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RichardH

DIY cabs

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[quote name='andyjevans' timestamp='1339697791' post='1692993']
Hi guys -

New project here. I'm getting older and want a really light bass cab. I have a 75 litre sealed cabinet which presently houses an old Eminence 15". I can unscrew the front, so could make a front for a single 12" if that were necessary. I play double bass and b-gtr, jazz and fusion, small venues.

So thinking of a Neo unit. 15" if the cab size would take it, otherwise 12". I've been looking at:
Eminence Basslite Celestion Green Label Celestion Orange Label
Sica

These seem the value ones. Celestion BN15-300x is the lowest VAS in the 15" ones at 98. Most of the others are around 150. VAS for the 12" units would be around 60.

So that's for starters! Can anybody recommend a Neo 12" or 15" from experience? I could port the cabinet - open to that.

andy
[/quote]

Hi Andy,

I can't recommend from direct experience, but having had a look at Eminence's web-site, I think you might have some difficulty
in finding a a good 15" candidate to work well in a 75 litre ported box. However, there is a 12" that will fit the bill if you fit a reflex
tube/port. It's the Kappalite 3012LF. Have a look at the specification sheet "pdf".

I ran a quick model of it in winISD and it has plenty of bass extension, good for double-bass. Not the cheapest solution of
course, but it is light and powerful. When I cross checked it in a sealed box, the Basslite is just that. Hefty low mids but clearly
lacks the power handling and bass extension of the Kappalite. Also it prefers at least 85 litres for a vented box.

The Basslite S2012 12" unit will work well in a 70-75 litre vented cabinet, but requires a small 35 litres if fitted in a closed box.

Maybe someone else will have info on the Celestions. I find their "Small signal parameters" difficult to understand.

Balcro.

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I think there are a lot of choices in the 15" range if you look beyond eminence. Incidentally the 3012LF is not so great without a separate midrange driver/crossover, which adds weight cost and complexity, unless you like a dubby sound with a bit of clank between 1 and 2k - not my first port of call for jazz and fusion though it is a very powerful driver if you have the amp to push it and I'd happily use it as is for reggae!

Andy, several questions that might help people figure out good suggestions:
what sort of sound do you like, especially with regard to midrange and treble?
what are you going to power the cab with and how loud does it need to get?
You say small venues, how many people and how big is the band (and how prominent is the bass)?
What is the electric bass you'll be playing through it?
Also what is your budget?

I guess it'd also be interesting to know what the eminence model in there already is and how well that suits your sound. One driver that I think would work very well in this application would be the faital pro 15PR400 but it really depends on personal taste. The orange labels again might actually be good in a sealed box and if you look around I think you can get one for under £100. I'm not sure the green labels will be so great as the blurb imply that they're not the cleanest sounding drivers. The apparent low xmax puts people off the Celestion orange drivers but that spec is in this case a bit misleading.

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New to the bass chat. Interesting stuff.
2 years ago I built a Greenboy Fearfull 15/6 cabinet.
Nice plans available on www and the design is also quite affordable.
More to be read on my blogspot.

[url="http://fearful156.blogspot.nl/"]http://fearful156.blogspot.nl/[/url]

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[quote name='LawrenceH' timestamp='1339717655' post='1693404']

what sort of sound do you like, especially with regard to midrange and treble?
- clean, but with some sustain, especially on double bass.
what are you going to power the cab with and how loud does it need to get?
- eventually tube preamp (I build them) into solid state or digital amp. I have a UcD400 module
You say small venues, how many people and how big is the band (and how prominent is the bass)?
- I freelance, would be a 4/5 piece + vocals. Typical room 40x30ft, sometimes smaller, sometimes bigger. Bass should match an acoustic drumset in volume.
What is the electric bass you'll be playing through it?
- WAL fretless
Also what is your budget?
- I could pay up to £200 for a unit if it was worth it.

[/quote]

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I've been looking up some bass units and some of the 12" look fairly massive and possible:
Faital 12HP1060
Celestion BN12-300S
Fane Colossus 12 MBN
Eminence Kappalite 3012HO
Eminence Kappalite 3012LF

These should all work into 75 litres - may be better to port the enclosure.

Most units are 8 ohms. Is there any advantage or otherwise of using a 4 ohm unit?

