The Bass-ment

put down some serious rumble w/ this bad boy


Is that the speaker from Doc Brown's amp?


These were pretty common in movie theaters in the early '70's. They need a big box to work right. You can probably find the enclosure specs online.


No, not quite- human hearing is supposed to go down to around 20 - 50 Hz, if I remember right. You con certainly FEEL 16 HZ, tho. If someone wanted to use that thing, they would need a really big amp. I remember listening to some Klipsch Voice of the Theater speakers years ago, with a bass speaker about that size. You couldn't even get a power hum out of them with less that 50 watts per channel, and not much sound with less than 100. That speaker could be something to hear, tho - but I think you'd need a big horn speaker to take care of the mid range.


They were subwoofers for theaters around the time movies like Earthquake were popular. They only worked up to about 150hz. They were also designed before there were powerful amps, which is why they're so big. I installed many of these back in the day.
For the record: 20hz is the lowest frequency your brain will perceive as a tone. You can certainly hear lower frequencies, but you'll perceive them as individual pulses rather than a tone, like somebody knocking on a door fast.
Also, Voice of the Theater was a series of Altec products with reflex enclosures, front loaded horn woofers, and mid-range horns. Klipsch made the folded horn enclosures with the rear facing woofers. Both require big rooms to get any real bass. Both sounded great, although the Altecs required more fiddling to get right.


You're right, BZ - Klipschorns were what I was thinking of. I did hear a pair of Voice of the Theaters, tho - just a different store. I seem to remember that they were paired with some Servostatic tweeters, with evrything driven by 3 amps through an external crossover box. It did sound great, but was obscenely complicated & expensive. I was an E-3 at the time, and stuff like that made anything I could afford sound like crap.


My old drummer from 1971 still has our old Voice of the Theatres in his barn. They were powered (not anymore) and he still has the head that went with them. He uses them for his man cave! We were the first band from the Sandusky OH area that had them!


I used to have Altec Voice of the Theaters, Klipschorns, and Tannoy 15" coaxials, all in the same room. Then I got married and my wife made me get actual furniture instead. I'm still working on getting the Hammond and Leslie out of the living room.


Yeah, wives tend to be 'funny' (And I mean that in a GOOD way) that way. After my ex went back home to Momma, I'm still trying to get rid of enough furniture to make room for my "ridiculous" stereo system, and turn the whole house into a man-cave.


Significant others never seem to understand that Hammonds & Leslies are actual furniture.

See also: Console stereos and Curtis Mathes televisions.


Ha, Billy, I'm picturing visiting you pre-married and sitting on a sub cabinet, resting my coffee cub on another speaker cabinet, and pulling yet another cab in to put my feet up. Musta been cozy. :D



Silly me... Now I see 25W...Not 25 watts. :P


this brings up another weird thing I was wondering the other day while watching old jimi hendrix live footage.

the amps behind him look HUGE and they look like there is 1 or may 2 speakers per cabinet... if true they would have to be more than 20"s or something nuts.

am I seeing things weird? 8-o



– Unclegrumpy


– UncleGrumpy

My thoughts excatly! lol


HERE is the link to the video I was talking about


Those are the later style Fender Dual Showman cabinets. They're stacked two high on their sides. Each one has two JBL D130F 15" speakers, and he's playing through a Fender Dual Showman head. As long as you keep the impedance matched, you can use as many as you can afford. That was a pretty standard sound system in those days, very good for vocals too. It looks like the bass player has a bunch of them with two Dual Showman heads. Nobody's ever come even close to making a speaker that can compare to a D130. Obviously, they sound as good for Hendrix as they did for Cliff Gallup. I think that one monitor is an Altec utility cabinet, but I can't see enough of it to ID it.


And apparently the ability to do a pull-up didn't happen until '71.


BZ thanks for the info. For some reason the depth was playing tricks on my eyes and making the speakers look larger in those cabinets.

Now that we are on the subject of speaker size. BZ do you have a website to recommend that would explain the different tonal/physical qualities of sound coming from different speaker sizes...

10" vs 12" vs 15" I have wanted to expand my live set up to include a variety of sizes but want to know what I am going for.


I don't think you can do it by size. There are too many variables. And you can't really compare D130's to other speakers, especially not guitar speakers.


so the size of the speaker is irrelevant? Does is all depend on the watts preamps power amps ohms resistors etc?

I am not stupid enough to shoot you down BZ but the size of the speaker has to provide some specific characteristics... meaning a 15" speaker is capable of frequencies that a 10" speaker is not capable of.... vice versa????


Wrong. Completely wrong. There are way too many variables other than size. That's why you see so many bass cabinets loaded with 10's and bright guitar amps with 15's. A D130 went much lower and much higher than other guitar speakers and was at least twice as loud using the same amp.

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