Pyramid WH1038 Woofer

Gear Review - Pyramid WH1038 10“ Woofer

I recently acquired a used 60 Watt bass combo amp with which I was dissatisfied with the sound of. After some playing around with it, I determined that the speaker was the ‘weak link’ in this combo. It came with a 12” driver, labeled as a ‘heavy duty bass driver’. However, given the way it sounded in this amp, and when it was removed from this amp and placed in a well-designed ducted-port cabinet, I began to suspect that it was simply a relabeled guitar driver. The amp sounded way too trebly and without any really deep bottom with this speaker in it. I mean, it was actually ‘screechy’. I had to set the EQ controls on the amp full up on the low end and almost full off on the high end to get even a halfway decent tone from the amp. I think I’ll give that driver a tryout as a guitar speaker.

I was also kind of suspicious about the internal volume of the speaker chamber in this combo-amp cabinet (at only 1.5 cubic feet) as being perhaps too small for a 12” driver, and thought about trying a 10” driver just to hear what happened. So I started shopping around for a relatively inexpensive driver whose published specifications were close to what I was looking for.

Given my low budget and never-ending quest for musical gear with the most ‘bang for the buck’...enter the Pyramid WH1038 woofer. It’s marketed as a sound reinforcement and car audio woofer, but the manner of its construction places it more solidly in the sound reinforcement category.

FEATURES:
Price: I caught this one on sale at MCM Electronics
(www.mcmelectronics.com) for about $17 (yep). It normally lists for about $25, I think.
Size: 10”
Power Handling: 125W RMS
Impedance: 8 Ohms
Published Frequency Response: 40 Hz-4 KHz
Published Thiele-Small Parameters: Fs: 65 Hz Qts: .65 Qms: 3.70 Qes: .75 Vas 0.4 SPL: 96 dB
Cone Material: Paper
Suspension: Treated cloth (a strange but cool purple color)
Frame: Stamped steel
Voice Coil: Hi-Temp Aluminum
Magnet: Strontium, 70 oz.

GENERAL COMMENTS:
I can only comment on the sound of this driver as used in my combo amp, but I can say that it improved the overall tonal balance (treble/bass proportions) of that amp tremendously. I can now set all my EQ controls smack-dab in the center, and have a pretty good tone to start from, rather than having to use radical EQ settings to achieve a good tone as I had to do before. It delivers fat, solid lows now, whereas before, the lows were present but without any real ‘authority’ in them. And this woofer seems to have enough response up in the higher frequencies of a bass guitar’s range of tones & overtones to satisfy just about all but the ‘pop-n-slap’ style bass players. For that, simply add a stout tweeter alongside it...and there you go. I have noticed, however, that there seems to be a little bit of a lower-midrange ‘honk’ in this driver as I have it set up in my amp. This isn’t in itself a bad thing, though. It kinda makes my fretless sound a bit like the tone Jaco Pastorius produced when playing fretless thru his old Acoustic 360/370 bass rigs with those monstrous ‘w-fold’ cabs. That ‘honk’ doesn’t sound quite so nice with a fretted bass, however, but it’s easily damped out with the EQ controls. There also seems to be slightly less overall loudness from this driver than from the original 12“ in the amp, even though the quoted sensitivity figure on this driver is a really decent 96 db. I chalk that up to its being 2” smaller in diameter than the original and thus having quite a bit less cone area pushing air. Or, it could simply be that the driver isn’t truly ‘broken in’ just yet.

I had to make an adapter ring to mount the driver into the amp cabinet, since the original driver was a 12”. But I believe switching driver sizes was a good call, given the cramped internal volume of the cabinet. I think the amp manufacturer really missed the mark on this.

After giving this driver a pretty good workout in my bass amp and finding it well worth the money I paid for it, my thinking now is that it would probably be a good low-budget driver for a homebuilt 4x10 (400W capacity) cabinet with a tweeter or two. I’d also bet that it would work quite well in PA systems, too.

Only time will tell how this driver holds up under use in my bass amp, but the price and the apparently quite good overall build-quality of this unit make it a real contender for the budget-minded musician’s hard-earned money, in terms of value for the money spent.

The only thing I dislike about this driver so far is a rather garish, colorful logo printed right on the ‘dust-cap’ in the center of the cone (see photo). Luckily, it hides pretty well behind the grille cloth on my amp. But if I were to use it behind a perforated metal grille or a more visually transparent grille cloth, I’d have to black that logo out somehow, perhaps with a big ol’ Magic Marker, or make a paper mask and spray just enough flat black paint on there to hide it. It’s really quite obnoxious-looking. Barring that logo, though, the driver looks really cool with that dark-purple cone suspension surround.

If, like me, you don’t have a large gear budget, you might want to give one of these units a shot to to replace a blown 10“ driver in your bass amp or PA/monitor cabinet. I’m pretty well pleased with it!

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