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shine182

2x12 Bass Cabs yes or no?

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Ok, I might just have been one of those who drove round in his youth with subwoofers in the boot of his car.10's always seemed a little light and a 15 couldn't keep up... But 12's seemed just perfect. My first home made bass guitar cab featured 12's, but with branded gear I've not tried them, not once. Anyone with experience to share? 

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YES.

Buuuuut... the diameter of the cone is rarely the defining factor. The design of the driver/s and how the cabinet is designed around it/them really makes the difference in terms of performance.

That said I have two 2x12s, one, a Barefaced Big Twin II is the heavy artillery. It puts out a flat sound and has a very wide frequency response- doesn't skimp on the deepest lows, and seems to hold it all together no matter what you throw at it. The other is a Palmer sealed guitar 2x12 with Eminence bass drivers in it (S2012s), the idea being to replicate an old style cab, but with drivers which are less likely to blow under the pressure! It started as a 4x12, but it was too sensitive to get my 100w amp up to dirty levels. In both configurations it has a roaring mid-range, rolled off top-end, and not a lot in the way of subs. Making the change during lockdown I haven't been able to crank it, but the 4x12 had a great warm, rich, old school sound. Hopefully the lower sensitivity of the 2x12 will let me get just a touch more ragged with a little more electricity coursing through the valves!

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A couple of things that I think are good re 2x12s are usually they are stacked vertically so taller/easier to hear, and that unless a very large stage usually are enough as a single cab solution for most gigs. 

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I'm a big fan of a 212. I got a neo cab from Zilla a couple of years ago. Sounds great and it has a small stage footprint. The colour scheme I picked went better with my old Ampeg head though...

 

IMG_20191122_153632.thumb.jpg.abbabd302d120543b5d91d3fbe4f91b0.jpg

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A 2x12 is a wonderful all-rounder but I find a pair of 1x12 more flexible for the type of gigs I play, where a 2 x 12 is usually overkill.  (Pubs, parties and the occasional wedding and summer festival.)

Frank.

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3 hours ago, shine182 said:

. . . . . . . . Anyone with experience to share? 

It's all changed. . . . . . . . for the better.

The average cabs are OK, but the good cabs are light years better. Today you can buy a 112 that is louder, has more punch, tone and projection than any 412 from back in the day and there are 212's that can take on 810's.

It's a whole new world from when I started in the 60's. I'm just glad I'm still gigging and able to use modern bass gear. IMO I sound better now that at any other time.

Buy 2 112's then you can decide how many cabs will fit the gig.

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Wouldn't part with mine (TechSoundsystems 2x12 4 Ohm). Weighs next to nothing, sounds fantastic, superb build quality and handles anything you could throw at it. Just a brilliant cab. All I need now is some gigs to take it to.

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Love my Ampeg 212av. They are ported but designed to replicate a sealed cab with a similar tone to the old 810e. Great lows and slight mid push but its the highs i like - none of this shrill ice picky type highs ive had with other more expensive cabs

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Genz Neox 212T are an amazing buy secondhand. Early ones in rat fur, later ones tolex. Weight around 23kg, so not heavy, vertical cone alignment so good dispersion - most of all, sound great.

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Barefaced Super Twin filled my need for One Cab To Rule Them All. I usually have to roll off some bass at the amp to get my preferred tone, so no shortage of low end.

That said, having bought a One 10 I am now lusting after that sweet vintage-y sound in a more powerful package, eg 2x10...

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For modern bass cabs the cone size of the speaker(s) is probably the least important specification.

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6 hours ago, BigRedX said:

For modern bass cabs the cone size of the speaker(s) is probably the least important specification.

Interesting, can you expand a little? Are we taking power rating / sensitivity / frequency response etc? 

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14 hours ago, RichardH said:

Genz Neox 212T are an amazing buy secondhand. Early ones in rat fur, later ones tolex. Weight around 23kg, so not heavy, vertical cone alignment so good dispersion - most of all, sound great.

Yep - I got one of these at the start of lockdown and it’s the best sounding cab I’ve ever had. 

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14 hours ago, RichardH said:

Genz Neox 212T are an amazing buy secondhand. Early ones in rat fur, later ones tolex. Weight around 23kg, so not heavy, vertical cone alignment so good dispersion - most of all, sound great.

