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Budget 4x12 bass cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zach1457, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Zach1457


    Sep 6, 2020
    I’ve recently started playing bass in a hard rock/stoner metal band, and I’m currently using an old Peavey bass mark 3 amp with a Hartke 4x10 cab. The cab is pretty beat up with blown speakers so I’m looking for a replacement, ideally under 800$. I’m considering a 4x12 cab for the heavier sound but am having trouble finding any used options online, with the new cabs costing upwards of 1500$. Is there a reason 4x12 cabs are harder to come by, and is there a budget option that might work well with my amp? I’m willing to upgrade the amp if need be as well, but not looking to spend too much. Thanks for any advice.
  2. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    4X12 is a good option.
    But yeah, not many actually bought 4x12s and not many come up for sale.
    Its too bad, because the efficiency or levels you can reach is pretty good with a 4x12

    For stoner rock it would probably be easier to find a used 8x10
    used 8x10 go for 400 to 500 hundred.

    playing loud metal, stoner or post rock
    never needed more than 200 watts and a 8x10
    The nice grind you get from simple solid states beats dealing with tubes.
    Mark 3 would be a very fun amp cranked into a 8x10 for sure.
  3. Zach1457


    Sep 6, 2020
    Awesome thanks, I’ll check out some 8x10s, that might be a good alternative.
    CTBassGuy likes this.
  4. Check out a 6x10 while you’re at it. Used Ampeg abound. You could come in under budget and make plenty noise.
    monsterthompson and Zach1457 like this.
  5. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    SVT810E all day , everyday
    shadven, CTBassGuy and Zach1457 like this.
  6. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Whenever I see this type of question about 412 cabs in the context of heavy music, I think of Marshall style guitar cabs. Supposedly back in the 60s a lot of bassist used pretty much the same full stacks as guitarists. The problem is a 100W head can blow a couple 412 guitar cabs if you push the lows too much. I am sure results vary depending up which driver you use, but I have a pair of boutique 412s rated for 300W each that I can push to farting out with my Hiwatt DR103. Yes a 100W is farting out 600W of cabs. Even worse I bought these cabs to go with my Hiwatt DR201. I guess the good part is the actually get pretty darn loud before they fart out.

    So perhaps the first thing is to clarify: Do you mean 412 guitar style cabs or are you looking for more modern cabs? Mesa used to make PH412s. GK makes a Neo 412. Bergantino used to make a sealed NV412. Aguilar makes a DB412 and used to make a GS412. These don't all scream heavy music to me.

    Marshall made a Lemmy Kilmister Signature 412 and 415, but these are hard to find and expensive. Also they were design to go with a Lemmy Kilmister signature 100W Super Bass head.

    There are quite a few companies that make custom cabs for the heavy music crowd to include 412s and 415s. I get the impression a lot of them just cram speakers in a box without doing any engineering, but the woodwork is usually pretty spectacular...and the cabs are expensive. Tyrant Tone claims to use sound engineering practices, but I don't know anything other than that. I do think there are some recipes for drivers and boxes that work well. Maybe you could roll your own.
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Why not just roll with a couple 2x15 cabs from around the same vintage as the head. 215d was a pretty good Peavey cab. They're going pretty cheap these days too. Like you could pick up 2 for under 400.

    But yeah, easiest way to get loud is a pile of cones. 810 wins. Heck IIRC that amp can do 2 ohms, lol get a pair of 810s and make the whole bar deaf in single set.
  8. Zach1457


    Sep 6, 2020
    Yeah I was finding a lot of guitar style 4x12 cabs but I’m definitely looking for something specifically for bass. There’s plenty of 4x10 cab options, but I feel like that’s not ideal in the long run since I want to go lower with drop tunings, I currently play in drop D. I’ll look into those custom cabs though, that sounds interesting.
  9. Zach1457


    Sep 6, 2020
    I thought about 15s but I still want some good mids and I’ve heard they get kind of muddy compared to other speakers. Would an 8x10 get a similar tone as a 4x12 or is it like a louder 4x10?
  10. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    Four 12s is a great idea, but real good driver choices for bass are usually more expensive, than stacking up eight 10s. Not to say folks don't build them. But as you say, not at bargain prices.

    Four 12 guitar cabs can't hang, as most guitar speakers won't take the punishment from a bass. That is why a 12 inch bass speaker has to be built to deal with that punishment.

    Most folks can get dual cabs with two 12s in each. And have the capability, but easier to transport.

    BTW I will never purchase an eight 10 refrig, don't have the room, and certainly not willing to lug that kind of weight (normally 140 lbs or so). But others swear by them.

    Personally, if I was looking for a four 12 cab, I'd look into Schroeders.

    1600 watts or 2000 watts, 65 lbs, and a manageable 34”W x 23”H x 15”D size.

    But they don't give them away. And they don't show up in the used market.
    Bassdirty and 5StringPocket like this.
  11. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Depends. The more modern the cab, the less likely driver diameter will dictate voicing.