Andy

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Hi Andy,
The Celestion is the weakest link on that list in terms of absolute quality, all the others are very nice cast frame PA drivers, though it might have weight advantages and at least is designed for a clean sound - I'd be happy using it though I'd go for the 15" model. I'd still see little advantage in going for a 12 over a 15 though apart from a small gain in dispersion and possibly weight depending which you choose at the cost of overall output capability. The 15PR400 I mentioned is also available in 4 ohm configuration which would presumably enable you to get a bit more from that hypex unit. I might be able to get hold of the specs for the 4 ohm variant if that was of interest. 18Sound are also making some very nice PA drivers with lots of variants in terms of weighting towards high output/extended frequency response or maximum bass power, worth looking at especially as they also have 4 ohm versions of several.
The Kappalite 12s on your list are going to have the most obvious tonal coloration, look at how they behave around cone breakup on the charts. This might be good or bad depending what you're after (though I think the HO would need a LOT of EQ and depending what you're after the LF might just flat out not work). Up to a certain point I prioritise midrange response over low end cab tuning (so long as the driver will take EQ), because it has the greatest impact on perceived tone. The true low end is so affected by room acoustics anyway that a coule of db each way is almost by-the-by.
The fearful Willem mentions is very well designed IMO, might be worth checking out the fearful forum.
Be really interested to know more about your tube pre! I've been wondering about that kind of thing myself

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Sorry I forgot to direclty address the ohms issue! In terms of absolute output capability a lot of people dismiss it as it'll just add a couple of dB. But actually perception-wise I think it makes a worthwhile difference, likely due to running close to the limit and getting transient clipping/limiting.

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I remember ages ago Polytone had a 15" bass cab, sealed box I believe. It can't have been over 75 litres. Mind, I remember the Polytone 12" version sounded better with double bass. Looking at the VAS for 15" units, the lowest is the Celestion BN15-300X at 98. The Neo magnets have higher VAS than some of the ceramic ones. Most of the 15"s have a VAS of around 140 litres.

I haven't come round to building a tube pre yet! Will do this summer. I'm finishing off writing a book on performance psychology right now. Taking a break from playing, but want to get the equipment updated for when I can play again.

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I'll look forward to a build diary then :D
Vas is not a particularly useful parameter in isolation, it certainly doesn't necessarily represent optimal cab volume. are you using modelling software to predict low-end response? It's invaluable.

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I should look at Qts and stuff - i don't have any modelling software unfortunately. The build diary starts with choice of unit!! I can't find any UK dealers for Faital. There's also a Precision Devices Neo unit but they're hard to source also.

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lean-business.co.uk and bluearan.co.uk do faital plus 18sound, ciare, celestion, eminence... i've had celestions off the former and eminence plus various hardware from the latter with no problems. The free modelling software most people seem to use is winISD pro alpha. It's good, very very good for the money! :D Makes the whole process a lot easier and very worthwhile IMO

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[quote name='andyjevans' timestamp='1339833419' post='1694998']
I've been looking up some bass units and some of the 12" look fairly massive and possible:
Faital 12HP1060
Celestion BN12-300S
Fane Colossus 12 MBN
Eminence Kappalite 3012HO
Eminence Kappalite 3012LF

These should all work into 75 litres - may be better to port the enclosure.

Most units are 8 ohms. Is there any advantage or otherwise of using a 4 ohm unit?

Andy
[/quote]

I must agree with LawrenceH about the Celestion. It is the weakest link. I ran it through winISD this morning and it exceeded xMax with an 80 watt input! I double checked Celestion's units and t/s parameters and they went into winISd without an error prompt.

The FaitalPro has a strong mid-range from 100 - 400Hz and can also be obtained from adamhall.com in Southend, but ooh they're expensive. The 12 HP1060 is $359 at usspeaker.com so probably about £200 over here.

The Precision Devices unit appears to be a 12" PA midrange speaker, not for bass.

The FANE measures OK with a strong midrange between 200 and 300 Hz, but prefers a larger cabinet to get decent low bass extension.

However, I've just remembered the Beyma 12LW30N. It measures very evenly in winISD and has a recommended enclosure volume of between 20 and 70 litres. Worth a look. What do you think LawrenceH?

Balcro.

Edited by Balcro

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Beyma make serious speakers, usually with a price tag to match! I'm sure they'd sound clean and great :)

[quote name='Balcro' timestamp='1339886924' post='1696029']
I must agree with LawrenceH about the Celestion. It is the weakest link. I ran it through winISD this morning and it exceeded xMax with an 80 watt input! I double checked Celestion's units and t/s parameters and they went into winISd without an error prompt.
[/quote]

Actually Xmax is a slippery spec... if Celestion used the same formulae for xmax as (say) Beyma, 18Sound, Faital or others then the figure on the spec sheet would be 2mm bigger and look far more respectable! There are other posts about this but it's basically to do with how much of the voicecoil can move outside the magnetic gap before it starts to give a noticeably non-linear response. The key problem being how you define 'noticeable'. I wouldn't rule it out on that basis though there are obviously others which manage more. Things like power compression, distortion and off-axis response are important but the problem is they don't often publish that data, and you might expect a high-end cast frame PA driver to outperform a pressed steel musical instrument speaker. Whether you like the sound though is another matter!

