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Will a better speaker make my combo any louder?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by metdistortion, Apr 9, 2009.


  1. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    Hi all, its your resident cheapskate here, looking for another way to get a louder amp!

    I was reading some reviews of the combo I have, a Marshall MB 15, and one reviewer said:

    "Good for room practice,it have a nice sound output with my Fender Jazz,Yamaha RBX 374 & Ibanez SR705.But the 8 in driver hard to bring out ibanez B string sound.So i replace the stock 8in driver with Eminence Alpha 8 125watt driver.Now it bring the sound tight & warm with Full volume each channel.As loud as 60 watts combo amp. " http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Bass+Amp/product/Marshall/MB+15/10/1

    So I immediately thought "Hmmmmm, it would be so awesome if this actually worked with my amp".

    I asked my friend, a guitar'd, whether this would work, and he said that it wouldn't make the combo any louder, as it is only as loud as the amp itself, which is 15watts.

    Is this true, or would it actually make my amp louder? Thanks in advance :).
     
  2. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    A speaker upgrade can create a perceived increase in volume due to better tone & clarity and perhaps help if the speaker can use the watts more efficiently than the speaker it replaced. However, 15w of bass is 15w of bass. Generally, to increase volume it's about adding more speakers and having the wattage to push them all.
     
  3. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    Hmmm, so it's kinda like having a tube amp, the same wattage, but sounds about 3 times as loud as it should.

    So is the guy exaggerating when he says the 15 watt amp sounds like 60 watts with a 125 watt speaker?
     
  4. Seriously, just not worth the effort. Many people replace their speakers and perceive s difference, usually for the better, that may not really exist. While you can get long throw 8" drivers, they usually require a larger box than a combo typically would have.

    Paul
     
  5. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    The combo has a quite a large box considering it only has an 8 inch speaker. Its about the same size as my friends guitar combo with a 10/12 inch speaker.
     
  6. LesS

    LesS

    Mar 3, 2006
    no longer a member
    The main problem with bass practice amps is that the speaker enclosure size is usually very small.
    If you could remove the stock 8 inch speaker and put it into a bigger enclosure (at least 2x to 3x bigger), it would definitely sound better. Or you could extend the back of the speaker enclosure section by 5 or 6 inches.

    Of all bass amps, small practice amps are the easiest to improve.
     
  7. badboy1984

    badboy1984

    Mar 27, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I say buy a new powerful combo if you want loud, replacing the speaker on a practice amp like that is not worth the money and effort.
     
  8. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    Well the guy that submitted the review seemed to have no problems fitting in a more powerful speaker, I dont think he had to make any changes to the amp's infrastructure, and he said it sounds like a 60 watt combo. Would it really make it that loud?
     
  9. smogg

    smogg

    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    IMO yes that is a bit of an exaggeration. If you want more volume and better tone you need more watts to push a better cab. Save your hard earned money until you can do a proper step up to a larger rig.
     
  10. Met-
    You might be better off buying a loaded 15" cabinet and running it from your amp. Then if/when you're ready to get a bigger amp, you've got a cabinet. Sounds like most of the advice is not to sink too much into an amp that's designed for practice.
     
  11. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    I once thought about doing that, but I heard that it won't make it any louder, as the speakers can only output as much as the amp can send to them. Is this true?
     
  12. By using your own words and logic, then you can see that changing the speaker in your practice amp is really not going to do anything either.

    You can try throwing a 500 watt speaker in there, but it will only put out the 15 watts your amp is sending no matter what.
     
  13. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    Yeah but I thought that maybe if the combo has a more powerful driver, it would be able to push as much power out of the amp as possible
     
  14. A 15 watt amp is a 15 watt amp

    If your current speaker is farting out and distorting before you hit full power, then a new speaker will help in that area only.

    There is no speaker that is magically going to change how much power your can put out.
     
  15. Yes, that's true. 15 watts is 15 watts. You can add a boost or pedal to increase the gain, but you'll still have 15 watts.
    You might want to experiment with a cab at a Guitar Center or your local music store. Some cabinets with heavy duty speakers are power hogs and need a lot of watts to push them. A 100 watt 15" cabinet might work OK. But you're still using 15 solid state watts.
     
  16. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1, really. Seriously, you have a 15 watt practice amp with an 8" driver. Nothing you do will change that, unless you buy a bigger amp. The comment about buying a 1x15 cab to run your amp through is a pretty good idea. Then, when you buy an amp with more power, you'll already be ahead of the game by owning the 1x15 cab. Don't waste your money on an "upgrade" for a practice amp, under any circumstances.
     
  17. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    How do you know you don't already have the best speaker for the cabinet? Wouldn't you think Marshall did it's job researching this?

    Anybody who mods and amp is going to claim they've created a miracle.

    There's really no 8" you could buy to make it better that wouldn't cost more than just buying a better combo.
     
  18. Chazinroch

    Chazinroch

    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    You put in a better speaker, and at 15 watts you will push it to clipping and destroy said speaker. Clipping at any wattage, is clipping, and the killer of speakers. This is not the place to take the cheap way out. I suggest a bigger/better amp. As mentioned before, don't waste time and money putting a "better" speaker in a 15 watt amp.
     
  19. metdistortion

    metdistortion

    Aug 13, 2008
    England
    I dunno, I thought maybe Marshall would of put a cheap speaker in there to save costs :D. After all, it is a low end amp.
     
  20. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    No matter how many times YOU KEEP TRYING TO GET THE ANSWER YOU WANT, you will not.

    A 15w bass amp is good only for practice. Don't waste time and money trying to make that little amp better; buy a different amp for gigs.
     

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