Using Automotive Speakers For Bass Guitar Amp

Discussion in 'rec.music.guitar' started by Rod Onotera, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. Rod Onotera

    Rod Onotera Guest

    I'm no musician but I dabble in electronics. My son (the musician) needs a
    bass cab and we're considering making one as a project.
    I'm finding that the guitar speakers (Eminence, Celestion etc) are a little
    pricey and a bit hard to get here.
    What would be the group's opinion on using one or two car audio subwoofer(s)
    such as a Cerwin Vega HED-12 perhaps with a midrange?
    Freq Resp 20-500 Hz 200 watts RMS 4 ohms
    We're running a Traynor Mono Block into it (250 watts RMS @ 4 ohms)
    Rod
  2. Les Cargill

    Les Cargill Guest

    Rod Onotera wrote:
    >
    > I'm no musician but I dabble in electronics. My son (the musician) needs a
    > bass cab and we're considering making one as a project.
    > I'm finding that the guitar speakers (Eminence, Celestion etc) are a little
    > pricey and a bit hard to get here.
    > What would be the group's opinion on using one or two car audio subwoofer(s)
    > such as a Cerwin Vega HED-12 perhaps with a midrange?
    > Freq Resp 20-500 Hz 200 watts RMS 4 ohms
    > We're running a Traynor Mono Block into it (250 watts RMS @ 4 ohms)
    > Rod


    I'm quite skeptical that it'll work. I've hooked up a couple of
    car stereo drivers to a bass amp and was disappointed.

    For inexpensive raw driver stock, Carvin has some stuff available:

    http://carvin.com/cgi-bin/Isearch.exe?P1=RSPK

    --
    Les Cargill
  3. T-Bone

    T-Bone Guest

    "Rod Onotera" <ronotera@shaw.ca> wrote in message
    news:UGE%a.748361$3C2.17348894@news3.calgary.shaw.ca...
    > I'm no musician but I dabble in electronics. My son (the musician) needs a
    > bass cab and we're considering making one as a project.
    > I'm finding that the guitar speakers (Eminence, Celestion etc) are a

    little
    > pricey and a bit hard to get here.
    > What would be the group's opinion on using one or two car audio

    subwoofer(s)
    > such as a Cerwin Vega HED-12 perhaps with a midrange?


    Recorded audio is compressed. Speakers designed for playback of recorded
    audio usually won't handle the dynamic range of "live" input.
    Dorgan
  4. 'nuther Bob

    'nuther Bob Guest

    On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 06:45:53 -0400, "T-Bone" <dorgan@fltg.net> wrote:


    >Recorded audio is compressed. Speakers designed for playback of recorded
    >audio usually won't handle the dynamic range of "live" input.
    >Dorgan


    Not that I'm a doubting Thomas (or Bob, as the case may be) but
    it seems like the auto speakers would cover the part of the audio
    spectrum that you can hear without difficulty (based on spec's)
    although there might be something you can feel that a normal
    speaker wouldn't reproduce. Do you have any references that would
    back up your theory on "range" ?

    I'm not arguing that speakers designed for the job of playing bass
    would not be better, just wondering how what you said about "range"
    could be true.

    Bob
  5. 'nuther Bob wrote:
    > On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 06:45:53 -0400, "T-Bone" <dorgan@fltg.net> wrote:


    >
    >>Recorded audio is compressed. Speakers designed for playback of recorded
    >>audio usually won't handle the dynamic range of "live" input.
    >>Dorgan


    > Not that I'm a doubting Thomas (or Bob, as the case may be) but
    > it seems like the auto speakers would cover the part of the audio
    > spectrum that you can hear without difficulty (based on spec's)
    > although there might be something you can feel that a normal
    > speaker wouldn't reproduce. Do you have any references that would
    > back up your theory on "range" ?
    >
    > I'm not arguing that speakers designed for the job of playing bass
    > would not be better, just wondering how what you said about "range"
    > could be true.


    That's dynamic range he's talking about, and he's right. All you need to
    do is look at the sensitivity ratings for the speakers in question to
    verify this. A good 12" or 15" bass speaker will often spec around
    100dB/1 watt/1 meter. Cheap car stereo speakers rarely do this, AFAIK.
    They may easily require 10 times the power input to achieve the same
    sound pressure level. When you're talking the difference between 200
    watts and 2000 to get to 120dB (for example), you're likely to surpass
    the max power rating, dig?

    But your question about frequency response is relevant as well. Bass
    instrument speakers are voiced to get your bass into the mix in a way
    that lets you sit below and maybe also above vocals, guitars, keys, etc.
    They make no pretense of being flat. Car stereo woofers are built to
    work with the resonant peak of your car interior, which requires a very
    different voicing. They also are often designed for short-throw
    cabinets, which are generally a poor choice for live use on stage. The
    ones designed for bandpass cabs are worse yet; a one note thump is not
    good for most bass players.

    As far as the original poster: since you're going to spend at least as
    much as it'll cost you to buy a decent bass cab, go for a real bass
    driver. You'll soon end up doing that anyway, IMO. Eminence makes plenty
    of inexpensive bass drivers which work very well. Ther's plenty of free
    cabinet design software on the web. Run a few simulations for those car
    speakers, versus some real bass drivers. You'll quickly see why you
    should invest in one of those.


