Note sure what to feed a fEARful 12/6/1

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sunk by Sirens, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Ah scary, reading! -> scroll to bottom for TL;DR and requirements for valid suggestions.
    Everyone else -> :bookworm::thumbsup:

    I too drank the kool-aid...

    Sure there are pleeeenty of amps/cabs worthy of replacing my Line 6 Low Down, but based on the output to weight ratio, clarity, wide dispersion of sound, and ability to be used as a full-range PA speaker, I've convinced myself a fEARful 12/6/1 is the only cab worthy of being the cab for me. This upgrade should get me through until the total collapse of western civilization. At the very least I would just add to it, not replace...

    Anyways, I can't decide what amp to feed into it. Since I want to stick with the one cab for as long as possible (keywords being lightweight and "affordable"), I want an amp than can push a 12/6/1 to its full extent. That means drawing 700 - 1000 watts at 8 ohms, depending on how much the amp can go without clipping. Generally, I won't be cranking it, but if I'm putting the money into the cab, I don't want it to be wasted potential I can never use.

    That said, the cab alone will be quite a pretty penny at an estimated $682, minus the cost of the wood. Ideally, the amp head (or separate pre/power amps) would be less than the cost of the cab. As much as I love buying secondhand anything, for a setup that'll last as long as I want, I'm hesitant to buy a secondhand amp, even though it would be cheaper. If it is from a reputable source though, I'm all for it, especially if a warranty is still valid.

    I'm not looking for any fancy add-ons or crazy tone-shaping. My main bass is a Schecter with dual TWXs and a BQC preamp all wired in 18V, so I already have some versatility in tone there. Though, my passive P bass (WIP) will be ready to plug and play in a couple months, so basic EQ is required.


    Requirements for a suggested amp head or separate rack units:
    • Minimum 700W ideally ~900W at 8ohms
    • Less than $700, bonus points for under $500
    • Ideally tube-driven, though will consider proven, reliable digital units; Line 6 has scarred me
    • Small/lightweight preferred, but not a deal-breaker
    • Basic EQ controls, nothing too fancy required
    • Speakon outs for cab, headphone out, DI send, aux in
    • Bonus points for effects send/return
    :hyper: I have some ideas already, but I'm casting a wide net here. Thank you for the fishies.
    Jim Carr likes this.
  2. therhodeo


    Feb 28, 2011
    Owasso OK
    What has lead you to believe you need that kind of wattage for that cabinet?
    rogypop likes this.
  3. fEARful™ FAQ

    KAPPALITEâ„¢ 3012LF - Loudspeakers | Eminence Speaker

    Eminence lists the 3012LF speaker as having a power rating of 450W continuous, 900W program. Factor in some headroom for the amp to avoid clipping, and you get a little bit higher. Am I missing something?

    The Alpha 6a mid range is rated 100W/200W, but of course it isn't handling as much of the load as the woofer.

    In your opinion, what is more reasonable, and how did you come to this conclusion?
    jsxtal likes this.
  4. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Any of the 800 watt class D heads will work well with the 12/6/1 . Mesa Subway D 800+ , Ampeg PF800 or a SVT 7 come to mind . Lots of other heads at that power . When I had my 12/6/1 I used a Markbass LMII with it and could keep up with my band but I was really pushing it . It worked great but I don't like pushing my amps that hard and that was a 500 watt head at about 300 watts with the fEarful. S7300293.JPG
  5. Yeah, maybe I should have started a thread asking:

    "With only one 12/6/1 (Alpha 6a and Dayton H07e with the Eminence ASD1001), what kind of wattage are people using without blowing anything?"

    But searching around, I've seen people suggesting amps in the 700-800W range. Though I think those ratings were at 4ohms in hindsight.
  6. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    those heads are a reasonable choice but you're only getting 400w into a 12/6 - which would probably work for most folks but I prefer a bit more.
    TN WOODMAN and Jim Carr like this.
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I power my 12/12/6/1 with a Markbass SD 800 but there are a lot of great options out there. I like a nice, flat-sounding, head with a simple EQ that I can dial in how I want. You won't find many heads that put out that kind of volume with an aux in though.
  8. Foz


    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    excursion limits for GB DIY cabs
  9. My thinking with the aux in is it would be even more useful as being used as PA system, not that my band even really uses that in a gig setting... I suppose with a separate pre/power amp, it's possible to get a beefy power amp without it and a preamp that has one. Not a deal breaker at all.
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  10. Nice, I think that graph is one of the images from greenboy's website that my phone didn't want to load, go figure. I see numbers on the axes but no units. Just curious what those are actually measurements of, though of course the main take away is, I'm sure:

    "Don't feed a 12/6 more than about 530W."
  11. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    I believe the vertical axis is db and the horizontal is Hz.
    Sunk by Sirens and Passinwind like this.
  12. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    When I had my 12/6 I mostly used an amp rated at 600 watts RMS at 8 ohms. I had good DSP limiting in place that kicked in a bit earlier though, FWIW.