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I don't have winISD - I use a Mac - so all help is gratefully received. The question of what to put into a 75 litre cab is quite a good theoretical one to answer. It's on the cusp of 12" and 15". Probably naturally closer to 12". I remember in the 70s us jazz bassists used Polytones and Roland Cubes and the 12" ones did sound better in those small cabinets. With a double bass in one hand, 75 litres was quite enough in the other. I'm gettiing a little closer to a decision but not close enough to commit yet - there are interesting options. The "Doc" at Celestion was pushing the "[color=#1F497D][font=Calibri, sans-serif][size=4]BN12-300S which will give you a fast, snappy, punchy sound but a tight and controlled rather than deep and ‘flappy’ bottom end. As it’s not played too loud you should be able to up the bottom end EQ and win some back that way".[/size][/font][/color]

If we can carrying on making progress with choices - and trying them out in winISD - that would be great. I can then implement the choice and report back.

andy

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Hi Andy,
Since you can't run winISD I thought I'd have a look at some options myself. I've tried to do this in a way that is as relevant to your particular set-up as possible. I looked at the Eminence offerings and the Celestion Orange (4 ohm variants), then a couple of Faital drivers that looked likely and also come in 4 ohm versions, this assumes you would like a 1-cab solution that maximises output/headroom from the Hypex module.
So, settings were 75l sealed cab, and total power into each driver for the max spl charts was based on 240w for 8 ohm drivers and 400w for 4 ohm variants to match the output of that hypex module, with the exception of the BN12-300S which I set at 300 watts (thermal limit). This obviously favours the 4 ohm variants but that seems reasonable given my understanding of your set-up.
Cone excursion chart was set at 240w for all drivers I looked at regardless of power handling.
Drivers:
Em Kappalite 3015 - light blue
Em Kappalite 3012HO - mid blue
Em Kappalite 3012LF - dark blue
Em Deltalite 2512 II - violet
Celestion BN15-400S (4 ohm) - white
Faital 15PR400 (4 ohm) - red
Celestion BN12-300 (4 ohm) - yellow
Faital 12FH500 (4 ohm) - orange

First up, transfer function which shows that even the drivers with large Vas have less than 1dB mid-bass 'hump' in this set-up, so I personally would have no problem with a 15" driver in this application:
[attachment=110661:Trans func mag for 75 sealed.jpg]

Next sensitivity @ 1W/m for all drivers. Clear advantage for the 15s, though the 3012LF more or less keeps up below 60Hz
[attachment=110662:SPL [email protected] for 75 sealed.jpg]

Cone excursion @ 240w, which related to xmax tells you about low frequency output capability before distortion. This gets inherently innacurate above xmax since the voice coil is leaving the magnet gap so it should be harder to reach xlim than it looks. Behaviour beyond xmax is generally not well-specified but subjectively some drivers do better than others! Nice thing about a sealed cab is you don't get unloading below port resonance so subsonics from things like string-thump aren't such an issue. Still worth building a subsonic filter into your pre-amp to gain headroom IMO!
[attachment=110667:Cone excursion for 75 sealed @ 240W.jpg]

The last graph relates to this one, max spl (400w/240w limit as mentioned). To level the playing field I've used a similar estimate for xmax for the celestions as other manufacturers (rather than Celestion's much more conservative ratings), adding on Hg/4 so for the BN15-400X you get 4.5mm rather than 2.5:
[attachment=110668:Max SPL for 75 sealed.jpg]

So you should get more overall output from the 15s, with the 15PR400 the overall 'winner' thanks to it being able to take full advantage of the hypex module. Though if you were able to power each driver to its maximum thermal rating then the kappalite 3015 would deliver the loudest clean broad spectrum spl.

These programs are only useful up to ~200 or 300 Hz, above which point you should look at the freq response chart from the manufacturers and it becomes a matter of tonal preference - if you have a graphic or parametric EQ that can be really handy over decent headphones for roughly simulating how a particular driver might sound. Personally I'd probably choose the 15PR400, or the BN15-400S if I wanted really light weight. You may prefer the tonal profile of the Eminence drivers, note that the 3015 is the 'politest' of these and I'd say probably be most suited to jazz.

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Hello Andy,

As a matter of interest, can you take some pictures of the cabinet and put them up here. Also, let us know the height/width/depth.

It may be helpful in advising on a single or two speaker variation. Cheers.

Balcro.

