Is a 4x12 louder than a 2x12?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mooch, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. mooch

    mooch Member

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    Seems like a silly question. I would think that the same amp at the same volume setting through a 4x12 versus a 2x12 would be the same volume, but the 4x12 would move more air and seem fuller, but not necessarily louder. Do you find this to be true?
     
  2. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    I dont care what anybody says! I say yes.( Was a long debate about this on another board recently.) In my small music room my ears always pay the price when I hook up to my 4x12 as compared to my 2x12 with the same amp.
     
  3. JamesHealey

    JamesHealey Member

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    Deffinatly louder I was running a 2x12 and then a 4x12 the otherday A/Bing them and it's deffinatly louder, pushes more air and has more bass response.. can be a bit overwhelming at times.
     
  4. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    Your kiddin` right??:confused:

    CT.
     
  5. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    Perhaps that is because the top 2 speakers are closer to your head in a 4x12?
     
  6. enharmonic

    enharmonic \m/ \m/ Gold Supporting Member

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    I say no, but you can feel a 4x12 a lot easier than a 2x12.
     
  7. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    Sometimes.

    Depends on the 4x12. My Mesa vertical 2x12 knocks the socks off of alot of 4x12's.

    HOWEVER. I still agree that in general a 4x12 has more 'fullness' and girth for lack of better words. Thump maybe.

    EP
     
  8. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    The perception is that it is louder because the source and dispersion are greater. You will hear yourself better with a 4x12 over a 2x12 in most live scenarios.
     
  9. zdogma

    zdogma Member

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  10. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Must admit I find most 4x12 poorly designed - don't project, etc. Sound good on their own, get lost in a band.
    So, I often find a well designed 2x12 or even 1x12 throws better and sounds louder.
    There are exceptions like the incredible old Hiwatt 4x12, the current THD 4x12, etc...
     
  11. TYY

    TYY Member

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    Yes of course. It's 24" louder. Simple math.
     
  12. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    Seriously, in addition to the question at hand, what if the choice is between a 4X12 and 4 1X12s? ...or 2X12 vs. 2 1X12s? Presuming same speakers, same type cabs.

    --Ray
     
  13. coreybox

    coreybox Supporting Member

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    anyone have db meter handy?
     
  14. DiazDude

    DiazDude Member

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    I've got a 4x12 Marshall TVB & a Soldano 2x12. Same Celestion G12H's in both. A/B with my Diaz CD100 the 4x12 is louder to my ear. Not by alot mind you. Thicker voice in the 4x12 as well.
    Ears don't lie!!
     
  15. cameron

    cameron Member

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    Depends.

    The efficiency of the speakers in question will make a huge difference. More efficient speakers in a 2x12 will very likely be quite a bit louder than relatively quiet speakers in a 4x12.

    Even assuming that the speakers are the same efficiency throughout, the 2x12 might still be louder. With a 4x12 you're getting half as much power to each speaker as with a 2x12. In some cases the difference in power supplied to the speaker might be enough to overcome the difference in perceived volume due to the extra speaker surface area from the 4x12.

    It is true that the apparent volume to the player might be influenced by the height of the 4x12 cabinet. Often people put a 2x12 on its side and aim it at their knees. Put the 2x12 on its end.
     
  16. malabarmusic

    malabarmusic Gold Supporting Member

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    Assuming all 4 speakers have the same efficiency rating and holding constant cabinet design, a 4x12 will be 3dB louder than a 2x12. No more, no less.

    - DB
     
  17. cameron

    cameron Member

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    No. If all six speakers have the same efficiency, each individual speaker in the 2x12 will be 3dB louder than each individual speaker in the 4x12. But the fact that there are 4 speakers in the 4x12 will counteract that difference.

    With the same wattage, sometimes the 2x12 will sound louder, sometimes the 4x12. It depends on the speakers, and how they respond.
     
  18. rcgpny1

    rcgpny1 Member

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    Some of you are forgetting a very important aspect. If we are talking tube amps with variable output impedance, then the output taps sound different. The 16 ohm tap uses all of the windings whereas the 8 and 4 ohm taps are using the appropriate fraction of them.
    I always thought there was something about a single 4x12 that was better than a stack. More focused and a better low end...not more...but better rounder fuller. That was because at 16 ohms we're using all of the windings.Also unless we know the sensitivity rating of the speakers we cant really be sure where the differences we hear are comming from. A greenback has a sens. of 98db. The vintage 30 is 101. You have to give the greenback more than twice the amount of power in for the same output......just a though R
     
  19. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Not true at all. Would 8 speakers then be 6 dB louder. 16 would be 9 dB. With enough speakers you could plug into a clock radio and play a stadium. Carry that theory to its logical conclusion and you can see it makes no sense at all.

    A 4 x 12 with the same speakers can be louder especially as you increase the volume. Typically speakers become less efficient the closer they get to their maximum output. So if you're not pushing your 2 x 12 too hard, a 4 x 12 won't make any difference. If you're already pushing your 2 x 12 close to its max SPL, a 4 x 12 may give you a bit more volume.

    The thing to keep in mind here is power comes from the amplifier. Adding passive devices (speakers) doesn't add power. The only way to increase volume without increasing power is to convert the amp's electrical energy to acoustic energy more efficiently. Using enough speakers so that they operate in the power range where they're most efficient will maximize your volume. Whether a 4 x 12 will be louder depends on how efficiently your 2 x 12 is operating when you start.
     
  20. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    move more air for sure but I don't know about volume depends on the speakers and the amp
     

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