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Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15?

 
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jgimbel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:36 am    Post subject: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

In a few weeks I'm going to be buying a new bass amp - the fliptop Portaflex PF-350. I'm going to buy one of the cabs they offer to match with the PF-350, and to be the main cab I'm using with the PF-350. The question I'm juggling with is which cab to get - they offer the same cab filled with either 2 10"s or 1 15". Here's the dilemma:

Right now, though my cabs are guitar cabs and therefore that may affect things greatly, I like the sound of bass here through a 12" speaker better than 10" - the 12 just sounds more natural. However in mixes I somewhat often find myself rolling off some low end (whether using the 4x10 or 1x12 that I've built), generally 100hzish and lower. I get a lot of bassists who want to be loud and clear and think that low end is the only thing that matters in bass (this is a different issue entirely, I realize and I'm not trying to somehow correct that here). I do sometimes get really incredible bass players, and I will be using this amp for my personal music as well, and while I'm far from a great bass player I do know how to get sounds appropriate for the music.

My gut kind of says 10s" may be a bit too boxy for me and I should go for the 15", but I'm also a little concerned that the 15" will just reproduce so much low end that I'll be pulling the low end way down at the amp to get a nice, even, balanced sound for recording. At the same time, if I've got a 4x10" that does work for bass, as well as a 1x12", is that reason to get the 15" simply for variety in speaker size?

I do hope to find some similar cabs at a store nearby before I buy, but can't find anywhere that's got these cabs so I'll have to just see what's available. Just wanted to check what people's opinions are here on a 2x10 vs. 1x15, since that seems to be a less common decision to be made than 10 vs 12 or 12 vs 15.
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Snarl 12/8
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

Can you try them both before you buy?

If it was me, I'd get the 15". Both because I'm a big fan of bigger speakers for bass and because you've got the 10's and 12 covered already.
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agauchede
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

I have the Ampeg B200R, which is a similar cabinet to the reissue portaflex with a 15" Eminence. I've been playing out with it for a few years and generally like it. However, the last few times I've played out, it has been through 2x10s and I really liked the punch I got through them, whereas the 15" is kind of a wash of low end with not so much definition.

Like Snarl said, try them both and see what you like!
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markjazzbassist
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

I owned an original 65 b15 and it has a 15" speaker in it. If you want the flip top sound, they came in 12, 15, an 18 inch speakers. So go with the 15, I'm a bassist and larger speakers just translate better for bass in my opinion.
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The Scum
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

I'd recommend not basing your selection of a bass cabinet on experience with guitar speakers. The drivers themselves are pretty different.

Guitar speakers are (by modern standards) kinda crummy - paper cones, stiff surrounds, low power handling. The point being that they rasp and distort. It helps it sound like electric guitar.

Bass amps are usually built with PA-type speakers - really stiff cones, compliant surrounds, high power handling. You dump a bunch of power into them, and they'll move a lot of air, and not cook the voice coil in the process.

That said, I've had luck with 10"s, 12"s and 15"s in bass amps...as well as passive DIs and sansamps. A real Portaflex B15 is a great sound. A recent session with the class-D baby SVT head into a 15" Eminence driver in a trashed cab was pretty usable, too. I think the new Portaflex heads are very similar.
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jgimbel
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:01 am    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

Snarl and adauchede, like I mentioned I'm not having luck finding any place that has them in person, so the best I'll be able to do is try to find somewhere with two similar cabs and compare the difference between them, which I intend to do, I just wanted to see some other folks' opinions here first.

Thanks for the info everyone. markjazzbassist, I hadn't thought about the fact of the original available flip top cab speakers, that definitely affects my decision. I don't intend to be terribly accurately imitating a real fliptop for how cheap these amps are, but I've heard some very vintage and very modern sounds from them, so having the 15 may make it closer to the original sound than the 10s. Also, 18!? Mama!

The Scum, really great info, that's kind of what I was thinking - even from a build aspect, I generally use these cabs open back (I built them convertible but like them open for guitar so much more).

So right now if I had to buy them without trying anything first I'm leaning toward the 15", with the added benefit of quelling any chance of bass players with the "these speakers are too small, I need more low end!" issues.

Thanks for everyone's input, definitely some good stuff here. Keep it coming if you've got more, but this is a big help.
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telepathy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

I'm unfamiliar with the new Portaflex, but if you like 12's, why not buy a 1x12"? Aguilar makes killer cabs with that configuration. I'm a recent convert to their stuff in general. the Tone Hammer 500 is an unbelieveable amp for the money (and size!), and my favorite by far of the new Class D amps for tone and balls. no slouch in the studio, either.
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jgimbel
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Portaflex (reissue) cab: 2x10 or 1x15? Reply with quote

telepathy wrote:
I'm unfamiliar with the new Portaflex, but if you like 12's, why not buy a 1x12"? Aguilar makes killer cabs with that configuration. I'm a recent convert to their stuff in general. the Tone Hammer 500 is an unbelieveable amp for the money (and size!), and my favorite by far of the new Class D amps for tone and balls. no slouch in the studio, either.

The main reason is that my 12" cab is a guitar cab that I've built, so I don't know that it's a great idea to base my decision on that. I'm still looking for somewhere to try in person, but right now I'm leaning toward the 15" because every now and then I get some folks who like nice vintage sounds, and even though the new Portaflexes won't be even close to a replacement for a beautiful vintage tube one, I'd imagine using the same speaker size as a vintage option has a slightly better chance of being in that ballpark.

I'll definitely check out Aguilar cabs though - I've heard the name but never looked into them too much. Thanks!
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