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who makes efficient cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by andrew, Sep 4, 2000.


  1. andrew

    andrew Supporting Member

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    does anyone know of any companies with really efficient cabs? i've heard ( but cannot confirm) that euphonic audio, acme, and swr are all power eaters.and i've heard that ebs make efficient cabs. beyond that i don't know any more about anyone's cabs' efficiency.does anyone know more about who's making what?is there a way to tell from specs how efficient a cab is?
    thanks!
     
  2. JimM

    JimM

    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Supposedly efficiency,also called sensitivity is the number of decibels sound pressure level at one watt at one meter.In other words 96 dB SPL@1W1M is less efficient than 105 dB@1W1M.It takes,I believe,3dB to make a noticeable difference in loudness,but it takes a ton of wattage to produce that 3dB.I thought someone said it takes double the wattage to increase by 10 dB.
     
  3. Actually ten times the power = 10 dB = double apparent volume.

    Twice the power = 3 dB = clearly noticable increase in volume, but far from twice as loud.

    Eden cabinets are very efficient. Or for that matter, any brand in the Eden price range and beyond. -- You want an efficient cabinet? You need money :D

     
  4. andrew

    andrew Supporting Member

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    perhaps i'm using the wrong term then guys, because i want to know which cabs sound the loudest when used with a common head? so joris and jim, are you saying an eden cab will be louder than an acme cab with the same amp( let's say two 2x10's)?
    looking at their sensitivity on paper they're really close,
    and only vary by a few db's. is that small a variance really the difference between the apparent volume coming from the cab? i have a tube amp rated for 200 watts, and i'm trying to get the most volume out of it's power.any recommendations?
     
  5. mr t

    mr t

    Aug 24, 2000
    manhattan, ks
    i don't know if they still make it, but electro-voice has (had) a great 2 X 10. i recall it was called the b210. the speakers were full range--no tweeter, midrange, etc. it was amazingly efficient. they also make (made) a b410 that i was really impressed with. the downfall was that they were fairly expensive (b210 ~$800). however, it was the most efficient cab i've ever heard. has anyone else played through one of these? i'm wondering why they never made it big. advertising and price are my guesses.
     
  6. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    I own a B210 and am pretty happy with it (considering I paid $250). It does ok with the low B, not spectacular but overall it sounds amazing, the mids cut like you wouldn't believe. I compared it to Goliath Jr. and Eden and while it doesn't have the high end sizzle (no horn) it definitely moves air for a 210. I once had to use it as my sole cab for a punk show to a room of 200 people, it worked but was definitely pushing it. It is quite efficient but no more so than my Ampeg 410HE.

    A note: ACME's are the least efficient cabs out there. If you look at their website they tell you that themselves and other threads will tell you you need mondo power to run them well.
     
  7. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I've looked at the specs of various cabs, the sensitivity is almost always somewhere between 98 and 105dB.
    This looks like it is all the same - but you really have to be aware that this is not a linear scale.
    105dB does not mean "slightly more" (apparent) volume than 95dB, it's actually twice as much!!
    Another example: if you have two cabs, one with a sensitivity of 100dB the other with 103dB, you will need twice the power to achieve the same volume with the 100dB cab.
    Or the other way round: If you use the same amount of power, the 103dB cab will be noticable louder.

    BUT: You never know, how many dB's are added by the marketing department....

    Matthias
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Has anybody actually answered this question? That is, can you really tell which will be the loudest cab from specs on paper? I'm not sure about this, but I would just presume that the loudest cab, would be the one with the biggest speaker volume; so an 8 X 10 or 8 X 15 if such a thing exists would be the loudest, but this doesn't really mean it's "efficient" does it?

    I may be wrong, but I'm sure that I've tried cabs with sensitivity ratings where you would expect one to be louder but it's not in practice. Is there a measure of how loud the cab is going to be that is completely reliable ? Or are all the manufacturers just being "economical with the truth" about their ratings?
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Just as an example, the original post mentions EA cabs as "power hungry" and an example of what is meant in this context as "inefficient". OK now go and look at their cabs specs :


    What figures there would be telling you this?


