4x8 vs 15” speaker?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Zzpomzz, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Zzpomzz

    Zzpomzz TDPRI Member

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    This might sound strange but I have a Victoria Cherry Bomb I use for harp mostly. It’s pretty typical lots of harp guys like 4x8s but they are awful for throw. I’ve tried the Jensens and at loudest volume the amp is loud but within ten feet the amp sounds completely gone. So I’m torn between two ideas.

    I really want to out an Eminence 1518, lots of harp guys like it and it’s very efficient. This would be perfect. warehouse guitar also makes some 8s that are 95.7 decibels. I know supposedly 4 together would make that 101.7 decibels and that would be somewhat comparable to the Eminence at 103.4. Problem is…would that be paying a ton of money chasing a cool idea? My gut tells me those speakers might be louder but they probably won’t throw as well as the 15”

    I gig a lot. I play 4 or so times a week in Florida and do lots of open air stuff so I need some throw. I also have a 35310 with Jensen P10R which sounds great and does well volume wise (we went with the Jensen 8s as they’re essentially the same as the 10R but they’re way way way quieter even if they mathematically are about the same db speaker wise). I’d like similar volume.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Actually I like a 10 for overdriven harp. Neil Young and Petty not so much. I actually use pa for my harp work.
     
  3. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    For harp:
    4x10 is fantabulous
    2x10 is spectacular
    4x8 is amazing

    …anything with a 12 involved gets too floppy and loose on the bottom end, especially.

    I have yet to try a 15…my gut instinct is you’d lose a bit too much top end…the mids would be great.
     
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  4. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    So harp guy, please give me some basic amplified harp tricks.

    I tried a Bullet and there was no way I'm dealing with that feedback management(unless, tips?). So I got a Audix Fireball and it has done well, but I want to simplify from the FX I was using.

    QUESTION: What is the simplest path for me to get 'Midnight Rambler' harp toan?

    In the end I've been running the mic into my Blues Junior with the gain cranked and lots of Reverb. But it's still missing that 'honk'. To me, that's really what it is... that 'honk'. The Bullet seemed to have the 'honk'.

    I was using some older used Line 6 multi FX device for guitar that did really well, but I want to try and stay away from that level of complexity, cables etc.

    Simplest path to get the 'honk'?
     
  5. Zzpomzz

    Zzpomzz TDPRI Member

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    A 12 works quite well depending on the circuit. This amp could fit a 12 and maybe 2x10s. A 15 works quite well for harp and 8s certainly but as this is for gigging it’s just not viable I need throw and I’m not sure even the most efficient 8s would have throw.

    I would consider tens but I’d like to skip them already have a 10 based amp this is a GA40 style amp which would kill with a 12 or 15 I think.

     
  6. Zzpomzz

    Zzpomzz TDPRI Member

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    I’d be curious to know your eq. Those blue jr amps are notorious for feedback issues. The audix mic isn’t good for blues harp as it doesn’t allow proximity effect to happen. Adding gain also will cause feedback. A good place to start is having a 12ay7 in the preamp.

     
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  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If it's 'throw' you need, the speaker cabinet matters. Whatever speaker combination you choose, go with a closed-back cab because they tend to project forward a lot better. They're also punchier with more perceived volume because the enclosed air in the cab acts as a cushion to damp the cone excursion, instead of the amp itself having to work as hard to do the damping.

    Also, more cone area = more moving air, so if you're playing outdoors a lot, you need increased cone area to move that air. Without it, even a slight breeze can blow your sound away.

    Check this out:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. bebopbrain

    bebopbrain Tele-Meister

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    Is throw a speaker that beams in a tight pattern? A single 1x speaker does this well.
     
  9. Zzpomzz

    Zzpomzz TDPRI Member

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    I know that theoretically 4x8s has more surface area than a 15” but I’ve used 1x12s that throw way more for example. I think there’s way way more to it, including magnet size, excursion, frequency range, etc. the magnet size in the fifteen is 60 oz vs probably 28 or so oz total in the 8s not to mention less frequency range and excursion. I dunno, I’m not seeing these facts work in reality.
    Regarding open vs closed back, I’ve never seen a harp player used closed back amps. I think it probably is because of feedback problems but who knows.
     
  10. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    This may be a longer-range solution/idea...

    But try to find 4 old EV SP8-B's and have them reconed to a guitar spec cone (unless they're still working, which means $$$'s).
    I used to own a pair years ago, those things have far more firepower than (I believe) any standard 8" guitar speaker you will ever see.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Zzpomzz

    Zzpomzz TDPRI Member

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    I don’t even think those magnets would fit!!!

     
  12. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    Well...that's the beauty of it, now isn't it? :eek: :D
     
  13. 2L man

    2L man Tele-Holic

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    Increasing same loudspeaker count does not change volume or their sensitivity unless less loudspeakers are driven to compression. This is because loudspeakers input power drop to half and its effect to volume is -3db

    To get 3db more volume you need to doublle amp power anp double loudsleakers. Or change loudspeaker to 3db higher sensitivity.
     
  14. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ok.

    Unless you have really small hands and can’t cup the mic and harp (I’m not judging), I don’t know why you’re getting so much feedback with a Shure Green Bullet…unless…

    You are using Hi-gain effects, amps or pre-amp tubes in your amp, which is the wrong thing to do with an amplified harmonica.
    Lo-gain circuits will give you the growl and tone without the screaming squealies.