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Interesting thread at the moment, I hope I'm not confusing the issue by adding in some more ideas. I'd strongly recommend you look at the Beyma SM212. Most of beyma stuff is pricey but this one is only £77 so within budget. It's strongest suit is Xmax a whopping 7mm measured the old fashioned conservative way. I like it because Qts is 0.38 which I find optimal, Lower values give overdamped sound and a roll off from fairly high. Higher values and transient response becomes a problem. Its a beautifully made unit and the only problem is that it needs a fairly big cab to give it's best, about 75litres looks good. The response curve is attractive for bass too as you get a reasonable output up to 6000Hz. Although it has a ceramic magnet the whole thing is quite light. [url="http://www.bluearan.co.uk/index.php?id=BMASM212&browsemode=manufacturer"]http://www.bluearan.co.uk/index.php?id=BMASM212&browsemode=manufacturer[/url]

Most importantly they sound fabulous with a bass guitar, I bought mine as bass/mid drivers for my PA speakers but they really do make effortless speakers for bass. Just an open easygoing reproduction of what you put in.

The other speakers I've tried recently are the 15 Deltalites which are on offer at the moment [url="http://www.bluearan.co.uk/index.php?id=EMIDLIT2515&browsemode=manufacturer"]http://www.bluearan.co.uk/index.php?id=EMIDLIT2515&browsemode=manufacturer[/url] I couldn't resist the price and my trajectory is in the opposite direction to Lawrence at the moment, I'm looking to add a little colouration so their little midrange hump and bass lift in the cabs i had planned looked interesting. I haven't built the real lightweight cabs i intended yet but one sits in a 65l cab I designed for a Black Widow and has become my go to speaker at the moment.

One question, if you are happy with making a new baffle to fit in a 12 then why not consider making the cab a reflex design? I'm not against a sealed cab especially for studio work but the extra free bass from a well designed reflex is a hard option to turn down.

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Just another cabinet for Eminence basslite C2515 4 Ohm. Aprox 85 litres, should weight about 20 kg when ready.

[url="http://www.sivuvau.nu/1x15_cabinet/kaappi_ulko.jpg"]http://www.sivuvau.nu/1x15_cabinet/kaappi_ulko.jpg[/url]

Inside quite messy and wood going from here to there. Totally wrong kind of structure according to Hi-Fi speaker "bibles".

[url="http://www.sivuvau.nu/1x15_cabinet/kaappi_sis1.jpg"]http://www.sivuvau.nu/1x15_cabinet/kaappi_sis1.jpg[/url]

I will add 4 piezos with on/off switches in some point, lot of things to do before that though. (tolex, handles, paint....)

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Well I bought the Bill F'M Jack 2x10 plans and... my nerve is giving out!

I have sourced some 12mm void free birch ply loclly but am now wondering about a simpler design.

Speakers I already have - a pair of 10" Celestion Neo 300 watt green labels, so does the team have any recommendations for something easy to build for a carpentry numpty with limited tools?

Edited by ivansc

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If you want a nice sounding 15 speaker then I would go and try to find a used trace elliot or HH one or even a Mitsubishi from a old Yamaha cab. New 15's are a bit weak, the old twelves from a trace or HH cab make them sound weak even.
15 inch cabs are a bit of a mystery to me, they sound bad with any modern speaker in but I have tried my old cab with 2 old ones and it sounds good with either.

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Just put together this 4x10" with the cheapest Celestion BL100s... shame one is faulty and distorts badly. Anyway they're not bad in 150lt tuned at 40hz or so. Sound kinda "Hartkeish" :lol:

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I would like to build a cab and was thinkin of a 4ohm 15" to use with my TE AH200.
I have been looking at the Legend CA154 on the Eminence site,and was wondering why people choose to use the PA type speakers over the bass guitar speakers?
Does anyone have any views or words of wisdom with regard to useing the CA154 in a 1x15?

cheers
verb

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You'll have to feed the Legend CA154 about twice the power to get the same volume as the Delta 15A, and it takes less power to break the Legend. Either needs the box matched to it to work. PA drivers and bass drivers aren't any more different to each other than a driver and another driver, there isn't a defining characteristic, you need to pick one to suit the purpose. Also, aiming for a 4ohm driver will tend towards being a bad idea.

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[quote name='Mr. Foxen' timestamp='1347056746' post='1796667']
You'll have to feed the Legend CA154 about twice the power to get the same volume as the Delta 15A, and it takes less power to break the Legend. [/quote]

The modest 2.7mm x-max of the Delta 15A means that it will go into fartout long before the Legend CA154. The theoretical difference is sustantial, about 5 dB.

If the limiting factor in this application is thermal power handling (unlikely) or amplifier power (possible if we're talking low-powered valve amps), then the Delta 15A will play louder. If the limiting factor is fartout, which is more likely the case, then the Legend CA154 will play louder.

If the Legend CB158 is within budget, might be worth looking at - good combination of efficiency and excursion in a midpriced 8-ohm ceramic magnet woofer.

Edited by DukeL

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