    My 12/6 had no tweeter, which I came to regret, but I've moved along to other similar cabs built by "friends of Dave" and find an Aux in to be very useful, FWIW.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    wave rider, Sunk by Sirens and Inara like this.
  13. Thanks for all the help so far...

    Update to "Suggestion Requirements"

    • Power rating now at ~500W
    • Forgot to mention that I'd prefer a built in, variable HPF; I want to produce a low A without wasting precious energy producing noise below 27.5 Hz. But I won't be doing that all too frequently, so that's where the "variable" function would come in handy.
    And don't worry, I'm still researching all this on my own. I'm just trying to reach out and take advantage of the wealth of experience and knowledge the TB community offers. Obviously I ain't no expert!
    obimark, Bassdirty and Passinwind like this.
  14. Erik herman

    Erik herman Gold Supporting Member

    Darkglass. Microtubes.... 500!
    bjelkeman and Sunk by Sirens like this.
  15. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I suggest taking a look at the large and medium tuning in the attached document. I believe the 12/6 is midway between these tunings based on the graph in post #9 and the listed F3 of each tuning. Pay specific attention to the cone displacement graphs and note power is limited to 400W and Xmax of the driver is 0.358" or 9mm.

    Hopefully you will see the importance of using an HPF if you plan to hit the cab with lot's of power.

    Also take a look at the maximum input power graph and note the design is excursion limited to about 450W around the 60-70hz range.

    The other issue I think you should consider is 122dB is not really a lot of headroom if you are playing with a basher of a drummer. FYI, the 12/6 can be configured with a switch in the crossover that toggles the level of the mid range so it matches the output of a single 3012LF or two 3012LFs; so I suggest considering a 12/6 and a 12 Sub if you play in loud settings. Adding 12 Sub will give you approximately 6dB more output if you have an amp that can push both drivers optimally. See the yellow line in post #9. Use the 12/6 when it's appropriate, and bring out the extra cannon when it's needed.

    As far as what amp to use. IMHO it depends on what type of tone and flexibility you want, so I don't have a recommendation, but I would suggest you consider an amp that makes approximately 400W at 8 ohms and 800W at 4 ohms. Such an amp will push one or two 3012LFs reasonably close to their limits without grossly over- or underpowering them. I also think an HPF is a good idea, especially if you plan to push the cabs hard.

    Attached Files:

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  16. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    I won't lie, I didn't read all that..

    But, when I had my 12/6 I bridged a Crest prolite 2.0 (1100 watts 8ohms) into it..
    Needless to say, it was absolutely fantastic!!
    If not that, my Mesa D800..
    400 watts at 8 ohms.. still stupid loud, if needed..
    Don't overthink it, get something YOU like, and has the sound you need, hook it up, turn it up and enjoy. Don't be afraid, they can take A LOT and not even blink
    Sunk by Sirens likes this.
  17. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    acoustic image. i used a series 3 focus with mine. worked a treat.
    Sunk by Sirens likes this.
  18. For those graphs, it looks like F3 = "tuning frequency," would that be correct?

    If so, greenboy lists a tuning frequency of 45-46.5 Hz for all the fEARful cabs, including of course the 12/6. Assuming F3 = tuning frequency, then the 12/6 fEARful cab looks to follow the specs for the "Large Vented Design," and the amplitude response vs frequency graph follows greenboy's graph (as shown in post #9) up to about 350 Hz, which I imagine is where the mid-range driver would start taking over... I can't find a specific value for the crossover point, but this looks right.

    It would follow that if 400W going to the woofer alone is creating that response curve, the mid-range driver is using the remaining ~100W to create the graph in post #9. Of course it depends on exactly how it is wired with the crossover; I'm not gonna pretend to know the exact details of that though.

    What I'm a little confused about then is why Eminence lists the power rating as 450W/900W when we consider QSC recommends "Typically, loudspeaker manufacturers recommend an amplifier with power output equal to the speaker's Program (Music) Power rating or two times (2 x) the Continuous (RMS) Power rating.": GX Series

    Is QSC's statement just considering headroom, then?

    Also, for the "Large Vented Design" graphs in the document you shared, Eminence had a HPF active at 30 Hz. That's not too far away from 27.5 Hz, but still I wonder how different the curves would be with my preferred HPF setting.
  19. NinoD


    Jul 3, 2014
    If you can find a Steamliner 900
    500 watts at 8ohms
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