Guitar Head through 15" Cab

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jessethompson56
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Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by jessethompson56 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:24 am

Has anyone used a guitar head through a 15" cab? I have heard of many guitarists (mostly old timers) preferring the sound of 15" speakers. I have been considering running a micro terror through my TubeWorks 15" cab to check out what kind of product I get. Thoughts?

a.hun
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by a.hun » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:37 pm

Yeah, why not? Fifteens can, like other sizes, sound rubbish, fantastic, or all points in between. Good 15" guitar drivers can really sparkle and shine as well as moving some serious air. There are guitar combos with 15"drivers eg by Fender, Peavey.

Watch the speaker impedance rating though. Main point with any valve amp is to be very careful to match the speaker impedance to the amps output.
With a solid state amp like the Micro Terror (preamp valves don't count!) there'll be a rated minimum impedance, in this case 4 ohms. The amp will be safe running a speaker load of that impedance or higher, but NEVER a lower impedance. Running into a higher than 4 ohms load will lower the amps power output a bit. Maximum power is into the rated minimum 4 ohms.


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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by HenningSB » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:49 pm

Im playing my Thunderverb 50 through a 2x15 Sunn cab, sounds amazing!

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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Jondog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:59 pm

I just finished reading a good article on speaker size. It's interesting how the application can mean all the difference. If I can recall it, I'll post it.
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Jondog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:03 pm

Does Speaker Size Really Matter?

These days, guitar speakers are available in a range of sizes from two or three inches, right up to 15". Smaller speakers are great for bedroom blasters and practice amps, where reduced output at low frequencies can minimize sound spillage between rooms and keep the neighbors sweet. If you’re like most, though, chances are you’ll be using 12" speakers for much of your recording and live work. But with an ever-increasing range of quality 10" speakers, and even some interesting 15" speakers available, one has to ask the question, “What role does speaker size play in the ‘relentless pursuit of tone?”

Inside the Mind of the Speaker Designer
Practically all of a guitar speaker’s constituent parts contribute in some way to its sonic signature. Chief among them are voice coil, magnet assembly and cone [but also influential are the suspension, surround, dustcap, cone treatments, etc.]. Each of these factors interacts with the others, together contributing to overall tone. These interactions, though in some cases very complex, are governed by certain principles of physics, in particular:

Output level [a.k.a. sensitivity] is determined by how efficiently the speaker converts electrical energy into movement of air.

Sound dispersion is controlled by the directional nature of high frequency sound and the tendency of certain cone shapes to focus the output signal in different ways.

For guitar speakers in particular, vibration “modes” within the body of the cone add much of the harmonic complexity and coloration that significantly contributes to great tone.

The speaker designer uses their expertise to find the right mix of all of these factors to hit a given “tone target.” Now, imagine we want to use a small speaker with a thin and light cone. There would be more intense vibration modes within this type of cone [compared to a cone of greater thickness, which would be more resistant to these vibrations], resulting in a richer, more harmonically complex tonality. However, use the same cone thickness with a larger diameter speaker and that cone might lack sufficient stiffness to withstand the proposed power handling, and could buckle under the force of the moving voice coil.

In this situation there would need to be some “trade-off” between tonality and power handling, requiring the designer to make both musical and technical choices to reach a desirable and workable solution. An experienced speaker designer will have the capability to identify the “right” choices to make in these situations, and use the opportunity to create a completely new sounding speaker.

What This Means For Tone
So, we see that attributes like size, harmonic complexity, power handling and high-note dispersion are clearly linked in the design process. Over time, the 12" speaker has come to be regarded as having the best balance of these attributes. However, 10" and 15" speakers can offer some alternative, interesting and even exotic flavors!

Good sounding 10" speakers can deliver a fast, punchy sound at wider listening angles with reduced “boom” on small stages. They can offer increased portability, reduced cost and the ability to push your amp into overdrive at reasonable levels without having drumsticks aimed at the back of your head. A well-designed 15" speaker can move more air so you can gig those wonderful little valve amps. The vocal range can be creamier, with extended low end and lots of detail and harmonic complexity, giving surprising richness to some otherwise scratchy-sounding guitar and amp combinations.

Which Size is For You?
It’s becoming more widely understood that changing speakers has a greater impact on tone than swapping guitar, pickup, or even amplifier. So ask yourself, why just one size of speaker? As players, all we need to do is select the right one according to situation, application … and desire.

Try this:
For the recording or practice session, why not try a small amp through a sweet, wellbalanced 10"?

