Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

15 vs 12


jmemcse517

Recommended Posts

I want to replace my old Peavey SP5's with something that's a little easier to carry. I'm thinking about a pair of PVx 15's, but I know some of you guys must use a 12" speaker cab.

 

Can you get as rich and full a sound as you do a 15" speaker? Can a 12 produce enough oomph to keep up with rock band stage volumes?

 

Any advise appreciated as the nearest music store is probably 3 hours away.

 

So, in conclusion: stick with a lighter weight 15 cab, or downsize to 12's?

I got a bunch of stuff, none of it the really cool stuff though. I am working on it; I want really cool stuff.
Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I still own a pair of SP5s and gigged with them for years. They do not have much bass response. I only found them adequate when paired with subs. It has nothing to do with 15s, it's the whole cabinet design - trade efficiency output and size for bass. Are you using subs? That has a huge impact on the decision.

 

One thing's for sure, I'd go with active speakers if buying a similar modern PA. The K12's, DXR12's, and comparable will give as much output and MORE bass than the SP5's. That said, physics is physics, if maximum bass is important, you COULD get more from a well designed 15.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I look at 15s as an indulgence. My 12s can rock the house with synth bass -- with or without a house PA. The QSC K10s are no slouch, and I used to play with QSC K8s for non-bass heavy music.

 

J. Dan gets it right -- design matters more than the size of the speaker.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a traditionalist in the sense that if Don Leslie used a 15" for bottom end I won't stray from that theory. I also play LH bass (both keys and guitar), so when it came time to retire my Yorkville Blok 100, instead of going with a QSC K12 I chose the QSC KW152 for 2 reasons: 1) the bottom is a 15", and 2) the cabinetry is birch plywood. I wanted as much warmth as I could get from my clonewheel, and the weight penalty isn't severe. If you're familiar with the QSC amp there is a switch that has a "deep" setting, and I tried that once - it melted the walls.... :o

 

Jake

1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP

 

"It needs a Hammond"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

One of the loudest bass amps ever made was the Ampeg SVT... 15's? 12's? Try eight 10" speakers!

 

Like she said, "It's not the size, it's the placement and the design of the cabinet." Or something like that...

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And lets not forget that the bigger the speaker, the greater the lag. It takes a lot of energy to move that 15 back and forth. The SVT, and many other modern bass amps, get a ton of low end out of a 10 speaker, and the 10 is a faster, more articulate, speaker. Obviously, a bit of slop doesnt hurt when youre playing pedals, but if you are actually going for more of a bassist sound than a pedals sound, then the 10 is probably where you should be looking.
Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's fun to play with big speaker cabinets with 15 inch, and preferably more than 2-way, or it is going to be a lot of pushing and pulling for other than low frequencies.

 

Big speaker cone units are usually heavier, they need heavier metal for the rest of the loudspeaker, have big excursion, big voice coil diameter, etc. It's great to have a lot of air shifting for lower frequencies. It sucks for most other frequencies, and creates a certain form of a colored sound. I don't dislike that sound, but it's colored, and slow. It has a big advantage to stay 2-way with 15-inchers: probably it will go very loud without blowing your ears of (depending of course on your amp power and wiring).

 

With 15 inchers, you're going to be sure the cones are pretty heavy, possibly will "break up" in all kinds of use when not using them as subs only, and therefore sound warm and colored. A small cabinet (like the ones mentioned by the OP only go to about 50Hz deep) makes the bass advantage of the 15 inch less remarkable, and makes the sound suck a bit, because of all the air being compressed in the cabinet.

 

12 inchers come in more variety as far as I know, so some are also heavy, some have stiff cones, other friendlier for distortion paper cones, some have huge coils, other more subtle ones. I use a heavy 15 inch for only sub and a very stiff an smooth and light 12 inch for medium power, that works good.

 

Some 10 inchers suck the same as 12, and if you put 4 of them in an enclosure, the amount of air in the enclosure will still determine resonances, it's a hard game to compute exactly.

 

T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15" gives you more bass, but you sacrifice clarity in the low mids. I much prefer the sound of smaller woofers. If size and weight wasn't a concern, I'd want two or more 8's!

 

For 15's to sound really good, they need a 3-way system. If you need the bass of a 15, you're probably better off using a smaller cabinet plus a subwoofer.

