2x10s vs 1x15

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by lankybass, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. lankybass

    lankybass Member

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    I see a lot of cabinets offered with either 2 10in speakers or 1 15in speaker with very little change in price. This must offer some sort of tonal variation, I would imagine. Any help here? How do they differ? Pros and Cons? So that I can decide on which cabinet I want specifically..
     
  2. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    You're gonna have to play them. At one time, 10' were more popular for a punchy sound, and 15" had more of a warm thump, but now, you can get either sound, and far more, from either design. Many makers will market thier 15" for bottom, and the 10" cab for mid and highs, but that varies from maker to maker. Which ones are you looking at specifically? And for what application? (rock/jazz/blues/blue grass/church, etc)
     
  3. lankybass

    lankybass Member

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    for church lookin at the lower end mesa vintage powerhouse.. would be using an ampeg pf head
     
  4. JohnSS

    JohnSS Member

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    I prefer 15" speakers for church and if amp has a DI out, the soundman can add level and EQ for the house. The 15" speaker, in my experience, moves more air, and can be felt more by the drummer in order to lock into the pocket.
     
  5. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    I use a mix of 15s and 10s, though I cheat, as my main cab is an old Peavey 1x15 I stuffed a 3015LF in (It's a PA sub speaker), then throw my Avatar 210Neo on top of that. In the Mesa line, the PH15 would work fine, but why not stick with the Ampeg PF 115? Performance won;t be that much different for the application, and then it's be prettier. I'm a sucker for blue diamond tolex :)
     
  6. lankybass

    lankybass Member

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    oh yes, that pf cab is freaking gorgeous.. i might just do that in the end
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    It doesn't really work that way.

    Two tens have about as much speaker area as one 15, and are driving that paper with twice as many voice coils and magnets.

    It's all about the design of the particular speaker and the cab that it's in.
     
  8. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    In my experience, each setup sort of favors its own sound. 2x10s are a little quicker responding, a little punchier, more articulate. 1x15s are a little slower, much can produce lower frequencies better, more of that big low end rumble. Also bass cab builders have been using 12s lately as well. Either in a 1x12 or 2x12 config. To me they fall in between the 10s and and 15s. For my playing style and taste, I prefer the quicker, punchier 10s to the more woofy 12s or 15s, but its a trade off as I lose some low end frequencies/rumble when using 10s. I say trade off, but I think a more focused bass tone sits in the mix better than a massive rumbling deal.

    A lot of this depends on playing style and the sound you are trying to emulate. I came up in the era when 4x10s with horns were popular and that's what sounds good to me. It also has some to do with technique. I use a lot of different technique, slapping, fingerstyle, tapping, struming, soloing etc. The 10 speaker seems to work better for that to me. If I were trying to go strictly for a more old school technique approach and tone, they probably wouldn't be the right speaker choice at that point. Hope that helps.
     
  9. dayn

    dayn Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I had a guitar cab once that was 1x15 AND 2x10. Sounded incredible.
     
  10. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    I think people tend to listen with their eyes (to quote walterw) when they say things like this. No offense intended, of course, but those aren't the facts, ma'am <G>.
    10's don't respond quicker, 15's aren't slower. Both can produce lower frequencies very well. Honestly, it really depends on the design of the speaker and the design of the speaker cabinet.

    Multiple 10's and single 15's are pretty much old-school these days, but manufacturers find them easy to produce and easier to sell to newbs and traditionalists.

    A tour of forums like TalkBass (sorry, TGP) will tell a different story.

    Speaker cabinets from progressive designers like EAD and Barefaced Bass are lighter (advanced construction methods) and use single 15s, 12's or pairs of each combined with new high power handling 6.5" mids drivers and high-end 1" tweeters (plus wave guides). New woofers that have fairly recently come on the market have really changed things. One example is the 3012 and 3015 low frequency Kappalite drivers from Eminence. These things have very high XMAX, very high power handling, neo magnets and they work very well when placed in tuned-port cabinets. Designs incorporating these drivers are freely available to DIY types and custom builders, and are really changing the way that bass cabinets are done.

