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what is the difference in terms of sound of a 12 inch vs 15 inch speaker?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zycro, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. zycro


    Jul 28, 2004
    what is the difference in terms of sound of a 12 inch vs 15 inch speaker? I am going to buy a new amp and i am trying to decide if the extra $ is worth it for the 15 inch.

    thanks for your replies
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    15 inch...


    12 inch...

    15 will generally go lower than a 12... be boomier than a 12... but a 12 would probably cut through better.
  3. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I rather use a 12" unless I'm running two cabs and have a 2x10 or 4x10 for the higher frequencies. 15" drivers are boomy.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    15s these days are not lower sounding than 12s or 10s. Technology and the laws of suply and demand have driven manufacturers to focus on the more popular smaller speakers such as 10s and ignore the larger 15s which less people tend to use and thus some 10s have gotten to a point where they are lower sounding than most 15s.

    Try them out yourself or give us specific models so we can help more. It really depends on the specifics.
  5. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I know 10"s can be really low for thir size but I still think 15"s are lower and boomyer. I think 15"s and 18"s are just too boomy if you're running 1 cab. Technically a 410 and a 115 usualy have about the same frequency range, I've used boomy in this post a lot because though 10" and 15" can put out the same frequencies because the 15" is a larger speaker it just sounds lower and boomyer than a 10.
  6. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I like 12" speakers because they are (IMO) a good compromise between 10" and 15" speakers. I run 2 1X12" boxes and I'm quite pleased. If I weren't using 12's I'd probably go for a 2X10/1X15 deal. Two 1X12 boxes are very easy to move especially if you don't have a larger vehicle and if you play places it's hard to get your gear into.
  7. 15" almost invariably require a significantly larger enclosure for proper tuning.

    The larger the diameter, the lower the frequency where directional beaming occurs. The sound intensity falls off quickly off-axis. 10s beam above 1,600 Hz, where 15s beam at 1,000 or higher. So, wide angle dispersion is a problem with larger drivers.

    Frequency response is generally lower for the larger drivers. Some drivers like the JBL E-series compensate for this with an aluminum dome. Higher frequencies are generated progressively closer to the dome, and the metal dome is a very efficient high frequency radiator.

    Smaller drivers such as the Eminence B102 use a whizzer cone for the dust cap, and this extends the flat frequency range up to some 7,500 Hz. This is high enough to produce the usable harmonics produced by your bass.
  8. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    15's carry bass better.

    also, push more air.

    i like ten's myself, but 15's are diesel.
  9. A 15 will most likely give you more volume, but I personally prefer the sound of a 12. 12s have plenty articulation and warmth. 15s often lack enough articulation, and 10s often sound too harsh. 12 in. cabinets are the ultimate compromise in my opinion.
  10. In these days good quality 12" woofers can produce lows easily compared to a 15" woofer but with more punch and clarity without booming out.
  11. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    It all depends on the speaker. Logic would say that a 15 would go lower than a 12, but in reality it can be quite different.

    I have a Bag End S15-D, which is a fabulous cab, but it doesn't go as low as my Aggie GS112. On the other hand the Bag End has better mids and sounds punchier than some 12s. I've had plenty of 15s in the past that were woofier, but they don't go as low as some of the 12s that are coming out today.

    The cabinet makes a difference as well. I won't go into the physics of it, but it does. It is a combination of the speaker and the cabinet that makes for the sound.
  12. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    In most cases, I would prefer to have a pair of 12's rather than a 15 if I was gonna only use one cab. Simply because they will move a decent amount of air, and yet still have some punch. I doubt they'll punch like 10's... but its a ton more than you'll get from a 15.
  13. zycro


    Jul 28, 2004
    The reason i am asking this question is b/c i am going to buy the Ashdown Electric Blue 180-15, but i am not sure if i should buy it with the 12 or 15. Right now they are out of stock for the 12s. Here is Music123s run down:

    The 180-15 also features a 180 watts RMS (260 watts program), fast-transient mosfet power stage. As the name suggests, the Electric Blue 180-15 uses a heavy duty 15" speaker. Specially developed by Ashdown, BlueLine™ speakers use thicker, stiffer cones and magnet assemblies approximately 35% larger than conventional drivers to ensure an excellent balance of power, transparency, and deep, controlled low end.

    Electric Blue 180-15

    180 watts of continuos power (265 peak)
    extra heavy duty "Blueline" 15" speaker
    VU style meter
    effects loop
    DI output
    Tuner output
    own the brand that the REAL pros use!

    Effects Yes
    Output 180 Watts continuous-(260 peak)
    RMS Wattage Fan cooled power section delivers 260 watts peak power
    Speakers Minimum impedance 8 Ohms
    Weight 42 lb
    Tuner output Yes
    DI Output Yes
    Bass EQ +/-15dB @ 100Hz
    Middle EQ +/-15dB @ 340Hz
    High Mid EQ +/-15dB @ 660Hz
    Treble +/-15dB @ 1.6kHz
    Signal to Noise Ratio Better than 80dB (EQ flat)
    Distortion Less than 0.5% THD