#1
i am on a budget, and just learning about guitar amp heads and cabinets, tube vs solid state, etc.

so i am at the point where i have to decide, whether i should spend my allotted money on a higher wattage/more powerful amp paired with say a 1x12 or maybe 2x12, or spend my money on a cheaper and less effective amp, with a larger cabinet like a 4x12.

also, suggestions on amps in the 400 dollar range, or any other suggestions would be okay

thanks
#2
Need more info.

Budget? - What is practical for you and what is your limit?

Genres? - What style do you play mostly, fav guitarists, do you need cleans, etc?

New or Used? - Lots of great amps out there used, especially in a down economy.

Home or Gig? - Also important. Maybe you do both. Jamming with a drummer can be considered 'gigging' but you won't have a PA etc.

Closest City? - We aren't here to stalk you but we need to know where you are in the world roughly and we can help further if we know what city you are in (ie craigslist, local shops, Guitar Center used section, etc)

Current Gear? - Also good for us to know.


There's all sorts of reasons to get high wattage, low wattage, more speakers, less speaker, etc, etc. Depending on your current situation, we'll be able to help you out with a choice.

Generally, a 2x12 is sufficient for most purposes.
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#4
we really need more info first, however, you would be very surprised how loud an amp is.

i have gigged fine with a 18 watt tube amp (vintage marshal i cloned) with a 2x12", i could have drowned everything out, but thats not what makes a band successful.
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#5
I'd have to vote for better amp, smaller cabinet.

I've got four 4x12s in storage. Mostly don't use them any more, and not sure when or if I will again. They beam icepick treble, most have muddy bottom end (particularly when you crank them up). They're heavy to carry and bulky to transport.
#6
Definitely need more info before any relevant suggestions can be made.

However, in general, you want your speakers to handle more power than your amp puts out. Pushing a high-power amp into a speaker cab with a lower power rating can damage the speaker cones. Also, a more powerful amp just means you can turn it up a tiny, tiny bit louder before the power amp stage starts to saturate; you get more clean headroom. It doesn't really make much of a difference.
More powerful speakers will, as a general rule (depends on the model of speaker, amp, room you're in, etc), make you louder overall and the lowest and highest frequencies will come through a little clearer. It's not a huge difference in tone, though. The main difference is sheer volume.
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#7
Quote by MrFlibble
Definitely need more info before any relevant suggestions can be made.

However, in general, you want your speakers to handle more power than your amp puts out. Pushing a high-power amp into a speaker cab with a lower power rating can damage the speaker cones. Also, a more powerful amp just means you can turn it up a tiny, tiny bit louder before the power amp stage starts to saturate; you get more clean headroom. It doesn't really make much of a difference.
More powerful speakers will, as a general rule (depends on the model of speaker, amp, room you're in, etc), make you louder overall and the lowest and highest frequencies will come through a little clearer. It's not a huge difference in tone, though. The main difference is sheer volume.


?

What, exactly, are "more powerful" speakers? If you are to be believed they are louder, have marginally better top AND bottom end response, negligible effect on tone and a drastic SPL shift, albeit in an unspecified direction...

Your last paragraph makes exactly no sense at all, it's merely juxtapositions of tangentially related concepts. You know...bullshit.
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#8
Poor choice of wording for someone like yourself. I originally wrote "a more powerful speaker cabinet", meaning a 4x12" compared to the equivalent 1x12". However, re-reading the original post, I realised this could require further explanation, so I substituted that phrasing for simply "speakers".

Confusing for you, perhaps, but you're somebody who already knows about all this stuff. The OP explicitly said they do not. You should always tailor your writing style for your audience.
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#9
Quote by MrFlibble
Definitely need more info before any relevant suggestions can be made.

However, in general, you want your speakers to handle more power than your amp puts out. Pushing a high-power amp into a speaker cab with a lower power rating can damage the speaker cones. Also, a more powerful amp just means you can turn it up a tiny, tiny bit louder before the power amp stage starts to saturate; you get more clean headroom. It doesn't really make much of a difference.
More powerful speakers will, as a general rule (depends on the model of speaker, amp, room you're in, etc), make you louder overall and the lowest and highest frequencies will come through a little clearer. It's not a huge difference in tone, though. The main difference is sheer volume.