    Google fEARful (with that capitalization) and you'll find a small cottage industry within the custom speaker cabinet industry that are producing these designs. They handle more power, produce clearer, crisper bass and mids, are louder and more efficient, have better dispersion than single 15s or multiple 10's and the cabinets weigh significantly less. In a couple of instances, builders have begun to build cabinets from foam and fiberglass that weigh far less than a 2x10 but produce enormously better sound.

    "Experience" in selecting bass cabinets can actually be a bit of a detriment; that aspect of guitardom is moving very quickly and using technology far better than most folks are aware. In particular, you may want to avoid buying guitar denter-style bass amplification; there's much better out there.
     
  11. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    Hehe yeah I'm sure you didn't mean any offense, lol. In my 20 years of experience it holds true with the more "old-school" cabs that they sell to us dummies for sure :D

    Yes, I've seen the fEARful stuff listened to the demos, none of it sounded that great. I guess as soon as they become more mainstream and hit the stores I'll check them out. But I'm certainly not going to order one with no trial to find out its just hype.

    Speaking of these designs, I've yet to see one outside of the Talkbass forum. On every gig that I'm on a weekly basis, I don't see them. Still predominantly 10's and 15's in use. I'd love to see a poll over at TalkBass to see how many are using the "outdated" cabs versus this stuff at this point.

    Yes and jumping on the latest flavor of the month can be a waste of time and money as well. But you certainly sound cooler on the Internet forums if you are using the latest and greatest, especially while disparaging more tried and true products and their users. Talkbass can be just like TGP in many ways. Such as little clicks of affluent bedroom players talking about creamy mids and trying to evangelize their products to a wider audience. Sometimes it actually is something worthwhile, but in many cases just another flavor of the month.
     
  12. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    re: single versus multiple driver cabs- with more drivers, you get more phase cancellation, especially in a 2x2 arrangement. With one drive, you get a more focused present mid range, IMO. The TB guys will extole a line array style set up, I'm stil not sold on it, but as DSpellman pointed out, it is a fascinating time in bass gear, between new drivers, new design theories, and the advent of lighter switching power supplies and class D, it's pretty amazing what you can get these days. The PF series form Ampeg is actually a good representation of this phenomenon. 500 watt, gig ready cab, ~50 pounds for under $750? Yes please.

    (though I am still loyal to my Markbass LM2)
     
  13. bobwl

    bobwl Member

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    From my experience not only playing bass on stage and touring, but also playing in and being in charge of sound at churches... I'm not a fan of 15's by themselves. I've found that most 15's the optimal throw distance is too far for most small stages or church stages. So a lot of times what you end up with is the bassist saying "I can't hear myself!" Where the sound guy is like "Man your like 100 times louder than everyone else!" I think in general 10's or 12's work better in this situation.
     
  14. Wag

    Wag Member

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    Listening to a demo through tiny computer speakers is not going to do justice to any cab.

    I recently built a fEARful cab and I can assure you it's not hype. The designer has spent years tweaking these cabs to get the most out of them. It's unfortunate that there is no one in your area that has one you could check out first hand.

    I'm not trying to convince YOU to buy/build one, but it would be unfortunate if you talked someone else out of building one of these fine cabs even though you have never had first hand experience with one.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure that internet demos are good for any bass cab! After all, you're not really hearing that cab, you're hearing the "cab" of your own computer speakers or whatever.

    Other than how bright, dark or overdriven a bass tone is, I'm not sure what you can really tell.
     
  16. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    No problem. Avatar's design on this basic theme is the TB153 (http://www.avatarspeakers.com/TB153.htm ). EAD has a really nice version with a pair of 12's subbing for the single 15. Barefaced Bass has several variants. The fEARful stuff itself is DIY (though there are folks constructing them for the people who don't want to build themselves). Won't show up commercially unless greenboy changes his mind; they're specifically for non-commercial DIY use only.

    I can't imagine how you'd listen to a bass cabinet and evaluate it on YouTube, given that you'd almost need a set of earphones or a cabinet capable of the same low end in order to hear it in the first place <G>.