    Older PV 215 cabs can be tamed, and being judicious with low and low mid keeps the muddy boom away. Mids are where the love is anyway. Cranking the lows is a horrible idea most of the time, for lots of reasons.

    Big low end is more about coupling, IMO. A fair amount in a single driver might seem light. Now quadruple that same driver with the same settings and stuff starts rattling off the shelves. That's where a cab like an 810 comes into play. One 10 has "x" dB. Two of the same gets you "x+3" dB. Four gets you "x+6" dB. Eight gets you "x+9" dB. That is a LOT of boost. Same power, same settings, just increasing the moving surface area of cones. There is also a +3dB boost doubling amp power that will happen with your solid state amp going from 8 to 4 ohms, so you are looking at somewhere around 12dB boost simply by going from a 1x10 8 ohm to a 810 4 ohm. On paper, this is a no-brainer if you want loud. Also yeah, I know you probably arent playimg through a 110 right now but I used an easy example of coupling to convey the idea. In reality way more factors are involved.
    Zach1457 likes this.
  12. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices


    Two 212s

    Heavy, PVH212s or 212AVs
    Tim Skaggs, AudioTaper and Zach1457 like this.
  13. Zach1457


    Sep 6, 2020
    Thanks for the help, I could also pick up a used 4x10 Mesa boogie, do you think I could get a good heavy sound out of that? 8x10 might end up being a bit large and with a 4x10 I may be able to add on a 1x15 later.
  14. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Oof. What would be the point of adding a 115 to a 410? The 410 would crush the 115 in low end extension, power handling and midrange almost every single time. Best bet would be double up on another of the same 410 if one isnt enough.

    No experience with any Mesa 410 cabs myself, but the 2x115 Road Ready rig I was backlined with once did fine for the harder rock group I was in. I was DI to the board anyway so I barely even fiddled with my settings and could hear myself so left it there.
    Bassdirty, gitfiddl and Zach1457 like this.
  15. Traditionally bass drivers came in 10 and 15 inch varieties, lately the new thing is for all bass gear to be lightweight. So instead of ceramic magnets and 4x10 cabs, people are getting neodymium magnets and 2 2x10 or 2 1x12 cabs. 15s are basically extinct. With the new modular approach in mind I recommend getting 2 2x12 cabs instead of trying to find a 4x12. Most 4x12 cabs will have been designed for guitar speakers and won't be big enough to produce low bass frequencies anyway. And considering bang for your buck I would strongly consider what you can get from Avatar. Their B212 or B2126 (with a 6' mid speaker instead of a foster horn) would be an awesome choice for you and getting 2 of these at $500 a piece is much better than spending $1500 on a custom build 4x12 that you might not even be happy with. Cheers.
    Bassdirty and Zach1457 like this.
  16. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    how is your bass tuned? standard tuning? down-tuned?

    i kinda like the idea of a pair of 2x12s (will that amp do 4 ohms?), and i bet they'd be easier to find than a 4x12.
    AudioTaper likes this.
  17. The boa

    The boa

    Nov 12, 2016
    You could always build your own. Should be able to do it for under your budget, and you’d get just what you want. Could mix and match speakers for just the right tone.
  18. AudioTaper

    AudioTaper Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    You could look into a pair of the Peavey PVH212 cabinets. 450W at 8 ohms each, you could really drive it with something like a Darkglass or Mesa class D head.

    Peavey also had a 412, but they're heavy and I almost never see them for sale.

    That Schroeder pictured above is awesome, but if you are a budget they wont cut it.

    If I were playing out, I would have probably have a Mesa Subway 212 (or two) and a Mesa TT-800.
    Current rig is an Eden WT400 and two Eden 1x12 cabinets. I like 10's and 12's.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2020
  19. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    You can't really judge how low a cab goes by the driver size. In my experience ported cabs with 10s are often tuned lower than 15s. I have attached the GK Neo manual for you. Open it up and look at where the frequency response is down by -3dB. In this series the 410 has the lowest response. This is fairly typically.

    If you check the Mesa Subway line, I believe driver size and low frequency extension match up, but IMHO this is not usual:
    Mesa Boogie Subway Ultra-Lite 2x15 Vertical Bass Cabinet | MESA/Boogie®
    Mesa Boogie Subway Ultra-Lite 2x12 Vertical Bass Cabinet | MESA/Boogie®
    Mesa Boogie Subway Ultra-Lite 4x10 Bass Cabinet | MESA/Boogie®

    Attached Files:

  20. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    BTW... If you go the dual 12 inch route, make sure it is an 8 ohm cab, so you can add another cabinet if you want. That way you won't reduce the load on the amp below 4 ohms. If they are 4 ohm cabs, two of them will drop the load on the amp to two ohms, unless you do some fancy series connecting of the cabs.

    That is unless you have an amp that can handle loads below 4 ohms. My Berg can take loads below 4 ohms, along with my Genzler MG800 I used in the rehearsal studio. There are other amps that also can do that.
    Zach1457, yodedude2 and Wasnex like this.
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