 

If you're playing left-hand bass in a loud band, then you need deep bass (15" cab, or subwoofer). Otherwise, they're probably a bad idea -- those frequencies are the bass player's job! Sure, there are exceptions.

 

All that said, be aware that it's not AREA that matters for bass response, but DISPLACEMENT (volume), which is area times excursion (aka "x-max", which technically isn't the same thing, but close enough. Dan may chime in here with the actual facts.)

 

My point is, a speaker with twice the excursion and half the area has the same displacement volume, and therefore the same bass response. We tend to focus on cone size because for a given class of speakers, the displacement has been fairly similar. But I don't think that these days we can assume that excursions are the same across the board. You have to listen, and scrutinize the frequency response graph.

 

I have a pair of JBL passive 12" wedges (JRX100M) and they kick quite a lot of bass, almost but not quite what a bass player can get with a smaller rig. Every now and then at jams there may be an issue with the bass so I have to play LHB, and it's good enough to cover until they get the issue sorted out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jmemcse517 Since your music store is 3 hours away, I would suggest taking one of your sp5's, and some music you are familiar with to the music store with you, and directly compare your speakers to the speakers they have at the store. You can compare sonic quality, size, weight, bass response, and efficiency quickly and easily. I have four of the peavey sp5's and while they have been workhorses and very efficient, you will find that when compared to some other speakers (JBL, EV, Yamaha) they lack the same quality of sound, and bass response. But for the price they are hard to beat, and that's also where you will find out that yes they make 12" speakers that carry bass response quite well, but how much are you willing to spend for it. Also personally, I too prefer powered speakers.

 

If the speakers are a 15", I agree they sound better in a three way configuration, or have at least a 2" horn driver. (to me a 15" and a horn driver smaller than a 2" just sounds like a woofer and a tweeter, not enough midrange) If the speakers are a 12" I still usually prefer at least a 2" horn driver, but depending on the speaker it may not be as noticeable. Hope this helps..........................Dan

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, what great responses! Thanks much everyone - I've learned a lot. I want to try a pair of 12" cabs.

 

I really want to order those K12's, but it's hard for me to justify the expense because I don't play out for a living anymore - just a 1 and 2 night a week hobby.

 

I think maybe the JBL 12's have the right price and weight for me.

 

For Sale: one pair of Peavey SP5's - cheap :)

I got a bunch of stuff, none of it the really cool stuff though. I am working on it; I want really cool stuff.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, what great responses! Thanks much everyone - I've learned a lot. I want to try a pair of 12" cabs.

 

I really want to order those K12's, but it's hard for me to justify the expense because I don't play out for a living anymore - just a 1 and 2 night a week hobby.

 

I think maybe the JBL 12's have the right price and weight for me.

 

For Sale: one pair of Peavey SP5's - cheap :)

 

FWIW I had a pair of Peavey PR15's which I sold and replaced with Peavey PR12s. I use them for stage monitors for one project (loud R&R) and also for a smaller not-so-loud project. More than adequate for both. $209 ea/$359 pr at MF and light as feather (30lbs). :thu:

Stan

Gig Rig: Yamaha S90 XS; Hammond SK-1; Rehearsal: Yamaha MOX8 Korg Triton Le61, Yamaha S90, Hammond XK-1

Retired: Hammond M2/Leslie 145, Wurly 200, Ensoniq VFX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, what great responses! Thanks much everyone - I've learned a lot. I want to try a pair of 12" cabs.

 

I really want to order those K12's, but it's hard for me to justify the expense because I don't play out for a living anymore - just a 1 and 2 night a week hobby.

 

I think maybe the JBL 12's have the right price and weight for me.

 

For Sale: one pair of Peavey SP5's - cheap :)

 

Get a pair of EV ZLX-12P's for less than the price of a single K12.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, what great responses! Thanks much everyone - I've learned a lot. I want to try a pair of 12" cabs.

 

I really want to order those K12's, but it's hard for me to justify the expense because I don't play out for a living anymore - just a 1 and 2 night a week hobby.

 

I think maybe the JBL 12's have the right price and weight for me.

 

For Sale: one pair of Peavey SP5's - cheap :)

 

Get a pair of EV ZLX-12P's for less than the price of a single K12.

 

+1... and they have BASS FOR DAYS!!!!

 

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...