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Phil Starr

1x12" Cab Design Diary

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[quote name='Passinwind' timestamp='1436895227' post='2821846']


The Beyma S212 is not readily available in the US through any of my usual channels, FWIW. If I were building this design I wouldn't let that stop me though, there's always a way.
[/quote]

This design might work quite well with the Eminence 3012HO which is prohibitively expensive over here but which might be cheaper in the states. We did have plans to try one at one point.

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1436914138' post='2822101']
This design might work quite well with the Eminence 3012HO which is prohibitively expensive over here but which might be cheaper in the states. We did have plans to try one at one point.
[/quote]

Listed price online is ~$190 USD at the moment, so maybe $150 or so from the right dealer.

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[quote name='Passinwind' timestamp='1436921586' post='2822126']
Listed price online is ~$190 USD at the moment, so maybe $150 or so from the right dealer.
[/quote]They are quoted at £202 which is about $300US over here the Beyma is around £80 at the moment, a big saving. If we could have the Eminence at around £100 I think we'd have gone for that, the mid rise it shows would have given a more 'commercial cab' sound but with better bass handling than a lot of commercial cabs.

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1436947628' post='2822190']
They are quoted at £202 which is about $300US over here the Beyma is around £80 at the moment, a big saving. If we could have the Eminence at around £100 I think we'd have gone for that, the mid rise it shows would have given a more 'commercial cab' sound but with better bass handling than a lot of commercial cabs.
[/quote]

I imagine I'd like the 3012HO a lot in the right implementation. I've played through a couple of different cabs with OEM Eminence drivers that split the difference between the HO and LF models and they are both really nice. My Thunderchild cab is one of those, the Baer ML112 the other. Roger Baer's OEM driver is the closer one to the HO.

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The interesting thing about this Beyma driver is that it offers the best of both worlds. It goes as low as the Kappalite LF (in this cabinet) with comparable excursion capability, but its response is well behaved up into the midrange and HF. Despite the fact that it has a much longer coil than the Kappalite HO, its response actually extends higher. I've scoured the spec sheets for a comparable chassis from other manufacturers and I can't find one, even at a higher price.

The downside is that its thermal power handling is lower and it's 1.5kg heavier, but that's not much of a price to pay for the huge difference in price - at least on this side of the pond.

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Stevie's right. (I keep saying that) we started out talking about offering either a Celestion or the Eminence Beta 12A-2 as a cheap option with the Beyma as midprice and maybe the 3012HO as the deluxe version. Modelling showed the extra for the Beyma was worth the money and the 3012 was offering almost nothing for a lot extra. Which made life simpler for us.

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1436972126' post='2822470']
The interesting thing about this Beyma driver is that it offers the best of both worlds. It goes as low as the Kappalite LF (in this cabinet) with comparable excursion capability, but its response is well behaved up into the midrange and HF. Despite the fact that it has a much longer coil than the Kappalite HO, its response actually extends higher. I've scoured the spec sheets for a comparable chassis from other manufacturers and I can't find one, even at a higher price.

The downside is that its thermal power handling is lower and it's 1.5kg heavier, but that's not much of a price to pay for the huge difference in price - at least on this side of the pond.
[/quote]

One of the biggest driver suppliers for DIY'ers in the US is already a Beyma dealer and they are typically quite responsive to requests for stocking things they don't currently carry. Assuming this design gains traction, I'm pretty sure they would take a good look at doing so in this case. How that pans out for pricing remains to be seen though, I might ask them just for the heck of it. The SM112 is listed at $170 on that site at the moment. For myself, I can probably get Eminence drivers at wholesale, but I'm already pretty well set with my current 112 cab in any case. I'm always happy to see more well thought out DIY designs floating around though.

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1436972739' post='2822477']
Stevie's right. (I keep saying that) we started out talking about offering either a Celestion or the Eminence Beta 12A-2 as a cheap option with the Beyma as midprice and maybe the 3012HO as the deluxe version. Modelling showed the extra for the Beyma was worth the money and the 3012 was offering almost nothing for a lot extra. Which made life simpler for us.
[/quote]

It does look good for the price. I guess that the only reason for going for the Celestion or Eminence Beta (cost aside) would be if you weren't using a lot of amp power and specifically wanted that rising mid voicing?

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1436972739' post='2822477']
Stevie's right. (I keep saying that) we started out talking about offering either a Celestion or the Eminence Beta 12A-2 as a cheap option with the Beyma as midprice and maybe the 3012HO as the deluxe version. Modelling showed the extra for the Beyma was worth the money and the 3012 was offering almost nothing for a lot extra. Which made life simpler for us.
[/quote]When I first saw you were using the SM212 I was a little surprised but when I modelled it I could see why you chose it. When you take the price into the equation (well in Europe anyway) it is clearly the best driver for the project. It is about 1.4Kg (about 3 lbs in old money) heavier than the eminence speaker and handles slightly less power but the sensitivity in the low and low mids area is very similar and is hardly a dealbreaker.

