Jump to content
Left leaderboard
Sign in to follow this  
tks.se

Speaker size - samples and poll

Recommended Posts

We had a small "bass bash" over in Sweden last year, with 30 or so local bass players attending. As an activity we arranged a blind test. I don't know if it's the same in the UK, but here in Sweden most bass players are quite certain that a certain speaker size results in a certain tone. Stating the opposite is often met with disbelief: "Sure, the tone might differ a bit in some cases, but when you hear a 4x10 you instantly recognize the punch" and similar comments.

So, what better way to test it than a blind test? Three cabinets were prepared: one 2x10, one 1x12 and one 1x15. All the same size and with grille cloth hiding the loudspeaker drivers. The only thing setting them apart on the outside was "A" / "B" / "C" marking and slightly different look, so no one could switch the letter stickers and mess with the results.

The initial plan was to have a fourth, and maybe a fifth cabinet, and not telling how many of each speaker size were used, which would have made for a more challenging listening test, but to keep things simple we kept to one of each. All speakers used were speakers that can be found in commercially available bass cabinets. No filters were used to alter the tone.

During the test, one bass player (Magnus Eugenson, ME5 by the way - [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nydcz9OYibI"]https://www.youtube....h?v=Nydcz9OYibI[/url]) played the same bass line five or so times in a row through cabinet A, then we switched to B and played the same bass line again, then C. After that we started over with a different bass line, and then did it all again with a third one. All participants got to hear all three cabinets being played with a pick, fingers and also some slapping.

It's also worth to mention that between every cabinet change, we reset the volume on the amplifier, and turned up the volume while Magnus played an open A string continuously, to get roughly the same volume, to compensate for any difference in sensitivity. The amplifier was hidden, so one of the participants saw the volume setting. EQ settings were the same throughout the test. Same bass as well. The active cabinet was always in the same place in the room, the inactive ones were moved away.

Everyone wrote down their guess on a piece of paper, even Magnus himself, who didn't either know which cabinet contained which speaker size. The results were checked, and then the answer was revealed by removing the front/grille cloth from the cabinets.

So, here's a chance to do (almost) the same test. Here are recordings of the cabinets:
Cabinet A: [media]http://tks.se/temp/10_12_15_test_a.mp3[/media]
Cabinet B: [media]http://tks.se/temp/10_12_15_test_b.mp3[/media]
Cabinet C: [media]http://tks.se/temp/10_12_15_test_c.mp3[/media]
23 seconds in to each clip you can hear some slapping.

Have a listen and vote in the poll, which cabinet do you think is 10/12/15-equipped?

Please listen and vote before you do anything else (checking the poll results, reading replies/discussion below), so your opinion isn't biased.

We'll have the poll open at least a week before revealing which answer is correct.

Feel free to discuss after voting!

Edited by tks.se

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A: 15
B: 12
C: 10

But it could really be anything. I've got 12s that can be light and punchy and super deep and low.

Speaker size may well have been a big factor on sound bit it isn't anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have taken a guess, but I sort of expect to be wrong! What I can say with some certainty is that I liked cab A best, didn't mind cab C but found cab B a little too dark sounding for my tastes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A test of this sort will only tell you how the speakers you're listening to it on sound. If that's a full sized stereo system with flat response from 30-15kHz you might glean some benefit, but even then the gear used to make the recording is just as significant as the source. If it's a typical computer speaker the test is meaningless. Even listened to on a good system the test is of dubious value, as the main difference between how different drivers sound will be heard off-axis. A meaningful test would be done with the mic placed 45 degrees off-axis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree that this is not so much a really useful test as it seems like the chassis were just fitted into a
box that may have been designed for a 12 or 15.
But, as an exercise, I've played. Unless the 1126/H115 type box is actually going to be used as a 210
it's just a bit of fun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Beer of the Bass' timestamp='1426681745' post='2720649']
I liked cab A best, didn't mind cab C but found cab B a little too dark sounding for my tastes.[/quote]

I felt exactly the same! And although I am not naive enough to believe that speaker diameter is the only factor that affects tone, there were definite differences audible here. In fact, I am surprised how different B sounds to the other two, which are more similar.

My [i][b]guess[/b][/i] is that A was the fifteen, B was the twelve and C was the tens. But I won't be upset in the least if I am totally wrong! :D

[quote name='Bill Fitzmaurice' timestamp='1426684330' post='2720716']
A test of this sort will only tell you how the speakers you're listening to it on sound. Even listened to on a good system the test is of dubious value...
[/quote]

Maybe so, but there were clear audible differences. So surely if everything else was kept constant (as it was in the test protocol) and I always listen using the same speakers in the same position - the test is "fair" and the results (whatever they are!) valid? What else could account for the sonic differences I heard (or thought I heard)? :huh:

Edited by Conan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1426684145' post='2720713']
Cab A 10
Cab B 15.
Cab C 12
[/quote]

I am really interested to see if you are correct JTUK! You've said a number of times that you would be able to tell the difference... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't voted as I don't think speaker size is a relevant concern when choosing a cab. I just listen to how the cab sounds and whether or not it suits the rest of my signal chain and playing style.