    Code:
    VL-108 VL-110 VL-208 VL-210 CVL-110 CVL-208 VL-310 Rumble Seat 
    Crossovers 1KHz, 5KHz 1.3KHz, 8KHz 1.3KHz, 8KHz 1.3KHz, 8KHz 1.3KHz, 8KHz 1.3KHz, 8KHz 2.2KHz n/a 
    Drivers - Woofer 1-8" 1-10" 2-8" 2-10" 1-10" 2-8" 3-10" 1-8" 
    Drivers - Midrange 1-5 1/4" 1-5 1/4" 2-5 1/4" 2-5 1/4" 1-5 1/4" 2-5 1/4" none none 
    Drivers - Tweeter 1-4 3/16" 1-4 3/16" 1-4 3/16" 1-4 3/16" 1-4 3/16" 1-4 3/16" 2" driver (COAX) none 
    Impedance 8 ohm 8 ohm 8 ohm 8 ohm,
    (4 ohm Option) 8 ohm 8 ohm 8 ohm none 
    Power Handling 200w 250w 400w 500w 250w 400w 750w 200w 
    Response - Low 58Hz 41Hz 40Hz 38Hz 40Hz 38Hz 39Hz 30Hz 
    Response - High 18 KHz 18 KHz 18 KHz 18 KHz 18 KHz 18 KHz 16 KHz 3KHz 
    Sensitivity (@1M w/2.83 vrms) 95 dB 97 dB 99 dB 100 dB 97 dB 99 dB 104 dB 95 dB 
    Size - Height 13 1/2" 13 3/4" 18 1/2" 23 1/8" 18 1/4" 23" 36" 20" 
    Size - Width 14 1/2" 17 1/2" 17 1/2" 19 1/2" 17 1/2" 17 1/2" 17 1/2" 15" 
    Size - Depth 10 1/2" 14 1/2" 13 1/2" 16" 15 1/2" 15 1/2" 18" 15" 
    Sound Pressure Level 118dB @ 1M 121dB @ 1M 125dB @ 1M 126dB @ 1M 121dB @ 1M 125dB @ 1M 132dB @ 1M  
    Weight 27 lbs 37 lbs 48 lbs 70 lbs 41 lbs 53 lbs 110 lbs 35 lbs 
    Price $650 $725 $995 $1250 $825 $1095 $1650 $775



    [Edited by Bruce Lindfield on 09-05-2000 at 07:42 AM]
     
  10. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Sensitivity (@1M w/2.83 vrms) 95 dB 97 dB 99 dB 100 dB 97 dB 99 dB 104 dB 95 dB

    The (@1M w/2.83 vrms) is the standard measure - sound pressure level at 1 meter with a 2.83vrms input. Some mfrs. will also tell you the frequency(s) at which this measure was made.

    I think that quite often these manufacturer-supplied specifications have to be taken with a grain of salt, especially frequency response measures. That said, the efficiency ratings (xxxdb) stated by other mfrs. also use the @1M w/2.83 vrms standard, to my knowledge, so direct comparisons can be made. Individual mfr. honesty has to be a variable, though, as marketing can often overrule the engineers in real life.

    However, personal ears and experience can't be beat and speak louder than specs to me. My EA 210 and 208 spoke quite eloquently to me at three gigs over the weekend, and while I sometimes see the peak light on the 1100w Crown, I can hear so much more detail and definition across the board than I ever heard before. And that definition is intact 'out there' rather than becoming muddy. For four sets of that kind of sound I'll invest in more power if I need to.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, this is what I thought - so the VL208, for example has sensitivity of 99db (@1M w/2.83 vrms). Which cabs are better than this, in terms of efficiency? Do they actually sound louder?
     
  12. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Many are more and less efficient; my Eden 2x12 was louder (103DB SPL @ 1w 1m according to Eden), but it wasn't better. Carvin doesn't state efficiency specs., but I can tell you it was less efficient than the Eden but more than the EAs IME.

    Efficiency speaks to the amount of volume you get per watt. It doesn't address quality in any way, and (accurate) frequency response has to be taken into consideration. But it is helpful when choosing the power required.

    Specifications can be a good general guide, but there's no substitute for ears and experience, especially since personal preferences are so highly subjective.
     
  13. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Bruce:
    You said you expect cabs with larger speaker area to be louder - this is true, and also the sensitivity and SPL values you listed tell the same story.
    You can expect e.g the VL310 to be nearly twice as loud than the VL108 (+9dB), when supplied with the same amount of power.
    I think this makes sense!

    But another point just came to my mind:
    I think how loud a cab sounds, is also determined by it's frequency response. When it pushes mids (around 300Hz) it will sound louder than a cab with flat response.
    Maybe you can think of it as a 'built-in-EQ'.
    What happens if you dial out the mids on your amp? You will need more power to be heard as well as before!
    The same with cabs: HiFi-like cabs have less mids than 'usual' cabs, hence they need more power.
    And you won't find this in the specs - ergo you have to listen.