The first paragraph is correct, overall volume isn't affected as much as clean headroom concerning amp wattage. That's where the main difference is.

The second paragraph is the exact opposite of what I've experienced. At one point I owned a 1x12, 2x12, and 4x12 with very similar speakers. There was very little difference in the volume of the three. The main difference was with how the sound was projected and the bass response. The 1x12 was pretty one dimensional and boxy sounding (in comparison anyway, not bad sounding), the 2x12 dispersed the sound much more and had much more bottom end, and the 4x12 had the best bass response of all, and seemed to sound the fullest. It is worth noting that the difference between the 1x12 and 2x12 was much, much greater than between the 2x12 and 4x12, which was there but not overly obvious.
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#10
It varies wildly depending on the cabinet too. 2x12's have never been enough for me in the past (I'm an old 6x12 fan) until I got the RM100 combo. It's a huge 2x12 closed back cabinet and sounds ****ing massive. I leave my 1960 at home now and just use the combo by itself. My JCM900 (2x12 open backed combo) needed the extra speakers but the Randall doesn't.
There are so many factors that speaking in general terms is a bit silly.

Both amps have the same speakers too, btw.
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#11
Quote by MrFlibble
Poor choice of wording for someone like yourself. I originally wrote "a more powerful speaker cabinet", meaning a 4x12" compared to the equivalent 1x12". However, re-reading the original post, I realised this could require further explanation, so I substituted that phrasing for simply "speakers".

Confusing for you, perhaps, but you're somebody who already knows about all this stuff. The OP explicitly said they do not. You should always tailor your writing style for your audience.


I agree that you should tailor your writing style, but using meaningless terms like "more powerful speakers" does your audience a disservice. Even when we disagree I know that you're not an illiterate twat (or at least not illiterate) so I've come to expect better...
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#12
edit: okay, a couple of other posts happened while I was typing. I can't be arsed to go back and rework this to match the new continuity so just bear with it. Ahem.



Were the cabinets constructed in the same fashion? Did you centre the cabinets at the same height? Were you at a reasonable distance for the sound pressure? Were all of the speakers identical in age and design?

All other things being equal, more speakers ends up pushing more air, the result of which is the extremist frequencies come through a little more—there's your fuller bass response—and your relative volume jumps up.
Having one speaker by itself, or two, or four, does not make the speaker cones react in a different fashion. Each speaker does the same thing as it would if it were the only speaker being used and was being driven in the same way. Of course, if you're using a smaller cabinet then you may end up giving it more juice to try to get the same volume and it's probably going to be in a smaller housing and maybe you stuck it on a crate to get it higher and etc etc etc, but the speaker itself isn't sentient, it doesn't realise it is alone and begins reacting in a different way. You might be using them in a different way, but the speakers themselves do not change as you multiply them. So, when you're talking about using more speakers, with all else being equal, all you're doing is pushing more air.

This is precisely why large speaker banks are still yet to catch on with users of the best hi-fi systems in the world. Objectively, ramping up how many speakers are moving in the room doesn't offer any greater level of detail and response which two properly adjusted speakers can.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Apr 3, 2014,
#13
Quote by MrFlibble
All other things being equal, more speakers ends up pushing more air, the result of which is the extremist frequencies come through a little more—there's your fuller bass response—and your relative volume jumps up.


this is only part of the story. more speakers also means more frequency cancellation from signals from the speakers interfering with one another. this effect is fairly complicated and i would be a poor person to explain it in any kind of detail.

Quote by MrFlibble
Having one speaker by itself, or two, or four, does not make the speaker cones react in a different fashion. Each speaker does the same thing as it would if it were the only speaker being used and was being driven in the same way.


this is not true except for in the most ideal of situations (like considering a audio near field environment). this is especially not true if the speakers all share a closed box.

Quote by MrFlibble
Of course, if you're using a smaller cabinet then you may end up giving it more juice to try to get the same volume and it's probably going to be in a smaller housing and maybe you stuck it on a crate to get it higher and etc etc etc, but the speaker itself isn't sentient, it doesn't realise it is alone and begins reacting in a different way. You might be using them in a different way, but the speakers themselves do not change as you multiply them. So, when you're talking about using more speakers, with all else being equal, all you're doing is pushing more air.


speakers are not sentient, but they do react to other speakers when sharing a box. also, more speakers do not 'push more air', but their signals do interfere with one another in particular ways, look up mutual coupling if you want some idea of how the audio signal from a speaker disrupts sound from other speakers.

