The sunn Forum
0
  • September 22, 2018, 03:05:00 am
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new home of The sunn Forum!

Author Topic: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older  (Read 409 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

VoltaTerminal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« on: June 17, 2018, 02:10:51 pm »

I recently played through a really great sounding Sunn 215 at a show and I love the sound I got out of it. I didn't get much information from the owner other than that it's a model from the 70's. I'm in the market for a cab anyway and the 2x15 seems like the way to go. I've found a few for sale online but they are the fender made models. I know that the post fender heads don't get much love but does this apply to the cabs as well? Assuming these cabs have the stock drivers in them are they worth acquiring?

EdBass

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,843
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 07:36:37 am »

I think most of the "magic" in the older Sunn cabs was in the JBL D140 drivers they many came with. I don't have experience with the later Fender/Sunn cabs, however the advances in transducer technology over the years would indicate that they are probably fine, just don't pay "vintage Sunn" dollars. Current light weight neodymium cabs have driven run of the mill big cab prices way down.
What are you driving the cab with?

Isaac

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,803
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 09:18:38 am »

I have a Sunn Model 215 cabinet. I replaced the original drivers with JBL 2205B drivers, which are essentially K140s without the aluminum dome. It sounds very good. I think the cabinet is tuned to a higher frequency than is ideal for the JBLs, but maybe it's a good tuning for the original drivers.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 01:12:35 pm by Isaac »
Isaac

VoltaTerminal

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 10:49:29 am »

I think most of the "magic" in the older Sunn cabs was in the JBL D140 drivers they many came with. I don't have experience with the later Fender/Sunn cabs, however the advances in transducer technology over the years would indicate that they are probably fine, just don't pay "vintage Sunn" dollars. Current light weight neodymium cabs have driven run of the mill big cab prices way down.
What are you driving the cab with?

I'm expecting to get a GK 800RB. My current head is an Acoustic 140 whose transformer just gave out. I just purchased the Sunn 215 off reverb for super cheap so I'm hoping that if I want to replace the drivers I can without breaking the bank.

GrannyGremlin

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 03:12:01 pm »

I think most of the "magic" in the older Sunn cabs was in the JBL D140 drivers they many came with. I don't have experience with the later Fender/Sunn cabs, however the advances in transducer technology over the years would indicate that they are probably fine, just don't pay "vintage Sunn" dollars. Current light weight neodymium cabs have driven run of the mill big cab prices way down.
What are you driving the cab with?

Dissagree (though that is the common thinking on the matter).

IMHO the magic if the cab itself - a reflex horn - Sunn (Mr Soundholm himself) pretty much invented those (story is the idea came to him in a dream), and they are not a common cab type.  They sound just as good with EVs in them for example.  Similar cabs were made by Musicman (there is a relativly large and dedicated 115RH fanbase on most bass forums; myself included), EV, and Garnet (but they're rare and if you find one you better let me at it first before you extradite it from it's native land you dirty bastards).  Probably a few others.

Sunn made 1x15 versions as well.  Both 1 and 2x15 came in 24" wide vs 30" wide versions (to match the 60 and 120 watt heads respectively); not sure if there is a sound fdifference but the 2x15 is easier found in 30" and the 1x15 in 24.  Later era (80s) also had some reflex horns but in addition to the change in aesthetics (easy to spot a 70s vs later one) they changed the orientation/placement of the ports to along 1 side vs in the middle, but same operating principle. They are just as good and probably slightly more rugged (metal grill vs cloth etc), also cheaper, but used cheaper drive units (IIRC, Cerwin Vega if you're lucky, otherwise rebranded Eminences). Watch out because then they also started making simple bass reflex ('ported' ) cabs - if you see a round port tube, not those.

Of the lot the MM 115RH is probably the easiest to find and cheapest (factory loaded with Eminences which suck, with optional EV upgrade which thankfully many people had the sense to take advantage of).  Sunns can be common in some parts of the States as well, especially the W coast, but usually fetch higher prices due to being en vogue with the doom folks.

