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Thinking about 12's again.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mike M., Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Back around 1978 thru 1982 I used an SVT head going thru 2, 12" Gauss speakers. Loved the sound and it kicked! Not too woofey, not too zingy but just right.

    Right now I'm using a GK MB115 and it handles the low B quite nicely. I like it and while it serves my needs I still miss that 12" sound.

    A lot of things have changed since then, so I'd like to get some ideas from those who also like the 12" sound as to what you're using. Are you using the same brand head and cab(s) or are you using one brand of head thru another brands cab?

    I don't need to level the walls with volume either. I'm thinking of a head that's around 300-350 watts with one 2X12 cabinet that will give me the option of hooking up another cabinet if the need ever comes about. Or maybe a head with 2, 1X12 cabinets for the full wattage. I'm open to it all right now.

    Portability but something that punches and can handle a low B is what I'd like to find. Got a bad back and I drive a Ford Focus, so if I could get it all into the back seat myself (as I can with my GK) that's even better yet.

    I'm in no hurry at all to buy. Again, just want to get some ideas of what works for you folks.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. I use the G-K NEO412, won't fit in a Focus but the G-K NEO 12's are awesome! Look into the G-K NEO212 cabs.

    Loved Gauss. Best division Cetec had, Broadcast group second, Vega wireless got more press though. :)
  3. WormtownBass


    Jun 24, 2011
    Authorized Builder: Bill Fitzmaurice, fEARful bass
    I like these "new" 2 and 3 way cabs. You can get a lot of output and full sound out of small packages. There is something to be said about having two separate 12" cabs. You will find that some gigs you only need 1 cab. Also, if you have a bad back and only want to move smaller boxes, two cabs is nice. If you get a chance, check out the fEARful designs. It's what I use now and I'm really happy with the sound (I too play 5-string).
  4. If you're liking the GK sound you can easily stay within that line with an MB500 head (350w @ 8ohms) and a 2x12" Neo cabinet. Head weighs about 4lbs and the cab about 50lbs and both should fit nicely into your backseat.

    I'm using a GK MB112 right now because I love the punch and tighter sound of a 12". If end up needing something more powerful this is the route I would go because I do like the sound of GK stuff and I could always add another 2x12" cab and get all 500w from the head.

    Good hunting.
  5. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. This is what I need to hear...the things that people are using and what's working well for you.

    Keep 'em coming!

    P.S. Although the SVT is long gone I still have those two 12" Gauss speakers. Those things got some weight to them!!
  6. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    12" speakers are my choice as well.
    Although they are not part of the new generation of "super twelves" I still dig my Aguilar db212 and the light SL112s!!!

    .... 5 string payer as well!
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No offense, but there's not really a 12" sound. They can make great cabs with 12"s, but they don't all sound the same.
  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I use a single Mark Bass 121H traveller paired with a LMII head. Runs 8ohms at 300w. I figured I could always by another cab at a later date for the full 500w and more speaker 'spread'. But so far, after 2 years or so, I haven't needed one, even playing a huge outdoor gig on a 24 meter stage with PA support, it seemed to fill the stage area on its on.

    I opted for the 121H cab and separate head over the 121H combo, and indeed the more compact 121P combo as it's tuned slightly lower. Not much, but to my ears in the guitar shop, it seemed to make a noticeable difference.

    I used to use a Warwick CCL250 combo. 250w, 4ohm, 15" speaker and horn. Bigger and heavier. I had to run this flat out at some gigs and still struggle, yet at the same venues, with only a paltry 50w more (which isn't much) I seem to have so much more headroom. I don't know if this is because the MB design is very efficient, or the Warwick wasn't very efficient, or the 12" is more mid focused, but it just seem to provide way more volume.

    The other thing my band mates noticed before I did, is that it sounded 'tighter'. It seems to have more focus than the Warwick's 15". It punches through, yet sits nicely in a mix without the flab of the 15".
  9. Cutty


    Jun 25, 2006
    Iv'e been using a Schroeder 1212BMF for around 18months now and it's been all i wanted and needed,and i have no thought's of changing it for another cab,see if you can try one,it might be just what your after,good luck.
  10. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    No offense taken, Jimmy. Always value your take on things.

    Just going from past experiences using various setups using 15's and never being totally satisfied with it. One setup was a 2X15" cab used with my SVT, but I wasn't totally sold. Then I came across the two 12's, hooked it up to my SVT and from moment one it was like..."now we're talking!!" The sound I was looking for back then was suddely there using the same amp but with 12's instead of 15's.

    Thanks to the others who've also chimed in. Good to read what you have to say.
  11. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Well, I do think that smaller drivers recover a little faster than larger ones. Depending on you budget, I would think that one of the new "super 12's might be plenty for you.
    Take a look at the posts on the Thunderchild 112, Acme Full Range and Flat Wound 112, and Baer 112. If those are to much for your pocket book, there's the Aguilar 112. As Jimmy mentioned, each of
    these cabinets sound quite different, but there's plenty of info and sound clips in there respective threads here on Talkbass.

    Heads and cabinets are kind of mix and match to your taste these days. There's a whole bunch of amps. The Ampeg PF 350 and PF 500 are great sounding and very reasonable. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.


    At that power rating you can go with a single 1X12 that will be plenty loud. The newer cabinets are so much more efficient. IMHO

    The new cabinets are smaller and lighter so your backseat and lightweight criteria is easily met.

  12. AdamR

    AdamR Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Another GK 212 vote
  13. +1 for GK 212 NEO.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Fair enough. My point, though, was that I'm sure I could find you a pair of 12"s that you think suck ;) But if you find a set of 12"s that you enjoy hearing yourself through, then you've got it made. I see the attraction to 12"s. A little more standalone than a single 10"s...a little less bulky than a single 15"...I get it.
  15. I would bet that sound had way more to do with the tuning of the cab and speaker together, than with the speaker size alone.
  16. Just bought the GK MB212 Combo - love the sound!
  17. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Another vote for the 2 or 3 way "super 12s", especially the fEARful 12/6 cabs.

    Weigh around 40 lbs (often less).
    Can easily handle anything a 450 watt amp can throw at them.
    If you're handy with a saw, you can build them youself and save some $$$$.
  18. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Just wanted to +1 Jimmy's post. It's true, 12's don't have "a sound" of their own. Each and every cab built for bass, regardless of driver size, sounds different. it's not because one is loaded with 12's vs. another loaded with 10's, or 15's- just different box designs and tunings. You can like whatever you like, and you should play around with as many different cabs as possible, so you can choose by ear. just don't want you to go on thinking it's due to driver size.
  19. WormtownBass


    Jun 24, 2011
    Authorized Builder: Bill Fitzmaurice, fEARful bass
    +1 (and then some)

    F3, SPL, and XMAX. Look it up and learn them well!
  20. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I don't know Jimmy, in this thread:


    between posts #10 and 17, someone as informed as TB's own Tom Bowlus makes an interesting observation about the apparent inherent tone qualities of 2 different Berg cabs, that should be flat tonally, with different speaker sizes. Suggesting that maybe the speakers (not the caband speaker) actually do have a specific "voice" Interesting.

    Disclaimer: I have no dog in this hunt at all (i.e. the specific sound of any particular speaker size). I happen to like 12's very much, but have also enjoyed, and had good luck with, all sorts of cabs and drivers from 8's to 18's over my 35 years of bass playing.

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