    I have no idea where you are; I'm in Los Angeles and see stuff that most folks don't see all the time. That said, however, these cabinet designs haven't been around that long (nor have the LF speakers themselves; the Eminence Kappalites are pretty new), so it's unlikely that you'll have seen them often if at all, depending on where you are. Probably 99% are using something older, no question. I'm new to bass (though I've been playing keyboards for 40 years, guitar less than that), so when I went looking around for bass cabinets, I assumed that 4x10s and 1x15s were what everyone owned. I'd been using keyboards and guitar modelers all along, and my current rig for both uses a pair of 2x12s with Eminence Delta ProAs, closed back ported cabinet and a pair of tweeters with a 1500W power amp. Not a normal guitar rig, either. Since I've done sound for a lot of folks as well, I was pretty comfortable with several size speakers in a single box. The Carvin 1503 is similar to the fEARful boxes in some respects, but one of the important differences common to a lot of these newer boxes is the use of thinner plywood, but with a lot of bracing inside. This makes the cabs lighter and perhaps stronger than the standard 3/4" birch ply.

    Yes it is indeed. If I weren't already familiar with the benefits of the general design in other systems, I'd probably have my feet up waiting to see whether this one flames out, too. I think new driver designs with a lot more power handling are...uh...driving the new cabinet designs, and I'm really happy at the prospect of being able to drive a 900W+ efficient bass cabinet that will do really low lows and pretty high highs to a gig and walk it to the stage in one hand.
     
  17. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    How do these differ from PA speakers?
     
  18. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    The Avatar referenced above has the 15" 3015LF (PA sub), a 6" mid, and a 1" high end driver. You'd typically see a larger mid driver for a PA application, and the sub would be in a separate cabinet. As I mentioned, I have the 3015LF in an old Peavey BW 1x15 cab, and it goes DEEP, even being a non-optimal box for that driver. I also have an older PV 215 loaded with Eminence CB15s, which is an awesome cab in it's own right, but the single 3015LF can go deeper, but doesn't have as much high end. Haven't run them together, yet..... :stir
     
  19. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    Not by much. The Carvin 1503 that has a similar configuration IS a PA speaker.
    [​IMG]


    The 3015 LF (and the 3012 LF) showing up in the dedicated bass cabinets both handle a LOT of power and go seriously deep (the only real variance coming in SPL), but these speakers begin to narrow in their dispersion as you go up in frequency (mostly just physics). The 6.5" mids drivers vary, but also handle some amazing amounts of power. The designs seem to be pretty well done sonically.
     
  20. dspellman

    dspellman Senior Member

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    That's interesting -- I've never heard that, nor have I heard that 15s have a different "optimal throw distance" from 10's or 12's. Perhaps we're just using different terminology. Generally, speaker dispersion characteristics are a factor of size and frequency. The bigger the driver, the narrower its dispersion at higher frequencies. You can easily calculate the frequency at which a driver&#8217;s dispersion starts to narrow. Just divide 13,512 (the speed of sound in inches per second at sea level) by the diameter of the driver in inches. Below 1 Khz, dispersion generally isn't an issue. That's why these speaker cabs have more than one speaker size. At a frequency point where a large speaker's dispersion starts to narrow, the crossover is set to take things to a smaller speaker. At the point where THAT speaker's dispersion begins to narrow, another crossover will take the high frequencies to an even smaller driver. A *single* 15" speaker (actual cone diameter of maybe 13.2") will begin to narrow its dispersion angle above 1000Hz. Cabinets with multiple size drivers in addition to a single 15" provide better dispersion across the whole frequency spectrum. A *single* 10" speaker can run higher (1500Hz?) before its dispersion angle will begin to narrow, thus multi-10" cabinets often have a tweeter built in. It's not there to augment the high end as much as it is to *disperse* the high end better.

    Multiple 10's, however, act like a single larger speaker. Four 10's, for example, would have a dispersion angle at higher frequencies more like that of a single 22" speaker. That's why you hear icepick treble from these speakers if you're standing directly in front of the cabinet -- they have a very narrow angle of dispersion at those frequencies.
     

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