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Which Will Have More Volume? - 8 ohm 4x10, 5.3 ohm 3x10 or 4 ohm 2x12?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Quadzilla, May 5, 2010.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    So all things being equal on sensitivity specs, driver manfacture, etc, in what will be the order in terms of volume (from greatest to least greatest) in terms of volume in the following cabs using the same head?

    8 ohm 4x10
    5.3 ohm 3x10
    4 ohm 2x12
  2. think you've already listed them in the correct order even with an otl design
  3. Whitbass


    Jan 22, 2010
    How much power we feeding at 8 ohms? etc?
    The 4x10 should be the loudest if fed enough power at 8 ohms

    I would tend to think the 2x12 would edge out a 3x10....

    If you throw in an IP310 (or other large IP cab)....different story altogether.......but not what you asked.....:D
  4. Not enough information. In general, the larger cab will win, regardless of impedance. And, if you have a very powerful amp that puts out big power at 8ohms, going down to 4 or 5.3 with a smaller cab will give you nothing.

    Also, cab SPL is key, and has little to do with number of drivers or impedance.

    So, with a little 500 watt micro, a 5.3 ohm Epi310UL will be much louder than an 8ohm Acme 410, primarily due to the SPL difference of the cabs, the voicing (perceived volume), and the fact that the little micro running at 300 watts isn't driving the 410 to near its maximum capability. With a Carvin B2000, my guess is the 8ohm Acme would bury the 5.3 ohm 310UL, since the little 310 would be pushed to the max with much less power than the B2000 puts out at the slightly lower impedance.

    Etc., etc., etc. Unless you take into account SPL, absolute wattage at 8ohm and 4ohm, along with number of drivers and size of box, it is an impossible question to answer.

    This is why I always post up when people say either 'wattage doesn't matter' or 'impedance doesn't matter'. That can be totally true (i.e., a little 112 that can be pushed to its max at even low wattage, or a head that puts out huge watts even at 8ohms), and also completely and utterly false ..(i.e. a large cab, especailly a lower SPL/deeper voiced large cab, that can actually use an increase in power when you have a relatively low powered head at 8ohms that significantly increases over the 'minimum threshold' for the volume generation you need at 4ohms). It depends!
  5. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    400 - 500ish watt head powering all. I would tend to think that the 3x10 would edge out the 2x12? Remember that the 4x10 is an 8 ohm and would not get as many watts as the other two cabs.
  6. Reread my post more closely:smug: It depends. Yes, if you are using a solid state head that puts out 500 watts into 4ohms and only 300 into 8ohms, AND the 8ohm 410 was significantly lower SPL, then the 310 and 212 MIGHT edge it out in volume.... probably not though... additional drivers/bigger box usually beat watts.

    However, again, unless you take into account the SPL of the cab, and the absolute wattage of the amp (the real wattage, not the bull*** marketing spec wattage), there is no way to know.
  7. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Thank you sir Ken. I figured it would prob be a close race to begin with. Was just curious of the general consensus.
  8. I like the topic, since it is kind of easy to oversimplify and come out wrong (i.e., the lower impedance cab will always sound louder, or the lower impedance will linearly make up for less drivers, or an 8ohm cab will always sound softer than a 4ohm cab of the same design, etc., etc.).

    Back to your question, in general, I found a typical 212 or 2 x 112 stack (4ohms with my micro's running at 500 watts) put out about the same volume as my Epi310UL at the slightly higher impedance. Of course, 'typical' is the key word, and SPL still comes into play here.

    No way of knowing regarding the performance of the 410 at lower wattage versus the other two cabs... if I had to bet, the 410 would still win out unless it was an unusually low SPL design.
  9. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Loudest 4 X 10 8 ohms, Quietest 4 ohm 2 X 12 all things being equal.
    You need to factor in: tube with equal output all impedances
    or Transistor amp increasing output at lower impedances.
    I have given you the valve amp answer, the valve answer just makes the
    2 x 12 3dB quieter than the transistor figure because you get almost twice the watts at 4 ohms.
    Lots of speaker coupling is always the bass players best bet.:bassist:
  10. Good answers, which is why TONE is important to me, not power. I have played miked with a thirty watt Ampeg B-15 at outdoor events, through the PA, so even though the soundman adjusts to his ears, my tone came through. In welding there is a saying. If you can't weld well, weld a lot. Same with playing!
  11. +1 if you actually have the ability to run through a big front of house system (which has lots of power by the way:smug:). For many players on many gigs, bass backline is it, and tone WITH ENOUGH POWER is absolutely key, again relative to cabinet SPL, tone goals, and playing/volume context.
  12. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I have PA support at 95+% of my gigs. More for stage monitoring, etc in my case.
  13. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    Then the specs are probably lying :p

    IF the sensitivities are really equal, then thats one hell of a 212, or one not so good 410. Or the 212 is really sacrificing frequency response (compared to the 410) to gain sensitivity. In this case the tone will probably be so different that the comparison becomes apples to oranges.
  14. LowB-ing


    Aug 3, 2005
    The thing is, that this really seems to be the case here. At least according to the specs.
  15. Very seldom have I played without PA support where My old Bassman 50 with two 15s wasn't loud enough. I don't overplay to the room. I have played in fairly large rooms, but never one that didn't have support. The largest room I remember playing I used a Carvin PB-500 with Genz Benz 118 and 410, back in the '90's. It wasn't necessary. But I was cool!! (room held maybe 2,000?)
  16. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    which can run faster?
    120 lb male
    160 lb male
    125 lb female

    ... notice I didn't even mention whether I am talking about human ...
  17. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Huh? :confused: :smug:
  18. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    We COULD say it's a LMII head and Epifani UL Series I cabs to standardize things. I'll bet Ken or someone could tell you from experience then.
  19. Take the "variables" out.
    500 watt MB head, and all Epi UL cabinets...
  20. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    +1. If all else is equal his order is correct. But as all else is never equal it's a question that can't be answered. The only way a definitive answer can be arrived at is to see maximum SPL charts for each cab, and you can't get maximum SPL charts for any cab that I'm aware of.

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