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1436867829' post='2821446']
More news, one of the cabs is to be reviewed by Dan Veall, bass reviewer of Interactive Guitar Magazine [url="http://www.iguitarmag.com/reviews/?issue=&brand=&producttype=Bass"]http://www.iguitarma...roducttype=Bass[/url] and of course Dood of this parish. At the present the Cab is about to wing it's way to Dan, or it will be once UPS collect it.

It'll be great to have a professional and independent opinion of the cab and I'd like to thank Dan for taking the time to do this.
[/quote]

A nice lil box has arrived on my doorstep!!!

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Thanks so much for doing this Dan, the maths and physics is easy but there's no substitute for the ears and experience of someone who has tried a lot of gear and played a lot of bass. Constructive criticism is welcome.

Here's hoping you like it. Fingers crossed

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[quote name='Passinwind' timestamp='1436895227' post='2821846']
When I started building cabs with dedicated mid drivers Audax came up a lot and I would still like to try them. I settled on readily available B&C 6MD38s as used in some EAW PA cabs, and still have a pair of those in my PA tops.
[/quote]

I'm pretty sure EAW used the Audax as their small midrange driver and switched to the B&C when Audax went out of business. So they are bound to be quite similar. It looks like the Faital m5n12-80 will be my next purchase. Anybody got one going cheap?

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[quote name='Phil Starr' timestamp='1437047529' post='2823092']
Thanks so much for doing this Dan, the maths and physics is easy but there's no substitute for the ears and experience of someone who has tried a lot of gear and played a lot of bass. Constructive criticism is welcome.

Here's hoping you like it. Fingers crossed
[/quote]

Awww! Thank you for inviting me. It's great to be part of basschat and there's nothing I like more than bass gear! Usually, it's a case of just reading about other BCer's projects with great interest, but on this occasion I get to see and hear in the flesh too.
I've been very lucky to have owned, played or reviewed a massive range of equipment and I relish the technical details too and if I can offer just a little bit of input or experience, then honestly, the pleasure is all mine!

I actually can't wait to fire her up for a listen!

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[quote name='dood' timestamp='1437061838' post='2823306']

I actually can't wait to fire her up for a listen!
[/quote]

neither can we! :)

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Quick q does the sound of the "pronounced mids" change slightly if you turn the cab onto it's side?

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[quote name='LukeFRC' timestamp='1437082650' post='2823539']
Quick q does the sound of the "pronounced mids" change slightly if you turn the cab onto it's side?
[/quote]

If you turn it upside down, are they pronounced "spiw"?

Dood, have you got any 1x12s to A/B this one with?

  • Haha 1

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[quote name='tauzero' timestamp='1437087781' post='2823572']


If you turn it upside down, are they pronounced "spiw"?

Dood, have you got any 1x12s to A/B this one with?
[/quote] mine was a serious question ..

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Sure to some the idea of the sound or response changing if the cabinet is rotated is ridiculous but allegedly many silly things change the sound of a cabinet.

To me it appears that there will be very little change but if the driver is closer to the floor then there will be a change, albeit quite small.

The question is clearly prompted by the idea that tall is better than wide for bass drivers, when used in multiples.

On a final note, having read many forums/ threads on speakers, there are more daft answers than daft questions.

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Luke, we have been using the speaker on its side because the handle is on the long side. I agree with Chien that there will in theory be a minor change to the sound depending on whether the cab is vertical or horizontal, but it's unlikely to be noticeable. It would be different if we were dealing with a cab with more than one driver or one with a tweeter.

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[quote name='Chienmortbb' timestamp='1437117598' post='2823644']
Sure to some the idea of the sound or response changing if the cabinet is rotated is ridiculous but allegedly many silly things change the sound of a cabinet.

To me it appears that there will be very little change but if the driver is closer to the floor then there will be a change, albeit quite small.

The question is clearly prompted by the idea that tall is better than wide for bass drivers, when used in multiples.

On a final note, having read many forums/ threads on speakers, there are more daft answers than daft questions.
[/quote]

It's really worth getting Vance Dickason's book and reading up on baffle step, he provides polar graphs that are pretty helpful. This bit of free software may provide some food for thought as well: [url="http://www.tolvan.com/edge/help.htm"]http://www.tolvan.com/edge/help.htm[/url] . You need more complicated software to get the polar models, which are what you really want though. The reality is a whole lot more complicated than what The Edge shows you. Boxsim is free and goes a good bit deeper, and if you're really masochistic Akabak goes further still.

Note that all of this is independent of multiple drivers and their mutual coupling issues. And in the case of the cab in question I would expect the difference to be pretty minimal.

Edited by Passinwind

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[quote name='Chienmortbb' timestamp='1437117598' post='2823644']
The question is clearly prompted by the idea that tall is better than wide for bass drivers, when used in multiples.

[/quote] no. In the idea of the Baffle step.

