1X12 vs 2X12. Does it matter when close-micing??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by willhutch, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    I'm considering taking one speaker out of my 2X12 combo and repackaging it into a smaller cab. As a gigging musician, I want to lighten my load.

    I always mic my cabinet at gigs. I position the mic near the edge of one speaker cone angled in to point at the dustcap. The mic is placed at the left side of the right-hand speaker so it is suspended near the center of the cabinet's grill cloth. Furthermore, I place a baffle in front of the speaker to keep sound from bleeding into mics and to keep anyone in the band or in the crowd from being right on axis.

    Question: When close mic'ing one of a pair of speakers like this, do the benefits of a multi-speaker cab ever make it out of the house speakers??? It seems unlikely that it would make any appreciable difference in the house. But this belief is based purely on intuition. I have no data or direct experience.

    To my ears, dual speakers give more chunkiness to the bass, a slight bump in overall SPL, slightly wider sound dispersion. I'm ready to give up these things in favor of a physically smaller and lighter amp.

    So, can a SM57 pick up the diff between a 1X12 and 2X12??
     
  2. Keld

    Keld Member

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    Good question. I've not experimented with it myself, but I would guess that it depends to some degree on how loud you are playing. Mics pic up sound from many directions (not just directly in front of the capsule) so there is bound to be some bleed from the other speaker and the cab itself. If you have the amp cranked though, the primary source of the speaker is likely to drown out most of the cab/other speaker effect.

    If that makes any sense...
     
  3. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    Thanks for the $.02, Keld.

    Any other takers? I'm surprised more people haven't jumped in on this. It seems like a fairly crucial question. Maybe no one knows??

    Beuhler??
     
  4. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    The biggest difference will be the reduction in ohms. If your current cabinet sees a load of 8 ohms, and you opt to use only one of the speakers in the next cabinet, your load will likely be 16 ohms. Amps sound different at different loads.

    Some people simply remove a speaker from a cabinet and create a de-tuned cabinet by doing so. It has been argued that a closed back 2x12 with a single speaker in it gives off more bass than the same cabinet with both speakers in it. I would remove one speaker and see if you like how it sounds, since this is obviously a potentially free way to solve your problem.
     
  5. jbro

    jbro Member

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    Guess I missed this one the first time around. In my experience, if you're close-mic'ing one speaker in the cab, the difference through the house will be negligible. The size of the cabinet and the interaction with the other drivers WILL affect the way a single speaker behaves to an extent, but IMO not enough to justify bringing a bigger cabinet if you don't need it for stage volume. As always YMMV.
     
  6. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    My amp has 4, 8 and 16 ohm outputs. Incorrect matching won't be an issue (but it may be an opportunity??)

    The detuned cabinet is an interesting idea. I will give that a try. Getting rid of the weight of a single G12H30 would be a start, but I want to also lose the weight of some cabinet and reduce the footprint of my amp on stage. I play in a big band and I swear, chopping 40 cubic inches would help get everybody on stage!!!!:eek:

    Another advantage of going 1X12 may be the reduction of bass frequencies. My amp is somewhat dark in it's general tonality. Besides, my band has bass guitar, keys and baritone saxophone, I'm not really needed to fill out the low end. 90% of my notes are higher than open G.

    I'm gonna make a move. My Spinal column will thank me.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  7. teleking36

    teleking36 Supporting Member

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    I was having a tough time figuring out what to do with my Z-Best 2x12. I'm not playing as much as I was in college last year, but I think there are some noticeable sonic differences between a 2x12 and a 1x12 that make me want to keep the Z-Best. Instead of selling it off, I went ahead and ordered a 1x12 cab from J Design. I can't wait to A/B the both of these, and really determine if there are things I'd be missing in my Z-Best, or if the 1x12 would equally satisfy me.
     
  8. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    I use both 1-12 and 2-12 cabs depending on the gig. If you are depending on the amp to provide stage volume to hear yourself, then you may similarly adjust. On very large stages, or ones where you are on the floor with dancers right in front of you, I use the 2-12. Stages up in the air, I use the 1-12 with a clear baffle to shoot the sound up at me and not at the audience. Most times, a 1-12 can handle it. I just like to take the 2-12 out once in awhile. From an audience perspective, they're listening to a mix of my stage volume and the PA. If it was primarily off the stage, I might use the 2-12 more often. As you say, it gets a wider and chunkier sound.
     
  9. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    Heres my non scientific, real life experience: I used an avatar 1x12 with a Scumback 65HP in it for about three or four months close mic'd. I got great mids and the sound seemed to get around the stage pretty well for a 1x12 cab. Perhaps it was due to the port in the back of the cab? I don't know. I liked the Scumback so well, later I called Jim and ordered another and put both of them in a 2x12. Close mic'd I was told that my tone didn't change, and that I just had more stage volume due to the extra speaker.

    for what it's worth,

    -Rich

    edit: I think I had a little more bass with the 2x12, but audible mids were more present with the 1x12. Listening through the pa, I didn't here that.
     
  10. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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  11. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

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    I switched to a 1-12 in my last band. If you are going predominantly through a PA it is not going to matter. If you rely on your cab for most of your volume it will change the stage dynamics and more people will be in the direct audio wave path of your rig. I think it is always best to emliminate hammering the audience directly with my amp sound so fairly low stage volumes and a 1-12 has been my new MO. Like it so much I am considering doing the same for my bass setup...especially since the crowd mainly gets DI there and the ampeg stack is a glorified monitor...
     
  12. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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  13. Blueshound

    Blueshound Member

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    As long as you can lug it to gigs-never get rid of that Dr Z cab. Those things are the best you are going to find (IMO). Their only downside is they are big and heavy. I wish I still had mine
     
  14. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    In my cover band, the bass player uses a small 1-12 combo on top of a regular bottom. He turns the bottom toward the drummer and just listens to the combo as a monitor. The house gets the DI. Works great. Really helps the drummer lock to the bass.
     
  15. willhutch

    willhutch Member

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    I wish my bass player did that. He's one of those guys that says "I need to FEEL the bass". That's the bass player equivalent of "I gotta get the power tubes working".

    Anyway, for those of you following this thread, I went to Savage and traded my red 2X12 cabinet for a black/white snakeskin (!!) 1X12 cab. Played 2 gigs this weekend and guess what.........it worked fine. Given that I use a baffle anyway, there was little lost in terms of tone.

    The big loss was 12 lbs of speaker/cab weight. I also gained a few inches of stage space.

    It was a good decision. Did I mention my new cab is snakeskin?????

    I'm getting a Eminence Wizard from a fellow forumite. Stay tuned for tone report.
     

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