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#1
Because I wanted ease of use, don't intend to gig and have space limitations, when I got into electric guitar, I bought a Fender HRD combo. I've been aware for some time that my taste in what I play isn't always supported by the HRD's voice, so I'm getting a new amp this year- probably an Orange or Mesa.

In the process, I'm also revisiting the combo vs head & cab issue. As I shopped, I found a lot of different amps out there I could easily see myself lusting after. If I wish to indulge in- let's be 100% honest- virtually pointless amp collecting, I can't buy a bunch of combos.

But I have noticed there's a bunch of variations in cabs, too, and the one that puzzles me most (right now, at least) is the various speaker configurations. Of those that would fit in the spaces I have available, I've seen 1x10, 1x12, 1x15, 2x10, 2x12, and 4x8. Not all are in local stores, though, so trying out all the variants isn't exactly practical.

I recognize that the 1x12 and 2x12 are common for a reason, but I have to ask, what advantages & disadvantages can be found in the other configurations.

Also, I've seen cabs from Orange, Mesa, Carvin and Mojotone around... Any preferences? Any others to look at?
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#2
Can't really speak for the differences in configurations, but I'd put Mesa above Orange for brands for sure. The one Carvin 212 I tried was nice (on par with Orange imo). No experience with Mojotone. I'd put Zilla out there as a really nice option as well. They do all sorts of cabs and basically do whatever you want and it's all top notch. Port City is great stuff, as is Diezel. The Bogner OS 212 probably takes the cake for best 212 in my opinion. Great cabs.
#3
well 412 were first used because the speakers at the time couldn't handle amps they were paired with。
Sonically,there's really nothing a 112 or 212 couldn't do。
I'm partial to ported cabs myself these days。

115 and 408s are a little bit more niche。
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
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#4
Quote by AcousticMirror
well 412 were first used because the speakers at the time couldn't handle amps they were paired with。

This. Same deal with most other "historic" configurations, like the 4x10 or 2x12. Manufacturers picked whatever speakers were available at a justifiable price point that could handle the power the amps put out. Not all of the resulting combinations sounded great, not every 2x12 or 4x10 made in 1968 or so was particularly good for guitar. but those that were gave us the cab archetypes still built and used today. Even though strictly speaking, they were a product of necessity more than anything.

Also it so much depends on the particular cab and speakers in question. A small closed-back 2x12 will sound different than an oversized one, and an open-back model will be different still. Ported cabs are an entire topic onto themselves, as the speakers they are intended and frequencies they are tuned for vary from model to model.

My 1x15 loaded with a Celestion G15B100 sounds lovely clean with the back open, loses some bass with it closed (duh) and will only tolerate very slight levels of overdrive before turning into a fizzy mess. It would probably be way different with another speaker in it.

My open-backed 4x10 with WGS Veterans has a frankly preposterous amount of low-end (even though the speakers have a fairly high resonant frequency and aren't all that bassy in any other configuration). Only likes moderate amounts of drive; gets fizzy and muddy beyond a certain point.

My closed-back 2x12 with Emi GB12s has the tightest bottom-end of the bunch and will handle all the gain you throw at it. But change the size, back, or speakers and it'd be a different cab entirely.

I'm strongly opposed to the idea of some cab being the best option for guitar, or even a specific genre or style. There's also always the question whether you want a very specific kind of tone or a cab that's more of an all-rounder. I also believe that most cabs of decent quality made these days - say, your average V30 loaded 1x12 or 2x12 - can be made to work well enough for most musicians and applications.
#5
Quote by AcousticMirror
well 412 were first used because the speakers at the time couldn't handle amps they were paired with。
Sonically,there's really nothing a 112 or 212 couldn't do。


There's a big difference both sonically and in directionality.
#6
Carvin cabs are great. I just so happen to use a 2x12 cab of theirs with my Mesa mini rec. Kick-ass combo let me tell you. The new Carvin VX series cabs look pretty good, maybe check them out.
#7
I have the Orange 1x12 and Mesa 2x12. Both are solid cabs, closed back with v30's. As expected, the Mesa sounds much deeper with better base response. Keep in mind, the Mesa is about twice the cost. But although stacking 2 Orange 1x12 cabinets would sound great, it doesn't sound the same as the Mesa 2x12.

