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Guitar through a 15"?

Loxley

Member
Messages
171
I'm considering getting something along the lines of an Ampeg Portaflex, or plug my V-2 into a 1x15 cabinet. I'm set on a full, round, deep, huge sound. Would playing guitar through a 15" speaker hurt it? I want something that I can play both bass and guitar through.
 
Messages
1,234
certainly won't hurt it. I to was in search of that tone tried a eminence 15 (Big Ben?)....all in all just didn't work for me.....had a weird midrange honk to it.
 

solitaire

Senior Member
Messages
3,714
I would go with for instance a Weber California, Chicago, Thames, Bluedog or a Neo, depending on tone. Big tone with little colouration or more of a fat tone with lots of colouration?
 

Bandalero

Member
Messages
890
Totally depends on your preferred guitar and your desired sound. Dick Dale never had any trouble sounding good with his Strat and a trademark pair of 15" JBL D130Fs. Freaking deafening (!!), but plenty memorable.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,312
My rig in the 70's was a pair of JBL K-120's in ported cabs, powered by a Ampeg V-4.
 

Loxley

Member
Messages
171
I would go with for instance a Weber California, Chicago, Thames, Bluedog or a Neo, depending on tone. Big tone with little colouration or more of a fat tone with lots of colouration?
I'd prefer less coloration.. I currently play through a 4x12 with WGS Reapers, which are like Greenbacks on steroids. I'd like a 15" of some comparable tone, if not something with a fairly flat EQ (relatively speaking of course).
 

Loxley

Member
Messages
171
My concern is preserving some of my crazy high end harmonics that I get from some of my effects (especially octave fuzz). Are there any bass-friendly speakers that can produce the same high end as, say a Greenback, while still covering the rest of the range nicely?
 

sharpshooter

Senior Member
Messages
4,009
While a "bass" speaker, and a "guitar" speaker have a lot of overlap in the freqs, a real bass speaker will generally operate best in the ~35>5/6 K range. A guitar speaker will be in the ~60>8K area.
A high quality, 15in., bass capable speaker will roll-off some of the "fizz", and provide a "warmer" sound with a guitar,,,,not a bad thing.
 

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,941
A Showman cabinet is a great thing, and you can always augment that sound with a second cabinet, perhaps a pair of D-120's in a Bandmaster cabinet. Years ago when I played a lot of bass, I happened upon a pair of speakers from a Showman cab, D-140 F models. The guy I got them from had them in scoops for P.A. use. I put them in a 2x 15" cab that was unbranded, but had the same depth and width as a 4 x 12". It worked great for bass or for guitar, but lost a lot of it's charm as I added distortion. If you can play loud and clear, it's state of the art. But it's certainly not grab and go.

One of the best sounds I've ever heard is to mix a Showman with it's cabinet, and a JMP Marshall, whatever you have. You've got to get them in phase, but it is pretty darn great. Not very portable, but just huge sounding. Once you have a lot of radiating area you may find that any need for distortion is reduced a bunch. Pressure and sustain come in real organically, without the need for grind to bring it out. The 15 has a place for guitar, but it's helped out a whole lot if combined with a second sharper toned speaker or two as well.

Probably best if you are the only guitar player, trio etc. Few amps can compete with the footprint.
 

solitaire

Senior Member
Messages
3,714
My concern is preserving some of my crazy high end harmonics that I get from some of my effects (especially octave fuzz). Are there any bass-friendly speakers that can produce the same high end as, say a Greenback, while still covering the rest of the range nicely?
The tricky part is getting e.g. a Greenback vibe in a 15" format. Perhaps the best thing about going with Weber is you can basically ask them to make what ever you fancy. You could therefore ask them e.g to make a 15" Thames or Blue Dog with a cone treated like their 1225 or 1230 speakers OR ask them from a carte blanc perspective to treat the cone to resemble that of a Greenback to their best ability. This could be the closest thing to what you're looking for actually.

I've never played through a stock 15" Thames but I used to own the 12" version and I can imagine the 15" may be very close to what you're looking for - unless if you push it into that staggering and crunchy breakup, which is not very Greenbackish and not one of my favourite textures. Well, nevertheless the possibilities are virtually endless.
 

solitaire

Senior Member
Messages
3,714
While a "bass" speaker, and a "guitar" speaker have a lot of overlap in the freqs, a real bass speaker will generally operate best in the ~35>5/6 K range. A guitar speaker will be in the ~60>8K area.
A high quality, 15in., bass capable speaker will roll-off some of the "fizz", and provide a "warmer" sound with a guitar,,,,not a bad thing.
Yes, that is true with modern bass-speakers. Back in the days e.g. Celestion, JBL, EV and others made cloth edge speakers designed for the bassists of the time but were equally appreciated by guitarists.

