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If you are running an attenuator, does it make sense to use more than one speaker?

Messages
2,984
Please don't turn this into a general discussion about attenuators as there are a ton of threads on that already.

My question is this: if the point of using an attenuator is to reduce volume, and most believe that using the least amount of attenuation possible is best, does it make any sense to use anything more than a one speaker cab?

It seems it is counter productive to use a multi -speaker cab AND attenuate at the same time. Yes, I understand that moving more air may give a bigger bottom etc etc, but if you are attenuating your amp and not hitting the speakers as hard, do the extra speakers really matter?

I am wondering if an over-sized 1x12 is the way to go with an attenuator. You get the "big" sound of the larger enclosure without both attenuating and moving more air.

Any thoughts,
TG
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,014
Depends. If you're attenuating your 100 watt amp down to 1 watt, probably not. If you're just knocking off a couple of dB so you can crank your 100 watt Plexi in a club, you probably still want the sound a bigger cabinet can deliver.
 

batsbrew

Member
Messages
5,637
sure,
the sound coming off of one speaker, versus two, versus 4...
it's all different.

could be, the sound of barely driven 4x12 is what you want...
or maybe it's the sound of a single 12 being pushed harder, but by itself.

the tone recipe, is complex.
and everything plays a part.

there is no right answer.
 
Messages
2,984
My guess is that after a certain point you would have better tone with less attenuation and speakers than with more attenuation and speakers.

TG
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,198
It is a reciepe, a single 12 can be louder that a 4x12, use what works best for your tone.
 

Onioner

Member
Messages
2,862
I don't think there's any correlation. You use multiple speakers to get a different sound, not more volume. You use the attenuator to control volume (though in the process you do get a different sound). Unrelated things.

Now, using a highly efficient speaker is possibly counter productive, though you may wish to do that, if the speaker in question gives you the tones you want. You would be working against yourself though. In any event, speaker efficiency is far more significant than the number of speakers used.

Of course, I should mention the disclaimer, that in my experience, using more speakers doesn't equate to significantly more volume, all other things being equal. That's a can of worms though. Lots of folks will insist that additional speakers do indeed create addition volume. See like a billion other threads for details.
 

908SSP

Member
Messages
5,800
sure,
the sound coming off of one speaker, versus two, versus 4...
it's all different.

could be, the sound of barely driven 4x12 is what you want...
or maybe it's the sound of a single 12 being pushed harder, but by itself.

the tone recipe, is complex.
and everything plays a part.

there is no right answer.
You are wrong your answer was right so you're both right and wrong....:hide

Really you have to do what sounds best to you.
 

small axe

Member
Messages
2,915
i think you would want to have the same amount of speakers and just attenuate the level to where you want it. the point is to play at the higher volume spectrum while not being all that loud. i have used one with a 1x12,2x12,4x12 and they all sound nice if u got the right set up.
 

batsbrew

Member
Messages
5,637
well, some of the coolest tones ever, have been guys experimenting with stuff you wouldn't normally do..

and at this point in time, when EVERYTHING under the sun has been done, it's cool to try to experiment still.

that's all i meant.....
 

Dave_C

Member
Messages
14,096
Depends. If you're attenuating your 100 watt amp down to 1 watt, probably not. If you're just knocking off a couple of dB so you can crank your 100 watt Plexi in a club, you probably still want the sound a bigger cabinet can deliver.
I agree, but I still think a good 4x12 with the right speakers for you and your amp sounds better than a 1x12 for almost all applications. I have a bunch of very high quality cutting edge 1x12 cabs and combos and, as amazing as some of them sound in their own right, they all have varying degrees of "boxiness", IMO. You need to get to a 2x12 to start getting rid of that, with a 4x12 offering yet another flavor and adding yet more complexity and depth. I find that 4x12s can almost make it sound like you have a touch of 'verb or delay, maybe due to the phase cancellation or something, I dunno'.

So, for me, a 1x12 is almost entirely a convenience thing.
 
Last edited:

schwa

Member
Messages
2,588
I use an attenuator, and am definitely of the school that think less attenuation is generally best. That said, if the goal is TV volume, everything needs to be considered.

For my minimum volume level sound, I use a low watt amp (turned up) > attenuator > 1x10 cab running an inefficient speaker.

As others have said there are many ways to get there, but in my case I've had some good results with smaller cabs.

As I am able to have higher levels, then bigger cabs come back into play.
 




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