Going down the bass cabinet rabbit hole - 8" vs 10" vs 12" vs 15" speakers.

Your gigging bass rig - what is your speaker configuration?

  • 2 x 8"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 x 10"

    Votes: 3 8.8%
  • 2 x 10"

    Votes: 9 26.5%
  • 1 x 12"

    Votes: 9 26.5%
  • 2 x 12"

    Votes: 4 11.8%
  • 1 x 15"

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • 2 x 15"

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • A mix of several sizes (explain below)

    Votes: 6 17.6%
  • I go direct into the PA

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Something else (explain below)

    Votes: 4 11.8%
  • I like turtles.

    Votes: 6 17.6%

  • Total voters
    34

Dismalhead

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I'm looking at getting a +/- 200 watt lightweight bass combo and posted a thread asking for recommendations; all of my initial choices were 1 x 15" combos. I'm a decent guitarist but pretty much a hack bass player who got into bass for laying down tracks when I'm recording and occasionally jamming with my friends. So I don't really know squat about bass amps.

I always thought the bigger the speaker the better for bass. Most of the guys I play with seem to have 1 x 15" cabinets or combos. But some people in my other thread have been recommending 2 x 10" and 1 x 12" combos instead; one guy even recommended a 2 x 8". Will a 2 x 10" get as deep a tone and will it sound as full as a 1 x 15", or is it geared for bass players who want more high end? Are you sacrificing something with a smaller speaker? Call me a bit confused.

I only play four string in standard tuning, so I don't need something that can handle a low B either.

Thanks!
 

gimmeatele

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Back in the day, late 70's early 80' I used a 1 X 15" and would today if gigging, it just seemed to give the better bass sound, but you need to consider how easy it is to move it about if gigging. You are correct in it being a rabbit hole, there are a multitude of pro and con aspects
 

elihu

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I just bought a Hardke HD 500 because of the power (500 watts) and the 2x10 speakers. When I ‘m standing right next to the amp playing I just hear the 10” speakers better.
 

Hamstein

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I've used one or two 4x10's for gigging for years, but recently , in an effort to save my back, I got myself the little markbass 1x12 combo, it sounds pretty good and is incredibly portable! -but I've not gigged it yet, I shall be getting the matching 1x12 extension cab for it I think.
A friend of mine who unfortunately passed away over christmas time had been using the trace elliot elf with 1x10 and 2x8 cabs for some time, I couldn't believe how loud it was for such a tiny system! :oops:
I've never played with a phil jones setup but I like the idea of them, they are a bit on the pricey side though!
 

mexicanyella

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I use an AudioKinesis cab with four 8” speakers, driven by a rackmount power amp and a Zoom B2 modeler as the preamp (or sometimes a rackmount Behringer V-amp Pro someone gave me).

Speaker diameter is not really related to bass reproduction suitability. Although all other things being equal, as speaker diameter increases, dispersal of upper mids and highs gets progressively more “beamy” and directional.
 

Call Me Al

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I think the “15s are low and 10s are tight/fast” thing is an old way of thinking based on old technology. Modern small speakers are equally capable of producing fat bass and sub-bass tones, ime.

Some examples, I have the Markbass CMD 112 combo. That thing is so freaking loud, rich and deep. Most gigs I have to dial down the bass; usually to 10:00 or 11:00 no higher than 12:00

Or the Rumbles. I think they build the cabinets to emphasize the bass and lo mids (so they sound impressive in the demos ;) ) side by side of the 200 and 500, the 500 was absolutely crushing the bass response, and I had to dial it back to like 9 -10:00. (I preferred that to the 200; plenty of low end but a bite and punch that the 200 lacked. That’s easier to dial out than to dial in on the 200. And I think the extra headroom contributed to the better tone.) even my little Rumble 25 8” is too bassy, and the bass knob gets cut back.

I think a lot of those recommendations were about headroom, as much as speakers. All the Markbass CMD 12, 15 and 210 combos come loaded with a 500w head. But for GK, Ampeg RB or Rumble you have to bump up to the 210 version to get 500w. (These combos are putting out ~300-350 watts as is, full 500 with extension @ 4 ohms, but that’s the same deal with most bass heads too.) When I think “combo for gigging”* I think “300-500 watts”…. So that might be part of those recommendations

*edit: I don’t know if you actually mentioned gigging as a goal in either of you threads. Still, for an all-purpose bass combo, when you don’t know what kinds of situations you’ll get into- a 500w 210 combo just seems like a safer bet than a 200w 115 combo.
 
Last edited:

Jakedog

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I use a 500 watt Markbass head, into a variety of cabs. I have a 4 ohm 2x12, an 8 ohm 2x10, and an 8 ohm 1x15. I like the 1x15 the least. I’d never use it on its own. The 2x12 is my favorite.

I’ll be upgrading sometime this year to a lightweight neo cab. It’ll be a 1x12 or a 2x10.