I got the Orange cab as an extension cab for another combo amp and for that purpose, I loved it. When I went with the mark v 25 head, the Mesa 2x12 was perfect.

Now, the Mesa is all I use.
#8
Thanks for the suggestions, y'all! Keep 'em coming if you got 'em.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#9
Almost no guitar cabinets are specifically designed, with a very few exceptions. They're just containers for random guitar speakers.
Open up the back on most 2x12s or 4x12s and they're nearly identical inside, regardless of brand.

I eventually built my own 2x12s specifically for Eminence Delta ProA's (these are usually found in the Pro Audio section at Eminence). The closed-back cabinets are tube ported (about 4" diameter, about 4" long, times two) and sized (around 3.5 cubic feet interior volume) and there's a chamber divider that runs *almost* all the way to the back of the cabinet. There are two 1165 piezo horn-mounted tweeters (L-padded). The cabinets are tuned and ported for the 52Hz resonant frequency of the Deltas. My cabinets are hosed down with Line-X (rather than tolex or duratex coating) and are heavy.

I originally used them with a 100W Carvin TS-100 tube amp, but soon went for a 1500W solid state power amp (it takes power to produce bass response). The Deltas will handle 400W each (I think it's a 15 or 16-lb magnet), and I used the power amp to run a pair of those cabinets.

http://www.colomar.com/Shavano/stereocab.html
Last edited by dspellman at Jul 16, 2016,
#10
It's a wooden box.

Find your favorite wooden box, add speakers to taste.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#11
True, but I'm trying to get insight into the pros & cons of various configurations (and makers) since I can't necessarily try them out.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 16, 2016,
#12
There really aren't generalities that can be made. Pull the backs off a dozen 4x12s (or a dozen 2x12s) and most of them will look pretty much identical inside, regardless of the brand name and the very wide spread in pricetags. For the most part, it ain't about the cabinet. And the brand names have more to do with the price point than the sound.

That said, I'd normally try for an oversize 2x12, I suppose, unless it was one of the Earcandy ported things, which are very good. My favorite 1x12s are also oversize (almost 2x12 in size). I had an open back 4x10 with Jensens that I loved but sold because I didn't use it very much. I have specific standard guitar speakers that I like, but the wood? Not so much.
#13
I'm not really asking about the wood, but the speaker arrays.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I'm not really asking about the wood, but the speaker arrays.


I'm not sure I understand the question?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#15
I understand that the cab is just a box full of electronics. I'm trying to figure out the sonic advantages and disadvantages of the various speaker configurations. Bass response. Tendency for ice pick treble. That kind of stuff.

As a cab noob with $$$ but not a lot of opportunity to try stuff out in person, I'm trying to sort through my options. Should I stick with a 1x12, or do the other speaker arrays offer me a real reason to go for something else? Do some arrays have characteristics that might not be desirable for a guitar player who will probably only ever own a single cab?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 16, 2016,
#16
Unless you particularly want the 4x10 Bassman sound I'd just go for an oversized 2x12 running your speakers of choice. Those Rivera vertical 2x12's look good.
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#17
4x10 Bassman sound


Which is...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
This guy did a comparison of Marshall cabs of various sizes.



Most wouldn't work for me just based on size or shape.

I was noting that the bigger the speaker, the better bass response, it seemed. So I would think that a 4x8 would sound...more "trebly" than a 1x15 or 2x12, right?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#19
But the more speakers you add the less the bass loss happens. Look at the good ol' Ampeg 8x10 fridge. 10's do lack a lot of bass - unless you use a buttload of them. Nobody in their right mind would accuse a fridge of lacking bass.
Guitar sounds you like are almost certainly from a 12" speaker.
I'm telling you - Rivera vertical 2x12.
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
#20
Can't go 2x12 vertical without radically rearranging furniture & art. Horizontal is much easier to accommodate.

Quote by Cathbard
But the more speakers you add the less the bass loss happens.


Thanks for that insight, though.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 17, 2016,
#21
Danny check your email
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#22
Thanks!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#23
Quote by dannyalcatraz
This guy did a comparison of Marshall cabs of various sizes.


No, he didn't.

