Max volume from 2 small cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by socknroll1, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. socknroll1


    Jun 20, 2011
    I have learned some very useful things in this board in just a few months regarding live rigs. Matching cabs, driver sizes, not expecting to get 800 watts from a single 210, stacking cabs differently, adding speakers instead of watts, etc. This question relates to that last piece. I'm thinking of the ultimate 2-small-cab rig. For maximum volume and best sound, would I want 2x210s, 2x112s, or 2x115s? Would I assume 2x210s simply because of the most speakers?

    (I know this is largely an opinion question, but I'm also curious what some of the more "technical" contributors say.)
  2. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    are 4x10's too big? two of those should beat those listed hands down. and i'm sure i'll get corrected if i'm wrong (please do), but two 2x10's, say on either side of the backline, won't necessarily provide better coverage than a good single 4x10.
  3. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I prefer two 1x12s for a small rig. But really it depends on the cabs.
  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    Northern KY
    Cab fan, hobbyist
    i've got the genz benz 3.0 and two 1x10's. it looks like a toy. depending on your genre and size of venue, something like that might work. if 4x10 cabs are out, i'd pick high end 1x12 first, then a decent 1x15, followed by a high end 2x10. to my experience tens just can't cut through with less than four in the same spot. is this a hypothetical?
  5. Depends on the cab! But your most speaker area will more than likely be 2 1x15.

    4x10 cabs have phasing and dispersion issues but many like them!

    What kinda gigs are you playing?

    What head are you using?

    Is there a PA?

    Is there a drummer?

    Also i dont agree with basscooker!
  6. Oobly


    Jun 19, 2008
    A fEARful 12/6 and a 12sub... :D Or if you like to start earthquakes, a 15/6 and 15sub.
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Low end output is limited by the product of system driver displacement and the low frequency corner frequency, F3. It should be an easy matter to compare those specs for every cab made, but alas, only one manufacturer, Barefaced Bass, publishes displacement along with honest F3 figures.
  8. I don't know what the "technical" contributors say and the drivers and box play a roll - but here you go.

    1. 2x15
    2. 2x12
    3. 2x10
  9. socknroll1


    Jun 20, 2011
    OK more info:

    The last poster didn't notice that I said 2 2x10s not 2 1x10s, surely that would make a difference right? 4 total speakers.

    Yes 410s are too big for where I live and what I drive.

    Heavy rock band, with a Pa and drummer, but I never put the bass through the PA. 500 watt solid state head.

    Any other input? I'm basically trying to validate this assumption: more speakers, more volume, all else equal. That's why I'm leaning toward the 2 210s.
  10. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    That assumption is false. There are 2x15s and 2x12s that will blow away a 4x10. That said, a good 4x10 (or 2 2x10s) work for a lot of people.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, it really depends on the specific cabs you're considering. One makers 15 might outclass anothers 210, and so on. But you're right in assuming more spkrs = more volume.
  12. jungleheat

    jungleheat Inactive

    Jun 19, 2011
    In terms of just speaker area, 1x15 is slightly more (about 12%) than 2 10s. 2 12s is about 1/3 more than 1 15. Obviously with twice the number of drivers, you cut the power handling requirements in half.

    But yeah, excursion is the other component in terms of "size". You also have to take into account sensitivity, power handling, frequency response, etc... if you are trying to get an idea of how loud a cab will be compared to another.

    Honestly, rather than trying to find the "loudest" cabs, I would go for ones you really like the sound of, and as long as they are decent on sensitivity and power handling, you should generally be ok.

    But I would guess that your best bet for loudness in a small package, would be 2 1x15s. 15 cabs can actually be smaller than 2 10 cabs, but will have more speaker area. The most volume from a cab that is smaller than a 4x10 would probably be the 2x12 though. That's somewhat getting out of the range of a "small" cab though (2x12 will probably be taller but narrower than a 4x10, which may be an advantage in trying to get it into a small car).
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I settled on the pair of 2x10 solution. I actually own four but have only ever needed the pair. You can see the vertical stack in my avatar.
  14. I read that a 2x15 should be about as loud as a 6x10 or 3/4s as loud as a 8x10.
  15. socknroll1


    Jun 20, 2011
    OK one more question guys, I appreciate the input.

    I have seen concerns on this board about the max watts that a single 210 can handle, even when very high rated. I've seen guys saying they will max out at 300ish then distort.

    Wouldn't that be MORE of a concern with a single 12 or single 15? In other words, how much does a quality 112 really handle? A quality 115?
  16. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    If you've been paying attention, the one thing you'll have learnt is that these questions make little sense, in that the answers can pertain only to specific cabinets, which are not usefully defined according to their driver diameter.

    If there is a general rule of thumb, it is that for most commercial cabinets, the power it can handle before distorting is around half its rated power (which is a thermal rating). This will depend also on your tone -- the lower frequencies will cause "fart out" at a lower power than higher frequencies, for example.
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    ...Which also means you can get a huge amount more "loudness" from any speaker cab arrangement by cutting some of the lows. This is especially useful to know when trying to get the most loudness out of the smallest cabs. By cutting a bit of the lows, you can get more sound out of the speakers before they fart out.
  18. Yes, do cut lows to get max loudness. Bump up low-mids instead. I'd go with two 2x10's. Stack them vertically. Compact, and generally the best bang for your buck. The SWR GOLIGHT cabs are sweet. Light and loud, sound great.
  19. jay loren

    jay loren Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    From a practical point of view I'm considering adding a 2x10 (SWR golight jr. 400, 8 ohm) to the Avatar B410 Neo (8 ohm) I already have driven by a GB Shuttle 9.0:
    - to use the 2x10 for my house and small venues
    - to use the 4X10 for the rehearsal room and small/medium venues
    - to use both for bigger venues
    Good/bad idea?
  20. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It's a good idea if you are careful with your levels. Remember that half the power will be going to four speakers, and half to only two speakers.

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