Can only echo what RichardH is saying (was it you mate that had a pub sign hanging from your house)? before you moved ?

If so I bought one of these cabs from Richard and you will not be disappointed. Great cabs and an easy load into your hatchback/hummer/ cruise liner. 

These cabs sound fab 

And you might get compliments from the guitarists, for once.

Like we care 🤣

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6 hours ago, blisters on my fingers said:

Can only echo what RichardH is saying (was it you mate that had a pub sign hanging from your house)? before you moved ?

If so I bought one of these cabs from Richard and you will not be disappointed. Great cabs and an easy load into your hatchback/hummer/ cruise liner. 

These cabs sound fab 

And you might get compliments from the guitarists, for once.

Like we care 🤣

Yes, that's right - it was me! I only sold it because of the impending house move. Glad you're enjoying it!

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18 hours ago, shine182 said:

Interesting, can you expand a little? Are we taking power rating / sensitivity / frequency response etc? 

When a cab is described as 2x12 all it tells you is that the cab contains two speakers each with a cone diameter of 12". Nothing else.

There is no given sound, power-rating, frequency response, sensitivity, cab size, weight etc. implied by a 2x12 configuration. These are dependant on the construction of the speakers and the cab. So essentially 2x12 tells you very little.

If I was still interested in bass cabs the important criteria would be:

1. Is it loud enough for what I need when coupled with my amp?

2. Is it easily transportable by me (assuming that I'm not in a band with its own transport and crew)?

3. If the bass isn't also going into the PA does it sound right when coupled with my amp?

And possibly

4. Does it look right for the band on stage?

None of these questions are answered by the number and cone size of the speakers. In the past I've owned cabs with the same number and size of speakers but have been wildly different in sound, size and weight.

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As @BigRedX said, configuration tells you about configuration, and maybe something about the possible size. Nothing else.

I tried several cabs before buying my current alusonic 2 x 12". Aguilar 1 x 12" was said to be very good, while I found it simply bad. Remember, this is subjective! I cannot say that the alusonic is super - another cab I have is a Glockenklang 2 x 10". But it weighs a ton, and the 2 x 12" 18 kg... Neither is super: size, sound, weight, freq response... parametres are endless.

Trust your ears and try several to find the most suitable for you. Sound is always subjective, because a person, the listener is involved.

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I'm going to veer away from the herd and say cone size does matter. It certainly isn't the only factor and not all 12's sound the same or give the same maximum output but for reasons of simple physics a Venn diagram of bass speakers would show much more overlap of 12's  than that between 12's and 10's or 10's and 15's. It's just to simple to say either that all 12's are the same or that it makes no difference.

The biggest factor is cone area. Speakers move air for a living, the size of the cone is directly related to how much air you move. Ultimately that relates to the maximum volume and efficiency in turning watts into decibels. Sure you can lighten the cone or use a bigger magnet or tweak the coil, magnet geometry or the cone suspension to get more out of any speaker but each of these in turn affect other aspects of the sound or the price, usually both.

You don't really need the physics to check this out, go on the Eminence website and check and at any given price bracket you'll see increasing speaker size tends to give you more dB/W, a lower resonant frequency, and the frequency response rolling off a bit earlier. It won't be universal because speakers will be designed for different purposes but the overall trend is quite obvious. 

There is a bit of a sweet spot around 12's at the moment though. Speaker technology changes slowly and most of the advances are in materials rather than new principles which haven't changed in 95years. A typical12 will handle about 300W at about 94-97dB/W that's just about enough to match a drummer at rehearsal and to work as a personal monitor on stage. Add a second 12 and you'll get an extra 6dB which gives you room filling potential for audiences of around 1-200. (sensibly at this point letting the PA take over some of the heavy lifting makes much more sense) Single 12's are really quite portable and even a 2x12 isn't a problem for most of us. For most of us  a couple of 12's is the most practical option and covers us for pretty much any eventuality. Of course not everyone plays in a rock or pop covers band so needs are different and for some people tone trumps everything.

The advice to use your ears and try before you buy is the best advice but starting your search with a couple of 12's isn't a bad idea if practicality is important. You are almost certain to be able to meet all your needs with something relatively compact and portable. There's still going to be plenty of choice too

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I said this on the Orange thread you started but this rig ALWAYS gets positive comments, usually from puzzled bass players who can't understand why it sounds so good. If you turn it on the cat moves!

