These 1 meter/1 watt charts were compiled using data from driver manufacturers to show what you may realistically expect from various commercial electric bass cabs.
This is a 2x10, 3 cubic feet (net), ported, tuned to 50 Hz, loaded with the premium Eminence Deltalite II 2510 and a tweeter.
Some manufacturers claim their cabs loaded with this driver complement have an average sensitivity of as much as 101dB, with a -3dB frequency as low as 50 Hz. In reality an average sensitivity of 99dB, with a -3dB frequency of 70Hz, can be expected.
One manufacturer (who has a well earned reputation for advertising false specs) claims a 2x10 with 103dB average sensitivity and 97dB sensitivity (-6dB) at 35Hz. That claim is fantasy, pure and simple.
This is a 2x10, 3 cubic feet (net), ported, tuned to 50 Hz, loaded with an Eminence Alpha 10 and tweeter. This driver has specs similar to the standard driver used in Ampeg SVT cabs and many other OEM applications.
Ampeg claims the SVT210HE has an average sensitivity of 97dB and a -3dB frequency of 50Hz. Those figures are probably accurate.
This is a 4x10, 4.5 cubic feet (net), ported, tuned to 50Hz, also loaded with the Deltalite 2510 and tweeter.
Average sensitivity is 102dB, the -3dB frequency is 65Hz, the useable low frequency point (-10dB) is 45Hz. This is about as good as it gets with a 4x10 in a box this small. Some companies claim as much as 104dB/watt sensitivity with response to 35Hz from their compact 4x10s. Those claims are suspect at best.
What's of more interest is the trace in pink, showing what happens when you put the same four drivers in an 8.5 cu ft cab. Below 100 Hz the average sensitivity is 3dB higher. That means you could load those four drivers into a box of the size usually used for an 8x10 and get the same sensitivity in the low end as you would using eight drivers, but at half the cost. That being the case, why don't manufacturers use larger cabinets? Good question.
Here is an 8x10, 9 cubic feet, sealed, loaded with Eminence Alpha 10s.
Average sensitivity is 104dB, -3dB is at 70Hz. This is higher than the 100dB figure posted by Ampeg for the SVT 810E. I suspect that Ampeg has gone through at least two driver changes since they last measured. The Ampeg claim of 97dB at 58 Hz does hold up.
This is an 8x10, 9 cubic feet, vented, tuned to 50 Hz, loaded with Alpha 10s.
Sensitivity above 200 Hz is the same as the sealed cab, response below 200Hz is just a smidge better.
Does a huge magnet give better response? Yes… and no. Here’s an 8x10, vented, tuned to 50 Hz, loaded with 16 pound B&C 10PLB76 drivers.
Compared to the 8x10 loaded with Alpha 10s it does have better midrange sensitivity, but below 500 Hz it’s much less sensitive. The good news is that an 8x10 loaded with these monsters will handle 3200 watts. The bad news is that, with 6dB higher average sensitivity, the Alpha 10 loaded cab only needs 800 watts to get the same low frequency output.
Comparisons of the different models with each other and commercial cabs.
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