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Are bigger cabs (2x, 4x) all about volume?


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  • Are bigger cabs (2x, 4x) all about volume?

    Okay so I have a couple related questions about cabs.

    1) Let's say you have the same exact amp cranked up all the way, and your cabs all have the exact same speakers. Will it be louder into a 2x12 or 4x12 than a 1x12? Are more speakers inherently more efficient at converting electrical power to sound pressure?

    2) Conversely, for low volume bedroom playing, is it always better to stick to smaller 1x cabinet configurations, or can you still get better equal-volume tone out of 2x/4x?

    3) Do 2x/4x cabinets have benefits other than sheer output volume, assuming a completely mono signal? Obviously the box is bigger, but how important are the interactions between drivers? (How do passive drivers factor into it?) Is the soundstage a lot bigger?

  • #2

    Bigger cabs & more speakers to me is about a fuller sound rather than loudness. I like to have enough power to shake things off walls but it's not painfull to the ear. Big warmth. A 4x12 & some 2x12s can do that. Matter of taste if you want that power. *Not recommended for apartment dwellers.   Live -indeed.


    • lz4005
      lz4005 commented
      Editing a comment

      As a matter of physics, more speakers will move more air, which means more volume.

      Larger cabinets usually produce more low end. A lot of people EQ by cabinet size/number of speakers, whether they realize thats what they're doing or not.

  • #3
    One SM-57 on the cone of one speaker really won't capture the 4x12 vibe in the studio. Often you'll see a second, less-directional mic placed roughly 2' from the center of the cab. Some people might use the latter mic only. And then some people might mic each speaker cone with a different mic and also place room mics. I'm guessing they sell a lot of cocaine to pay for them all.

    Live, a sound man will typically just use the one speaker mic (I'm a firm believer in off-axis mics) and expect the cab to fill it out from stage.


    • #4
      Remember to compensate for the change in secondary impedance.


      • Cirrus
        Cirrus commented
        Editing a comment
        Of course