IMG_1915.thumb.JPG.a610846cabb9c4b1cf39de83c3b1fd7e.JPG

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1 hour ago, Phil Starr said:

I'm going to veer away from the herd and say cone size does matter. It certainly isn't the only factor and not all 12's sound the same or give the same maximum output but for reasons of simple physics a Venn diagram of bass speakers would show much more overlap of 12's  than that between 12's and 10's or 10's and 15's. It's just to simple to say either that all 12's are the same or that it makes no difference.

The biggest factor is cone area. Speakers move air for a living, the size of the cone is directly related to how much air you move. Ultimately that relates to the maximum volume and efficiency in turning watts into decibels. Sure you can lighten the cone or use a bigger magnet or tweak the coil, magnet geometry or the cone suspension to get more out of any speaker but each of these in turn affect other aspects of the sound or the price, usually both.

You don't really need the physics to check this out, go on the Eminence website and check and at any given price bracket you'll see increasing speaker size tends to give you more dB/W, a lower resonant frequency, and the frequency response rolling off a bit earlier. It won't be universal because speakers will be designed for different purposes but the overall trend is quite obvious. 

There is a bit of a sweet spot around 12's at the moment though. Speaker technology changes slowly and most of the advances are in materials rather than new principles which haven't changed in 95years. A typical12 will handle about 300W at about 94-97dB/W that's just about enough to match a drummer at rehearsal and to work as a personal monitor on stage. Add a second 12 and you'll get an extra 6dB which gives you room filling potential for audiences of around 1-200. (sensibly at this point letting the PA take over some of the heavy lifting makes much more sense) Single 12's are really quite portable and even a 2x12 isn't a problem for most of us. For most of us  a couple of 12's is the most practical option and covers us for pretty much any eventuality. Of course not everyone plays in a rock or pop covers band so needs are different and for some people tone trumps everything.

The advice to use your ears and try before you buy is the best advice but starting your search with a couple of 12's isn't a bad idea if practicality is important. You are almost certain to be able to meet all your needs with something relatively compact and portable. There's still going to be plenty of choice too

This would make an interesting blind test at a bass bash - same bass and head through a variety of speaker configurations, preferably using the same driver 'family'.

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1 hour ago, Phil Starr said:

I'm going to veer away from the herd and say cone size does matter. It certainly isn't the only factor and not all 12's sound the same or give the same maximum output but for reasons of simple physics a Venn diagram of bass speakers would show much more overlap of 12's  than that between 12's and 10's or 10's and 15's. It's just to simple to say either that all 12's are the same or that it makes no difference.

The biggest factor is cone area. Speakers move air for a living, the size of the cone is directly related to how much air you move. Ultimately that relates to the maximum volume and efficiency in turning watts into decibels. Sure you can lighten the cone or use a bigger magnet or tweak the coil, magnet geometry or the cone suspension to get more out of any speaker but each of these in turn affect other aspects of the sound or the price, usually both.

You don't really need the physics to check this out, go on the Eminence website and check and at any given price bracket you'll see increasing speaker size tends to give you more dB/W, a lower resonant frequency, and the frequency response rolling off a bit earlier. It won't be universal because speakers will be designed for different purposes but the overall trend is quite obvious. 

There is a bit of a sweet spot around 12's at the moment though. Speaker technology changes slowly and most of the advances are in materials rather than new principles which haven't changed in 95years. A typical12 will handle about 300W at about 94-97dB/W that's just about enough to match a drummer at rehearsal and to work as a personal monitor on stage. Add a second 12 and you'll get an extra 6dB which gives you room filling potential for audiences of around 1-200. (sensibly at this point letting the PA take over some of the heavy lifting makes much more sense) Single 12's are really quite portable and even a 2x12 isn't a problem for most of us. For most of us  a couple of 12's is the most practical option and covers us for pretty much any eventuality. Of course not everyone plays in a rock or pop covers band so needs are different and for some people tone trumps everything.

The advice to use your ears and try before you buy is the best advice but starting your search with a couple of 12's isn't a bad idea if practicality is important. You are almost certain to be able to meet all your needs with something relatively compact and portable. There's still going to be plenty of choice too

Can anyone else hear Alex's teeth itching?

:) 

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