Of the three clips I preferred B as it sounded the most "full range" to me and therefore would give the most scope when EQ'ing to get the bass into it's proper place in the mix.

However all that really says is that if I was a producer and your bassist turned up at my studio with the bass, amp and speakers from this demo I'd get him to record with cab B as it is the most versatile for mixing the bass sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1426686794' post='2720775']
I haven't voted...
[/quote]

:rolleyes: Ah, come on! What are you afraid of? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Conan' timestamp='1426687041' post='2720777']
:rolleyes: Ah, come on! What are you afraid of? :D
[/quote]

Nothing. As I said I don't think speaker size is relevant. I thought of the three clips cab B sounded the best and to me that's all that matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 10
B 15
C 12

Based on:

A sounds punchy
B handles lows best
C between the 2 above.

If I'm wrong I'll eat my hat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10-15-12 as well, A had most punch, B best low, C best mids

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much the same as many above only had to listen once, and im sure it goes 10s, 15 and the 12. Even more confident after seeing others replies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Twincam' timestamp='1426690209' post='2720843'] Even more confident after seeing others replies.
[/quote]

Yep! That's how things tend to go on here... :ph34r:

I wanna know the answers [i][b]NOW[/b][/i]!!!! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Conan' timestamp='1426686407' post='2720767']
I am really interested to see if you are correct JTUK! You've said a number of times that you would be able to tell the difference... :)
[/quote]

ha ha ... sure, but the experience seems to have a flaw as the cab wasn't tuned for all the chassis' that ended up in there..??
And of course...it isn't me playing :lol: which isn't as flakey as it seems as I do know my style and how that pertains to cabs..IMO. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1426684785' post='2720732']
Agree that this is not so much a really useful test as it seems like the chassis were just fitted into a box that may have been designed for a 12 or 15.
[/quote]

That's a good point. All the amplification "boffins" are always telling us that the cab needs to be specifically designed (tuned?) to the specific driver (or combination of drivers) that will be placed inside it.

So surely putting different speakers into the same box negates that? :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes..I don't know if that is a H115 or 1126 cab... and haven't looked up to see whether
the Dims are the same for those two cabs... but I think they weren't designed as a 210..initially..
Also, those cabs are shelved ported for a specific unit..?? so whilst it is a fun
exercise, I'm not being too serious about it. Having said that, maybe TKS know
that the box is a fit for all..??
I've heard some of his boxes and I definitely think he knows what he is doing tho..

Basically, most voters seem to think the boxes sound like their pre-conceptions..
how correct that is, we'll soon know, but I also assume there will be a sting..?? :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[quote name='Conan' timestamp='1426690759' post='2720850']
So surely putting different speakers into the same box negates that? :huh:
[/quote]

Depends what else is inside the box other than the speaker.

OTOH altering the inside of the cab to suit the speaker would tend to defeat the object of the test which is to see if there is a noticeable (and predictable) difference between speaker cone sizes.

Out of interest was the cab used specifically designed for one of the speaker configurations used? If so which one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of us are assuming that the darkest sounding cab must be the 15", and the 10" must be one of the brighter sounding cabs. There are examples of popular 10" drivers which drop off steeply before they get to 2KHz (like the Eminence BP102) and 15" drivers which will go as high as 4KHz on-axis (like the Faital 15pr400 or some of the old JBLs), so it would be easy to be caught out by this!
Regarding all three cabs being the same size, I presume that drivers will have been chosen which suit this cab volume and there would still be scope for adjusting the port tuning for each version.

Edited by Beer of the Bass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure it is worth that much work... I'll guess the cab was designed for the 115 and was left over
so the test adjustments wouldn't destroy a saleable cab...
AFAIK, TKS don't use 10's atm... so what was used would have been what was lying around with the
least amount of a rework..??
In that sense, the worst sounding cab B..IMO.. might be the 10 as it was the least best fit for the units they had.
I seem to recall TKS sold some odd chassis recently but again, can't recall which and don't know their tech specs
either...
I am pretty sure TKS wouldn't have designed Cab B for a 10... :lol: :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no cabinets with crossovers/mid range drivers (like the 1126). All cabinets have been made to be a good match for the drivers used in the test (they're all vented, different tuning frequencies, no random drivers thrown into a spare cabinet).

More comments to your posts has to wait until after the results are posted. It's hard commenting further without giving too much away.

What do you say, is one week about right, or should we wrap this up sooner?

Edited by tks.se

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...