2x12 cab + 4x10 cab - Which one on top?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 4to5to6, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. 4x10 on top, 2x12 on bottom

  2. 2x12 on top, 4x10 on bottom

  1. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    I usually use four 8 ohm 2x12 cabs with an Aguilar DB750 head (975 watts into 2 ohms) but just picked up two 8 ohm 4x10 cabs so now need to decide which cab to stack on top: the 4x10 or 2x12???

    Cabs are Music Man Audiophile HD410, 8 ohm, 700 watt, large front bottom square ports and Music Man Audiophile HD212, 8 ohm, 600 watt, behind the grill round ports. All cabs have a 6" mid/hi driver (phase plug style). 4x10 cabs have B&C neodymium drivers and sound full range while 2x12 cabs have regular B&C ceramic drivers and sound slightly mid range heavy with the Aguilar DB750 set flat. All cabs stack great either way being the same width and depth with the 4x10 being about 6 inches taller than the 2x12.

    What do you think.... 4x10 cab on top or bottom of stacks?
  2. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    The correct answer is...try both and see which way YOU prefer them. I'd probably start with the 4 x10 on the bottom.
  3. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    Added poll at top of page. Please vote.
  4. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    With my head (Carvin BX1200, bi-amped) I would put the 2x12 on the bottom and treat it like more of a sub, with the mids cutting through with the 410.
  5. 12 on the floor will rumble more...ha, that rhymed.
  6. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Do you have frequency response curves for the cabs? I can't find them listed anywhere.

    Side by side phat and wide. <-- that rhymes too. ;)
  7. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX

    side by side: more phase issues, and sound shooting straight at your ankles.

    stack cabs. always. look at line arrays for inspiration. Stacked cabs have less phase issues, and put speakers closer to your ear so you can hear easier.

    to the OP: i'd do the 2x12 on top, but that's just the kind of guy I am.
  8. A fellow poet, I see. ;)
  9. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    None of the above.

    My 1st choice = 212 on end vertically on top of 212 on end vertically.
    2nd choice = 410 on 410.
    Last resort = mixed cabs.
  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    You'll get as many opinions as you do replies. From an engineering standpoint you shouldn't mix a 212 and 410 anyway, the result is totally unpredictable, and that being the case no one can tell you what will work best except you.
  11. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    To clarify... there are four cabs total: two 4x10 cabs and two 2x12 cabs. I can't see how phase issues come into this if all the speakers are close together. I carefully checked that all speakers and cabs are wired with the correct polarity.

    Why are the horns in a PA stack on top and the subs on the floor? Thinking about, I guess high frequencies are more directional while a sub can be placed just about anyware but does this come into in my case?
  12. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    Why shouldn't you mix them?

    I often see a 4x10 with a 1x18 for example.
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    A question posed and answered here at least twice a week. Browse the threads, chances are you don't have to go back more than two pages.
    You're right, so long as all the drivers are within a 1 wavelength spread on the horizontal plane you're fine. At 100Hz that's eleven feet, so no worries. At 2kHz that's seven inches, making even one 410 intrinsically flawed. let alone two side by side. I don't see you stacking four cabs vertically.
  14. woodsideh


    Feb 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Do you really need that many cabs?
  15. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    It was a joke, only for the sake of rhyming. But you're completely wrong about the ankles thing.
  16. 4to5to6

    4to5to6 Bassist Supporting Member

    Well... I have obviously asked a question that a lot of others have baggage attached to. Dispersion patterns, comb filtering, etc., etc...

    I think my rig will be perfect for testing this and will get back with the results.

    Not one thread I've read so far has a refreshing technical explanation for their reasons, just a lot of opinions.

    My first impression from mixing two MM HD410 neo cabs with two MM HD212 regular cabs, each with a mid/hi driver versus four MM HD212 is that there is a huge jump in sound quality. I can hear myself "clearer" anywhere in the room with less comb filtering effects then from a single cab. I think the wall, ceiling, floor, etc reflections are the biggest culprit in comb filtering and by having a wall of sound from one plane there is more comb filtering between any two sources but with many sources these holes are filled in. I compare it with throwing a hand full of gravel over a large area on a pond versus two stones causing waves that cancel or increase each other.

    I need to do some outdoor tests and I will hook up a sweep generator and walk around. Each cab weighs about 95 pounds and the head well over a 100 with the shock mount case.

    All this is beyond my initial question but it seems the general concensus is to stack the 4x10s on top of the 2x12s. I just thought it looked a little weird with the 4x10 cabs' large ports on the bottom on the middle of the stack.

    With out a doubt in a medium size room at medium volumes mixing the two cab sizes sounds better to my ears and even the original Ernie Ball Music Man brochure shows a 2x10 cab on top of a 2x12 cab on the front.

    I should add that I come from back in the 70s when huge pyramids of speakers were commonly stacked on each side of the stage. I agree that line arrays have more even volume from front to back in the room but I am talking a bass amp which is a music producing source versus sound reproduction where you want flat line full hearing range response.

    Wow! I thought this was a simple question. I see I was wrong. I still greatly appreciate all the feedback though. Thanks.
  17. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Nope. The more sources the worse it is. Play around here for a while and see why, without having to schlep a bunch of cabs about.
    3-D Wave Simulation
  18. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    "Baggage"? Now there's a loaded term... :rolleyes:

    Let's just say that most of these issues are pretty hot topics these days - thanks in large part to the educational efforts of our resident acoustical engineers & designers. As a result, quite a few of us here are in various stages of our learning curves - including yours truly. That kind of dynamic tends to generate some pretty lively debate - and lots of questions.

    Perhaps a more constructive, humble approach would be to recognize this as a serendipitous opportunity to become better-informed? :meh:

    Lurk and learn, 4to5to6. And may I just suggest in closing that referencing the way things were done in the Seventies (I remember: I was gigging then too...), or citing the vast numbers of players pairing 4x10 cabs with 2x12s or 1x15s amounts to nothing more than great examples of the ad populum fallacy - and bears very little relation to anything resembling optimum sound reinforcement techniques for the electric bass?

  19. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i wouldn't mix types of cabs, but if you are going to, i'd put the one that sounds the best on top (closer to ear level).
  20. Put the lessor sounding cab facing your drummer. :D