Quote by jon.peebles
A good tube amp (no matter what brand it is) will be LOUD. A 10 watt amp can piss off even the nicest neighbors if it's cranked up, and 50 watts is more than enough to keep up with any drummer. Honestly, the only time anything more than 50 watts is even necessary is if you are playing for thousands of people. And even then, a less powerful amp can be pushed harder, and mic'd if it isn't loud enough. Also, the 2x12 won't actually be any louder than the 1x12. More speakers does not mean more volume. The extra speaker in the 2x12 will disperse the sound more throughout the space you are playing in, which will make the sound a little less directional and can give the impression of more volume, but it won't actually be any louder.

I'm interested foremost in the topic of speaker amounts (1x12, 2x12, 4x12) etc. and what situation these arrangements should be used in. For example does anyone use two 1x12 speakers set apart for a wider field?

Secondly, what type of wattage (head and cab) is recommended for various situations (such as apartment, home, house party, gig, arena etc.)? From my understanding you can get overdrive from a lower wattage amp at a lower volume but for cleans the larger the wattage the higher volume range you have before it starts to break up. Am I on the right track?

(I do realize that some of this stuff is touched on in a sticky thread within this sub-forum.)

Love you guys!
Last edited by Aegaris at Jul 9, 2011,
honestly it depends on a bunch of factors. common sense will tell you that a 100 watt amp thru a 4x12 in your apt will probably get you evicted and deaf as well. a 1x12 in an apt situation is plenty and you don't really need much wattage (for headroom) as even 5 watts cranked is pretty loud.

for live situations it depends on the size of the venue, PA or not and your style of music (to some degree). if you have a PA and a stage monitoring set up then a low wattage amp thru a 1x12 will work no problem as the PA is doing the work and you'll be able to hear it thru your monitor so loud stage volume from the amp isn't needed. yes some use 2 1x12 either for a stereo setup or sometimes the 2nd 1x12 is used as a stage monitor.

as for 2x12 and 4x12s well there isn't any rules per se however once again it would depend on the size of the venue. a 2x12 is fine for most situations. 50 to 100 watts is usually plenty even without a PA. if you use a clean sound and need it to stay clean at higher volumes then a higher watt amp will give you more headroom. in most nightclubs a 4x12 isn't needed to get the sound out to the audience. if you are playing in an auditorium or similar venue then having more sound dispersion might give you a better sound. if you are in a metal band well then a 4x12 is kinda mandatory if you want to look "metal". of course 4x12s tend to be kinda heavy so if you don't have a roadie keep that in mind .
1) More speakers DO mean more available volume, all things being equal. Doubling the speaker area will give you +3dB each time you double the speakers. A full stack (2x4x12) will be 9dB louder than a 1x12.
2) More speakers means you CAN have more volume with LESS speaker break up...if that is one of your goals.
3) While many, if not most places will be able to mic your cab....this is NOT found at EVERY gig...I have seen many where this was NOT the case.
4) People are usually happy to help you with a 4x12...not so much when you have a 2x12....just sayin.
5) a 4x12 makes a nice table for your head and/or small rack

Now, this does NOT mean you "NEED" a 4x12 or 2. But there ARE uses for them. Some would have you believe the opposite. Odd that SO many 4x12 are still sold if thats the case. In many places a 2x12 is PLENTY for shear volume's sake. But even playing high quality (Ear Candy in this case) 2x12 cabs compared to my 4x12 with the same speakers, the 4x12 had a LOT more low end.

I think the best solution may be to get both a 2x12 and a 4x12...use the one that suits the venue the best.
Ibanez RGR421EXFM, Michael Kelley Vex NV, Ovation Celebrity. Carvin V3
Peavey 412M w/Eminence Wizards & Swamp Thangs, Rocktron Hush Super C, Furman PL-8C,15 band EQ, Boosta grande, ISP Decimator, Dano EQ, Ibanez TBX 150,TC Elec Polytune