    .cE
  6. Rod Onotera

    Rod Onotera Guest

    Thanks guys...points well taken.
    I guess it stands to reason
    guitar speakers are designed for their intended use.
    Rod

    "Charlie Escher" <charliejane@gorge.net> wrote in message
    news:vjv9pm8i5ina4e@corp.supernews.com...
    > 'nuther Bob wrote:
    > > On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 06:45:53 -0400, "T-Bone" <dorgan@fltg.net> wrote:

    >
    > >
    > >>Recorded audio is compressed. Speakers designed for playback of recorded
    > >>audio usually won't handle the dynamic range of "live" input.
    > >>Dorgan

    >
    > > Not that I'm a doubting Thomas (or Bob, as the case may be) but
    > > it seems like the auto speakers would cover the part of the audio
    > > spectrum that you can hear without difficulty (based on spec's)
    > > although there might be something you can feel that a normal
    > > speaker wouldn't reproduce. Do you have any references that would
    > > back up your theory on "range" ?
    > >
    > > I'm not arguing that speakers designed for the job of playing bass
    > > would not be better, just wondering how what you said about "range"
    > > could be true.

    >
    > That's dynamic range he's talking about, and he's right. All you need to
    > do is look at the sensitivity ratings for the speakers in question to
    > verify this. A good 12" or 15" bass speaker will often spec around
    > 100dB/1 watt/1 meter. Cheap car stereo speakers rarely do this, AFAIK.
    > They may easily require 10 times the power input to achieve the same
    > sound pressure level. When you're talking the difference between 200
    > watts and 2000 to get to 120dB (for example), you're likely to surpass
    > the max power rating, dig?
    >
    > But your question about frequency response is relevant as well. Bass
    > instrument speakers are voiced to get your bass into the mix in a way
    > that lets you sit below and maybe also above vocals, guitars, keys, etc.
    > They make no pretense of being flat. Car stereo woofers are built to
    > work with the resonant peak of your car interior, which requires a very
    > different voicing. They also are often designed for short-throw
    > cabinets, which are generally a poor choice for live use on stage. The
    > ones designed for bandpass cabs are worse yet; a one note thump is not
    > good for most bass players.
    >
    > As far as the original poster: since you're going to spend at least as
    > much as it'll cost you to buy a decent bass cab, go for a real bass
    > driver. You'll soon end up doing that anyway, IMO. Eminence makes plenty
    > of inexpensive bass drivers which work very well. Ther's plenty of free
    > cabinet design software on the web. Run a few simulations for those car
    > speakers, versus some real bass drivers. You'll quickly see why you
    > should invest in one of those.
    >
    >
    > .cE
    >
    >
    >
  7. "Charlie Escher" <charliejane@gorge.net> wrote in message
    news:vjv9pm8i5ina4e@corp.supernews.com...
    > 'nuther Bob wrote:
    > > On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 06:45:53 -0400, "T-Bone" <dorgan@fltg.net>

    wrote:
    >
    > >

    <snip>

    > That's dynamic range he's talking about, and he's right. All you need

    to
    > do is look at the sensitivity ratings for the speakers in question to
    > verify this. A good 12" or 15" bass speaker will often spec around
    > 100dB/1 watt/1 meter. Cheap car stereo speakers rarely do this, AFAIK.
    > They may easily require 10 times the power input to achieve the same
    > sound pressure level. When you're talking the difference between 200
    > watts and 2000 to get to 120dB (for example), you're likely to surpass
    > the max power rating, dig?
    >


    I have been curious to try some *insensitive* car speakers with my
    guitar amp since I heard that Derek Trucks runs Pyle Drivers in his
    Super. Seems similar to running an attenuator.

    Kerry M
  8. Kerry Maxwell wrote:
    > "Charlie Escher" <charliejane@gorge.net> wrote in message
    >
    >>That's dynamic range he's talking about, and he's right. All you need

    > to
    >>do is look at the sensitivity ratings for the speakers in question to
    >>verify this. A good 12" or 15" bass speaker will often spec around
    >>100dB/1 watt/1 meter. Cheap car stereo speakers rarely do this, AFAIK.
    >>They may easily require 10 times the power input to achieve the same
    >>sound pressure level. When you're talking the difference between 200
    >>watts and 2000 to get to 120dB (for example), you're likely to surpass
    >>the max power rating, dig?
    >>

    > I have been curious to try some *insensitive* car speakers with my
    > guitar amp since I heard that Derek Trucks runs Pyle Drivers in his
    > Super. Seems similar to running an attenuator.


    For guitar, that can work quite well, if you can find drivers voiced in
    a way that you like. The difference between my old Jensen C12Ns and my
    EVMs was quite useful for letting my 60 watt tube head light up a bit.

    For bass guitar, with only 200 watts like the OP mentioned, prolly not
    so hot though.


    --.cE
  9. Jon

    Jon Guest

    That's exactly what my nephew uses, works fine for him.

    Rod Onotera wrote:

    > I'm no musician but I dabble in electronics. My son (the musician) needs a
    > bass cab and we're considering making one as a project.
    > I'm finding that the guitar speakers (Eminence, Celestion etc) are a little
    > pricey and a bit hard to get here.
    > What would be the group's opinion on using one or two car audio subwoofer(s)
    > such as a Cerwin Vega HED-12 perhaps with a midrange?
    > Freq Resp 20-500 Hz 200 watts RMS 4 ohms
    > We're running a Traynor Mono Block into it (250 watts RMS @ 4 ohms)
    > Rod

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