4x12 (tuned for low freq.) or 2x15

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by patrickj, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. 4x12

    18 vote(s)
  2. 2x15

    3 vote(s)
  3. Cowboy Neal

    6 vote(s)
  1. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    In regards to low end, which would be better suited with a 4x10?
  2. Go to any speaker chassis site and look at the Freq Responses curves. Bigger the speaker the better they handle low frequency. Smaller speakers get there by being less efficient - so the speaker fights back a bit and you have to put more power in to get the bass - ie look at car speakers and see that they will often talk of high wattage to get the 5" speaker to give you the bass. So the coice is more efficient (Louder) speakers and bigger diameter (They even make 18" ones for bass guitar) or less volume and smaller speakers. Having taken a pretty simplistic line on this I know there are other views and I know speaker design has a large part to play in responsiveness. So let the games commence guys.
  3. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    IME it really depends on the particular models.
    'Everything else being equal' a 412 will be louder but have less low end then a 215.
    But my current 212 has more low end, less mids and slightly less volume than my previous 215 (and still sounds tighter BTW)

    Maybe a 215 is better suited to complement a 410 and a 412 is better as stand-alone cab, but as I said, it depends on the model.

  4. Mattias has a good point that of tightness. A 15" designed for Bass Guitar is going to be tighter than a general purpose speaker AND designed for a smaller cab. BTW why 2x15" and not one high power 15"? A 2x15 cab is going to pretty big if the spaeker is to be given a bit of cab volume. That's why the single 15"s are in cabs the same as 4x10"s. The cone needs air volume to move back into and not make the porting boomy.
  5. First, define your requirements for "low end". 41 Hz, 30 Hz...

    It is very costly going lower than needed. 30 Hz is much more difficult to produce than is 41 Hz (low E). More drivers, more cabs, and buckets of power are required.

    Next, determine how loud it has to be. The typical 4x10 is pretty loud, and no single 12" or 15" will be as loud. The easiest way to balance this is using a two-channel (stereo) power amp with individual gain adjustments. You would have to turn down the 4x10 channel and run the 15" channel at maximum. You will find yourself turning down the 4x10 quite a bit to match it to a single 12 or 15".

    This adventure will result in a big expense and lots of extra gear to haul around. Think "stairs." Understand the lower the cab responds, the less loud it is going to be.

    If what you *really* need is more lows, consider replacing your 4x10 with something else. However, a rig that sounds wonderful in solo, may be completely buried beneath a live band.
  6. Getting down to 30hz rathet than E at 41 is real difficult to do without loads of power to offset the low efficiancy drivers you will need to offset the size of the cab to keep it portable (You don't want to know how big some cinema and theatre cabs are to get down to those earthquake lows)

    As bgavin says, you will need to define how low and how loud before the choice is made. You can really throw a lot of power at low freq /sub-harmonics, just give everyone a big headache, and the plaster's coming off the walls, and still not really hear what's being played.
  7. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Before I bought my Mesa Powerhouse 1000(4x10+1x15) I was running a SWR Big Ben 1x18 under a Peavey TVX 4x12. It may just be the way the Mesa is built, but I am much more impressed with the 15 and 10's than with the 12's and 18. The old rig had much more moving cone area, but was severely lacking in clarity. This loss in clarity due to the larger cone size created an *apparent* loss in volume. The two setups had roughly the same output when measured with my SPL meter, but the apparent volume of the 10's and 15 was more because of the clarity. I will say though, that 1x18 rattled nearly everything in the house, including me, but just didn't cut through anything very well.

    So, if you want to rumble people around and "bump it" as my guitarist would so eloquently put it, go with larger drivers. If you want people to clearly hear what you are playing through the mix, go with smaller drivers. Or you could do what I'm thinking of- add a subwoofer:) More amplifier power is always better as long as you are careful with it.
  8. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    That's an important point.
    Let me add that you don't *need* a cab able to reproduce 30Hz to hear the low B. If there is not much low end content our ears will add it anyway - of cause you won't feel the bass the same way.
    But if you have too much low end this can cause trouble in many situations anyway...

    If you can, try both setups and see which one you like better.

  9. I agree Matthias, with a lot of bass EQ, I find in our band the clarity goes adn although you 'feel' the bass you cannot really hear what's being played. In situations where I am playing 2 notes to the bar then the deep bass is OK - on fast blues numbers when I need to play 8 notes to the bar I use the bridge pick-up and roll off the bass EQ to get a more boxy middle sound where you cabn hear every note. I use a 4x10 and a 15 for added volume - but the 4x10s are much clearer without the 15.
  10. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    This question is fairly simplistic -- meaning there are so many variables that affect how speaker enclosures work -- so it's tough to answer in any really meaningful way. But here goes:

    If I were running both bins full range (no crossover) I would pick the 4-12 because they would blend better with the 4-10. This would probably give one major phat tone. Great rock tone. Might be especially good with a big ass tube amp (SVT or equivalent).

    If I were using a crossover, I would pick the 2-15, and set the x-over pretty low -- about 100 to 200 hz. Really use it as a sub and not let it interfere with the clarity of the 4-10. So you would need to check the low end response of the 2-15 to make sure it will work well this way.