At your big break support gig on the city hall stage, how about a wall of 4x12s?

Need to add some beef to your retro “plasticaster”? Break out a 1x15 cabinet.

What’s more, just as boutique amp makers have mixed different models to increase harmonic detail, you might even try and take this a step further by mixing 10", 12" and even 15" speakers to create that unique signature sound. But that’s another column.
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Gtr_Pkr » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:13 pm

I just got my 1965 Ampeg Gemini II back from my repair guy, Mike Bacino of Bacino Amps, and it sounds great! There is definitely more low end with the 15" speaker which, by evidence of the article, is normal. This would be a good amp to mix with my Marshalls because they would handle mid's and high's and the Ampeg will fill in the low mid's and low's. I haven't had the chance to put my Tele's through the amp, but I bet they will sound really good too. I would guess that a 15" will warm up the sound from the solid state amp. I would also guess that the Micro Terror will sound totally different going through a 10" speaker. Maybe a 12" would work best? Let us know!
Lost in the spacey reverb of the Rockerverb.......SOMEBODY GET ME OUTTA HERE!!

Les Paul Lover
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Les Paul Lover » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:22 pm

Jondog wrote:Does Speaker Size Really Matter?

These days, guitar speakers are available in a range of sizes from two or three inches, right up to 15". Smaller speakers are great for bedroom blasters and practice amps, where reduced output at low frequencies can minimize sound spillage between rooms and keep the neighbors sweet. If you’re like most, though, chances are you’ll be using 12" speakers for much of your recording and live work. But with an ever-increasing range of quality 10" speakers, and even some interesting 15" speakers available, one has to ask the question, “What role does speaker size play in the ‘relentless pursuit of tone?”

Inside the Mind of the Speaker Designer
Practically all of a guitar speaker’s constituent parts contribute in some way to its sonic signature. Chief among them are voice coil, magnet assembly and cone [but also influential are the suspension, surround, dustcap, cone treatments, etc.]. Each of these factors interacts with the others, together contributing to overall tone. These interactions, though in some cases very complex, are governed by certain principles of physics, in particular:

Output level [a.k.a. sensitivity] is determined by how efficiently the speaker converts electrical energy into movement of air.

Sound dispersion is controlled by the directional nature of high frequency sound and the tendency of certain cone shapes to focus the output signal in different ways.

For guitar speakers in particular, vibration “modes” within the body of the cone add much of the harmonic complexity and coloration that significantly contributes to great tone.

The speaker designer uses their expertise to find the right mix of all of these factors to hit a given “tone target.” Now, imagine we want to use a small speaker with a thin and light cone. There would be more intense vibration modes within this type of cone [compared to a cone of greater thickness, which would be more resistant to these vibrations], resulting in a richer, more harmonically complex tonality. However, use the same cone thickness with a larger diameter speaker and that cone might lack sufficient stiffness to withstand the proposed power handling, and could buckle under the force of the moving voice coil.

In this situation there would need to be some “trade-off” between tonality and power handling, requiring the designer to make both musical and technical choices to reach a desirable and workable solution. An experienced speaker designer will have the capability to identify the “right” choices to make in these situations, and use the opportunity to create a completely new sounding speaker.

What This Means For Tone
So, we see that attributes like size, harmonic complexity, power handling and high-note dispersion are clearly linked in the design process. Over time, the 12" speaker has come to be regarded as having the best balance of these attributes. However, 10" and 15" speakers can offer some alternative, interesting and even exotic flavors!

Good sounding 10" speakers can deliver a fast, punchy sound at wider listening angles with reduced “boom” on small stages. They can offer increased portability, reduced cost and the ability to push your amp into overdrive at reasonable levels without having drumsticks aimed at the back of your head. A well-designed 15" speaker can move more air so you can gig those wonderful little valve amps. The vocal range can be creamier, with extended low end and lots of detail and harmonic complexity, giving surprising richness to some otherwise scratchy-sounding guitar and amp combinations.

Which Size is For You?
It’s becoming more widely understood that changing speakers has a greater impact on tone than swapping guitar, pickup, or even amplifier. So ask yourself, why just one size of speaker? As players, all we need to do is select the right one according to situation, application … and desire.

Try this:
For the recording or practice session, why not try a small amp through a sweet, wellbalanced 10"?

At your big break support gig on the city hall stage, how about a wall of 4x12s?

Need to add some beef to your retro “plasticaster”? Break out a 1x15 cabinet.

