changed all that much tone wise. Most likely what has changed are your tone preferences. You should get a cab that you really like. Just don't underestimate the potential of the 210 you were considering.
  7. Yup, our hearing ability changes throughout life, thus affecting our perceived auditory tastes.
  8. I dunno why size is always such an issue. I've got huge speakers and the girls love it!
  9. In the immortal words of Frank Zappa: the bigger the cushion, the better the pushin' ;)
  10. LHbassist


    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I have a vintage Sunn 215 SH curved front folded horn. KILLER cabinet, has Eminence modern lf drivers- 900 watt 4 ohm cab. That cabinet was probably made in the mid seventies.
    I also have a 1-15 folded horn, I built it- and it also kills... but stand alone, in most places, they're too loud for the sound guys now.
    I have an Acoustic B-200 combo that is a great amp for the price. I tried a lot of recent 1-15 combos, in the 400 dollar range- this is before the great TC 250- 1-15 series came out. The GK MB 115 was excellent. I didn't like the comparable Ampeg all that much. The MB 2-10 GK combo farted out badly, and that's a deal breaker.
    Surprisingly, the Acoustic 450-210 combo sounded way better, and didn't fart out.
    I think the drivers and tuning of the cabinet are critical to modern bass amplifier design.
    I have two 2-10 cabs, a highly touted original EA VL-210 and a Peavey 2-10 Pro cab. The Peavey is a damn good cabinet- the drivers are matched to the cab, and it sounds great. The Euphonic, is a killer cabinet- but it's NOT a cabinet you can push- it's more like a reference monitor.
    So, not all cabs are for all kinds of gigs- A friend has a Schroeder PL 1-15 neo, and I love that cabinet. The Mesa Diesel 1-15's are excellent. Other single 15 cabs leave me kinda cold. The right thing to do is just what you did- play a bunch of them, until you find one you like.
  11. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Speaker design has gone a long way,:D mostly out of Europe and America and into China and the Far East.:bassist:
  12. I have found the gk voicing can be round and boomy on a Lota of cabs..
  13. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    well... only true for the mass market stuff, but still plenty of high quality manufacturing operations for Pro Sound drivers in Europe... disregarding the entire hifi sector....
    BMS (Germany/Bulgaria), Beyma (Spain), B&C, Ciare, 18Sound, Faital, RCF (all Italy), Oberton (Bulgaria), there is a rumour that even the Brits have still some manufacturing going on with Celestion, Fane and Precision Devices. :D
  14. Old Fart

    Old Fart

    Mar 11, 2011
    In the seventies, this is what I played.

    This is what I play today. Two of them, with a 1980 SVT on top.
  15. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    Best post!
  16. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I have a pair of Genz Focus 15s that I really like. To my ears, anyway, they actually have a nice warm, present midrange - better than some 10s and 12s I've heard.
  17. thebassbuilder


    Mar 7, 2012
    Spartanburg SC
    guitar builder, Meyers Guitars
    You mentioned the TC 15 combo. They had the 12"model and I did like it but it was missing in the upper sparkle region. It did sound great finger style on a pbass but not enough going on up top for me. If it had that combo would be on my short list for that price and features.
  18. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    The technology has certainly evolved. There were some very good cabs and speakers back in the day. I remember when manufacturers were complaining that there weren't good sounding 10" speakers for bass available. That soon changed.

    We are living in a great era in terms of good instruments, amps and cabs.
  19. I dig 15's. I prefer 12's and that is what I consistently use. I've used 10's in the past and they are my least favorite of the 3 sizes.
  20. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    OP: Always go with what sounds good to you, and inspires you as a musician, always.

    Amp selection today is better than it's ever been, and it's pretty hard to find something that one can't get at least a decent sound out of.

    I'm happy with my current stable of combos, mainly my dynamic duo of a BA210 for larger gigs and outdoor shows (we always have PA support so a combo is more than enough for me) and my recently acquired crush, my new little BA112 tone monster has quickly become my grab and go for rehearsal, open mic blues jam, and smaller gigs.

    Oh, I'd also be interested in your dislikes of the Rocket, it's pretty well regarded but of course nothing is perfect for everyone ha ha. :) I do admit I auditioned one years ago when they were new, but yeah it didn't wow me enough to replace my BA210. Maybe I needed to crank it to appreciate it, oh well.

    Anyway, it's a good time to be a bass player! :bassist: