What's the problem with 12 inchers?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fynn, Jan 25, 2022.

  1. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    I took some time looking at 112 cabs because of their portability and just generally my distaste for 15 inchers and also the fact that I already have a 210 for gigging purposes. Variety I guess...
    Thing is that almost every cab I looked at had a couple reviews of people saying they don't have any real low end. I don't particularly need that because I play through a PA through which I can most definitely feel the bass and I just want to hear what I'm playing through my amp. But it's really confusing to me how there's always people that seem to say 112s are not a good choice.

    Is it true that they just generally don't have much low end?
    And could anybody give me a recommendation for some 112 cabs?
    Right now I have my eyes on the Eden D112ST and the GK Neo 112 IV. I've also spent quite a long time looking at the Mesa subway 112s but given that they're quite a lot more expensive and pretty much not available in germany if you want to buy new, I kinda just gave up on em.

    Maybe I'm just focusing too much on the negative comments but I really feel like there might be something wrong with most 112 cabs that makes them fall behind compared to there brethren. Given that the 10s and 15s are just waaaay more popular...
    My idea of a 12 inch was always that it was really a mix between a 15 and a 10 more than being something completely different.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Size doesn’t dictate tone, or response.

    And low end is a combination of a particular driver in a particular cabinet.

    In short, resist the temptation to generalize based on driver diameter. Evaluate each cabinet on its own merits. Trust your own ears before trusting other peoples’ reviews.
  3. Philonius

    Philonius Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    2k W of the Duwamsh
    Maybe some of the people writing reviews are idiots.
  4. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    I have a Berg HDN 212 and an Accugroove El Whappo Jr,they both have gobs of low end.
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    When I first joined TB, the conventional wisdom was that "15's are deep and 10's are fast." I decided to find out the physics behind that assertion. Turns out there isn't any. All sizes of speakers have the same tradeoffs between size, sensitivity, and low frequency response.

    What we don't know is the design choices made for actual products that are out there. Popularity sometimes drives design. If there's a strong market expectation for a particular tone quality from 12" speakers, designers will hew to that expectation. For that reason, your best bet is to try a few.
    iAsh, Stevorebob, rickwolff and 35 others like this.
  6. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    Yeah, I understand that, but it seems to me that most manufacturers aim to make the 12 inchers to be the middle ground. And they often appear to be the lightest since theres not really many manufacturers that build single 10s or something like that. And I cannot test most (if any) of the stuff I'm looking at. I'm also not a fan of ordering a bunch of cabs to then send back the ones that I don't like or something like that...
    That's where my initial question came from as to why there's seemingly so much more hate for those type of cabs.
  7. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    Physics and music doesn't match haha. In all seriousness I've realized fairly recently that there's a real problem with how many perceive the bigger speakers to have way more low end and so on. There's so much more to a cab than just speaker size and I guess I'm just wondering if I have missed something given the amount of disdain some people seem to have for 12s.
  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In my own case, my "big" speaker is a 1x12 cab that I built. It's more than enough for anything that I'm ever likely to play. But, I got to decide how I wanted it to sound. ;)
  9. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    Maybe a tad bit too expensive but the HDN112 does look really good considering it's weight and the reputation of the brand.
    Never really considered them before, so thanks for the suggestion!
    FRoss6788 likes this.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Indeed, physics and music match just fine, but physics and musicians don't always match, because musicians don't always agree with one another. Also, to make things more confusing, musicians use terminology like "fast" based on what they hear, that doesn't necessarily reflect what the speaker is actually doing.
    BillMason, Frank77, DJ Bebop and 27 others like this.
  11. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    Were you able to really shape your own sound or was there some luck involved? DIY projects when it comes to something so complicated as a bass cab where you have to consider acoustics and be able to produce something that holds up, is fairly lightweight and doesn't sound like pure ass sound like a very difficult objective!
    instrumentalist likes this.
  12. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I think you'll find very little hate for 12" loaded cabs. This is a situation where it honestly depends on the design (physical cab, crossover, driver(s)) in terms of how it's voiced/tuned. My GK NEO 112 II's are very full in the low end. I would imagine that GK didn't sacrifice that in the series IV design, but you can search for some reviews. I do not find the Mesa SW or older PH 112 cabs to be deep bass monsters. The SW 112 will give you a solid but not overly deep low end. The SW 115 is a better choice IMO if high volume, deep lows are your thing and it doesn't sacrifice clear mids or upper range.

    The distinctions here are not good and bad, they are design voicing choices to offer players a wide range of options to match their personal tone goals. As has been said, speaker diameter won't tell you much if anything about how a cab is voiced. FWIW, I think single and multiple 12" loaded cabs are very popular right now as they can provide a solid low end along with added convenience over 15" loaded cabs. For my money though the SW 115 is not appreciably larger or heavier than the SW 112 and it is an inherently fuller low end performer IME.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2022
  13. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    Yes... I couldn't tell you what fast really means in that context. I've also read alot that people say the speakers sound farty which to me sounds like they're overloading them and the speaker is basically dying but I really doubt that that's what actually happened for those people...
  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Who told you 12” don’t play low? 12” bass speakers have had great low end response since the 80s.
    JRA and Loring like this.
  15. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    My only gigging cab for several years was an Aguilar GS112. It worked great for all my needs, covering all of the various tones I needed. Awesome cab.

    The only reason I switched to a 2x10 is bc I found a killer local deal on an Epifani that handled a lot more power. But I have also been GASsing again for a 2x12 or 1x15 that could cover a little more of the "vintage" sound.
  16. inthevelvet

    inthevelvet Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    Washington DC
    I have a Mesa subway 112, and I can’t imagine a scenario for me where it wouldn’t have more than enough bass. If a guy needed to play metal or reggae with no PA at an outdoor gig, maybe you’d need more but really maybe just more speakers, the thing has plenty of bass.
    Greg Jones, DJ Bebop, Jefus and 7 others like this.
  17. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    I've read loads of reviews and comments from people saying that. Specifically saying that they don't even come close to 15s. Last I read such comments for the Eden D112. I first encountered such comments when I looked at the SVT112AV. Just the sheer volume of different people claiming to have tried them and being really disappointed made me think that there might be something wrong with either the cabs or the people...
  18. themickster


    Oct 4, 2015
    Look up YouTube demos on speakers. Markbass are lightweight speakers and so are Trace Elliott Elves.
  19. Fynn


    Jan 6, 2022
    That GS112 cab is new to me. Looks like it could be an awesome little piece of equipment but they don't make them anymore, right?
    And I think I should take a look at some Epifani stuff. I've known of them for some time now but I've never really seen their stuff anywhere on any front page or such...
    skyline_01 likes this.
  20. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    No, it is not true. You need to read better reviews.

    There are cabs with great tone and cabs with poor tone. The size of the driver has nothing to do with that.

    All my 12" cabs (Bergantino, Aguilar and Barefaced) have had great tone and volume across all frequencies.
    Greg Jones, Bassgeer, Fynn and 2 others like this.
  21. Primary

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