4x10 vs. 2x12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Captain Awesome, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. Captain Awesome

    Captain Awesome

    Apr 2, 2001
    I haven't been able to try any 2x12 setups so far, and I'm wondering how the tone, in general, differs from that of 4x10s. What playing styles are better suited by one or the other?
  2. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    ooh ooh me too! i wanna know too!

    as far as im aware 12s are going to have more low end. better for jazz and other styles that require a big round sound. ive played through 112's, no 212's (sorry) and this has been my observation.

    id like to add a question to this post, hows the overall loudness compare? does a 212 cut through like a 410 or comparably?
  3. 212's have a richer tone, more mids. 410 have more bottum end, and are a little more punchy.
  4. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I think which of them has more bottom will depend on the tuning of the cab very much. Larger speaker diameter helps the 212, larger total speaker surface area helps the 410 to produce more low end...

    Generally speaking 212s have stronger low mids.
    For me they are a great compromise between 15s and 10s, others don't like them and consider them being a weak compromise because they sound neither like 15s nor like 10s ...

    A 410 should be a bit louder than a 212 of the same quality due to larger speaker surface area.

    (e.g. the 410s by Eden, Epifani and Glockenklang have higher sensitivity ratings than the respective 212s, while the sensitivity of the Bergantino 212 and 310 is about the same; various reviews seem to confirm this)

  5. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    410 = 40
    212 = 24

    Not to joke, that's the biggest difference. You are pushing more total air with the 410.

    Tone-wise, it depends so much on the cabinet maker. They tend to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
  6. lowfreqman


    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    If you make the assumption that the speaker cones of a 4x10 and a 2x12 are roughly flat circles (which of course they are not, but it makes this calculation a little easier), the 4x10 has a total of approximately 314 square inches of surface area. The 2x12 has about 226 square inches of area.

    2x12 = 24 and 4x10 = 40 are simply the sum of the speakers' diameters. Not a true comparison of surface area.

    Thus, the 4x10 will have about 50% more speaker surface area than the 2x12. However, 2x12's are significantly lighter than 4x10 (usually about 20lbs).
  7. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Yes. And a 310 has 236 square inches, practically the same as a 212. So the Bergantino specs make sense...

    But comparing specs and speaker size won't help in real life. Verbal discriptions of other players can be misleading too.

  8. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Absolutley true. But for the most part, you can see why I used this for clarification. If you really want to calculate the total surface area you will still conclude that the 410 is pushing more air.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Keep in mind that speaker excursion also plays a big part in volume. There is more "surface area" in a 4x10", but a 2x12" can be more powerful. There are so many variables.

    The choice of cab should be based on the way you play, and the way you want to sound. A 4x10" will be punchier and "quicker" than a 2x12", but will not give you the low-mids you get from the 12's. Use your ears to decide.
  10. The part of the driver that moves the air is the piston. This does not include the surround. This is the "Sd" portion of the drivers' Thiele-Small parameters and varies from driver to driver.

    You cannot compare the are of 10" vs 12" and get an accurate reading. Surface area is only part of the equation. Xmax is the other part.

    Moving air is the amount of air volume displaced by the driver. It is (Xmax * Sd). A 10" driver with a large Xmax can move more air than a 12" with a small Xmax.
  11. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Nobody doubts that 410s push more air (Xmax and 'anything else' being the same), in fact that's why they are louder (if you compare the models of one speaker line)

    But it's a difference if they push 200% more or 50% more. And you can make up those 50% more easily with larger Xmax... (so 2 12s with a larger Xmax push more air than 4 10s with a smaller Xmax ;))

    All this is rather complex and can not be represented by some numbers for sensitivity, power, etc. So we have to use our ears.