Do 4x12s by nature sound spikier or harsher than 2x12? or 1x12s?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jkr, May 10, 2016.

  1. jkr

    jkr Supporting Member

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    Do you guys have an opinion if 4x12s sound spikier in the highs vs. a closed back 2x12 or 1x12 with the same speakers? Is there a physics behind one of these size cabs sounding smoother or spikier when listening directly in front of the cabinet listening at speaker level? Yes, I've tried beam blockers, tone bras, and different speakers. This is a question about the nature of a 4x12 vs 2x12 vs 1x12 sounding harder or spikier in the highs when right in front of the cabinet. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2016
  2. BMX

    BMX Member

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    Honestly I would think the opposite. With a 4x12 you can spread out the sound more so you're not getting pegged as much.
     
  3. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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  4. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    Definitely not in my experience.
     
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  5. ToneCaptain

    ToneCaptain Member

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    Can you elaborate a bit more? Not sure I'm following you completely.

    One thing I can comment on is that when sitting right next to a (angled!) 4x12 you have 2 speakers point directly your way. So you are "directly" receiving the sound off the cone without any reverberations/room effects. In that case/scenario, yes a 4x12 will sound "spikier" but thats just due to the angled speaker. The 2x12 would usually be located lower and, even if angled (like the bogner cabs or others), not have the same effect as the angled 4x12 where speakers are closer to your ear level.

    Otherwise I would say it depends. If you are driving 4 12" speakers you are driving the individual speakers less and they might sound harsher as a result of it. Driving 2 12"/1 12" at the same power will cause them individually to be driven harder and compress/distort (depending on the speaker also) and you may receive a smoother sound impression. So I think you might be talking about a speaker issue more, than a cabinet issue. Generally I would say no, while all cabinets (due to sizes, designs, material, ...) sound different, I wouldn't say one will sound smoother/spikier than the other per se. It depends on a lot of factors.
     
  6. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    4x12s can give you a low mid scoop and some phasey-ness, compared to a 1x12 of the same speaker. That would generally tame harsh/spikey-ness. However, it could be worse if you are standing in the wrong spot.
     
  7. snow and steel

    snow and steel Supporting Member

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    Well speakers can have a huge influence on "spikey" sounding - some v30's are regarded by many as "spiky" sounding.
     
  8. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Supporting Member

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    If you have an angled cab and you are right in front of a 4x12 it can seem like there is mire high mid or treble spike but that is more about the directionality of it. if you had a 2x12 pointed right up at you, you would get the same thing but with a less full sound. So to answer the OP, no.
     
  9. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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  10. De Batz

    De Batz Member

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    What the actual balls is this? If I google it, am I getting kicked out of the house later?
     
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  11. jkr

    jkr Supporting Member

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    Guys, thanks for your response so far. Yes, the question is basically, are there an inherent characteristics between a closed back 4x12, 2x12, or 1x12 (phase issues, eq issues, etc..) that would typically make one more or less spikey if you were listening to any of the three pointed at your head with the same speakers.

    De Batz.. here's a link to what a Tone Bra is... I think you're wife will be cool with it. http://dbinstrumentamp.com/drupal/content/tone-bra-amp-lounge
     
  12. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    :D That was my reaction. I googled it. It's safe.
     
  13. De Batz

    De Batz Member

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    Right, I see. Some UK guys (Tayden) make something called the Sonic Diffuser which seems similar. I think I prefer the tone bra, though. Imagine the conversation when she sees the credit card bill.
     
  14. tony67

    tony67 Member

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    Just the opposite in my experience - my 4x12 Marshall cab was waaay more full-sounding than my 1x12/2x12s.

    New speakers can contribute harshness in speaker tone as well, but usually smooth out as they get broken-in.
     
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  15. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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  16. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    My particular 4x12, a great sounding 1960ax with Chinese GBs is sweeter than any 2x12 or 1x12 I've compared it to.
     
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  17. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    If it's a T75 equipped Marshall then yes, it's a sucky, brittle sounding combination IMHO.

    V30's in a 4x12 definitely are not spikey, harsh speakers. They are full and warm with lots of midrange (which some people dislike) and plenty of tightness.

    A 4x12 sounds way better than a little 1x12. Big different sitting in front of one at even home volumes.
     
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  18. 80sboy

    80sboy Member

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    The shape of the enclosure affects sound exponentially more than the number of speakers inside of it.
     
  19. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Supporting Member

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    Depends on the cab and speakers. 4x12s can be more present due to the speaker's pointing at you. I have had directional 4x12s that killed you straight on yet you could barely hear them at an angle. I've had bassy 4x12s that were just mush, yet the 4x10 slices through a mix like crazy.

    Likewise, I have had open back 2x12 cabs that filled rooms. There's a lot at play speaker wise, frequency wise, build wise that impacts what you hear.
     
  20. dcooper830

    dcooper830 Member

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    I have a Marshall 1960AV cab.. and if I stand in the direct line of fire from it, it sounds spikey and harsh... but if I step just a foot or two off to the side, it sounds absolutely GLORIOUS!!

    But I have the same experience with 1x12s and 2x12s... so whatever configuration I'm using.. I don't like it pointing right at me.
     
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