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Black Widow Super Structure

In the 1970s, Hartley Peavey’s commitment to excellence and building the best possible sound reinforcement equipment led to the creation of a division dedicated to revolutionizing professional speaker design. Known internally as “The Spider Works,” Hartley led this team to develop numerous patented speaker designs, the most popular of which was Peavey’s legendary Black Widow™.

Black Widow speakers are designed for many applications but share some key features. First and foremost is the field replaceable basket, a revolutionary idea that allowed speakers to be repaired to factory specs in moments, anywhere in the world. Application-specific cones and cast frames for incredible punch and distortion-free operation are just some of the keys to incredible audio common to all Black Widow speakers.

Designed for high power operation using only the highest quality connectors and wire, Black Widow speakers are some of the most reliable in the world.

Whether you are designing a speaker cabinet or looking to upgrade, a Black Widow is always the best choice.

The Black Widow®/Super Structure™ still remains far ahead of any of its competitors due to its performance and unique design. These state-of the-art speakers feature proprietary fiber impregnated cones and a high efficiency magnet structure to provide outstanding sensitivity, reliability, and performance. The impregnated cone is stiffer than an equivalent weight paper cone, reducing the tendency of the cone to distort the shape of the voice coil, thus avoiding rubs and scrapes. Superior power handling results from the increased stiffness, especially with large cone excursions. This cone also offers lower distortion than a paper cone due to a greater dampening of unwanted cone vibrations.

The magnet structure features a patented Peavey technology: a one piece die-cast back plate/pole piece assembly. This construction eliminates an undesirable "air gap" in the magnet circuit, enhancing efficiency and reliability.

Another Peavey original is the design of the speaker framework. In the unlikely event of the failure of a Black Widow loudspeaker, the cone/basket assembly is field replaceable with a factory assembled and tested replacement basket assembly. Instead of being forced to obtain a whole new speaker, only a new basket assembly is required. Lightweight and relatively inexpensive, the replaceable basket assembly offers an easy solution to spares and repairs.

Along with these state-of-the-art aspects, Black Widow speakers also provide the features expected in a professional application loudspeaker: a four inch edge-wound aluminum ribbon voice coil wound on a Kapton(TM) former for high efficiency and sensitivity; a die-cast aluminum alloy frame for exacting lifelong alignment of the assembly; an extra-large vent in the magnet structure for superior cooling and linearity at high drive levels; and heavy-duty spring loaded terminals adhering to industry standards for color coding.

The Peavey Black Widow speaker line: the high technology performer that is unsurpassed.


Musical Instrument Applications
1201-8 SS BW™ Black Widow® Speaker
The 1201 is an 8 ohm, 12" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker intended primarily for sound reinforcement. Offering superior sensitivity and power handling in a 12" speaker, the 1201 utilizes a fiber impregnated cone for a smooth response characteristic well suited to vocals, stage monitors, and other compact applications. This model can also be used to provide outstanding mid-bass performance in a multi-way system.

1205-8 Black Widow - No Longer Available
The 1205 is an 8 ohm, 12" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker that is similar to the 1201, except with a longer voice coil and enhanced low frequency response.

1203-4 and 8 Black Widows - No Longer Available
The 1203 is the 12" Black Widow/Super Structure designed for musical instrument applications. Able to handle high power yet maintain a bright crisp high-end with maximum output, the 1203 is the choice of many demanding musicians. For that high-end "edge," the 1203 utilizes a special paper cone for those distinctive guitar and keyboard sounds. Available in 8 ohm and 4 ohm versions.

Special Applications
1202-4 Black Widow - No Longer Available

The 1202 is a 4 ohm, 12" Black Widow/Super Structure designed specifically for use as a compression driver in a horn-loaded mid-bass application. Designed with an inverted dust cap to match up with a phase plug, the Kevlar impregnated cone resists break-up and cone cry, which results in a smoother response and more viable high frequencies. Not recommended for use as a direct radiator.

Sound Reinforcement and PA Applications
1505-8 DT BW™ Black Widow® Speaker

The 1505DT is an 8 ohm, 15" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker with a curvilinear cone for extended bandwidth. Offering a rare combination of usable frequency response into the mid-range with a smooth powerful low end, the 1505DT, fiber impregnated cone and long voice coil provide excellent linearity at high drive levels. Excellent as a woofer in multi-way enclosures or as the bottom end in a two-way system.

1505-8 KA DT BW™ Black Widow® Speaker
The "KA" version of the 1505 has a medium length voice coil for higher efficiency and even greater bandwidth than the 1505DT-8.

Musical Instrument Applications
1501DT-4 Black Widow - No Longer Available

The 1501DT is a 4 ohm, 15" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker specifically voiced for musical instrument use. A "classic" sound is achieved by using a specially developed high density curvilinear paper cone, and incorporating a one-piece aluminum dust cap and voice coil former. Sustain is enhanced while retaining control of the overall tone. Obvious applications include bass guitar and steel guitar.

1502-8 DT BW™ Black Widow® Speaker
The 1502DT is a 15" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker with a straight-sided, ribbed, Kevlar impregnated cone for the strength required to handle pounding bass lines. Primarily a bass guitar speaker, the 1502 is versatile enough to be used for lead guitar, keyboard, and general purpose low frequency sound reinforcement. The 1502DT-4 is equipped with medium length voice coils for efficiency and high output and is available in 4 and 8 ohm versions.

