Volume of 1x12 combo vs 2x12 cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GSVBagpuss, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. GSVBagpuss

    GSVBagpuss Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    Hey folks :) A little preamble...

    I have a Zinky Blue Velvet 25w 1x12 combo that is just great. It has suited me at home perfectly at low volumes and lovely sounds. However, I now have access to a lovely 4x12 cab for band practise and gigs and would rather use that.

    I could transport the combo and plug it in, but I'd rather save the weight of lifting and chance of damage (had bad experiences with moving kit around before)I'm tempted to trade my combo for the equivalent Zinky head for use on said 4x12, but am wondering what to get at home.

    If I do get the head, I'd be looking at a new cab for use at home. Would a 2x12 be massively louder than the combo? I'd still want to practise at the same volume, but a 2x12 appeals for a better depth of sound. The other option of course is just to get the 1x12 Zinky cab and get a similar sound, but that sounds rather boring for a TGP user!
  2. clothwiring

    clothwiring Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    Central NY
    Why not get the head, then get a 4x12 for playing out and 2x12 for home? Probably be a little cheaper than buying another whole amp. If damage is the issue, get a case for the head.
  3. GSVBagpuss

    GSVBagpuss Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    Well indeed, that's what I was trying to say, but obviously didn't make myself clear!

    A case for the head is ideal, and I always find them easier to handle rather than combos.
  4. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Without knowing the efficiencies of the speakers involved, your question can't be answered. The 4 x 12 may be louder or it may be quieter. You can't generalize based on the number of speakers alone.
  5. NatDeroxL7

    NatDeroxL7 Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    I just went to a 1x12 combo from a 4x12....similar wattages (50w combo, 60w head on half power)...the volume of the combo is just as loud as the 4x12+head. I think the only noticeable difference is the feel of the thumping speakers in the 4x12, and "bigger", more spacious sound of the 4x12.

    Speaker volume vs. number of speakers is not straight additive, multiplicative, or straight anything, It's a more complex deal than that, which I have never cared to understand.

    Adding another 1x12 cab and setting it farther away will actually sound bigger than a single 2x12 cab I think, it also is great for defeating the directionality of a single cab, since you can control the angles of the speakers. Very flexible option there. I say do it!

    Also, changing a 100db speaker to something in the 96-97db range will have a drastically greater effect on volume than the number of speakers in the cabinet. Doubling the watts increases db by 3. So lets say you normally run your 50 watt amp at about 1/4 capacity. Just changing the speakers, you now can double your power use (get into that sweet spot with less master volume/attenuation) with the same volume!
    It would look like this:

    96db speaker at 1 meter
    1 watt = 96db
    2 watt = 99 db
    4 watt = 102 db
    8 watt = 105 db
    16 watt = 108 db
    36 watt = 111 db

    100db speaker at 1 meter
    1 watt = 100 db
    2 watt = 103
    4 watt = 106
    8 watt = 109
    16 watt = 112

    you are still damn loud, especially for indoors, but a 4db difference is very, very noticeable. I forget, but I think that a 1db change is something like a 10x increase in perceived loudness?

    Look at your speakers, and/or adding an extension cab, before worrying about what type of cab it is.

    Get a 4x12 with low efficiency speakers, use it at home and the gig!

    ALL IMO, of course :D
  6. Sikor

    Sikor Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    No it is not like that. 4dB is noticeable, but not so much big difference. Double loudnes (perceived by our ears) = 10dB.

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