What he did do was a comparison of a close-miked single speaker in each case.
That pretty effectively takes the cabinet (and the other speakers) out of the equation altogether.
It didn't even look like he had the mike in the same position relative to the center of each individual speaker.

Absolutely useless video.


Quote by dannyalcatraz

I was noting that the bigger the speaker, the better bass response, it seemed. So I would think that a 4x8 would sound...more "trebly" than a 1x15 or 2x12, right?


Bass response has nothing to do with speaker cone size.

Nor does it have anything to do with the number of speakers in a cabinet.

The 8" woofers in my KRK Rokit 8's will do 35 Hz. The 12" guitar speakers in most 4x12s begin to fall off below 110Hz and most can't reproduce the 82Hz fundamental of the low E string on a six-string guitar.

Just for reference, 41Hz is the open low E string on a *bass* guitar, an octave down. The low A on a piano is 27.5 Hz, below the low B string on a 5-string bass.

So an 8" woofer can reproduce bass better than a 12" guitar speaker in any kind of cabinet.
So much for cone size.

What about cone area (lotsa speakers?). Your 4x8 has about the same cone area as a 15" speaker.

Okay, so let's talk about icepick treble. The larger the diameter of a speaker, the lower the frequency at which it begins to beam (treble). The formula is 13,500 (the speed of sound in inches in air) divided by the diameter of the speaker is the frequency at which beaming will begin to occur. A 1" tweeter won't begin to beam treble until above 13,500Hz. In a lot of speaker systems with multiple speakers, this is the reason for the existence of a tweeter -- wide dispersion of the upper frequencies. A 15" speaker with an actual cone diameter of around 13.2" (measure from half way into the cone surround across the center to halfway into the cone surround on the other side of the center) will begin to beam high frequencies above 1000Hz (give or take). That's why you'll usually find a crossover handing off mids to a 6.5" speaker (for example) in a three-way speaker cabinet. To maintain even dispersion.

A 4x12 acts like a single large speaker with a cone diameter of, say, 27-30" (measured diagonally). That means that it's beaming everything above 450-500Hz. Put your head on axis with the center of a 4x12 and you'll experience ice pick treble.
#24
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Can't go 2x12 vertical without radically rearranging furniture & art. Horizontal is much easier to accommodate.


I thought we were talking about speaker arrays, not furniture and art .
A vertical 2x12 will have wider dispersion, horizontally, than a horizontal 2x12.
A horizontal 2x12 sitting on the floor may have a bit more "boominess" due to greater acoustic coupling with the floor.
And since your ear is usually *more* off-axis if the 2x12 is horizontal on the floor, the cabinet will sound like it's not putting out as much treble.

Side note: We decided, long ago, that the best form factor for a 4x12 is a tall skinny tower. We figured that out by running a single amp through the right side only speakers of a full stack. You get wider dispersion and less acoustic coupling from the floor and it's easier for the guitarist to hear accurately because the top speakers are closer to your ear level. We got better bass response because we weren't trying to distribute 100W among eight speakers (full stack) at volume. Bass completely disappears when you do that. The only drawback, honestly, was that it's difficult to balance a bigass marshall head on top. Looks like a hoodoo.

Hoodoo:

Last edited by dspellman at Jul 17, 2016,
#25
I still have to have a place to put it, d. "Better" is meaningless if it is in the way.

And, for the record, my HRD is elevated, so too would any cab I buy, in all likelihood.

(And thanks for the prior post.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#26
Danny , check out the new Carvin cabs .... that new 1x12 cab looks pretty darn tasty and it's tuneable , so do the rest of the configurations
#27
I'm a fan of 2x12 cabs when going small. Granted a 1x12 takes up less space, but I like mixing speakers.

I will be that guy who recommends an avatar cab. They can be found fairly cheap used, often loaded with celestion speakers, and if you look enough you could snag one with the conversion board in the back so it can either be open or closed depending upon preference.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#28
Advantages of open vs closed?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#29
it might be from the guitar (single coil verses humbucker ) as to why you might tune a certain way , like get some low end back or scrub some low end off for just for one example or for a specific genre ..... from Carvin the 2x12 and 4x12 have one more tuning option than the 1x12 ..... this link has a section on what the tuning ports do , plus V30 free upgrade right now

http://carvinaudio.com/products/vx212s-2x-12-open-or-closed-back-birch-cabinet-slant
#30
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Advantages of open vs closed?