Quote by MrFlibble
This is precisely why large speaker banks are still yet to catch on with users of the best hi-fi systems in the world. Objectively, ramping up how many speakers are moving in the room doesn't offer any greater level of detail and response which two properly adjusted speakers can.


people don't use huge speaker banks because large amounts of cancellation can occur. this talks about some issues you have to deal with when using large speaker arrays

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_array

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar06/articles/live_linearrays.htm
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#14
Quote by MrFlibble
edit: okay, a couple of other posts happened while I was typing. I can't be arsed to go back and rework this to match the new continuity so just bear with it. Ahem.



Were the cabinets constructed in the same fashion? Did you centre the cabinets at the same height? Were you at a reasonable distance for the sound pressure? Were all of the speakers identical in age and design?

Wall of text.



There were no major design differences. Yes I did. Yes, if I understand what you're saying properly, maybe you wrote in the previously mentioned idiot language for me too, but I think I get the meaning. Not absolutely identical, but close enough for all practical purposes.

From an audible real world perspective, that's what I found. As mentioned before, there are really too many variables to make general statements about cabinets, but I've demoed enough and done enough comparisons not only with mine, but elsewhere to make at least a rough guideline. With exceptions of course.

TL;DR There's not generally much of an audible volume difference between a 1x12, 2x12, and 4x12 from what my ears have heard. You can spout numbers all you want, and there is a small difference, but from just sitting and listening and too it, it's hard to notice.
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#15
i am fairly opposed to a 4x12 almost always in teh current day of 2014. it has its applications, but for 99% of people.....why?

so im going to have to go against that. quick, easy, irrifutable answer would be you play heavy high gain music and need a lot of low end uuumppfffff
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#16
Quote by ikey_
i am fairly opposed to a 4x12 almost always in teh current day of 2014. it has its applications, but for 99% of people.....why?


Its because I have a tiny penis.

But seriously, I only have a 4x12 so I can use greenbacks with my 100 watt heads.

IMO sonic differences of more speakers stop at the 2x12 for general bedroom and small club settings. And even then, if the venue warrants the use of a 4x12, its probably going to have its own PA to mic your stuff up with. I think the only excuse for the 4x12 is in the case that your preferred speaker is low wattage.
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#17
Quote by ikey_
quick, easy, irrifutable answer would be you play heavy high gain music and need a lot of low end uuumppfffff

This is the reason I like a 4x12. I like my bass response to be heart stopping, high gain or not. I can get it with a 2x12, but a 4x12 does the job just a tad better. And good 4x12 is usually cheaper and more common than a good 2x12 around here. That last one's the main reason
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Last edited by classicrocker01 at Apr 3, 2014,
#18
three speakers is what you want.

the randall cab i have houses a 1x15 Eminence legend and two K85's. favorite cab to use.

and just felt like throwing a wrench in here.

also for debate sake i have 1x12"s 2x12"'s 4x12" and the previously stated 2x12+1x15.

i am not an expert on speakers, as far as the finer scale and technical side. i just watch my ohms and wattage and move things around sometimes.
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#19
Quote by Guy_Mitchell
Its because I have a tiny penis.

But seriously, I only have a 4x12 so I can use greenbacks with my 100 watt heads.

http://www.scumbackspeakers.com/j_series.html

Unless you are in Australia, then there's another option. Give me a yell.
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#20
Quote by Cathbard
http://www.scumbackspeakers.com/j_series.html

Unless you are in Australia, then there's another option. Give me a yell.




That J75 and M75 through the Splawn was killer.
I'm always screwing with my rig. Muh chilluns:
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Mesa Boogie Royal Atlantic, Diezel 2x12
Turbo tuner, J Cantrell wah, Alesis 3630
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#21
It is possible to get greenback tone in higher rated speaker these days. And some of the low wattage greenback clones are closer to the original greenbacks than Celestion now make. Actually, even some of the bigger ones sound more greenbacky than a modern greenback.
Lots of options. If you don't want a 4x12, you don't have to have one. It's not 1962.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band