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what is the difference between different sized speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by M*A*S*H, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. M*A*S*H


    Aug 3, 2010
    what i am wondering is what is the difference between different sized speakers. :help: 4x10, 1x12, 1x15 and does it matter if theres one or four and how much does it effect the volume. :confused:
  2. it depends on quality of the speaker, what your willing to carry, and how much your head will power. 4x10 means the cab has four, ten inch speakers. 1x15 means one fifteen inch, and so on... 8x10, 4x6, 2x10, you can see it like this 2'10's, or 1-15, or 2_12. I think the volume gos (and I might be wrong, this is an opinion, and it depends on the brand) 6, 8, 10, 12, 2x10, 15, 4x10, (4x10, 1x15) and 8x10. there's so many different ways you can put speakers together, but those are common.
  3. M*A*S*H


    Aug 3, 2010
    that is helpfull, i want something loud though and i was thinking of a GK mb115, 1x15 speaker
  4. A 1x15 will, in general terms, never be as loud as a 4x10.

  5. NateS


    Sep 22, 2009
    Richmond, VA, USA
    if you want a loud cabinet, i'd go with a cabinet with more than one speaker. at least 2x10s, 2x15, 4x10, etc...

    that allows the amp to run more wattage into the cabinet without worries, because with say 4x10s, the power is split between those 4 10 inch speakers, but with a 1x15, all the power is going into 1 speaker.
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The main thing is to get away from the "bigger speaker = more bass" or "bigger speaker = louder" frame of mind. Yes, there is volume/sound output gained by more cone area (actually more than can be gained by adding more power to the same speaker configuration) but it's a combination of cone area times how far it can move back and forth (excursion). That's how much air can be displaced, ie: how loud it can be at whatever frequency. Some speakers can be loud as hell in the middle band but lack down low. Some can really bring it down low but lack in the upper end. It's all tradeoffs. The one thing size does affect is dispersion, ie: how high up in frequency it can spread the sound wide, the smaller/the higher.

    You'll notice this more if you're playing in a position that is beside or above your rig and not directly in front of it. It becomes more apparent the further out your listening position is away from the source (your speaker(s)).

    That's why if you're listening to a guitar player with a 412 cabinet, either in a situation where the rig is the room volume or the rig is turned up so loud it's likely taken out of the PA if there is one, there is a hot spot when in front of the cab where you're getting your hair peeled back and it's muddy sound off to the sides. Same rule applies to bass speakers, like a 410. Also having a taller cabinet means you have speaker(s) up closer to ear level instead of hitting you in the knees. Makes it seem louder/clearer.
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Diameter, for one. Also magnet size.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006

    I would like to add that bigger speakers generally take up more space and are generally bigger so they take up more space because they are bigger.........:)
  9. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    The difference is their size. :D
    More than just the size of the driver affects the volume though.
  10. DeadPoet


    Jun 4, 2003
    Every diameter has its own sound as well. It is all a matter of preference, but a 12" will sound a bit more nasal / has more 'bark' (to my ears) than a 10". A 15" has a resonance even lower than a 12" so it will seem to 'go lower' than a 12 or 10.

    Also there's the speed of the speaker to consider: a 15" has more surface to move thus will respond slower to your playing than a 10".

    For what I do I prefer the sound and response of 10" drivers, followed by a single 15" with the 12" being my least preffered sound. Don't get me wrong, playing through 12" or 15" cabs makes me play a certain way or certain styles/genres, it's that a 4x10 or 2x10 is a more versatile cab *to me*.

    ...but that is all *very* personal and depending on your own needs and taste. It is also an acquired taste imho. Choose a cab or speaker size, learn it well and after a year (or more) get another cab on loan or so and check out the differences.

  11. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    No, diameter of a speaker does not affect it's sound, other factors do. The only factor affected by diameter is how much treble and mid you don't hear off axis, and even then configuration of the speakers in the box is generally an overriding factor (like a 4x10 is worse off axis than a 1x15).
  12. that's one of the things most people are unaware of. its constantly overlooked for more obvious things like whether the cab should be standing on topside or underside and such.
  13. I like the way a 12 barks. thats a good way to put it. but 6's wow, they really go deep. then there's an 18. what if you had 1x18 with 2x15, a 4x12, 8x10 and like 16 6's or 8's all together at the same time... yeah! and play it at 8 am on a saturday. also weight, and space is something you have to think about. I love to get 8 10's but I drive a honda civic, and I'm not a big strong guy, nor do I have a roadie. hauling around 100+ lbs cab is out of the question for me. some times I'm playing with some deaf guitar player with 4 12's and he's just soooooooo loud, my hartke 4 10 can't keep up, nor can the drummer. dude if I were you, get a head and a 15 or a 4 10, later get the other to make a 4x10 on TOP of a 15. you need that 15 on the bottom. I would really like to get an 8-6' and a 2-12'. I think that would be light weight, fit in the car, and be loud enough to keep up with those deaf, gui****s
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    if all same sized speakers sounded the same, all cabs using those size speakers would sound the same, and they so obviously don't.
  15. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Same speaker in different cabs can sound different.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I find, the smaller the speaker size - the better the sound - as in more faithfully reproducing what is going into it!

    The bigger the speaker, the less distinct - which can be a good thing if you are playing rock and just want to fill out the bottom end..?

    Big speakers = stadium rock
    Small speakers = acoustic level Jazz
  17. Its amazing how much crap comes out with speaker sizes.

    I think the main point is that the difference between speaker sounds is influenced by so many other things that vastly outweigh any differences caused by the actual size. One mans 410 may be deep and smooth and another mans 15 may be punchy and brittle and visi versa. The trick is to use your ears.
  18. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Smaller speakers beam less and sound better higher up in the overtones of bass guitar than bigger speakers while you're standing off to the side of your cabinet.

    More speakers are louder than fewer speakers.

    Anything else is pretty much just psycho-acoustic mumbo jumbo.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I would say that using the word "beam" in the context, falls into your latter category!! :p

    I base my findings on 30 years of experience of using different cabs - I know what I have heard and it is not based on any technical speculation! :)
  20. NiteFury

    NiteFury Supporting Member

    May 12, 2010
    Akron, Oh
    I play with 4x12's and couldn't be happier I feel I have the benefits of what a 4x10 and single 15 offer in a single cab that weighs ~90lbs. I do agree that 10's are better than 15's though especially if your going for a tighter sound.

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