There's also schematics on this site if you're handy enough to build one.

I have a Sunn Model 215 cabinet. I replaced the original drivers with JBL 2205B drivers, which are essentially K140s without the aluminum dome. It sounds very good. I think the cabinet is tuned to a higher frequency than is ideal for the JBLs, but maybe it's a good tuning for the original drivers.

Yes, the 2205B has a resonant frequency about 20Hz lower than the original D130s. Try adding stuffing to lower the tuning.  You can also enlarge the horn throat (the smaller end), but that's not reversable, so probably not the best idea.... or try some EV 15Ls in there; JBLs are not worth the current going prices IMHO.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 03:32:46 pm by GrannyGremlin »

Isaac

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,803
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 09:24:15 am »

The Model 215 doesn't have a "horn." It has a slot port across the bottom of the cabinet. The 200S and similar cabinets didn't really have a horn, either, although that's what Sunn called it. For one thing, the flare is the wrong direction for it to function as a horn. The later 215S and similar cabinets did have a horn flare on the port, but the resulting horn is too short and too small to function as a horn in the frequencies in which the port is active, so it and the 200S ports function pretty much as slot ports, too.
Isaac

EdBass

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,843
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 01:30:49 pm »


Dissagree (though that is the common thinking on the matter).

IMHO the magic if the cab itself - a reflex horn - Sunn (Mr Soundholm himself) pretty much invented those (story is the idea came to him in a dream)

As a Sunn specific forum, most of us here are familiar with the development history of the product. Also many here have and regularly gig the vintage stuff gear, and understand the science of transducers.
Isaac nailed it.

The Model 215 doesn't have a "horn." It has a slot port across the bottom of the cabinet. The 200S and similar cabinets didn't really have a horn, either, although that's what Sunn called it. For one thing, the flare is the wrong direction for it to function as a horn. The later 215S and similar cabinets did have a horn flare on the port, but the resulting horn is too short and too small to function as a horn in the frequencies in which the port is active, so it and the 200S ports function pretty much as slot ports, too.

All true, and another point is that MI (Musical Instrument) cabinets are usually tone producers, as opposed to tone reproducers as are SR (Sound Reinforcement) boxes. All that matters in an MI cab is that it sounds good in the application it’s used for, and for bass guitar the combination of Conrad’s “dream” cab and JBL’s D140 sounds phenomenal to my ear.
It’s Mr. Sundholm’s design, he can call it whatever he wants too.
The D140 has serious limitations mechanically compared to modern drivers, however tonally they are the “magic” of the old Sunn boxes.

The later 215S also sounds great with D/K140’s, and unlike the 200S, as a front loaded cab is very flexible with what drivers you can physically load into it. 
My go to 2X15 is a 215S loaded with EVM15L’s, I'm afraid to risk any vintage JBL AlNiCo drivers in it because I often drive the cab pretty hard with 225-400 watt tube amps. The smooth cone L’s are a bit more defined through the mids than the EVMB’s, and still have the bottom to thump when used in the 215S.

GrannyGremlin

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 01:25:29 pm »

As a Sunn specific forum, most of us here are familiar with the development history of the product. Also many here have and regularly gig the vintage stuff gear, and understand the science of transducers.

The Model 215 doesn't have a "horn." It has a slot port across the bottom of the cabinet. The 200S and similar cabinets didn't really have a horn, either, although that's what Sunn called it. For one thing, the flare is the wrong direction for it to function as a horn. The later 215S and similar cabinets did have a horn flare on the port, but the resulting horn is too short and too small to function as a horn in the frequencies in which the port is active, so it and the 200S ports function pretty much as slot ports, too.

