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Two 12's vs 4x10

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mambo4, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    I tired to post earlier but keep getting pushed off page...

    So I am considering going from a 4x10 cab to two 1x12s ('mini rig')
    or rather a 12 with tweeter and a 12 extension
    (actually a Berg HT310 to Ht112+Ex112.)

    I love the sound of the big cab,
    but like the portability and flexibility of two 12s

    will i loose much in the switch?
  2. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    AE410 is a great solution...
    410's are almost always louder than 2 12's
    rodl2005 likes this.
  3. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Nov 3, 2011
    Old thread, same question; what difference have you found between two 12's vs four 10's.
  4. FingerDub

    FingerDub Banned

    Jan 8, 2016
    I have a bastard 4x10 and it is still considerably louder at 400watts at 4ohms, than my 2 Aguilar 1x12 cabs together at 600watts at 4 ohms paired together. Still, the tone of the 12's is the bomb and more than enough for almost every gig I play, although a LITTLE extra headroom might be nice. My next rig is gonna be a 1x15 and a 4x10 or 2x15's.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I'm sure the correct answer is: 'It depends upon which specific two 12s and which specific four 10s.' Generalizing in the abstract will yield only meager results of dubious value.

    revroy, 10cc, Gearhead17 and 6 others like this.
  6. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Nov 3, 2011
    Aguilar 4 10's vs 2 12's cabinet specifically.
  7. FingerDub

    FingerDub Banned

    Jan 8, 2016
    Not really dude. Surface area and number of speakers rule. Wattage is secondary. Good try to be right though. A for effort.
  8. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    A *lot* depends on the specific drivers and on the enclosure design, but if all things were actually equal, a 4x10 would always tend to be a bit louder than a 2x12, simply because of the greater moving cone area, (25 * pi) * 4 being greater than (36 * pi) * 2. On the other hand, a 212 built with the same technology and materials will have less in the way of metal structure and magnet mass than a 410, so it will tend to be significantly lighter. 212's also tend to be less "beamy". Now as to which sounds *better*, that's entirely subjective.
    Al Kraft likes this.
  9. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I'm sort of thinking a Barefaced 212 might out shout almost any 410 other than one of their own 410's. I agree 100% that driver surface is a very important characteristic, but so are cabinet design/tuning, individual driver and system efficiency, driver displacement (Xmax) and too many other variables to list.
  10. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Nov 3, 2011
    What do you mean less beamy?

    Would the two 12's have a little more low end?

    Let say you can't afford a one 15 cab and four 10 cab. If you got the two 12 cab would it be a good compromise between the fuller low end of a 15 vs the four 10's?
  11. FingerDub

    FingerDub Banned

    Jan 8, 2016
    Not in my experience. 2x12's have a really nice mid burp and clean lows, but I don't think they sound any deeper than a 4x10 or even a single 15.

    If you have to decide between either/or, I'd get a nice 4x10. It should serve you well and be able to play almost any venue but outdoors. Add a 15 later.

    If you can try a 12 and like it, I'd get a 2x12 cab at 8ohm, so I could get a second later.
  12. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Don't make the mistake of associating speaker diameter with low end or lack thereof. In the GK NEO line for instance, most anyone would immediately notice that the 115 is more mid focused and the 410 borders on an overwhelming bottom end.

    None of what I am going to write next has anything to do with driver size per se and is an absolute generalization that often holds true, but is not in any way a certainty: I find that most 12 loaded cabs have a very balanced voicing with a full but not overwhelming tone most everywhere including the lower register. I typically find 410's have a lot of bottom end and rock voicing that feels a touch mid-scooped. I find 15's to be all over the map depending on what the cab designer was going for - mids and a transition for mids to highs in a multi-driver cab can be the awkward area.

    My two GK Neo 112 II's are much fuller and produce more bass than a GK Neo 115. On the otehr hand, I can't name too many things that produce more low bass than a GK Neo 410. :)

    I also own a Mesa PH 410 and two Mesa PH 212's. If I need max power projection/volume in a single cab, the 410 gets the job. I prefer the tone, balanced voice and lighter weight of my 212, but it's not quite as loud/powerful sounding when I'm using everything a single cab will comfortably and safely produce. I hope that's helpful.
  13. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Less directional. Square, 4-way speaker arrays, whether they be 10s for bass or 12s for guitar, tend to project strongly on-axis and not disperse as well to fill a room evenly.
  14. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Certainly I have had 4x10 cabs that were that way, but modern top shelf 4x10's don't necessarily have that problem (beaming). The Barefaced Four10 is pretty darn balanced throughout a room in my experience. It also has no shortage of low end. That said, in my personal experience (with attending limits thereof), I've not seen anything that matches the even, room-filling low end that a Big Baby 2 (Barefaced w/ 12" driver and mellow tweet) puts out. It's like a warm bath of bass almost anywhere in the room; like a hint of PA support for bass.

    I think in the end it just boils down to which OP likes better-- the sound of 10's or the sound of 12's. With the BF I like both about equally well so it just depends on the situation. With quality modern cabs, there will be plenty of level with either configuration (4x10, 2x12) so the comparative max volume is rather irrelevant IMO.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I used to be a tens guy, but Jim made some twelves I can dig. My HDN212 is my main gigging hen now.
    bucephylus, Mystic Michael and mgbass like this.
  16. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Yes, really, dude: Al and Mystic Michael are correct here. Displacement, efficiency, and voicing all matter. Total driver surface area's important, but it's only part of the equation.
  17. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Not really due. Total volume displacement comes first, thermal power handling and sensitivity come second. Good try to be right though. A for effort, D- for execution. ;)
    azfatboy, bucephylus, chris_b and 6 others like this.
  18. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    There isn't a sound of 10"s or a sound of 12"s. All speakers sound different to each other, some are more different than others. How different they sound is not particularly related to their nominal diameters, especially when we're talking about only +/-20% difference in diameter from 12" to 10" or 15" yet other parameters could vary by more than 100%.
    chris_b and Al Kraft like this.
  19. Beavisplaysbass


    Dec 11, 2015
    10s, 12s, 15s. Yes, diameter does matter.. how else am i going to fit these cabs in the back seat of my sedan if the cabinet is too big
  20. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    Nov 3, 2011
    The weight of the Aguilar DB12 cabinet is 28 pounds less than their DB 410 cabinet. This is the main reason I was attracted to them. The Aguilar DB 12 comes in the same cabinet as the four 10's. I had the choice of lugging a 98 pound cabinet up the basement stairs into my car for gigs (by myself) or the 70 pound cabinet. Guess which one I choose? Of course it has a tweeter in the cab as well

    I never played the cabs side by side but I found myself happy with the way both of them sounded when I have played through both. The neo speakers design lacks the full bottom end so even though they are much lighter, that lack the balls I like in a bass cabinet.

    Over 15 years ago I had a Mesa Boogie 400+ and the Boogie four 10 cabinet which weighed 98 pounds. It was just amazing. 15 years ago I was a younger guy and even at that time I traded in the Boogie cab for a SWR four 10 which was not as deep and weighed 10 pounds less. It was not as full sounding in the low end but had a more modern sound.

    I just can't see how anyone can lift 98 pounds of dead weight for every gig they have even with it on wheels. I love the sound but for a guy who is 6'1" and 210 pounds I choose the lighter cabinet. Sometimes I wish I had a four 10 for the difference in sound. Sometimes I wish I had a 410 sitting on a 15 cab for the ultimate sound. But every time I have a gig, I am glad I can carry my cabinet up the stairs and into my car without killing myself
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016

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