1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How would a guitar 4x12 work for bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fat jonny, Jul 1, 2001.

  1. fat jonny

    fat jonny

    Jul 8, 2000
    Columbus Ohio
    I was wondering how well a 4x12 designed for guitar would work with a bass. Would the low frequencies mess up the speakers? Would it sound like crap. I think i read somewhere that lemmy kilmister from motorhead used marshall 4x12 cabs but im not sure if its true or not.right now i want to add another cab to my peavey combo 115 to get some more volume but i only have about 150 to spend, and i noticed that guitar 4x12s are pretty cheap used. Would this be a bad idea? thanks!
  2. You'll blow the speakers.
    But, then again it may create an interesting signiture sound.
  3. Lemmy does use 4X12s...but he uses several stacks of them and also I'm pretty sure he uses either Marshall guitar amps or the old style Marshall Super Bass heads that look just like the guitar heads. Those heads don't get over 200 watts as far as I know but last time I saw Motorhead he had 3 of them going at once...that's how they get that wall of sound...they literally have a wall of amps up there. You'll also notice his sound is more trebly and growly than deep. Way back when there weren't many options for specific bass amps and you didn't have all this mega wattage gear like today...a lot of guys from the 60s and 70's did in fact use 4X12 but the amps were usally lower wattage. Just watch your wattage and ohm matching. You could always try a decent 4X10...a lot punchier.
  4. leper


    Jun 21, 2001
    having played through my guitarists marshall 4x12 on occasion I can say that its not something i think you would want by itself. You cant push them too hard, and they dont have very much bottom, or extreme top. If youre going for that "rock guy with a pick" tone but are tired of the same old svt sound it might be cool in combination with a 1x15 plus tweeter. definately out of place if you like a "smooth" sound

  5. Awful

  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It'll probably sound very "middy."

    If it's a Marshall 4x12, durability shouldn't be too bad. Jim Marshall was making PA's and bass amps before guitarists ever discovered his stuff rocked. So his designs, head and speakers, could handle bass since the amps wheren't made with exclusively either instrument in mind.

    If it's anything else, your sound will probably suck relative to bass cabs, and they'll self destruct in due time.

    If guitar cabs worked well for bass, we'd all have discovered we could save the extra weight and cost of bass cabs a long time ago.
  7. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I know that Geezer from Black Sabbath used to (and may still) use 4x12 cabs. However, they MAY be specially designed for bass. I know Mashall actually makes 4x12 cabs for bass, but that may only be available in England; I’ve never seen them here in the States. I figure the tone of a 4x12 may be more bassy than yr average 4x10 bass cab, but not as focused and likely middy sounding like someone else mentioned.

    Finding a 4x12 bass cab in this country may be real tricky. Have you considered going with 10s? It sounds like you play heavy music but with that Peavey as a stand-alone amp, yr speaker is likely rated at 8ohms which means yr probably getting only 75-80 watts. By adding an additional 8ohm cab, with yr 8ohm 15” combo speaker, you’ll now be at 4ohms and you'll at least get the full 150 watts (not exactly fit for a stadium, but better than what you've got!). Most 4x10 cabs are 8ohms and will likely match up with yr amp. I think this set up could workout well for you, consider: you'll get yr full 150 watts, you'll still have the bottom coming from yr 15" combo speaker, and then you'll the tighter high-end from the 4x10s in addition to more volume. I personally dig the combo of a 1x15 and 4x10 cabs. However, if its a more thrashy tone yr looking for, I guess an old funky 4x12 cab would work as long as the ohm rating matches up.

    If you find a decent 4x10 cab in yr price range, bring yr ax and yr amp to the store, plug in and see how it goes. Ask the shop person if you can crank just for a few minutes to check out the sound. He/she ought to agree seeing as if you dig the tone, you'll be plunking down some cash, right?

    Good luck,

  8. I was looking for a 4x12 bass cab, and I kinda found one. It's a Fender 4x12 that originally went with the 300 PS, which was a 300 Watt tube amp, made for either Bass or guitar. The nameplate on my cab says Fender "300 PS Bass 4x12", so I got it. It works, but I've since been told that the real 4x12 bass cab for this model was a little different than the one I got. Who knows? This one works good, and it does give a midbass sound, not real low, not real high, which is pretty cool by me. This one is a sealed box, flat baffle. Supposedly the real Bass cab was like the old Bassman 4x12 with a baffle that was divided into 4 sections that were angled back to form a 4-sided recessed baffle. I've seen the original Bassman 4x12, but I've never seen the PS300 4x12 like that.

    Peavey makes a 4x12 bass cab with a tweeter, too. I'd love to have one of the Marshall 4x12 bass cabs to go with my 1973 SuperBass head!


  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    actually, the ones i use work pretty well. :D
  10. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    i may be showing off my ignorance here, but it's the only way i'll learn :) but why would a 4x12 not produce as much bass/volume as 4x10?
  11. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I think you may have misinterpreted some of the postings. A 4x12 cab will produce more volume as would a 4x10. However, I believe a 4x12 will produce more bass response than a 4x10 (the speakers are larger), not the other way around. The hitch is that the response would likely not be as tight or as focused as a 4x10. The 4x10 alone may not have the kind of bottom end response some bassists prefer; therefore the combo of a 4x10 cab with a 1x15 cab gives the best of both worlds. Keep in mind, there are many other variables involved here; the bass, the strings, the amp, the player, etc. Plus, I've heard some 4x10 cabs as stand alone unit that had plenty of bass response without the addition of a 1x15. Hell, I've heard some pretty good 2x10s as a stand alone too. Its really the 4x12 thing that's a bit of a mystery because few bassists used them, hence the confusion.
  12. LowfreqB


    Nov 10, 2000
    United States
    peavey makes a 4x12 bass cab. I wonder myself if a 12" speaker is better then a 10" I'll have to try a 2x12 and figure that out. I have only seen the 4x12 in peaveys catalog.
  13. Friend of mine has a Marshall 4x12 Bass Cab + Marshall head. But he plays only with a pick, so it totally fits his style. I thought it was a little low on power/volume. But sounded pretty smooth, plus would distort nicely when pushed with his California Special P-bass. Basically a Hot-Rodded P. Very interesting/unique setup. But not something I would do.. To each his own.
  14. Because we're talking about 4x12 guitar cabinets, not bass cabinets. Guitar cabinets are not typically built to reproduce the deep bass frequencies that most bass player want.
  15. True. We're also talking about guitar *speakers* within those guitar cabinets. You can design a good 12" driver that puts out good bass, but something like a greenback or a Vox Bulldog or an old Jensen sure isn't it. The requirements are much different.
  16. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Some of you might want to read further up this thread. Yes, its understood that 4x12 cabs are normally meant for guitar. However, Marshall did/does make 4x12 cabs for bass. Also, someone else posted that Peavey did too at one time. Anywho, I think the guy that started all this might actually be interested in a guitar cab for his bass rig in the Lemmy/Geezer tradition. The tone may not be for everyone, but apparently it meets the demands of Motorhead and Sabbith
  17. >Also, someone else posted that Peavey did too at one time

    Peavey still makes the 412 TVX - an excellent cab with some of the best specs around at a great price.



  18. if your amp has a pre-amp out,you could get a cross-over and use a seperate power amp.set the cross-over at 100hz-150hz(to keep thr really low freq. from goin thru the 4x12) and use your 15 at full range..who knows you might find a sound to die for..somethin to think about...
  19. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    It won't, get the Peavey 4x12 cab.

Share This Page