What’s more, just as boutique amp makers have mixed different models to increase harmonic detail, you might even try and take this a step further by mixing 10", 12" and even 15" speakers to create that unique signature sound. But that’s another column.

Thanks for posting, interesting read.

Certainly playing my AD5 through its own 10" or through my PPC212 totally validates some of the points made.
I really like the brightness of the stock AD5 speaker, but also love the the fullness and creamy overdrive those 12" V30 can conjure. A 15" +12" + (2*10") would probably make for a killer cab...... :D
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, AD5, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, Tiny Terror

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Jondog » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:08 am

Ya, got me thinking quite a bit. I currently run a 2x10 avatar and I like the speakers I have. Been wanting to get the Eric Johnson speaker but been unsure if I'd be happy running a single 12" compared to 2x10". The article changed my thoughts on that, I might get better response out of that single 12". Don't think a 15" is for me, my neck pickup is in the brink of boomy.
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by macg1 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:59 am

Joe Perry uses 15 inch speakers. As does Chris Duarte. I do as well. Rocker 30 into a 1x15 cab with an Eminence Big Ben. The tone is pretty darn good.
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Jondog » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:53 am

There was someone local to me selling a guitar cab loaded with an 18" speaker pretty cheap, I was tempted..... I think it was a peavy? I was more curious rather than wanting it.
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jason41224
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by jason41224 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:40 am

fender twins sometimes come loaded with 1x15 instead of 2x12
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a.hun
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by a.hun » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:43 am

jason41224 wrote:fender twins sometimes come loaded with 1x15 instead of 2x12
Yep:
http://www.fender.com/en-NL/products/65-twin-custom-15" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Peavey do a 1x15 version of the Classic 30, the Delta Blues:
http://www.peavey.com/products/index.cf ... c%20Series" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;™
Nice sounding amp. They also used to do a 1x15 extension cab (115E) which I've played and really enjoyed. I'd happily grab one of those. Never heard of a 1x18 guitar cab from them though - that might have been a mistake Jondog, though who knows.
Jondog wrote:Try this:
For the recording or practice session, why not try a small amp through a sweet, wellbalanced 10"?
Reminds me of a recording session I once did using one of the two nice old 1x10 + 1x12 Marshall 'flare front' column PA cabs I used to have. I was (unusually) doing some lead guitar and ran an overdrive into my Fender Pro Junior through that cab. I thought the engineer had miked up the 12 (55 Hz G12H-30) and we got a great sound. At the end of the session I noticed he'd actually miked up the 10" driver (a lovely old 7442)! :o

When I moved here I kept the 12" drivers and sold the two 7442s to my old tech who fitted them in his Marshall 4x10 which was two short. That is one fantastic sounding cab, one of the nicest ever. 10" drivers can sound just as great as any other size.

I have a couple of 1x10 combos - that Fender PJ and a Mesa Subway. The Mesa especially doesn't sound like a small combo - lots of nice full bottom end. I blew the original driver of the PJ and before fitting the current Jensen I tried an old Celestion Vintage 10 (not the same as the current G10 Vintage). The V.10 was far too dark and bassy in that amp - I think a 4x10 filled with them would sound HUGE and make any dark side 'stoner rock' players very happy indeed.

Forget 10 - 15" drivers though, if you don't think you can get decent recorded guitar tones from a 4" driver listen to the sound samples HERE.
Yeah, not earth shattering, but not bad either. FWIW it also works for playing along to many recordings because those trebly mids often sit well in the mix with what is coming out of your hi-fi speakers. I like my smallest Orange. :D

So my advice is simple: 'Don't judge by size, just results!' Nohting wrong with good fifteens for guitar, and a nice one can easily put out more treble as well as more bass than many twelves.


Andy.
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Jondog » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:44 pm

Looked it up after I posted, Peavy does have an 18" speaker called The Black Widow. It's not a guitar speaker, but the seller had it mounted in a guitar cab and was using it for guitar.
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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by a.hun » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:05 pm

Jondog wrote:Looked it up after I posted, Peavy does have an 18" speaker called The Black Widow. It's not a guitar speaker, but the seller had it mounted in a guitar cab and was using it for guitar.
Yeah their top range drivers in all sizes were called 'Black Widows'. Didn't know they did ones that big though.

Wonder how it sounds? :wink: :lol:


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

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Re: Guitar Head through 15" Cab

Post by Jondog » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:18 pm

Image
Found a photo of the 18" peavy, for reference the top two speakers are 10".
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