Go big or go small for gigs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wyleeboxer, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. I usually like to bring a single 112 cab (440 Live with B&C driver) to my cover band gigs either with the 4 or 5 piece band. I’ll push the 112 just before it’s limitations with my Quilter bb800, which gives me a nice growly tone but can be a little under gunned sounding when the night gets louder.
    When I bring an extra identical cab (the 2 112) it seems to be overkill and of course the amp runs at less then 20% volume and the cabs are barely moving, so the tone is less growly. However, ill probably start bringing both cabs to every gig now and just keep working with the tone and gain knobs until I get the tone I need.

    So how many of you are always bringing more cab then needed to every gig? Do you still find a way to get a good tone at lower volume levels with a large rig? I don’t know, just something I was thinking after the show last night :)
  2. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I was in a similar situation with a gk neo 112 in an 8 piece cover band. It sounded fine and really kicked for a 112. It got the job done when things got loud but didn't feel quite full enough - just not enough speaker. I find 115 or 210 works for me without being overkill. Now using a Hartke HD500. I play some places with difficult load-ins and hate bringing more than I need.
  3. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I'll use as many cabs as it takes, but for most of my gigs that's 2 112 cabs. One thing I never do is run a cab to "just before its limitations". I want my amp and cabs to be ticking over at whatever volume I chose. I prefer a clean, fat, warm sound but if I wanted "growl" I'd probably use a pedal. I also hate carrying cabs so I opted for Barefaced. That's a 21lb cab, so no load in issues anymore.
  4. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    Your liking the speaker growl, but then not to much.

    Multiples of the same speakers has it's magic too.

    Either get louder band or find 2x12 that sits in the middle. Or at least seems like you have neos with little overhead.

    Like a mid grade good general purpose 12. I always liked the Beta12a2 or similar stamp steel ceramic. Something like a Ampeg 2x12av. Little more paper growl but enough cone area to take care business be loud enough.

    Can have fun with run of the mill heads into those neos too. Basically simple 200ish watter and crank it. Growls when you dig in, riding on edge. Same with ceramics

    Go big always the answer. More of the same speaker has extra presence. At whatever volume. Just unknown magic
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
    wyleeboxer likes this.
  5. Your amp should get some growl of its own at low master volume.
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I always bring two 1x12 cabs unless I absolutely know I only need one and have something to put the cab on.

    Having two has two advantages:
    1. Gets the cab off the ground closer to my ears.
    2. More volume.
    Ggaa, Groove Doctor and wyleeboxer like this.
  7. Interesting perspective on the ceramic speakers I’m always a bit suspicious of neo’s not having all the goods.. had the Beta12a2 in a larger 112 cab, lots of lows and loud, but was a bit too scooped, kinda wish I had that cab back to try again. Anyways, I think I’m just not getting the full lows out of the one 112 cab when things heat up and the dance floor requires more bottom later in the night. Looks like it’s 2 trips to the car now :)
  8. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    Yeah basically. Or either it's more bass or not. The going big rule still plays.

    Just the feel stays tight. More speakers the better.

    But if yah like the paper sound. All bout finding right driver. Then running 2 of them. Running just one farty speaker don't work. But 2 get you to the level your at. Growls when dig in
    wyleeboxer likes this.
  9. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    IMO you've forgotten the biggest advantage. . . 2 cabs just has a better tone. . . well mine do.
    Ggaa, petergales and wyleeboxer like this.
  10. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I'm not so worried about multiple trips to the car, as long as they are lightweight trips. When I can't park close, I use a trolley.
    Spidey2112 and wyleeboxer like this.
  11. Keger Jupit

    Keger Jupit Inactive

    May 10, 2018
    The Great PNW!!
    Two cabs, please...


    The sedan for my 2x10, the wagon for my 1x15
    GTx2, Wisebass, Lance Bunyon and 2 others like this.
  12. thehindteet


    Jan 15, 2013
    I think the rational way to look at it is to think about why the bass amp is there. If you're in the PA, and you can hear yourself alright through the wedges, it doesn't matter much if you like how your amp sounds cranked because nobody but you is probably hearing that anyway and you would probably be making too much volume on stage.

    I play plenty of small gigs where the PA is a couple of garden variety 12+horns on poles, and there might not be a wedge for me, or the drummer has a wedge and its loud enough for both of us. I could bring my own wedge in those cases but its usually easier just to have my amp be a little louder on stage and forgo the monitor. If I have to turn the amp up really high in those cases, maybe I'd use the second box to avoid that.

    You have to be able to get the same good sound in any of those scenarios, so I worry that if a person thinks they only have a good sound if their amp is cranked, what are you going to do when that's too much volume for the stage you're on? Ultimately that's what matters- that the audience and the ensemble are both hearing the ensemble sound great, not that each individual performer having their own ideal sound. Sometimes that means turning way down and letting the monitors do the work, sometimes it means turning up and letting the amp do the work, but its never the same for every situation.
  13. Take what you want, but eat what you take.
  14. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    I use a Peavey 210TX loaded with Eminence Delta Pros. It's 4 ohms, and I power it with an Ampeg SVT PRO 3, 450 RMS. Placed vertically, it's always been plenty loud and clean (I don't want growl, but the preamp tubes would do that if I wanted that). Yeah, it's 40+ pounds, but carts are made for moving cabs.
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  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Part depends whether you are going into FOH. But better a little too much than having to push your cabs.
  16. I like a clean tone with a lot of definition, that works with the kick, and gives good pitch support to the band. I like mixed drivers, vertical, and I like big iron for a head. So I'm less typical for TB in those respects, and typically take plenty of cab and head. I do sometimes take a single 12 combo, if a full rig looks inappropriate, acoustic gigs, etc.
    wyleeboxer likes this.
  17. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Bring 2 single 12’s. Plug the top one in for the early part of the gig. Then plug in the
    bottom one in as the gig gets hoppin’.
  18. TubeDood

    TubeDood Inactive

    May 31, 2019
    What this guy said .
    Gotta find your amps " sweet spot " at all volume levels.
  19. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I take two cabs most times, but it's two 8-ohm 115's. If I can get by with one, I'll leave one in the truck, but more times than not, if I take two, I set up two. It's not a lot more work, and it makes it much easier to get the tone I want. I just have to be careful not to overuse the rig and blow everyone off stage.
    The Nameless likes this.
  20. This makes the most sense
    TubeDood likes this.