Fearful 12/6 and 15/6

Nov 13, 2015
Fearful 12/6 and 15/6

  • earfuls of fEarfuls(top)

    fEarful enclosures utilize Eminence Kappalite 3012LF or 3015LF high-excursion neodymium woofers and 18Sound 6ND410/6NM410 (neo) or Eminence Alpha6A/Alphalite6A (non-neo/neo) (only suitable for 12/6 designs) midrange drivers. fEaRB variants provide larger internal space and lower tunings for Extended Range Basses tuned to F#0 or lower, or for synth bass that goes especially low.


    "Here's a little history for you. Back in May of 2007, Greenboy started this thread - Boutique On A Budget - dedicated to his discovery of the Carvin LS1503 PA cabinet as an affordable, possible 3-way alternative to the current crop of cookie cutter bass cabs being produced by most mainstream manufacturers. The LS 1503 movement gained quite a bit of momentum, and the thread was subsequently split several times. Much of his design philosophy can be found in those pages, and it makes excellent reading for those seeking knowledge on the subject. I strongly suggest going back and reading through these posts, (especially Greenboy's) in all parts to really get the feel of what he has accomplished.

    Then, in January 2009, he started the first thread in this Series as he modified dimensions of the Carvin design to accommodate the components that have ended up being the backbone of the fEarful design. (1st fEarful thread)

    I know it's all a helluva lot of reading, but to me, it's been a truly fascinating evolution. A LOT of research and time went into this project, and answers to many of our own questions can be found in those pages. Unfortunately, GB got tired of being challenged by some, as well as tired of answering the same questions over and over again, and hasn't posted on here in several months. I miss his informative, and sometimes sarcastic contributions, and count him as one of my best TalkBass friends."

    Quoted from lbwdog (fEarful™ 12/6 & 15/6 enclosure designs - FREE! (Part VI: Electric Boogaloo))


    greenboy here {should I be using Vetchking fontsize? ;} --
    As I've mentioned before, proto-fEarful designs considerably predate the LS1503 and the BOUTIQUE ON A BUDGET threads. My involvement with the Carvin LS1503 came about because my radial arm saw needed a total overhaul and I had too little space and time to pursue the design I'd come up with. Then too, early on I'd had unfruitful contacts with builders saying they were not interested in making what I had in mind - including the notorious "Dr Doctor Bass" who miraculously came up with a 3-way product just months after we'd talked and I'd sent some specs his way (he ditched a lot of the important ones like proper tuning and porting anyway).

    Later, when I saw the newly featured LS1503 in the Carvin catalog I thought maybe I could live with less internal space and mod this casually similar Carvin cab to close some distance toward my actual design objectives. But even then, my itch was never fully scratched, especially for low-tuning needs. There were also some particulars my "details obsession" found less than optimum - that's where de debbil resides, after all! Then too, LS1503 build details and componentry soon changed for the worse. Ferinstance, bracing from the original midrange chamber was no longer there, replaced by a non-braced cup in later production runs. Fine maybe for the stock woofers, but Not Good for high-force super woofers.

    So yet again, I began looking for a builder for my design. And still later, after getting strung along by one of them for nearly a year, I decided to share the fEarful 15/6 design with DIYers, on paper instead of in physical form.

    Here's another interesting aside: A strong contender for woofer in the early proto-fEarfuls was the very nice BMS 15N630. I'd had my sights on that driver long before and had talked it up considerably on the forum I used to post at (before TalkBass became my focus). Alex Claber (designer of the incredible barefaced bass cabs) and I used to hang out there way back when and because he evinced common goals as a bass player, we began researching together (always arriving independently at roughly the same conclusions!)... Still later I discovered much to my initial surprise, that interesting TalkBasser and future pal Passinwind had one of these mythical BMS 15N630 drivers, and that got us talking on the sidelines...

    But back to the driver. The BMS 15N630 was one of the first great high-performance neo woofers, but rather expensive. And worse, as I found, it was almost impossible to get. A pity, as the 15N630 would have allowed a smaller box without sacrificing the fEarful low bass profile, at the cost of just a bit of driver Sensitivity. In fact the BMS 15 is a good illustration of Hoffman's Iron Law when compared to my other front-runner, the more affordable Eminence 3105LF. (You should read up on Hoffman, but this boils down to you can't have sensitive/loud, low, and little all in one box.) In the end the 3015LF works out better for DIYers anyway, because of cost and availability ... Too bad the 18 Sound mid driver went up 40% since then. But for what I was after it still can't be beat...

    As for why I'm not posting on TalkBass all the time, what's said above by my long-time phone-and-email buddy lbwdog is NOT a Full or true picture by any means. I would not wish to slight the many people I've enjoyed conversing with, the many people who have often gone on to build fEarfuls (or something related to them). I've been happy also that some have been inspired to learn more on the acoustics and enclosures front. The educational aspect has mattered to me, and so have the friendships. So. Please don't take my off-handed and occasional expressions of exasperation as representative of the sum toto of my feelings. I won't go into my additional rationale for not living online lately. But know I'm diggin' on my fEarfuls as much as ever, and my life outside the box : }

    Thanks for the good times, folken!

    - greenboy, 12-Aug-2010, amended 21-Oct-2010