Is a 212 the best one-size-fits-most cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DoctorZee, May 6, 2021.

  1. I’ve been wondering if I could get away with downsizing my total equipment by finding one cabinet that I could use for (basically) everything: rehearsals, small clubs, large clubs, outdoor with PA support, etc. I’ve never had anything with 12s before, but based on specs and research, I’m starting to think a single 212 could do the job, while having a decent enough form factor that I don’t mind lugging it everywhere.

    My current arsenal is a 1x15 and a 4x10 which I use interchangeably or (rarely) stacked. It works, but I often feel like the 15 is not quite enough, but the 410 is overkill. Of course I’ve considered a pair of 12s but I doubt I’d use a single 12 often enough to warrant having separates.

    Any thoughts? Anyone doing the one-cab-to-rule-them-all approach?

    (I’ll mention that the GK Neo 212 or Ampeg 212AV are the ones that catch my eye as seeming to hit the right size, weight, quality, tone, and price for me.)
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  2. CallMeAl

    CallMeAl Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I’m currently using a 2x 112 Markbass setup. I actually use the 112 more but it’s mostly bluegrass and blues with a cajon. When we play outdoor, or use drum set I’ll bring the 2. But I only use a small fraction of my volume and frankly I think I could use a 210 easily.

    Of course a lot depends on the volume of your band mates too. But I think a 212 would be a great do it all cab. 210 maybe if you wanna shave off some size/weight.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    While every cab is different, I think you will find a 212 exactly what you want, a bit more than 115, and a bit less than 410s.
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  4. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I used 215 cabs for many years, then had a 212 cab built for me from LDS. I had everything vertical; 12's and tweet on top. I was playing in a 7 piece, wedding/ festival band and it covered everything. I could still tell the difference between the 212 and the 215, but, I definitely punched through that busy mix. I forget what the tweeter was, but the 12's were Eminence 3012HO's. The cab was also taller than most 212's so I heard it better. Easier to schlepp than a 215 also. So, yeah, as long as you keep everything at a reasonable volume, I think a 212 could be the " do all " cab . These days, my gig situation has changed, and I typically use a 115 cab or, on occasion, two 115 cabs, but a 212 cab would be my choice if I were still in that other band.
  5. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    A 212 cab has been part of my medium/ large rig for decades. With the right cab and right amp it can certainly deliver the goods.
  6. I run a Genz Benz Uber 2x12 cab with a Genz Benz Streamliner 600.
    The cab is 4ohm so it's taking the full 600 watts.
    Played gigs upto 200 to 250 people ( so mid sized venues ) and it is well up to the job. I don't even put a signal through the PA usually.
    I find it a "rounder" sound than my old 4x10 and almost as much punch as a 15".
  7. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Over the years I've had every configuration of 10's, 12's and 15's, and even a 118. IMO since 2005 there's been a revolution in bass cab design and bassists have some of the best cabs to choose from. We are almost at the situation where you can't choose a bad cab. I've heard cab shoot-outs at get together's where a dozen cabs were compared and I could easily have gigged with every one.

    I've settled on 12's and when the 212 became too heavy, I replaced it with 2 high performance 112's. For me that's the most flexible rig. A 112 for the smaller gigs and both cabs for the big gigs. I use Barefaced cabs. IMO I've never sounded better.
  8. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
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  9. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    DoctorZee likes this.
  10. Verb the Noun

    Verb the Noun

    Aug 1, 2018
    San Diego
    For the last three years I've had two GK neo 2x12 cabs for my show rig. In that entire span, I brought the second cab three times and it was gross overkill for all but one outdoor party with no PA support. I play in a two guitar hard rock band.

    So yeah, IME one 2x12 will certainly do the job.
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  11. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Although, the 212av is the same size as a 410.

    Find one like mine, and you'll actually have some sort of benefit from bringing a 212 over a 410. Like a subway. 20210430_181531.jpg
  12. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx

    I take one or two, depending on gig requirements.
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  13. Currently using 2*10 and 1*12 as my live rig which really seems to give me a nice tone

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 6, 2021
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  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    There are many great options. I’ve been using a Boom Bass Cabs 212. It’s not much larger than a 112 because the bottom speaker faces down. The top 12 is on an angled baffle so it projects very well. It’s only 38 pounds. Sweetwater recently started carrying them but Drue also sells direct if you want a special color or something. Very compact and light but every bit as loud as other 212 cabs. Don’t overlook them.
  15. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I've thought about a GK Neo 2x12 myself. Good option when looking for one cab that will do a lot.

    I've been using a pair of 2x10's for my gigs for a while and really like how they work in a vertical stack. My cover band plays rock and dance stuff at healthy volumes, so I pretty much always need both cabs - no coffee house shows where one would be plenty, but I practice through one cab at home. I generally like how 2x10's are both small enough and big enough... but that's probably because I've grown accustomed to them.

    My other rig consideration is that I'm often playing without PA support, so I don't want to decrease the amount of speaker that's working for me now. But if my band's PA system continues to expand and we start running everything through it, I'll be able to shrink my stage rig by a little bit if I want to. The Neo 2x12 would probably make more than enough stage volume and I'd only need to load in/out one box instead of two.

    But I'd still probably want to elevate a single 2x12 cab so that my ears could hear it at least as well as my knees.;) If you're worried about a setting where a 2x12 might not be "enough", the pair-of-2x10's option has a lot of upside. You'd get a lot of sound from that layout without occupying a big chunk of stage and it would be more manageable than a 4x10 and 1x15 tandem.
    fgallien likes this.
  16. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Yes . . . If the quality of the components are sufficient. I have a couple of 2X12's and alone or in combination, they can handle most anything not requiring FOH support.
    The Barefaced is an experimental 8ohm unit. And the Epifani is a custom D.I.S.T unit which is switchable between 4 & 8 ohms, so I can run a pair of 2X12's @4ohms, although a lot of my heads will operate at 2 ohms.
  17. Matthijs

    Matthijs Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Yes. A 2*12+5 has been my main cab for about 10 years now and the first cab I kind of ‘settled’ with. The only others I use are a 15” b15-ish cab for that sound and a small 1*10 for small stuff. I probably could do it all with two 1*12’s.
  18. I've been running my 2 12 av for a couple years now for just about everything I do. We had one outdoor gig without P A support and I pulled the 8 10 out of the back of the truck for that. Everything else has been covered nicely with the 2 12 and I probably could have gotten away with it on the big gig too.
  19. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    I have been using a Greenboy F212 as my sole cabinet for a few years now.

    Its overkill for coffee shops, but I can always turn down. I have yet to play a show or festival where I felt that I needed more though, and at 60lbs with wheels, it’s not a chore. 58BF6FB0-26A2-4B73-A5B1-48B45C00ACEA.jpeg
  20. bherman

    bherman Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    Another vote for 212 (or 2-1x12) as the best “one cab” solution. One option to look at, and just a few bucks more than the GK, is a RevSound 212. 35 lbs, about $100 more than the GK, and definitely in the “premium super-cabinet) class. And the Ampeg has a big footprint and is 2x the weight - big dealbreaker for me.
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