    Someone please correct me, if I'm on the wrong path!
    Matthias

    [Edited by Matthias on 09-05-2000 at 09:40 AM]
     
  14. andrew

    andrew Supporting Member

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hey bruce and bob,
    you're getting at exactly my problem. between company specs and player's experience info it's hard to judge what is true. EA is a great example, because on paper they don't look to bad at all. acme's cab specs aren't even that low, but they're notorious for eating power.so does that mean that acme hyped up their specs? i doubt it, because andy lewis seems very upfront about them requiring lots of power, so why lie about the specs? which makes me then wonder what is it about an acme that allows it these specs but still eat power? this kinda makes the specs meaningless in this case, doesn't it?
    thanks to everyone who's contributing to this. it has all helped. now if anyone has any simple rules or formulas for telling which cabs are loudest with the same given head i'd love to hear about them.
    i believe that someone said 105 db is twice as loud as 95db.
    so does that mean a 2x10 with a 105 db puts out equal volume to a 4x10 with 95db? or does extra speaker coverage somehow alter this logic (the waters cloud further...)?
    so an ashdown 4x10 has an spl of 103db, while an ampeg has 98db. does this mean the ashdown is noticably louder?by that same example, an ashdown 8x10 is rated at 109db, while an ampeg 8x10 is rated for 100db, does this mean the ashdown 8x10 would be (almost) twice as loud as the ampeg's?if so that must be one scary cab.
     
  15. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Acme's cabs are even LESS efficient than the Euphonic Audio cabs. From the Acme site:
    Low B-2: 93 dB 1W/1M
    Low B-4: 96 dB 1W/1M

    There is also one more driver in, for instance, the EA 210 (two 10" two 5 1/4" + tweeter) vs. the Acme (one 5").

    So many other factors come into play- loudness is only one, and stacking speakers can also make a difference in volume and response.

    OTOH, I have found I prefer the sound of my two EAs side-by-side rather than having them stacked.

    It is always going to be difficult to choose cabinets on the basis of specifications, and even comments from other players have to be taken with perspective for a wide variety of reasons, personal taste included. And I'm sure you've been in rooms where your rig sounds awful no matter what you do -- you can't make a judgement on one experience, especially if that audition is in a music store. It takes time to get to know a rig and to experience how it sits in the mix, etc.
     
  16. mr t

    mr t

    Aug 24, 2000
    manhattan, ks
    i think matthias has hit on an important acoustics principle. SPL v. Perceived Loudness. sound pressure level is an actual, measurable quality of sound. loudness is how we (humans) perceive sound. if a cabinet, like the acme, is flat across the spectrum it will not sound as loud as a cabinet with a frequency boost in the midrange to high frequencies--even if they have the same SPL measurements. For example, a 60dB SPL at 1000hz is the same perceived loudness as a 73dB SPL at 100hz. The ear is most sensitive to frequencies around the 3-4khz range--this is why some advertisements sound louder than regular programming on television while maintaining the same output level (in terms of SPL). This is known as the Fletcher-Munson effect. To complicate matters more, these differences are more or less noticable at different intensity levels. hope you're not more confused.
     
  17. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I have some acoustic knowledge that I wont use here.
    My father happens to work a lot with acoustic Stuff, he is an acoustic designer/engineer.

    But what Im gonna say is just different.
    My Ampeg Box is 105 Db-SPL. I just put 120Watts on it.. and its a BOOM!!

    SVT410HE
    :)
     
  18. Matthias

    Matthias

    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Andrew:
    I don't think that the sensitivty rating of the Acme's is too low.
    The B2 (2x10" cab) is rated at 93dB.
    The Eden D210T is rated at 103dB.
    Supposed these values are comparable, this would mean that for the Acme you need 10(!) times the power to get the same volume as with the Eden.
    Or - in other words - that the Eden will be twice as loud when you run both cabs with the same power.
    I can hardly believe this - maybe the Eden is rated too high...
    But as mr t and I said: perceived volume also depends on the frequency response over the whole spectrum.

    Matthias
     
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There is only one rule - go to a shop and listen to them side by side! ;)

    That's how I do it.
     
  20. andrew

    andrew Supporting Member

    May 20, 2000
    Vancouver BC/Pacific Northwest
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Spector, Regenerate Guitar Works, Tech 21 NYC
    hey bruce,
    i wish it were that easy, but my local shop doesn't carry many of the bits of gear i'm curious about.so the only way to get anything is to special order it, meaning you gamble each time. which is why i poke my head in here and grill you guys for info.
    i'm still a little unclear about all this, but i think i may have found the cab i want anyway, so i think i'm okay now.
    it's still good to know a little more about different company's gear though. i'm sure i'll be going down this road again in the near future.