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Why aren't 12" bass speakers more popular?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Acid Test, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Acid Test

    Acid Test

    Oct 3, 2013
    An obvious noob question but if you were only going to have a single cabinet, then does the 12" speaker make most sense?

    Trying to figure out if the 12" speaker is the ultimate solution to the 10" vs 15" speaker argument since it resides in the middle or is it a poor solution because it doesn't do anything well.
  2. I have been using 12" speakers for well over 20 years and I prefer them. I do believe it is a good "in-between" speaker and with the newer speaker technology, it is just as good n tight as the older 10s and just as deep as the older 15s. The assumption though is that you are comparing a 10, 12 or 15 using the same designed cab rather than different style cabs (which, as some point out - matters very much).
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    Mili, basspraiser, SJan3 and 10 others like this.
  3. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    The size of a speaker(s) is irrelevant when it comes to how much and what kind of noise it makes.

    The design of the speakers and the design of the cab are far more important to the sound.
    slugger, basspraiser, MrGoat and 16 others like this.
  4. I've left the big stacks way behind me and am using two lightweight 12" cabs (Van der Kley) and a LMIII.
    They're loud enough, deep enough and in addition light enought to save my back. I love 'm!
    Pbassmanca, Berniez40, SJan3 and 6 others like this.
  5. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Maybe it's nothing, but I much prefer my 12" amps than my 10s or 15s.
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I mainly use cabinets with 12's.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    12's only owner here.
  8. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Fender Bassman 350 _1024.jpg thumb_IMG_0662_1024.jpg thumb_IMG_0418_1024.jpg
    Been playing 12's for over 30 years, starting with (and still using) old Fender Bassman cabs. I strayed a couple times trying 10's and 15's but both were short lived experiments.

    2x12 for big gigs and 1x12 for small to medium.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  9. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Depends really on the cab design not so much the speaker size. I've heard great sounding 12 loaded cabs and not so great sounding 12 loaded cabs. By the same token, there are 10 loaded cabs that I think sound great and others not so great.
    SJan3, Ewo, Gearhead17 and 1 other person like this.
  10. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Mostly 12's here. I go back to 60's Fender Bassman amps with 2x12 cabs. Now I primarily use an Ear Candy Sovereign 1x12, a Markbass NY121 1x12 or a GK 2x12 Neo cab.
    Lvjoebass, BassManKK and G RICH 5 like this.
  11. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    410s and 210s are big sellers. After that, people want to go up to the big 15. Someone has to come next.

    But seriously, a 412 is too huge and heavy for most. And a 212 is a weird starter cab because another one makes it a full stack and not everyone wants something that tall.

    I have plans for a sealed 212 in the works, and it took me seven years to consider using 12s.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    Arthur U. Poon and woodyng2 like this.
  12. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I have one of each, a barefaced One 10, a Bergantino CN112 and a Berg NV115.

    All good and the speaker size is kind of irrelevant. More importantly is how the cab is designed with the driver.

    FWIW the CN112 is my go to cab for size, portability and sound.
    Holdsg and edencab like this.
  13. I've had problems in the past hearing myself off axis with a single 15. I went back to 12s.
    Sonicfrog likes this.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Driver size has little to do with tone. Look for a cab you like the sound of, can afford, and are strong enough to lift. That's hard enough without worrying about driver size.

    Look at the Phil Jones stuff. 5 1/2" drivers that will knock down brick walls if you play through the bigger cabs. And that's the point. It's the CAB that matters more than the driver. Yes, they have to be designed to work together. You can't have one without the other. But I can take the same drivers (no matter what size) and build a boomy or thin sounding cab around them. You can't take a thin sounding cab and make it totally beefy just by swapping drivers....even of a different size.

    For what it's worth, ALL of the 4-10 cabs I have ever owned were much more "boomy" and beefy than any 15" cab I have ever owned. And I have owned lots of both. I currently own an Epifani UL-410 and two Mesa 15" Scout cabs. As far as wall shaking boom and fat round tone (never ind volume), the UL-410 kills those 15s. (I love what each does and appreciate both sounds.)
    R Upsomegrub, Levin, Al Kraft and 5 others like this.
  15. Because musicians are generally conservative and manufacturers prefer to make what will sell easily.
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Twelves are popular. What makes you think they're not?
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  17. Lots of players like 12's.
    I have three 1x12 cabs powered with a Mesa D-800. Sounds great to me!
  18. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    In the realm of 1 or 2 (or 3) 12's, the only other move is 15's, which are slightly bigger and slightly heavier.
    To me, the choice is obvious. Would you rather lug a 30 lb., slightly smaller, cabinet or something larger and heavier for a not night and day tonal difference.
  19. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Love 12s. Was like the OP a couple years back until I borrowed my buddies GK 4x12 and GK 700 head. The low end was vibrating my slacks during all the 90s hip hop stuff we were doing. Prolly won't go back to 10s unless there are 8 of them and the cab says ampeg on the front. But this is talkbass so I'm sure I'll be into something else by next week hahahaha
    Lvjoebass and SJan3 like this.
  20. interp


    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    Listen to a Greenboy F112 or F212 through a good amplifier and then see if you have doubts about what 12s can do.

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