1505DT-4 Black Widow - No Longer Available
The 1505DT-4 is a 4 ohm, 15" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker with a curvilinear Kevlar impregnated cone for extended smooth response. While used as a bass guitar speaker, the high frequencies have a little extra "bite." Long voice coil maintains linearity at high drive levels.

Special Applications
1504DT-4 Black Widow - No Longer Available

The 1504DT is a 4 ohm 15" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker designed specifically for use in horn loaded enclosures. Utilizing a straight-sided, ribbed, Kevlar impregnated cone for maximum rigidity, the suspension is more compliant (softer) for higher linearity when driving a horn loaded cabinet.

Sound Applications
1801-8 LT BW™ Black Widow® Subwoofer

The 1801 is an 8 ohm, 18" Black Widow/Super Structure speaker which offers the ultimate in deep, extended, bass response while maintaining a high sensitivity and high power capability. This is the woofer of choice for discos subwoofers, special effects, or anywhere low end punch and impact are a must! A long throw voice coil and Kevlar impregnated cone team up for excellent linearity.

Musical Instument Applications
1801-4 Black Widow - No Longer Available

The 1801-4 is a 4 ohm version of the 1801-8 and matches better with the load requirements of musical instrument use.


The Thiele/Small parameters for Peavey Black Widow speakers are provided for those who like to "roll-their-own" design and construct a custom cabinet for a specific purpose. Modern computer programs have enabled almost anyone to try "what-if" calculations utilizing the Thiele/Small parameters without requiring a complete understanding of the individual parameters.

For the uninitiated, there are no "good" or "bad" Thiele/Small numbers, just relevant design information.


Re is DC resistance of the voice coil in ohms
Fs is free air resonance of the speaker cone assembly in Hz
QTS is total quality factor in free air
QMS is mechanical quality factory
QES is electrical quality factor
VAS is equivalent volume compliance of suspension in liters
No is efficiency in percents
VD is volume of air displaced in milliliters
Xmax is T peak-to-peak maximum cone excursion in millimeters

Model## Re Fs QTS QMS QES VAS No Xmax VD
1201-8 6.1 59.7 .27 6.6 .28 59 3.8% +/-2.6 143
1202-4* 4.5 47.1 .25 8.2 .26 100 4.4% +/-2.6 143
1203-4 3.0 57.8 .37 7.5 .39 72 3.1% +/-1.0 56
1203-8 6.1 59.4 .38 8.1 .40 69 3.6% +/-1.0 56
1205-8 5.2 55.6 .28 8.7 .29 69 3.8% +/-4.5 24
1501-4DT 3.2 46.7 .34 2.4 .40 188 4.6% +/-1.2 84
1502-4DT 3.2 43.1 .36 7.9 .38 192 3.7% +/-2.8 225
1502-8DT 6.1 42.4 .32 7.5 .34 205 4.5% +/-2.8 225
1504-4DT 3.5 31.3 .29 6.2 .32 385 3.6% +/-3.0 240
1505-4DT 3.2 44.6 .37 8.8 .39 182 4.0% +/-4.8 385
1505-8DT 5.2 44.2 .37 7.8 .39 198 3.9% +/-4.8 385
1505KA-8DT 5.3 44.3 .35 8.1 .37 187 4.5% +/-2.6 208
1801-4 3.5 40.6 .47 8.9 .49 330 4.3% +/-4.6 516
1801-8 6.5 40.2 .61 8.4 .63 321 3/4% +/-4.8 538

* inverted dust cap

Some notes concerning how the frequency response curves were taken: All the Black Widow models were curved in a suitable box. The 12" models were mounted in a volume of approximately 2 cubic feet, tuned to 80 Hz. The 15" models were mounted in a volume of approximately 3.5 cubic feet tuned to 40 Hz. The 18" models were mounted in a volume of approximately 10.5 cubic feet tuned to 32 Hz. Each box was lined with one layer of acoustic absorbing materials and measured in an anechoic chamber. One watt of input power was used (2 V for 4 ohm models, 2.83 V for 8 ohm models), and the measurement microphone was placed at 1 meter from the speaker on axis with the center of the speaker.

Due to standing waves inside the cabinets, the 12" models exhibit dips at approximately 700 Hz and 1.2 kHz; the 15" models at 400 Hz and 800 Hz; and the 18" models at 320 Hz and 6550 Hz. These are related to the internal dimensions of the cabinets and are not inherent in the speakers.

Loss bass response (below 200 Hz) is almost completely dictated by the cabinet used with the speaker. Different roll-offs and responses can be achieved with variations in the box volume and/or tuning.

Nominal Size: 12" 15" 18"
Overall Diameter 12 1/4" 15 1/4" 18 3/16"
Bolt Circle Diameter 11 5/8" 14 9/16" 17 3/8"
Hole (cut-out) Diameter 10 15/16" 14" 16 3/4"
Depth 3 17/32" 4 31/32" 5 17/32"
Weight 16 lbs. 17 lbs. 18 lbs.

Power Handling
Continuous 350 W,
Program 700 W*
AES 600 W<
, Continuous power per EIA Standard RS-426A
* Program rating with a minimum of 3 dB amplifier headroom
< Power capacity for 2 hours per AES Standard 2-1984

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