The 200s (and similar; 2000s, 215B, 215BH, 215S, 215RH) IS a "reflex horn" cab.  That is the designation of the enclosure type.  No, it's not a 'horn' per se: hence the qualifier "reflex."  For the sake of succinctness, I referred to that angled baffle/wave guide/whatever you insist on calling it, as the horn; way to be retentive.  And you say Sunn called it that too so, way to be obviously unfair.

 As for the Model 215, sorry, in context I confused it with the 215S/B.  ... no idea what EdBass means about me explaining how transducers work (I didn't) and no it is not obvious that people on an amp forum would understand that (you're not all engineers as far as I know; which is not at all - if you are it's not obvious).   Sorry also about the 'history' bit - this forum uses the same software and theme as another I am on; thought I was elsewhere.

As for the horn flare going the wrong way - there is no such thing; orientation does not matter.  I have no idea where you got that; perhaps I misunderstand your intent with that statement.

Even Isaac admits (after claiming the JBL + cab combo is the magic in the 200S/2000S cabs) that the 215S cab (essentially the same design, but sideways - improved I'd say, but still the same idea; probably different port tuning) is great with EVs.  This supports my point.  Incidentally, for more bass, lay those things sideways so the 'ports' are along the ground.  Effectively extends the horn mouth and therefore lower register response.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 01:49:39 pm by GrannyGremlin »

Khrist92

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 09:56:09 am »

My two cents: I have a 2000s and a 200s cab. Since the 200s is smaller, its become my main gigging cab - I loaded it with Eminence Omega Pro 15's. With my T, it sounds fantastic. The 2000s I put JBL E-140's and use it at home. Very solid tone out of that one too. The 2000s originally had D-140's, and the 200s originally had E-130's in them.

Isaac

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,803
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2018, 09:30:04 am »

As far as I know, Sunn never used JBL E130 drivers, or any E series drivers at all. They started off with the D series, using the D140 for bass speakers and the D130 for guitar. Often, the same cabinet was used, with different drivers, depending on the intended use. The 200S was a bass amp, so the cabinet would have been loaded with D140 drivers. The identical cabinet, loaded with D130s, might have come with the 100S guitar head or the Sonic II. At some point, Sunn had JBL create the D15S, which was basically a Sunn branded D130.

JBL discontinued the D series and replaced them with the K series around 1972, by which time Sunn had stopped using JBL drivers. I haven't been able to find when JBL introduced the E series, but that was several years later, and Sunn had long since gone to the Sunn Transducer and Magna drivers.

What we think of as the 200S cabinet, then, could have been any of several Sunn cabinets, depending on which amp it came with, and might have had JBL D130 or D140 drivers in it. Unfortunately, the cabinets didn't have any identification on them. I have a 200S rig that I bought from the original owner, so I know that one is a 200S cabinet! Still has the original D140s in it, too.
Isaac

EdBass

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,843
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2018, 01:39:41 pm »

I think the Alnico motored JBL MI drivers were phased out for the E series in the late 70's. As Isaac says, every 200S cabinet had D140F's; except for maybe some special order artist requested pieces. The 200S cab had been replaced by the 215S before the E series JBL's were introduced.
The Sentura II had a 2 X D130F cab, but the 100S came with a single D130F and a compression horn. Sounds kinda weird by today's guitar cabinet configurations, but Sunn wasn't the only one doing that in those days. There were Casinos and some early Acoustic guitar amps doing it as well.

eddiemac

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2018, 03:49:44 am »

Yeah, I remember seeing Albert King on several occasions playing through a big, tall Acoustic amp with a horn near the top.  It worked for him.

EdBass

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,843
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 05:29:00 am »

I've always thought those old Acoustic bass rigs looked bad *ss. Transistors and compression drivers for guitar, what a concept!

GrannyGremlin

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Newer 215 bass cabs vs Older
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2018, 10:20:06 am »

Garnet up in Canada did that too (compression drivers in guitar cabs, often mated with 1-2 12" or a single 15").

They also did a couple reflex horn (sideways 215S style) cabs.





As well as this obvious take on Acoustics horn loaded cabs: