#1
Is it unusual that the sound dispersion of my cab is so bad? I have a carvin legacy 4x12 and it has v30s (i think), and is closed back.

The good news is- it doesnt sound shrill, even if you stand right in front of the speaker cone. In fact, I think the speaker sounds best directly in front.

The bad news is- the cab sounds worse practically anywhere else besides dead on. High gain sounds weaker and more flubby, and a lot of dynamics seem to disappear or be lost (i.e. the poppy spankyness of single coil pups). The difference is noticeable even if I am just standing up several feet in front of my cab, as opposed to sitting down in front of it to bask in the tonal bliss.

I tried cutting plexi glass sheets to mimic the shape of the webber sound dispersion cone things, and put them in front of all 4 speakers but it literally changed nothing.

Could it be that I am just an open back person? My friend plays a fender supersonic 22 and it is one speaker, open back, and it sounds great and even no matter where you stand.

Thanks
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#2
This is strange... A 412 should sound very full, even from the side.

Are you sure all the speakers are working?
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#3
do you scoop your mids? If you have problem cutting through the mix with a band playing besides you, maybe it's not the speakers fault.

Please elaborate on your setup, your amp settings, bandmates, room etc.
#4
I play an egnater vengeance through the 4x12, but I had the same issue with my old Bugera 333, in terms of the tone sounding very different depending on where you stand, but best right in front of the speakers. All of the speakers are working.

When I play with my buddies, I have to put my amp behind everybody. If I set up my stuff side by side or in front of everybody they cant really hear me and its quite muffled. The volume and tone right in front is very good though.

I dont really scoop my mids. The vengeance has a mid cut option, but I only use it sometimes. The directional issues persist regardless of whether im using the mid cut
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#5
Try your head with a few different cabs. I have heard a few Legacy cabs and they all sounded fine to me.
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#6
Its normal! The speakers are pointing forward, so its pushing the air out forward. Bassy sounds are omnidirectional so they tend to travel out of the side and back of the cab too, which is why you hear a muffled version of your sound when you're beside your cab.

I've noticed that if the cab is closed back, it tends to sound a lot more different from the side as opposed to an open-back cab that allows the sound to travel more freely.
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#7
Are there any products that can tilt a 4x12 cab? Ive seen tilts for 2x12 but nothing for 4x12. It would be nice for when Im practicing alone anyways.
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#8
Getting it off the ground will have the same effect, you don't have to tilt it.
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#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
Try your head with a few different cabs. I have heard a few Legacy cabs and they all sounded fine to me.


+1. Only useful thing you can do really. Process of elimination until you find the problem.
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#10
I wouldn't say its the cab unless there is something wrong with yours specifically. A band in another room at our practice space has two Legacy cabs with V30s and they sound as good as you could expect a V30 loaded 4x12 to sound -- which is great. Any 4x12 cab with semi-decent speakers should be able to fill a room just fine. Hell, even the old MG 4x12 we have kicking around works perfectly fine to fill the room.
#11
Quote by Watterboy
Is it unusual that the sound dispersion of my cab is so bad? I have a carvin legacy 4x12 and it has v30s (i think), and is closed back.



All 4x12s beam treble. They're essentially sound cannons, and this is, surprisingly, not a good thing. Usually what happens is that the guitar player sets his EQ for his position, which is off axis. When an audience member walks in front of the thing, they get skewered by ice-pick treble. I've retired all four of my 4x12s as of around 2006 and have moved to speaker cabinets that have better dispersion characteristics.

Here's the physics (stolen from www.barefacedbass.com -- they have a pretty good selection of technical reading regarding speakers if you're interested):

The simple (but incomplete) theory
Sound is a waveform, and when a wave is emitted from a source, the dispersion of that source is proportional to the ratio of wavelength to source size. The wavelength of low frequencies is very long whilst the wavelength of high frequencies is very short. The simplest way to consider a loudspeaker is as a rigid piston which produces all of its output at all frequencies evenly across the entire cone. Let's look at a pistonic 12" woofer - the 12" woofer actually has a radiating diameter of just over 10". When we stand directly in front of that woofer (on-axis) the sound emitted by from all points of the woofer all reaches us at the same time. However when we stand off to the side of the woofer then the sound emitted by the side which is closest to us reaches us sooner than the sound from the furthest side. If the different in time means that we hear the right hand side of the woofer moving forwards (compression) just as the left hand side of the woofer is moving backwards (rarefaction) then the sound cancels out. Clearly this is not a good thing!

Simplistic beaming limits

With a completely rigid woofer which is acting in a totally pistonic manner, then the following frequencies are the points above which the dispersion becomes particularly narrow (assuming a typical surround width of 0.9").

Nominal diameter Frequency

8" 2185Hz
10" 1650Hz
12" 1330Hz
15" 1025Hz


Okay, so what's happening with a 4x12 is that it's acting like one single very large speaker with a diameter of about 30". The frequency that corresponds to that size speaker in terms of beaming is roughly 500Hz. In other words, dispersion of frequencies above 500Hz is getting progressively narrower.

Surprisingly, if you took the 12" speakers out of the 4x12 and put them in a pair of 2x12s mounted vertically on top of one another, you'd have great side to side dispersion and everyone in the band (and down front) could hear you as you're meant to be heard.
Last edited by dspellman at Jul 8, 2013,
#12
I'm running an open backed 2x12 on top of a closed back 4x12. I'm loving it and the band can hear it really well because the open backed one is up near head height. Much better than they could when I had just the 4x12.
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#13
My 4x12 can be heard just fine on stage.
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#14
Quote by Robbgnarly
My 4x12 can be heard just fine on stage.


That's good. A lot of us have found that getting off-axis (in other words, not directly in front of) reduces treble to the point where we're either cranking it up (and killing audience members who vaporize as they walk directly in front of it) or losing it as mud in the stage volume as we move across the stage.

At one point, I found that taking a full stack and disconnecting all four of the speakers on one side of the stack made an astounding difference in that regard. What was left was the vertical stack of four 12" speakers. Having the extra height was part of the solution (speakers nearer the ear, of course), but the other part was that the horizontal dispersion was much greater. Tone-wise, I was now hearing what the audience was hearing, and I found myself able to use less high-end.
#15
Quote by dspellman
Okay, so what's happening with a 4x12 is that it's acting like one single very large speaker with a diameter of about 30"


Problem is, that's simply not correct. While there are phase cancellation issues with ANY set of speakers, regardless of orientation, there is NO math of which I am aware that allows treating a 4x12 as a single 30" speaker.

Which calls the balance of the claims into question...
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#16
I have never cared for the sound of 4 12s, or closed back cabs in general. I am currently running a 2 12 White Box cab that I think sounds great and is much less directional than most, with great sound dispersion. But the best, most audible sounds I have achieved have been through open back cabs, usually combos.
#17
Quote by Cathbard
I'm running an open backed 2x12 on top of a closed back 4x12. I'm loving it and the band can hear it really well because the open backed one is up near head height. Much better than they could when I had just the 4x12.

4x12 for the mic and board, 2x12 for the rest of the band is the best way to go.

And I agree with Arby, I've no idea of anything treating a 4x12 as a single speaker.
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#18
I think what I need/want is an open-back 2x12 cabinet (convertible and stereo options would be nice). The 2x12 would be good because i could drive it a bit harder to get the same volume i usually play at, and the open back would be good for sound dispersion. It seems like i just prefer the sound of open backs as opposed to closed (atleast in non-recording scenarios)
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#19
Quote by Cathbard
I'm running an open backed 2x12 on top of a closed back 4x12. I'm loving it and the band can hear it really well because the open backed one is up near head height. Much better than they could when I had just the 4x12.

Then what purpose is the 4x12 serving? Brootz?
#20
I use a lot of feedback. A wall of speakers helps that substantially.

Plus, they are T75's and you need a lot of T75's to sound good. Just two (or even four) T75's sounds a tad thin. Ideally I'd like a 4x12 open back on top of a 4x12 closed back but 6 speakers is more manageable.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Jul 11, 2013,
#21
Quote by patriotplayer90
Then what purpose is the 4x12 serving? Brootz?

Because Cathbard plays his amps at levels they were designed to run at, LOUD AS HELL. Heck his JCM 900 is his dirt box
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#22
I got curious and I took the rear rollers off of my 4x12 cab and let it angle itself back on its front two rollers naturally so it is pointing up to head height. It made a massive difference/improvement in my tone. My mids are much more usable and pleasant now. Bass was greatly reduced; however, before I had too much bass and it made my tone seem flubby. Gain sounds a heck of a lot more crisp and chunky too. Its weird how big of a difference it made.
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#23
Quote by Robbgnarly
Because Cathbard plays his amps at levels they were designed to run at, LOUD AS HELL. Heck his JCM 900 is his dirt box

Actually with this band I'm using the JCM900 as my actual amp. I am running it with all four tubes (100W) and turned up to 9 on the rhythm channel though so yeah, it's rather loud. Can't do those big Gary Moore notes turned down. It's either crank it up or play something else.
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#24
Quote by stratman_13
And I agree with Arby, I've no idea of anything treating a 4x12 as a single speaker.


Quote by Arby911
there is NO math of which I am aware that allows treating a 4x12 as a single 30" speaker.


I have heard of some such things, usually referred to in the increasing the low end output of a set of speakers. like 'two 10" speakers should put out as much low end as a 14" speaker', which seems to also have a relationship with mutual coupling mayhap.

From Ted Weber's QA article

http://www.webervst.com/sptalk.html

Quote by Ted Weber
From: John Zwern

I want to build a cabinet for an amp head I bought and was wondering about the various speaker configurations, etc. For instance, if I use two ten inch speakers, is that the equivalent of one twenty inch speaker? I guess what I'm asking is what is the relationship between one speaker and several speakers connected in parallel?

John, historically, musical instrument amps have used a single full range speaker rather than multiple, specific range speakers with crossover networks such as that used in HIFI installations. In order to reproduce the high frequencies, the musical instrument speaker must have a fairly low mass (weight) cone system so it can vibrate fast enough and with sufficient movement to reproduce the high frequencies with adequate volume. Connecting two of these speakers in parallel will increase the output at the low frequencies thereby emulating a larger speaker, while retaining the low mass properties of each speaker.

Since the cone is round or circular in shape, the math used to describe the effective area of the speaker involves pi (3.14) and the square of the radius of the cone. At low frequencies, where the entire cone is moving in and out as one piece, the effective area of the two speakers in parallel is approximately equal to the square root of the number of speakers times the diameter of one of the speakers. So, two ten inch speakers in parallel would be approximately equivalent to 10 x 1.414 (the square root of two) or a single 14 inch speaker for the low frequencies.

So, in theory, you would get the low frequency response of what you would expect from a big 14 inch speaker, while retaining the high frequency response of the lower mass ten inch speakers. An important point we need to make here is that the low frequency response is determined by both the size of the cone and the movement of the cone. So, it requires more power to reproduce the signal as the frequency goes down. This is particularly true below the resonant frequency of the speaker, and the output falls quite rapidly below that resonant frequency.

If the 14" speaker we calculated had a lower resonant frequency than the 10" speakers, which in all probability would, it will have a better bass response than the two 10" inch speakers, despite what we calculated. As far as comparing relative or calculated equivalent sizes, I emphasized that this equivalency would occur at low frequencies where the cone is moving in and out as one piece, because at higher frequencies, say above 1Khz, the cone vibrates in sections.

At low frequencies, the sound from the speaker covers a very broad, even pattern in front of the speaker cabinet. At higher frequencies, this pattern is reduced to smaller, narrow patterns call lobes. The collision of these smaller lobes from one speaker with the other one add texture and a certain amount of comb filtering to the overall sound coming from the cabinet. This is why some players hear what they describe as a kind of reverb, phase shifting, almost stereo sound coming from a multiple speaker cabinet as opposed to a single speaker cabinet.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 11, 2013,