    I highly recommend contacting the guys and gals at Lone Wolf Blues Company* and tell them what you’re trying to do…I have several of their pedals/products (and will eventually get more), and they all perform even better than they claim.

    The Harp Attack nu-tube preamp pedal and/or the Harp Break overdrive make any low-gain amp or PA channel sound like the classic amplified harp tone most of us are shooting for.

    One other great (and relatively cheap) device is the big blue Rocktron HUSH noise reduction pedal; put it after your microphone and before any overdrive, delay or preamp pedals, and feedback issues go away.

    Back in those days, Mick often used a regular vocal mic, *perhaps* put through a different channel in the (limited) PA systems they had.
    One thing that can get a pretty faithful Mick Jagger tone is playing harp through an Shure SM57–unfortunately, they’re really hard to hold onto because of their shape. I have used a “Blows Me Away Bulletizer”* attachment for that particular sound.

    http://www.blowsmeaway.com/bulletizer.html
    Installing one of those to an SM57 adds a focused honk to your sound and helps you hold on to it while playing.

    (Note: the “Blows Me Away” website can be dangerous to your wallet’s thickness…I still want to commission one of his wood-bodied mics with my initials on the grille…but, you know…poverty…)

    (1) Replace the 12AX7 preamp tube(s) in you Blues Jr. with 12AY7 tube(s), which lowers the gain

    (2) put away the Fireball and pick up the Green Bullet or an SM57 with a Bulletizer, and you’ll be honkin’ like a New York cabbie.

    For my rig:
    I play Hohner Marine Band harps, Hohner Blues Harp harps or the occasional Lee Oskar harp…

    Through either a 1940’s Astatic 200S microphone (my main mic), an early 1990’s Shure Green Bullet (without the volume knob) or a Bulletizer-installed Shure SM57 (depending on my mood and the song being played)

    …into a LWBC Harp Break pedal; it can go from “classic Chicago” to “late 70’s Kim Wilson” to “Modern Mick” tone very easily.

    I put a 12AY7 tube in the “NORMAL” channel of my ‘63-reissue Vibroverb, and it works perfectly.

    Again, those are hi-gain devices that are designed for guitar; they’re not “bad” or wrong, but it’s a lot easier to get the sounds you’re shooting for with lo-gain stuff such as what Lone Wolf Blues Company manufactures.

    Don’t do that.
    It makes Little Walter and James Cotton shake their heads in disgust, and it makes Paul Butterfield cry.
    Howlin’ Wolf would shoot you in the gut, so it’ll hurt more and you’d suffer longer.

    *I am not affiliated with either of these companies, except as a happy customer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
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  15. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Thank you for the thorough response, and the last bit of humor as well.

    I have large hands so should be ok on holding it, and practice will help. I'll try a Bullet again as that sound was just so perfect, and I'll follow your advice on low gain and tubes, as well as other items. I have enough tube amps around I can experiment. I'll probably leave the Blues Jr. as is and use my Bugera combo or head to experiment.

    I was probably doing the opposite of what I should do then. I was pushing for gain thinking the distortion would be it. It did sound decent with the Fireball but it wasn't what I was hoping for.

    Post copied and saved. Thanks again.


     
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  16. Lone_Poor_Boy

    Lone_Poor_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Thanks. You summarized what it looks like my issues are, which aligns with Fiesta Reds post.

    Going to try a Bullet, through another amp with a 12ay7, and a speaker smaller than 12".


     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would mic your amp through the PA. I can tell you, a 1 x 15 Pro with a big Celestion or EV in it disappears about 20-25 out with guitar. It's very surprising actually. I go out there on outdoor gigs with my wireless and can't believe it sometimes. It's very loud on stage and disappears fast in the mix out there.
    Mic'ing through the PA does far more than any speaker change you are going to do. Good PA speakers (ours are JBL) PROJECT!

    If a guitar ain't projecting out there, a harp sure as heck isn't going to...
     
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  18. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    A 15 won’t necessarily lack highs or mids—depends on the 15; there are many varieties for different applications—but in general, the larger the cone, the “beamier” the driver. Your upper mids and highs are going to project out in more of a beam than the more widely-distributed lows. So your position relative to the driver centerline will have a greater effect on what you hear, in terms of frequency content.

    This effect is lessened in smaller drivers. Something to think about, independent of “throw to the audience” concerns, is if you move around a lot relative to your amp or play on tight stages where you might not be able to stand in its sweet spot.
     
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  19. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with Schmee and mexicanyella.

    Also, was conceiving a third option (assuming that is on the radar of course..):

    (2)x12" relatively efficient speakers in a closed back and sealed box with a two piece back. Leave the back fully enclosed for your outdoor gigs where you need the max projection and volume (it needs to be airtight or near-airtight to work well). Drop half the back for the indoor or other gigs where it isn't crucial. You could use Neo drivers if you wanted to save a few pounds and spend a couple more $. Or, vice versa, get conventional ceramics if you don't mind an extra 10lbs and want to save a few bucks.

    ..Just an idea.
     
  20. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    Wilson use a brown Pro for a while, IIRC, and so did Harmon for years. if you do go with a 15" look for one of the 70s G15-75 Celestions---pretty efficient, great sounding speaker.
     
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