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PA allows you to get a better mix but some times you don't always have that option and I have played 500 seat auditoriums with no PA, just my amp. At the time I was using a Mesa Single Recto and a Mesa 1x12" and had plenty of volume but I wish I had a vertical 2x12" so I could get the coupling effect with the ground and a speaker projecting a bit higher up for a bit more clarity. I dunno how many watts your express it, but you could get away with a 1x12" with a big cab and a high wattage speaker (mine was the oversize cab with the 90W Black Shadow) or a 2x12".
4x12" isn't worth the sacrifice if you have to carry it around all the time IMO.
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