Why Are Manufacturers choosing 12's over 15's?

I’ve been looking at a lot of different amp and cabinet manufacturers. Although, 10" speakers are still a standard, for larger speakers the bass cabinet industry seems to be moving further away from 15" speakers and more toward 12" speakers.

Does anyone have any insight as to why this is happening?

Has there been some technological development that makes 12" speakers more desirable?

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I would choose 12" over 15" preferentially myself. Why do you think they are undesirable compared to 15"?

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I’ve only ever used 10’s and 15’s and I like each for what they do. I’ve never played through any 12’s so I don’t have an opinion.

Just curious what’s driving the change.

If I had to guess, I would think it was just a change in what people desire. But then I look at some place like Genzler Amplification and 15’s aren’t even an option. So, then I began to think, maybe there is a more technical driver to the change.

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I don’t have any technical insight here myself, but if you see high-end manufacturers move away from 15’’, then there might be more than just what people want behind this… It is always difficult to see whether what people want or what people get offered is the driver.

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like @howard, I’d prefer 12" too. it’s more balanced than 10" or 15" in my opinion. a 15" sounds good but really needs to move air to work good, and it’s in general not very dynamic. a 10" is often a bit shy in the low end. a 12" is the best of both worlds in my opinion.

that said and if for some reason you want to avoid 12" speakers, a 4x10" + 1x15" works great too … if you have enough room left … :grin:

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Hey, I think people want lightweight and 15" cabs are not as light. I think people are mainly focused on the type of driver a cab has (Eminence or celestion) and the porting to make it match their genre.

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Yes, for example, neither Bergantino nor Genzler are making 15’s. From reading about these companies and their desire to be innovative, I would expect both of these companies to go with whatever they think sounds the best.

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Yes, I would tend to agree… given that these guys know what they are doing :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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As others have commented, I think 12’s give you the best balance all around between punchy and low end. I mean, ideally a 4X10 plus 2X15 would be sweet, not everyone can accommodate that.

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I think most companies sell what the consumer wants? It’s most likely based on sales… I assume. :slight_smile:

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A balance gets to be made between:

Driver size
Cabinet size
Weight
Cost
LF cutoff
Max level
Unique design
Market assumptions

When people do something unique in the design, it gets more difficult to make assumptions about the performance of the driver size. At the Bergatino price point, they can pull tricks. Smaller drivers can be made to go lower to a point with other trade offs. Larger drivers don’t generally ever get tighter with tricks.

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There’s this push vs. pull concept. It’s desirable to have a differentiating factor to have a reason to chose your product over another, but that can also create a push dynamic where people may not realize it’s what they want. I suspect @JT would have observations about this from the pricing standpoint.

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I just remembered reading an article from the owner of Barefaced about this topic. He is really knowledgeable and can explain it really well to a noob like me (he has some YouTube videos too). In the article I linked below he touches a few topics between the 15 and 12 which @DaveT mentions as well. They make great sounding cabs.

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As @howard and @terb said I too find 12" to be optimum.

I had a Rumble40 with a 10" and swapped it out within 2 weeks for a Rumble100 with a 12" speaker because I found the sound so much more pleasing.

Again, it has to be said that choosing between 10" 12" or 15" speakers, especially for combo or practice amps, can be subjective to the individual.
So the answer, like selecting a Bass, is to pick the one that you like the sound of for your situation.

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FWIW, they do have this:

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@sfadams Thanks. I had missed that one.

@Paul That’s a good article. It certainly helps to explain why there is such a price difference in seemingly similar cabs.

This is interesting where he lays out the design goals and where they ended up.

Eventually as Barefaced grew we started to design our own loudspeaker drivers, taking all our learnings from selling so many cabs direct to so many bassists, and the first Barefaced speaker, made for us by Eminence, was the Barefaced 12XN550. This maximum accuracy driver fills the niche where bassists want to hear exactly the tone coming out of their amp - total responsiveness. We didn’t set out to make a 12" speaker, it could have been any size, but this worked best.

We then set to work on a speaker that would bring more fatness and warmth to a player’s tone - and again, the size was not fixed beforehand, it was about getting the right sound and performance. The end result was the Barefaced 10CR250.

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I guess I’m going to have to check out 12’s now. You all have me curious.

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Boomy like 15’s but less farty and with more dynamic range like 10’s. My favorite size and what I wanted before giving up on amps :slight_smile:

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It’s probably just sales related, I think best combo would still be 2x10 + 1x15 or 4x10 + 2x15 for massive sound.

Not sure if anyone heard of this company but they are making some great looking cabs that pretty much eliminate spacing issues. 15’’ driver is facing down while 10’’ is on top of it. They offer all kinds of options and you can also customize them. Only available in US but they do ship internationally. Oh, they are expensive as well.

https://www.boombasscabinets.com/products/bbc-matrix/

I just checked shipping costs to EU :rofl:

On top of that price you have to add 25% import taxes and around 10% custom fees. :rofl:

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