Easier to toss miscellaneous stuff into the back of the cabinet if it's open.
More fun to turn on the amp after you discover the cat sleeping inside the cabinet.
LIghter weight ("Did you see the back for this cabinet?").
Easier to plan "magnet games" with paper clips.
Last edited by dspellman at Jul 17, 2016,
#31
Hi Danny.

Open backed v Closed.

The whole point of the cab is to stop the rear radiation from the cone from reaching the front radiation. If you think for a second as the cone moves forwards the air pressure at the back is reduced and the air pressure at the front increases. if they meet they cancel each other and there isn't any sound. You can try this by playing sound through a speaker without a cab, all you get is a tinny little noise. If you can make the sound from the back travel a decent distance to the front then by the time it gets there it will be in phase with the sound and there won't be any cancellation. That's how an open back cab works. the bigger the cab the more bass you get. If you use a closed cab however you get all the bass, so a closed backed cab with the same speaker will be bassier.

However (there's always a but) putting a cab in a closed box will have two other effects. The air in the cab acts both as a spring and as a damper and by adjusting the size of the box a designer can shape the bass response of a speaker, so although the technology is the same different boxes can give different sounds with the same speaker.

So, generally speaking if you want a full warm sounding speaker with good bass go for closed, open backs will give you more top and mids and a more aggressive sound, but (another but) of course the designer can choose a wide range of speakers to give a wide range of sounds with either type of cab.


more here https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_guide_to/cabinets_for_guitars.html
Last edited by Phil Starr at Jul 18, 2016,
#32
Does this exist?

2 input 2x12 cab, with 2 differently voiced speakers, capable of being run as a 1x12L, 1x12R, or 2x12 for each input, OR as a pair of 1x12s for the 2 inputs simultaneously.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 7, 2016,
#33
^ What do you mean "2x12 for each input"? I don't really understand that bit.

The rest just sounds like a regular stereo 2x12 cabinet, far as I'm aware any 2x12 stereo cabinet should work like that (you might need to change the speakers to get the ones you want).

I didn't post in this thread before because you posted it when I was offline for a while and I didn't want to bump an old thread, but a convertible back might be an idea since that gives you the option of either open- or closed-back operation. Gives you a few more options which is handy if you aren't sure what you want.
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#34
To clarify, I was wondering if there is a 2x12 cab that: has 2 inputs, so you can use it with 2 different instruments- essentially having an AB switching system built in so:

1) you can use each speaker in isolation for either input individually OR

2) use as a 2x12 for either of the 2 outputs (with the other input being rendered inactive)

IOW, it would be as if the 2x12 could also act as a pair of 1x12 cabs. Instead of unplugging and replugging wires to change between the 2 speakers, you'd simply flip switches or turn a dial. Less spaghetti, too.

I ask because I know a lot of guitarists use 2, 3 or more differently voiced cabs to achieve their sound, by (for instance) using one for a cleaner tone and another for dirt. And I've been toying with going that route myself.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#35
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#36
Gonna have to 'splain that one to me.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#37
Quote by dannyalcatraz
To clarify, I was wondering if there is a 2x12 cab that: has 2 inputs, so you can use it with 2 different instruments- essentially having an AB switching system built in so:


Yes if you use each speaker individually, no if you want to use both.

Running power into a cab from 2 amps to the same speakers will cause very bad things to happen.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#38
Quote by Arby911
Yes if you use each speaker individually, no if you want to use both.

Running power into a cab from 2 amps to the same speakers will cause very bad things to happen.


I don't want to be able to have 2 amps using the cab as a 2x12 simultaneously. If the cab is being used as a 2x12, only one input would be active at a time.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#39
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I don't want to be able to have 2 amps using the cab as a 2x12 simultaneously. If the cab is being used as a 2x12, only one input would be active at a time.


You're fine then. The jackplate posted above would allow you to use both speakers together with a single amp, either speaker alone with a single amp or both speakers simultaneously but independently with a different amp to each.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Aug 8, 2016,
#40
I just realized, though...

If only one output is active when the cab is running as a 2x12, and I'm actually using 2 amps (instead of merely splitting my signal), I'd probably need to turn off the amp not being used.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
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