The OP would most likely not want a modern bass speaker but perhaps a vintage one. Though these would not have much of the high end he may be looking for. Also a 15" one w. a lead cone may be a bit bassy already so a 15" bass speaker, even a vintage style one, may be overkill all the same unless he's into some really heavy music.
 

Loxley

Member
Messages
171
Thanks for the advice guys.

Let me clarify what I'm trying to do here. I'm not just stuck with the idea of 15s, that was just something that I was throwing around because I do want to have my low end very full, along with everything else.

I'm embarking on this solo act, that will be kind of a Kaki King deal, where I loop percussive attacks and play over that. That is why I want a very full range. I'll probably be putting my V-2 head on top of this and really want just one speaker since that can be mic'd and there's no need to have two in that case. Therefore combining different speakers would also prove fairly pointless unless the venue mic'd both, which may be unlikely they would bother with that. Since this is a solo act and I have a fairly small car, I would like to have a small speaker cab too. 2x12 cabs are really pushing it.

I do plan on using all sorts of crazy effects, especially superfast tremolo, a wash of gated reverb for shoegaze-like effects, and lots of fuzz and distortion.

One thing I was considering was making some rig that was also bass compatible. I am not sold on playing bass for this just yet, but am seriously considering it for some songs. Therefore, I wanted something that was versatile, had plenty of clear high-end definition, but wouldn't crap out if I played bass through it. I also will be playing a baritone through this rig anyway. If this isn't really possible, I'll just drop the bass idea alltogether.
 

sharpshooter

Senior Member
Messages
4,009
Perhaps an Eminence Commonwealth 15, covers ~50>4K, and can use ported/vented, or closed cabs.
Hard to get 15s that will go much above 4K, and still not flub-out on the lows, although 50 hertz is above a bass guitars lowest note(s).
In vintage, you would be hard pressed to find anything, (for a reasonable sum), that would out-perform an Altec 421 series, ~35>4K.
If you really need more high-end, the Altec 418 series will go to~8K, but will fall-out ~45.
Kinda hard to have everything in a 15in. speaker.
 
Messages
1,596
I am curious of a lot of the same as the OP. Not to thread-jack(even though i gues i am) but how reasonable is it for me to convert a 412 to a 215 by switching a baffle? Can I just buy a baffle somewhere or do I need to break out the tools?:D
 

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,941
Measure first, my 2 x 15" cabinet was similar in depth and width, but quite a bit taller, and it had a significant size ducted vent slot between the speakers. If you have room and you stuff a couple 15" in a nominally sealed box, you will probably have some significant wolf notes and node notes. The loading on the cones should be below the lowest note you want to play. It's a science, simple science, but you could work really hard and get something unusable after the effort. I built a few speaker cabinets years ago and found this out the hard way.
 
Messages
1,596
Measure first, my 2 x 15" cabinet was similar in depth and width, but quite a bit taller, and it had a significant size ducted vent slot between the speakers. If you have room and you stuff a couple 15" in a nominally sealed box, you will probably have some significant wolf notes and node notes. The loading on the cones should be below the lowest note you want to play. It's a science, simple science, but you could work really hard and get something unusable after the effort. I built a few speaker cabinets years ago and found this out the hard way.
I appreciate the info!:D
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,032
I play 15" speakers all the time. IMO, the benefit in this type of format is not more or different bass texture as much as it is in the middle and high end. When you get the right speaker in the right cab, it sounds a mile wide, with something hard to describe going on higher up. I think 2x12s actually can deliver more bass.

It's also hard to reason from existing 12" speakers to 15s. I really don't know what is analagous to a greenback in 15". You can get Jensen type tones all day long from various Weber models.

These are the 15" speaks I'm enjoying most:

- Weber Cali ceramic paper dome
- Emi Big Ben
- Orange County Speaker reconed JBL D130 F
 

Ogre

Member
Messages
4,663
I got hip to this back in 1972, when I saw Jimmy Vaughn playing a Strat through a old tweed Pro(15"). It sounded glorious. I have had one since 1976, though I rarely play a Strat.
 




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