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Whatever happened to big speakers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by f1ansel, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. f1ansel


    Dec 19, 2005
    Whatever happened to big (18") bass cab speakers? Why does everybody seem to be selling 4x10s? I havent had to buy a bass amp in years and now I'm confused.
  2. Virus


    Apr 16, 2004
    People are too lazy and weak and don't want to carry gear for great sound... I would.. They're into new and compact things. Just like cars.

    Whatever happened to big huge cars like New Yorkers?
  3. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    freaky isn't it?

    The trend has been to smaller compact and modular rigs. Some of it is due to improvements in cabinets designs, some due to demand by players for smaller rigs - especially by people who play a lot. Soem companies like bag end have quietly been making small compact cabs for years (even a compact 1x18). Many others have come out with new designs within the past 10 years or so.

    Personally i'm a big fan. I've done my share of moving 2x15, 8x10, and 4x10 cabs. No biggie if you gig less than once a month. around the 35 gig a year mark you start to decide that it's for the birds. Soem cats will never give up their big cabs and that's OK. To each his own. I miss some of mine. But i really dig being able to fit my cabs in any sized car, and only take how much i need for a particular gig.
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Because technology has advanced to give big sound in smaller packages. I used to have a 3x15, and the 2x12 I now play is the size of a 2x10 and has better sound than any of my big old cabs...and I can lift it with one hand, or drive to the gig with room for 2 other passengers in my car.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    They have gone/are going the way of the dinosaurs. I think power amps are next. There are some who will hang on to big cabs and tube amps forever. That's fine. I won't tell anyone what rig is right for them.

    For me it's a 38 pound 1X12 cab, a 4 pound power amp, and a 2-3 pound preamp. The gigs I do don't require any more than that, so that's what I use.

    I think we will see/are seeing a paradigm shift in gear, not just bass, but SR as well.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Shipped to Russia in exchange for tubes.
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    They wound up in pawn shops and the "used" section of music stores all around the world.
  8. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Big is bad. Heavy is bad. Tubes are bad.

    Extrapolating current trends...

    Within 5 years anybody who's anybody will be using no more than a Sansamp and a cabinet containing 1 6" driver and a 20 watt built in power amp. Perhaps the Ashbory bass will make a comeback as well.
  9. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
  10. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Few reasons for smaller cabs.
    1) More venues have large, bass-capiable PAs.
    2) The cabs today can get as loud as the old cabs without the extra weight and size, and often can get louder and lower.
    3) Instead of a big cab, many have more than 1 small cab so they can take only what they need.
    4) Many do not like the vintagy sound that the old cabs make.

    As for me, I use a Mesa 400+ with a Bergantino 610 (It is louder and lower than the Ampeg 810, as well as smaller) and will soon be putting a Bergie 210 on top of it. I like large rigs, I usually don't play with PA support. Sometimes, I have been known to overpower the PA :smug: . It really pisses the soundman off :D .
  11. In the 70's when I was gigging all the time and hauling my 120 pound Cerwin Vega 18" cabinet around I would have said you were crazy if you said a 15" and a 210 cabinet could handle a low E and get loud enough to play live.I went through the Fender Dual Showman cabinets with JBL D 140s and also the Sunn 200S and 2000 cabinets with the same JBLs and found all of them would break up at gigging volume.The only cabinets I could turn way up and hit a low E and have it clean were the ones with Cerwin Vega 18s.I was a diehard 18" speaker man.I quit playing from 1980 to 1995 and was very amazed that players were using 10s and sounding so good even on a low B.I use 10s and 12s now and love it.Leave the 18s for the PA subs.
  12. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    hey, more available, less expensive 18" cabs for us big speaker lovers...
    let everyone else follow the trends.....
    they definitely have their own sound, other cabs get in the same frequency range, but it's not the same sound, or better put, feeling.
    i can't wait to add an 18" to my current "trendy" rig (two 1x12 cabs).
  13. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
  14. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I played my old T-bird through an Ampeg V-6b and a Sound City 18" horn cabinet for a while. More punch than the Black Widow 18" cab that came with my Centurion. I'm definitely in the light, small modular mode these days; my largest bass driver is 12"...

  15. Zero Cool

    Zero Cool

    Mar 20, 2005
    4x10's have more surface area then a single or maybe even 2x18's!
    You actually get more sound from a more compact space!
    Think about it. if you were to square off the corners of four 10" woofers, you would have nearly a 20" square driver. PLUS, the smaller lighter cones can produce more mids/highs then a single 18.

    AND, the beam pattern of 4x10's at the higher freq's is wider. a single 18 tends to get a very narrow bean pattern the higher you go. what does that mean? you can hear yourself better off angle from your cab onstage.

    Seriously, if you want big, try an Ampeg 8x10 cab! i mean, crank one up! it will make ya move!

    AND, from a soundguys point of view. the louder YOU are onstage, the LESS of you I AM going to put in the PA!
  16. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    1.big ben:
    2.whappo grande:
    3.ampeg classic svt 18:
    4.eden d118xl:
    5.quite a few by bag end:

    so there's still quite a few around to be had.
    nothing like an 18 to compliment a tight small driver array.
    some of these cabs, most notably the bag end stuff, is actually quite compact and not too heavy.
    no matter how you slice it, small drivers don't sound or feel the same ime. it's all preference, in the end.
    one rule does apply to all, though...you play too loud with any speaker setup, 18's or a cranked svt, same problems at foh.
  17. < stab >

    :p :scowl:
  18. I was carrying an El Whappo but realized I coul not handle the weight and got a TRI 210. For a 210 it puts out a LOT of sound....but I am headed out on a tour and the talent wants a vintage vibe so I am carrying (or should I say the road crew is carrying) an Aggie DB750 and an NV610 cab. This is about as big as I could possibly need. Give this rig a listen and you will see what I mean. While I realize that the 610 will not go down nearly as low as a well designed 15 or 18" cab, it is punchy as hell and I don't really miss the bassment (LOL) lows that I used to get from the El Whappo. Just my oinion and experience....


  19. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I find that the NV 610 has tons of lows and low mids actually. When you turn it up, the cab seems to make even more lows than the 215 I was using before it.
  20. Don't forget that marketing is a big factor. The hot drivers of Today will be the dissed drivers of tomorrow.

    My JBL E-155 18" fits in a cab smaller than a D410-XLT.

    I don't care for the sound of the E-155, but it does work as a stage monitor. It was a construction project because I came across the driver for a low price.

    If'n you want Big, then build a bass horn. That will kick an 18's @ss and do so with less power.