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Sorry folks, we've had some family stuff to sort out so apologies for the delays in getting to you.

I took the cabinet (and a large portion of my own gear too) to a rehearsal studio last night for some fun and games.

I can quickly reply to the question above first before I dive in and talk some more about the cabinet. No, there didn't seem to be a great difference in tone out front of the cabinet on either side. It is pretty much a square-ish box anyway and the port positioning doesn't affect the orientation. I tired to take some photographs for you all but I am afraid that the studio 'mood lighting' really didn't help.

I didn't have a 1x12 as a comparison cabinet, no. That said, I have had lots of experience with a wide range of 12's on the market.

I'll be back soon with some information.

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[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I've spent a nice long evening with the 12" cabinet and tested it with two different amplifiers and a wide range of settings. The room I was in unfortunately I think has done no favours as even my usual rig sounded weird. However, taking that in to account I was able to get a good idea of what the cabinet is capable of.[/font][/color]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]The cabinet as you'll already know is a single 1x12" driver unit featuring ports that are adjustable to enable further tuning in testing. Currently the cabinet has a bias towards the 5 string bassist and I understand the ports are tuned to 40hz. We'll try the cabinet with the ports tuned higher at 50hz hopefully soon, but for now my text below regards the 40hz tuning.[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I tested first with an Aguilar TH500 set flat, then smiley face EQ then I moved on to the Hartke Kilo using it's full valve preamplifier and passive tone stack EQ.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]My initial reaction was one that is good. It's loud and seems pretty stable tonally, though in comparison to my usual settings I had to back off the lows on my gear to bring the cabinet under control. This isn't unusual actually as I found that the Sl112 doesn't like being 'subbed' hard either. - Some cabinets seem to limit nicely when they can't reproduce lows, others less politely! I expect that as this cabinet is well ported, that means the speaker doesn't limit in the way that a sealed cabinet does.[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Moving on, I found that yes there is a prominent mid character to the cabinet and unfortunately for me, in the absence of a bit of extra top end sweetness from a mid or tweeter driver, I found it taking the sheen off the top end of my bass. That said, don't think that this is bad, because some cabs, when you turn off the tweeter, you lose the character of the instrument due to a massive hole between where the woofer's top end finishes and the tweeter's low end starts. This driver does seem to reach up higher and boosting the treble control on my TH did a good job of putting bite back in. I'm also wondering if the cabinet itself has a bit of a 'voice' too that may be adding to that mid tone at high high volumes?[/font][/color]
[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I did scoop the mids on the TH though to balance this. The semi-parametric mid control is useful for subduing the resonant mids. Interestingly, it was the Kilo that paired better with the cabinet in my setting. Engaging the bright switch and setting the passive tone stack to that classic scoop setting (all controls pointing up) tamed the cabinet. A little bit of excess cone movement - but I think the Kilo has absolutely no subsonic filtering. [/font][/color]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]So to sum up, personally I don't think the cabinet with this sonic signature would suit me but I have a feeling that the speaker would do a great job pairing with other drivers if it were a dedicated mid-basser? Playing along to a few PA backing tracks, I can tell you it cut through easily and is a loud cabinet. Maybe I just wanted some more top end from it. I think that it would fair well with distortion pedals offering up guitar like tones to the top end but I would chose an amp carefully if top end clarity is needed from this non-tweeter cabinet.[/color][/font]

[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Oh and yes, it handled the sound of my low B - not ground shaking low end but the 1st or second harmonics meant that the B didn't seem to lose too much volume even if the girth was subdued (of course it's only a 1x12!)[/font][/color]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]Weight? Well even when I carried the cabinet still inside the cardboard box from delivery I wasn't too bothered. [/color][/font]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]Naturally this cabinet is a prototype so the looks and features are by no means finalised. That said, as a modular system, naturally I'd want to see dual speakon connectors for daisy chaining and the usual compliment of handle and protective corners etc etc. [/color][/font]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]I'd welcome any questions and further testing is likely to continue in the next week! [/color][/font]

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Thanks for the review. I agree wholeheartedly with what you found though I'm wishing I'd sent you the warmer sounding 50Hz version as I think it might have suited you better.

I think on the strength of this we will move designing a version with a horn further up the priority list. Remember though we did set out a speaker build that would be straightforward to build and at approx £150 all in, depending upon finish, I think we are thereabouts.

I'm curious about the mid forward feel it gives, something I've noticed myself. Looking at the frequency plots (#291 and on) there isn't a pronounced mid peak until 2000Hz and that is a lot less than many commercial speakers. It's clearly there and like you I ended up rolling off the middle just as you describe as well as the deep bass, because there is too much bass in resonant room spaces. Yet the overall effect is of a mid prominent speaker despite the way it measures, and it doesn't ever sound bass heavy. Stevie and I will go back and investigate this as soon as we get time.

It'd be great if you got time to put up some sound clips.

Once again thanks :)

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