Somebody else said the idea of needing larger speakers to get deep and clear bass is outdated thinking, and I agree. Modern bass speakers are not anything like the ones from back in the day. You no longer need heavy cabs and huge speakers to fill a room and get deep clear tones. A Markbass 1x12 is a freak of nature. As are most higher end cabs these days.
 

marshman

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As much as I've wanted to love 1x15 (based on the old bigger is better for bass mindset) I have almost never strayed away from my 4x10 cab for indoor gigging, though it's probably overkill for several joints I play. I also have an older (mid '00s, maybe) Eden Nemesis 200 watt 2x10 combo that has never let me down sonically, but if the wall voltage isn't right, it gets HOOOTTTT. I swear I could smell the paint melting on the wall behind it at one such gig...no such hassles with righteous wiring, like my house, that I've noticed.

I picked up a 1x12 cab late last fall and haven't had time to work with it yet, but it was ALL HONK. I suspect the speaker is either a)not broken in, or b)just not made for bass, but once we get back to rehearsing I'll see what I can find out.

Good Luck
 

Killing Floor

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Bass response is pretty uniform between 15" and 12" today. I would not let that be a factor. Even 10" can have great low end. I also agree with @kbold to check out Phil Jones Bass. My opinion of PJB is the design is extraordinary and you get amazing performance. I find mine really clean but sometimes I put some dirt in front just to make it less clean. My normal loud rig is 212, it's probably more than I need most of the time but more is more. A single Mesa Subway 12 will rock all day. There's no best. Depends how much you want to spend and how much volume you really want.
 

jhundt

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I recently got rid of my 450-watt head and 4x10 cabinet, and replaced them with a little Peavey combo w/ 1 12". I have only done one performance with it (due to some recent restrictions), but it sounded very good to me.
 

rdjones

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Flawed poll logic
Why not list either of the two most popular rig configurations ?
4x10 or 8x10
Or even the ubiquitous 4x12 . . .

You did say "gigging".
My philosophy is that electric bass guitar for the vast majority of styles should have lots of power and plenty of speaker surface area.
Studio session or lounge gigs notwithstanding.
 

loudboy

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Ok, my neighbor just got one of these, 2x10, downfiring 15 and a HF horn, 2200W, small, light:

BBC-Matrix-Front.png


 

mexicanyella

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This AudioKinesis 4 x 8” Birdhaus 48 cab has been fantastic. It has four 8”’FaitalPRO 8PR200 drivers, which are little neo-magnet weightless things that can handle 200 watts each and have about a zillion mm of Xmax. They are a pretty good argument for the “outdated thinking” aspect, mentioned in the OP, of speaker diameter being/not being an important consideration for bass.

This thing has the two side-firing speakers as an alternative approach to getting good dispersal of mids and highs. Rather than use a crossover and various HF driver trickery like compression drivers and horns, or dedicated mid drivers (which is what most of the AudioKinesis models do), this design used high-performing speakers with enough high frequency extension to cover the upper range of bass guitar with one type of driver only...and by pointing them in three directions, it ensures the mids and highs are nearly as non-directional as the lows.

It works; at our quite loud
band practices, I can hear the whole range from anywhere my cord will reach, including looking down at the top of the cab while I play. Before I had this, I could get a tone I liked with my Peavey 1 x 15 combo but at band volume I needed to be pretty much on-axis with the 15 or I had trouble hearing the upper content of the sound.


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BobbyMac

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I have a Hartke LH500 head with two Avatar cabs; one with a 15" and a 2X10 with Neos. For home bedroom play I use a Fender Rumble 25.
 

Dana Rudd

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I have two bass amps both are 1x15 Combo's
Peavy TNT 115, weighs a ton and stays in the music room.
Fender Rumble 100, nice and light and easy to carry.
 

wulfenganck

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Eden 1x12 cabinet with an Ashdown MiAmp top. Bass is an Ibanez SR305.
My main job as a bassist is for an orchestra. We're mainly playing arrangements for musical or pop medleys and an occasional traditional brass-tune like a polka or a marching tune.
I'm more than happy with my setup, it's pretty lightweight and small, but easily stand tall against drums and brass (trumpets and trombones can get LOOOUUUD!!). Absolutely enough bass for my liking.

I used a 2x12 cabinet (with EV speakers IIRC) which was built by a bassplayer I worked with back in the 90s. I bought it when the band fell to pieces and we moved out of the rehearsal room. He owed me his part of the rent and gave me the cabinet instead. It is built like a tank and probably weighs just the same. I made the mistake to leave it in rather moist cellar, since then the speakers sound pretty damp and muddied. I'd have them changed, if I ever decide to use it again, but due to the Eden, it's now more of an annoying piece of furniture......
 

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PARCO

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Depending on the size of places you intend to play and how loud your band is, a 1x12 should be fine. Most of the places I have been playing these days hold maybe 300 people and in an attempt to keep the volume down we are all switching to smaller cabs. I'm going to a 1x10 for bass.
 




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